POLITICAL: Not raising the debt ceiling doesn’t mean default

Response from Senator Menendez

Dear Mr. Reinke:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding the federal government’s debt limit. I appreciate hearing from you on this critical issue and having the opportunity to respond.

The national debt is the total amount of money borrowed in order to fulfill the requirements imposed by current and past Congresses and Presidents, during periods when both Republicans and Democrats were in control of different branches of government. These are legal obligations, and the responsibility for meeting the Nation’s obligations must be shared by both parties.

Raising the debt limit is necessary to allow the Treasury to meet obligations of the United States that have been established, authorized, and appropriated by Congress. Also, it is important to note that increasing the debt limit does not authorize a single penny of new spending— it only allows the government to pay bills already incurred.

If Congress fails to act before the debt limit is reached, the Treasury would default on the legal obligations of the United States, causing far more devastating damage to the economy than the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. A few consequences of defaulting could be a substantial tax increase on all Americans, and the potential loss of millions of American jobs.

The Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner, said that because Treasuries represent the benchmark borrowing rate for all other sectors, default would raise all borrowing costs. Interest rates for state and local government, corporate and consumer borrowing, including home mortgage interest, would all rise sharply. Equity prices and home values would decline, reducing retirement savings and hurting the economic security of all Americans, leading to reductions in spending and investment, which would cause business failures on a significant scale. Additionally, payments on a broad range of benefits and other U.S. obligations would be discontinued, limited or adversely affected, such as military salaries and retirement benefits; Social Security and Medicare benefits; veterans benefits; and unemployment benefits to states.

I share your desire to see our country headed down a more sustainable fiscal path, and I am committed to making the tough choices that will reduce the gap between our commitments and our resources. I believe that reducing our deficit will require a balanced approach to spending cuts; reforming tax policies, such as closing corporate tax breaks that allow oil companies to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes; and controlling health care costs. As your federal representative, I take very seriously my responsibility to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to enact sound fiscal policy that that invests in our future and protects the economic security our nation’s children.

Again, thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts on this important matter. Rest assured that I will keep your views in mind. I invite you to visit my website (http://menendez.senate.gov) to learn more about how I am standing up for New Jersey families in the United States Senate.

Senator Menendez

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Yea, I say don’t raise the “debt ceiling” and I get back “default”. No, not default. You have to cut the spending! Argh!

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POLITICAL: “Tax the rich”? Absurd!

http://cafehayek.com/2011/04/money-isnt-wealth.html

Money Isn’t Wealth
by DON BOUDREAUX on APRIL 20, 2011
in MYTHS AND FALLACIES,SEEN AND UNSEEN,TAXES

*** begin quote ***

Steve Landsburg – in his armchair or out of it – is brilliant, just brilliant. This post of Steve’s is a must-read.

*** end quote ***

http://www.thebigquestions.com/2011/04/18/the-man-who-cant-be-taxed/

The Man Who Can’t Be Taxed
Published by Steve Landsburg on April 18, 2011
in Bad Reasoning, Current Events and Economics. 64 Comments

*** begin quote ***

Nothing makes my job easier than a journalist who writes about something interesting and gets it 100% wrong.

Thanks, then, to Elizabeth Lesly Stevens for her column in yesterday’s Bay Citizen. Stevens wants to tax the “idle rich”, her Exhibit A being Robert Kendrick, heir to the $84 million Schlage Lock Company fortune. According to Ms. Stevens, Mr. Kendrick appears to do pretty much nothing but park and re-park his four cars all day long. Taxing people like Mr. Kendrick, she says, has to be part of any solution to America’s fiscal crisis.

Here’s what Ms. Stevens misses: Assuming the facts are as she states them, it is quite literally impossible to raise revenue by taxing the likes of Mr. Kendrick. We could argue about whether it’s desirable, but because it’s impossible, the discussion is moot.

Here’s why it’s impossible: For the government to consume more goods and services, somebody else must consume fewer.

*** end quote ***

Everyone has to go back to poor old Robinson Crusoe’s island where some kind of money is created — be it pretty seashells or giant totem poles.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument it’s Confederate States of America dollar — one fiat currency is as good as another. An let’s further assume that the price level has become stable over time, one CSA dollar trade for one fish. AND Ms. Stevens, who’s economic education is sorely lacking, steals all the CSA dollars. For her to consume more fish, someone has to consume less. The amount of CSA dollars she’s stolen is irrelevant.

