Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eligibility case finds 'standing'?

Attorney Stephen Pidgeon

A new case challenging Barack Obama's natural-born citizenship and, therefore, constitutional eligibility to serve as president has the potential to clear a hurdle that caused several other similar cases' dismissal: the issue of "standing."

In the case brought by Pennsylvania Democrat Philip Berg, for example, a federal judge ruled against the lawsuit in deciding Berg lacked the "standing" to sue, arguing that the election of Obama wouldn't cause the plaintiff specific, personal injury.

In Washington state's Broe v. Reed case, however, plaintiff's attorney Stephen Pidgeon says a unique state statute grants everyday citizens the required standing.

"These lawsuits have pointed their fingers at the various secretaries of state and said, 'You handle the elections, it's your job [to verify Obama's eligibility],'" Stephen Pidgeon told WND, "and the secretaries of state have said, 'No, it's not our job. You the voter have to prove he was ineligible.' But when the voters try to do it, the courts tell them they have no standing. So it presents a catch-22.

"Here, we have standing by means of statute," Pidgeon continued. "This particular statute provides for any registered voter to challenge the election of a candidate if the candidate at the time of the election was ineligible to hold office."

Where's the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 200,000 others and sign up now!

Further, Pidgeon explained, "In Washington we also have a constitutional clause in Article 1 that says the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of land, so it's very much a state issue that the secretary of state has a duty to enforce the U.S. Constitution.

"He doesn't think he does; we think he does. That's really the issue before the court," Pidgeon said.

(Story continues below)

Washington's secretary of state, Mr. Sam Reed, has opposed the lawsuit, brought by a group of 12 registered Washington voters with Pidgeon's representation, on several grounds, including the argument that the issue is moot now that Obama has been voted upon by the people.

Pidgeon argues, however, that even if Obama remains in office two years from now, the issue will not be moot.

"The Constitution's criteria for president are never moot," Pidgeon explained. "Article 2, Section 1 says 'eligible to the Office of President'; it doesn't say 'eligible for candidacy to the Office of President."

Therefore, Pidgeon argues, the Constitution's natural-born citizen clause specifically and expressly addresses the man sitting in the Oval Office, not just the main elected and waiting to get in.

"If, at any time during his tenure, a birth certificate actually surfaces showing [Obama] born in Kenya," Pidgeon said, "he is disqualified from the presidency at any time. And the constitutional crisis that is rising out of this – the longer he's in that office, the greater the problem becomes, because everything he does will be illegal."

The Washington Supreme Court is set to hear Broe v. Reed on Jan. 8, but the entire case may be delayed intentionally, as the plaintiffs wait to see if the court will rule first on a requested subpoena of Obama's birth certificate from Hawaii.

Unlike other states where lawsuits challenging Obama's natural-born citizen status were required to move through lower courts, Washington law grants the case "original jurisdiction" at the state Supreme Court, which means the plaintiff can present new evidence, including – if the court will indeed subpoena it – Obama's birth records.

"We have opportunity to present facts before the Supreme Court, where you wouldn't have that normally," Pidgeon told WND. "With original jurisdiction, we have the opportunity to present factual argument, and so what we have said to the court is, 'At no time did Senator Obama produce a single piece of evidence upon which the secretary of state could rely to establish that he was a natural born citizen, or that he was even an American citizen, or that he was running under his legal name.' Those are the three facets of our lawsuit."

Pidgeon also told WND that the case's primary hurdle now is the natural predisposition judges have toward complying with the democratic will of the people. They rarely "upset the apple cart," Pidgeon said, by overturning the results of an election.

Still, Pidgeon believes pursuing Broe v. Reed is necessary.

"I expect the truth of Senator Obama's birth is going to come out," Pidgeon told WND. "It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, but the truth of his birth is going to come out, and when that true fact comes out that he was born in Kenya, we will have an unprecedented constitutional crisis in this nation.

"The question is," Pidgeon figures, "will the Washington Supreme Court stand for the rule of law or are they going to stand for an overthrow of the constitutional republic by the will of the electorate?"

Last month, WND reported on the potential complications an ineligible president could create.

"Should Senator Obama be discovered, after he takes office, to be ineligible for the Office of President of the United States of America and, thereby, his election declared void," argues a similar case brought by Alan Keyes and pending in California, "Americans will suffer irreparable harm in that (a) usurper will be sitting as the President of the United States, and none of the treaties, laws, or executive orders signed by him will be valid or legal."

With such high stakes potentially at risk, WND earlier launched a letter campaign to contact Electoral College members and urge them to review the controversy.

That followed a campaign that sent more than 60,000 letters by overnight delivery to the U.S. Supreme Court when one case contesting Obama's eligibility for the Oval Office was pending.

A separate petition, already signed by more than 200,000 also is ongoing asking authorities in the election to seek proof Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution.

WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi had gone to both Kenya and Hawaii prior to the election to investigate issues surrounding Obama's birth. But his research and discoveries only raised more questions.

