POLITICAL: Social Security Ponzi scheme will become “everyone’s” problem

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/03/social_security_slush_fund_now.html

March 28, 2010
Social Security Ponzi scheme unraveling
Monty Pelerin

*** begin quote ***

The darling of the politicans in Washington has become not-so darling. Social Security, for decades a hidden slush fund that allowed pols to spend beyond what they taxed, has turned into an albatross. The Ponzi Scheme has unraveled.

*** and ***

Last year the crossover estimate was revised to 2017. Surprise! Surprise! The program is now in deficit. From this point on, there is nothing for politicians to “steal” from the “trust fund.” Instead, they will have to use general tax revenues to fund Social Security shortfalls. The fund has flipped from a cash-generator to a cash-eater.

*** and ***

At some point the privatization idea will be raised again. This time it will receive “broad political support.” There will be no principle involved. As a slush fund, the program had value for pols. As a cash drain, it is a liability that cuts into the “profitable” part of their criminal enterprise. It will be exorcised in some fashion.

It will likely be dumped on the American people, in the same fashion that bad banking loans have been.

*** end quote ***

You’ll get privatized now. When it’s worthless. The congresscritters have lied to the Sheeple. Now, when it comes time to collect on these promises, Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard is bare! And, the poor young workers won’t want to transfer wealth tot he rich old people. Will then we get get “health rationing”? OK Grandma and Grandpa, here’s your Titanic ticket. Have a nice cruise. At least, the Eskimos put the old people on an iceberg. No illusions. (Does any one know if that is a real fact or just another urban legend?)

But, get ready, the population demographics have changed and the Social Security Ponzi scheme is unsustainable.

You don’t think the congresscritters are going to give up their retirement; do you?

# # # # #

WRITING: Occupant (An Index Card Novel)

Occupant (An Index Card Novel)

The fat old white guy injineer read the letter again for the umpty umpth time. “Greetings Citizen: Congratulations on your Eightieth Birthday. Please report to the Shady Oaks Rest Home at 0900 hours for your Retirement Induction Ceremony. Blah, blah, blah.”

He’d lose his house, his truck, his money — pittance as it was, his pension, everything. The State would take care of him. It was general knowledge that once you were useless, you were sent to the equivalent of a death camp.

He had some other ideas. All along this Road to Serfdom, he’d had other ideas. He’d always admired Harriet Tubman.

#-#-#

In the early days of hope and change, like mind individuals formed the modern equivalent of the French Resistance. As they shuttled escaped POWs and downed Allied fliers back to England, so to a Renaissance Underground Railroad formed in the once free USA. The fat old white guy injineer was a “station master”.

Each Tuesday, morning, the garbage man came to collect his trash. Because of the handicapped symbol painted on his driveway by law, his can was collected from beside his house and returned there. Carelessly, of course. The can landed on its side. The top next to a big pine tree. The fat old white guy injineer’s grandmother planted it there decades ago. She called it “her freedom tree”; she too was a refugee. Weren’t we all at one time or another?

As soon as it was dark, the can “birthed” an inhabitant who took up refuge under the tree. The fat old white guy injineer had carefully and considerately and charitably left some scare food, a gallon of water, and some blankets under the tree.

The next day, a tradesman cam with a big truckload of baled hay. He carefully loaded the the fat old white guy injineer’s pick up truck with a small load. One bale was left ajar at the base. Yes, you guessed it. The “pyramid” had a secret space. That night, the inhabitant, or inhabitants, moved from tree to truck. The lone bale was fitted in by the fat old white guy injineer.

#-#-#

At the tunnel’s check point the fat old white guy injineer heard the command: “Your papers, please, comrade.”

He turned over his universal tamper-proof id card, he passport for interstate travel, his economic activity permit, his environmental impact permit, his gas ration card (to demonstrate he’d paid his fuel tax), and his prepaid tunnel tax.

