Direct Democracy is as American as Apple Pie

Those seeking to discredit direct democracy – the people making and unmaking laws by petition and the ballot box – are fond of quoting Hamilton, Madison and other of America’s Architects. This is entirely misplaced.

The Fathers concerned themselves with designing a federal economy, leaving the question of who got the vote and what that vote meant to the states. Granted, most, if not all, states initially reserved the right to vote to white, male landowners.

These same states, however, steadily liberalized their election laws. By the late 1800s, nearly every state operated under a constitution approved by referendum and every state in the 45 elected its governor at the polls.

Direct democracy at the state/local level predates the federal constitution and has remained a constant of American democracy.

* Pre-colonial Rhode Island offered its citizens the initiative and referendum.

* The Massachusetts constitution of 1780, while promulgated by convention, included a provision by which the people could demand changes, and a 1795 referendum approved the document as written.

* The original Georgia Constitution required amendments to originate by initiative petition. The Fathers saw no problem in Georgia — initiative requirement and all — joining the Union.

* In 1786, New Hampshire’s lawmakers found themselves besieged by petitions for relief signed by those with no gold or silver to pay their debts. The legislature responded by drafting a tepid, inadequate response, sending it to the towns for a referendum vote and washing “its hands of the annoying subject.”

* The 1852 Vermont legislature passed a prohibition statute and referred it to the people. The state’s Supreme Tribunal endorsed the action, reasoning that the legislators, as “the mere agents and instruments of the people,” could surely appeal to the populace as to the wisdom of legislation.

* In 1846, even Congress endorsed the practice of referring questions to voters. The law receding parts of Virginia took effect only if approved by the residents of the affected county.

In Oregon, considered the birthplace of direct democracy in America, the democratic pedigree stretches back to before the Sunset State joined the Union.

If the story is to be believed, the Oregon Territory escaped the jaws of the British Lion in large part because Joe Meek convinced enough of those gathered at Champoeg to join him on his side of the line — Direct Democracy at its most basic.

Indeed, according to a relatively-contemporary commentator writing in a California newspaper, the first white residents of the Oregon Territory shared “an almost religious devotion to the principle of popular self-government.”

The bill granting Oregon statehood required that the proposed state constitution be submitted to the people. This, said turn-of-last-century Gov. T.T. Geer — the first Oregon governor born in Oregon — established public participation at “the first rattle out of the box.”

When George H. Williams proposed placing a legislative referendum power in the original Oregon Constitution, other delegates responded that American legislatures didn’t need express permission to refer an issue to the ballot.

Christmas Trees And The Different Types

The tradition of Christmas trees in America came from German immigrants who had settled in Pennsylvania. It is believed that the tradition of Christmas trees started in Germany from as early as 700 A.D and was practiced by many Germans in the 1800s. It’s also since that period that Christmas trees have also been available for sale in the United States. While artificial Christmas trees are popular, many people like to have a fresh Christmas tree in their homes, or outside on their lawns. And similar to all other trees, Christmas trees also have different shapes and qualities that make some types more popular than others.

Along with other decorative Christmas items such as wreaths and garlands, having a Christmas tree in your home is very essential in creating a special atmosphere for the season. It is believed that Christmas trees have been available for sale in America since the 1800s, which is about the same time that the former Woolworth’s department store started selling ready-made ornaments for Christmas trees.

Choosing the right type of Christmas tree is important because Christmas trees are often a focal point for many family activities and traditions. Given the many types of Christmas trees that are available, it is important to think about how the tree will be used. While a tall tree may look very elegant, it may not be suitable if there aren’t many adults around who can reach the tree’s heights. And a very short tree may be dwarfed by other furniture in the room. It’s therefore very important to carefully consider and get a tree that has a suitable height and also one that has sturdy branches to hold heavy ornaments.

Artificial and real Christmas trees can often be bought from the same retail stores these days as local businesses and retail chain stores often sell both types of trees. The best place to get a real and fresh Christmas tree, and also to see a wide variety, is likely a Christmas tree farm however. Using modern technology, both types of trees can also be obtained through online transactions, via telephone as well as by mail-order through catalogs.

Among Christmas trees there are certain types that are always favorites and which are bestsellers. These include: Douglas, Fraser, Noble and Balsam firs, and Scotch, Virginia and white pine trees.

