RANT: Someone finally has to face facts and admit defeat


On War #194
November 29, 2006

More Troops?
William S. Lind,
expressing his own personal opinion, is
Director for the Center for Cultural Conservatism
for the Free Congress Foundation.

*** begin quote ***

The fact that Washington is seriously considering sending more American troops to Iraq illustrates a common phenomenon in war. As the certainty of defeat looms ever more clearly, the scrabbling about for a miracle cure, a deus ex machina, becomes ever more desperate – and more silly. Cavalry charges, Zeppelins, V-2 missiles, kamikazes, the list is endless. In the end, someone finally has to face facts and admit defeat. The sooner someone in Washington is willing to do that, the sooner the troops we already have in Iraq will come home – alive.

*** end quote ***

How many good people will have their lives ended or ruined with this failed policy?

Iraqis, for better or worse, will have to figure it out for themselves.

RANT: The difference between “LAWS” and “laws”.

I see the “Law of Gravity” as having more gravitas than the Federal, State, and Local “Laws”.

Never mind all the other rules, regulations, and diktats that gubamint issues. Let’s just focus on “Laws” for a moment.

I like the “Law of Gravity” and its many cousins like the “Law of Supply and Demand” or the “Law of the Conservation of Momentum”. They are universally fair and non-discriminatory. So, I don’t refer to what the criminal gangs do in their various dens of iniquity do as “making laws”.

We need to recapture the high ground.

When they neuter our language they give themselves more power. Imagine considering anything done by politicians as a “law”! Absurd! If you must refer to their “laws”, (I’m thinking of that Crocodile Dundee line “that’s not a knife. this is a knife” by crikey), then “we” should always preface it with “Federal Law”, “State Law”, or even “Weenie Law”. Add some diminutive to differentiate it from the big hairy natural LAWS. Their weak lame efforts to make laws should be called something like “law-lettes”, “wannabe laws”, or “pathetic attempts at law”.

P.S.: Remember when we get people laughing at them, their influence and power shrinks. Look how fast the cellphone tax disappeared. Almost overnight. When the media picked up that the people were calling it “The Spanish American War tax”. Like the Wizard of Oz, they can’t let themselves be be laughed at because then we will see how pathetic they are!

Best wishes from behind the lines
in the Pepuls Repulik of Nu Jerzee

TECHNOLOGY: Carbonite / PC Online Automatic Backup Service


PC Backup Software and Online Automatic Backup Service

***Begin Quote***

# Unlimited storage capacity for your PC backups
# Automatically finds all your data files —
photos, documents, music, emails, everything
# Always on – just connect to the Internet
# Set and forget – just start Carbonite and relax
# Instantly detects and backs up changed files
# Never slows down your computer or Internet
# Exclude files you don’t want to back up
# Strong encryption for super security
# Backs up approximately 2GB per day
over DSL or Cable

***End Quote***

For 5 bucks a day?

I recently fired XDrive. I’m now trialing Carbonite.

My first impressions are very positive.

FUN: Bumper cars .. for real!


There is something very wrong with this tunnel
posted by DrunkDonkey – Wednesday, November 29, 2006 @ 8:06:59 AM

There is a river running over it, and water leaks at some points. When the temperature reaches -38 degrees, like it did this winter, the road freezes and the result is the attached video taken during a single day.

TECHNOLOGY: My “luddite” friend doesn’t understand …

From his email about my blog post.

***Begin Quote***

Wow…a “luddite” solution to a tech problem…”long
quill pen”….hmmm. :-) You are beginning to see
the light, my brother!

***End Quote***

Now this is amusing from the fellow who can’t figure out how to comment on a blog.

But, I’m easy to do business with.

Now, I’m a belt and suspenders kindda IT guy. I like multiple diverse routes. Multiple diverse backups.

I KNOW they screwed with my data silently because I have EVERYTHING backed up and cross filed. And, off sited!

At least ever since that monumental screw up by the Merrill Lynch PC Support group. That’s where backups were running but nothing was being backed up. And, in those days, I backed up to to a different disk and a zip drive. A power surge nuked by primary and backup. When I went to restore my personal backup, the Zip disk was eaten by the drive. So I went to the corporate resource and they had swat! co my four levels of backup failed me.

That doesn’t mean I’ve given up on technology. It just means I am very protective of MY data. When I give it to Plaxo or LinkedIn, it’s still “MINE”. And they shouldn’t mess with it.

