No Apartment For You!

A San Antonio man feels he’s been discriminated against because an apartment complex didn’t want to rent to him based on the fact that he has lots of tattoos.

Frankel e-mailed us a statement saying his apartment complexes do, in fact, “reject prospective tenants who have… tattoos exposed on the neck, head, hands and wrists, or large tattoos that cover over 40% of the lower or upper arm.”

Frankel says, “We do not discriminate. The above applies to persons of any race, color, gender, etc.”

I have to side with the apartment complex on this one. Dude, you CHOSE to get ink up and down your arm. That was a market decision. If you don’t like it, go buy your own apartment building and require all applicants to have a sleeve of tattoos before you’ll rent to them.

Think that will work? Probably not–the market won’t support it.

If they were denying people based on the fact that they have large birthmarks it would be different, but c’mon.

The Carrillos were also upset that the manager refused to refund their full $70 application fee. But mostly, they feel the policy is discriminatory.

So give them their money back and let them dry their tears with the check.

Who Owns Free Speech?

Ignore the distractions of specific instances, and ask yourself this question based completely on principle–who in the world should be entitled to speak freely?

To me, freedom of speech and expression is a God-given (natural) right of all people. Whether or not a government chooses to recognize and respect this right is a completely different story, but fortunately ours does. Based on my limited knowledge of Constitutional law and history, I have to believe that was the intention of the Founders. The argument that freedom of speech is only protected for citizens and residents of this country is hollow–we wouldn’t deny that right to a Canadian or a Brit would we?

If we can justify denying speech to a person who is standing on U.S. soil based solely on the laws and policies of their home country, wouldn’t it be completely reasonable to expect that we would be protected by law to speak freely in any other country just because we come from a country that allows it.

So who owns freedom of speech? Is it a right every person is entitled to, or is it granted by country of origin? Something to think about.

Some People Are Never Satisfied

I was listening to Sean Hannity on my way home from work today. I know, I know. But I had such a great day at work that I needed to even it out. I couldn’t think of anything more irritating than Hannity that could accomplish my goal in a 23 minute commute.

Of course, he was talking about Ahmadinejad at Columbia, and of course, he didn’t give Lee Bollinger any credit for taking Ahmadinejad to task. Instead, he went on an incoherent rant the point of which (I think) was that the only reason Bollinger went after Ahmadinejad was that he’d received so much bad publicity and pressure.

Loyal readers of this blog can probably guess that I don’t agree with liberal academia about very much. But I hope that, in general, I call an ace and ace and a spade a shovel. Bollinger did exactly what he should have done in this situation. He took the opportunity to ask some very tough questions of Ahmadinejad that he looked like a fool for dodging and would have exposed himself as a turd if he’d answered.

Hannity’s stance on what happened is about as stupid as he is. This was a classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation”. Nothing could have made him happy. I for one am glad these questions were directly asked, and I don’t care if it was only in order to spite some neo-cons, though I doubt that was the actual motivation.

In fact, spite is one of the best reasons I can think of.

Ahmadinejad’s Response to Columbia University

He said Bollinger’s comments included “insults” and false claims, and flew in the face of an environment that’s supposed to let people speak their minds.

This was Ahmadinejad’s response to the introduction given by Columbia University’s President, Lee Bollinger, where he also called Ahmadinejad a “petty, cruel dictator”.

Ahmadinejad is dead wrong, and his response shows exactly why it is ridiculous to try to build democracies constitutional republics in the Middle East where ideas of tolerance of opposing opinions and free speech can’t be comprehended. This is exactly what free speech is all about–I call you a lowdown dirty scoundrel and have facts to back up my claims. You then respond with a defense or retaliate with facts that show otherwise.

These ass clowns are under the illusion that they can come here and exploit our tolerance for free speech (they have no such tolerance) to get their message across without question. They have no inkling that it flows both ways. That’s why I don’t have a problem allowing him/them/anyone else I disagree with have their say.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–the best way to confirm that someone is an idiot/jerk/ruthless dictator is to give them an opportunity to prove it in their own words.

Can’t wait to check out the entire video. I’ll be watching cnn.com for more info this afternoon.

Did Columbia University Trap Ahmadinejad?