The biggest question was why, if a Hawaii birth certificate exists as his campaign has stated, Obama hasn't simply ordered it made available to settle the rumors

The governor's office in Hawaii said there is a valid certificate but rejected requests for access and left ambiguous its origin: Does the certificate on file with the Department of Health indicate a Hawaii birth or was it generated after the Obama family registered a Kenyan birth in Hawaii?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Obama Fake Birth Certificate Fraud, Cont.

Ok, so now there's been FULL PAGE ADS taken out in Chicago regarding the Certificate of Live Birth of Sen. Obama.

The Constitutional Crisis continues...

(PS— go to Google and search the news for "berg obama lawsuit" for more info!)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tax System Explained In Beer

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten

comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something

like this... The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every

day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the

threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers,' he said,

going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. 'Drinks for the
ten now

cost just $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we
pay our

taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for

free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers?

How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his


They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they
subtracted that

from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would
each end

up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it

be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he

proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100%

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).

The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four
continued to

drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to

their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man.

He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!''Yeah, that's right,'

exclaimed the fifth man.

'I only saved a dollar, too.. It's unfair that he got ten times more

I!''That's true!!' shouted the seventh man.

'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two?

The wealthy get all the breaks!

''Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get

anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the

man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers

him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something

important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even

of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our

tax system works.

The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax


Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not

show up anymore.

In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is

somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D.Professor of Economics University of Georgia

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mr. Obama…Show us your Records!

Berg V. Obama: Search for Obama's Long Form Birth Certificate
This article examines the court case of Berg v. Obama, its journey to the Supreme Court and the ramifications of it on Constitutional Law.
View more »

The question still remains...

Have you seen the video?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Why, Sen. Obama, Why?

Why is Sen. Obama NOT releasing his public records (Certificate of Live Birth, etc.)?

The Question still lingers to this day.

Is he trying to wait out the Electoral College? Waiting to get enough votes in Congress to halt an Impeachment Trial?

Please review the previous posts on this blog for further information. And please feel free to comment; I've gotten the most feedback (boilerplate, albeit) on this issue.

And the scary part is that the comments came right after the posting. I find it hard to believe that someone could have articulated said points so quickly.

Funny, the news keeps asking the same questions I have been asking...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Will Berg Sink Titanic-Obama?


By: Devvy
November 6, 2008

© 2008 -

"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain, Notebook, 1904

I'm not going to comment on the carefully orchestrated show put on yesterday by the media; that will be my next column. What a scam. As I have covered in previous columns, between dirty voting rolls, voter registration fraud, illegals voting and corrupted electronic voting machines and scanners, we have NO idea who was legally elected yesterday. I updated the compilation of vote fraud links; see here. There are more at the bottom.

There is still the unresolved issue of Obama providing a COLB - Certification of Live Birth - to prove he is a natural born citizen. Not a "birth certificate," but the COLB. The fact that this thug from Chicago refuses to provide this document since June, 2008, says it all. The second issue is if Obama were born in the U.S., but was automatically made an Indonesian citizen by virtue of his mother's marriage to her Indonesian husband and Obama's legal name change, he is ineligible to run for the presidency. Naturalized citizens are not eligible for the highest office in the land.

Contrary to the propaganda spewed last night by the pimps who work for corporate media, Obama is not the next president. We need to remember how the system actually works:

The Electoral College:
November 5, 2004
Thomas H. Neale
Analyst in American National Government
Government and Finance Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
CRS Report for Congress

"When Americans vote for a President and Vice President, they actually vote for presidential electors, known collectively as the electoral college. It is these electors, chosen by the people, who elect the chief executive....

"It is these elector-candidates, rather than the presidential and vice presidential nominees, for whom the people vote in the election held on Tuesday after the first Monday in November....

"Electors assemble in their respective states on Monday after the second Wednesday in December (December 13, 2004). They are pledged and expected, but not required, to vote for the candidates they represent. Separate ballots are cast for President and Vice President, after which the electoral college ceases to exist for another four years. The electoral vote results are counted and declared at a joint session of Congress, held on January 6 of the year succeeding the election. A majority of electoral votes (currently 270 of 538) is required to win."

Until those electors meet on December 15, 2008, cast their vote and those votes are counted on January 6, 2008, Obama is not the next president.

Phil Berg's lawsuit is still active with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Andy Martin's lawsuit: The next hearing date is November 18, 2008.

I fully realize that Americans who haven't joined the Obama cult are stunned at what happened on Tuesday, but we must remember it was all in the game plan. I have used this metaphor before to describe the illusion of fair and impartial elections: It's like a student taking driving lessons. The first time out, the student gets the fake steering wheel while the instructor is actually controlling the vehicle. But, the fake steering wheel makes the student "feel" he has control and that perception is all important when evil forces take over a country. That's what we saw yesterday. The fact that Mcain conceded around 8:30 pm CST before half the states west of the Mississippi had even counted 20% of their votes, only confirms what millions of us already knew - he was the designated loser.

