Apple Unveils New iMac With 21.5 and 27-inch Displays

Features LED-Backlit Displays, Available Quad-Core Processors & the New Wireless Magic Mouse

CUPERTINO, California—October 20, 2009—Apple® today unveiled an all new iMac® line featuring brilliant LED-backlit 21.5 and 27-inch widescreen displays in a new edge-to-edge glass design and seamless all aluminum enclosure. The new iMac line, starting at $1,199, is the fastest ever with Intel Core 2 Duo processors starting at 3.06 GHz, and Core i5 and i7 quad-core processors for up to twice the performance.* Every new iMac ships with a wireless keyboard and the all new wireless Magic Mouse, the world’s first mouse with Multi-Touch™ technology pioneered by Apple on the iPhone®, iPod touch® and Mac® notebook trackpad.

“The iMac is widely praised as the best desktop computer in the world and today we are making it even better,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With brilliant LED displays and the revolutionary Magic Mouse, the new iMac delivers an amazing desktop experience that we think customers will love.”

The new iMac features stunning LED-backlit displays with a 16:9 aspect ratio, ideal for watching high definition movies and TV shows from iTunes®, or editing and watching your own videos or photos using iLife®. The new 21.5-inch iMac features a high resolution 1920-by-1080 pixel display. The 27-inch iMac features a beautiful 2560-by-1440 pixel display that offers 60 percent more pixels than the previous 24-inch model. Both 21.5 and 27-inch displays use IPS technology to deliver consistent color across an ultra wide 178 degree viewing angle.

The iMac comes standard with a wireless keyboard and the new Magic Mouse featuring Apple’s revolutionary Multi-Touch technology. Instead of needing mechanical buttons, scroll wheels or scroll balls, the entire top of the Magic Mouse is a seamless Multi-Touch surface. Using intuitive gestures, a user can easily scroll through long documents, pan across large images or swipe to move forward or backward through a collection of web pages or photos. The Magic Mouse can be configured as either a single button or two button mouse, according to the user’s preference. The wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse work seamlessly with the iMac’s built-in Bluetooth capabilities to provide a clean, cable-free desk top.

The iMac features improved graphics across the line with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics or ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics in the 21.5-inch model, and ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics or ATI Radeon HD 4850 discrete graphics in the 27-inch model. The new iMac line now also features 4GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 memory and capacity up to 16GB across four SO-DIMM slots. Every iMac features a built-in iSight® video camera, mic and stereo speakers integrated into the thin aluminum and glass design. iMac includes built-in AirPort Extreme® 802.11n Wi-Fi networking, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, Gigabit Ethernet, a total of four USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire® 800 port and a new built-in SD card slot.

Apple today also announced that the Mac mini, the world’s most energy efficient desktop,** is now faster, offers more storage and comes standard with double the memory. Starting at $599, the entry level Mac mini features a faster 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, a 160GB hard drive, five USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics and a SuperDrive®. The $799 Mac mini features a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of memory and a larger 320GB hard drive. Apple now offers a $999 Mac mini that is specially configured with Mac OS® X Snow Leopard® Server. Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server features two 500GB hard drives for a total of 1TB of server storage in the tiny 6.5-inch square by 2-inch tall Mac mini enclosure.

Continuing Apple’s commitment to the environment, both iMac and Mac mini extend their leadership in green design. iMac and Mac mini meet the new, more stringent Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieve EPEAT Gold status.*** The new iMac now features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Both iMac and Mac mini use PVC-free internal components and cables, contain no brominated flame retardants, use highly recyclable materials, and feature material-efficient system and packaging designs.

Every Mac comes with Mac OS X Snow Leopard, the world’s most advanced operating system, and iLife, Apple’s innovative suite of applications for managing photos, making movies and creating and learning to play music. Snow Leopard builds on a decade of OS X innovation and success with hundreds of refinements, new core technologies and out of the box support for Microsoft Exchange. iLife features iPhoto®, to easily organize and manage photos; iMovie® with powerful easy-to-use new features such as Precision Editor, video stabilization and advanced drag and drop; and GarageBand® which introduces a whole new way to help you learn to play piano and guitar.

Pricing & Availability
The new 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo iMac and Mac mini lines are now shipping and available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The Intel Core i5 and i7 quad-core iMacs are available for order and will begin shipping this November. Mac mini with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server is available from the Apple Store and Apple’s retail stores.

The new 21.5-inch 3.06 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US), includes:

* 21.5-inch 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit display;
* 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache;
* 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics;
* 500GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* built-in iSight video camera;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* four USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port;
* SD card slot;
* built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
* Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.

The new 21.5-inch 3.06 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes:

* 21.5-inch 1920 x 1080 LED-backlit display;
* 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache;
* 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16GB;
* ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics; with 256MB GDDR3;
* 1TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* built-in iSight video camera;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* four USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port;
* SD card slot;
* built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
* Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.

The new 27-inch 3.06 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US), includes:

* 27-inch 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit display;
* 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache;
* 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16GB;
* ATI Radeon HD 4670 discrete graphics; with 256MB GDDR3;
* 1TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort for video input and output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* built-in iSight video camera;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* four USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port;
* SD card slot;
* built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
* Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.

The new 27-inch 2.66 GHz Core i5 iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US), includes:

* 27-inch 2560 x 1440 LED-backlit display;
* 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core processor with 8MB shared L3 cache;
* 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 16GB;
* ATI Radeon HD 4850 discrete graphics; with 512MB GDDR3;
* 1TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort for video input and output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* built-in iSight video camera;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* four USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port;
* SD card slot;
* built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
* Wireless Apple Keyboard, Magic Mouse.

Build-to-order options for the 27-inch Core i5 quad-core iMac include a 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 quad-core processor.

*Based on estimated results of industry-standard SPECint_base2006 and SPECfp_rate_base2006 rate tests. SPEC® is a registered trademark of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). Testing conducted by Apple in October 2009 using preproduction 27-inch iMac Intel Core i5-based 2.66 GHz units and shipping 24-inch iMac Intel Core 2 Duo–based 3.06 GHz units. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of iMac.

**Claim based on energy efficiency categories and products listed within the EPA ENERGY STAR 5.0 database as of October 2009.

***EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. Products meeting all of the 23 required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria are recognized as EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT program was conceived by the US EPA and is based on IEEE 1680 standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products. For more information visit www.epeat.net.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

Tula Ni Soc Rodrigo

Paglubog ng araw, pagsipot ng dilim
Ang aking sarili’y aking tatanungin:-
“Nakatupad ka ba sa iyong tungkuling
Ang nagdaang araw ay iyong gamitin
Sa ikatatamo ng wastong mithiin?”
Masisiyahan na ang aking damdamin
Pag masasabi kong tapat at taimtim:-
“Ginawa kong lahat ang kaya kong gawin!

HP Announces New Line of Wireless Connected Screens with HP DreamScreen

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 17, 2009 – People now can stay current with Facebook friends and photos, listen to Pandora Internet radio, share Snapfish personal photos and enjoy their music and pictures from home networked PCs(1) with a new category of connected screens from HP.

The HP DreamScreen, a companion to the PC, connects easily to a wireless or wired network to bring photos, music and video into any area of the home. The screen also transforms social media and web information into consumable, bite-sized pieces.

“Constant, always-on access to friends, information and entertainment is a common expectation today,” said Satjiv S. Chahil, senior vice president, worldwide marketing, Personal Systems Group, HP. “With HP DreamScreen, social media, web services and digital entertainment can be enjoyed in more areas of the home.”

The HP DreamScreen features a piano-black design with a vibrant, flush glass widescreen display. The DreamScreen 100 (measuring 10.2 inches) was designed to fit perfectly on a nightstand or dresser. The HP DreamScreen 130 (measuring 13.3 inches) is ideal for kitchen counters and coffee tables.

A product demonstration is available at www.hp.com/go/dreamscreen.

Enjoying digital entertainment

The HP DreamScreen comes with 2 gigabytes of built-in memory for storing photos, music and home movies directly on the device. Digital content can be loaded and played using a USB drive or most types of flash memory cards. Photos and music can be streamed wirelessly or moved to the HP DreamScreen by a simple “drag and drop” motion from a networked PC with included software.

Finding and playing songs is easy – searchable by artist, album or genre – and is enhanced with album cover art. High-fidelity speakers are built in and include connections to accommodate headphones and external speakers.

For music enthusiasts, the HP DreamScreen allows users to stream music directly from the Internet using Pandora. The custom-designed experience makes accessing Pandora accounts easy. Album cover art is displayed and users can personalize their stations by thumbing-up favorite songs or artists to refine their stations.

“Pandora’s listeners want to have access to their personalized stations on a variety of devices,” said Jessica Steel, senior vice president, Business Development, Pandora. “The HP DreamScreen makes it fun and easy for listeners to enjoy Pandora throughout their homes.”

In addition, the HP DreamScreen gives users access to HP SmartRadio, a new service that aggregates streams of live Internet broadcasts from more than 10,000 radio stations around the world. Users can now listen to their favorite radio stations on the Internet by location or genre in any part of their home.

With the HP DreamScreen’s capabilities, it becomes the “fourth screen” in people’s lives, extending the enjoyment of digital content beyond a computer, TV and mobile phone.

