Bush & Iran…who's hiding the story?

Why am I not suprised that FoxNews.com does not have one mention about Bush’s press conference that among other things discussed the fact that Iran really isn’t close to making a nuclear weapon?In fact, a “Friends with Benefits” story somehow gets the main graphic on the FOXNews.com web site! Over the floods in Oregon and Bush’s press conference! See for yourself:

FOXNews.com screenshot - 12/04/2007 at 9:49 PM EST

CNN.com by comparison: CNN.com Front Page screenshot - 12/04/2007 at 9:52 PM ESTAnd finally MSNBC.com: MSNBC.com Front Page screenshot - 12/04/2007 at 9:53 PM EST

FOXNews, I have one thing to say to you. How can we decide if you DON’T report?I don’t know about you, but a story about how the President is still trying to defend going to WWIII instead of welcoming the good news is a tad higher on my priority list then learning about friends with benefits or how Romney fired a landscaper that used illegal immigrants. Somehow a story about Huckabee not talking about Romney’s faith gets more attention then Bush’s press conference? What a joke.  

How to we warn large groups of danger?

Just like the rest of the country, I am still in shock about what happened yesterday at Virginia Tech. My thoughts go out to all of those affected by the tragedy.

I can’t help but think what would happen if a similar incident occurred at my university. Being a campus much smaller then Virginia Tech, it would take just minutes for a shooter to get to any campus building. It is quite the sobering thought.

So how could warn large groups, such as an entire university, that they are in danger?

Speaking as a former student, a few thoughts on how to warn large groups of people:

  • Every cell phone is capable of receiving a text message. Why not collect cell phone numbers for every student, faculty, and staff member on campus and setup a way to send a mass text message to the cell phone? Since probably 99% of students have a cell phone, word will be instantly spread across campus.
  • Social networking sites like Facebook should work with colleges so the administration can instantly send a message via Facebook to all current students, faculty, and staff. Since it is almost a given that a college student will check Facebook at least a few times a day, word will be spread quickly.
  • I know some towns have a “Reverse 911” system. Why not the same thing for colleges, except using cell phone numbers?
  • Obviously, use the campus e-mail system.

Of course, none of this matters if the alert is sent too late.

It makes me sick thinking about this.

This one hit a little too close to home

Newport, NH soldier killed in Iraq

I didn’t know him personally, but apparently my father worked with his father for many years.  I send my best wishes to his family and friends.

I know several people who are in Iraq or are probably going back there in the next few months.  I hope they all can come home soon, safe and sound.


5 years later…

I had just gotten out of the shower and had started to get ready for a day of classes. It was a beautiful Tuesday morning, about a week into my sophomore year of college at SNHU. In a week or two I was planning to join the college radio station. I had just started working my work study job for the second year in a row. Just one week in and it felt like I never left college.

At home, I would watch the morning news while getting ready. However, we didn’t have a TV yet, as that was coming up that weekend when my roommate’s dad visits. So my routine was still out of sync with my new reality of college.

As I was getting dressed, I happened to hear the soft ding of my computer receiving an instant message. I look over and it was from my friend Rico. I remember asking myself why he was sending me an IM this early…quite unlike him.

Then my heart stopped. It was about 9:05 am.

I had to read his IM again. Then three more times, each slower then the last. My mind was switching into overtime, as I typed as fast as I could. A second plane just hit the World Trade Center? SECOND PLANE? There was a first?

I quickly fired up my web browser and tried to hit any news site I could think of. CNN, MSNBC, FOX, BBC…all of them were taking minutes to load or were timing out. Instantly these web sites must had gotten 100-200 million hits in seconds, vaporizing them into dust.

I quickly told him I would be back and ran to the lounge on my dorm floor. Flipped on the TV and saw the burning towers. Stunned silence on my part.

A friend on my floor was walking by and asked what I was watching. I couldn’t speak and just motioned him over. He watched for a few seconds and let out a couple f-bombs in disbelief. He then ran out to find out who was around.

Within minutes we had a group of college students in the room.

I watched for a few moments, stunned at what I saw. I knew instantly that it had to be terrorism. One tower would be an accident. Two intentional.

I walked out of the room, somehow finished getting ready, and ran to the cafeteria. On the way there, I called my mom, as millions in the country were probably doing at that moment. She had heard the news too. I filled her in what I knew and she likewise, then we decided to call later.

I entered the cafeteria and was greeted with a group of 30 or 40 people just standing, watching the TV which had been switched from the Campus TV channel to CNN. I somehow managed to buy food, but I could barely eat it while I watched the TV, numb.

The rest of the day was a blur. I had a professor who had the nerve of having a class, despite what was going on. Of course it was a lab class, so no one did work…all we did was hit refresh on whatever news site had an ounce of bandwidth available for a text version of their headlines.

Five years later, I cannot think about how amazing the period right after 9/11 was. The heroics of those people directly involved that day. The thousands of American flags I saw while driving around.

I salute those we lost that day and those who risked their lives to save others. No one will ever be forgotten.

What really matters on the JonBenet case

For some reason, the JonBenet Ramsey case always fascinated me, even though I haven’t really thought about it recently. Finally, it appears that justice will finally happen.

I thought I would share a quote from Tom Foreman, a CNN Correspondent writing on Anderson Cooper’s 360° Blog. It pretty much sums up what everyone feels.

A colleague in New York asked me years ago the perennial question: When will someone be arrested?

I took out a coin, taped it to the top of her computer, and said, “I’ll bet you this quarter that it never happens. If it does, take the quarter. Meanwhile, I’ll always know I’ve got 25 cents waiting for me in New York.”

I hope she took it today. Best quarter I ever lost.

Pulitzer for Times-Picayune?

The Times-Picayune and Nola.com have been reporting from day one about Katrina, even after having to abandon their offices and printed paper to work exclusively online. These reporters and their staff have been absolutely stellar and deserve every journalistic award out there for what they have gone through to report the news coming out of New Orleans.

They should definitely get a Pulitzer for their efforts. Best reporting of an event I have seen in a long time and to do it under those conditions…absolutely spectacular.

More on the relief efforts

If things don’t improve and those people don’t get out of New Orleans by Sunday, this will be the biggest screwup in U.S. history.

I can’t believe it has taken 4-5 days just to get national guard to the convention center.

Some leadership this country has.