Economics is the “dismal science” because it can’t make more fish. It does tell us that when any good is limited, that is fish, there are several ways the fish can be divided. Argh! The free market will, if allowed, “fairly” allocate that poor fish, but the money used to vote on it ain’t the fish.

Argh!

It’s so simple and yet so hard for liberals and some conservatives to grasp.

Money has real world consequences. Gooferment is the problem. And, politicians and bureaucrats are today’s high priests. At least, in the Aztec days, they had human sacrifice. But, I’ll be they didn’t use the politicians and bureaucrats!

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SERVICE: GOOGLE APPS FREE is getting “smaller”

*** begin quote ***

From: Google Apps Team <apps-noreply@google.com>
Date: April 28, 2011 6:41 PM
To: @reinke.cc
Subject: Update on changes to Google Apps

Hello,

We recently announced upcoming changes to the maximum number of users for Google Apps. We want to let you know that, as a current customer, the changes will not affect you.

As of May 10, any organization that signs up for a new account will be required to use the paid Google Apps for Business product in order to create more than 10 users. We honor our commitment to all existing customers and will allow you to add more than 10 users to your account for reinkefaceslife.com at no additional charge, based on the limit in place when you joined us.

Sincerely,
The Google Apps Team

*** end quote ***

It would seem that anyone with a domain should register it with Google Apps to preserve future flexibility.

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INTERESTING: Wednesday, I made a presentation …

http://goo.gl/ntMIR

Wednesday, I made a presentation …

… to some young ladies of Holy Family Academy. (Frau Reinke’s alma mater) Two groups 40 minutes each. 25 in group 1; 40 in group 2. Each group had two teachers as chaperones and the Library Lady listened to both. (Guess that was to monitor discipline. If you’ve read my book, you know there is always “discipline”.)

In exchanging emails with the powers that be, it became apparent that they wanted “guest speakers” and the topic of my book was of interest to them.

So, hey, I’m always up for some “fun”.

The essence of the spiel was “I did it. I published a book. And, you can do it too.”

I connected them to Frau Reinke by their school. I told how Frau Reinke told me to “do it or shudup!” Lovingly. I related about a day dreaming grade schooler. Early mornings, 5k words/day, and some of the challenges. Went thru the technology, step by step. (The second group actually wanted that repeated during the Q&A.) Riffed off the line about 197X FireFox kids doing it WITHOUT technology. And, challenged them to some things they could do.

It was interesting that three of the TEACHERS got really excited about the possibilities.

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After action report:

It wasn’t “fun”. It was tough. I guess it’s part of learning to deal with the “ouchie”.

It was difficult because I’ve never “performed” in front of an audience this young. And, as you know, I’m an ITSJ. So, that’s ALWAYS a problem. (Had to be extra careful that any “injineering” language didn’t slip out.)

It was interesting in that the children as NOT as “computer literate” as I would have expected. Most had never heard of an RSS feed out of FACEBOOK.

First group (high school freshman), I needed the filler: SFYG and the Burqa. Second group (English honors juniors and seniors), were more into “novel” and how to do it. We got into Burqa, “digital dirt”, and, then, into a repeat of the EXACT steps to move data from FACEBOOK to a book. The Principal had to call time because they were getting into the gory details.

(The Principal complemented my on my ability to take them as deep as they wanted to go and explaining it such that she could understand it. :-) The essence of a fat old white guy injineer is to make sure you use little words and speak slowly.)

In retrospect, I gave them the rough stats on copies published. Last time I checked. To one significant digit. I could have given them the exact numbers but I didn’t think that was a big deal. In retrospect, I probably should have given them exact. The zeros make a bad impression. Argh! Now I feel bad.

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The library had “brag books”. Evidently, each student had to put together a book of what they accomplished at HFA.

(I call it a “brag book” because I recommended something similar to my “turkeys” when they were doing “job search”.)

A lot of it was format stuff and some filler. But, in the forms they had, there was a self assessment. Leadership, speaking ability, yada, yada, yada. Rows of the stuff; maybe 20 rows? With four columns for grading. “Outstanding”, “excellent”, “good”, and “needs improvement”. I looked at more than 20 of them — I was killing a half hour — there was no one who “needs improvement”. I thought that was funny. Funny ha ha!

Now I recognize that if I’d have had to do one in high school. It would have been very very thin with accomplishments.

But, I’d have known I needed a lot of “improvement”. (Luckily, a young lady came along in my sophomore year of college and helped me “improve”.)

SO here we have 20 or so brag books, and NO ONE needs improvement?

That’s a failure.