Staying connected

The HP DreamScreen includes 802.11 b or g wireless capabilities to access real-time information from the web. By selecting the Facebook icon, for example, users can stay up to date with their social networks while away from their computers. Friends’ status updates, photos and upcoming events can all be viewed in real time.

In addition to viewing images from a PC, flash memory card or Facebook, customers also can access their own or their friends’ Snapfish photos and albums. Photos from any of these locations can be enjoyed in slideshow mode simultaneously with music stored on the device or streamed from the user’s PC in the background.

Checking time, day and weather

The HP DreamScreen also helps people prepare for and organize their day with access to five-day weather forecasts for cities around the world and a view of their calendar. The HP DreamScreen’s built-in clock feature can show time in digital or analog format with dual time-zones and lets users choose tones or music for alarms.

Setting up is easy

The HP DreamScreen was designed to be fun, simple and intuitive. A remote control that nests almost invisibly on the top of the product is easy to use, and touch controls that are visible only when the border of the screen is touched provide another way to select activities or preferences. Both models come with a stand and are ready for wall mounting right out of the box.

Pricing(2) and availability: Perfect for holiday gift-giving

The HP DreamScreen 100 is available today in the United States for $249(2) from online distributors including BestBuy.com, Amazon.com and HPDirect.com. U.S. channel partners include the full range of more than 900 Best Buy retail outlets, which will be selling the HP DreamScreen 100 starting Oct. 11.

The HP DreamScreen 130 is expected to be broadly available this fall in the United States for $299.(2)

About HP

HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.

Free FreeHand

FreeHand must live
Many of the best designers worldwide do their work with FreeHand, since it was published in 1987 (version 1.0). They count on it and do not want to be pushed into changing to an inferior application. But in 2005, FreeHand, as one part of a bigger deal, was sold to an other corporation, who since then has simply buried it. No coincidence that the same corporation owns an other vector graphic application to which FreeHand was the only superior competitor.

FreeHand sold and buried
But now raises resistance, initiated by the designer and illustrator Thü Hürlimann, known in german speaking countries from his work as the former art director of Macworld and Computerworld Switzerland. In 2009 he came together with a group of designers, namely Jabez Palmer von Bez Design in Seattle, to found the FreeFreeHand Organisation. And already they got more then a thousend FreeHand users to join the community, all who want to see a future for FreeHand.

For more informations visit http://www.freefreehand.org

Canon USA Redefines Mid-range DSLR Category with the New EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera

The EOS 7D Features Fast Eight fps Continuous Shooting, Class-Leading 18-Megapixel Resolution
and Full HD Video Recording with Variable Frame Rates and Manual Exposure Control

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., September 1, 2009 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced a revolutionary camera that redefines the highly competitive mid-range DSLR product category: the Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera. Professional photographers and advanced amateurs have been demanding higher performance and more diverse functions in their cameras, and Canon has answered – with the new EOS 7D. Far more than a slight improvement from a previous model, the EOS 7D DSLR is a brand new product that stands on its own with new features never before seen in any Canon camera. Whether it’s shooting at eight frames per second (fps), focusing with the new Zone AF mode or recording 24p Full HD video, the EOS 7D DSLR camera satisfies the most rigorous professional requirements with durability, flexibility, high-resolution images and customizable controls. With its unprecedented out-of-the-box performance and high-end feature set, the EOS 7D is poised as the ultimate step-up camera for serious photographers or a second camera for professionals in the field.

The EOS 7D boasts significant EOS advancements including a completely new 19-point Autofocus system, a new Canon iFCL Metering System (Intelligent Focus, Color, Luminance) and a new Intelligent Viewfinder. An 18-megapixel Canon CMOS sensor and Dual DIGIC 4 Imaging Processors fuel the EOS 7D’s 14-bit A/D data conversion and its ability to freeze fast motion in high-resolution with eight fps continuous shooting up to 126 Large JPEGS using a UDMA CF card, positioning this camera for the studio as well as the sideline. The EOS 7D captures beautiful low-light images with or without a flash, at occasions such as a dance recital or wedding reception, thanks to a wide range of ISO speed settings from 100-6400 (expandable to 12,800). In addition to its new still capture capabilities, the EOS 7D features Full HD video capture at 1920 x 1080 resolution with selectable frame rates of 24p, 25p or 30p. Native 24p recording helps videographers achieve a more cinema-style look for their footage without the need for post-processing.

“The EOS 7D represents a completely new chapter in digital photography and Canon product development. This camera stands alone as the most functional and innovative DSLR Canon has released to-date, bringing together all of the best professional features offered, along with numerous user requests at a price-point everyone can appreciate,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A.

The Evolution of Vision, the EOS 7D’s New Autofocus System
The Canon EOS 7D boasts the most advanced AF system ever seen in an EOS SLR. The completely re-designed system includes a new multi-axis cross-type 19-point AF grid, where the focusing points are evenly spread out across the image plane and clearly displayed through Canon’s new Intelligent Viewfinder. All 19 points are f/5.6-sensitive for both horizontal and vertical cross-type focusing, while the center AF point adds high-precision diagonal cross-type sensitivity for f/2.8 and larger aperture lenses. The Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera is the first EOS SLR to feature 19 cross-type focusing points that remain fully functional with maximum apertures as small as f/5.6, which brings the performance of the AF system to unprecedented levels for assignments as varied as fast-moving sports action or low-light wedding ceremonies.

The Canon EOS 7D’s AF system allows numerous AF area selection modes never seen before in an EOS SLR camera. New modes include:

· Spot AF mode reduces the size of a single AF point to focus on small subjects like an animal in a cage.
· AF Point Expansion mode uses a cluster of AF points adjacent to the selected AF point to automatically assist focusing on moving subjects, such as an athlete on the run.
· Zone AF divides the 19 AF points into five selectable focusing zones and makes it easier to achieve focus with subjects that are difficult to track with Single Point AF or AF point expansion, such as birds in flight.

Additional AF improvements include a revised Automatic AF point selection sequence that allows a user to pick any one of the 19 AF points as a starting point for tracking moving subjects in AI Servo mode. (Previous EOS models required the subject to first be acquired by the center focusing point.) If the subject moves away, the camera will continue to track the movement with the remaining points and display the active focusing point in the viewfinder. Also, a time-saving feature is AF Point Switching, which allows photographers to select and register one AF point for horizontal compositions and a second AF point for vertical shooting, ideal for studio and portrait photographers.

To complement the new AF system, the exposure metering system for the EOS 7D has been completely re-designed to take color information into account, another first for an EOS system. Canon’s iFCL metering includes a 63-zone dual-layer metering sensor that reads both illumination and color for consistent results in all lighting conditions, keeping exposure levels stable from shot to shot, even as the light source changes.

Canon’s new Intelligent Viewfinder uses a liquid crystal overlay to provide clear and precise displays of focusing points and zones, on-demand grid lines and a spot metering circle. The LCD overlay can also be illuminated in extreme low-light situations or turned off completely. The EOS 7D camera’s viewfinder includes a large all-glass pentaprism with an antireflective coating to maximize clarity and provide a brighter display. The EOS 7D’s Intelligent Viewfinder features 1.0x magnification with 100 percent coverage for accurate composition and checking of detail.

EOS HD Movie: Empowering the World of Videography
Canon has blazed new trails in HD video capture with the 5D Mark II. Now, the EOS 7D takes DSLR video to new heights with Full HD capture featuring fully manual exposure control, and selectable cinematic frame rates for both NTSC (National Television System Committee) and PAL (Phase Altering Line) standards. Compatible with more than 60 Canon EF and EF-S lenses, the EOS 7D lets videographers take full advantage of the camera’s large CMOS sensor to achieve the dramatic frame composition they desire. At the heart of the EOS 7D are two key proprietary Canon technologies, Dual DIGIC 4 Imaging Processors and a large APS-C–sized CMOS sensor, helping to render stunning color reproduction, amazing depth of field and fine detail, even in low-light conditions. The Canon EOS 7D allows for three video recording modes – Full HD and HD in a 16:9 aspect ratio and Standard Definition (SD) in a 4:3 aspect ratio, all at selectable frame rates. The EOS 7D Digital SLR camera will record Full HD at 1920 x 1080 pixels in selectable frame rates of 24p (23.976), 25p, or 30p (29.97); 720p HD recording at 50p or 60p (59.94) and SD video at frame rates of 50p or 60p (59.94). The EOS 7D features a new dedicated button to initiate live view for both video and still shooting. Once engaged, the same dedicated button will start and stop video recording. Like the EOS 5D Mark II, the Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera provides users with the capability to use an external stereo microphone for professional audio effects or a built-in monaural microphone for convenience.

The Features You Asked For
A helpful new tool for architectural and landscape photography where angles and perspective are critical is Canon’s new built-in Dual Axis Electronic Level, featuring an artificial horizon over the image on the rear LCD screen in Live View or in the viewfinder using illuminated AF points for easy leveling while shooting. The dual axis electronic level shows both horizontal roll and vertical pitch, making it easy to identify when the camera is in a fixed level shooting position and ready to take the shot.

The EOS 7D’s pop-up flash features a built-in Integrated Speedlite Transmitter for control of multiple off-camera EOS Speedlites without the need for an external transmitter. This built-in wireless option is a compact and economical solution for studio and wedding photography with multiple flash set-ups.