With a smile, the fat old white guy injineer said to the guard: “Por su frio?” and exposed a small bottle in his pocket. “Con sugaro?” the guard asked. “Si!” was the response. In an oft practiced motion, the guard returned the forms to the pocket and the bottle wrapped in currency disappeared.

The journey resumed.

#-#-#

It was a crappy little town called White Horse Station. It truly was a “station”. At the end of a long windy road, more of a path, the truck came to a stop at the edge of a meadow. A shepherd with a flock contained by a single dog waited patiently.

As the fat old white guy injineer extracted the bale and his cargo, the shepherd came over to help. Two funny whistles and the dog cut out five sheep and began to herd them towards the far end of the meadow. “There’s your guide”, the shepherd laughed. “And, if the border patrol gets you, he won’t talk.”

Together the two new refugees took off after their guide dog who was patiently waiting for them to catch up. Was the dog thinking “these new shepherds are slow and dumb.”?

#-#-#

The sign over the gate said but one word: “Freedom”. There was a small line shack with an older than dirt gent sitting on the porch. He yelled “Hello. A minute of your time, friend.” The two refugees, tired from their hike, sat on the steps.

“Wait here, your ride will be along shortly. Here’s your citizenship cards!”

They looked at two unalterable id cards like the ones they had in the USA, but the new ones just said “Occupant”. He laughed at them: “It’s a joke, friends. Welcome to the Free State of New Hampshire.”

The fat old white guy injineer’s ordeal was over. He was free.

# # # # #

FUN: Leadership lesson; make sure you get EVERYONE’S requirements

A clergyman walking down a country lane and sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off.

“You look hot, my son,” said the cleric. “why don’t you rest a moment, and I’ll give you a hand.”

“No thanks,” said the young man.

“My father wouldn’t like it.”

“Don’t be silly,” the minister said.

“Everyone is entitled to a break. Come and have a drink of water.”

Again the young man protested that his father would be upset. Losing his patience, the clergyman said, “Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him and I’ll give him a piece of my mind!”

“Well,” replied the young farmer, “he’s under the load of hay.”

ROFL. (Well, I found it funny!)

# # # # #

Categories FUN

INTERESTING: Better to walk a human?

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/14/the-best-walking-partner-man-vs-dog/

December 14, 2009, 12:27 pm
The Best Walking Partner: Man vs. Dog
By TARA PARKER-POPE

*** begin quote ***

Is it better to walk a human or to walk a dog?

New research from the University of Missouri has found that people who walk dogs are more consistent about regular exercise and show more improvement in fitness than people who walk with a human companion. In a 12-week study of 54 older adults at an assisted living home, 35 people were assigned to a walking program for five days a week, while the remaining 19 served as a control group. Among the walkers, 23 selected a friend or spouse to serve as a regular walking partner along a trail laid out near the home. Another 12 participants took a bus daily to a local animal shelter where they were assigned a dog to walk.

*** end quote ***

With very surprising results.

Unless you’re a student of human nature!

# # # # #

POLITICAL: The consequences of Obamacare

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/03/pelosi_proud_to_place_healthca.html

March 28, 2010
Pelosi proud to place healthcare reform beside two failed government programs
Anthony W. Hager

*** begin quote ***

One has to wonder if Speaker Pelosi realized what she was saying when she beamed about joining the creators of Social Security and Medicare. According to her own analogy Congress and the Obama administration have imposed upon America a program destined for high taxation, inadequate service, saucy bureaucrats, fraud, waste and future insolvency. If she was trying to boost public confidence in the healthcare bill she should’ve exercised greater care in picking her comparisons.

*** end quote ***

Interesting how economically unsound these programs — Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare — are.

Unfunded liabilities are a way of life for the congresscritters. By the time that the excrement hits the proverbial fan, the particular congresscritters who passed it are long on their way to a very comfortable retirement. Or their just rewards! And we are left holding the proverbial bag!!

