Revenge Not the Answer in Ferguson

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All eyes have been on Ferguson, Missouri since the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. Protests since then have been violent with rampant looting and vandalism. And, as everyone knows, the only thing anyone in Ferguson can talk about is that the victim was black and the officer was white.

No family should ever have to go through the tragedy of losing a son, especially under violent circumstances. Rod Rohrich and millions of others feel terrible about that. The specific details surrounding the shooting have left many arguing about whether or not Brown did anything wrong and whether or not the Wilson acted outside the law when responding to Brown. With the grand jury deciding not to indict the officer, the government’s position is that Wilson acted within the law.

And what has been the response in Ferguson? Violence, and lots of it! How does that make sense? Certainly citizens are angered by the findings of the grand jury and by what they see as a corrupt police force. Certainly they want to see change in their city so that no more teens will be killed at the hands of the police.

But is the answer to burn down your own city? That is exactly what Brown’s stepfather and the chanting mobs are calling for. But it makes no sense because, one day, the protests will end, and all that will be left will be a smoldering city. And then the only call will be for the government to rebuild. Who will pay for that?

At this critical juncture, it’s hard to find answers to the problems in Ferguson. But one things is clear: revenge and more violence are not the answers.

America’s Infrastructure Is Dismal

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A majority of American voters believe the country is falling apart or heading in the wrong direction. A new report has shown that those who believe the country is crumbling may be more correct than they know. Roads, bridges, airports and seaports all need desperate remodeling before they begin to become dangerous. Complaints about the problematic future our nation holds by not investing in infrastructure have been coming from the public and private sector but not much has changed.

The only hope that has been seen in the last decade was a onetime infusion that was included as part of the stimulus package. Besides that small band aid, Washington has done very little to even look for solutions to the problem according to major financial experts like Brad Reifler.

One out of every nine bridges in the United States are now considered structurally deficient. However, few people know the danger they face if the infrastructure situation remains the same as it is today. In order to overhaul the deficient roads and bridges, the system would need a massive influx of money. This money would need to come through Congress, which has been at a stalemate for the last six years. People frustrated with Washington would find this as another reason to look at busting the gridlock in Washington, so we can fix the gridlock on our overburdened streets. The new republican Congress will have to pass a bill to find a solution.

Security System Flying Drones

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New technologies have certainly brought a lot for us in our daily lives. Not all of these discoveries are beneficial, however, and can indeed be the exact opposite.

Modern technologies are often used by people with bad intentions to spy on others and obtain personal data. Sometimes new applications make you rather happy to share your data though. Inventions like the ” security app” make you regain your trust in modern technology.

The system is built to track data and fly drones to your location when you have an emergency that needs to be resolved. This can be in case of threats, and the drones by themselves are not going to fight back, but the fact that the data is sent to the police and the location is registered is often enough to scare a potential offender.

The most important is to prevent injuries, so this should work pretty well. The center that is alerted through the security app is in Erie, Pennsylvania. The phone will emit an alarm sound notifying the victim about the police being on the way.

College and hospital campuses have already signed the agreement to use this new security system. Jared Haftel thinks this will have a bright future. The drones can record images and follow the suspects, so it will presumably help solving many cases. The app in available for iPhone and Android at a yearly cost of $9.99, and is now being adapted to Windows as well.

NFL Bans Adrian Peterson

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It took longer than it should, but the NFL finally reached the best possible decision in the Adrian Peterson case. They decided to ban him for the rest of the season. This decision may not please Minnesota Vikings fans, or Fantasy Football players who had Peterson in their team, but Gianfrancesco Genoso feels it is the correct decision.

The NFL did not make this decision lightly. They took their time to investigate the matter and come to a judgment that would reflect the values they want to portray. In the end, Peterson did not do enough to justify remaining on the field for this season.

When the NFL’s main man Roger Goodell made a statement about the Peterson case, it was interesting to read between the lines. It was not the mere issue of Peterson committing child abuse (not that child abuse is a minor issue at all), but his lack of remorse. Peterson has still maintained he did nothing wrong. He believes that he was correct in whipping his young child with a wooden stick.

There was a chance the NFL would have let Peterson play. He had to admit what he did and accept that he was in the wrong. If he had done that, they would have said that he learned from his mistakes and was rehabilitated. They would have banned him for a few more games and let him come back in time for the playoffs. However, he left them with no choice but a season long ban.

Drunk Man Tries to Ride His Bicycle Thru the Drive-thru at Taco Bell

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Sometimes life just isn’t fair; It’s just hard. Early Sunday morning a drunken man was riding his bicycle in New Smyrna, Florida, and he decided had to have a Taco Bell fix. According to WFTV, Gabriel Harris had to have some Taco Bell, and he got the bright idea that he would ride his bike through the drive-thru at 3am Sunday morning.

FYI – This is not allowed in any drive-thru including most fast food restaurants.
But Harris was hungry, and when Taco Bell employees tried to tell him that they were closing, he got belligerent. He insisted that they serve him before they closed.