America took the single largest step towards becoming a communist nation in my life time with this alleged election of a Marxist-Leninist. In April, I began describing Obama as a Marxist. My mail box filled up with angry email insisting that Obama is a "progressive," liberal Democrat. This is the ignorance of a dumbed down population who have no idea what Marxism means: The political and economic ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as developed into a system of thought that gives class struggle a primary role in leading society from bourgeois democracy under capitalism to a socialist society and thence to communism. Redistribution of wealth is the major tenet of communism. It is also Obama's plan. Right up to the day before the election, a few braves souls in the media were finally referring to his real political ideology. Of course, Obama's cult followers immediately attempted to ridicule or slap them down.

It's easy to get depressed over last Tuesday. Don't. That's what the shadow government wants. We are warriors, not cry babies. I know the rage is blowing out there like a hot furnace, but the fight is not over. We're entering the next phase: the electors. We're also entering the most dangerous time in this nation's history since Lexington and Concord. Now isn't the time to throw in the towel. Now is the time to fight.

In my last column, I provided a link on auditing the vote and how to do it. The Democrats made vote fraud a national issue in 2000 and 2004. The Republican Party has never made vote fraud a national issue. Oh, sure, FAUX News Network and Lou Dobbs (CNN) pounded on it the past six weeks, but it's the Democrats who mobilized, ignored the vote fraud by their party and blamed it on all the Republicans. Yes, the last three presidential elections were rigged, but it was done by the forces who control the political system in this country and have for 40 years.

The pointing the finger exercise is a distraction. Just like the bull, the cape and the matador. Technology has simply made it easier than stuffing ballot boxes and having everyone in Chicago vote twice, including residents of their local cemeteries. Of course, now that a Democrat has allegedly "won" the White House by vote fraud, helped along by legions of ignorant, uninformed voters, some racists and those who voted for skin color only, they could care less about fairness in 2008.

Right now they're basking in their arrogance, but the wrath of the American people is just warming up. If Republican and 'third party' candidates who allegedly lost on Tuesday do not pursue catching the vote fraud in their election instead of just shrugging their shoulders and walking away, the destroyers win. Here is the link. I updated it slightly. Time is of the essence due to drop dead dates for certification. If you supported a candidate by a vote and/or working for their campaign, help them prove the fraud.

This is critical for all 434 seats in the House of Representatives (excluding Ron Paul). Here is the logic-free zone:

In 1994, voters were fed up with the communists, socialists and big spenders in Congress and "swept them out of power." In came the Republicans touting the farce called a 'Contract with America,' who bloated the budget and continued down the same path under a different label. They held power until November 2006. Voters wanted change! Voters wanted change so badly, they voted back in all the long time Democrats with a few "new" faces. In past two years a Democrat controlled Congress representing 'change' has done what? NOTHING except loot this country and continue funding the immoral, unconstitutional invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Americans were outraged over the rape and pillage called 'the bail out." A colossal failure that continues to drain the life blood of Americans. Yet, with the exception of 17 seats in the House and 5 in the unlawfully seated seated U.S. Senate, voters allegedly voted them all back into office on Tuesday! With the lowest approval rating in the history of the U.S. Congress, allegedly the American people once again rewarded these crooks by rehiring them and bringing in even more Democrats to join the grand larceny stealing the fruits of our labor! Quite a difference between from what polls indicated:

3 in 5 voters: Boot every congressman. 59 percent say they'd kick out all members of House, Senate. October 5, 2008: "If given the choice, a new poll reveals, 59 percent of Americans would sweep Capitol Hill clean of the current batch of senators and representatives to elect an entirely new Congress. Only 17 percent of voters polled said they would be willing to keep the current legislature."

Yesterday I filed four Freedom of Information Act requests and sent them over night mail. One: Illinois Secretary of State to obtain all documentation, applications, forms, electronic and hard copy, including proof of citizenship for Barack Hussein Obama for his 1996 Illinois State Senate race. I filed two with the U.S. State Department (1) Stanley Ann Dunham, married name Stanley Ann Obama to obtain her passport application and all travel records; departure and entry into the U.S. during the year 1961; and (2) Barack Obama, Sr., to obtain his travel records, entry and departure records for the year 1961. Four: I filed a State Records Act request with the University of Hawaii to obtain Stanley Ann Dunham, then married, Stanley Ann Obama's enrollment applications and list of classes, and any and all documentation regarding her departure from the University for good.

I also sent another letter over night mail to James Burrus, Chief Investigator of Election Fraud, Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington, DC. This is a follow up to my letter of October 30, 2008. I enclosed a copy of the transcripts of the interviews in Kenya (see bottom links in this column), an article from regarding hundreds of millions of dollars illegally donated:

"In addition to the donations the campaign has disclosed, however, it has taken an unprecedented $218 million from donors whose names it is keeping secret, according to FEC spokesman Robert Biersack. That money came from individuals who in theory never passed the threshold of $200, the limit the FEC set for public disclosure of a donor's name and place of residence, so there is no way of knowing how much foreign money could be included in that amount.