These evergreen trees all have all have one or more excellent features related to shape, color or sheen and fragrance, which makes them favorites for Christmas trees.

The most favorite Christmas trees basically have a pyramid or cone shape. A pyramid-shaped tree is likely taller and has somewhat of an elegant look. Douglas Fir, which ranks first among Christmas tree favorites, is an example of a pyramid-shaped tree. Other examples are Fraser, Balsam and Noble firs.

A cone shape tree tends to be short with dense branches, which makes them excellent for holding many ornaments and other decorations. Families that have a strong tradition of making their own ornaments, or putting mememtos on Christmas trees may consider a cone-shaped tree. Virginia and Scotch Pines, Norway Spruce and the Eastern White Pine all have cone shapes.

Another feature that makes Christmas trees appealing is their color. While all trees have a green appearance, a closer look at their needles will reveal differences such as a bright or dark-green, blue- green or yellowish-green hue. The needles may also emit a silvery sheen with the right lighting. Fraser and Noble firs both have needles with a silvery sheen, and the branches of both trees are also used for garlands and wreaths.

Maryland Terrapins College Football Ticket

The Maryland Terrapins represents the University of Maryland in the intercollegiate football team in NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, which was formerly known as Division I-A. The Maryland Terrapins is more popularly known as ‘the Terps’ and they most frequently contend within the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).

Originally, school’s athletic teams were known as ‘The Old Liners’. Since Maryland’s nickname was ‘Old Line State’. But then Curly Byrd suggested in 1932, that the name be changed to diamondback terrapin which is after a type of land-dwelling turtle, since Byrd spent his childhood in Chesapeake Bay, where the species is common. Then, to shorten the headlines in the newspaper, they started referring them as “the Terps”. The abridged name remained and currently the official team name of the school. The school’s mascot is named Testudo, which is a diamondback terrapin. Testudo means ‘turtle’ in Latin. The word has been used as a scientific nomenclature in species related to the reptile like, the order Testudine and family Testudinidae. Furthermore, the name most probably came from the ancient Roman military scheme, in where soldiers completely enclose their infantry square with their shields in order to guard them from projectiles. Important Moments and Accomplishments

Maryland is third to the most ACC championships with nine following Florida State with 12 and Clemson with 13. The team had already won two national championships, two Southern Conference championships, nine ACC championships, countless All-Americans and Hall of Fame inductees; it also had two undefeated seasons and 22 bowl game appearances. And with that, most of the former Terrapin players and coaches have become part of the professional football world.

In the year 2001, when Ralph Friedgen became the as head coach of Terrapins, they experienced a moment of renaissance since they won the ACC Championship that year. They also had a desired and adored new recruits and five bowl a game appearance which includes three bowl championships and BCS bowl. And during the whole time Friedgen became the head coach, the Terps had a total record of 60-33.

Quarterbacks in the current Roster 10 Chris Turner – Jr-1V 12 Josh Portis – Jr-SQ 11 Jamarr Robinson – Fr-RS

Maryland Terrapins College Football Recent News

During the end of 2007, Maryland had ended the year with a little dissatisfaction with having 6.7 lackluster post-season records. And this year 2008, Maryland Terrapins football team embodied their University of Maryland in the 56th season for the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Terps would encounter the toughest line up with Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, Boston College, NC State, Clemson, Wake Forest and Califormia. Since last December 2007, there had been an announcement that James Franklin, the former Terps wide receivers coach would be returning, from Kansas State. This is in order to be the offensive coordinator. Hence with that, it will make 2008 more exciting. Furthermore, since last January 2008, after Maryland’s Emerald Bowl was overpowered by Oregon State, Erin Henderson, the star linebacker of the team announced that he would be going with the Terrapins for the final season to be able to enter the 2008 NFL Draft. Therfore, this year, 2008, would offer an ambitious game with a powerful passing quarterback Chris Turner which fills up for the injured Jordan Steffy. Moreover, with the prospect of NFL, Darrius Heyward-Bey together with several fast and skilled receivers and with West coast’s offense oriented strategy, James Franklin, you surely will have a good game. This season would indeed be something to look forward for. If you are a fan of the Terps, this is one of the moments you would want to get the front row tickets.

Should You Recycle or Dispose of Your Computer?

Should You Recycle or Dispose of Your Computer?

When you dispose of your computer such as putting it out with the trash you contribute to the growing amount of e-waste in landfills. Computers are the biggest part of e-waste. Another problem with that is that toxins and carcinogens can get into the ground water and soil.

In 2007 about 500 million computers became obsolete just in the United States. That�s a lot of e-waste. Millions more became obsolete in other countries. When the owners decide to get new computers the majority of them won�t be recycled or reused.

There reusable materials in a computer that are lost when you dispose of your computer.

More energy is used to make new computers and more raw materials, less the materials that are recycled. Mining operations that dig the metals used in a new computer ravage the earth, destroying more forest area and that alone is a source of polluting the soil and water.

A lot of the mining done these days is mountain top removal mining. This destroys the tops of mountains in places like West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee. The beautiful view and hiking land is ruined. Many streams are covered over too. There water sources and fishing areas are gone.

Recycling uses less energy than making new products and it usually makes less air and water pollution. It also saves landfill space. Recycling also saves money and creates new jobs. It creates more jobs than landfills or incinerators and limits pollution from incinerators. It also limits pollution from incinerators, and is a less expensive way for your city to manage waste.

Recycling just the plastic from your computer can save a good bit of landfill space because about 7% of the waste in a landfill is plastic, tough other plastic products contribute too, and your computer is mostly plastic. One billion pounds of plastic from electronics goes to a landfill each year. Reversely, park benches and fencing at the Honolulu Zoo were made from recycled plastic.

Recycling also prevents global warming. Recycling of waste products prevented the release of 32.9 million metric tons of carbon equivalent in 2000. Remember that disposed of computers are sometimes incinerated.

Recycling protects the habitats of wildlife. Whereas, disposing of your computer contributes to destroying forests, rivers and wetlands that wildlife relies on for life.

These are growing problems in developed countries that can be stopped with recycling. You can send or take your old computer to different types of recyclers. Businesses can be fined for illegally disposing of hazardous waste and they have to pay court costs.

Virginia Cavaliers tickets – Memorable Entertainment

Virginia Cavaliers outplayed a more methodical Bears in an entertaining game. The star of the show was Steve Gruber and his 50 feet 3- pointer.

Steve Gruber set the show on fire for Virginia Cavaliers. It was the most entertaining game witnessed by Virginia fans at John Paul Jones Arena.

Gruber, a 5 feet 11 inches back up guard was the main attraction of the second half, the most entertaining part was when this junior from Milwaukee, netted an off balance shot from about 50 feet.

The time was running out, Gruber caught the ball in the back court and without wasting any time he threw the ball and the ball was in the hoop ending his dry run this season.

The sparsely populated crowd at the John Paul Jones Arena was dozing off for most part of the game. Gruber brought them back to life by his spectacular 50 feet shot. The crowd gave him a standing ovation for putting up a spectacular show. Several replays of Gruber were played on the replay board which is a very rare phenomenon.

Gruber helped Virginia win its last non conference game of the season, 74-50.

Virginia’s defense was very strong, especially in the second half. They forced the Bears to stretch out and run more to match the pace of Virginia defense. As the game, progressed the Bears started to worn out. Virginia defense kept the Bear down and only conceded 23 percent shoots in the second half.

Virginia which is currently having a record of 7-5 in the season, were strong on the rebound too. Virginia took 41 rebounds as compared to 29 by the Bears. For the Cavaliers, Mike Scott scored 15 points and took 10 rebounds, he was closely matched by Sammy Zeglinski who scored 14 points.

Sylven Landesberg, disappointed his fans. Landesberg came in to the match as a leading scorer, but didn’t perform as per the expectations and scored just four points and that too all from the free-throw line.

Cavs didn’t make an impressive start and were outplayed by a more methodical and copy book Bears. But the Bears were not able to extend the play through out the game. At the half time, the Cavs were leading by just 10 points but after that there was no stopping them.

The Cavaliers will now be looking forward to their much more difficult ACC match against their southern neighbors which also happens to be a road game. Considering the performance that the Cavs put up against the Bears, and the form achieved by Gruber and Scott, they will be able to pull that game off too.

Virginia Cavaliers outplayed a more methodical Bears in an entertaining game. The star of the show was Steve Gruber and his 50 feet 3- pointer.