STAR*BRIAN STAR*BRIAN: 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 *

Talking points on current events

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Oscar Buzz

all thanks to Chris Rock.

the Academy Awards is coming up, and for good or bad, this straight white guy will be watching. here's what i think...

Best Director: Clint Eastwood. probably not a best actor nod. great direction.

Best Actor: Jamie Fox. great job. Johnny Depp is the Steven Spielberg of actors. too young, too soon. maybe next time.

Best Actress: Hilary Swank. already a winner. second time too.

Best Picture: The Aviator. the kind of movie Holly wood likes.
something to look for. the 7 second delay used on Chris Rock.

should be fun.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Feeling Down....?

happy friday everyone!

Hosted by

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Teacher Pleads "Not Guilty"

Hosted by

today accused teacher Pamela Rogers' attorney pleaded not guilty at her arraignment. a trial date has been set for November 15.

Rogers(above) is accused of having a sexual relationship with one of her students, aged 13. if convicted, she could face up to 100 years in jail.

> In Related News

in Sacramento, CA, a 30 year old teaching intern was arrested for engaging in a sexual relationship with, guess what, one of her students.

according to Sacramento Police, Margaret De Barraicua and the student, 16, are believed to have been having an ongoing consensual sexual relationship for several months. including in her car, while her toddler was strapped in to the car seat in the back!

the toddler, aged 2, has been released to De Barraicua's husband and she is on paid administrated leave from the school pending the ongoing investigation.

before being an intern, De Barraicua worked in the district for about two years as a substitute teacher. interns do undergo the same background checks as regular teachers.

police do not believe De Barraicua abused any other children, seeing this as an isolated case. uh, huh. explain that to all of the other students that have been taken advantage of over the last several months. something needs to be done in order to protect these students and any others in the future. the playground shouldn't be a "pick up" spot.

home schooling is starting to sound better and better.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

College is Little More Than a Money Making Machine

we all know that a higher education can be the key to future success. but, with cost of tuition going up every year at anywhere from 8 to 15%, who's really benefiting?

high school students regularly take college courses just to be caught up when it comes time to apply. test scores need to be higher. and when they do finish college, they see their bill and wonder if it was worth it. oh, and by the way, bankruptcy is at an all time high.

college students are, in most cases, required to buy books for a specific class at outrageous prices. and forget about selling them back at a decent cost. 40% is considered really good. students pay hundreds of dollars for books they could buy, on the same subject matter, at a Barnes & Noble for a fraction of the price.

where's the money going?

college presidents, professors, and staff. a lot of college presidents earn six to seven figure incomes. now, i'm not saying a career in education shouldn't have it's rewards, but this is crazy.

crime on campus, especially hate crimes, is on the rise. students regularly do not have the room in which to live and work comfortably. and forget a place to park, if you are lucky enough to have a car. take a look at the buildings that are building the minds of the future. i know of one example where the carpet is soiled, the ceiling falling in, and the windows stained or broken. and this is a big private college.

this country talks about education all of the time and how to fix it. maybe someone should look at the cost of higher education, not just high school graduation rates. and most students end up working for a place like a Starbucks when they do graduate, with a bill they almost assuredly cannot afford.

but hey, they've got that framed piece of paper hanging on their share rental wall.

Monday, February 21, 2005

President's Day

did you know....

George Washington
> loved cream of peanut soup
>was the only president who did not belong to a political party
>things named after him: 1 state, 7 mountains, 8 streams, 10 lakes, 33 counties, 9 colleges, and 121 towns and villages

James Madison
>was the smallest of all the presidents. He was only 5'4" tall and weighed less than 100 pounds
>was the first president to wear long trousers. All the previous presidents wore knee breeches

John Quincy Adams
>customarily took a nude early morning swim in the Potomac River
>was the first president to have his photo taken (April 13, 1843)

Martin Van Buren
>when he was vice president, he presided over the Senate wearing a pair of pistols, as a precaution against the frequent outbursts of violence!
>was the first president who was born a U.S. citizen

James Buchanan
>the only bachelor president, almost married in 1819
>liked to give sauerkraut and mashed potato parties

Abraham Lincoln
>grew a beard because a little girl wrote him a letter telling him that he would look more handsome with a beard
>was the first U.S. President to receive a patent
>used to store notes, bills, and letters in his famous top hat

Ulysses S. Grant
>set a high jump record at West Point that lasted for more than 25 years
>his favorite breakfast was a cucumber soaked in vinegar
>while president, Grant was arrested for speeding in his horse carriage!

