Thursday, November 19, 2009

Risk, No Longer A Part of Insurance?

SEC. 2701. FAIR INSURANCE COVERAGE.

`(a) In General- With respect to the premium rate charged by a health insurance issuer for health insurance coverage offered in the individual or small group market--

`(1) such rate shall vary with respect to the particular plan or coverage involved only by--

`(A) family structure;

`(B) community rating area;

`(C) the actuarial value of the benefit;

`(D) age, except that such rate shall not vary by more than 2 to 1;

`(E) tobacco use, except that such rate shall not vary by more than 1.5 to 1; and

`(F) adherence to or participation in a reasonably designed program of health promotion and disease prevention, if such a program is offered by the employer that is the sponsor of the coverage involved; and

`(2) such rate shall not vary with respect to the particular plan or coverage involved by health status-related factors, gender, class of business, claims experience, industry, or any other factor not described in paragraph (1), except that group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group health insurance coverage may establish premium discounts or rebates for modifying otherwise applicable copayments or deductibles in return for adherence to or participation in reasonably designed programs of health promotion or disease prevention.

`(b) Community Rating Area- Taking into account the applicable recommendations of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the Secretary shall by regulation establish a minimum size for community rating areas for purposes of this section, which, for areas contained in a Metropolitan Statistical Area, shall not be smaller than such area.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

3 Elections That Dictate the Next Seven Years

A lot of attention has, for better or worse been focused on three relatively minor off year elections. The Republicans have been banking on reinfoced vigor from sparky new compains in the face of Dem calamity. To some extent they have been vindicated both in the NJ and VA races but then there's the odd results in NY 23.

I say NY 23 is bad for R's everything else is bad for D's and the lot of it is great for all of us.

To start where the choice was a clear up down vote on support for the ruling party there was a resounding GFY. That's good, even if you aren't a big fan of the R's a vote of no confidence is generally a good vote when one group is in charge. It tends to help them realize their jobs are not ordained. Then there's the bizarre set of circumstances RE ny23> I was interested in this race precisely because a candidate was challenging the R base on the grounds that they were not conservative enough. There has been a pretty big scuttlebutt around that the R's lost the white house because they didn't field a candidate who sufficiently energize their conservative (read christian) base. But now we can all be clear, more right wing is not what the party is missing. Both of the gubernatorial candidates that won this week ran not on platforms of right wing religious conservative reform but on platforms of smaller government and lower government spending. The old conservative guard is back. The Goldwater republicans won while the neo-con's signed their own demise. It's a god thing across the board. Eyes open for the next years guys but the wind is blowing and it would rather be free.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Health Insurance Profits?

In case you were worried that the evil health insurance companies were running away with all the money.

Fact Check

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ok Last Straw Hippies, The Gloves Come Off

Eat the Dog

This fake global warming bullshit has hit my last fucking nerve now. Telling me how much to wipe was cute but you people want to come after my dogs, I will end you.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

In Response to the High Cost of Health Insurance

House Democrats propose.... A TAX ON HEALTH INSURANCE

Proponents of the insurance tax, which Obama has endorsed, say it would help to lower health care costs by encouraging people to become more cost-conscious health care consumers.

Some of the high-cost plans are so expensive because they come with no co-payments or deductibles, and cover every dollar spent for health care. Not all of them provide such "Cadillac" benefits, however. Some are very expensive because they're sold to companies with older employees, or workers in high-risk occupations.


Only the US Congress could piece together the logic that you could lower costs for consumers by raising prices thus discouraging them from buying something you are trying to make sure they have... Seriously? Seriously.

Congressman1: I just can't figure out where to get the money to provide health insurance for everyone.

Congressman2: Well have you tried taxing the rich?

Congressman1: Of course but we're still coming up way short.

Congressman2: Well what about a tax on health insurance.. that should make health insurance more affordable.

Congressman1: Genius. This is almost as perfect as when you came up with taxing tax refunds as taxable income.

Congressman2: Ah that's nothing, wait till you see my plan for taxing the money left over after paying taxes as taxable income. It's like a bottomless pit of free money.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Global Banking

This is the kind of thing that gets conspiracy theorists going for years. I wonder if the CFR and the Tri-Lateral Commission enjoy this kind of transparency.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the News



A married man, hosting a party for unattended married men and single younger women, left the party late in the evening with one young woman in his car. They headed towards a local secluded beach he'd known about since his childhood. The man in question was driving on an expired license, had a history of reckless driving and alcohol abuse. He was married to a woman who was, at the time, pregnant with his child. On the way to the secluded beach the man attempted to cross a narrow bridge, his car overturned and fell into the water below. While the young woman lay drowning, trapped in the car, the man escaped. He hiked past nearby houses, past the fire station back to the party. Where everyone involved cleaned up, left the party and went back to their hotel rooms for the night. After returning to his hotel the man went downstairs to complain to hotel staff about a loud party that was bothering him. In the morning he woke as usual, dressed and took the ferry back to the island he had been on the night before. Witnesses say he was in a jovial mood, laughing and enjoying the morning. That is until reports came in that they had found his car, and his victim.

He plead guilty to 'leaving the scene of an accident' and served no sentence at all.

That was July 18, 1969

Lets all take a minute to remember Mary Jo Kopechne today. She would have been 69 just last month.

" Do we operate under a system of equal justice under law? Or is there one system for the average citizen and another for the high and mighty? " ~ Senator Ted Kennedy, 1973

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's Just A Computer

I have been a child of the Dos/Windows universe for as long as I can remember. I also dabble from time to time in different Linux OS's. As such I am firmly planted in the camp that Macintosh computers are for the non-technically oriented and the elderly. Also I have never been able to reconcile the fact that the Mac crowd also seemed to generally be the metro-sexual, urban, fake environmentally friendly, smug douche set. That's not to say even the majority of my Mac loving friends would be easily pushed into one of those boxes, but rather that they might live on the fringes of what was a much larger crowd that contained a significant quantity of arrogantly prickish morons. Or perhaps I just wanted the crowd of people who used a different computer than mine to be like that, and have been projecting that image. I doubt it though. We all know at least one guy who shows up at a meeting and spends the first five minutes bragging about his Macbook whatever. And we all know he's an asshole.

So it was with some trepidation that I took possession of my new work computer for my new job. A 1 year old Macbook Pro with a dual core Intel processor, 2 gigs of ram and all the usual trimmings.