LIBERTY: Forget the Hollow Woman standing on what used to be Bedloe’s Island



Back to Basics
by L. Neil Smith

***Begin Quote***

The key to a libertarian future is the libertarian future itself. Forget the Hollow Woman standing on what used to be Bedloe’s Island offering false promises of liberty and welcome. Let us adopt the future itself—some unmistakable aspect of the future—as our logo.

***End Quote***

How about the Gasden flag?



ScanShell 2000N / 2000NR

***Begin Quote***

Check our portable duplex scanner ScanShell 3000DN

The ScanShell 2000N is now the ScanShell 2000NR with a USB 2.0 HighSpeed interface.

It is a portable, 600 DPI high-resolution A4, Twain compliant color scanner, which offers high quality image capture. Supporting Windows operating system, the Scanshell 2000R works with any standard USB port and requires no external power supply.

***End Quote***


Don’t buy anything from these guys. Or if you do, don’t complain to me.

Once again this productivity tool frustrates me. What should be a neat little gadget doesn’t work reliably.

My expectation is that a useful tool should be like a hammer, screwdriver, or axe. Pick it up use it and don’t worry. When like my snow blower, it doesn’t. OR, requires me to have the strength of Arnold. OR, the genius of Einstein. OR, the attention to detail of a tax accountant. Well, I lose my patience.

This particular POS required a reinstall and, a fresh download of drivers, (Figure that out? I checked the checksums and file dates, identical!) Finally, XP installed it. Or, at least stopped whining about it.

But, it doesn’t scan the one lousy picture I want it to scan.


So, don’t buy this “solution”.

(I did a web search on Google and Yahoo before I did. But didn’t find any gripes. Else I wouldn’t have either.)

So much for productivity thru technology. This is in my personal technology Hall of Shame just a notch below IBM’s ViaVoice and just above that Toro Snow Blower!

MONEY: The implications of not having “honest money”



US setbacks see dollar plunge to near 15-year low
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 12:41pm GMT 29/11/2006

***Begin Quote***

The dollar tumbled to a near 15-year low against sterling yesterday on fresh signs of economic trouble in the United States.

An 8.3pc crash in US industrial orders and an admission by the Federal Reserve chairman that Washington does not know how bad housing really is set off another day of wild gyrations on the currency markets.

***End Quote***

Maybe if we had “honest money”, (i.e., backed by something other than the full faith and credit of a dishonest government) then we might not need to be overly concerned. When the printing press runs at the “Treasury Department”, (as if there was anything of value kept there), then everyone who holds a Federal Reserve banknote is taxed by inflation.

No vote in Congress. Nothing signed by the President. No politicians has to “do” anything. The politicians think the market is stupid.

No, even without the government’s M3 number being published any more, the market “knows” exactly how many extra green pieces of paper that the FRB prints. It takes a little time. But eventually there are more FRBies chasing the same amount of goods, so prices rise.

It’s like a great calculating engine; probably the Intelligent Designer’s greatest gift to us.

No election. No counting of “votes”. No so called “laws”.

Just the free exchange of things between people. Eventually everything in the marketplace satisfies everyone. The real economists have all sorts of labels for it. But eventually every need is satisfied. Prices evaluate how much you really need or want something. As something gets “bid up”, people decide that they don’t want it as bad as the next person.

It’s the universal calculating engine, called the marketplace, that decides where scarce resources are allocated.

But, when there is counterfeiting going on, when the money is unbacked, when the standard measure is no longer standard, then the arithmetic is skewed.

And, the people are impoverished.

How are you preparing for the problems that the Federal Reserve is brewing up?

LIBERTY: Milton Friedman deserves scorn for inventing withholding.



Monday, November 27, 2006
Tonic from the left

***Begin Quote***

Milton Friedman was, no doubt, a great thinker. But his approach to economics has wrought serious damage to our economy and the classes of Americans who fail in his winner-take-all world. Leave it to William Greider to remind us of this when much of the press in the wake of Friedman’s death has been so laudatory.

***End Quote***

Milton Friedman deserves scorn for inventing withholding. He deserves praise for challenging the gubamint reeducation propaganda camps, mistakenly called “publik skool”, with a voucher system. He was wrong, because it didn’t strike at the root of the evil. The gubamint shouldn’t be teaching citizen’s children anything. And, people who have the children should be responsible for educating them. Taxes are theft! He deserved scorn for failing to debunk Greenspan, who was a gold bug hard money guy but turned to the “dark side” of fiat currency, when he got the cushy job. So, he was human and made mistakes.