Herbert Clark Hoover
>was the first president to have a telephone right on his desk
>required White House servants to be "invisible." Whenever he or the first lady appeared, the servants would jump into the nearest closet to avoid being seen
>his son had 2 pet alligators that would sometimes wander around the White House

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
>the youngest man, the first Roman Catholic to be elected president, the first to win a Purple Heart, the 4th president to be assassinated, and the first Pulitzer Prize winner
>was the first President to not wear a hat at his inauguration

Lyndon Baines Johnson
>was the only president who was sworn in by a woman
>was the first president to name a black person to his Cabinet

Gerald R. Ford
>was named Leslie Lynch King, Jr. at birth. When his divorced mother remarried, he was adopted by his stepfather and named Gerald R. Ford after him. He was known as "Jerry"
>once worked as a fashion model

Ronald Wilson Reagan
>at 73, he was the oldest person ever elected president
>became the first U.S. president to address Japan's legislature

George Herbert Walker Bush
>requested Nixon's resignation as president in the name of the Republican Party
>resigned from the CIA after Jimmy Carter was elected president in 1976

William Jefferson Clinton
>began using his stepfather's last name while in grade school and formally changed his name to William Jefferson Clinton when he was 15
>met JFK when he was 17
>wife, Hillary, was the first wife of a president to attain elective office herself

George W. Bush
>was the second president to follow in his father's footsteps. The other presidents were John Adams and John Quincy Adams
>married wife, Laura, three months after meeting

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Educational Stripping

a "gentleman's" club in Boise, Idaho found a loop hole in the local law the prohibits total nudity at their club.

according to the city ordinance, total nudity is banned except for artistic displays. so the club is handing out sketch pads and pencils to their customers and is encouraging them to draw the dancers, aka, strippers as they strip, uh perform. the club's owner claims he is serious about art and and that he's not just using the loop hole to his advantage.

so if you're in the neighborhood, come on down with you pad and pencils. be sure to tip your waitress and "performer". and don't forget to learn something. like, your girlfriend or wife may not find it as "educating" as you do!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Entertaining Headlines from All Over

"take a listen"

this is an audio post - click to play

Negroponte Gets the Nod & Greenspan's Green Light

today President Bush nominated John Negroponte as his pick for the newly created position of Intelligence Director.

the announcement comes after weeks of grumbling by the Dems over what they perceive as Bush dragging his heels on appointing someone to the position. but the fact that there is even a position to fill came about in an odd way.

the 9/11 Commission concluded that one of the errors leading to events of September 11, was the lack of communication between the 15 different intelligence agencies. their idea was to create a focal point for all of the information to be processed. this person would then have control over budgets and would report to the President.

the strange part about the Commission was the fact it was needed in the first place. seems like America is the only place where we get attacked and then investigate ourselves!

no doubt Mr. Negroponte will have his hands full if he is confirmed. the position will be tricky as he will report to the President, and i'm sure will take the White House's lead. also, it will be interesting to see how this new Director gets along with the Pentagon. i'm sure they won't like some guru having control over their budget.

good thing Negroponte has such experience in diplomatic situations.

in other news.

yesterday Fed Chief Alan Greenspan began his testimony before members of the House Financial Services Committee.

Greenspan gave his approval of the Presidents plan to create private Social Security accounts. but cautioned to move slowly.

the President's plan would cost around $754 billion over ten years and seemed to be in a price window that Greenspan would agree with. other's have put the cost of the plan anywhere from $1 trillion to $4 trillion dollars.

the idea that nothing needs to be done is reckless. even Greenspan said it's risky to do nothing. because, right now it's not Social Security. it's So-So Security.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A Lack of Accountability

today i received two e-mails regarding the "Preying Teachers" articles i have written. it's share time class!

the first one states:


while i agree that there are probably several cases out there where a student may lie in order to get back at a teacher for something, those are what you might refer to as the exception. also, i have no need to worry about any fingers being pointed at me, as i do not take advantage of children.

the second e-mail said:


i can only assume that this is the same person writing, oh well. i, your host, did not accuse anyone of doing anything. instead, i shined some light onto a subject that is alarming and seems to be increasing.

the truth is, that after an investigation, police found enough information to bring charges against these disturbed teachers.

the sad part is corrupt people defending the abuse of these children. and i'm sure there are many more out there we do not know about. these teachers had a responsibility and took advantage of students who were supposed to be able to look up to them and trust them.

ANYBODY who abuses a child shouldn't be surprised when the law catches up to them.

class dismissed.

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Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day

here's a little history about Valentine's Day.

there are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. he died on February 14, 269 A.D.

legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine".

gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and spending cash! and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. the date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers.

commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now the date is very commercialised. for the most part, kids are still allowed to pass out Valentine's cards and candy at schools around the country.

so, snuggle up with your sweetie, and have a Happy Valentine's Day!

in a related story. you can now purchase Barbara Boxer panties supporting a 2008 run for president. nothing says politics like panties!

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

No Senate Run for Al Franken - Boo Hoo!

today liberal comedian and radio talk show host Al Franken announced he would not seek a senate seat in 2006. i'm sure America is relieved.

Franken is best know recently as the author of "Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them and Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot", as well as a barely listened to radio personality on the Air America network.

but Franken came to fame as a comedian and once worked and wrote for, among other things, Saturday Night Live. his books pull no punches in his disdain for Republicans and others like minded. his recent attacks have included Fox News Channel and one of it's hosts Bill O'Reilly. obviously the spat between O'Reilly and Franken sold lots of books for both, but would anyone take this guy seriously as a senator?

sure we had Sonny Bono and now Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Al Franken has about as much creditability as Hillary Clinton on Health Care and Education. he has taken the party line of calling President Bush a liar to new heights, and just down right attacked people like O'Reilly and Limbaugh.

but, the American people have spoken. Air America is on life support, and no one's listening. i'm sure his people told him no one would be voting.

as always, you can e-mail me your comments at:

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Another Teacher in the News

Pamela Turner, 27, was charged Monday with 15 counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and 13 counts of statutory rape in McMinnville, Tenn. and yes, all counts were with the same boy who is 13.

Turner, a P.E. teacher and girls basketball coach, also lived with the boy's family for a brief time as she was moving from place to place. the parents knew she was staying there, but had no idea of the "relationship".

Police believe the sexual relationship took place at his home as well as at school. if convicted on all counts she could be punished by up to 100 years in prison. arraignment was set for Feb. 23.

what i don't understand is the public's seemingly lack of concern for this emerging behavior.

when Deborah LaFave was accused of doing pretty much the same thing, bloggers all over the internet praised the boy. and acted as if this was every guy's dream come true.

the problem is abuse. not a sexual conquest. as i have said before, these teachers are in a position of authority and need to act accordingly.

remember when you were a kid and you had a "good citizenship" grade? these teachers have all failed. big time.

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Thursday, February 03, 2005

State of the Union

no matter what side of the aisle you are on, the state of the union each year gives us a chance to look back on the year gone by, and look to the future.

some notable points:

> glad to see Bush actually talking about things beyond his term.

> asking the house and senate to stop dragging their feet and pass energy reform.

> pushing his "guest worker" plan.

> touting an increase in test score as a result of the "no child left behind" program. now, if we can just make sure educators are educating, not teaching kids to cram for the standardized test.

> the total lack of respect from the Dems regarding social security, among other things. see, i think instead of pooh, poohing his ideas, come up with some of your own.

in the 90's while Clinton was in office, Newt Gingrich came up with the very successful idea of the "contract with america". suddenly the bruised and beaten Republicans had a new voice.

but today the Dems have lost their voice. if Bush's social security plan is wrong, what is the solution? what is not in doubt is the money will run out. for me? or my children?

> Bush could have gloated more about Iraq, but kept it cool.

> best moment, Safia Taleb al-Suhail, of Iraq, and Janet Norwood, mother of a fallen Marine, hugging. this show of appreciation and unity is a real sign of the progress being made in Iraq.

all in all, a typical speech. let's hope law makers can stop fighting to have the loudest voice and start working on making some much needed changes.

remember, you can e-mail me your comments at:

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Can you hear me now? Good.

in an era where more and more people are ditching traditional phones in favor of cell phones, the small town of Mink, LA just got phone service. for the first time!

bellsouth spent around $700,000 outfitting the small town, which comes down to about $47,000 per phone and about 30 miles of cable.

state governor Kathleen Blanco marked the moment by making the first call from Baton Rouge to 83-year-old Alma Louise Bolton monday afternoon to celebrate.

later that day Ms. Bolton's phone rang again. and wouldn't you know it, it was from a telemarketer!

can i suggest caller i.d. to the folks in Mink?!

New: Questions? Rants? Ideas? let me know.

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