First impression.
Using a new hardware configuration and a new OS is always fraught with frustrating experiences. Control doesn't do what it should and there's an entirely unnecessary extra button 'command' that handles some of those functions but not others. Nothing files automatically where I want it to and there seems to be some sort of mysterious method of hiding things from me that I'm working on. Unlike the systems I'm used to Mac seems to love cleaning up after me. And of course that's how I get lost.

All of this is of course the product of a learning curve created by someone's idea of a better syntax and command structure. With time this passes as it has before with new versions of Win, Suse, Ubuntu, etc.

What remains.
The hardware is as you might imagine, top notch. This is perhaps the one thing that might separate Mac from the PC market; you have no choice but to get high end equipment. They simply will not sell you anything cheaper, and they will not attempt to make their product more affordable. It's a nice thing that as a brand you know when you pick one up, the hardware is designed to work. Not so nice when you need something simple and affordable. The OS on the other hand is not in the least impressive to me. That's not to say it's any worse than Win, it's not, really. It's just not the kind of better that justifies the smugness I've seen all these years. The driver libraries are significant and self reliant. I have very little problems adding hardware. Though to be fair I don't really have problems in Windows either. The file system is sufficient and relatively transparent. Once you figure out how Mac thinks, it's a coherent system. I'm enjoying the way that the touch pad allows me to control my desktop with creative multi-finger gestures. On the other hand I have never gotten over the loss of my right click button. The two fingered touch pad work around is atrocious and anyone who says differently is lying. I can't count the number of times I have scrolled down a page and then clicked on an icon or link only to find myself looking at a menu because I still had two fingers on the pad. I want my two buttons back. Fortunately my mouse plugs in just fine and it's right button works like a charm.

In short at this stage of the game what I've discovered is that... It's just a computer. Hype aside, it's no better or worse overall than any of the other systems I'm running. I'll concede I haven't integrated it into my home network yet (beyond internet access) and that may be interesting with the myriad OS jungle I'm already dealing with. But so far, I report nothing interesting at all. Computers, the machine that changed the world, are becoming more and more like furniture; buy the nicest one that matches the painting you like and the check you want to write. It's the person sitting there that makes the difference.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Music Legend Dies

Les Paul, arguably one of the most influential men in the history of the rock and roll guitar has passed away today at the age of 94. Keep on rockin' Les.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Single Payer Scam?

I'm not usually big on videos like this but there are some interesting parts here. If anyone has links to the full speeches here I'd love to see them.

UPDATE: just the Obama speech without the edited mess.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

In Case You Thought I Was Paranoid

Waxman-Markey contains language for the EPA to regulate what it calls REEP (Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance) rules. The EPA alone will be able to determine what necessary retrofitting must be done with business AND single and multiple family homes in order to be environmentally friendly. States would be responsible for figuring out how to implement these new regulations. I'll say it again Congress voted to give regulatory power to the EPA to determine what you must do to make your home environmentally friendly before resale.

The EPA has for years been expanding it's regulatory control over the business world and it would seem has sights set on private property as well. This is an obvious expansion or companion program to those hinted at by the Sec. of Energy last month. If I'm wrong and Steven Chu just coincidentally talked about home improvements and retrofitting as an option for energy reduction a month before the climate change bill went to a vote with increased regulatory powers over homes and businesses then I'm sorry. If that's the case of course then it means that the two departments in the Obama admin. who are talking about climate related energy policy are in fact not talking to each other and are acting unilaterally to develop policy without consultation and frankly that kind of reckless behavior is just as scary as a plot would be.

So home-owners out there get ready for your EPA energy housing audit.

UPDATE: “The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, shall establish goals, guidelines, practices, and standards for accomplishing the purpose stated in subsection (c) [the retrofits],”

So Chu actually has his hands in it already.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Bill That Never Was

The House passed the fake global warming bill yesterday and I can't help wondering how as the text of the bill was not actually complete at the time of the vote. What, specifically were they voting on.

Bill

Friday, June 26, 2009

Not Exactly Jefferson

A long long time ago, statesmen could write. The art of crafting words so that people understand them is, to say the least a challenge. One that makes us hope our lawmakers are built of better stuff, at least in regards to that challenge. Gov. Mark Sanford's love letters to his mistress would seem to argue against the point, as my friend Janelle Holden aptly points out.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

R.I.P.

Biggest Tax in American History

The WSJ has a piece tomorrow (online today) talking about the actual costs of the Markey-Waxman global warming scam tax. Cap and trade has been a miserable failure wherever it has been tried. In most cases it has amounted to a tax funded incentive system for larger polluters. In even the best cases it has had little to no effect on carbon emissions and has crippled the economic environment for the poorest people. It will cost far more than even the most optimistic estimates of it's benefits. The CBO and House Democrats are deliberately hiding the real nature of it's overwhelming costs. Call your congressman and insist that they vote against this atrocious attempt to steal money from hard working class families.

This has gone too far. Throughout history people have tried to convince the masses that they can control the weather if we just give them enough money. We call them charlatans, snake oil salesman, grifters, con artists, hooligans, thieves, and of course congressman. Used to be we could take them out and shoot them. Now at least it's worth the phone call. Unless you have the extra 2 grand a year to spare. Or maybe you think now is a perfectly good time to pull the brake lever on the American economy.

Awesome Ad

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Absence

For the half a dozen or so of you that read this blog regularly I'm sure you have noticed my distinct absence lately. Don't worry, I'm not giving up the blog. I am however moving to Portland to start a new job. This is, as you might imagine, eating a bunch of my time that I would normally spend ranting for you guys. Trust that when things settle I will redouble my efforts to bring you the highest quality inane rambling that I can.

Thanks

Friday, May 29, 2009

Garrett Withdraws from Assistant Treas. Sec. Nom.

Elizabeth Garrett has withdrawn from consideration for the post of Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy. She sites the stringent vetting process. Which I think can fairly translate into 'they found something embarrassing and I'm backing out gracefully.' It would seem that at times like these the President would want someone in charge of developing tax policy, what with all the tax policy that's being developed. Well chalk up another loss to the Admin's human resources department. Seems it's just impossible to find ethical Democrats these days... I wonder why that is.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Steven Chu is Nuts

This speaks for itself. To say nothing of the cost of painting all the roofs in the world white (upwards of $30 a gallon for paint) it stands to reason that making all that paint would involve processes that produce significant 'carbon usage' and would probably greatly offset any actual benefit, even assuming that the good doctor is right about global warming in the first place. What's more disturbing is that this is the conversation you get with the country's leading government official on energy policy. Not environmental issues but energy policy. He claims that white roofs will cut consumption. I claim that he's got needs that the other kids don't.

