INTERESTING: A lesson to do not hesitate to act

Thursday, January 31, 2008

South Wins!!
by Russell D. Longcore

***Begin Quote***

Over 150 million people are not killed by governments and wars during the 20th century. All because Jefferson Davis did not hesitate to act on a day in July of 1861.

One Man Can Make A Difference.

***End Quote***

Interesting observation.

But like shoulda, coulda, and woulda probably not overly useful.

However, I do like alternate history better than what we’ve got!

# # # # #

POLITICAL: but rebuked the agency for failing to protect the city

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Katrina Lawsuit Vs. Army Corps Dismissed
Jan 31, 6:26 AM (ET)

*** begin quote ***

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Saying his hands were tied by law, a federal judge dismissed a class-action lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina, but rebuked the agency for failing to protect the city.

*** end quote ***

Sovereign Immunity?

“Rebuked” — big deal. They got there paychecks and pensions. The folks get screwed!

The gooferment is just here to protect and serve … … itself!

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TECH HARDWARE: OLPC can’t deliver!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Big Delays, Small Laptops: OLPC XO Recipients Mad
Posted by Soulskill on Friday January 25, @08:15AM
from the give-one-get-one-if-you-are-lucky dept.
Portables Hardware

***Begin Quote***

PCWMike writes to tell us about the growing concern over the failure of OLPC to deliver laptops to some of its customers. PC World editor-in-chief Harry McCracken notes that record-keeping was poor for some of the people who paid via PayPal. A report on LinuxJournal also suggests that customer information was lost due to errors in the database software used by OLPC. Quoting PC World: “OLPC spokesperson Jackie Lustig acknowledges problems with the ordering and the fulfillment process, but says the biggest challenges are a short supply of XO laptops and the organization’s ability to meet consumer demand for the XO laptop. Some also wonder whether chronic delivery problems for Give One, Get One donors may bode poorly for the 15 countries slated to receive nearly 500,000 XO notebooks. Lustig says delivering in bulk to just over a dozen countries is infinitely simpler than processing and delivering 80,000 individual laptops.”

***End Quote***

Guess I wasn’t lucky. Now the “early January” date has slipped to “maybe April”. Argh! What did these guys take lessons from Dell? They should have outsourced it to Amazon!

# # # # #



MONEY: Creating a ladder — continuing the conversation from where I left off

Sunday, January 27, 2008

MONEY: Creating a ladder

***Begin Quote***

You walk in on January 2nd with your 16k$ and buy A one year, two year, three year, and a four year cd for 1k$ each. You also buy a Ninety day, One Hundred Eighty day, and a Two Hundred Seventy day cd for 4k$ each.

***End Quote***

MONEY: Deploying a CD ladder isn’t easy

*** begin quote ***

And, if your account goes over the FDIC insurance cap, I’ll set up the overflow with my competitor down the street.

*** end quote ***

Well, picking up from where I left off, it’s very easy to flow over the FDIC 100k limit. So one has to plan ahead to avoid this problem. For example, in the example of a five year quarterly cd ladder, one has 20 slots to fill. Assuming the 100k limit, then one is limited to 100,000/20 or 5k$. If you do a five year twelve month cd ladder, then the limit is $1,666.66. So, you’ll be using different banks to avoid that.

Now if one wants to have say 100k in retirement income, that’s 5% of 2M$.

(Before you do a Redd Fox — clutching your heart and exclaiming this is the big one — recognize that this is not much in terms of inflation and costs in retirement. Not when a ride on the NJ Turnpike is going to cost 50$! Argh!)

So, how does one develop a 2M$ ladder? And, how do you grow into your own “annuity”?

2M$ across a 20 rung (4 Quarter by 5 years) comes out very neatly to 100k$.

So you need 20 DIFFERENT FDIC banks for your CDs at full capacity. You are always taking the interest, so you never rollover the entire cd.

Since most folks I know don’t start with 2M$, how do you do this organically?

I suggest that you start with one bank and target your deposits with an eye to the magic 100k five year cd. So assume that you can “save” 5k/year, then it’ll take you 20 years to get to that 100k target. (Don’t be discouraged! Make a game of it.) Each year you buy a five year cd for your 5k, rollover interest, and as you “range in” on your goal tune your maturity to have it all come due at the same time.