"For example, hidden away amidst the unprecedented $150 million Obama claims to have raised from individual donors in September was more than $42 million raised from secret donors. These donations appear in the records as a single entry under the heading, "Donors, Unitemized."

"Newsmax retained the services of former CIA operations officer Frederick W. Rustmann Jr. and a team of international forensic accounting experts to comb through Obama's donor list to identify those who apparently aren't U.S. citizens or residents. Rustmann, a 24 year veteran field officer, operates CTC International Group Ltd., a West Palm Beach, Fla., firm that provides business intelligence services and analysis."

I reminded Burrus of the birth certificate issue and that he must investigate this while investigating possible violation of the wire fraud statute: 18 U.S.C. §1343. I reminded him of his oath of office and that this is not about politics or party loyalty, it's about the law. We cannot have an illegitimate president in the White House.

Please don't send me email about the FOIAs. I am aware documents can be forged or altered, but the truth will come out. Those who choose to participate in such unlawful activities will eventually get caught. I'm also aware of the uphill battle. However, my last FOIA against the FAA regarding 9/11 went to a lawsuit and I won. It is better to spend your time helping candidates prove vote fraud and with the plans regarding electoral college delegates.

Phil Berg is putting together the strategy for the electoral college delegates for all the states Obama allegedly won. This involves action before and on December 15, 2008, the date all electors meet at their state capitols to cast their votes for president and vice president. Remember: They are not bound to cast their vote for the candidate presented as a result of 'election day.' Electors who stand up for what is right are called "faithless." Does it ever happen? In 1976, a Republican elector in Washington voted for Ronald Reagan instead of Gerald Ford. This year we intend for it to be a landslide. What's right and for the good of our republic must trump worrying about staying in the good graces of some political party. Obama is gambling he can stall the birth certificate issue until coronation day and steal the White House under the idiom, possession is nine tenths of the law. We intend to stop him legally.

As soon as Phil has drafted his plan, I will get it into a column right away. I believe there are some other groups working on this issue and I hope they will join with Phil and let him be the central point of contact for this effort. That way we're all on the same sheet of music and it's done correctly. We will not get a second chance.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama Fake Birth Certificate Update

The PDF regarding the US Supreme Court Filing can be found here

Philip J. Berg, Esquire's Site

Also, more more legalese for ya!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October Surprise: Well, Obama?

Here's The Video

Then, here's an interesting corollary to the story.

Here's the Update to the story... On toward the Supreme Court.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No more Drunken Emails!

Google tool to keep emails sober

Google has adapted its free email service to help those letting loose after a few evening cocktails or succumbing to lovelorn moments from firing off messages they might regret in the morning.
Mail Goggles software comes to life after dark and on weekends, when altered states of mind are more probable, and requires that five simple math problems be answered correctly in less than a minute in order to send a Gmail missive.
"Sometimes I send messages I shouldn't send," Gmail engineer Jon Perlow wrote Monday in a website posting announcing the optional new feature.
"Like the time I told that girl I had a crush on her over text message. Or the time I sent that late night email to my ex-girlfriend that we should get back together."
Gmail users can adjust their email settings to activate the Goggles feature and dictate the times it is active.
"It will check that you're really sure you want to send that late night Friday email," Perlow wrote.
"And what better way to check than by making you solve a few simple math problems after you click send to verify you're in the right state of mind?"

Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Tools You Can Use

Search Features

Google Home

About Google

Web Search
Help Center

Basics of Search
Advanced Search
Search Results Page
Setting Preferences

Search Features
Spell checker, stock quotes & more

Services & Tools
Local Search, Product Search, News & more

Google Tip Gadget

See daily tips, tricks, and helpful hints for Google products.

Find on this site:

Improve Your Search Experience

In addition to providing easy access to billions of web pages, Google has many special features to help you to find exactly what you're looking for. Some of our most popular features are listed below.

Everyday Essentials

To see the weather for many U.S. and worldwide cities, type "weather" followed by the city and state, U.S. zip code, or city and country.


Stock Quotes
To see current market data for a given company or fund, type the ticker symbol into the search box. On the results page, you can click the link to see more data from Google Finance.


To see the time in many cities around the world, type in "time" and the name of the city.


Back to top

Reference Tools

To use Google's built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you'd like done into the search box.


Book Search
If you're looking for results from Google Book Search, you can enter the name of the author or book title into the search box and we'll return any book content we have as part of your normal web results. You can click through on the record to view more detailed info about that author or title.


Unit Conversion
You can use Google to convert between many different units of measurement of height, weight, and mass among others. Just enter your desired conversion into the search box and we'll do the rest.


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Choosing Keywords

Synonym Search
If you want to search not only for your search term but also for its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your search term.


Dictionary Definitions
To see a definition for a word or phrase, simply type the word "define" then a space, then the word(s) you want defined. To see a list of different definitions from various online sources, you can type "define:" followed by a word or phrase. Note that the results will define the entire phrase.


