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Will and Catherine happily motor off from Buckingham Palace after the wedding in Prince Charles’s decorated vintage 1969 Aston Martin Volante, which had been a 21st birthday present to the Prince from his mother. The license plate reads, “JUST WED.”

Check out the video:

Here’s something to keep in mind as we mull over how and where to cut Federal spending.

I remember a quotation from Isaac Asimov I’d seen at the foundation museum in Gernika, Spain, site of Franco and Hitler’s carpet-bombing atrocity during the Spanish Civil War, “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.”

McD uses social media to respond to violent video

Chain reaches out to customers on Twitter to condemn attack that an employee filmed and posted online
April 25, 2011 | By Ron Ruggless

McDonald’s Corp. and a Maryland franchise owner used social media channels over the weekend to communicate with customers after an employee-filmed video of a brutal beating in one of the chain’s restaurants went viral online.

The video, which went up on briefly Friday and was picked up by other websites, drew thousands of views during the day. The three-minute clip showed attackers repeatedly grabbing, punching, kicking and pulling the hair of 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis at a franchised McDonald’s in Rosedale, Md., while an older female customer and an employee tried to intervene.

After the video went online, McDonald’s posted a message midday Friday to its more than 121,000 Twitter followers saying, “We aware of the incident in Baltimore and are working with local police in their criminal investigation.”

McDonald’s tweeted several more times about the incident over the weekend. By Saturday afternoon, the chain had condemned the assault on Twitter and reported that the employee responsible for the video had been fired.

Read more:

We recently visited the Universidad de Salamanca, Spain’s great university, founded in this town on a hill in 1134, and today a booming campus of 55,000 students. Pictured below is the chair where doctoral candidate students of old would sit, with their feet pressed against those on the sarcophagus of an archbishop while they were questioned by professors in their final exam.

US Electoral college map

Image via Wikipedia

Vermont Is 8th State to Enact National Popular Vote Bill
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed the National Popular Vote bill, making Vermont the eighth jurisdiction to enact the legislation.

The bill has now been enacted by jurisdictions possessing 77 electoral votes—29% of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate the legislation, including the District of Columbia (3 electoral votes), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), New Jersey (15), Vermont (3), and Washington state (11).

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The National Popular Vote bill has now passed 31 legislative chambers in 21 places, including chamber(s) in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. A map on our web site shows the progress of the bill in each state.

At the present time, the National Popular Vote bill has been endorsed by 2,003 of the nation’s state legislators (27% of 7,424 state legislators).

Please Write Your State Legislators Asking Them to Support the Bill
One of the most important things you can do to support the National Popular Vote bill is to write your state legislators and state officials asking them to support the bill. You can quickly and easily send an e-mail to your state legislators by going to Our system will provide a suggested letter, which you can edit.

Under the National Popular Vote bill, all the electoral votes from all the states that have enacted the bill would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes-that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The shortcomings of the current system are caused by the winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each separate state).

Under the current system of electing the President, two thirds of the states are ignored by the presidential campaign; a second-place candidate can win the Presidency; turnout is depressed in the spectator states; and every vote is not equal.

Because of the winner-take-all rule, presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, or pay attention to voter concerns in states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. Instead, candidates concentrate their attention on a small handful of closely divided “battleground” states. 98% of the post-convention campaign events involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate occurred in just 15 closely divided “battleground” states. Two thirds of the states were ignored by the presidential campaigns in 2008.

Tuesday night, about 150 friends of the communications curriculum at Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower campus gathered for an annual reception and presentation of the 2011 Ebeling PR-ize in cause-related communications.

The winning student team produced a creative and effective outreach campaign for the two-year-old Rumble Arts Center in Humboldt Park. The theme they created, “Rumble Arts Center: Your Community Stomping Ground,” carried the flavor of the focus on community involvement of their campaign.

Runner Up recognition went to the creative communications campaign developed by a student team for the Bundle of Joy Diaper Bank, Chicago’s first and only diaper bank, serving clients of 11 Chicago food banks. Did you know that food stamps are not good for diapers, the ultimate consumable?

This is the sixth year of the Ebelng PR-ize at Loyola. More information on the Loyola PR-ize program can be found at:

Research Shows Publicists Are Stressed
By Tonya Garcia on April 20, 2011 3:39 PM
CareerCast has published a list of the top ten most stressful jobs and, perhaps not a surprise for those of you out there who have appointments with your therapists after work today, PR officer comes in at number two on their list.

“This highly-competitive field and tight deadlines keep stress at high-levels for specialists. Some PR officers, also, are required to interact with potentially hostile members of the media,” the description says.

CareerCast says that, overall, 70 percent of workers say their job causes stress, and commercial pilot comes out on top of the most stressed list. (Newscaster is number five, which may explain those “hostile members of the media” CareerCast is talking about.) But it was just a few months ago that Money magazine and were voting PR director among the best jobs out there. CareerCast also puts PR exec among its top 200 jobs.

Software engineer and dietitian are listed among least stressful.

From PRNewser, today

Amidst all the discussion about the convoluted and deteriorating status in Libya, the U.S. has lost sight of the compass. We should get out and stay out. We never should have gone in. Don’t we ever learn anything? Our hollow promises of help and support will only result in death and agony, not just for our enemies, but for our friends there.

And while we’re at it, let’s start to dismantle the imperial war machine, and bring back troops from Germany, Japan, S. Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan, if for no other reason than to stop increasing the national debt and putting the financial stability of our nation in hoc. I’d sooner see us pull back our military than strip the retirement and health care system in the U.S. just to keep Wall Street afloat, which seems to be where our Congress and even our President are heading.

We need a proper defense, yes. But I bet we could do that on less than 50 cents on the dollar of what we are spending now on defense. Let’s put those soldiers coming home to work on restoring our national domestic infrastructure, if you want to talk about strategic security and strength. And let’s institute a draft, and put our out-of-work young people to work rebuilding our country with their brawn and brains, and not with guns.

See my other blog entries on Libya, defense and Congress. And while we’re fixing America, lets abolish the Electoral College so the people of the U.S. actually can elect their own Presidents.

There are five Alcazars — a Spanish-Moorish castle — in Spain, which some say inspired the Magic Castles at Disneylands. We recently visited the Alcazar of Segovia, built in the 12th century, and favorite home of the monarchs of Castille, and it is magical to this day.

Alcazar of Segovia

The others are: The Alcazar of Seville, dating to the 1360’s, and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we visited in 2007; the Alcazar of Toledo, which received later fame in the Siege of the Alcazar during the Spanish Civil War; the Alcazar of Madrid, which following a fire in 1734 was rebuilt as the Royal Palace of Madrid on the same site; and the Alcazar of Cordoba, 13th century Moorish castle, once home of the largest library in the Western world, and home of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, where they met with Columbus before his journey to the west. Columbus is now interred in the cathedral there, where we also visited in 2007.

April 2011

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