A new Intelligent Macro Tracking function helps reduce blur during macro shooting by recognizing when a macro lens is attached and automatically adjusting the AI Servo sampling frequency. This AI Servo adjustment accounts for camera movement forward and back, a typical occurrence when moving in close for a macro shot as photographers rock back and forth, or a flower blows in the wind.

Once in your hands, you can immediately feel the ergonomic improvements of the Canon EOS 7D camera, starting with a new super-fluid body design with continuous curves outlining the top of the camera and a revised grip that fits better in a user’s hand. The camera has a new Quick Control Button, which opens an easy-to-navigate menu on the camera’s LCD screen. From this menu, users can adjust all camera settings including AF modes as well as set custom button functions, an insightful new feature that can easily customize each button’s function to the photographer’s preference. Another new feature is the RAW/JPEG toggle button providing quick dual-format shooting, allowing photographers to quickly add large JPEG or RAW file formats to their already selected shooting mode at the touch of a button.

The Canon EOS 7D camera also features a new large, clear 3.0-inch solid structure Clear View II LCD screen with 920,000 dot/VGA resolution for enhanced clarity and color when viewing images. The camera’s nine internal seals enhance weather resistance, and its 150,000-cycle shutter durability positions the EOS 7D as a “workhorse” for professionals in any photography discipline.

New Wireless Connectivity
Canon is announcing the availability of the new WFT-E5A wireless file transmitter (WFT) exclusively for the EOS 7D Digital SLR camera. The WFT-E5A wireless transmitter offers professional photographers a wide range of digital connectivity options including IEEE802.11a/b/g and Ethernet, ideal for commercial and studio work. The WFT-E5A wireless file transmitter opens the door to new possibilities in remote and Geotagged shooting applications. Photographers can fire up to 10 cameras simultaneously from across the room or across the country while maintaining control over camera settings and remote live view on a laptop or smart phone.[i] The WFT-E5A wireless transmitter can also transfer and display images on DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) compatible televisions and photo frames. Geotagging is now possible via Bluetooth, using compatible GPS devices to append coordinate data to the images.

Pricing and Availability
The Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR camera is scheduled to be delivered to U.S. dealers at the end of September, and will be sold in a body-only configuration at an estimated retail price of $1,699.00[ii]. It will also be offered in a kit version with Canon’s EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM zoom lens at an estimated retail price of $1,899.00[iii]. The Canon WFT-E5A wireless file transmitter is scheduled to be available in early November and sell at an estimated retail price of $699.99[iv].

SONA 2009

Thank you, Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Before I begin my report to the nation, please join me first in a moment of prayer for President Cory Aquino.

Senate President Enrile, Speaker Nograles, Senators, Representatives, Vice President de Castro, former President Ramos, Chief Justice Puno, Ambassadors friends:

The past twelve months have been a year for the history books. Financial meltdown in the West spread throughout the world.

Tens of millions lost their jobs; billions across the globe have been hurt – the poor always harder than the rich. No one was spared.
It has affected us already.

But the story of the Philippines in 2008 is that the country weathered a succession of global crises in fuel, in food, then in finance and finally, economy in a global recession, never losing focus and with economic fundamentals intact.

A few days ago, Moody’s upgraded our credit rating, citing the resilience of our economy. The state of our nation is a strong economy. Good news for our people, bad news for our critics.

I did not become President to be popular. To work, to lead, to protect and preserve our country, our people, that is why I became President.

When my father left the Presidency, we were second to Japan. I want our Republic to be ready for the first world in 20 years.

Towards that vision, we made key reforms. Our economic plan centers on putting people first. Higit sa lahat, ang layunin ng ating patakaran ay tulungan ang masisipag na karaniwang Pilipino.

New tax revenues were put in place to help pay for better healthcare, more roads, and a strong education system. Housing policies were designed to lift up our poorer citizens so they can live and raise a family with dignity. Ang ating mga puhunan sa agrikultura ay naglalayong kilalanin ang ating mga magsasaka bilang backbone ng ating bansa, at bigyan sila ng mga modernong kagamitan to feed our nation and feed their own family.

Had we listened to the critics of those policies, had we not braced ourselves for the crisis that came, had we taken the easy road much preferred by politicians eyeing elections, this country would be flat on its back.

It would take twice the effort just to get it back again on its feet – to where we are now because we took the responsibility and paid the political price of doing the right thing. For standing with me and doing the right thing, thank you, Congress.

The strong, bitter and unpopular revenue measures of the past few years have spared our country the worst of the global financial shocks. They gave us the resources to stimulate the economy.

Nabigyan nila ang pinakamalaking pagtaas ng IRA ng mga LGU na P40 billion itong taon, imparting strength throughout the country at every level of government.

Compared to the past we have built more and better infrastructure, including those started by others but left unfinished. The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway is a prime example of building better roads. It creates wealth as the flagship of the Subic-Clark corridor.

We have built airports of international standard, upgraded domestic airports, built seaports and the roll on/roll off transport system. I ask Congress for a Philippine Transport Security Authority Law.

Some say that after this SONA, it will be all politics. Sorry, but there’s more work.

Sa telecommunications naman, inatasan ko ang Telecommunications Commission na kumilos na tungkol sa mga sumbong na dropped calls at mga nawawalang load sa cellphone. We need to amend the Commonwealth-era Public Service Law. And we need to do it now.

Kung noong nakaraan, lumakas ang electronics, today we are creating wealth by developing the BPO and tourism sectors as additional engines of growth. Electronics and other manufactured exports rise and fall in accordance with the state of the world economy. But BPO remains resilient. With earnings of $6 billion and employment of 600,000, the BPO phenomenon speaks eloquently of our competitiveness and productivity. Let us have a Department of ICT.

In the last four years tourism almost doubled. It is now a $5 billion industry.

Our reforms gave us the resources to protect our people, our financial system and our economy from the worst of shocks that the best in the west failed to anticipate.

They gave us the resources to extend welfare support and enhance spending power.

For helping me raise government salaries through Joint Resolution 4, thank you, Congress.

Cash handouts give the most immediate relief and produce the widest stimulating effect. Nakikinabang ang 700,000 na pinakamahihirap na pamilya sa programang Pantawid Pamilya.

We prioritize projects with the same stimulus effects plus long-term contributions to progress.

Sa pagpapamahagi ng milyun-milyong ektaryang lupa, 700,000 na katutubo at mahigit isang milyong benepisyaryo ng CARP ay taas-noong may-ari na ng sariling lupa. Hinihiling ko sa Kongreso na ipasa agad ang pagpapalawig ng CARP, at dapat ma-condone ang P42 billion na land reform liabilities dahil 18% lamang ang nabayaran mula 1972.

Napapanahon, it’s timely because it will unfreeze the rural property market. Ang mahal kong ama ang nag-emancipate ng mga magsasaka. Ii-mancipate naman natin ngayon ang titulo.

Nakinabang ang pitong milyong entrepreneurs sa P165 billion na microfinance loans.
Nakinabang ang sandaan libo sa emergency employment ng ating economic resiliency plan. Kasama natin ngayon ang isa sa kanila, si Gigi Gabiola. Dating household service worker sa Dubai, ngayon siya ay nagtatrabaho sa DOLE. Good luck, Gigi.

Nakinabang ang isang milyong pamilya sa programang pabahay at palupa, mula Pag-Ibig, NHA, community mortgage program, certificates of lot award, at saka iyong loan condonation.
Our average inflation is the lowest since 1966. Last June, it dropped to 1.5%. Paano?

Proper policies lowered interest rates, which lowered costs to business and consumers.

Dahil sa ating mga reporma, nakaya nating ibenta ang bigas NFA sa P18.25 per kilo kahit tumaas ang presyo sa labas mula P17.50 hanggang P30 dahil sa kakulangan ng supply sa mundo. Habang, sa unang pagkakataon, nagawa nating itaas ang pamimili ng palay sa mga magsasaka, P17 mula sa P11.

Dahil sa ating mga reporma, nakaya nating mamuhunan sa pagkain – anticipating an unexpected global food crisis. Nakagawa tayo ng libu-libong kilometro ng farm-to-market roads at, kasama ng pribadong sector, natubigan ang dalawang milyong ektarya. Mga Badjao gaya ni Tarnati Dannawi ay tinuruan ng modernong mariculture. Umabot na sa P 180,000 ang kinita niya mula noong nakaraang taon. Congratulations, Tarnati. We will help more fisherfolk shift to fish farming with a budget of P1 billion.

Dahil dumarami na naman daw ang pamilyang nagugutom, mamumuhunan tayo ng panibago sa ating hunger mitigation program na sa nakaraan ay napatunayang mabisa. Tulungan ninyo ako dito, Kongreso.

Mula pa noong 2001, nanawagan na tayo ng mas murang gamot. Nagbebenta tayo ng gamot na kalahating presyo sa libu-libong Botika ng Bayan at Botika ng Barangay sa maraming dako ng bansa.

Our efforts prodded the pharmaceutical companies to come up with low-cost generics and brands like RiteMed. I supported the tough version of the House of the Cheaper Medicine law. I supported it over the weak version of my critics. The result: the drug companies volunteered to bring down drug prices, slashing by half the prices of 16 drugs. Thank you, Congressmen Cua, Alvarez, Biron, Locsin.