Spell Checker
Google's spell checking software automatically checks whether your query uses the most common spelling of a given word. If it thinks you're likely to generate better results with an alternative spelling, it will ask "Did you mean: (more common spelling)?". Click the suggested spelling to launch a Google search for that term.


Back to top

Local Search

Local Search
If you're looking for a store, restaurant, or other local business you can search for the category of business and the location and we'll return results right on the page, along with a map, reviews, and contact information.


Movie Showtimes
To find reviews and showtimes for movies playing near you, type "movies" or the name of a current film into the Google search box. If you've already saved your location on a previous search, the top search result will display showtimes for nearby theaters for the movie you've chosen.


Real Estate and Housing
To see home listings in a given area type "housing", "home", or "real estate" and the name of a city or a U.S. zip code into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button. Clicking the "Go" button on the results page will display details of individual homes that Google has indexed.


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Trip Planning

Airline Travel Info
To see flight status for arriving and departing U.S. flights, type in the name of the airline and the flight number into the search box. You can also see delays at a specific airport by typing in the name of the city or three-letter airport code followed by the word "airport".


Currency Conversion
To use our built-in currency converter, simply enter the conversion you'd like done into the Google search box and we'll provide your answer directly on the results page.


Looking for a map? Type in the name or U.S. zip code of a location and the word "map" and we'll return a map of that location. Clicking on the map will take you to a larger version on Google Maps.


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Query Refinements

Plus (+) Operator
Google ignores common words and characters such as where, the, how, and other digits and letters that slow down your search without improving the results. If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can make sure we pay attention to it by putting a "+" sign in front of it.


Related Search
To search for web pages that have similar content to a given site, type "related:" followed by the website address into the Google search box.


Fill in the Blank
Sometimes the best way to ask a question is to get Google to 'fill in the blank' by adding an asterisk (*) at the part of the sentence or question that you want finished into the Google search box.


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Search by Number

Package Tracking
You can track packages by typing the tracking number for your UPS, Fedex or USPS package directly into the search box. We'll return results that include quick links to easily track the status of your shipment.


Patent Numbers
To search for U.S. patents, enter the word "patent" followed by the patent number into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button.


Area Code
To see the geographical location for any U.S. telephone area code, just type the three-digit area code into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button.


Back to top

Vote Democrat (Tee Hee He)

Please, Please, Please... Watch this Video.

But be forewarned, you may need tissue by the time it's done!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Nokia Brings Out iPhone 3G Competitor

Nokia Brings Out iPhone 3G Competitor

The company's first touch-screen phone has GPS, Wi-Fi, a 3.2-megapixel camera, expandable memory, and robust multimedia functions.

By Marin Perez, InformationWeek
Oct. 2, 2008

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Smartphone

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Smartphone
(click for larger image)
With Tuesday's introduction of the 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia is finally launching a touch-screen competitor to Apple's iPhone 3G.

The 5800 has a 3.2-inch resistive touch screen, and it's powered by Symbian S60, fifth edition. The user interface will be somewhat familiar to Symbian users, but the company has tweaked the UI for touch control.

"By adding the benefits of touch-screen technology to S60, the world's leading smartphone interface, Nokia is taking the familiar and giving it a human touch," Nokia VP Jo Harlow said in a statement. "We have used touch technology where it really adds value such as the contacts bar, media bar, and clever shortcuts from the home screen to menu items such as calendar, profiles, and clock."

With a 640-by-360-pixel display, the 5800 can play multiple types of video at a high resolution. Nokia is also emphasizing the handset's audio abilities, and there will be a built-in music player capable of multiple codecs. The handset will come with an 8-GB microSD card for storing this media, and the memory can be expanded up to 16 GB.

Nokia's first touch-screen handset also has a bevy of connectivity options with built-in Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities. These can be used to browse the Internet as well as check e-mail. The 5800 also will have Bluetooth version 2.0, GPS, and a proximity sensor to save battery life and avoid inadvertent touches.

The handset measures in at 4.3 by 2 by 0.6 inches, and it weighs about 3.8 ounces. Nokia said the handset will be available in Europe in the fourth quarter, and it will roll out to other markets in early 2009. The company said a version with its unlimited music download service, Comes With Music, will be available early next year.

Nokia's has much ground to make up in the touch-screen market, as the field is filled with entries from virtually every major phone manufacturer. InformationWeek writer Eric Zeman spent some time with the new handset, and you can read his thoughts here

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Scary "Bailout": 32 Words That None Dare Utter

Thirty-Two Words That None Dare Utter

A critical - and radical - component of the bailout package proposed by the Bush administration has thus far failed to garner the serious attention of anyone in the press. Section 8 (which ironically reminds one of the popular name of the portion of the 1937 Housing Act that paved the way for subsidized affordable housing ) of this legislation is just a single sentence of thirty-two words, but it represents a significant consolidation of power and an abdication of oversight authority that's so flat-out astounding that it ought to set one's hair on fire. It reads, in its entirety:

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency. <bold added for emphasis>

In short, the so-called "mother of all bailouts," which will transfer $700 billion taxpayer dollars to purchase the distressed assets of several failed financial institutions, will be conducted in a manner unchallengeable by courts and ungovernable by the People's duly sworn representatives. All decision-making power will be consolidated into the Executive Branch - who, we remind you, will have the incentive to act upon this privilege as quickly as possible, before they leave office. The measure will run up the budget deficit by a significant amount, with no guarantee of recouping the outlay, and no fundamental means of holding those who fail to do so accountable.