I'm interested in any cheaper and less ridiculous options from my homeowner friends. Drop me a comment with ideas you have to reduce home energy consumption that aren't idiotic. I'll start.

Solar Powered Attic Fans.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Supreme Court Mad Lib

The most important qualification for a Supreme Court Just is that _______(pronoun) should possess the utmost____________(quality). Beyond all other possible qualifications or experiences I believe the proper candidate should posses a strong respect for ____________(rights).



As I read story after story this morning on the Obama administration's nomination of Sonia Sotomayer I noticed a trend. Very few people were talking about her court decisions and her biases. Instead everyone, the administration included, was talking about how many women will be on the court and how monumental it is to have a nominee whose parents are from Puerto Rico. Now I've seen some of Sotomayer's record and I wont go so far as to say this is a purely affirmative action hire, but for the party that prides itself on equal rights and throws constant claims of racism and sexism at it's opponents, it takes a ton of gall to glaze over real qualifications in favor of skin tone and gender. I couldn't care less if her family is from PR, what strikes me is that she seems to have no respect for private property rights as evidenced in her upholding the Second Circuit's decision in Didden V Village of Port Chester. Radly Balko covers that issue in his Agitator blog and on Reason.com.

An interesting take on her judicial history is Richard Epstein's this morning in Forbes.

For my money I'd like to see a nominee that isn't a Yalie. If ever there was a place that diversity was needed, I think the Supreme Court is it. I just don't think racial diversity is what's important. I'd like to see diversity of thought. Good Luck.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Lite Blogging This Week

I have been busy with work and stuff, spent the weekend at a motocross race and now my sister is in from out of town. I will try and be get some things done for you guys this week but forgive me if I don't manage much. But to tide you over...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Obama and The IRS Joke

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has an interesting piece at the Wall Street Journal this week on the power of the presidential joke and what happens when the IRS becomes a political weapon. For my money the President can keep abusing that power and degrading the legitimacy of the IRS as it helps free people understand what taxes are in the first place, a means of political oppression. Take a read Reynolds usually has interesting things to say.

For me this week should be interesting. I'm filming all day today and tomorrow will hear speaches by Arthur Laffer, Andrew Breitbart, and Lynne Cheney. Perhaps with Biden's gaff this week I'll have an opening to ask Cheney how she liked living underground beneath the naval observatory after millions of dollars in government money was spent renovating it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Obama Says Debt Load 'Unsustainable'

Obama on Debt

I'm not a genius or anything but perhaps this is the kind of revelation he could have used... Oh i don't know... BEFORE HE CAUSED THE DEBT LOAD TO GET THIS HIGH!!!!

It's not like millions of us weren't saying it was going to be a problem. Even his supporters had to be lured into the fold with promises of net budget cuts. Still there he is, standing on top of the worlds largest debt funded national budget in history. There he is, encouraging more deficit spending in his first year in office than the entire Bush presidency. It's almost as if Barack Obama is just a sleazy scumbag politician who does one thing and says another so he can claim to have been on both sides of an issue. But that just can't be the truth. He was supposed to be the new Jesus right? He couldn't possibly be a scamming liar like all the rest of those statist manipulators... could he?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

MHD JAIL UPDATE

A search of inmate records in Jones County just informed me that all three of the guys are listed as 'Bonded Out'. So the guys are out or processing out right now.

If want to see the record (which contains very little information) go here

MHD JAILED

Some of you may know that I am following the adventures of some liberty minded guys galavanting around the country searching for freedom. They are chronicling the whole thing on thier website MotorhomeDiaries.com. This morning all three of the guys at MHD were arrested by police in Jones County MS. It appears that the even started with what could have been a routine traffic stop. Now we don't know for sure that there was any kind of cause for the initial stop but I haven't heard anything to suggest that there was. What people are piecing together in the liberty blogosphere is that Jason Talley has been arrested and is being held on charges of disorderly conduct, disobeying a police office, and resisting arrest. Pete Eyre is being held on the charge of possession of a beer in a dry county. Whatever that is. And Adam Mueller is charged with disorderly conduct and disobeying a police office. There has been a rumor that there is a charge of posses ion of a firearm across state lines, which is a MS state specific law if it's a law at all. I've heard the firearms charge tied to each of the guys throughout the day so I can't be sure whats going on there.

These are typical charges for officers that want to arrest people but can't find a decent reason. My old cop friends call it 'felony breathing'. What's telling is that there isn't a charge related to the stop, there isn't a charge related to any use of force. All of the charges so far seem to stem out of what is most likely an unlawful arrest in the first place. I'll be updating on this as I know more. As of this moment it looks like some or all of the guys are going to have to spend the night in jail. People from the Free State Project and other liberty minded groups are working on putting together bail funds and should have the guys out soon.

If you would like to contribute to the guy's defense or if you just want to know more about what people are doing for freedom in America, check out MotorhomeDiaries.com

FREE THE MHD 3

UPDATE: if you want to follow the most up to date news about the guys incarceration freekeene has the most current updates.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

An Interesting Take on Abortion

Steve Waldman has an interesting idea. You may know that I don't have a lot riding on the abortion debate but that a great many of my friends list it amongst their highest political priorities on either side of the issue. I have my ideas but honestly would rather the debate was treated with less urgency and vehemence than it is as I feel it distracts from more important and specifically more solvable issues. I'm not sure Waldman's solution is realistic or answers important obstacles for either side. I do wonder if embracing it would bring both sides closer to their goals than continuing the ill-used debate as it is.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Good and Bad About Specter the Defecter

The news this week is swollen with commentary about the defection of longtime Republican Senator Arlen Specter to the enemy camp. The right wing talking heads have dubbed him 'Benedict Arlen' and wish him nothing but the worst of luck in his new endeavors. The left wing commentators are gloating almost more than when their candidate took the white house (and I dare say perhaps they were looking for something else to gloat about these days). I wonder though if this switch which would have been hard not to predict, is really such a big deal for anyone and if so what it might actually mean.

Let's face it Specter has never been a very good Republican by anyone's standards. The left hasn't ever been particularly fond of him, even though he votes with them far more often than the right would like. The right can't stand him since he is an outspoken pro-choicer and clearly loves government spending. The truth is he follows the wind and polling data in his state and has no real set of values. His own representatives have been all over the news this week spelling out the fact that he left, not due to some ideological schism (though one could easily show that there is one) but simply because he had no viable means of being re-elected if he ran again as a Republican. The right wing of the Republican party responded to his support of the bloated stimulus package by supporting a more conservative candidate (with this kind of friends...) Now Specter faces a strong challenger from the right in Pat Toomey and may not garner the support he thinks he'll have from the left in his state. It's almost assured that his party shift came with a handshake deal from the DCCC that they would not field a primary candidate against him, but that doesn't make him a 'good Democrat' to Pennsylvania voters.