Pursuant to law, we are placing other drugs under a maximum retail price. To those who want to be President, this advice: If you really want something done, just do it. Do it hard, do it well. Don’t pussyfoot. Don’t pander. And don’t say bad words in public.

Sa health insurance, sakop na ang 86% ang ating populasyon.
Sa Rent Control Law ng 2005 hanggang 2008, di pwedeng lumampas ng 10% ang pagtaas ng upa taun-taon. Ayon sa kakapirma nating batas may isang taong moratorium, tapos hanggang 7% lamang ang maaaring pagtaas. Salamat, Kongreso.

Noong isang taon, nabiyayaan ng tig-P500 ang mahigit pitong milyong tahanan bilang Pantawid Koryente sa mga small electricity users.

Yung presyo ng koryente, ang EPIRA natin ang pangmatagalang sagot. EPIRA dismantled monopoly. Ngunit minana natin ang power purchase agreements, kaya hindi pa natin makamtan yung buong intended effect. Pero happy na rin tayo, dahil isang taon na lamang iyan. The next generation will benefit from low prices from our EPIRA.

Samantala, umabot na sa halos lahat ng barangay ang elektrisidad. We increased indigenous energy from 48% to 58%. Nakatipid tayo sa dollars tapos na-reduce pa iyong oil consumption. The huge reduction in fossil fuel is the biggest proof of energy independence and environmental responsibility. Further reduction will come with the implementation of the Renewable Energy Act, and the Biofuels Act.

The next generation will also benefit from our lower public debt to GDP ratio. It declined from 78% in 2000 to 55% in 2008. We cut in half the debt of government corporations from 15% to 7%. Likewise foreign debt from 73% to 32%. Kung meron man tayong malaking kaaway na tinalo, walang iba kundi ang utang, iyong foreign debt.

Those in the past administrations conjured the demon of foreign debt. We exorcised it.

The market grows economies. A free market, not a free-for-all.
To that end, we improved our banking system to complement its inherent conservatism. The Bangko Sentral has been prudent. Thank you, Governor Tetangco, for being so effective. The BSP will be even more effective if Congress will amend its Charter.

We worked on the Special Purpose Vehicle Act, reducing non-performing loans from 18% to 4% and improving loan-deposit ratios.

Our new Securitization Law did not encourage the recklessness that brought down giant banks and insurance companies elsewhere and laid their economies to waste. In fact, it monitors and regulates the new-fangled financial schemes. Thank you, Congress.

We will work to increase tax effort through improved collections and new sin taxes to further our capacity to reduce poverty and pursue growth. Revenue enhancement must come from the Department of Finance plugging leaks and catching tax and customs cheats. I call on tax paying citizens and tax paying businesses, help the BIR and stop those tax cheats.

Taxes should come from alcohol and tobacco and not from books. Tax hazards to lungs and livers, do not tax minds. Ang kita mula sa buwis sa alak at sigarilyo ay dapat gamitin sa kalusugan at edukasyon. Pondohan ang Philhealth premiums ng pinakamahihirap. Pondohan ang mas maraming classroom at computers.

Pardon my partiality for the teaching profession. I was a teacher.
Kaya namuhunan tayo ng malaki sa edukasyon at skills training.
Ang magandang edukasyon ay susi sa mas magandang buhay, the great equalizer that allows every young Filipino a chance to realize their dreams.

Nagtayo tayo ng 95,000 na silid-aralan, nagdagdag ng 60,000 na guro, naglaan ng P1.5 billion para sa teacher training, especially for 100,000 English teachers.

Isa sa pinakamahirap sa Millennium Development Goals ay iyong Edukasyon para sa Lahat pagdating ng 2015. Ibig sabihin, lahat ng nasa tamang edad ay dapat nasa primary school. Halos walang bansang makakatupad nito. Ngunit nagsisikap pa rin tayo. Nagtayo tayo ng mga paaralan sa higit sanlibong barangay na dati walang eskwelahan upang makatipid ng gastos sa pasahe ang mga bata. Tinanggal natin ang miscellaneous fees para sa primary school. Hindi na kailangan mag-uniporme ang mga estudyante sa public school.

In private high schools, we finance half of the students.
We have provided college and post-graduate education for over 600,000 scholars. One of them, Mylene Amerol-Macumbal, finished Accounting at MSU-IIT, then she went to law school, and placed second in the last bar exams – the first Muslim woman bar topnotcher. Congratulations!

In technical education and skills training, we have invested three times that of three previous administrations combined. Narito si Jennifer Silbor, isa sa sampung milyong trainee. Natuto siya ng medical transcription. Now, as an independent contractor and lecturer for transcriptions in Davao, kumikita siya ng P18,000 bawat buwan. Good job, Jennifer.

The Presidential Task Force on Education headed by Jesuit educator Father Bienvenido Nebres has come out with the Main Education Highway towards a Knowledge-Based Economy. It envisions seamless education from basic to vocational school or college.

It seeks to mainstream early childhood development in basic education. Our children are our most cherished possession. In their early years we must make sure they get a healthy start in life. They must receive the right food for a healthy body, the right education for a bright and inquiring mind – and the equal opportunity for a meaningful job.

For college admission, the Task Force recommends mandatory Scholastic Aptitude Tests. It also recommends that higher private education institutions should be harmonized with state universities and colleges, and that CHED should oversee local universities and colleges. For professions seeking international recognition –
engineering, architecture, accountancy, pharmacy and physical therapy – it recommends radical reform: 10 years of basic education, two years of pre-university, before three years of university.

Our educational system should make the Filipino fit not just for whatever jobs happen to be on offer today, but also for whatever economic challenge life will throw in their way.

Sa hirap at ginhawa, pinapatatag ang ating bansa ng ating overseas Filipinos. Iyong padala nilang $16 billion noong isang taon ay record. Itong taon, mas mataas pa.

I know that this is not a sacrifice joyfully borne. This is work where it can be found – in faraway places, among strangers with different cultures. It is lonely work, it is hard work.

Kaya nagsisikap tayong lumikha dito sa atin ng mga trabahong maganda ang sahod, so that overseas work will just be a career choice, not the only option for a hard-working Filipino.

Meanwhile, we should make their sacrifices worthwhile. Dapat gumawa tayo ng mas epektibong proteksyon at pagpapalawak ng halaga ng kanilang pinagsikapang suweldo. That means stronger consumer protection for Overseas Filipino Workers investing in property and products back home. Para sa kanila, pinapakilos natin ang Investors Protection Task Force.

Hindi ako nag-aatubiling bisitahin ang ating taong bayan at kanilang mga host sa buong mundo – mula Hapon…hanggang Brazil, mula Europa at Middle East hanggang sa American Midwest, nakikinig sa kanilang mga problema at pangangailangan, inaalam kung paano sila matutulungan ng ating pamahalaan – by working out better policies on migrant labor, or by saving lives and restoring liberty.

Pagpunta ko sa Saudi, pinatawad ni Haring Abdullah ang pitong daang OFW na nasa preso. Pinuno nila ang isang buong eroplano at umuwi kasama ko.

Mula sa ating State Visit sa Espanya, it has become our biggest European donor. At si Haring Juan Carlos ay nakikipag-usap sa ibang mga bansa para sa ating mga namomoblemang OFW. Ganoon din si Sheikh Khalifa, ang Prime Minister ng Bahrain.

Pagpunta ko sa Kuwait, Emir Al-Sabah commuted death sentences. We thank all our leaders, our world leaders, for showing compassion to our overseas foreign workers. Salamat.

Our vigorous international engagement has helped bring in foreign investment. Net foreign direct investments multiplied 15 times during our administration. Kasama ng ating mga Together with our OFWs, they more than doubled our foreign exchange reserves.
Pinalakas ang ating piso at naiwasan ang lubhang pagtaas ng presyo.

They upgraded our credit because while the reserves of our peers have shrunk this past year, ours reserves grew by $3 billion.
Our international engagement has also corrected historical injustice.

The day we visited Washington, Senator Daniel Inouye successfully sponsored benefits for our veterans as part of America’s stimulus package.

I have accepted the invitation of President Obama to be the first Southeast Asian leader to meet him at the White House, later this week.

That he sought us out testifies to our strong and deep ties.
High on our agenda will be peace and security issues. Terrorism: how to meet it, how to end it, how to address its roots in injustice or prejudice – and first and always how to protect lives.

We will discuss nuclear non-proliferation. The Philippines will chair the review of the nuclear weapons non-proliferation Treaty in New York in May 2010. The success of the talks will be a major diplomatic achievement for us.

There is a range of other issues we will discuss, including the global challenge of climate change, especially the threat to countries with long coastlines. And there is the global recession, its worse impact on poor people, and the options that can spare them from the worst.

In 2008 up to the first quarter of 2009 we stood among only a few economies in Asia-Pacific that did not shrink. Compare this to 2001, when some of my current critics were driven out by people power.

Asia was surging but our country was on the brink of bankruptcy.
Since then, our economy posted uninterrupted growth for 33 quarters; more than doubled its size from $76 billion to $186 billion. The average GDP growth from 2001 to the first quarter of 2009 is the highest in 43 years.

Bumaba ang bilang ng mga nagsasabing mahirap sila sa 47% mula 59%. Maski lumaki ang ating populasyon, nabawasan ng dalawang milyon ang bilang ng mahihirap. GNP per capita rose from a Third World $967 to $2,000. Lumikha tayo ng walong milyong trabaho, an average of a million a year, much, much more than at any other time.