To any one who was economically literate, the problem was almost immediately obvious:

http://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html#idamay

*** begin quote ***

On January 31, 1940, the first monthly retirement check was issued to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, in the amount of $22.54. Miss Fuller, a Legal Secretary, retired in November 1939. She started collecting benefits in January 1940 at age 65 and lived to be 100 years old, dying in 1975.

Ida May Fuller worked for three years under the Social Security program. The accumulated taxes on her salary during those three years was a total of $24.75. Her initial monthly check was $22.54. During her lifetime she collected a total of $22,888.92 in Social Security benefits.

*** end quote ***

So it’s an intergenerational theft. A welfare program in disguise. An a wealth transfer, due to disparities in lifespan, from poor minority men to rich white women.

And, probably unintended, but could be a tin foil hat conspiracy, it destroyed the American family. Grandparents, now enriched with Social Security “retirement” checks, could abscond to Florida and abandon their families. Generations of grandchildren would be deprived of their grandparents thanks to this terrible law. This, combined with the high taxes that force housewives back into the work force, forced those grandchildren into childcare. It turns the schools into de facto all day daycare centers where the family bonds are destroyed. Which makes the uber-State very happy; remember the Prussian school model was to make soldiers for the army and factory workers to be led by “the elite”.

So what are the consequences of Obamacare — intended and unintended?

# # # # #

GOLDBUG: But who owns it?

http://moneywatch.bnet.com/economic-news/article/is-there-gold-in-fort-knox/385523/

Is There Gold in Fort Knox?
by Constance Gustke
Jan 20, 2010

*** begin quote ***

The reason Fort Knox will remain a mighty fortress, however, may come down to something Alan Greenspan once told Paul. When Paul asked the former Fed Chairman why the Fed hangs onto its hefty gold reserves, “Greenspan said ‘just in case we need it,’” says Paul. “You hold onto it because it’s the ultimate in money.”

*** end quote ***

Yes, we should know what’s there. Otherwise, why are we paying to guard it? And, maybe we should be selling it to reduce the National Debt. Along with selling other things.

Do you think any one would buy Congress?

(That’s a trick question. We all know it’s bought and paid for already.)

More importantly, even if there’s gold in Fort Know, and possession is nine tenths, is it “ours”? Or has it been sold or mortgaged already?

We should know.

# # # # #

TECHNOLOGY: Education is the key to getting benefits form technology

http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/27/why-america-needs-to-start-investing-in-its-workforce-again-2

Why America Needs To Start Educating Its Workforce Again
by Vivek Wadhwa on Mar 27, 2010

*** begin quote ***

Ask any old-time IBMer, and you will hear stories of IBM’s legendary workforce-development practices. When a manager identified a manufacturing worker with promise, the company would teach him how to dress, how to speak to clients, and how to service products. These technicians would then be trained to be computer programmers, sales reps, or product managers.

*** and ***

If you do get hired, it’s up to you to stay current or get booted out with the first dip in sales. American corporations consider their workforce to be disposable — like ball-point pens and cigarette lighters. Gone are the days when a company would train a factory worker to become a computer programmer or offer lifelong employment. It’s all about quarterly revenue and profits now.

*** and ***

The Indian experience highlights what can be achieved by investing in upgrading the skills of the workforce. If workforce training can take the output of an education system as weak as India’s and turn its graduates into world-class engineers and scientists, imagine what could be done with a worker base that has received amongst the best education in the world, as is the case in the United States.

U.S. companies have long played the guru, developing and disseminating many widely adopted management and workforce practices. The time has come for the guru to learn from one of its disciples: India.

*** end quote ***

Once upon a time, AT&T was like IBM as well. One of my early achievements was proposing Computer Operators be trained as Programmers. I had “the Charter”. Took the project from: “We need programmers.” to graduating 21 of the initially 22. (Darn girl! Went and decided she’d rather have a baby. She shoulda waited; ruined my talking point. She came back from maternity leave and successfully tested. But, I didn’t get credit for her. Still don’t understand why?)

Vivek hits upon a key change needed in the American business meme. “Quarterly”! We, as a society, have to figure out how to change the meme of “company” from a short-term focused entity to a long-term focused one. A company is “eternal”; unlike human beings. And, it is a creation of the government, so it should be easy. It’s all rooted in the tax code. We see corporations as “paying taxes” when if fact they just pass them on to real people and hide the tax in the cost of the product. To change the company focus, several things have to happen: realign corporate management’s desire to the long term, change investor’s expectations to the long term, and — probably the hardest — change the government’s rules. Management annual salaries should be limited to less than POTUS (President Of The United States) makes; bonuses should be in the form of long term bonds. (That will cure that short term viewpoint in 30 minutes or less!) Investors, to encourage sticking for the long term, should get a real “capital gains” tax break — most of the time your “capital gain” is inflation; not a real gain — ZERO tax for investments held for say a decade. And, the government — well they are probably incurable — we need stable money, low taxes, and low spending. (Like that’s going to happen with out a revolution!)

We can start on “education” by ending “public education” as we know it. It took seven decades to get into this mess; probably take seven to get out of it. But parents should educate their children. They are the ones who had them, have their best interests at heart, and have the motivation from them to succeed. Education expense today has no ROI. It’s a mess.

We have a lot to do to recapture the American Dream!

[When I worked with Vivek, was he this smart? Didn’t seem so at the time. Maybe I’m the dummy.]

# # # # #

FUN: by their limping

http://www.irishcentral.com/saint_patricks_day/Irish-sayings-proverbs-and-prayers-for-Saint-Patricks-Day-88201577.html

May those who love us, love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.

# # # # #

Categories FUN

INTERESTING: Two views; we need the third

http://www.bspcn.com/2010/03/23/no-to-socialism/

*** begin quote ***

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock, powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watch this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress, and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door, I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA bar back home on DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post of FreeRepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.

*** end quote ***

http://www.csmonitor.com/Money/Mises-Economics-Blog/2010/0326/Samizdat-The-Libertarian-alarm-clock

*** begin quote ***

   “This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock built by the ingenuity of millions of individuals all working for their own gain, but whose efforts were coordinated by the prices for labor and materials and finished goods provided by the free market. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the shower head, pipes, and sanitation facilities whose construction also involved the efforts of thousands of people acting in their independent interest. After that, I turned on the TV to The Weather Channel, whose owners include one of the largest multi-national corporations and private equity companies, to see the week’s forecast presented in a clear, informative (and even entertaining) manner. I watched this while eating breakfast of General Mills’ inspected food and taking drugs whose strong brand name gives me confidence in its safety.

   At the time which millions of people coordinate their activities to take advantage of each other’s knowledge and skills, I leave for work. I get into my Japanese-designed, Mexican-supplied, Michigan-assembled automobile and set out to work on the roads built by construction contracting companies and named after corrupt politicians, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel that was shipped from the Middle East by an oil company at a per gallon cost many times lower than the price of having a letter delivered across the street by the government monopoly that loses millions of dollars each year. To make the purchase there is no need to leave the pump; I am able to slide a piece of plastic into a small slot and get credit extended to me by a bank who has never met me in person. On the way out the door, I put out the Fed-Ex envelope containing the documents I need to arrive across the country tomorrow morning and drop the kids off at the public school which is attended by only the best students, thanks to the high home prices in the area.

   After work, I drive my Japanese-Latino-Midwestern car back home, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of materials developed in the research and development departments of hundreds of corporations and which has not been plundered of all is valuables thanks to the lock on the door and a sign advertising the security company whose services I employ. My piece of mind was not interrupted by the thought of these events anyway, as I have both fire and homeowners insurance through privately held insurance company.

   I then log on to the internet to watch and listen to artists who don’t appeal to a broad enough audience to make it onto one of the few channels that a government monopoly allows to be broadcast. I then log onto the democraticunderground.com to post about how DEREGULATING the medical industry is BAD because low-cost, quality health care can never be provided by greedy, self-interested people.”

*** end quote ***

It feels like there could be third one. What would it look like if humans weren’t deluded at all by the meme of government?

# # # # #

TECHNOLOGY: What does Apple need to do for Mac OS X

http://www.tuaw.com/2010/03/20/what-do-you-want-to-see-in-mac-os-x-10-7/

*** begin quote ***

It’s time again for another Dear, Apple letter from the readers of TUAW. In our first series (part one, part two, part three) you told us what you want to see in the next iPhone OS. Now we need your help again to tell Apple what you want to see in the next version of Mac OS X.

*** end quote ***

I’m a newbie MacBookAir who left windoze behind. I’m pleased but not ecstatic.

(1) MobileMe “backup” of contacts hasn’t worked in a year. A long series of Genius Bars and chat sessions (that mysteriously drop after we run through their script) hasn’t made it work.

(2) Mail sucks. It’s not as good as Outlook, or LookOut as I grumbled when it did something strange. It should handle private key encryption. And, better “smartboxes”.

(3) Time Machine backup is ALWAYS backing up and slowing the pig down.

(4) Airport is always scanning for a wap, even when it has MINE, and slows stuff down. And, for some reason, it ignores all of them, so I have to select MINE! Argh! Of course, while this is happening, performance goes to hell.

(5) iWeb is good for beginners who want to do a simple complete website. Publisher on Windoze is better. But no one does a great job.

(6) iWork reminds me of Window’s Word a while ago.

(7) iTunes is a performance and a functional disaster. Have nothing to compare it to, but it could be useful if it didn’t perform like a pig. A pig that needs a support staff to understand it’s uses.

(8) The helps on the Apple provided software are limited and lame. Like an intern threw up some initial stuff and that was good enough.

(9) Windoze is notorious for the way it “sludges” up over time. My macbookair is beginning to feel the same way. Could it be the same need to be “reborn” from scratch?

Needless to say, I’m not a fan of Apple. But then, I’m not a fan of Windoze either.

# # # # #

FUN: I’ve always wanted to

FROM MY FAVORITE LUDDITE WHO’S “OLD”

*** begin quote ***

Have You Ever Danced?

An old prospector shuffled into the town of El Indio , Texas leading an old tired mule. The old man headed straight for the only saloon in town, to clear his parched throat. He walked up to the saloon and tied his old mule to the hitch rail. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?” The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No, I never did dance… never really wanted to.”

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, “Well, you old fool, you’re gonna’ dance now,” and started shooting at the old man’s feet. The old prospector, not wanting to get a toe blown off, started hopping around like a flea on a hot skillet. Everybody was laughing, fit to be tied.

When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon. The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers. The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air.

The crowd stopped laughing immediately. The young gunslinger heard the sounds too, and he turned around very slowly. The silence was almost deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old timer and the large gaping holes of those twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said, “Son, have you ever kissed a mule’s ass?”

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No sir….. but… I’ve always wanted to.”

There are a few lessons for us all here:

* Never be arrogant.

* Don’t waste ammunition.

* Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are.

* Always, always make sure you know who has the power.

* Don’t mess with old men, they didn’t get old by being stupid.

*** end quote ***

I just love a story with a happy ending, don’t you?

#-#-#

Yes, I do!

LOL

# # # # #

Categories FUN

INTERESTING: Disputed Island Disappears

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/03/26/1342258/Disputed-Island-Disappears-Into-Sea

Disputed Island Disappears Into Sea from Slashdot by samzenpus

*** begin quote ***

RawJoe writes “India and Bangladesh have argued for almost 30 years over control of a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal. Now rising sea levels have ended the argument for them: the island’s gone. From the article: ‘New Moore Island, in the Sunderbans, has been completely submerged, said oceanographer Sugata Hazra, a professor at Jadavpur University in Calcutta. Its disappearance has been confirmed by satellite imagery and sea patrols, he said. “What these two countries could not achieve from years of talking, has been resolved by global warming,” said Hazra.'”

*** end quote ***

Great, now that’s how to solve problems. Talk until they disappear. Wonder if it works with politicians?

# # # # #

INITIALISMS: Four Tasks of Mourning TEAR

J. William Worden’s “Four Tasks of Mourning” as outlined in his book Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy, can be summarized by the acronym TEAR:

T = To accept the reality of the loss

E = Experience the pain of the loss

A = Adjust to the new environment without the lost object

R = Reinvest in the new reality

#####

POLITICAL: Add “Honest Politician” to the pantheon of imaginary things

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=131249

Can pro-lifers ever support Democrats again?
Posted: March 24, 2010
Jill Stanek … …
… … fought to stop “live-birth abortion” after witnessing one as a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. In 2002, President Bush asked Jill to attend his signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. In January 2003, World Magazine named Jill one of the 30 most prominent pro-life leaders of the past 30 years.

*** begin quote ***

We all now know Nelson blinked fairly quickly, and Stupak blinked five months into it. There were others, but these were the front men. Both men betrayed the pro-life and Christian groups they had been working with. Nelson disallowed both Nebraska Right to Life and the National Right to Life Committee from viewing his 11th-hour compromise health-care language, and Stupak turned away from those whom he had just said he sought advice, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops, the NRLC and the Family Research Council. All three, as well as every other pro-life/pro-family group, urged him to reject the compromise pitched to him, a worthless executive order by the infanticide president.

*** end quote ***

This makes it obvious: (1) there’s no such thing as a “Democratic” pro-lifer; (2) there’s no such thing as a “Democratic” who is fiscally responsible; and (3) there is ALMOST never a politician who can tell the truth.

Forewarned is forearmed.

… … like jumbo shrimp, the Easter Bunny, and let’s add to the pantheon of imaginary things: the pro-life Democrat, the fiscally responsible Democrat, and an “Honest Politician”.

“Honest Politician” added with apologies to Ron Paul, and a few historical figures.

Argh!

#-#-#

Seems wryly humorous and poetic to write about pro-life democrats on the Feast of the Annunciation!

# # # # #

HARDWARE: An SSD is quiet

http://www.wxpnews.com/

Vol. 2, # 12 – Mar 25, 2010 – Issue # 28
Storage Technology: Past, Present and Future
Deb Shinder, Editor

*** begin quote ***

Most SSDs use flash memory and don’t need batteries. DRAM-based SSDs are faster, but need a battery or AC adapter and backup storage because their memory is volatile, so otherwise data will be lost if the electrical power is lost. Flash-based SSDs do use DRAM for a cache. Unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs have no moving parts. That makes them quieter and also more durable and less prone to failure. They are also less vulnerable to damage from vibration, shock or extreme temperatures, and they don’t have to be defragmented. They are fast for read operations, but SATA-based SSDs are slow on write operations. PCIe SSDs provide faster write speeds.

*** end quote ***

The MacBookAir is quiet. But the bottom does get hot. From time to time, the box does slow down.

I’m suspecting it gets “cruddy” like windoze. Maybe it too needs a bare metal restore to get it back to its original snappy performance.

# # # # #

GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Homeland Security couldn’t secure its own butt!

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/03/bringing_lots_o.html

Schneier on Security
A blog covering security and security technology.
March 19, 2010
Bringing Lots of Liquids on a Plane at Schiphol

*** begin quote ***

5. Department of Homeland Security Theater calls an emergency meeting with the National Security Council, after which it is decided that all bottle-shaped objects (and all Dutch reporters) should be banned from flights.

*** end quote ***

From the blog that coined the phrase “Security Theater”, here’s a funny extension. Despite the fact that the incident occurred overseas, it couldn’t happen here in the USA. Right!

# # # # #

GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Zero-Day School Weeks

http://cbs2chicago.com/local/four.day.school.2.1583104.html

Mar 23, 2010 6:27 pm US/Central
4-Day School Weeks Might Be Coming In Illinois
State House Has Passed Bill Allowing School Districts To Set Up Shorter Weeks; Mayor Daley Has Doubts
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) ―

*** begin quote ***

Add an entire school day to the chopping block. State lawmakers want to move financially struggling schools to four day weeks. They say it will save money, and it won’t affect classroom time.

*** and ***

Kids would still have to complete the same number of hours per school year, so switching to four-day school weeks would mean longer school days or shorter summer vacations.

*** end quote ***

I have an idea that will save a lot of money.

Close the youth indoctrination centers completely and forever!

It’s immoral to make people pay for things that they did not agree to pay for. Parent had ’em. Parents feed, clothe, and shelter them. They should educate them too.

# # # # #

GUNS: Teach the young for their own good

“As I looked at my two young sons, each with his gun, and considered how much the safety of the party depended on these little fellows, I felt grateful to you, dear husband, for having acquainted them in childhood with the use of firearms.” – Elisabeth Robinson, narrating in “The Swiss Family Robinson” by Johann David Wyss

# – # – #

Every time I read about an “accidental shooting” by a child, I wonder how much of it is TV. People get shot on TV all the time and shrug it off. In real life, you get shot with virtually anything larger than a 22 and you ain’t getting up any time soon. Firearms are a tool. Children need to be taught. Just like with any tool, it’s about respect. That’s what Dad’s are supposed to do. Aren’t they? Do they?

# # # # #

GOVEROTRAGEOUS: End employer-provided health care now

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/03/a_common_sense_idea_regarding.html

March 21, 2010
A common sense idea regarding health insurance
John Conlin

*** begin quote ***

End employer-provided health care now. Don’t tax it, end it. Company paid health insurance was never a planned policy. It was a response to temporary and artificial restrictions on wages during World War II. Wage controls were in place and companies discovered another method to compete for employees – company paid health insurance. This was deductible by the business as normal operating expenses, something not offered to the individual. We have lived with this monstrosity ever since.

*** end quote ***

Sounds like a good idea.

Think about it like “life insurance”.

It’s cheap, easy, and lightly regulated to prevent fraud. Even car insurance is better than what we have now. And, my favorite “pet health insurance”.

It’ll become available form credit unions, fraternal organizations, and yes even the AARP!

# # # # #

POLITICAL: Reigning in corporate salaries; a modest proposal.

http://rss.macworld.com/click.phdo?i=24a69419b68dce263a006cdb9675b4a0

AT&T CEO’s pay jumps 35 percent to $20.3 million in 2009

from Macworld by Ann Bednarz

*** begin quote ***

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson’s stock awards fell 8 percent in 2009, but he earned a cash bonus of $5.85 million that helped increase his total compensation by 35 percent.

*** end quote ***

Corporations are are a gooferment creation. So, needless to say, they are screwed up.

It’s unseemly for ANY corporation employee to have a salary greater than that of the President.

The gooferment’s creation fails to align the interest of the owners and the employees.

The gooferment could correct that error with five year stock options as the manner of executive compensation. Or maybe, a mix of options that vest from 10 to 50 years? With a sliding scale, weighted towards the middle?

That could be done with the stroke of a pen.

If I was “king”, I’d have the “Sheriff of Nottingham” (aka the IRS) audit any company that pays salaries greater than that of the Prez.

How fast could things change?

How many lobbyists and politicians would have their pockets stuffed with cash to kill this?

# # # # #

SOFTWARE: TextExpander problem

TextExpander had a brain fart. Somehow all my snippets were wiped out.

Again!

Argh!

Don’t know why? Again!

I tried to find the correct file to restore. (Didn’t write it down last time.)

So, as usual, the fat old white guy injineer had his own recovery plan.

I built the import files so that I could recover it.

*** begin quote ***

I’m sorry to hear that. You’ll need to restore your snippets from your backup:
1. Visit the TextExpander system preferences
2. Click the Preferences tab
3. Hold the Option key and click “Enable TextExpander” (which will kill TextExpander’s background process)
4. Quit System Preferneces
5. Restore this file from your backup:
[Home]/Library/Application Support/TextExpander/Settings.textexpander
6. Visit the Preferences tab of the TextExpander system preferences
7. Click “Enable TextExpander”
Thanks for using TextExpander from SmileOnMyMac!
Regards,
TextExpander Support

*** end quote ***

My way is faster. I think.

# # # # #

RANT: Rosie O’Donnell Back to Daytime TV; not on my TV

http://showbiz411.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/rosie-odonnell-back-to-daytime-tv/

Rosie O’Donnell Back to Daytime TV
Published March 19, 2010 Television Leave a Comment

*** begin quote ***

Rosie O’Donnell is headed back to daytime TV.

My sources say that Rosie will fill the void left by Oprah Winfrey starting in the fall of 2011.

Rosie was overheard telling pals at Joe Allen’s restaurant in New York last night that deal is almost done to restore her to her place as Queen of DaytimeTalk.

*** end quote ***

REF: https://reinkefaceslife.com/2010/02/19/rant-queen-of-nice-calls-rush-limbaugh-a-junkie/

Sorry, Rosie, you fooled me once.

You and your talk show foil Garofalo.

When you needed the viewers, it was all sweetness and light. Once you didn’t you trashed the simpletons that believed you.

Well, sorry, fool me once.

And, it’s not a gay thing. See, when we watched you, we knew you were, you just took care not to rub our noses in it. Everyone is entitled to privacy and choices. Just not, a public lashing, gay or straight. I don’t want the airways filled with sex or invectives by anyone.

So, while I wish you no harm, don’t expect me to watch and enrich you.

Your time has passed.

And, as Judge Judy say, “… if your tongue came notarized.”

Don’t tell me it’s raining either.

Argh!

# # # # #

GOVEROTRAGEOUS: “health care” slavery

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/19/AR2010031901470.html

Is health-care reform constitutional?
By Randy E. Barnett
Sunday, March 21, 2010

*** begin quote ***

But making you buy insurance merely because you are alive is a claim of power from which many Americans instinctively shrink. Senate Republicans made this objection, and it was defeated on a party-line vote, but it will return.

*** end quote ***

This “health care” bill makes us slaves. Even more of a slave than we already are?

# # # # #

INTERESTING: “Deal or No Deal” strategy

Did you ever see “Deal or No Deal”?

As an IT Architecture / BPR kinda guy, I think you have to have a strategy to get through the game. (Hey, I play penny slots too. No genius here.)

The only way to get a MILLION is to have two MILLION cases at the end.

Strategy is critical to escape with a prize.

I think that can apply some elementary statistics or probability theory.

You can predict the “banker’s offer” approximately and that leads you to a process to play.

It seems to me that you can compare the offer based on picking a low or high case. Then you make the decision from that.

Suppose, for example, at any point in the game, the distribution of cases can tell you what to do relative to the offer.

The offer is “fair” if EV = ∑ (p sub i * V sub i) is equal to the Banker’s Offer.

When receiving the Banker’s Offer, one can calculate the EV (ALL) of the current set of cases, the EV (HIGH) dropping the highest case, and the EV (LOW) dropping the lowest case. In a truly random game, you can calculate the potential loss EV (LOW) – EV (ALL) . And the potential gain EV (HIGH) – EV (ALL).

The offer can then be subject to the same test.

IF there is only ONE high value, the OFFER is usually cut in half.

By comparing the potential gain versus the potential loss, that determines if the contestant should take the offer or not.

You can’t pick cases, (although 26 seems to have a MILLION more than probability would dictate), but you can have a money management strategy.

# # # # #