Is this starting to sound familiar? Robert Kuttner cuts through much of the gloss in an article in today's American Prospect:

The deal proposed by Paulson is nothing short of outrageous. It includes no oversight of his own closed-door operations. It merely gives congressional blessing and funding to what he has already been doing, ad hoc. He plans to retain Wall Street firms as advisors to decide just how to cut deals to value and mop up Wall Street's dubious paper. Thereare to be no limits on executive compensation for the firms that get relief, and no equity share for the government in exchange for this massive infusion of capital. Both Obama and McCain have opposed the provision denying any judicial review of decisions made by Paulson -- a provision that evokes the Bush administration's suspension of normal constitutional safeguards in its conduct of foreign policy and national security. [...]

The differences between this proposed bailout and the three closest historical equivalents are immense. When the Reconstruction Finance Corporation of the 1930s pumped a total of $35 billion into U.S. corporations and financial institutions, there was close government supervision and quid pro quos at every step of the way. Much of the time, the RFC became a preferred shareholder, and often appointed board members. The Home Owners Loan Corporation, which eventually refinanced one in five mortgage loans, did not operate to bail out banks but to save homeowners. And the Resolution Trust Corporation of the 1980s, created to mop up the damage of the first speculative mortgage meltdown, the S&L collapse, did not pump in money to rescue bad investments; it sorted out good assets from bad after the fact, and made sure to purge bad executives as well as bad loans. And all three of these historic cases of public recapitalization were done without suspending judicial review.

Kuttner's opposition here is perhaps the strongest language I've seen used, pushing back on this piece of legislation, in any publication of repute, and even here, Section 8 is not cited by name or by content. McClatchy Newspapers also alludes to Section 8 with concern, citing the "unfettered authority" that Paulson would be granted, and noting that the "law also would preclude court review of steps Paulson might take, something Joshua Rosner, managing director of economic researcher Graham Fisher & Co. in New York, said could be used to mask previous illegal activity." Jack Balkin also gives the matter the sort of attention it deserves on his blog, Balkinization.

But elsewhere, the conversation is muted. The debate over whether Congress is going to pass the Paulson bailout package, or pass the Paulson bailout package really hard seems to have boiled down to a discussion of time and concessions. The White House has made it clear that they want this package passed yesterday. Congressional Democrats seem to be of different minds on the matter, with some pushing back hard, and others content to demand a small dollop of turd polish to make the package seem more aesthetically pleasing, at which point, they'll likely roll over and pass the bill. Neither candidate, John McCain or Barack Obama, seem all that amenable toward the bailout, but neither have either demonstrated that they are willing to risk their candidacies to do much more than exploit the issue for electoral purposes.

Sunday morning came and went, with Paulson traipsing dutifully from studio to studio, facing nary a question on Section 8. Front page articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal detail the wranglings, but make no mention of this section of the legislation. On TV, cable news networks are stuck in the fog of the ongoing presidential campaign.

Throughout the coverage, one catches a whiff of what seems like substantive pushback on this power grab, but it largely amounts to a facsimile of journalistic diligence. Most note, in general terms, that the bailout represents a set of "broad powers" that will be granted to the Department of the Treasury. Yet the coverage offsets these concerns through the constant hyping of the White House's overall message of "urgency."

But one cannot overstate this: Section 8 is a singularly transformative sentence of economic policy. It transfers a significant amount of power to the Executive Branch, while walling off any avenue for oversight, and offering no guarantees in return. And if the Democrats end up content with winning a few slight concessions, they risk not putting a stop-payment on the real "blank check" - the one in which they allow the erosion of their own powers.

Over in the Senate, Christopher Dodd has proposed a bailout legislation of his own, which critically calls for "an oversight board that not only includes the chairman of the Federal Reserve and the SEC, but congressionally appointed, non-governmental officials" and would require the President to appoint an "independent inspector general to investigate the Treasury asset program." In Dodd's legislation, Section 8 is effectively stripped from the bill.

Nevertheless, the fact that Section 8 of the Paulson plan seems to strike few as a de facto dealbreaker can and should astound. The failure of Congress to hold the line on this point would be truly embarrassing. But if we make it through this week with nobody in the press specifically informing the public about the implications of this single sentence - in the middle of a complicated bill, in the middle of a complicated time - then right there, you have the single largest media failure of this year.

