High School Students Urge Bush to Ban Use of Torture

From HuffPost:

WASHINGTON — President Bush was presented with a letter Monday signed by 50 high school seniors in the Presidential Scholars program urging a halt to “violations of the human rights” of terror suspects held by the United States.

The White House said Bush had not expected the letter but took a moment to read it and talk with a young woman who handed it to him.

“The president enjoyed a visit with the students, accepted the letter and upon reading it let the student know that the United States does not torture and that we value human rights,” deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.

The students had been invited to the East Room to hear the president speak about his effort to win congressional reauthorization of his education law known as No Child Left Behind.

The handwritten letter said the students “believe we have a responsibility to voice our convictions.”

“We do not want America to represent torture. We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants,” the letter said.

Spencer Elden

From Wikipedia:

Spencer Elden (born on July 9, 1991) is the model who appeared on the cover of Nirvana’s album Nevermind. Nirvana considered using a stock photograph of a swimming baby, but when that proved too expensive, they hired photographer Kirk Weddle. Weddle’s friends, Renata and Rick Elden, allowed their son Spencer to be photographed for about $200. The hook, line, and dollar were superimposed later. After seeing the photo, Kurt Cobain (Nirvana’s lead singer) and his wife Courtney Love agreed that they would take Spencer out to dinner when he got older.

Student loses ruling over “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”


The Supreme Court says
“Free speech is fine as long as we agree with what you’re saying.”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A divided Supreme Court on Monday curtailed free-speech rights for students, ruling against a teenager who unfurled a banner saying “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” because the message could be interpreted as promoting drug use.

In its first major decision on student free-speech rights in nearly 20 years, the high court’s conservative majority ruled that a high school principal did not violate the student’s rights by confiscating the banner and suspending him.

The decision marked a continuing shift to the right by the court since President George W. Bush appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. The court has issued a series of narrow 5-4 decisions on divisive social issues like abortion and the death penalty.

In another decision on Monday by the same 5-4 vote, the court ruled taxpayers cannot challenge Bush’s use of government funds to finance social programs operated by religious groups.

“Both of these First Amendment cases reflect the clear right-wing trend of the Roberts court. Unmistakably. Both are clearly wrong,” said Abner Greene, a Fordham University law professor.

The Electric Unicycle


Build your own for about $1,500.00.

Some time ago I built a self-balancing two-wheeled scooter. Since then I realized that two wheels are redundant, and only a single wheel is needed to make a ridable vehicle. A vehicle with a single wheel is much smaller and lighter. It weighs under 30 lbs and is easily carried with one hand when going up stairs or on public transportation.

The Electric Unicycle’s only control is the on-off switch. The rider controls everything else by shifting his weight. You lean forward to accelerate, lean backwards to brake, and gyrate your arms wildly to turn. With a little practice you can get more graceful and keep your arms mostly by your side.

The unicycle balances itself using a simple feedback loop between a solid-state gyroscope and the wheel motor. When it detects itself tilting forward, it runs the wheel forward to keep it vertical. When it detects itself tilting backwards it runs the wheel backwards. It does this so rapidly (200 updates per second) that it feels perfectly smooth. This is really the same thing that a conventional unicycle rider does with his legs.

Daily Dose of Ingersoll

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I do not consider it a very important question whether Christ was the Son of God or not. After all, what difference does it make? If he never existed, we are under the same obligation to do what we believe is right; and believing that he was the Son of God or disbelieving it, is of no earthly importance. If we are ever judged at all it will be by our actions, and not by our beliefs. If Christ was good enough to die for me, he certainly will not be bad enough to damn me for honestly failing to believe in his divinity.