In sum:
1. We have a strong economy and a strong fiscal position to withstand global shocks.
2. We built new modern infrastructure and completed unfinished ones.
3. The economy is more fair to the poor than ever before.
4. We are building a sound base for the next generation.
5. International authorities have taken notice that we are safer from environmental degradation and man-made disasters.

As a country in the path of typhoons and in the Pacific Rim of Fire, we must be prepared as the latest technology permits to anticipate natural calamities when that is possible; to extend immediate and effective relief when it is not. The mapping of flood- and landslide-prone areas is almost complete. Early warning, forecasting and monitoring systems have been improved, with weather tracking facilities in Subic, Tagaytay, Mactan, Mindanao, Pampanga.

We have worked on flood control infrastructure like those for Pinatubo, Agno, Laoag, and Abucay, which will pump the run off waters from Quezon City and Tondo flooding Sampaloc. This will help relieve hundreds of hectares in this old city of its age old woe.
Patuloy naman iyong sa Camanava, dagdag sa Pinatubo, Iloilo, Pasig-Marikina, Bicol River Basin, at mga river basin ng Mindanao.

The victims of typhoon Frank in Panay should receive their long-overdue assistance package. I ask Congress to pass the SNITS Law.

Namana natin ang pinakamatagal na rebelyon ng Komunista sa buong mundo. Si Leah de la Cruz isa sa labindalawang libong rebel returnee. Sixteen pa lang siya nang sumali sa NPA. Naging kasapi sa regional White Area Committee, napromote sa Leyte Party Committee Secretary. Nahuli noong 2006. She is now involved in an LGU-supported handicraft livelihood training of former rebels. We love you, Leah!

There is now a good prospect for peace talks with both the Communist Party of the Philippines and the MILF, with whom we are now on ceasefire. We inherited an age-old conflict in Mindanao, exacerbated by a politically popular but near-sighted policy of massive retaliation. This only provoked the other side to continue the war.

In these two internal conflicts, ang tanong ay hindi, “Sino ang mananalo?” kundi, bakit pa ba kailangang mag-laban ang kapwa Pilipino tungkol sa mga isyu na alam naman nating lahat na di malulutas sa dahas, at mareresolba lang sa paraang demokratiko?

There is nothing more that I would wish for than peace in Mindanao. It will be a blessing for all its people, Muslim, Christian and lumads. It will show other religiously divided communities that there can be common ground on which to live together in peace, harmony and cooperation that respects each other’s religious beliefs.

At sa lahat ng dako ng bansa, kailangan nating protektahan ang ating mga mamamayan kontra sa krimen’ – in their homes, in their neighborhoods, in their communities. How shall crime be fought? With the five pillars of justice, including crime fighters. We call on Congress to fund more policemen on the streets.

Real government is about looking beyond the vested to the national interest, setting up the necessary conditions to enable the next, more enabled and more empowered generation to achieve a country as prosperous, a people as content, as ours deserve to be.

The noisiest critics of constitutional reform tirelessly and shamelessly attempted Cha-Cha when they thought they could take advantage of a shift in the form of government. Now that they feel they cannot benefit from it, they oppose it.

As the seeds of fundamental political reform are planted, let us address the highest exercise of democracy, voting!

In 2001, I said we would finance fully automated elections. We got it, thanks to Congress.

At the end of this speech I shall step down from this stage, but not from the Presidency. My term does not end until next year. Until then, I will fight for the ordinary Filipino. The nation comes first. There is much to do as head of state – to the very last day.

A year is a long time. Patuloy ang pamumuhunan sa tinatawag na three E’s ng ekonomiya, environment at edukasyon. There are many perils that we must still guard against.

A man-made calamity is already upon us, global in scale. As I said earlier, so far we have been spared its worst effects but we cannot be complacent. We only know that we have generated more resources on which to draw, and thereby created options we could take. Thank God we did not let our critics stop us.

As the campaign unfolds and the candidates take to the airwaves, I ask them to talk more about how they will build up the nation rather than tear down their opponents. Give the electorate real choices and not just sweet talk.

Meanwhile, I will keep a steady hand on the tiller, keeping the ship of state away from the shallows some prefer, and steering it straight on the course we set in 2001.

Ang ating taong bayan ay masipag at maka-Diyos. These qualities are epitomized in someone like Manny Pacquiao….Manny trained tirelessly, by the book, with iron discipline, with the certain knowledge that he had to fight himself, his weaknesses first, before he could beat his opponent. That was the way to clinch his victories and his ultimate title: ang pinakadakilang boksingero sa kasaysayan. Mabuhay ka, Manny!

However much a President wishes it, a national problem cannot be knocked out with a single punch. She must work with the problem as much as against it, turn it into a solution if she can.

There isn’t a day I do not work at my job or a waking moment when I do not think through a work-related problem. Even my critics cannot begrudge the long hours I put in. Our people deserve-a-government that works just as hard as they do.

A President must be on the job 24/7, ready for any contingency, any crisis, anywhere, anytime.

Everything right can be undone by even a single wrong. Every step forward must be taken in the teeth of political pressures and economic constraints that could push you two steps back-if-you flinch and falter. I have not flinched, I have not faltered. Hindi ako umaatras sa hamon.

And I have never done any of the things that have scared my worst critics so much. They are frightened by their own shadows.

In the face of attempted coups, I issued emergency proclamations just in case. But I was able to resolve these military crises with the ordinary powers of my office. My critics call it dictatorship. I call it determination. We know it as strong government.

But I never declared martial law, though they are running scared as if I did. In truth, what they are really afraid of is their weakness in the face of this self-imagined threat.

I say to them: do not tell us what we all know, that democracy can be threatened. Tell us what you will do when it is attacked.
I know what to do:

As I have shown, I will defend democracy with arms when it is threatened by violence; with firmness when it is weakened by division; with law and order when it is subverted by anarchy; and always, I will try to sustain it by wise policies of economic progress, so that a democracy means not just an empty liberty but a full life for all.

I never expressed the desire to extend myself beyond my term. Many of those who accuse me of it tried to cling like nails to their posts.
I am accused of misgovernance. Many of those who accuse me of it left me the problem of their misgovernance to solve. And we did it.
I am falsely accused, without proof, of using my position for personal profit. Many who accuse me have lifestyles and spending habits that make them walking proofs of that crime.

We can read their frustrations. They had the chance to serve this good country and they blew it by serving themselves.
Those who live in glass houses should cast no stones. Those who should be in jail should not threaten it, especially if they have been there.

Our administration, with the highest average rate of growth, recording multiple increases in investments, with the largest job creation in history, and which gets a credit upgrade at the height of a world recession, must be doing something right, even if some of those cocooned in corporate privilege refuse to recognize it.

Governance, however, is not about looking back and getting even. It is about looking forward and giving more – to the people who gave us the greatest, hardest gift of all: the care of a country.

From Bonifacio at Balintawak to Cory Aquino at EDSA and up to today, we have struggled to bring power to the people, and this country to the eminence it deserves.

Today the Philippines is weathering well the storm that is raging around the world. It is growing stronger with the challenge. When the weather clears, as it will, there is no telling how much farther forward it can go. Believe in it. I believe.

We can and we must march forward with hope, optimism and determination. We must come together, work together and walk together toward the future.

Bagamat malaking hamon ang nasa ating harapan, nasa kamay natin ang malaking kakayahan. Halina’t pagtulungan nating tiyakin ang karapat-dapat na kinabukasan ng ating Inang Bayan.

And to the people of our good country, for allowing me to serve as your President, maraming salamat.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas.

Gusto Kong Maging Senador

ANG SARAP MAGING SENADOR!

Miriam Defensor Santiago was featured in Correspondents last week.

Maganda rin naman ang naidudulot ng pagiging prangka ni Senador Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Ayon kay Santiago , marami ang tumatak-bong Senador dahil sa laki ng budget na ibinibigay sa kanila kada buwan.

Lumalabas na P35,000 suweldo nila kada buwan ay pakitang-tao lang sa milyun-milyong budget ng bawat senador. Kada buwan ay may Fixed Monthly Budget ang bawat Senador ng humigit-kumulang P2 Milyon.

Sa opisina pa lang nila ay humigit-kumulang P500,000 ang budget nila sa Maintenance and Operating Expenses (Rental, Utilities, Supplies at Domestic Travels) at P500,000 para sa Staff at Personal expenses. Kaya para makatipid ang ibang Senador, kaunti lang ang staff na kinukuha nila. Nagtataka ka pa kung bakit mayroong mga Ghost Employee?

Bukod diyan, may P760,000 allowance pa sila kada buwan para naman sa Foreign Travel. At ang masakit pa nito, hindi na kailangan i-liquidate ang mga resibo ng mga gastusin ‘yan kundi Certification lang ang Requirement.

Heto pa, lahat sila ay Chairman ng mg Komite sa Senado. Ang Committee Chairman ay tumatanggap din ng budget na sinlaki ng tinatanggap ng mga Senador na humigit-kumulang P1 Milyon din! Hindi sila mawawalan ng Komite dahil 24 lang ang ating mga Senador at 37 naman ang Committee sa Senado. There’s food for everybody ‘ika nga! Lumalabas na doble ang kanilang benepesiyo at kita kapag sila ay nabiyayaan ng Committee Chairmanship.