I’m in wait and see mode on this one, but I’m a little surprised at what I just saw.

I’m at work and don’t have a chance to watch the coverage, but I just returned from getting a cup of coffee and got to catch a glimpse of Columbia’s President evidently ripping Ahmadinejad a new one on Iran’s violation of civil rights, free speech, etc. and challenging him to address them.

It will be interesting to see how this one pans out.

Some Interesting Tips and Tricks

One of the sites I check out pretty regularly, Daily Blog Tips, has a post writing contest going on right now. The topic is “Tips and Tricks”. Of course, there were several “how to get more traffic” and technical posts listed there, but I liked the ones that were a little “off” the best–tips and tricks on things that you may not even realize you need to read tips and tricks on.

Here are the five that I liked the most:
How to Keep Your Marriage, Despite Your Heavy Metal Addiction
Surviving Your Short Stay in Jail
How to Talk Like a Pirate
Find Out a Name You’ve Forgotten
Taking Photos at Concerts

Creating a Custom Feed For BlogRush

Taylor wasn’t sure about how to create a separate feed for using BlogRush. The reason you may want to make a feed just for BlogRush is if you want to control the exact article and headline from your blog that you’d like to have featured on the BlogRush network.

It’s pretty simple to make a new feed. Just copy the code below (change it to reflect your blog and your target post) and upload it to your site. Then go to your BlogRush account and add a new blog and point to this new feed. Mine is now located at http://54.224.128.86/blogrush.rss

<rss version=”2.0″>
<channel>
<title>Hear It From Us</title>
<link>http://54.224.128.86</link>
<description>Libertarian leaning commentary on everything you could possibly not care about</description>
<language>en-us</language>
<item>
<category>BlogRush</category>
<title>Hear It From Us</title>
<link>http://54.224.128.86</link>
<description>
Doesn’t really matter…BlogRush doesn’t use descriptions.
</description>
</item>
</channel>
</rss>

Unfortunately, you aren’t able to change the feed address of any of you existing blogs, so you’ll have to add the same blog again using the new feed. The headlines for this blog will be split between your existing feed and this new one. If you are adding a brand new blog or just signing up for BlogRush, you are set. You’ll have complete control over the exact headline that will be featured on the network.

In my case, I waited to create the new feed, so the headlines will be split. I’m actually ok with that since I like having both an anchor article being displayed along with posts that involve current events.

There is another solution I found that is a little more involved, but comes out very clean and more manageable for changing your feature article in WordPress later. The solution I presented here is the same one recommended by John Chow. If you ever want to change your feature article, you’ll have to edit the RSS file we created here and upload it again, but that’s not a big deal to me.

Hope this helps!

Blogrush Update and Some Usability Tips

I was asked to post some updates of the results of Blogrush for those who aren’t sure how legit it is. I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with the results so far.

The CTR isn’t all that great–I’m getting a visitor for every 500 impressions. But…as of today my referral network (you’re dying to be a part of it, aren’t you) is pulling me about 10x the credits I’m earning through this site. That means that for every 50 pages I load on this site I’m getting a visitor. That’s an awesome ROI, especially considering my network is pretty small and only two deep!

Here’s what is new and what I’m planning…

Blogrush announced today that they’ll be releasing different flavors (colors) soon to help their widget fit in with your site better.

They are actually working on making the channels better as well. This should help you target your site/posts to the correct audience much more easily.

This weekend I plan to get a separate feed set up just to send to BlogRush. This should help because it will allow me to keep a targeted, catching headline post up on the network longer instead of just the latest thing that happened to get blogged because it popped into my head.

Canuck Buck Catches Up

Well, the Looney has finally caught up to the dollar. What should we expect from this? What is the most likely outcome–pandemonium or bedlam? Sorry, I just like using the same phrases as wrestling announcers. Surely we should be in a panic. I mean, Canada’s dollar just caught up to ours. Before today, they were a third world country, right?

This whole situation makes me glad that I took trips to Canadia with Billymac, Halfacre, and the Shippensburg Old Boys while the dollar was still riding high. Ottawa, and The Bare Fax especially, would have been a lot more expensive with today’s exchange rate. Yet somehow, it’d still be worth every penny.