Thursday, June 29, 2006

This is not good,71269-0.html

Reuters 15:35 PM Jun, 28, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday rejected an amendment to bar high-speed internet providers from discriminating against content or services.

The amendment, offered by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), would have prevented broadband providers from giving priority to any individual company's content or services.

The panel tied 11-11 in its vote on the amendment, and chairman Ted Stevens said it failed.

The lawmakers tried to add it to a larger communications bill aimed at making it easier for telephone companies like AT&T and Verizon Communications to get licenses for offering subscription television service.

More thoughts at Crooks & Liars:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Net Neutrality- Important!

Watch this very important short explaination.

Save the Internet: Click here

How its shaping up in the Senate (call your Senator NOW!)

(Membership Total: 12)

Sen. Barbra Boxer (D-CA)
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Sen. Joesph Lieberman (D-CT)
Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

(Membership Total: 4)

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)

No position
(Membership Total: 31)

Sen. George Allen (R-VA)
Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Mark Dayton (D-MN)
Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Sen.Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO)
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)
Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA)
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH)
Sen. John Warner (R-VA)

No Information
(Membership Total: 54)

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO)
Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE)
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO)
Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT)
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID)
Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM)
Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. William Frist (R-TN)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX)
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
Sen. Johnny Isaakson (R-GA)
Sen. James Jefford (I-VT)
Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ)
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS)
Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL)
Sen.John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen.Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen.Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Sen.Benjamin Nelson (D-NE)
Sen.Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Sen.Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Sen.John D. Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sen.Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR)
Sen. John Sununu (R-NH)
Sen. James Talent (R-MO)
Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY)
Sen. John Thune (R-SD)

Monday, June 12, 2006

The perfect weekend

Saturday, the matriarch of the Cutler clan (known affectionately as G.G. to the girls), turned an ever-young 84. We visited bearing food, flowers, off-key songs and hearts full of love.

Every day she remains on this earth is a blessing.

Sunday, we were finally able to take Bret out for his birthday surprise (bday was last Thursday). The girls were SO excited- they kept their mouths shut for well over a week. So, we blindfolded the man...

and took him to what I can only describe as a pizza place on crack, Amazing Jake's. You might be wondering if this was really for the girls, but I tell you, my 36-year-old boy was quite pleased. We met up with some friends so we could get a group rate with unlimited spastic, seizure-inducing adventures, along with a food buffet that puts Chuck-E-Cheese to shame.

We also learned that having your daughters be in charge of a spinning teacup is just a horrible, horrible idea....

I did get to let out some aggression ramming into a Republican on the bumper cars... it was most gratifying. ;-)

All-in-all it ended up being a perfect afternoon, and an excellent weekend.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

In My Life: Allison Crowe

Get this video and more at

Seriously, I heard this angel's voice on a podcast... and just fell in love.

Love I tell you- LOVE.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Buddhist Temple Relocating- and coming closer

Buddhist temple to restart in Mesa

Daniel González
The Arizona Republic

Venerable Yong Shan strode to the front of the altar in a flowing burnt orange robe and, under the gaze of three life-sized statues of Buddha, beat a drum slowly.

The diminutive Buddhist nun, her head shaved, picked up a tiny bell and gave it one ring, letting the sound tingle through the silent room that was pungent with burning incense.

Twenty-five men and women forming perfect rows knelt and bowed toward the altar. Then the chanting in Mandarin began. It would last more than an hour, as it does every Sunday at the International Buddhist Association of Arizona.

A fixture in north-central Phoenix since 1994, the temple has drawn Chinese-speaking Buddhists from all over the Valley. But it will soon begin anew in Mesa, a major move and expansion that reflect larger demographic changes taking place in the Valley's growing Chinese-speaking immigrant population.

Newer Chinese-speaking immigrants are better educated and more affluent than preceding waves. They are bypassing urban areas where earlier immigrants settled in favor of the East Valley suburbs, home to about a third of the Valley's roughly 20,000 Chinese residents, immigrants and American-born.