Sa P200 milyon na Budget para sa Pork Barrel ng mga Senador bawat taon, awtomatikong may 10% na S.O.P. o kita ng Senador na P20 milyon< /B>. Ito ang porsiyento na ibinibigay ng mga kontratista sa mga Senador na nagbibigay sa kanila ng mga Infrastructure at Livelihood Project.

Bago matapos ang termino ng isang Senador, kumita na siya ng P100 milyon sa Pork Barrel pa lang. Yung ibang Senador mas gahaman, hindi lang 10% kundi 20 – 30% ang komisyon hinihingi sa mga kontratista.

Pansinin niyo na lang ang pagbabago ng buhay ng ilan sa ating mga Senador simula nang manungkulan sa puwesto. Kung dati ay simple lang ang kanilang pamumuhay ngayon ay nakatira na sila sa mga eksklusibong subdivision, maraming bahay sa Pilipinas at abroad at mahigit lima ang sasakyan.

Ngayon nagtataka ka pa ba kung bakit gumagastos ng daan-daang milyong piso ang mga Senador sa kampanya para sa isang posisyon na P35,000 lang ang suweldo kada buwan? Bawing-bawi pala ang gastos kapag naupo na!

ANG SARAP MAGING SENADOR! ! !

PLEASE FORWARD TO AS MANY OF YOUR FRIENDS AND LET THE WHOLE COUNTRY KNOW THAT ELECTION IS MORE OF PUTTING AMBITIOUS PEOPLE IN POSITION WHO ARE GREEDY IN POWER, WEALTH & PRESTIGE THAN OF PUBLIC SERVICE… ANG MASAKIT PA PERA NG BAYAN PARIN GAGAMITIN SA ELEKSYON MALUKLOK LANG SILA SA PWESTO!!!

We are in a good place to survive global crisis

By Corazon P. Guidote
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:59:00 03/15/2009
(The author is an economist.)

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos are in excellent condition to survive and to grow out of this global economic crisis.

Fundamentally, our economy is resilient, borne by a spirit of self-empowerment and resourcefulness.

We are in a place where people find ways to get by and even prosper, and only the minority depend on government. It’s a place where the great majority depend mainly on themselves and thrive on hard work, perseverance, self-sacrifice and a strong faith in and love for God and country.

URL: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20090315-194200/We-are-in-a-good-place-to-survive-global-crisis

MMOGULS: The advantage of combining social networks with online games

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Apple Announces Safari 4—The World’s Fastest & Most Innovative Browser

New Nitro Engine Runs JavaScript More Than Four Times Faster

Safari

CUPERTINO, California—February 24, 2009—Apple® today announced the public beta of Safari® 4, the world’s fastest and most innovative web browser for Mac® and Windows PCs. The Nitro engine in Safari 4 runs JavaScript 4.2 times faster than Safari 3.* Innovative new features that make browsing more intuitive and enjoyable include Top Sites, for a stunning visual preview of frequently visited pages; Full History Search, to search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages; Cover Flow®, to easily flip through web history or bookmarks; and Tabs on Top, to make tabbed browsing easier and more intuitive.

“Apple created Safari to bring innovation, speed and open standards back into web browsers, and today it takes another big step forward,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Safari 4 is the fastest and most efficient browser for Mac and Windows, with great integration of HTML 5 and CSS 3 web standards that enables the next generation of interactive web applications.”

Safari 4 is built on the world’s most advanced browser technologies including the new Nitro JavaScript engine that executes JavaScript up to 30 times faster than IE 7 and more than three times faster than Firefox 3. Safari quickly loads HTML web pages three times faster than IE 7 and almost three times faster than Firefox 3.*

Apple is leading the industry in defining and implementing innovative web standards such as HTML 5 and CSS 3 for an entirely new class of web applications that feature rich media, graphics and fonts. Safari 4 includes HTML 5 support for offline technologies so web-based applications can store information locally without an Internet connection, and is the first browser to support advanced CSS Effects that enable highly polished web graphics using reflections, gradients and precision masks. Safari 4 is the first browser to pass the Web Standards Project’s Acid3 test, which examines how well a browser adheres to CSS, JavaScript, XML and SVG web standards that are specifically designed for dynamic web applications.

Safari for Mac, Windows, iPhone™ and iPod® touch are all built on Apple’s WebKit, the world’s fastest and most advanced browser engine. Apple developed WebKit as an open source project to create the world’s best browser engine and to advance the adoption of modern web standards. Most recently, WebKit led the introduction of HTML 5 and CSS 3 web standards and is known for its fast, modern code-base. The industry’s newest browsers are based on WebKit including Google Chrome, the Google Android browser, the Nokia Series 60 browser and Palm webOS.

Innovative new features in Safari 4 include:

  • Top Sites, a display of frequently visited pages in a stunning wall of previews so users can jump to their favorite sites with a single click;
  • Full History Search, where users search through titles, web addresses and the complete text of recently viewed pages to easily return to sites they’ve seen before;
  • Cover Flow, to make searching web history or bookmarks as fun and easy as paging through album art in iTunes®;
  • Tabs on Top, for better tabbed browsing with easy drag-and-drop tab management tools and an intuitive button for opening new ones;
    Smart Address Field, that automatically completes web addresses by displaying an easy-to-read list of suggestions from Top Sites, bookmarks and browsing history;
  • Smart Search Field, where users fine-tune searches with recommendations from Google Suggest or a list of recent searches;
  • Full Page Zoom, for a closer look at any website without degrading the quality of the site’s layout and text;
    built-in web developer tools to debug, tweak and optimize a website for peak performance and compatibility; and
    a new Windows-native look in Safari for Windows, that uses standard Windows font rendering and native title bar, borders and toolbars so Safari fits the look and feel of other Windows XP and Windows Vista applications.
  • We Are All Socialists Now

    In many ways our economy already resembles a European one. As boomers age and spending grows, we will become even more French.

    Jon Meacham and Evan Thomas
    NEWSWEEK
    From the magazine issue dated Feb 16, 2009

    The interview was nearly over. on the Fox News Channel last Wednesday evening, Sean Hannity was coming to the end of a segment with Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, the chair of the House Republican Conference and a vociferous foe of President Obama’s nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill. How, Pence had asked rhetorically, was $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts going to put people back to work in Indiana? How would $20 million for “fish passage barriers” (a provision to pay for the removal of barriers in rivers and streams so that fish could migrate freely) help create jobs? Hannity could not have agreed more. “It is … the European Socialist Act of 2009,” the host said, signing off. “We’re counting on you to stop it. Thank you, congressman.”

    There it was, just before the commercial: the S word, a favorite among conservatives since John McCain began using it during the presidential campaign. (Remember Joe the Plumber? Sadly, so do we.) But it seems strangely beside the point. The U.S. government has already—under a conservative Republican administration—effectively nationalized the banking and mortgage industries. That seems a stronger sign of socialism than $50 million for art. Whether we want to admit it or not—and many, especially Congressman Pence and Hannity, do not—the America of 2009 is moving toward a modern European state.

    We remain a center-right nation in many ways—particularly culturally, and our instinct, once the crisis passes, will be to try to revert to a more free-market style of capitalism—but it was, again, under a conservative GOP administration that we enacted the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years: prescription drugs for the elderly. People on the right and the left want government to invest in alternative energies in order to break our addiction to foreign oil. And it is unlikely that even the reddest of states will decline federal money for infrastructural improvements.

    If we fail to acknowledge the reality of the growing role of government in the economy, insisting instead on fighting 21st-century wars with 20th-century terms and tactics, then we are doomed to a fractious and unedifying debate. The sooner we understand where we truly stand, the sooner we can think more clearly about how to use government in today’s world.

    As the Obama administration presses the largest fiscal bill in American history, caps the salaries of executives at institutions receiving federal aid at $500,000 and introduces a new plan to rescue the banking industry, the unemployment rate is at its highest in 16 years. The Dow has slumped to 1998 levels, and last year mortgage foreclosures rose 81 percent.

    All of this is unfolding in an economy that can no longer be understood, even in passing, as the Great Society vs. the Gipper. Whether we like it or not—or even whether many people have thought much about it or not—the numbers clearly suggest that we are headed in a more European direction. A decade ago U.S. government spending was 34.3 percent of GDP, compared with 48.2 percent in the euro zone—a roughly 14-point gap, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2010 U.S. spending is expected to be 39.9 percent of GDP, compared with 47.1 percent in the euro zone—a gap of less than 8 points. As entitlement spending rises over the next decade, we will become even more French.

    This is not to say that berets will be all the rage this spring, or that Obama has promised a croissant in every toaster oven. But the simple fact of the matter is that the political conversation, which shifts from time to time, has shifted anew, and for the foreseeable future Americans will be more engaged with questions about how to manage a mixed economy than about whether we should have one.

    The architect of this new era of big government? History has a sense of humor, for the man who laid the foundations for the world Obama now rules is George W. Bush, who moved to bail out the financial sector last autumn with $700 billion.

