Showing posts from February, 2008

E Unum Pluribus

Pardon my fractured Latin, but for those who don't know, E Pluribus Unum means "From many, one." Well, the tendancy around the world and even in the United States is to separate people by their ethnic and religious tendancies. It seems to be a foregone conclusion that people cannot live in peace if there is any sort of sectarian difference between them. I guess the USA's bold experiment as a melting pot has run its course. E Unum Pluribus... "From one, many."

Ralph Peters has a great article in the New York Post today about this very subject and how it affects Kosovo and numerous other ticking time-bombs around the world. I really like Ralph's perspective on world events, especially Iraq. In this case I agree with his premise that most likely larger, artificially-bordered countries are going to have to break up to remain viable. BUT, I totally disagree that it is the way things should be.

With Rwanda seeming to be the notable exception, very few peoples …

Who collects the Car Tax?

In Virginia, there is a new tax coming. On April 1, 2008 a new 1% sales tax (or 'Titling Fee') goes into effect on all car sales. (This fee is only applicable in certain areas of the state and the receipts are slated to go specifically to new highway construction.)

Typically, all of your taxes are included in the price of a car and the taxes are added into your monthly payments, so you really don't ever see them. As long as he can afford the monthly payment, the average buyer doesn't really care how that number was derived. It is all about what he can afford on a monthly basis.

What the problem is, is that the Virginia automobile dealers decided that adding an additional $300 or more to the cost of a vehicle is a burden that they did not want to bear, so legislators wrote the law such that the dealers do not have to collect the tax at the point of sale, therefore, it is not financed. BUT, it has to be paid. So, how is it going to be paid? By stroking a good old-fashion…

Now, what did he look like?

I am sure that everyone has, by now, heard about the fatal shooting at Northern Illinois University. This tragic occurance draws the inevitible comparison with the Virginia Tech shootings last April.

What struck The-Asterisk was that in my local paper, one of the first things I learned about the shooting was that the perp was a white male about six feet tall wearing black. In the linked article above, we learn this factoid further down in the story, but it is there, nevertheless.

Typical crime stories in the newspaper and on TV go something like this: "Tonight there was a vicious attack on two women in their home. Witnesses saw the two people fleeing west on Main Street. If anyone has seen these people, call Crimeline immediately. They are considered armed and dangerous, so be careful."

OK, so what are we looking for? Midgets? Clowns? Frat boys? Gang bangers? We are so politically correct now, that the media cannot even give a description of the perps. What is wrong with sayin…

The Real Candidate of Change

Today's front page article in the Wall Street Journal headline states "Clinton Team Seeks to Calm Turmoil". It shows who is IN, who is STAYING ON and who is OUT.

Patty Doyle, her campaign manager and Mike Henry, her deputy campaign manager are out and all of the old school Clinton lieutenants like Ickes, Penn, Grunwald and Wolfson are staying in. No problem, it is her campaign and she can do with it what she wants. What is the old saying? When your enemy is self destructing, just get out of the way and let them finish the job?

So where does The-Asterisk come in? I am glad you asked...

How does this reorganization, this reshaping, this house cleaning, differ from when President Bush, after six years of stability, decided to oust a few of his US Attorneys last year? Remember the hue and cry? "Just because there is a little bit of policy difference, he has no right to clean house." Remember that John McCain did the same thing last year when his campaign was in the to…

Democrats and the "new way of thinking"

No, this isn't about hope or change. In fact, it proves that change is soooooo easy to say, yet so difficult to cause to happen.

Today Barak Obama won the Louisana primary, the Virgin Islands caucus and several other states. He is also expected to win the "Chesapeake" primaries of Virginia, Maryland and DC on Tuesday. Why is he expected to win these primaries and most of the South? Because the South has a lot of African-Americans (aka black people.) Hillary is expected to pick up Puerto Rico's primary because she is strong in the 'Latino community'.

If I proposed any sort of tendancy toward any 'community', be it African-American, Latino, Gay, TG, Muslim, etc., I would certainly be branded a racist, or at a minimum, a bigot, because I would be putting forth a stereotypical view of a group of people that have one specific item in common.

But, here, no one even gives a second thought about everybody in the media lumping 'these people' together. A…

What is "The-Asterisk"?

First, let's get it out of the way that The-Asterisk has nothing to do with Asterisk, the Open Source telephone platform (although I actually work with a product that uses that technology.) You can find out more about Asterisk here.

What myAsterisk is, is a way for me to put forth my opinion and realization about things that I observe, things that have become conventional wisdom or accepted as truth, things about which I feel the whole story is not being told. Thus The-Asterisk, that little piece of punctuation that floats above the line, looking down on his little brother, the period. The period connotates the end of a thought, whereas the asterisk, looking down past the period... down to the bottom of the page, wants you to find what Paul Harvey would call "The Rest of the Story."

So, if you want the rest of the story, or at least my version of it, Welcome Aboard!