"The East Valley, that has been where more of the trendy Asians have moved, mainly because Arizona State University's main campus is in Tempe, and a lot of the high-tech companies are there," said Manny Wong, publisher of Asian American Times, a Chinese-English newspaper in Phoenix.

The growth of the East Valley's Chinese population, which tripled between 1990 and 2005, is drawing more Asian-oriented businesses and services. The East Valley is home to more than half a dozen Chinese or Asian Christian churches, among them Metro Phoenix Chinese Alliance Church and Evangelical Formosan Church in Tempe and the Greater Phoenix Chinese Christian Church in Chandler.

At Lee Lee Oriental Market in Chandler, shoppers can find products from many Asian countries, including Japan, India and Thailand. The area is also attracting other Asian markets and restaurants, Wong said. Sixty percent of his newspaper's 10,000 circulation is in the East Valley.

Still, while the temple's move is an opportunity to expand and be closer to members, it will leave Phoenix without a Chinese-speaking Buddhist place of worship.

Historic move up

The International Buddhist Association congregation includes people from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia, as well as a few non-Asian Buddhists. A year ago, the association paid $800,000 for 5 acres near the southeastern corner of Lindsay and McKellips roads in Mesa.

The association plans to start building a multimillion-dollar, two-story, 20,000-square-foot facility there within two years. Plans also call for conference and meditation rooms, a library and tearoom, and a temple big enough to accommodate 300 to 400 followers, Shan said. The new facility will be larger and more expensive than the current 3,000 square-foot structure, which fits only 50 to 80 followers for Sunday services. It cost $150,000 in 1994, Shan said.

The association decided to build its new facility in Mesa for two reasons: Land was more reasonable, and the location is closer to where many new Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants live, Shan said. The move, she said, is calculated not only to serve existing members, but attract new ones.

From the 1870s, when Chinese immigrants began arriving in Phoenix, through the 1970s, waves of Chinese immigrants tended to settle in Phoenix and Glendale, community leaders say. They mostly came from small villages in southern China with basic education in search of the American dream, for themselves and their children. Many made a living by opening small businesses.

"It was the proverbial corner grocery store or Chinese restaurant. They used these businesses as a base to raise their families and take advantage of the educational opportunities for their children so that they wouldn't have to endure the long hours and hard work in these businesses," said Barry Wong, 47, a Phoenix lawyer and former state legislator.

He is the son of Chinese immigrants who settled in the Valley in the early 1950s, and opened a grocery store in south Phoenix. In contrast, Chinese immigrants who have come since the 1980s tend to be highly educated professionals, drawn by Arizona State University and the area's high-technology manufacturing industry, including companies such as Honeywell, Intel and Motorola.

New residents look east

The Chinese population in Maricopa County doubled from 1990 to 2005, increasing to 19,574 from 9,374, according to data from the Census Bureau and Claritas, a marketing research company. Most of that growth has been in the East Valley, and includes new immigrants and Chinese Americans who have relocated from other parts of the Valley.

The Chinese population in Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert almost tripled between 1990 and 2005, to 5,811 residents from 1,599. Seventeen percent of the county's Chinese population lived in Chandler, Gilbert or Mesa in 1990; by 2005, it had increased to 30 percent.

Many newcomers are people like Kuo-San Ho, an engineer who works for Honeywell and lives in Mesa. At the International Buddhist Association of Arizona temple one recent Sunday, he pulled a black robe over his clothes and took a spot inside the temple next to a cushion on the floor, joining about two dozen other followers.

Ming Chen, 52, came to the Valley 26 years ago from Taiwan. Chen, who has a master's degree in architecture from ASU, lives in Gilbert and runs his own firm in Chandler. Chen, a former president of the temple in central Phoenix, said the new location in Mesa will be more convenient for members in the East Valley but still accessible to others.

"It's close to the freeway," Chen said.

Worshiping in Phoenix

The Buddhist International Association of Arizona in Phoenix is home to the Valley's only Chinese-speaking Buddhist temple, although there are other Buddhist temples here.

The congregation is affiliated with the Buddha's Light International Association, which traces its roots to the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, the largest Buddhist organization in Taiwan.

Before the temple opened in 1994, many people drove to Los Angeles for services, said Wen Chyi Chiu, 30, a temple member and editor of Az Asian World magazine in Phoenix.

In 1994, the association opened a branch in Phoenix to serve the growing Chinese immigrant population, she said.

"In 1994, the Chinese population was concentrated in Phoenix and Glendale areas, and this was a centrally located area," she said. "But now, the population has transferred more to the East Valley."

The association started in Phoenix with about 100 people but has grown to more than 600, said Shan, a native of Malaysia of Chinese descent.

One recent morning, Shan, 55, stood in front of a blueprint of the planned facility taped to a wall inside the temple on 15th Place in Phoenix. She pointed out the different amenities the association hopes to include that will make the facility not only a temple but also a community center: A library and lounge where people will be able to read Chinese-language newspapers. A kitchen and dinning area for preparing and sharing meals. Classrooms and meditation rooms for studying and practicing Buddhism. Shan said the new facility, still in the design stages, will cost $2 million to $3 million. In addition to bank loans, the money will be raised through fund-raisers and private donations, much of which will come from new members in the East Valley.

"Because of the rapid increase, we feel we need a larger facility," she said.

Yeah- this about sums up the attitude

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Excellent Advice

Though you speak unkind words to a man's face,
Do not speak words behind his back heedless of consequent harm.

Though every word is full of kindly virtue,
A man's mean back-biting will betray his empty heart.

If a man spreads tales of others' faults,
His own worst faults will be exposed and spread.

-Tirukkural 19: 184-186

Thursday, June 01, 2006

While You Were Out

I see many gags in my friend's futures... heeheeeeee....

You just can't use the terrorism argument

Interesting contrast in today's paper:

A story about the leader of the Minutemen, who realized his calling after 9-11:

"Immediately afterward, he made phone calls recorded by ex-wife Kim Dunbar. According to transcripts filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Simcox talked about stockpiling firearms. Court records describe a message left two days after the attacks: "I purchased another gun. I have more than a few weapons, and I plan on teaching my son how to use them. I will no longer trust anyone in this country. My life has changed forever." Dunbar sought sole custody and got it. His students quit as word spread about his apocalyptic diatribes.
With no more family or job, Simcox made a clean break. It began with a weeklong trip to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on the southern Arizona border. There, Simcox says, he watched undocumented immigrants and smugglers stream across from Mexico.
"At that moment, it clicked," he says. "The borders were wide open. It shouldn't take a kindergarten teacher to figure out that terrorists could come through.""

But yet, on another page, another view:

"Hayworth tells the stories of several terrorists who were found to have operated out of Canada. For instance, he notes: "We all remember the case of the alert Border Patrol agent who caught Ahmed Ressam trying to cross from Canada into Washington State in a car packed with explosives. Ressam's plan was to blow up Los Angeles International Airport during the millennium celebrations." Ressam was later convicted on nine counts, including conspiracy to commit an international terrorist act.
And yet over the past many months and the passage of competing bills from the House of Representatives and the Senate, the last one meant to appropriate roughly $2 billion dollars, have you heard any politicians talking about Canada?

Me neither."

"...At the same time, the State Department terrorism report that warns about Canada had complimentary things to say about Mexico.
And yet we don't talk much about both borders, but instead spend our time and money on plans to stop carpenters, bricklayers and landscapers from entering from the south. Not because our politicians believe that it's the best thing to do but because they believe that it's the best way for them to get re-elected.

I wrote a blog item ( about this a few days ago, to which one man responded: "First they send Labatt's, William Shatner, Bryan Adams and Celine Dion. Now this? I demand action!""

So until we can admit what the real issue with immigration is, maybe we should not try to invoke any unnecessary fear by claiming terrorist can get in.

The ones we need to worry about are all ready here, and I'm not just talking Washington either.