    Bush brought the Age of Reagan to a close; now Obama has gone further, reversing Bill Clinton’s end of big government. The story, as always, is complicated. Polls show that Americans don’t trust government and still don’t want big government. They do, however, want what government delivers, like health care and national defense and, now, protections from banking and housing failure. During the roughly three decades since Reagan made big government the enemy and “liberal” an epithet, government did not shrink. It grew. But the economy grew just as fast, so government as a percentage of GDP remained about the same. Much of that economic growth was real, but for the past five years or so, it has borne a suspicious resemblance to Bernie Madoff’s stock fund. Americans have been living high on borrowed money (the savings rate dropped from 7.6 percent in 1992 to less than zero in 2005) while financiers built castles in the air.

    Now comes the reckoning. The answer may indeed be more government. In the short run, since neither consumers nor business is likely to do it, the government will have to stimulate the economy. And in the long run, an aging population and global warming and higher energy costs will demand more government taxing and spending. The catch is that more government intrusion in the economy will almost surely limit growth (as it has in Europe, where a big welfare state has caused chronic high unemployment). Growth has always been America’s birthright and saving grace.

    The Obama administration is caught in a paradox. It must borrow and spend to fix a crisis created by too much borrowing and spending. Having pumped the economy up with a stimulus, the president will have to cut the growth of entitlement spending by holding down health care and retirement costs and still invest in ways that will produce long-term growth. Obama talks of the need for smart government. To get the balance between America and France right, the new president will need all the smarts he can summon.

    URL: http://www.newsweek.com/id/183663

    Radio Tadhana’s Podcast in Iloko Now Here!

    Now, Radio Tadhana is podcasting in Iloko in a 3-part series. Janno B. Coole reads a short story of two friends from opposite sides of the fence whose brought together by their dreams.

    This program is brought to you by Route 72 Internet Cafe-La Union’s Finest!

    Wanted: Condom Testers

    By Thea Alberto
    INQUIRER.net
    First Posted 17:50:00 02/04/2009

    Filed Under: Unemployment, Employment
    MANILA, Philippines—Are you married, have “strong knees”, and looking for a job? Try condom testing.

    Durex condom is looking for 500 official condom testers in the Philippines. And all you need to do is try out Durex products for four weeks and comment online on their quality.

    The first to accomplish the form and give the best answer to the question “What makes me the best Durex Condom Tester?” will win P50,000 cash, plus free products from Durex.

    On it’s website, Durex said applicants have to go to www.durex.com.ph and click on the portion that will lead them to durexcondomtester.com.ph where they can fill out a screener form.

    “Chosen applicants will also be given a tester kit which contains a pack of each of the following Durex variants — Love, Pleasuremax, Performa, Fetherlite, Tingle, Strawberry,” Durex said.

    Tester kits will be sent to chosen applicants via courier, it said.

    Candidates must be 21 to 35 years of age, married, and “experienced.” Participants must also be “open to further training,” have “strong knees,” and “willing to work long hours.”

    So guys, wanna give it a try?

    2009 Life Handbook

    Health:

    1. Drink plenty of water.
    2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
    3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
    4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
    5. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer.
    6. Play more games.
    7. Read more books than you did in 2008..
    8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
    9. Sleep for 7 hours.
    10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.

    Personality:

    11. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
    12. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
    13. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
    14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
    15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
    16. Dream more while you are awake.
    17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
    18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past.. That will ruin your present happiness.
    19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
    20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
    21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
    22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
    23. Smile and laugh more.
    24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

    Society:

    25. Call your family often.
    26. Each day give something good to others.
    27. Forgive everyone for everything.
    28. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
    29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
    30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
    31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

    Life:

    32. Do the right thing!
    33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
    34. GOD heals everything .
    35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
    36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
    37. The best is yet to come.
    38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it .
    39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

    A complaint to PLDT

    To: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT)

    As someone already mentioned, profit is the main fuel of companies, actually that is why their people ventured into entrepreneurship at the first place. It is sad that there exist companies (on this petition’s case, a fairly large on in our country) with an absurd balance between customer satisfaction and their big fat income statement.

    I am a subscribed PLDT myDSL customer, I am not happy at all.

    A lot are, they go through many pains with this company, one of which is that you’ll almost never get to talk to their technical support people who on the other hand, will disappoint you since they don’t help at all. I think I speak for everyone who’s working late at night for a critical research they have to submit tomorrow, but due to the bad administering of this company’s broadband service, it won’t happen.

    PLDT myDSL or Vibe, everyone has complaints that back up against each other, this is just too horrible.

    PEOPLE NEED TO STAND UP, bad enough that there are ridiculously long BBS threads among most Filipino “tech talk” sites about the said services.

    This protest aims at combining all those into one direct complaint against the company.

    Sincerely,

    The Undersigned

    The Incentivized “Social Network at Play”

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    What’s so HOT about Social Networks?

    * Social Networking has over 530 million people and grew 64 million (12%) during the last 6 months…over twice as fast as the total internet.
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    * In 2008 the market is becoming increasingly concentrated amongst the 6 market leaders: increasing by 88 million, while the other 276 social networking sites fell by 24 million from December to June.

    Conclusion: Social Networks are Huge!! They are fast becoming the vehicle for world-wide communication, entertainment, and social engagement.

    And, MMOGULS leverages the power of the greatest driving force in Social Networks…
    What’s the big deal with Online Video Games?

    * The one-day record holder for a movie premiere was Spiderman 3, which brought in $59 million in ticket sales on its opening day. MGM’s James Bond movie just surpassed it last week with $79 million.
    * Spring’s opening blockbuster brought in $500 million in sales. It was the biggest entertainment opening ever. But it wasn’t a movie…
    * Grand Theft Auto IV, a video game, recorded sales of $310 million… on its first day.
    * For the first time last year, the video game industry surpassed the movie industry in gross sales.
    * 68% of households in the United States play computer or video games. Game software sales were $2.6 billion in 1996, and by 2006 they had reached $7.4 billion.
    * In 2007, the industry sold 267.8 million games. That’s 540 games sold every minute.
    * Forty-seven percent of video game players are between the ages of 18 and 49. The fastest growing demographic is the 50-plus crowd.

    The last recession the United States had was after Sept. 11, when technology demand crashed. Despite that, sales of video games during that period increased 43%. 2002 became a record year in video games, posting $7 billion in sales. And it’s happening again…

    So put the two phenomenon together, add Rewards and Incentives to the mix, and you have a Social Network “at Play” that will have a huge upside and the stickiness to last!!
    MMOGULS—the first Incentivized Social Network at Play!!

    MMOGULS is the place for everyone who wishes to engage in an active online social experience. And its primary offering is access to MMO games by several top studios, as well as supporting the activities of a Social Network, our own MMOGULS Mall . . . . . with much more to come soon!!

    MMOGULS will soon announce the launch of an opportunity for everyone who wants to participate in this new trend—all in advance of perhaps a Million Units or more being sold in stores everywhere. Discover how this major event will benefit you when you become a MMOGULS Member.

    President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Speech

    “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”

    Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.

    The document they produced was eventually signed but ultimately unfinished. It was stained by this nation’s original sin of slavery, a question that divided the colonies and brought the convention to a stalemate until the founders chose to allow the slave trade to continue for at least twenty more years, and to leave any final resolution to future generations.

    Of course, the answer to the slavery question was already embedded within our Constitution – a Constitution that had at is very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law; a Constitution that promised its people liberty, and justice, and a union that could be and should be perfected over time.

    And yet words on a parchment would not be enough to deliver slaves from bondage, or provide men and women of every color and creed their full rights and obligations as citizens of the United States. What would be needed were Americans in successive generations who were willing to do their part – through protests and struggle, on the streets and in the courts, through a civil war and civil disobedience and always at great risk – to narrow that gap between the promise of our ideals and the reality of their time.

    This was one of the tasks we set forth at the beginning of this campaign – to continue the long march of those who came before us, a march for a more just, more equal, more free, more caring and more prosperous America. I chose to run for the presidency at this moment in history because I believe deeply that we cannot solve the challenges of our time unless we solve them together – unless we perfect our union by understanding that we may have different stories, but we hold common hopes; that we may not look the same and we may not have come from the same place, but we all want to move in the same direction – towards a better future for of children and our grandchildren.

    This belief comes from my unyielding faith in the decency and generosity of the American people. But it also comes from my own American story.

    I am the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas. I was raised with the help of a white grandfather who survived a Depression to serve in Patton’s Army during World War II and a white grandmother who worked on a bomber assembly line at Fort Leavenworth while he was overseas. I’ve gone to some of the best schools in America and lived in one of the world’s poorest nations. I am married to a black American who carries within her the blood of slaves and slaveowners – an inheritance we pass on to our two precious daughters. I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

    It’s a story that hasn’t made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts – that out of many, we are truly one.

    Throughout the first year of this campaign, against all predictions to the contrary, we saw how hungry the American people were for this message of unity. Despite the temptation to view my candidacy through a purely racial lens, we won commanding victories in states with some of the whitest populations in the country. In South Carolina, where the Confederate Flag still flies, we built a powerful coalition of African Americans and white Americans.

    This is not to say that race has not been an issue in the campaign. At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. The press has scoured every exit poll for the latest evidence of racial polarization, not just in terms of white and black, but black and brown as well.

    And yet, it has only been in the last couple of weeks that the discussion of race in this campaign has taken a particularly divisive turn.