A critical - and radical - component of the bailout package proposed by the Bush administration has thus far failed to garner the serious attention of anyone in the press.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bankruptcy, not bailout, is the right answer

Editor's note: Jeffrey A. Miron is senior lecturer in economics at Harvard University. A Libertarian, he was one of 166 academic economists who signed a letter to congressional leaders last week opposing the government bailout plan.

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Congress has balked at the Bush administration's proposed $700 billion bailout of Wall Street. Under this plan, the Treasury would have bought the "troubled assets" of financial institutions in an attempt to avoid economic meltdown.

This bailout was a terrible idea. Here's why.

The current mess would never have occurred in the absence of ill-conceived federal policies. The federal government chartered Fannie Mae in 1938 and Freddie Mac in 1970; these two mortgage lending institutions are at the center of the crisis. The government implicitly promised these institutions that it would make good on their debts, so Fannie and Freddie took on huge amounts of excessive risk.

Worse, beginning in 1977 and even more in the 1990s and the early part of this century, Congress pushed mortgage lenders and Fannie/Freddie to expand subprime lending. The industry was happy to oblige, given the implicit promise of federal backing, and subprime lending soared.

This subprime lending was more than a minor relaxation of existing credit guidelines. This lending was a wholesale abandonment of reasonable lending practices in which borrowers with poor credit characteristics got mortgages they were ill-equipped to handle.

Once housing prices declined and economic conditions worsened, defaults and delinquencies soared, leaving the industry holding large amounts of severely depreciated mortgage assets.

The fact that government bears such a huge responsibility for the current mess means any response should eliminate the conditions that created this situation in the first place, not attempt to fix bad government with more government.

The obvious alternative to a bailout is letting troubled financial institutions declare bankruptcy. Bankruptcy means that shareholders typically get wiped out and the creditors own the company.

Bankruptcy does not mean the company disappears; it is just owned by someone new (as has occurred with several airlines). Bankruptcy punishes those who took excessive risks while preserving those aspects of a businesses that remain profitable.

In contrast, a bailout transfers enormous wealth from taxpayers to those who knowingly engaged in risky subprime lending. Thus, the bailout encourages companies to take large, imprudent risks and count on getting bailed out by government. This "moral hazard" generates enormous distortions in an economy's allocation of its financial resources.

Thoughtful advocates of the bailout might concede this perspective, but they argue that a bailout is necessary to prevent economic collapse. According to this view, lenders are not making loans, even for worthy projects, because they cannot get capital. This view has a grain of truth; if the bailout does not occur, more bankruptcies are possible and credit conditions may worsen for a time.

Talk of Armageddon, however, is ridiculous scare-mongering. If financial institutions cannot make productive loans, a profit opportunity exists for someone else. This might not happen instantly, but it will happen.

Further, the current credit freeze is likely due to Wall Street's hope of a bailout; bankers will not sell their lousy assets for 20 cents on the dollar if the government might pay 30, 50, or 80 cents.

The costs of the bailout, moreover, are almost certainly being understated. The administration's claim is that many mortgage assets are merely illiquid, not truly worthless, implying taxpayers will recoup much of their $700 billion.

If these assets are worth something, however, private parties should want to buy them, and they would do so if the owners would accept fair market value. Far more likely is that current owners have brushed under the rug how little their assets are worth.

The bailout has more problems. The final legislation will probably include numerous side conditions and special dealings that reward Washington lobbyists and their clients.

Anticipation of the bailout will engender strategic behavior by Wall Street institutions as they shuffle their assets and position their balance sheets to maximize their take. The bailout will open the door to further federal meddling in financial markets.

So what should the government do? Eliminate those policies that generated the current mess. This means, at a general level, abandoning the goal of home ownership independent of ability to pay. This means, in particular, getting rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with policies like the Community Reinvestment Act that pressure banks into subprime lending.

The right view of the financial mess is that an enormous fraction of subprime lending should never have occurred in the first place. Someone has to pay for that. That someone should not be, and does not need to be, the U.S. taxpayer.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

G1 backers tout Android’s openness - RCR Wireless News

G1 backers tout Android's openness

Exec comments draw line between Android Market and Apple App Store

Colin Gibbs

Story posted: September 23, 2008 - 4:27 pm EDT

T-Mobile USA Inc.'s new G1 phone will serve as a kind of one-stop shop for Google Inc.'s mobile offerings, but the device's prospects may hinge on the success of Android Market.

The phone will integrate Google Maps (with Street View), Gmail with Contacts, Google's instant messaging service and YouTube, and will sport a dedicated key to launch the company's flagship Internet search service. Contacts, calendar entries and other offerings will be synchronized on the Web, with data stored in the cloud.

And Google has brought presence to mobile with the G1, allowing users of Google's e-mail and instant messaging services to allow friends and colleagues to see when they have limited availability.

"One of the things we're particularly proud of is that this will be the first implantation of online presence live in the phone book; Google Talk presence," said Cole Brodman, T-Mobile USA Inc.'s CTO, "so we'll be able to really start building more powerful communications services with this, as well as using messaging as a path" for other applications.