Do it in your IRA and it’s tax deferred.

The more you save the faster you get there.

Seem “easy” in terms of the financial injineering!


# # # # #

TECH HARDWARE: Sitting on the back seat was a … …

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Photo Clues Lead to Camera’s Owner
Jan 26, 4:43 AM (ET)

***Begin Quote***

At dusk on New Year’s Eve, Erika Gunderson got into a taxi in New York City and entered a digital-age mystery. Sitting on the back seat was a nice Canon digital camera. Gunderson asked the driver which previous passenger might have left it, but the cabbie didn’t seem to care. So Gunderson brought it home and showed it to her fiance, Brian Ascher. They decided that the only right thing to do was to find the owner.

***End Quote***

I won’t spoil the story by revealing the ending, but …

… why don’t electronic devices have a return address?

… why don’t all cell phones suggest an ICE (In Case of Emergency)?

… why don’t more people try harder like these folks?

# # # # #

INTERESTING: homicide of an unborn child

Sunday, January 27, 2008

January 26, 2008
Driver Charged in Crash That Killed Woman’s Unborn Child

***Begin Quote***

KITTANNING, Pa. — An Armstrong County woman has been charged after a car she was driving crashed into another vehicle, killing the other driver’s unborn child. Fifty-three-year-old Sheila Marlene Altman of Ford City has been arraigned on charges of vehicular homicide, drunken driving, homicide of an unborn child, involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault.

***End Quote***

What I find interesting is that the gooferment picks and chooses when someone becomes a person deserving of its protection. The Constitution does cite the “right to life” as one of the principle reasons for the existence of any government. In this story, it’s an “unborn child”; if they were talking about abortion, it would have been a fetus. I’m confused.

Please don’t think I’m for driving carelessly, negligently, or stupidly. I am for a little consistency.

# # # # #

INTERESTING: Another lesson that I didn’t get in school

Saturday, January 26, 2008;f=64;hardset=0;start_point=0;DaysPrune=0

Another lesson that I didn’t get in school.

(I’m learning even at my advanced age that there are many!)

I read some “patriot fiction” from the above link. Mostly TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) stuff.

(Amazingly good, Some surprisingly long. Interesting twists. Some technical stuff obviously cut ‘n’ pasted.)

The interesting part of it is that one quickly realizes that humanity can’t survive without the cooperation of all the folks.

That’s clearly a lesson that the politicians have “forgotten”. As you listen to how they pander, pontificate, and prevaricate in their speeches and debates, one realizes how they miss the essence of society and how “short” the fall on the “leadership standard ruler”.

That’s clearly a lesson that the people have never learned.

That’s a lesson that “big business” has to relearn. Management gurus like Tom Peters and the quality guys have been stressing for ages to no avail. Having come thru layoffs many times, it’s clear that some organizations don’t value their “human resources”.

People first; you can’t succeed without them. Heck, you can’t survive without them. You need to find the ways to align interests.

Another lesson that I didn’t get in school.


# # # # #

JOBSEARCH: things a compensation system needs to accomplish

Friday, January 25, 2008

Passion, People and Principles
post # 493 — Friday, January 25, 2008 — a Managing, Strategy post
Compensation Systems

***Begin Quote***

I’m thinking of writing a monograph or a book on compensation systems. As part of it, I began a list of some of the things a compensation system needs to accomplish. It’s a long potential list of objectives – too long, since no one system can accomplish all too many objectives – and many of them are contradictory!!

***End Quote***

The compensation system should not be “game-able” by the company. You’ve focused all on what the company needs; what does the employee need? A “crystal’ box process that can’t be “past posted” by the company. Two of the most demoralizing experiences I’ve had was when I did hit a “home run” which should have paid a multi-million dollar bonus the rules changed AND, another time, they decided what they wanted to pay and “backed in” to that by tinkering with the formula. Argh!

# # # # #

RANT: the negative ramifications of illegal Mexican immigration

Friday, January 25, 2008

January 25, 2008
Can the GOP Reframe the Illegal Immigration Issue?
By Lee Cary

*** begin quote ***

One major task facing the eventual Republican presidential nominee will be to reframe the debate toward the real issue: the negative ramifications, to both illegal immigrants and U.S. citizens, that stem from mass uncontrolled immigration from Mexico.

