Thursday, December 11, 2008

English Username Password UPDATE UPDATE

So after today's class, I'm not exactly sure what the decision about using new Gmail accounts is. I'm about 80% sure she said it was okay, but that we were irresponsible for not listening to her tell us to create a school-only account (which I still staunchly uphold that she didn't). The other 20% of me thinks she's going to not accept the new one.

If the 80% wins, all is good in the world.

If the 20% does....

The school board should prepare for an interesting night.

She still claims insists that because her son is a computer systems analyst, our information will be safe because if someone were to hack into our accounts and steal/damage personal information, she could track their IP addresses. Well, that's good and all, but being able to catch the criminal after he gets what he's after doesn't stop the crime.

To me, that's like arguing that you have the right to catch someone's house on fire because your son is a fireman.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

English Username/Password UPDATE

So Mrs. Blair told us we could use a new account for our portfolio stuff now. Although she yelled at us for like, an hour, insisting that she had told us not to use a pre-existing account at the beginning of the year. Which she absolutely did not. I mean, 8 out of the top 10 in the class say she didn't.

I'm still pretty sure that what she's doing is illegal. But at this point, I realize that there are some battles that aren't worth fighting.

Oh well.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I know students don't have the same rights as adults, but come on!

Today the seniors at Raceland-Worthington High School (including me) were given a "Senior To-Do List." On this list are four things:

1. Have the following pieces on Google Documents by 12-11-08:

A. Personal Expressive (or alternate literary piece)
B. Transactive Analytical (should already be there)
C. Transactive Piece from a Content Area class other than English.

2. Check off these assignments:

___ A. Personal Expressive (or alternate literary piece)
___ B. Transactive Analytical
___ C. Transactive from a Content Area other than English.

3. Email your Google Document username and password to [teacher's email address placed here].

4. Write username and password below:

Username: _______________
Password: _______________

Yes, you read that correctly. We have to give the usernames and passwords to our Google Accounts to our English teacher, Mrs. Blair. In writing. On paper.

The exact reason for this is, at the moment, unknown, since through Google Documents we can share our pieces with her and she can view them from there, without having to access our personal accounts. And you may or may not know that these Google Accounts include our Gmail accounts, which for many people, are their primary email accounts, used to receive everything from newsletters to college and scholarship info to bank statements.

Now, for some people, that may not be too much of a problem, since a lot of us created a Google Account simply for the use of posting English pieces online and participating in group discussions. But many of us (myself included) had a Google Account before the beginning of this year (since 2005 for me), and have been using it for the work in English we have done thus far, since we were told we could use an existing account.

Mrs. Blair has said that it is not an option to create a new Google Account and give her that password and username, because she would have to change our contact info, and if we do not want to give her access to our personal information, we need to make a new account and make that one our personal one, which would require changing information on every site or organization from which we currently receive information which, for me at least, is not an option.

I could somewhat understand this issue if we were using email accounts set up on a school server or provided for us by the school district, but we aren't. We are being required to give a teacher access to our personal accounts, and I don't believe it's right or legal. And it's not that I distrust Mrs. Blair, or that I think she's going to hack into my account and steal credit card information or anything like that. It's the concept of a teacher requiring me to allow her access to my personal email address. Not to mention the fact that we have to physically write down our information on a sheet of paper that will probably be kept in an easy-to-reach area that every student at RWHS will have access to.

It's not my intention at all to incite any trouble. However, I don't feel that I can let this issue pass quietly, and something is more likely to be done to remedy the situation if more people are aware of what's going on.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

McCain doesn't know much about the economy?

From Barack Obama:

"I haven't looked at all the details of his [John McCain's] capital gains proposal. I will tell you that nobody one really has capital gains right now – so if the idea is the cut capital gains taxes, when I don’t know anybody, even the smartest investors who right now are going to be experiencing a lot of capital gains. That probably is not going to be particularly useful in solving the financial crisis. But I will review the plan and I’m sure that Sen. McCain will have more to say about it tomorrow."

"And I continue to emphasize that this is just one phase of a rescue package that's needed because we still need a rescue package for the middle class. And the proposals I’ve put forward to create jobs, to make sure that families are able to ride though these difficult times, to help homeowners those are all issues that await action by congress and if we don't get it don't in the lame duck session then they’re going to be some of my top priorities when I am president."

We are in a so-called "economic crisis." The way to get out of this crisis is by encouraging investment and strengthening our markets. Obama says it would be useless to cut the capital gains tax, since apparently no one is experiencing capital gains right now. Really? Please tell me how else you plan on convincing people to invest in a market that isn't exactly stunning right now.

And please tell me how the middle class with whom Obama is having this economic love affair is going to benefit from his fabled "job growth" when investors have no incentive to put their money into companies.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What is Neolibertarianism?

From Wikipedia:
Neolibertarianism is a political philosophy combining elements of libertarian and neoconservative thought that embraces incrementalism domestically, and a generally interventionist foreign policy based on self-interest and national defense.

I consider myself a neolibertarian because I don't believe that a person's natural rights stop at the border of his/her country, and that it's our responsibility as a nation to ensure that the liberties we enjoy are spread throughout the world. This is one of the marked differences between neolibertarianism and traditional libertarianism: the lack of support for isolationism. It's been proven many times in the last century that isolationism is an outdated policy that just isn't practical or safe in the modern world. Just ask any of many small "neutral" parties in World Wars I and II.

You could basically say that a neolibertarian is a pragmatic libertarian. Those of us who claim to be neolibertarian realize that holding a staunchly unchangeable, idealist opinion on everything is simply not a feasible way to achieve what needs to be done. In other words, we're practical.

Essentially neolibertarians are liberal when it comes to most social issues, endorsing the path that leaves the people with the most choices and freedoms, and conservative when it comes to ecnomic issues, supporting the plan that leaves situations up to the free market.

Big government is a big no-no for neolibertarianism. We believe that keeping the government out of things not necessary to the smooth functioning of the country is the best solution. This means we support deregulation of the economy, health care, etc.

I must say, though, that I am not a strict neolibertarian, if such a thing even exists. I am very much pro-choice. But, given the pragmatism of neolibertarians, I don't really think they'd disown me for holding one viewpoint that's not traditionally espoused by them.