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If your reading this post, I’ve successfully managed to wake up at 4 A.M. and head out for the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. If things have worked out as planned, I’ll be picking up press credentials and attending a closed door forum on economic issues put on by several labor unions. Now here’s the exciting part: both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will be speaking there. John McCain was also invited, but declined to attend.
I’m not exactly sure how exactly I’ll cover the event, as my laptop is still down with a crashed hard drive (I’ve been too disgusted to fix it). I’ve got a creative solution that may allow me to restore limited functionality to it. Regardless of how that works out I’ll be trying to post updates to the OVP Twitter page (this is not my personal account, I don’t want to bombard people with unwanted messages. Follow OVP for these messages) and some iPhone photo’s to the OVP Flickr page. I’ve also added Twitter and Flickr badges to the sidebar to display some of the most recent updates.
Update: I’ve arrived at the convention center 90 minutes early.
This excerpt from a Newsweek article should do it, I know it sure ruined mine.
Khalida’s father says she’s 9—or maybe 10. As much as Sayed Shah
loves his 10 children, the functionally illiterate Afghan farmer can’t
keep track of all their birth dates. Khalida huddles at his side,
trying to hide beneath her chador and headscarf. They both know the
family can’t keep her much longer. Khalida’s father has spent much of
his life raising opium, as men like him have been doing for decades in
the stony hillsides of eastern Afghanistan
and on the dusty southern plains. It’s the only reliable cash crop most
of those farmers ever had. Even so, Shah and his family barely got by:
traffickers may prosper, but poor farmers like him only subsist. Now
he’s losing far more than money. “I never imagined I’d have to pay for
growing opium by giving up my daughter,” says Shah.
family’s heartbreak began when Shah borrowed $2,000 from a local
trafficker, promising to repay the loan with 24 kilos of opium at
harvest time. Late last spring, just before harvest, a government
crop-eradication team appeared at the family’s little plot of land in
Laghman province and destroyed Shah’s entire two and a half acres of
poppies. Unable to meet his debt, Shah fled with his family to
Jalalabad, the capital of neighboring Nangarhar province.
The trafficker found them anyway and demanded his opium. So Shah took
his case before a tribal council in Laghman and begged for leniency.
Instead, the elders unanimously ruled that Shah would have to reimburse
the trafficker by giving Khalida to him in marriage. Now the family can
only wait for the 45-year-old drugrunner to come back for his prize.
Khalida wanted to be a teacher someday, but that has become impossible.
“It’s my fate,” the child says.
When the FCC auctions off the 700 MHz wireless spectrum the tech giant Google will most likely be among the bidders. The company announced this morning that it will formally apply with the FCC to participate in the auction on Monday.
The 700 MHz spectrum is currently used to provide the UHF channels 52-69 but will be vacated by 2009 as these channels switch to digital broadcasts.
“We believe it’s important to put our money where our principles are. Consumers deserve more competition and innovation than they have in today’s wireless world. No matter which bidder ultimately prevails, the real winners of this auction are American consumers who likely will see more choices than ever before in how they access the Internet.”
– Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO, Google
Google has been involved in the events surrounding this auction for a while now but with Monday being the deadline for bidders to apply some were starting to wonder if Google had backed down.
So why is this on (mostly) political site? Because Google’s involvement in this process has mostly been focused on getting the FCC to stipulate that the band not be restricted to certain devices and software like most currently are. The FCC applied some of Google’s suggestions to a part of the spectrum.
The Official Google Blog has a post up explaining the auction process and their reasons for participating.
What kind of self-respecting Ohioan would I be if I didn’t do my part to point out Michigan’s loss?
Ohio State beat Michigan today with a final score of 14-3. This is Michigan’s fourth straight loss to Ohio.
In case you live outside of Ohio (or just want to celebrate) I’ve included a little audio with this post for “cultural learning”. The title gives it away, but you might not want to play this at work or near small children. It isn’t that bad though, after all it’s played by the OSU Marching Band.