*** end quote ***


“Illegal” versus “legal” immigration is a smoke screen in front of the real issue.

The Mexican “invasion” of illegals across the border is more smoke.

The real issue is welfare!

I’m against welfare. For anyone. Period. Exclamation point. It’s socialism, (or worse), to steal from one person to dole it out to some one else, after extracting a large “handling fee” (i.e., pay a bunch of politicians and bureaucrats to steal and dole).

Under the heading of “welfare”, I include “free public education”, “free medical care”, and all the other “services” that gooferment at all levels provides.

(As a side note, there is another moral hazard with “free public education” provided by the gooferment, it’s propaganda; not education. When the communists setup reeducation camps for political prisoners or when they remove children from their families for education, Americans were horrified and deservedly so. When our own gooferment does it, that’s different. How? That escapes me. But, it’s no surprise at how poorly we are doing education wise in terms of results or costs. The continued reelection of the same hacks can be directly attributed to the “reeducation camps” here in the USA.)

So get rid of welfare, and the only “good” immigrants that will want to come. They will be the ones we want. People who want to work, improve their lot, and that’s good for all of us. And, when the “illegals” who are here to collect find life tough, they will take themselves home or get to work.

Either way — come to work or get to work, I don’t give a damn!

The side benefit of fixing “welfare” is that those USA citizens, who have been gaming the system and “collecting”, will also have to start “earning”. They need to pull their own weight in this lifeboat. They are no better than the “illegal immigrants” collecting.

We should remember the lessons of the Pilgrims in 1620. They nearly starved under socialism until they discovered “capitalism”. Once, everyone was rewarded for their labors, the community prospered.

Socialism kills; “greed” (i.e., enlightened self-interest) is good.

# # # # #

LIBERTY: Homeland Security — an idea whose time has passed

Friday, January 25, 2008

***Begin Quote***

[4] National Identification Plan Announced

On January 11, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael
Chertoff released the agency’s final regulations for REAL ID, the
national identification system. The proposal has drawn sharp criticism
from state governments, members of Congress, civil liberties advocates,
and security experts. The law was passed in 2005 and will require
significant changes to the state driver’s license if such ID cards are
to be use for “federal purposes.”

REAL ID was appended to a bill providing tsunami relief and military
appropriations, and passed with little debate and no hearings. The REAL
ID Act repealed provisions in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism
Prevention Act of 2004, which contained “carefully crafted language –
bipartisan language — to establish standards for States issuing
driver’s licenses,” according to Sen. Richard Durbin.

In the final regulations, Secretary Chertoff scaled back some of the
requirements, reduced the cost, and extended the deadline for state
compliance. As part of the cost-saving effort, Homeland Security has
decided not to encrypt the data that will be stored on the card, leaving
the data open for download by third parties, such as clubs and bars. The
agency said that it would make $360 million available to the states to
implement REAL ID — $80 million in dedicated funding and the agency
will allow the states can use up to $280 million in homeland security
grant funding. States argue that those grants are apportioned to first
responder training, port security, and other homeland security programs,
and that funds should not be diverted away from these programs to pay
for the national identification system.

Homeland Security says that states must apply to the agency for an
extension and promise to implement the REAL ID national identification
system or else the states’ driver’s licenses and ID cards will not be
“accepted for federal purposes” beginning on May 11, 2008. Currently,
“federal purposes” is defined as entering federal buildings, boarding
commercial flights, and entering nuclear facilities. However, Secretary
Chertoff also indicated that the REAL ID card would be used for a wide
variety of purposes, unrelated to the law that authorized the system,
including employment verification and immigration determination. He also
indicated that the agency would not prevent the use of the card by
private parties for non-government purposes.

The states are rebelling against the national ID scheme. On January 18,
Montana governor Brian Schweitzer wrote to the governors of 17 states
asking them to join him in rejecting the REAL ID system. Montana is one
of 17 that has passed legislation against REAL ID. “Today, I am asking
you to join with me in resisting the DHS coercion to comply with the
provisions of REAL ID,” Gov. Schweitzer wrote. “I would like us to speak
with one, unified voice and demand the Congress step in and fix this