One thing that becomes painfully clear with this shift is that the differences between the statist Republican party and the statist Democratic party are significantly fewer than their similarities. If a 28 year veteran of one party can't fins something more suitable between them then I wonder if there is any reasonable difference at all.

For my money I don't see this hurting the Republican party at all. For starters he already voted against them any time it mattered. Secondly he's not likely to vote differently as a Democrat so on the floor of the senate all it does is shift more leadership into the hands of someone who is arguably less liberal than other Democrats might be. Also as a bonus to the R's the next Senate election in Penn. will be a race between a 'good' Republican and the shitty Republican they used to have which blocks out the possibility of an even more left wing whacko Democrat that might very well have had a chance against Pat Toomey fresh from a hard fought primary. Now Toomey can begin campaigning immediatley against a weakened and despised Specter. Specter as a Republican took the senate seat in 2004 with an 11% lead over the Democrat opponent and while many people may have shifted party loyalty and some may go with Specter it still amounts to a large margin for Toomey to hold. Especially when you consider how many fewer Democrats can bring themselves to the polls for a man they have hated for years. Also of note I highly doubt with all the vitriol on the right it will be remotely difficult for Toomey to raise a campaign war chest.

For those of us who prefer Liberty to the State this doesn't mean very much at all. Specter was no friend of ours to begin with and frankly Toomey isn't much better. The amount to which this emboldens the big government left may hurt a little but at this point it would be difficult to find that nugget in the massive pile of insult we are already enduring. It may stand to help fund raising efforts for us as it's one more name to add to the list of people who prove that both major parties favor vast government expansion as much or more than we have been saying all along.

So across the board (as with most political upheaval in Washington) it may very well amount to equal parts benefit and deficit for all parties involved. Perhaps there's some advantage for the left in that they can claim a strong victory over a longtime Republican but the cost is the loss of an opportunity for what very well could have been a much more favorable (to them) candidate taking the Senate seat in 2010. And I can assure this wont save them any money in that race.

What Value Does an Obama Promise Hold?

Calvin Woodward in an article for the AP talks about more of Pres. Obama's myths and broken promises.

Obama Less Popular at 100 Days than Jimmy Carter

Gallup

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Old Boss

I won't try and dirty his reputation by saying he's responsible for any of my behavior. Nor will I dirty mine, based on some votes of his I don't agree with. I under-voted his assured win in the last election as a protest to his initial bailout vote (he has since been more prudent). But this is my guy today. Well done with Al.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I've Said it Before

GLOBAL WARMING IS A SCAM TO CONTROL PEOPLE.

Fat people cause global warming

Of course no one would ever try to regulate what people eat... Oh yeah they already do.

Green... It's the new Red

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Invisible Hook

My old room mate discussing his new book and the economics of self regulation with Nick Gillespie over at Reason.com

Secede

I've discussed the idea of a secession movement at some length with friends and family and I'm not sure I took the idea seriously even while I was entertaining it. I have for a while now thought that moves towards secession might be a good way to illustrate the frustration that people have with both the course of our governance and the widening chasm between people who see themselves as Liberals and Conservatives in this country. It's a difficult thing to maintain unity in a country that both encourages the freedom of one's political ideas but is also mired in a virulent partisan divisions. I believe that there are still significantly common ideas and ideologies in this country to support all of us together but there are solid reasons to believe that an environment of forced division and competing extremist political movements may not. This is one of the reasons that I am such an advocate for liberty and for the liberty movement. The initial premise is, unlike other systems, devoted to the idea that each of us can and should choose the way in which we live our lives and the political theories we wish to adopt.

The fact that Texas is talking about secession is really not a huge surprise to me. They have threatened this repeatedly throughout our history as a nation. Perhaps it is important to note that the only time they have actually voted and declared secession was in 1861. I'm not sure if there are significant numbers in the Texas political architecture that actually intend to follow through with it but I wouldn't bet my paycheck against it.

What I see as the positives of Texas secession: for starters there is the immediate disconnection with the federal tax system and the ballooning national debt. That's significant, it's basically like you or I declaring bankruptcy without the credit problems. Second of course would be the hardest blow in favor of states rights since... well since 1861, and as a bonus there isn't an overreaching moral issue like slavery on which their opposition can hang a long and violent war. As such this might be the gambit that the state's rights movement has been waiting for. I doubt it about as much as I doubt the seriousness of the secession in the first place. Even as a simple act of protest this is a strong move for state's rights. One of the things they teach you in negotiation seminars is that you don't need to achieve your primary goal, you simply need to set a primary goal that makes meeting your actual needs seem attractive. A giant step forward in the quiet fight between the federalists and the state's rights crowd would be a very nice prize for remaining a state.

There are negatives in secession as well and not every state can do it easily. For Texas the large quantity of seaports, oil rigs and refineries makes for a pretty safe bet on a post secession small nation success. Landlocked states without significant commodities might suffer from what would assuredly be a bitter relationship with the remaining country. Many nations know that being on the outs with the United States Government isn't a great place to be.

So we shall see what comes from this and I'm not certain it will be much but the only real negatives I see are the ones that come with the independence of actually winning a secession fight. The other thing they teach you is that the key to any good negotiation is walk-away-power. And Texas is telling the world right now that they have tons of it.

Or maybe Rick Perry just announced his run for the White House.

Maddow is a Child

I'm all for dick and ass jokes. People that know me know that I can hardly resist the opportunity to insult someones mother or make a crude gesture with any found phallic object. That being said I have to wonder if Rachel Maddow thinks herself the new Walter Cronkite with this little gem.

CNN and MSNBC are all over the "tea bag" jokes this week and while I'm sure they think they are clever, I can't imagine how they expect to be taken seriously as journalists. I'm all for humor but can we really combine news coverage of economic crisis and jokes about balls without maybe losing some credibility. Which calls into question how much credibility these idiots had in the first place.

My advice: let Jon Stewart handle the jokes about dick and balls and maybe we can convince him to leave the shoddy journalism to the likes of Maddow and her ilk. Probably not though.



Bonus: if you don't know what 'tea bagging' is... You have to look it up, I'm not going to describe it for you.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Phil Spector Convicted of Second Most Heinous Crime

Music industry mogul Phil Spector was convicted finally this week for second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a crime. Spector shot actress and night club hostess Lana Clarkson in February of 2003. This was of course a heinous and unforgivable crime. Spector was of course no angel before this however and I think it goes without saying that he should be put to death for his worst crime which is turning

this:



into this:



"Wall of sound"? How about wall of crap I didn't need to hear.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

RIP Marilyn Chambers

In the fight for liberty there are pioneers that must be remembered for their efforts. Their are people who, intentionally or not, further the cause of freedom. This week we have lost one such hero. Pioneering adult film actress Marilyn Chambers brought us the first mainstream adult feature film. Classics like "Behind the Green Door" and "Deep Throat" paved the way for the sweet story of prosperity and innovation that is the porn industry, both here and abroad. People often overlook the important role that smut plays in society and the economy. The porn industry accounts for between two and twelve billion dollars of income annually, depending on who you ask (and how honestly they answer the question). Porn is routinely on the cutting edge of technological development in many areas of media, from the proliferation of targeted magazines promoted by Playboy and Hustler, to the development of VHS, to the rise of the internet itself. We must remember that the basest of human desires are often the strongest influences on development and entrepreneurship. Encroachment on the liberty to pursue ones base desires (so long as they cause no direct harm) is encroachment on the kind of development and business spirit we need throughout the economy. Bravo to Marilyn Chambers for her innovative work in the industry and her contributions to freedom in America and around the world. RIP Ms. Chambers you will be missed.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Motorhome Diaries

I know I have been conspicuously absent in the past week or so. As some of you may know this blog does not pay my rent so I have been out busting my ass on several different jobs of late. I promise more in depth blogging is around the corner. I certainly have a lot to examine. There's the failing nature of the Obama foreign policy (or lack of one), there's the constant attempts to turn tragedy into justification for enslaving the masses and of course there is the utter failure of the administration to simply operate and staff it's offices. So more to come I assure you.

In the mean time, check out what Jason Talley, Tom Pearson, and Pete Eyre formerly of Bureaucrash, currently of Fr33agents, and most specifically Motorhome Diaries are doing. They are embarking on a grand adventure to tour the country in a motor home visiting with people who share the cause of liberty.

Hope to see you guys when you get out to Los Angeles at the end of April.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs is looking at returning the $5b in TARP money that they received late last year. Street Insider has the news.

"Goldman also has the capital to pay back TARP, with a balance sheet with about $100 billion in available cash."

So tell me... If GS has $100b what is it that required our $5b so urgently. Why is it that just the threat of lost bonuses has sparked a hasty return? One wonders if it was necessary or wise to give away free money in a hurry.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thoughts on Eminent Domain

What the State can do to the richest of us at considerable expense, the State can do to the poorest of us at no expense. Where the poorest among us cannot afford to fight the state the rest of us are obligated to do so.

The guys over at fr33agents have some things to say on the issue.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Good News for the Half-Dozen or so Appointees that Actually Work for the Obama Admin.

Federal Agents raided the former office of Vivek Kundra (the President's appointee for Chief Information Officer) this week as part of an investigation into corruption. As of yet Kundra is not a target of the investigation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And Another One Gone

Chas Freeman has withdrawn from his nomination as the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council when it came to light that he had significant ties to the Saudi and Chinese oil industries.

In related news we've acquired a document outlining the complex process by which the Obama admin. selects and vets candidates for presidential appointment.

Step 1. They divide up a 10 acre plot into one foot square parcels.

Step 2. Take a complete list of all current members of the Democratic party plus 50 wild card spots. Place one picture of one person on the list in each of the one foot squares.

Step 3. A herd of donkeys is released into the field and allowed to graze for the day

Step 4. Whoever the donkeys shit on, 'congratulations Mr./Ms. Political Appointee welcome to the team.'

Friday, March 06, 2009

Obama the Dow Killer

Michael Boskin from the Stanford University Econ. Dept. takes on the agenda from the Obama admin. for what it is. A giant lie.

More Losses for O on the Nomination Front

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta backed out of consideration for the post of Surgeon General this week. Though not yet formally nominated Gupta was widely understood to be the choice for the post within the Obama administration. Gupta sited family related priorities as his reason for withdrawing from consideration. I haven't heard yet if there are any rumors surfacing as to any deeper issues or anything relating to his vetting process. It may be that with a new baby on the way he simply doesn't want to uproot things with his family. The larger issue is that losing nominees is becoming the mark of the Obama presidency.

In related news Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's expected pick for his Deputy has withdrawn her name from consideration as well. Annette Nazareth a prominent former high level staffer at the SEC, has withdrawn for personal reasons as well. There's no indication that policy disputes or vetting related issues are involved in these 'personal reasons'.

With so many high level positions sitting vacant and a seemingly non-stop stream of legal and tax issues for those that have been chosen, its hard to imagine how things are getting done. There is a concern floating around that the Obama admin. is making sweeping policy decision in areas like the economy and health care in a time when it seems impossible for them to have the kind of advice structure in place to truly examine the potential risks in their strategy. The Bush admin. took heat repeatedly for a cowboy-like shoot-from-the-hip policy mentality but nothing they did comes close the wild swings in policy coming out of this admin. and it boggles the mind to think that there really aren't very many experts on board yet. And it's not just the blogosphere that notices. A great many people on Wall Street are sitting up and taking note of the fact that while the credit window is wide open there doesn't seem to be anybody minding the store.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Health Status

Ronald Bailey over at Reason takes a look at an innovative new idea for the free market to provide all the the things that people want from health insurance. Portability, affordability, universality and choice. All while supporting a market based structure to maintain the quality of health-care in America. I think as usual the market deserves this chance before we throw in the towel and settle for the kind of health care only the post office and the DMV could provide.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This Might Be How I Know We'll Be OK

Yeah they are dirty liberal hippies... But they encourage freedom, particularly in the drug war. And they know when to put on a suit and rock the anthem. Phish are of course entertainers first and foremost, but I think they help illustrate a point I've tried to make before; we need to recognize in this country the vast difference between enemies and opposition. We have become a country with two teams who hold the other team in a place of utmost disdain. I disagree with a great many things that people think, on any side of the political spectrum. But I wonder if we have to be enemies just because I'm right and everyone else is clearly wrong... The stakes seem very high these days and I think they will for a while, I'm sure that I will fight adamantly and with deep resolve in defense of what I believe is the right course. But I hope that I have the judgment to face opposing ideas not with bitterness and anger, but with the sincerest goal that at the end of the day we see better what it is we all want and how to move towards it. I am not a moral, ethical, or political relativist. I do not believe that all ideas share equal validity, but I do believe much more in the power and value of the converted than I do in vanquishing a foe. There's a fictional conversation between McCarthy and Einstein in a play I read once, McCarthy wants Einstein to testify against communism; "we need someone who had a choice between frankfurters and hot dogs, and chose hot dogs".