But the bulk of the G1's unveiling today in New York was spent touting Android's "openness," as highlighted by Android Market, an online storefront similar to Apple Inc.'s App Store that will offer "dozens" of applications when the G1 comes to market next month. The event spotlighted three downloadable applications that will be available for G1 users: ShopSavvy, which allows shoppers to send UPC codes with their cameraphones to compare prices; Ecorio, an environmental-minded app that lets users see their carbon footprints; and a photo-based map-creation offering called BreadCrumbz.

And the companies behind Android seem confident that third-party developers will fill in some of the gaps in the G1's services. The device doesn't fully support Microsoft Exchange or Office documents, but that disconnect "is a perfect opportunity for a third-party developer" to provide a solution, Google's Andy Rubin said.

"There's no third party there (in Android Market) to say 'You can't do that,'" ShopSavvy co-developer Jason Hudgins said during a video presentation spotlighting third-party developers during the event. "And in the end, that's going to benefit consumers, because they're going to get the best product."

Limits on openness?

Just how "open" Android Market will be remains unclear, of course. Google describes Android as a free-for-all storefront with YouTube-like ratings where developers can upload applications at will —a stark contrast to the App Store, which has seen Apple reject offerings deemed offensive or outrageously priced. But a completely unregulated storefront is sure to draw the wrath of watchdog groups and busybodies as adult content and other controversial stuff sees the light of day, potentially creating public-relations nightmares for T-Mobile USA and Google.

Regardless of whatever constraints Android Market may see, though, Google and its partners are sure to continue to woo developers with a flexible platform that should leverage impressive marketing power and big-budget developer contests. And developers — who have suddenly become the rock stars of the mobile data space — seem to be responding.

"A developer will be able to modify the platform, make the platform better," said Rubin, who serves as Google's senior director of mobile platforms. "Therefore we think that since the platform is open, Android is somewhat future-proof. It's future-proof because it has openness built in."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Verizon officially announces contract-free service

Verizon Wireless has announced that, starting today, it is offering consumers the ability to use its service without signing a one or two year contract. Customers that sign up for the new month to month service have the option of either paying the full retail price for purchased cell phones or they can bring their own compatible CDMA handset with them from another carrier.

Since there are no contracts to sign, customers can end their month to month agreement without any early termination fee at the end of each monthly period if they so choose. All normal Verizon voice and data plans are now available without a contract.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Google and T-Mobile USA to showcase first Android phone next week - RCR Wireless News

T-Mobile will provide "details" on the HTC device next week, but a carrier spokeswoman would not elaborate. The most avidly sought details, of course, will be when it will be launched, how much it will cost, and what features it will offer to consumers.

The launch of the device — dubbed the "Dream," according to media reports — is important to all three players. Google seeks "eyeballs" for its mobile OS, a new area for the company to play in. For HTC, the device represents a departure from its historic devotion to using Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Mobile OS. And for T-Mobile, which is beginning to build out a 3G network, the device and its associated services may help it retain subscribers who might be tempted by other high-tech handsets at rival carriers.

The much-hyped Android operating system and its value proposition for consumers will be under a spotlight next week, as it is one of the most high-profile efforts to take Linux into the mobile handset. Inevitably, it will be compared with Research In Motion Ltd.'s proprietary BlackBerry OS, Apple Inc.'s proprietary iPhone OS and Nokia Corp.'s Symbian OS, not to mention other Linux efforts such as those by the LiMo Foundation.

Indeed, in recognition of RIM's global success, Apple's ambitious international launches and Google's long-incubated mobile plans, Nokia this summer bought Symbian outright and declared that it would make the software open source and free to handset vendors — an echo of Android's main selling points.

But Android's debut is something of a high-wire act. While it applies initially to one device at one carrier, it must demonstrate convincingly that Android offers consumer value, said one analyst.

In August, analyst Avi Greengart at Current Analysis captured the thumbs-up/thumbs down nature of Google's effort to join the mobile fray. If the handset OS does not provide "compelling" consumer value, it will "fall flat," Greengart said last month.

Android app store

There's some indication that Google has struggled with its application development efforts; by many accounts, the crucial element in any software-based endeavor is to attract as many imaginative applications as possible from the developer community. To that end, the leading OS efforts have all launched programs with financial incentives to create those applications.

In Google's case, it promised in July a new software development kit, or SDK — the main means of application development — to only the 50 winners of its Android Developer Challenge. That led to an online petition in August signed by nearly 220 developers asking for more information on the progress of the new SDK. By late August, Google released an Android SDK in beta form, with a timeline for future updates, to all interested developers.

At the end of August, Google announced that the first wave of applications would be free at its own, self-styled Android Market — a structure akin to Apple's App Store concept — with paid-for apps to come in the future.

Given the long lead time and high-profile nature of Google's efforts, the news emanating from New York on Sept. 23 will be closely followed by the wireless industry.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Google is getting into the Browser Business

Google is getting into the browser sphere

What will become of my Firefox...?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Android Marketplace

Android's Marketplace to compete with Apple.

Mobileburn has their take on it as well.