Congress is considering legislation to repeal REAL ID. Sen. Patrick
Leahy, who co-sponsored legislation to replace REAL ID with the
negotiated rulemaking process originally enacted in the 2004
Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act, criticized the final
regulations. “The Bush administration’s REAL ID program will not only
lead to long lines at every DMV across the country, it will impose a
massive unfunded mandate on state governments while offering absolutely
no federal privacy protections to our citizens,” Sen. Leahy said. “It is
unfortunate that instead of addressing the fundamental problems this law
poses for the states, the Administration appears content merely to
prolong a contentious and unproductive battle to force the states to

The Department of Homeland Security has also been criticized for its own
poor security practices. In May 2007, a Homeland Security office lost
the personal data of 100,000 employees. According to security expert
Bruce Schneier, “Measures like REAL ID have limited security benefit.
Identification systems are complex, and the unforgability of the plastic
card is only a small part of the security equation. Issuance
procedures, verification procedures, and the back-end database are far
more vulnerable to abuse, and — perversely — a harder-to-forge card
makes subverting the system even more valuable. Good security doesn’t
try to divine intentionality from identification, but instead provides
for broad defenses regardless of identification.”

Department of Homeland Security’s Page on REAL ID (including links to
Final Rule and final Privacy Impact Assessment):

Sen. Patrick Leahy, Press Release about REAL ID Final Regulations (Jan.
11, 2008):

Letter From Montana Governor to 17 States (Jan. 18, 2008) (pdf):

Stop REAL ID Campaign:

EPIC’s Press Release: Homeland Security Department Announces Deeply
Flawed Regulations For National ID System (Jan. 11, 2008):

EPIC’s Page on National ID Cards and REAL ID Act (includes links to
states’ anti-REAL ID legislation):

***End Quote***

We just don’t need this bunch of boobs!

# # # # #


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ron Paul explains the recent “dead cat bounce”. And, why there WILL be more down side and inflation. Argh!

# # # # #

NEW JERSEY: The Guv proposed a series of toll hikes

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


*** begin quote ***

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine (D) has proposed a series of toll hikes to begin in 2010 to go towards fixing the state’s budget woes and repairs to roadways. Under Corzine’s Financial Restructuring and Debt Reduction Plan, the cost of the average turnpike trip would increase about five times by 2022 to $9.86. Since the announcement of the plan during his State Of The State address, the plan has met with overwhelming opposition from the public, all wondering what they can do.

*** end quote ***

An 800% increase in tolls. Lots more money for Trenton to waste. No sign of any contriteness, contraction, or even shame from the politicians.

The Guv wants an alternative.

How about:

* An across the board 20% cut in all State spending

* Hiring freeze; zero replacement plan.

* Stop all pensions for politicians.

* Freeze state workers pensions. Convert to a cash balance 401k. Give notes to cover the accrued liability.

* Constitutionally limit spending.

* Constitutional end “thorough and efficient education”.

* End welfare.

* Restrict State Government functions to preventing the initiation of force and fraud.

I bet that would obviate the need for the Guv’s “Hock the Roads” plan.

# # # # #

RANT: Call me a “flying pig”

Wednesday, January 23, 2008




FUN: Can Lap Dances be Expensed?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

<object width=”425″ height=”373″><param name=”movie” value=”>″></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”373″></embed></object>

AN absolute hoot!

Not that I think Jack has to worry about his career being threatened.

But, you have to wonder at the the time and effort put into You Tube videos.


# # # # #

WRITING: The Short March

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Short March

The disaster happened. (Does it really matter which one?) I was fat, old, and unprepared. There was no choice but to go on the dole. I went to the grocery store, turned in my Real Id driver’s license, the private swiped it. “Go to the Meat Department”. The woman in front of me was sent to the Bakery; the guy behind the Vegetable Aisle. I wonder why, but there was no time. I was directed thru to the loading dock and onto a deuce and a half. With many other old souls.

It wasn’t a long ride. It looked like a College campus. It could have been an office plex for all I know. There was a loading dock and a ramp down to the parking lot. There were numbered circles. We were directed to stand on one. A UN Officer addressed us in perfect English. “Please put down your bag and get your tag. There’s a short walk to your new home. Your bag will be returned after it was searched for contraband. You get cleaned up, fed, and settled in for the night.” OK, sounds good a fellow in scrubs comes, tags the bag, gives me the other half, and whispers “God bless”. That was strange.

The officer blew his whistle, the “scrubs” all ran to the side and a platoon of soldiers ran to the orange circles that I just noticed. The “soldiers” all looked “different”. Not in a big way. But in shoulder patches, ranks, and the all important divisions. When did you ever see MPs mixed with Combat Engineers? The Macy’s day parade. I had a very bad feeling. I was on the outside. The soldiers were place every other row on both sides; each side was off set one row. All guns were pointing into the formation. That was really odd. You never point a weapon at what you’re not prepared to destroy?

I remembered a conversation when I was a little boy with an old Jewish refugee. He tearily described how he was separated from his family at the concentration camp. The showers jumped to mind. I was now very afraid.

The officer blew his whistle again, “Forward March”.

We sloppily moved across a little field and up a smaller path. There was a disturbance on the other side. Th guard’s attention was diverted. So, I exited stage left with all due speed. I never looked back. I could hear something behind me. When I ran thru woods as a kid, I always high stepped. Old habit came back. I heard a thud. Stopped and turned around. The guard was down. I hustled back. He was dead. Broken neck I think. I grabbed the gun and what I could and moved sideways into the thickets. I head a lot of shots from where I came. Embolden with a weapon, I crawled back. I heard a group coming down the trail, they found the guard, and dragged him back to the parking lot.

I saw the guards on their orange circles. The UN officer was with an American Officer who was doing all the yelling. I was now ready to kill. Was I really? The American Officer went to the last guard on the far side and executed him. He did the same on “my” side. I wondered if this rifle was sighted for distance. Nothing I could do. I put the American Officer in the sight, remembered my breathing, and slowly squeezed. The bullet covered the distance, but I missed. The center of mass that is. The gun fired high. Who knows where was sighted? It went thru the taller American’s throat and into the taller UN guy’s head. Time to exit stage right. When I crouched up, I heard a crack.

“Herr General, we have casualties in the Population Reduction program.” “Of course, we pruning civilians.” “No, Herr General, one of ours. And, one of the snotty American traitors.” “Who?” “Colonel Franz Shummer” “Was he in our uniform?” “No, the switch was on.” “Strange, I thought that this would be bloodless for us.” “Who did it?” “Some fat old man.” “Dead?” “yes” “Too bad, I’d have like to have had him questioned”. “Send a replacement and how will this effect our numbers”. “It’s only one location. We should have no trouble meeting our quotas!” “Very well, 95% reduction is a big quota”

Silently the General remembered a famous Admiral and a sleeping tiger.

# # # # #

TECH SERVICE: What comes after blogging?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What comes after blogging?
First comes static Web site postings, then comes blogs, then comes tumblelogs

Web Applications Alert Newsletter By Mark Gibbs, Network World, 01/16/08

*** begin quote ***

First came Web sites with static postings. Then came blogs, essentially diaries on steroids. The astute reader might guess what question that raises: What comes after blogging? Some believe the answer is “tumblelogs” – a curious and compelling hybrid of a blog and a scrapbook. The definitive tumblelog service today is Tumblr, but the term “tumblelog” was first coined as long ago as 2005 to describe the formatting of a blog.

*** end quote ***

Interesting. I’ll try it, of course.

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JOBSEARCH: How do you teach “networking”?

Friday, January 18, 2008

January 18, 2008
Networking is Sexually Unbiased
Posted by G. Lane Cavalier under Networking

*** begin quote ***

Lillian D Bjorseth had the following article in her newsletter today. I chose to put it up here for two reasons.

*** end quote ***



***Begin Comment ***

Well, it would seem that women have a long way to go to overcome all those hurdles. Having a young girl within my sphere of influence, I was thinking about getting her an address book, a universal day book, and some stamps. I was think of paying her a bounty for every name, address, phone number, birthday, and anniversary that she could collect. What do you think? Can one manufacture a “networker” the way you can a basketball “player”? A lot of Dads manufacture many of the ladies who play college women’s basketball to get free tuition. My wife and I can pick them out. They are “wooden” and are deadly shots if all alone. So, can we some how create master networkers from a child’s greed? Hmmm.

***End Comment ***

So, what would I need to do?

* An “address book” to record names and dates.

* A calendar for her to record names to be remembered.

* A roll of stamps.

* A box of various cards.

And, of course, a plan.

I want her to do this to learn what I should have been taught. I want to make it “fun” so she doesn’t think it’s a chore. I want to make it “challenging” since I don’t think she’s ever been challenged like this will.

I’m figuring a loose leaf binder for an address book. With a simple form to fill out. (Full name, address, phone number, email, birthday, anniversary, siblings.) For which, I’d pay a dollar. If she sends cards on time, then maybe another dollar.

(I’d get one those inventory rubber stamps to ensure “honesty”. She’s not old enough yet to be devious enough to scam me undetected. She’ll learn soon enough. She’s a girl!)

I almost have the idea thought out enough to discuss.



# # # # #

INTERESTING: Bobby Fischer, American chess master

Friday, January 18, 2008

World Chess Champion Bobby Fischer Dies
Jan 18, 7:26 AM (ET)

*** begin quote ***

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) – Bobby Fischer, the reclusive American chess master who became a Cold War icon when he dethroned the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky as world champion in 1972, has died. He was 64.

***End Quote***

They say the line between genius and madness is very grey.

I played a lot of chess as a child. (I was a rated chess and bridge player. And, if I was born a couple of decades later, then I might have been a poker millionaire. I knew the math side; would have had to learn the people side.) I knew of Fischer before he was “popular”. I followed his games in the chess rags and chess clubs in the Greenwich Village. In fact, at chess, you can quickly see that you are out classed with no hope of ever getting better. His games were like that. I found many people, who while better than I, opined that he was the “Cassius Clay” of our “sport”. After that point, you’re either just kidding yourself or wasting time. So, I moved on to find my niche at something I was unique at. (I’m still looking!?!)

I hope he found peace.

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LIBERTY: Spread the cost across all American taxpayers largely for the sake of whom?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Libertarian Foreign Policy in the Hobbesian Crosshairs: A Reply to Bret Stephens
by Robert Higgs

***Begin Quote***

Nobody “forced” Americans to begin to build a navy in the 1790s. Government officials and seafaring merchants decided to do so and to deploy this force against (among others) the pirates to whom the government had been paying protection money. They might instead have continued to pay off the Barbary raiders. Or they might have rested content to let the merchants of other nations, perhaps Great Britain, which already had a large navy, handle the shipping of American goods in the Mediterranean. The fact that U.S. leaders resorted to force does not demonstrate that they chose the best option. This option did, however, socialize the costs of engaging in the Mediterranean trade, spreading it across all American taxpayers largely for the sake of the traders who had an immediate interest in the matter.

***End Quote***

Here’s a interesting formulation of gooferment.

SOMEONE has a problem. Whey then make it a gooferment problem, it can be FIXED regardless of cost. TAXPAYERS pay and SOMEONE benefits.

Look at everything the gooferment is in and you’ll see the same paradigm and meme in play.

# # # # #

RANT: Hey Governor Corzine — still wanna hear about state cars? … (continued) …

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You don’t? TOO BAD!

This morning 17 January 2008 @ 0730 local

… on Route 295S milepost 47 …

… a white suv TD 1161 …

… at a leisurely 75+ (Your serf speed limit is 65) …

… never left the left lane (Do you teach them to do that, or is that a qualification for working for the state of nujerzee!?)

Any way I am sure that he was hurrying to get away from the scene of the crime in trenton. (Everything politicians and bureaucrats do in Trenton is a crime!)

… just to protect and serve me.


P.S.: Next time you talk to your buddy George (Everyone knows there’s not a dime worth of difference between Democans and Republicrats. Look at old man Bush and Clinton — pals. “Yuck, did we put one over on them.”), please ask him if he could tell his minions to observe the state speed limits? (So much for the tenth amendment!) I saw “Go Army” car US Gooferment plate 66-15-08 at milepost 59.5 on 295 South zipping by in the left lane. What does that person think they are … “the Guv”?


P.S.: Dear reader, I don’t write these every day. Just when I ARRIVE early for work, particularly agitated aggravated and have to wait for my employer workstation to get online.

TECH SERVICE: BIGCONTACTS not big enough and too expensive

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How to replace Microsoft Outlook address book with online service: Big Contacts
14 January 2008

***Begin Quote***

Problem: How to replace Microsoft Outlook address book with online service: Big Contacts

Solution: Big Contacts


***End Quote***

The limits are set at a 1,000 contacts per user. You can have two thousand users. So, in theory, 2M contacts. But, on Outlook I have over 19k of contacts in various and sundry categories.