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Unsatisfied With First Place

California, worried that it's role as King of the Tax States might be in danger, has decided to raise taxes. Yes the people of California pay the highest income and state sales taxes in the country, and California spends more money per-capita than any other state, so of course why not make those taxes higher.

There's absolutely no way that years of tax and spend ideology helped put California in the mess that it's in now. No there's no way that taxing business and their customers to death has lead to, wait for it, a revenue problem. Nooooo.

I guess we all know what Abel Maldonado is doing for the rest of his career. Ha Ha Ha Career.

EPA and CO2

This is no surprise. When I worked in Congress in 2000 I had the privilege of sitting in on some meetings where the concept of an EPA power grab through the regulation of carbon dioxide was discussed. This may seem new to a lot of people but it has been no secret in Washington for years that this would be a step towards greater government control. The point of regulating carbon dioxide as opposed to other chemicals is that while there has been significant hoopla about it in the press, it is produced by almost every chemical or mechanical process in the world. If the EPA has the power to set the limits for regulation of C02 produciton then they have the power to regulate anything. Of course they would only use that power when the fate of the world was at stake... Right?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Rendition

The L.A. Times reports this week that under the President's recent Executive Orders he has maintained the practice of rendition. Rendition as you recall is the transfer of prisoners to other nations without a Judicial over site. Basically kidnapping people and handing them over to allies that have harsher torture techniques than we do. While there are advocates of rendition, most of them are not on the left, and Obama specifically campaigned against this kind of action. It would seem change isn't quite what we had hoped.

Print the Money

This is a perfect analysis of how the Obama administration's plan to spend for growth is ludicrous. But hey I could be wrong. I do have a very nice printer.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ginsberg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg had surgery today to remove a cancerous tumor from her pancreas. This of course piques the interest of those either worried or excited about the Obama administration's first opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court Justice. Though doctors say this tumor was caught early and though Ginsberg vows to be back at work when the court re-convenes, there stands a good chance that it wont be for very long. I would caution against panic on either side of the aisle as the current administration would likely replace Justice Ginsberg with someone of similar ideology and political leaning. What I am more concerned about and what should be on the forefront of our national concern is not the ideological position of an Obama appointee. Rather in light of the trouble this young president is having putting together a cabinet, we have to be concerned that a nominee from this President is qualified at all. I can close my eyes and imagine a Senate confirmation hearing in which we discover that a potential Supreme never paid taxes, or perhaps worked as a lobbyist. The trouble with the possibility of an open slot so early in his Presidency (as is the likelihood with pancreatic cancer survival rates being as low as they are) is that this president has had and unprecedentedly small amount of time to learn how to select and vet people for important jobs. He and his team simply cannot get their shit together. This is a dangerous point when we talk about Secretary level posts, but it could be absolutely catastrophic in a lifetime judicial appointment.

Say what you will about Ginsberg, it would be difficult if not impossible to claim that she hasn't at least been qualified and above board. She may disagree on important constitutional matters with you, but it would be far worse if she disagreed with you and was corrupt, unable to understand tax law, or in the pocket of a special interest. Lest we too soon forget the Harriet Miers debacle with the previous President.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

37 Percent

37 Percent may seem like a particularly high popularity to the members of the United States Congress as they haven't seen numbers like that since, well since the Republicans ran things. But it should be noted that once again the public thinks overwhelmingly that Congress is trying it's damnedest to screw us like a Dupont Circle Whore. Why do they keep supporting this stuff? Right, because we let them.

Call your Senator

Steven Chu

New Energy Secretary Steven Chu is making some bold statements about global warming and it's effects on agriculture. Which is odd, since he is neither a climatologist, nor an agriculture specialist. He is, in fact, a physicist. Which as a physicist friend of mine would probably point out, makes him an expert in a great many things, but not climate or agriculture. The fact that he has a Nobel Prize in physics will likely lend credence in the public eye to his wild assertions but people need to realize that in this area he is not specifically qualified in this area. He is, however, an accomplished molecular physicist, a notable and innovative researcher in atomic physics, and an outspoken advocate for nuclear energy. As such he is a qualified administrator when it comes to the development of energy sources.

I wonder if it's not possible to advocate for better, cleaner energy without stepping outside your discipline and crying that the sky is falling?

I'm thinking of starting a campaign showing the importance of paying bloggers tons of money in order to stave off global warming. I think I can make the point that I use significantly less fossil fuels sitting at my computer than I do driving all over town to my regular job. If we do find a way to pay me way more money (which at this point would be any at all) then the whole world is going to sink into the ocean, and then the apes take over. We all know how that goes and trust me none of us wants to time warp forward into that world and end up on a beach with the remnants of the statue of liberty.

Comment with an email address for information on how to send me money.

So far

So Obama has backed off of his pledge to require the 'buy American clause' in government deals. He's lost at least three of four embattled nominees to various sundry behaviors (mostly tax evasion which incidentally is how they got Capone). He's lost a Kennedy senate appointment (which there is only a mild amount of evidence was his goal anyway). He's failed miserably in gaining the support of the Republicans in congress for his bailout plan. And as of this morning the American public (54 percent) think that the bailout sucks. He's backed away from his pledge to exclude lobbyists from his administration. He's completely ignored an ice storm that's killing a good many people. And according to interviews he, so far, is struck most by the fact that "Every decision you make counts"

CHANGE? Really?... Really?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Seems Familiar

Not a surprise
As someone who was shoved against a moving train car by a crowd on the DC metro some years ago following a fourth of July celebration on the Mall I can attest that it's not a pretty scene there when there are too many people. The DC Metro system is a joke and there is no way to control the crowds that they have there today. I'm happy not to be anywhere near it.

In Better News

Murdering bastard Teddy K. collapsed to the floor of statuary hall today in convulsions. There's a spot in the room where the acoustics are so perfectly tuned that the quietest whispers can be heard clearly from a corresponding spot some 30feet away. One wonders if perhaps Teddy was on that spot and if so what lucky soul got to listen to it. More to come when we know more of course. And as always... Our prayers go out to his family...

Spare Change is Here

Ugh... well it's done anyway. Now comes the part where we spend all the money we don't have to make bureaucrats wealthier in the hopes that we'll get checks in the mail. Hang on to your piggy banks you'll want some change left over.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Atlas Shrugged

Stephen Moore over at the Wall Street Journal has a few interesting things to say about the current economic situation and how it aptly relates to Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged. One hopes that he's wrong about what's to come, but the odds don't seem to be in our favor. Take a read.

BART Police Murder Man on the Subway

There's very little in this video that leads me to believe that this was not an act of deliberate homicide. We'll see what the investigation comes up with but I'm betting that as with most police involved murders there will be no charges and the officer will be returned to duty.

Oddly this video makes the Rodney King beating look like a hand shake and cab ride home. I'm not sure why on earth the citizens of SF haven't torn the subway system apart. Hopefully cooler heads will continue to prevail and justice is indeed found in this case but I would imagine that won't be the case.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Friends and Politics

I had an IM conversation today about politics with a friend of mine. He and I agree on quite a few things and disagree on quite a few more things. During the course of the conversation my friend got the impression that I was perhaps becoming upset. That was not in any way the case but I know why he thought that. My argument was becoming more accusatory and less fair. It made me think for a while about the nature of our national political debate. Things in this country right now are particularly harsh. At least they seam to be. Partisan politics have taken on a mentality that seems more oriented towards team spirit than ideology. We have come to think that there is some fight that must be fought. Always an adversary that must be bested. We are more interested in standing beside the person that shares our party orientation than we are in standing with the people who we respect and enjoy. I have friends of many beliefs, many faiths, and many ideologies. I have friends that hold my political beliefs in the highest possible contempt. But I can't help wishing that all of my friends were sitting together at one table, talking about our beliefs and what course we think that a government should take, if it must involve us all. I'm sure that my friend the christian and my friend the communist can break bread with my friend the libertarian and my friend the socialist. I'm positive that all of these people have sound minds and compassionate hearts. We disagree on a great many things in this country, and in this world, but we agree on so much more.

Another friend of mine this week told me that he thought that Americans were ignorant and xenophobic. Perhaps he's right but I suspect that Americans are too interested in taking sides and not interested enough in understanding each other. I don't want to sound all bleeding heart soft, moral relative, all people's opinions are equally valid. I simply don't believe that. Ideas and opinions have very distinct consequences, some are destructive, some lead to very bad places. But I do think that free people, open people, honest people can disagree without silence and without animosity.

I guess my point is this; sure I think my evangelical friends ideas may be bad for liberty, and certainly I think that my socialist friend's ideas will lead to bureaucratic sludge and destruction, but I don't believe that they pursue those ideas with anything other than a full heart and an honest goal for the betterment of our world. Anyone like that may drink in my home and eat at my table. Removing ourselves from each other simply because we disagree over important issues can lead to nothing good. Sharing those ideas helps each of us to understand the people that disagree with us. We may not change each others minds but it's more difficult to go to war with someone you know.

Well of Course

Now it makes sense why CNN and the NYT have been harping on the Israelis all this week. At first it seemed odd that the left wing news sources would come across as so decidedly anti-semetic, but then again no it didn't. Usually the news sources tend to attempt to be at least fair when accosting a country that voluntarily vacated Gaza and tolerated the non-stop shelling of their civilians for three years before undertaking a military response. Although it is just like the left to think that if you have tolerated the shelling of your civilians for three years there's no reason to think that continued diplomatic action is not the only acceptable response. See this has me all scattered. My point is that it all makes sense when you realize that they are prepping the populous for this. Of course the Obama camp is prepared to negotiate with terrorists. Why wouldn't they be. And why would we expect anything from the NYT and CNN but a full-throated effort to fluff the population for that kind of penetration.

Happy Birthday Elvis Presley


Today Elvis Presley would have been 74years old. Still missed big guy.

That's What I Call A Stimulus Package

Larry Flynt (Hustler Magazine) and Joe Francis (Girls Gone Wild) have written a letter to congress asking them for $5B dollars to help with financial troubles. They cite the rise of free pornography on the internet among the contributions to their fiscal woes.

"The government is handing out money," Francis tells E! News. "They're moving toward a nationalized economy, and Larry and I felt we might as well be a part of it."

The porn industry is a leader both in technology and social trends. I wonder what the economic effects would be of a failed porn industry... I, for one, am not particularly worried about it. I know that even if Larry and Joe lose their porn empires there will still be a significant supply of smut for exactly the reasons they have mentioned. People are already providing low cost or no cost pornography to the community via the internet. I surmise that the most interesting part of this will be the reactions from the same people who lobbied for the other bailouts. We can all clearly see that there will never be a shortage of affordable porn because the market provides it. But it stands to reason that the market provides these things precisely because there is nor reasonable expectation that they will receive government aid. It's a perfect example of the kind of tough love that is necessary across the board to help allow this economy to self adjust and return to sensible levels so that growth may continue naturally.

The idea that redistributing wealth to the largest and wealthiest corporations in the country simply because they would like to continue to thumb their noses at the market is categorically preposterous. The fact that most of us can agree on that only when the product is, to some, morally objectionable is, well i suppose it's just how the United States Congress works.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Thing

I have added a link to a store front. You can buy t-shirts and stickers and stuff like that. Right now it's just an experiment with only one design. I will add more soon. I'm trying to iron out the kinks in it before the launch of the new site.

Buy Stuff

I HOPE They Don't Arrest You for Your Music

Just a paragraph from Associate AG nominee Tom Perrelli's bio on the website for his firm.

"Mr. Perrelli regularly represents the recording industry in cutting-edge intellectual property, technology, and anti-piracy litigation. He has represented the recording industry in a host of cases arising under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), as well as in copyright infringement and digital piracy litigation. He has also represented the record industry and recording artists in a series of copyright royalty proceedings before the Copyright Royalty Board. Since his return to Jenner & Block in 2001, Mr. Perrelli has also represented Democratic voters and elected officials in redistricting litigation arising out of the 2000 Census."

So if I have this straight, the debate on intellectual property rights just ended and you had better stop making copies of the music you own and putting those copies on things like music players. I wonder if this is what HOPE means? Hope for the RIAA just like last week's Hope for Monsanto. Is it too early to say I told you so?

John Mayer

The Guardian has an article in which 'musician' John Mayer is quoted saying some nonsense about the video game Guitar Hero sullying the image of people who are "talented" and can actually play a real guitar. This once again substantiates a point I have made many times before: John Mayer is a giant tool and needs to be fed to hogs. This idiot started his pop career with a song mocking people who went to college instead of becoming rockers and now he is mocking people that play Guitar Hero, many of whom listened to his advice and skipped college. It is my sincerest hope that Jennifer Aniston comes to her senses and stabs the little bastard.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A quick side note

Looks like the former head of Time Warner is under consideration for the commerce sec. post that would have been Bill Richardson's had he not been the alleged criminal we all thought he was in the first place. I'm always glad to see the head of a corporation that can't even manage to keep an internet connection running end up in charge of commerce. Commerce isn't very important anyway. I was kinda sick of it.

Sanjay?

According the the Washington Post sources close to the nominations process are confirming an offer of the Surgeon General position to none other than CNN's very own Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

While I'm not particularly bothered by the SG being a TV doctor, I do sincerely hope that he has been chosen due in some part to his qualifications and not his notoriety. His qualifications do include a Medical license and he also seems to actually be a neurosurgeon. He appears to have been an adviser to Hillary Clinton when she was not an elected official but was still interested in developing the most ridiculously failed attempt at health care policy in years. But he also appears to have been only one in a large group of advisers she had at the time, so there's no telling if the HillaryCare gem belongs in his ring or not. He does seem to have a history of pissing off Michael Moore so that's something.

The Obama camp considered other "professionals" for the top slots in the US government. Among them are former White House Staffers for with no intelligence experience for intelligence related jobs, former military leaders for education posts, whores to the corn lobby for agriculture posts, the same military advisers who ran the Iraq war to remain on and run the Iraq war. I could go on but I won't. I suppose if a priest can be a marriage counselor then this will all turn out just fine.

In Case You Wondered What Social Security Was

CATO has the answer.

I Can't Help It

I love watching Democrats do what they always do. I wont deny that my upbringing with the other party leads me to a sick kind of joy when the left buries themselves. It's just a part of how I am. So the fact that the Senate is a disaster of hardly viable new senators is like a little tiny Christmas present for me. On the one hand the D's may very well seat a comedian who won on a tiny court maneuvered majority vote. Or maybe they lose a court case and lost the seat... Who knows. Either way they end up looking stupid. They either lose a seat or they win and they have Stuart Smalley in their midst.

Next they have a relatively qualified, black, Senator from Chicago appointed legally by a sitting governor. If the D's refuse to seat him, they clearly have no respect for the law and the fact that people are innocent in America until they are proven guilty in a court of law. Not to mention the fact that they will be standing in obviously racist opposition to a qualified black Senator. Of course if they do seat him, they are encouraging a man who is obviously corrupt and an indicator of a larger corruption running rampant within the party.

It's kind of sad watching a party eat itself alive before it even gets to work on anything. But then again maybe it's not so sad.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

More Trouble for Obama

Before anybody is even sworn in the President Elect's choice for Commerce Secretary is stepping down amid investigations into contracts handed out to his donors.

Seems like the Obama admin just can't help themselves from stepping into messes. We'll how this plays out but it stands to reason that the honeymoon will have to come to an end eventually and people will start to see what's on this administration's shoes.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Open Source

I don't spend much time talking about technology on this blog. The reasons for that are simple; 1. The areas of technology in which I am an expert are not the areas I am interested in writing about, nor do they have a broad appeal 2. I know people who are actual experts in the areas that I would be interested in writing about 3. I am not an expert in those areas. That being said I am currently in the midst of an annual ritual from which I get a sick amount of joy: reformatting my hard drive and reinstalling my operating system and programs. I enjoy this because I get the chance to clean up old messes, streamline things, update and replace programs, research new apps and consolidate old data. It's fun. Usually I like doing it when I've set aside some time, lined up options, prepared. This time I was not so lucky. Despite diligent efforts and numerous layers of protection, updated frequently, I still managed to get a nasty Trojan horse virus on my laptop. I'm sure with enough time and effort I could have defeated it but after three hours of attempts at running my anti virus from a command line inside windows safe mode I just said screw it and began the time honored reformat process.

So while I have endeavored on this process again I thought I would take a moment to glow about the teaming world of open source software and share a few of my old favorites and some new discoveries as well.

If you aren't familiar with open source software it is a world of software and apps that is developed out in the open without hiding source code and is editable by anybody in the known world that is interested in working on it. They are entirely free to users and developers. Well not entirely free, people who develop the products often invest time, personal resources, and sometimes commercial resources to which they have access. Open source is great because users and developers aren't locked into one company's strategy or needs. Each person can build what they choose, support the product as they choose, and the entire community responds to the needs and desires of the users. To put simply millions of possible developers are working diligently on whatever problem you might face precisely because they themselves might face the same problems and because they can.

Ubuntu A fantastic Open Source operating system. If your needs as a user don't go beyond the basic average user and you are willing to get past a small learning curve this is fast becoming a viable alternative to Windows or Mac OS

Open Office A complete office suite that for my money has completely replaced any need I had for Microsoft Office. Completely compatible with Microsoft Office file formats and just as feature heavy.

ClamWin Is an anti virus program that I have only recently started using. It comes highly recomended.

Firefox If you haven't already discovered this, or upgraded to Firefox 3 I just can't imagine that you still actually bother with the internet.

VLC Media Player This is an amazingly compatible media player that has replaced all kinds of apps on my system. It plays many different vid. and audio formats with no trouble at all.


These are just a few, the web is crawling with programs like them. For more information on Open Source software and the philosophy check out the Open Source Initiative.

Friday, January 02, 2009

I Sometimes Wish My Name Was Kennedy

Because I am completely unqualified to govern and yet I think it would be fun. Of course as a man that comes with heavy baggage, murdering women and things of that nature. Do you think Caroline as a Kennedy and as a woman ever feels a strange overwhelming urge to go swimming at night, alone?

Hank Paulson Again

After an exhaustive search Hank Paulson comes up with a theory for the current economic crisis that, if he says it just right, and manages to keep a straight face, might convince five people that neither he, nor the house of representatives deserves to be doused in their own excrement and dumped at sea. But all five of those people are members of the House of Representatives. Oh and maybe one guy that cares about the ocean.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

It Makes Sense

Really the idea of a faith based institution with a history of wide scale political manipulation and using the unknown and the mythical to control large unwitting populations receiving investment capital from the Church of England is not all that strange.