P.S.: That article you cited requires a subscription.

Interesting that the liberal media never takes a pro-freedom pro-liberty pro-people stance. Whine, whine, and whine. More gubamint. More taxes. More rules.


PRODUCTIVITY: Plaxo nukes some of “my” data and I’m miffed!

An interesting thing happened today. I was doing my birthday greetings. And, one of my fellow alums record was basically null. It was missing an email address. That’s plaxo’s key. All other fields had NA in them. There may be as many as four other records in the same shape.

Now, the counter party can do what ever they want to their data. But not to mine. I know that there was contact information in those fields that I input. Plaxo has no right to nuke that data.

I usually keep a copy of the source record (i.e., web page, email. or whatever initiated or updated my interest). That was gone to.

LinkedIn does something similar when it “silently” disconnects a LinkedIn contact. Presumably that is at the counterparty’s request, but how do you know it’s not an error by some clerk.

This rattles my confidence in other people controlling my data or access to it. When I create a record, I don’t want it changed. Perhaps, it’s time for me to get out my quill pen and put everything in long hand.

At the very least, maybe my old system of text files wasn’t so bad.

Neither of these two services Plaxo or LinkedIn, nor Corex Cardscan, nor Outlook itself ages the contacts so I’m not happy with any of the technology solutions.

FUN: Following your own advice

I was playing “let it ride” and was losing. A while ago, I decided that I wanted the big kill. So, in evaluating the game, I decided to “chase low pairs”. It basically means that on a low pair (i.e., nine or less), that I would let my first bet ride. It increases the house edge to over 5%. But, I’m only going to be there until I lose 6 hands in a row. So today I was tempted to renege on that strategic decision. I decided not to when on what was to be my next to least hand. Dealt a 6 – 6 – 3, was sore tempted. But I was strong. The only way you can get four of a kind without starting with trips is to bet on the low pair in your hand. So I was focused on the dealer turning a 6. He didn’t. He turned a three! I had to check my cards. So that gave me two pair. So, of course, I let my second bet ride. Sure enough, he turns a 6! Full house. Yes! 200$ bonus and 110$ for each of my three bets. $530!! Yes. So, when you make a decision, you have to be strong. Strong enough to follow your own advice!

Categories FUN

FUN: Had my pic taken with Brenda Lee (who?)

Now before you say “who”, here’s her website.


Once I get a chance to scan it, I’ll share my photo and autograph.

You’d be hard presses to find a more gracious performer. She, after an hour plus of effort, more than I would have done, was happy to greet each one of her fans. Celine (“Sell anything” lean) Dion didn’t do that. And, she cost five or ten times what Brenda did. She was very genuine in her greeting of each person.

I call that the Pat Sajack school of grace. Truly amazing. And it was a hoot.

# # #



Upon reflection, a joyful experience. I hope she gets all the Universe has in store for her. Good things come to good people. She made me laugh at myself. The fact, that Frau and friends were laughing at my chagrin, makes me smile today.

# # # # #

Categories FUN

FUN: WOW someone has talent BUT later pages are NSFW


… just look at page one!

As one would expect for a European, on subsequent pages, the paint goes to interesting places.

I’m no prude but, as an injineer I have to ask: How does one clean up from these projects? The hands on page 1 are easy. The later pages are more of a challenge. Dip your “palate”, or your “pal”, in paint remover?

It is a fun site. It made me laff! At least page 1.

I always admire those who are more talented than me. I wouldn’t have even come up with the idea. Let alone been able to make it look like an inhineer slopping on bridge paint to prevent rust.

It does remind you that the inet is for adults.

Categories FUN

INTERESTING: The Acton site emphasizes the personal component of charity


***Begin Quote***

A German friend this afternoon was recounting this story to me — he too is obsessed with how to reduce Iraqi anger. But the part he emphasized that I had missed originally was how significant it was to Germans to know that these packages were sent by ordinary Americans. It wasn’t the government sending government aid; it was American volunteers taking time to personalize an act of giving.

CARE has given up the CARE Package. So too has it moved far from the individual-driven model of giving that marked its birth. But I wonder how current victims of war would react to a repeat of 1945-giving. A related idea has been taken up by a 10-year old from New Jersey. But what if every city in America selected sister cities throughout Afghanistan and Iraq, and individual volunteers from the US repeated what our parents and grandparents did 60 years ago?

***End Quote***

I found this interesting in that it echos that there HAS to be a personal element of charity for that charity to be effective.

So, what does it make one do?

TECHNOLOGY: Ubuntu Open Week


Ubuntu Open Week

***Begin Quote***

Jono Bacon writes “Next week (Mon 27th Nov 2006 – Sat 2nd Dec 2006) the Ubuntu community hold their Ubuntu Open Week – a week of IRC tutorials and sessions designed to encourage more and more people to join their diverse community. In just two years, Ubuntu has grown to a user base of over 6 million and a worldwide community spanning many different disciplines.

***End Quote***

A good free intro and online support. If it’s a dead week, what better time to dip a toe into Linux.

MONEY: More than what you save yourself.



Retiree provides the skinny on how anybody can save money when eating out
By Humberto Cruz | November 25, 2006

***Begin Quote***

I’ll give you this example: Save $100 a month for 15 years at a modest 6 percent rate of return and you will have in round numbers $29,000. And $29,000 in turn will earn another $1,740 a year at 6 percent, more than what you save yourself.

***End Quote***

Americans SAVE money? You don’t understand. We want it now. We are entitled to it now. We HAVE a credit card.

Sad to say there is a cliff at the end of this road.

LIBERTY: Health Disparities Persist for Men



November 14, 2006
Health Disparities Persist for Men, and Doctors Ask Why

***Begin Quote***

Still, by just about any measure, men’s health is abysmal. American men have an average life expectancy of 75.2 years, and even less — 69.8 years — for black men, compared with 80.4 years for women over all.

Men die of just about every one of the leading causes of death at younger ages than women, from lung cancer to influenza and pneumonia, chronic liver disease, diabetes and AIDS. One notable exception is Alzheimer’s disease: more women than men die of it.

Topping the list for both sexes is heart disease.

***End Quote***

Ahh, this is an easy one to knock out of the park!

It’s the gubamint’s fault. It’s OUR fault.

No, seriously.

We have allowed the politicians to wrest control by high taxes and charitable contribution rules to control the debate. AND, they add their own huge handling fee to everything medical.

Now, imagine you get to keep ALL your hard earned money.

(A staggering thought. Overwhelming. Uncomprehendable!)

Now you can donate your money to the charities that you see fit. Imagine how the charities will compete for research dollars? Touting their accomplishments. When was the last time you heard of us wiping out a disease? Polio in the Fifties? And, the March of Dimes moved on to “birth defects”, while an admirable cause, will never be cured.

Large organizations want to stay in business.

So who will lead the fight for cures?

Why it’s our old “friends” the money grubbing insurance companies!

They have a distinct motive that you live just as long as you can, paying premiums of course.

Yup, leave it to the insurance company. Get the gubbamint out of health care, drugs, and R&D.

The average life span will be 200 before you know it!

TECHNOLOGY: How to connect to your home or office computer remotely



Remote Connection Guide
how to connect to your home or office computer remotely under or running Windows, Linux and OS X.
Category: Internet & WWW – November 23, 2006.
Posted by Jason Faulkner.

***Begin Quote***

Remote connection is one of those things, like high speed Internet, when, once you have it, you can never go back. Most people never bother to set it up either because they do not [think they] need it, think solutions cost too much or believe it is too hard to set up on their own. If you fall into the one of these groups, I am going to change your mind.

***End Quote***

While I use gotomypc, and have been for a while, I think that being able to “phone home” is always useful. Here’s how to do it for free, which makes it a “no brainer” fmpov.

JOBSEARCH: InfoWorld does a “LinkedIn”



Infoworld has its own version of LinkedIn

***Begin Quote***

InfoWorld is expanding the ways we help you connect and communicate with industry peers, product and systems experts, and InfoWorld staff through an exciting new service, InfoWorld IT Exec-Connect! This free service includes unique online matching tools that will help you:

* Expand Your Network – Search, match and connect with other members.
* Schedule Times to Connect – Plan online or offline meetings.
* Build Business Relationships – Grow your network of industry contacts.

***End Quote***

Let’s see what it accomplishes. Or, rather, what value I can extract from it!

LIBERTY: Focus on the little guy



Black firefighter a disgrace
Posted: November 23, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

***Begin Quote***

Days before I read about the firefighter’s award, my 91-year-old dad and I watched a movie called “Proud.” Narrated by the late, great Ossie Davis, the movie dramatized the experience of black sailors aboard the USS Mason during World War II. The ship became the only black-manned ship that actually saw combat. As a destroyer escort, it shepherded Allied convoys through German sub-filled waters, taking risks even the vaunted English Navy refused, deeming the mission too treacherous. Indeed, black sailors welcomed the assignment to the ship because, during this military-segregated era, they wished to prove themselves by seeing actual combat rather than engaging in “menial” labor.

***End Quote***

I’d like to see that movie. It’s amazing how despite “Black History Month”, Veteran’s Day, and Memorial Day that we hear so little of the truly great achievements of ordinary people.

LIBERTY: Is there a law requiring us to pay income taxes?


Four Minutes of Video Every American
Should Watch Before April 15th

***Begin Quote***

At an IRS press conference on September 16, 2003 concerning tax “scams” and tax “evasion”, the lead tax reporter for The New York Times, David Cay Johnston (in reference to the WTP Petitions for Redress) directly, and specifically, questioned IRS Commissioner Mark Everson about what law requires Americans to pay income taxes.

***End Quote***

If you watch the video, then you’ll be confused.

It seems like a real straight forward question. Doesn’t it?

I would think that they would answer “The XYZ law, section 123, paragraph 1776, line 44-40, obligates every person to pay an income tax.” Followed by “now can we get to serious questions?”

But, no. They dance around the issue.


Perhaps there is no law and this is all a big hoax!

RANTING: Tday, Thanksgiving Day, or … …

… … another holiday that has lost its meaning?

Now call me “Ebenezer” (Stone of Help? Or, Charles Dickens’ character) but, with the illegitimacy rate climbing, single moms, marriage rates falling, the coarsening of society, and the general demise of the “nuclear family” … …

… … has this become another “Norman Rockwell” holiday?

That’s is where it looks better in a picture than it does in real life.

Nothing more than excuse to take some days off, kickoff some pathetic football games by overpaid “athletes” with “interesting antics”, and begin the over commercialized “holiday shopping season”?

This year, there was a deluge of propaganda about “airport security” and how people should prepare for what I call “unreasonable search and seizure” by the gubamint at the airports. And people just line up and take it. (No security expert with any kind of credentials that I have read or talked to thinks this in anything more than what one of them calls “security theater”!) So the media lackeys, (remember they are regulated by the FCC in violation of the First Amendment) obey their big guabmint masters, and put out the gang’s (oppressive) message “well keep you safe as long as you comply”. What “barabara striesand”! Personally, I won’t fly, unless my employer really really insists. When they discharge all these extra government hacks, then and only then will I consider it.

So, here we go into another holiday season, when all I can say is “tsk, tsk”.

Maybe I’m getting old but that’s how I see it.


PRODUCTIVITY: Free firewalls

In today’s insecure computing environment, one needs personal pc protection. I’ve always had a router between me and the inet. Even when my isp (internet service provider) said I couldn’t. (Yeah right!) I’ve never had any problems with virus infections or bots that I know of. Somewhere in my travels I picked up Zone Alarm, (the free version), and it’s has served well. There are some other free alternatives as well for you to consider:

Sygate http://soho.sygate.com

Agnitum http://www.agnitum.com

and, of course,

ZoneAlarm http://www.zonealarm.com


LIBERTY: Should we copy Europe? No; learn from their mistakes, yes!



Should we copy Europe?
By Walter E. Williams
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

***Begin Quote***

The OECD has a blacklist for countries they’ve identified as “tax havens.” The blacklisted countries include Hong Kong, Macao, Malaysia (Labuan) and Singapore. Also targeted are Andorra, Brunei, Costa Rica, Dubai, Guatemala, Liberia, Liechtenstein, the Marshall Islands, Monaco, the Philippines and Uruguay. The blacklisted jurisdictions have strong financial privacy laws and low or zero rates of tax.

The OECD member countries want the so-called tax havens to change their laws to help them identify the earnings of their citizens. Most of all, OECD wants these countries to legislate higher taxes so as to reduce their appeal. A suggestion that we should be more like Europe is the same as one suggesting that we should be poorer.

***End Quote***

No! What we should be doing is what made America the land of opportunity.

Honest money! Private schools! Stop the dole!