SO BIG ain’t BIG enough!


# # # # #


Monday, January 14, 2008


***Begin Quote***

We’ve had a “national outbreak” of the “reply all” virus.

It’s really not a virus. But it might as well be.

It’s when, to get off a distribution, some poor soul — usually in a fit of pique — does a “reply all” and says “take me off the list”. Others respond with a “reply all” to either chime in about getting off the distribution, or castigate the transgressor. If the distribution list is really large and / or there are lots of computing centers involved, it can create an overwhelming “fire storm” of messages that can overwhelm an infrastructure.

It usually takes some one in Leadership saying politely “shut up”, or the equivalent, to stop it. I’ve appended an attempt to damp it.

I just thought you’d want to pass along a warning about the use of “reply all”.

Lest it be followed with the “pink slip” virus. :-)

***End Quote***

I don’t blame people. I blame poorly designed software.

How hard would it have been to say “Confirm reply all to a distribution list”?

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LIBERTY: The Supreme Court today declined dying patients

Monday, January 14, 2008

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Experimental Drug Case
Petitioners Argue Terminally Ill Should Have Right to Drugs Not Yet Approved by FDA
By Robert Barnes
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 14, 2008; 4:36 PM

***Begin Quote***

The Supreme Court today declined to consider whether dying patients have a right to be treated with experimental drugs not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

***End Quote***

Silly citizen. You need the FDA’s protection. Even if you die waiting, you’ll be “safe”. Your betters know what is best for you!

How dumb are we?

How much protection does Big Pharma want?

# # # # #

MONEY: the most dangerous tax

Monday, January 14, 2008

***Begin Quote***

Today, the federal government burdens us with one of the most dangerous taxes it can impose — the inflation tax. When the federal government finds that it cannot afford its out-of-control spending, and is unwilling to directly tax the public, it resorts simply to creating the money out of thin air.

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Here we have the ultimate tax.

A tax on money. A tax on savings. A tax on the poor. A tax on those on fixed income. An escalator that drives all costs up.

And, it creates a positive feedback loop for the cost of gooferment. The Fed inflates so the cost of what the gooferment pays goes up. The gooferment needs more money. The Fed inflates more. A positive feedback loop that any injineer will tell you will ultimately and rather quickly destroy itself. And, in the process, politicians, bureaucrats, and unions get ever increasing pay raises.

A tax on anything dollar denominated.

How silently insidious?

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JOBSEARCH: it’s always the same drill

Monday, January 14, 2008


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Well, it’s always time to move forward.

Stay in XXXXXXXXX or do something else? Full-timer, consulting, road warrior?

Geographic comfort zone? Relo?

Have you figured out your elevator speech yet? (Mine is “I extract value it large-scale usually legacy or brown-field IT infrastructures.”)

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For newly minted Turkeys, it’s always the same drill: What do you want to do, where do you want to do it, and how do you want to be compensated?

Ain’t life a kick in the ass?

Someday, the first contact with a newly axed turkey will contain the answers to those questions. Until then, I’ll just respond to them asking for help, by asking them.

Then, I’ll buy a lottery ticket.

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LIBERTY: Government anti-poverty programs are a classic

Sunday, January 13, 2008

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Government anti-poverty programs are a classic case of the therapeutic state setting out to treat disorders created by the state itself. Urban poverty as we know it is, in fact, exclusively a creature of state intervention in consensual economic dealings. This claim may seem bold, even to most libertarians. But a lot turns on the phrase “as we know it.” Even if absolute laissez faire reigned beginning tomorrow, there would still be people in big cities who are living paycheck to paycheck, heavily in debt, homeless, jobless, or otherwise at the bottom rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. These conditions may be persistent social problems, and it may be that free people in a free society will still have to come up with voluntary institutions and practices for addressing them. But in the state-regimented market that dominates today, the material predicament that poor people find themselves in—and the arrangements they must make within that predicament—are battered into their familiar shape, as if by an invisible fist, through the diffuse effects of pervasive, interlocking interventions.

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Like the supposed “war on drugs”, the supposed “war on poverty” is another one that’s been lost. It would seem that the only purpose of the “poverty war” was to enhance the number of gooferment bureaucrats on the payroll.

Thanks, LBJ!

Can we now admit defeat and try something that works?


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