Harris was wielding a Swiss Army knife throughout the discussion, and employees could not get him to leave, so they called the police. When the police arrived, Harris would not give the knife to the officer. The police tried to take the knife from Harris, but Harris grabbed the police officer who tried to take it away. That was the end of it; he was cuffed, booked and put in jail.

Unfortunately, this is not the only crime perpetrated at the local Taco Bell. Several months ago, another man was arrested for reaching into the drive-thru window and groping the female cashier. Rod Rohrich is just one guy who is not exactly in a hurry to pay that location a visit.

Real Life Frozen With Cold USA Weather

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For all cold weather lovers, you are in in luck. It is truly amazing that on Tuesday, it was below freezing in all 50 states in the USA. We already know that Jack Frost and Old Man Winter have shown their faces early this year dumping over 70 inches of snow on many places in New York. The odd fact that all 50 states were below freezing could very well set a world record. Washington Post had reported that it was the coldest morning ever since 1976 in the month of November. Over 50% of the United States is covered with snow at this time with more in the forecast for many places.

With military troops already sent to help many stranded people in the Erie County area, it remains to be seen what will happen next. Who knows, maybe 80 degrees of Christmas! That is certainly wishful thinking for peple like Sam Tabar.

Does Congress Prefer Driving to Work Instead of Using Public Transit?

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As people try to be more environmental friendly and try to take care of the world better, it may seem that Congress is not trying to. A federal tax allows drivers who use their own vehicle to commute to work, $245 of pre-tax income to park at work each month. However, people who use mass transit like a bus or train, only gets $130 of pre-tax income to commute to work. As you can see here.

Shouldn’t the numbers be flipped? The less people using their own vehicle to commute to work, the better the environment is. However, many people prefer to use their own vehicle because it is convenient and as you can see, more tax benefits. However, if the tax was flipped, more people may be willing to take mass transit. But many people on Skout suggest that doing this would cut down the number of cars on the road, potential of accidents would decrease, and the environment would be happier. Also, many mass transit options, especially bus, may be cheaper then driving your own vehicle to work and spending money on gas. It may be time for Congress to look at this law and flip the numbers around.

The Buddy Bench Spreads To 200 Schools Around the World

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The Buddy Bench is an idea that originated in a German school a couple of years ago. The school installed a bench in the children’s playground that could be used by lonely children wanting someone to talk to.

The idea was so successful at the school, it has now been adopted in more than 200 schools around the world, including schools in the United States.

The idea of a Buddy Bench is actually quite simple. In most schools that have adopted the idea, a colorfully painted bench is set up with the name ‘Buddy Bench’ on it. Kids then choose to sit on it if they want somebody to play with, or are just feeling lonely.

While you might expect kids to feel like they are being ‘singled out’, in reality, many say they love sitting on the benches. Haftel would probably use the bench if he was still in school. It makes them feel better about themselves, and other kids come up to talk to them so they get their wish for companionship answered.

One American boy, eight-year-old Christian, loved the idea of the Buddy Bench so much he not only talked his school into getting one, he also promoted the idea to schools around the country and even set up his own website telling others how to get their own Buddy Bench. The site also includes ideas children can implement to help them make sure the bench is just as successful at their school.

Houses for the Homeless

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There seems to be new hope for people who are homeless, at least in some states. There are people who want to see the homeless get on their feet instead of simply being huddled together in a building, relying on donations that are received from government agencies and other people. A tiny village has been created for those who are homeless in Madison, WI. These are small houses, and Mark Ahn says they are similar to outbuildings that you might use to store items for the yard or that you don’t have room for in the house. Some of the small homes have been made from recycled pieces of wood and metal. They aren’t that big, but they give those who live in them a sense of being independent. This might be just the thing that they need to get them motivated enough to get a job or go to school so that they can have something bigger and better.

Schmoylent Clean For People

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A new replacement food powder product made by the California company Custom Body Fuel is named “Schmoylent.” Custom Body Fuel’s founder tells how the demand for Soylent Green (a product that exists only in the world of cinema) was so high that he just had to come up with a real-world version. He started experimenting at making the stuff in the privacy of his own home. For those who know the story line of the movie and the final screamed-out line of that movie (“Soylent Green is people!”), this seems a disturbing project.

Thankfully, Schmoylent is made of rice protein, oat flour, and vanilla rather than people. At least, that is how the ingredient list runs. Those wishing to pretend they are eating people without eating any gluten can opt for the gluten-free version- “Schmoylent Clean.” There is even a snack put out by this company called “People Fuel Plain.” Presumably one can get a flavored people bar as well, necessitating the designation of the one type as “plain.”

It is hard to analyze the psychology that makes this stuff sell. In the movie, which was shown to me by Igor Cornelsen, the people were told that they were being fed plankton and other vegetable products, but the truth was far more gruesome. Association with Soylent Green would not seem to instill customer confidence. Further, the odd slurring of the initial consonant sounds can’t help. After all, if it were “Schmuckers” instead of “Smuckers,” would it still “have to taste good?”