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.


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.