    On one end of the spectrum, we’ve heard the implication that my candidacy is somehow an exercise in affirmative action; that it’s based solely on the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap. On the other end, we’ve heard my former pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, use incendiary language to express views that have the potential not only to widen the racial divide, but views that denigrate both the greatness and the goodness of our nation; that rightly offend white and black alike.

    I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

    But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

    As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

    Given my background, my politics, and my professed values and ideals, there will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way

    But the truth is, that isn’t all that I know of the man. The man I met more than twenty years ago is a man who helped introduce me to my Christian faith, a man who spoke to me about our obligations to love one another; to care for the sick and lift up the poor. He is a man who served his country as a U.S. Marine; who has studied and lectured at some of the finest universities and seminaries in the country, and who for over thirty years led a church that serves the community by doing God’s work here on Earth – by housing the homeless, ministering to the needy, providing day care services and scholarships and prison ministries, and reaching out to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

    In my first book, Dreams From My Father, I described the experience of my first service at Trinity:

    “People began to shout, to rise from their seats and clap and cry out, a forceful wind carrying the reverend’s voice up into the rafters….And in that single note – hope! – I heard something else; at the foot of that cross, inside the thousands of churches across the city, I imagined the stories of ordinary black people merging with the stories of David and Goliath, Moses and Pharaoh, the Christians in the lion’s den, Ezekiel’s field of dry bones. Those stories – of survival, and freedom, and hope – became our story, my story; the blood that had spilled was our blood, the tears our tears; until this black church, on this bright day, seemed once more a vessel carrying the story of a people into future generations and into a larger world. Our trials and triumphs became at once unique and universal, black and more than black; in chronicling our journey, the stories and songs gave us a means to reclaim memories that we didn’t need to feel shame about…memories that all people might study and cherish – and with which we could start to rebuild.”

    That has been my experience at Trinity. Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. Like other black churches, Trinity’s services are full of raucous laughter and sometimes bawdy humor. They are full of dancing, clapping, screaming and shouting that may seem jarring to the untrained ear. The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and yes, the bitterness and bias that make up the black experience in America.

    And this helps explain, perhaps, my relationship with Reverend Wright. As imperfect as he may be, he has been like family to me. He strengthened my faith, officiated my wedding, and baptized my children. Not once in my conversations with him have I heard him talk about any ethnic group in derogatory terms, or treat whites with whom he interacted with anything but courtesy and respect. He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

    I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

    These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love.

    Some will see this as an attempt to justify or excuse comments that are simply inexcusable. I can assure you it is not. I suppose the politically safe thing would be to move on from this episode and just hope that it fades into the woodwork. We can dismiss Reverend Wright as a crank or a demagogue, just as some have dismissed Geraldine Ferraro, in the aftermath of her recent statements, as harboring some deep-seated racial bias.

    But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now. We would be making the same mistake that Reverend Wright made in his offending sermons about America – to simplify and stereotype and amplify the negative to the point that it distorts reality.

    The fact is that the comments that have been made and the issues that have surfaced over the last few weeks reflect the complexities of race in this country that we’ve never really worked through – a part of our union that we have yet to perfect. And if we walk away now, if we simply retreat into our respective corners, we will never be able to come together and solve challenges like health care, or education, or the need to find good jobs for every American.

    Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

    Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students.

    Legalized discrimination – where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments – meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.

    A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families – a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods – parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement – all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

    This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

    But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it – those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations – those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings.

    And occasionally it finds voice in the church on Sunday morning, in the pulpit and in the pews. The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning. That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change. But the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.

    In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

    Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

    Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding.

    This is where we are right now. It’s a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years. Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, black and white, I have never been so naïve as to believe that we can get beyond our racial divisions in a single election cycle, or with a single candidacy – particularly a candidacy as imperfect as my own.

    But I have asserted a firm conviction – a conviction rooted in my faith in God and my faith in the American people – that working together we can move beyond some of our old racial wounds, and that in fact we have no choice is we are to continue on the path of a more perfect union.

    For the African-American community, that path means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past. It means continuing to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. But it also means binding our particular grievances – for better health care, and better schools, and better jobs – to the larger aspirations of all Americans — the white woman struggling to break the glass ceiling, the white man whose been laid off, the immigrant trying to feed his family. And it means taking full responsibility for own lives – by demanding more from our fathers, and spending more time with our children, and reading to them, and teaching them that while they may face challenges and discrimination in their own lives, they must never succumb to despair or cynicism; they must always believe that they can write their own destiny.

    Ironically, this quintessentially American – and yes, conservative – notion of self-help found frequent expression in Reverend Wright’s sermons. But what my former pastor too often failed to understand is that embarking on a program of self-help also requires a belief that society can change.

    The profound mistake of Reverend Wright’s sermons is not that he spoke about racism in our society. It’s that he spoke as if our society was static; as if no progress has been made; as if this country – a country that has made it possible for one of his own members to run for the highest office in the land and build a coalition of white and black; Latino and Asian, rich and poor, young and old — is still irrevocably bound to a tragic past. But what we know — what we have seen – is that America can change. That is true genius of this nation. What we have already achieved gives us hope – the audacity to hope – for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

    In the white community, the path to a more perfect union means acknowledging that what ails the African-American community does not just exist in the minds of black people; that the legacy of discrimination – and current incidents of discrimination, while less overt than in the past – are real and must be addressed. Not just with words, but with deeds – by investing in our schools and our communities; by enforcing our civil rights laws and ensuring fairness in our criminal justice system; by providing this generation with ladders of opportunity that were unavailable for previous generations. It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams; that investing in the health, welfare, and education of black and brown and white children will ultimately help all of America prosper.

    In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper, Scripture tells us. Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.

    For we have a choice in this country. We can accept a politics that breeds division, and conflict, and cynicism. We can tackle race only as spectacle – as we did in the OJ trial – or in the wake of tragedy, as we did in the aftermath of Katrina – or as fodder for the nightly news. We can play Reverend Wright’s sermons on every channel, every day and talk about them from now until the election, and make the only question in this campaign whether or not the American people think that I somehow believe or sympathize with his most offensive words. We can pounce on some gaffe by a Hillary supporter as evidence that she’s playing the race card, or we can speculate on whether white men will all flock to John McCain in the general election regardless of his policies.

    We can do that.

    But if we do, I can tell you that in the next election, we’ll be talking about some other distraction. And then another one. And then another one. And nothing will change.

    That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, “Not this time.” This time we want to talk about the crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children and Asian children and Hispanic children and Native American children. This time we want to reject the cynicism that tells us that these kids can’t learn; that those kids who don’t look like us are somebody else’s problem. The children of America are not those kids, they are our kids, and we will not let them fall behind in a 21st century economy. Not this time.

    This time we want to talk about how the lines in the Emergency Room are filled with whites and blacks and Hispanics who do not have health care; who don’t have the power on their own to overcome the special interests in Washington, but who can take them on if we do it together.

    This time we want to talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and women of every race, and the homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from every religion, every region, every walk of life. This time we want to talk about the fact that the real problem is not that someone who doesn’t look like you might take your job; it’s that the corporation you work for will ship it overseas for nothing more than a profit.

    This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. We want to talk about how to bring them home from a war that never should’ve been authorized and never should’ve been waged, and we want to talk about how we’ll show our patriotism by caring for them, and their families, and giving them the benefits they have earned.

    I would not be running for President if I didn’t believe with all my heart that this is what the vast majority of Americans want for this country. This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. And today, whenever I find myself feeling doubtful or cynical about this possibility, what gives me the most hope is the next generation – the young people whose attitudes and beliefs and openness to change have already made history in this election.

    There is one story in particularly that I’d like to leave you with today – a story I told when I had the great honor of speaking on Dr. King’s birthday at his home church, Ebenezer Baptist, in Atlanta.

    There is a young, twenty-three year old white woman named Ashley Baia who organized for our campaign in Florence, South Carolina. She had been working to organize a mostly African-American community since the beginning of this campaign, and one day she was at a roundtable discussion where everyone went around telling their story and why they were there.

    And Ashley said that when she was nine years old, her mother got cancer. And because she had to miss days of work, she was let go and lost her health care. They had to file for bankruptcy, and that’s when Ashley decided that she had to do something to help her mom.

    She knew that food was one of their most expensive costs, and so Ashley convinced her mother that what she really liked and really wanted to eat more than anything else was mustard and relish sandwiches. Because that was the cheapest way to eat.

    She did this for a year until her mom got better, and she told everyone at the roundtable that the reason she joined our campaign was so that she could help the millions of other children in the country who want and need to help their parents too.

    Now Ashley might have made a different choice. Perhaps somebody told her along the way that the source of her mother’s problems were blacks who were on welfare and too lazy to work, or Hispanics who were coming into the country illegally. But she didn’t. She sought out allies in her fight against injustice.

    Anyway, Ashley finishes her story and then goes around the room and asks everyone else why they’re supporting the campaign. They all have different stories and reasons. Many bring up a specific issue. And finally they come to this elderly black man who’s been sitting there quietly the entire time. And Ashley asks him why he’s there. And he does not bring up a specific issue. He does not say health care or the economy. He does not say education or the war. He does not say that he was there because of Barack Obama. He simply says to everyone in the room, “I am here because of Ashley.”

    “I’m here because of Ashley.” By itself, that single moment of recognition between that young white girl and that old black man is not enough. It is not enough to give health care to the sick, or jobs to the jobless, or education to our children.

    But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins.