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Archive for March, 2008

Learn English Or Go To Jail

March 27th, 2008 by Rich Szabo

From Associated Press

An Eastern Pennsylvania judge known for creative sentencing has ordered three men to learn English or go to jail.

Luzerne County Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. said the men, who faced prison for criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, can remain on parole if they learn to read and write English, earn their GEDs and get full-time jobs.

Olszewski noted that the three men, Luis Reyes, Ricardo Dominguez and Rafael Guzman-Mateo, plus a fourth defendant, Kelvin Reyes-Rosario, all needed translators in court when they pleaded guilty Tuesday.

The four, ranging in age from 17 to 22, were in a group that police said accosted two men on a Wilkes-Barre street in May. The two said they were asked if they had marijuana, told to empty their pockets, struck on the head, threatened with a gun and told to stay off the block.

The judge sentenced the four men to jail terms of four to 24 months. But he gave Reyes, Dominguez and Guzman-Mateo, who already had served at least four months, immediate parole. Reyes-Rosario remains imprisoned on an unrelated drug charge.

Attorneys for the men said they were studying the legality of the ruling and had not decided whether to appeal. One of the attorneys, Ferris Webby, acknowledged that the ruling was good for his client, Guzman-Mateo.

“My client is happy,” Webby said. “I think it’s going to help him.”

Olszewski ordered the three to return with their parole officers in a year and take an English test.

“If they don’t pass, they’re going in for the 24 (months),” he said.

The judge noted that no one objected to the sentences on Tuesday.
If anyone thinks learning English is not a good thing, he said, “I’d love to hear from them.”

Olszewski said it would help the men get a GED, and a job.
“Do you think we are going to supply you with a translator all of your life?” he asked them in court.

Olszewski is known for outside-the-box sentencing.

He has ordered young defendants who are school dropouts to finish school. He often orders defendants to get full-time employment. But he also has his staff coordinate with an employment agency to help them find the jobs.

In this case, Olszewski said, “There’s no way young kids can be hurt by knowing how to read and write the English language.”

I think that this was great! Finally someone who has it together. However, I feel the judge should have taken one more step and put them in jail until they could read, write and speak English.


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Made In China

March 27th, 2008 by Rich Szabo

Recently I purchased a set of Taylormade TP woods, Driver, 3 and 5 woods. The price was ridiculous to say the least but they have a great reputation and are supposedly some of the finest golf clubs around. The three clubs cost me $897.97 not including sales tax.

Now you would think for that price they would be made in the good old US of A. WRONG! Upon closer inspection of my new found babies, I noticed on the shaft of each club a label that reads ( and in VERY small print I might add): “Clubhead Made In China, Shaft Made In China, Assembled in the USA”. Click on the photo for a full size image.

So what’s that all about? If these clubs cost Taylormade $50.00 total to have made in a sweat shop in China it’s alot. Nowhere on Taylormade’s website does it say that the components of each club is Made In China.However, after some careful digging I found that Taylormade Golf is owned and operated by Adidas. Going to the Adidaswebsite I found the following:

What We Do

For over 80 years the adidas Group has been part of the world of sports on every level, delivering state-of-the-art sports footwear, apparel and accessories. Today, the adidas Group is a global leader in the sporting goods industry and offers a broad portfolio of products. Products from the adidas Group are available in virtually every country of the world. Our strategy is simple: continuously strengthen our brands and products to improve our competitive position and financial performance.

adidas Footwear, apparel, accessories

Reebok Footwear, apparel and accessories

TaylorMade-adidas Golf Golf Equipment: metalwoods, irons putters, golf balls, footwear, apparel and accessories

Activities of the company and its more than 150 subsidiaries are directed from the Group’s headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Also located in Herzogenaurach are the strategic business units for Running, Soccer and Tennis as well as the Research and Development Center. Additional key corporate units are based in Portland, Oregon in the USA, the domicile of adidas America Inc. and home to the strategic business units Basketball, Adventure and Alternative Sports. Reebok Headquarters are located in Canton, Massachusetts. TaylorMade-adidas Golf is based in California. The company also operates design studios and development departments at other locations around the world, corresponding to the related business activity.

adidas Sourcing Ltd., a fully-owned subsidiary headquartered in Hong Kong, is responsible for worldwide sourcing.

Effective December 31, 2007, the adidas Group employed 31,344 people.

Our Values:
The adidas Group strives to be the global leader in the sporting goods industry with sports brands built on a passion for sports and a sporting lifestyle.

We are consumer focused and therefore we continuously improve the quality, look, feel and image of our products and our organizational structures to match and exceed consumer expectations and to provide them with the highest value.

We are innovation and design leaders who seek to help athletes of all skill levels achieve peak performance with every product we bring to market.

We are a global organization that is socially and environmentally responsible, creative and financially rewarding for our employees and shareholders.

We are committed to continuously strengthening our brands and products to improve our competitive position.

We are dedicated to consistently delivering outstanding financial results.

So, needless to say I feel totally ripped off. Sure they are dedicated to consistantly delivering outstanding financial results. All their stuff is MADE IN CHINA for a fraction of what it would cost here in the States.

After that little eye opener, I decided to look around the house and see what else wasn’t made here. WHat I found was mind boggling! Here’s what I found:

2 computer desks purchased from Staple’s were MADE IN CHINA

My flatbed scanner MADE IN CHINA

Kodak Easyshare Digital Camera MADE IN CHINA

3 Hewlett Packard 4300 Printers MADE IN CHINA (Label Printed in USA) Can you believe that?!

Hewlitt Packard Computer Monitor – MADE IN TAIWAN

Breadman Bread Machine – MADE IN KOREA

Mr. Coffee Machine – MADE IN CHINA

Mr. Coffee coffee grinder – MADE IN CHINA

Hamilton Beach Electric Teapot – MADE IN CHINA

Bionaire Air Purifier – MADE IN CHINA

Radio Shack Cordless Telephone – “Custom Made for Radio Shack in CHINA”

Cuisinart Litttle Pro Plus Food Processor – MADE IN CHINA

Ryobi Drill Press – MADE IN CHINA

Sharp CD Player – MADE IN CHINA

Techniques Stereo Receiver – MADE IN SINGAPORE

Black & Decker Circular Saw – MADE IN MEXICO

And here’s my best find……

I bought a US Open hat last year in an Offical PGA Store at O’Hare Airport for $24.95. Now, the US Open is the United States Open Golf Tournament. One of the biggest run by none other than the USGA. The United States Golf Association. Key words here are “United States”. Guess what the label inside the hat reads? You guessed it MADE IN CHINA!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Musical instrument manufacturers are dropping like flies. Most of the biggies Conn-Selmer, Yamaha are now having alot of instruments made in China and still selling them at their old Made In USA prices. In the industry these instruments are called ISO’s (Instrument Shaped Objects) because they are far from a quality musical instrument. Some of the instruments are so bad, most decent repair people will not even touch them when they come in.

I’ll save my musical instrument rant for another post.

So, look around your house and see what is actually made in the USA. You will be suprised at what you don’t find. And everyone wonders why our economy is in the crapper. I’m wondering myself. If all these American companies are having all their products made elsewhere VERY cheaply and they are reaping huge profits, how is it that we are in an economic down turn? My guess is because ALL THE AMERICAN WORKERS WHO WOULD NORMALLY BE MAKING THESE PRODUCTS ARE OUT OF WORK! So our really great American Companies are doing business and financing a Communist country. It’s almost laughable except that it’s killing our country.

And now Congress wants to give Illegal Aliens worker visas. I’m sorry but I just don’t get it.

Here’s a book I just ordered and can’t wait to read. A friend suggested that I read it.


And finally:A 2002 Farm Bill passed by Congress mandated country-of-origin labeling for seafood, beef, lamb, pork, fish, fruits, vegetables and peanuts, but the Bush administration has delayed its implementation for everything except seafood until October 2008.So why are they waiting? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

Here’s an update. I emailed Taylormade on March 27th.. Here’s the initial response I received:

From: TaylorMade Golf Consumer Feedback <consumer.feedback@tmag.com>
Reply-To: TaylorMade Golf Consumer Feedback <consumer.feedback@tmag.com>

Thu, 27 Mar 2008 14:24:42 -0400

<> Thank you for contacting TaylorMade Golf,

We value your questions and comments and believe wholeheartedly in
listening to and servicing our customers. We will respond to your email
as promptly as possible, usually within one business day. Should your
question be of an urgent nature please feel free to contact our Customer
Service Department at 800-888-2582 (6A-5P Pacific Time) and we will be
more than happy to assist you. We apologize for any inconveniences.

In the meantime, hit ‘em long and straight with TaylorMade clubs and
Maxfli balls, and look good doing it in adidas shoes and apparel!

Sincerely,

The staff at TaylorMade-adidas Golf

http://taylormadegolf.com

http://adidasgolf.com

http://rossaputters.com

http://maxfli.com

Since I never heard anything from their customer circus department I emailed them yesterday and sent them a link to this article. Here is the reponse I received today:

<> Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2008 08:02:48 -0700
To: Rich <rwszxxx@xxxx.com>
Subject: Re: Re: Your message has been received by TaylorMade Golf (KMM2001361V65034L0KM)
From: TaylorMade Golf Consumer Feedback <consumer.feedback@tmag.com>
Reply-To: TaylorMade Golf Consumer Feedback <consumer.feedback@tmag.com>
Thanks for the email.

I can assure you that the golf industry is very competitive, and
TaylorMade does not try to take advantage of the customer with
ridiculous pricing; the market just wouldn’t allow it. One would be hard
pressed to find any major manufacturer in the golf industry not using
components from China. It is necessary to compete. We are committed to
making the best performance golf equipment in the world. The components
from China do not deviate from this mission, as the best players in the
world use these clubs on the PGA Tour. When many companies compete, the
consumer wins. There are many costs associated with club making and
distribution, and making our clubs in China is one way can keep consumer
cost at a minimum.

Thank you again and we wish you continued success with your golf game!

Best Regards

http://taylormadegolf.com

http://adidasgolf.com

<> Not even a real person’s name on the email. I am at a loss for words. “The consumer wins”?!?!?!? I think not. THe consumer gets ripped off.

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Hillary Boo Boo

March 25th, 2008 by Rich Szabo

Associated Press

Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she made a mistake in claiming that she came under hostile fire in Bosnia 12 years ago, as rival Barack Obama’s campaign continued to challenge her credibility.In a recent speech and interviews, the New York senator described a harrowing scene in Tuzla, Bosnia, in which she and her daughter, Chelsea, had to run for cover as soon as they landed for a visit in 1996. But video footage of the day showed a peaceful reception in which a young girl greeted the first lady on the tarmac.

Clinton told reporters in Pennsylvania on Tuesday that she erred in describing the scene, which she now realizes after talking with aides and others.

 

 

 

I don’t know about you but I would remember being shot at! That’s not something you can just forget about. It reminds me of the time when she couldn’t remember where her Whitewater Billing FIles were. According to PBS The mysterious appearance of the billing records, which had been the specific subject of various investigative subpoenas for two years, sparked intense interest about how they surfaced and where they had been. Shortly after the discovery of the records, Hillary Clinton made history — she became the only First Lady ever called to testify before a Grand Jury inquiry.

It just seems the Clinton’s refuse or are just unable to tell the truth.

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Drug Test Congress

March 25th, 2008 by Rich Szabo

Since there is drug testing in corporate america and professional sports I was thinking that a great way to cut the national spending would be to have mandatory drug testing fro ALL welfrare recipients.

Can you just imagine. Fail the test, you don’t get a check.

Think of the billions of dollars this country could save by having mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients. The only drag is the ACLU thinks it’s unconsitutional to drug test welfare recipients.

Then take it a step further. How about mandatory drug testing for all elected officials.. I would love to see the United States Congress tested. Think about all the stories that have hit the news over the years regarding Congressmen, Senators and even a guy who said “I didn’t inhale”.

The NCAA has drug testing

High Schools have drug testing

Congress proposed a law regarding high school drug testing

The PGA has drug testing

The NFL has drug testing


Major League Baseball has drug testing

I don’t know about you, but I want elected officials, judges, law enforcement to be law abiding citizens. Why is there a double standard?

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Let’s All Speak English

March 25th, 2008 by Rich Szabo

I was recently in a Lowe’s Home Center looking for some plumbing fixtures for a do it yourself project I was working on. As I strolled the aisles looking for the part I needed I ran into a Russian couple who were standing in the aisle talking to one another in broken English. There was no one else around except me so there really wasn’t any reason why they couldn’t speak in their native tongue. I stopped and told them that I thought it was great that they were speaking English. The gentleman told me that he and his wife worked very hard at learning English so they could become citizens. They had another six months or so before they would become citizens and were very proud of that.

I continued on my quest for the part I was looking for and turned the corner into another aisle. I ran into a family of Mexicans and a salesman. The family was jabbering away VERY loudly in Spanish. The salesman looked like a deer caught in the headlights and other customers were disgusted by the rude behavior of this group. As I passed them I turned and said “English”. The what I am assuming was the father, looked at me and in very bad English told me “Fuck you man, learn Spanish”. Needless to say I went ballistic on this guy. The store manager came out and got into the fray. I told him what was going on, the saleman explained what was going on and how they were being disruptive and rude, and guess what? I was asked to leave!

So off I went never to again set foot in a Lowe’s.

Now, here’s my real problem. Not just with Lowe’s but with just about every large retail chain. THey all have signage in Spanish and English. What about all the other languages? I was taught that America was “the melting pot” . So if you are going to pander to one ethnic group, why not include ALL of them.

We have a law on the books called the The Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, was created in 1952 and ammended in 1986. In it it states:INA: ACT 312 – REQUIREMENTS AS TO UNDERSTANDING THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, HISTORY, PRINCIPLES, AND FORM OF GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES

Sec. 312. [8 U.S.C. 1423]

(a) No person except as otherwise provided in this title shall hereafter be naturalized as a citizen of the United States upon his own application who cannot demonstrate-

(1) an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write, and speak words in ordinary usage in the English language: Provided, That the requirements of this paragraph relating to ability to read and write shall be met if the applicant can read or write simple words and phrases to the end that a reasonable test of his literacy shall be made and that no extraordinary or unreasonable conditions shall be imposed upon the applicant; and

(2) a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history, and of the principles and form of government, of the United States.

(b) (1) The requirements of subsection (a) shall not apply to any person who is unable because of physical or developmental disability or mental impairment to comply therewith.

(2) The requirement of subsection (a)(1) shall not apply to any person who, on the date of the filing of the person’s application for naturalization as provided in section 334 , either-

(A) is over fifty years of age and has been living in the United States for periods totaling at least twenty years subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence, or

(B) is over fifty-five years of age and has been living in the United States for periods totaling at least fifteen years subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence.

(3) The Attorney General, pursuant to regulations, shall provide for special consideration, as determined by the Attorney General, concerning the requirement of subsection (a)(2) with respect to any person who, on the date of the filing of the person’s application for naturalization as provided in section 334 , is over sixty-five years of age and has been living in the United States for periods totaling at least twenty years subsequent to a lawful admission for permanent residence.

Now, if that’s the case, why are all these stores putting signage up in Spanish? Why is the Whitehouse website in English and Spanish? How about we just have it in English?

In my opinion, not having translations in all languages is a form of discrimination. So where’s the ACLU on this one?

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Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

March 19th, 2008 by Rich Szabo

Here’s my beef with our wonderful Congress. We already have laws on the books called the
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 which you should read if you haven’t done so.

Congress wants to work on immigration reform. Why? How about we just enforce the above laws which they passed 21 years ago? In the Bill it calls for very strict penalties for employers who hire illegals. “(f) Criminal Penalties and Injunctions for Pattern or Practice Violations.–

“(1) Criminal penalty.–Any person or entity which engages in a pattern or practice of violations of subsection (a)(1)(A) or (a)(2) shall be fined not more than $3,000 for each unauthorized alien with respect to whom such a violation occurs, imprisoned for not more than six months for the entire pattern or practice, or both, notwithstanding the provisions if any other Federal law relating to fine levels.”

Don’t you think that this just might make employers take a second look if the law was being enforced? The illegal alien invasion of this country would stop almost immediatley if they knew there was not a snowballs chance in Hell of getting work here. And the illegals that are already here would go back from whence they came.

Contact your representatives and let them know about the laws THEY passed 21 years ago.

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