I saw cheerleaders, Irish Dancers, Eucharistic Ministers, Drama Queens, … …

I didn’t see any Engineers, Scientists, or such …

I didn’t see any athletes …

I did laugh that many claimed that “marching in the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade” was an achievement. That sounded like filler to me.

Robert Byrnes cited “the gift to see ourselves as others see us”. Sounds like these teachers and students need some eyeglasses.

Everyone always “needs improvement”.

Even me.

That’s why I don’t take such tests.

Frau Reinke left that job unfinished!

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RANT: “Cotton Candy” wedding distracts “We, The Colonists” from our problems

http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/04/29/the-royal-wedding-live-blog/?mod=djemalertNEWS

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News Alert from The Wall Street Journal

Prince William and Kate Middleton were pronounced husband and wife Friday, after five months of breathless hype and anticipation for Britain’s royal wedding, a ceremony that was expected to be watched by as many as two billion people.

As the couple said “I do,” the crowd on The Mall erupted into cheers, the ceremony coming through on loudspeakers.

About 1,900 guests were in attendance at Westminster Abbey, including soccer star David Beckham and musician Elton John.

*** end quote ***

Everyone loves a good circus.

And maybe the era of Princess Diana is now over.

We’ll see if Kate can become ½ the power that Diana was.

I hope that Kate has a better outcome.

But it’s all just silly.

Maybe tomorrow, “We, The People” can get back to the serious issues at hand — End the Fed, Bring the Troops Home, and cut the spending.

But, today, it seems “Royal Watching” is a international delusion.

# – # – # – # – # 2011-Apr-29 @ 08:23

GOVERNACIDE: American soldier has died in southern Iraq

http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2011/04/28/thursday-39-iraqis-killed-51-wounded

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110428/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq_us_casualties

– Thu Apr 28, 7:08 am ET

BAGHDAD – The U.S. military says an American soldier has died in southern Iraq in a non-combat related incident.

# – # – # – # – # 2011-Apr-29 @ 08:02

TECHNOLOGY: Kindle E-book lending

http://www.macworld.com/article/159351/2011/04/kindle_lending_library.html

Amazon announces the Kindle Lending Library
by Lex Friedman, Macworld.com Apr 20, 2011 10:18 am

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E-book lending, periodicals reading in apps coming to Kindle

Amazon on Wednesday announced that later this year it will launch the Kindle Lending Library, a feature that will allow Kindle customers to borrow books from 11,000 libraries across the United States. The Kindle Lending Library—which Amazon is forming in partnership with digital media distributor OverDrive—will work with all Kindles, and all Kindle apps, including the Mac and iOS editions.

Once the feature launches, customers will be able to borrow Kindle e-books from their local libraries and start reading them instantly. If you check out a Kindle book a second time, or later purchase your own copy from Amazon, you don’t lose any notes and bookmarks you’ve added; they remain linked to your Amazon account. (And, in an advantage over old-school paper-and-binding books, you can make as many notes on your e-copy as you like without mucking up the book for the next person to borrow it.)

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The Gooferment and its “copyright” diktats have and will muddle this technology.

* Copyrights are now a centuries lock on the information. Weren’t patents and copyright supposed to expire and allow the public to benefit? Wasn’t, isn’t, that the only reason for giving an author a monopoly?

* Publishers allow books to go out of print. Disney puts stuff “back in the vault”. And, some copyrights have their ownership lost in time.

* A library, or a person, can “loan” or sell their copy. (The doctrine of “first sale” and all this “software licensing” nonsense.) Why is an ebook different?

* Libraries should be restricted to loaning out a single copy of e-books at a time as they would be with paper books. There shouldn’t be question.

* “Expiration”, like when publisher HarperCollins changed its agreement with OverDrive, dictating that its e-books should “expire” after 26 checkouts. That’s just wrong.

Did I miss anything?

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POLITICAL: Analyzing a Ron Paul run

> April 25, 2011 10:25 PM
> Now the fun begins!
> http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/ron-paul-launches-presidential-campaign-20110425

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> April 26, 2011 10:35 AM

> I think of all times this would be his best chance, except I think his age may get in the way. I know…didn’t stop Ronnie, but he had already proven himself. Should certainly be interesting though. :-)

*** end quote ***

(1) Well, the “youngsters” have really screwed the pooch. And, the cow. And, the horse. And, just about every farm animal you can name.

(2) It may well be a game changer in forcing the debate to “Libertarian” topics.

(3) He may realize that it’s “hopeless” but is going to go down swinging.

(4) DNF the electorate and electoral calculus. ½ the folks don’t vote. If he can energize the Tea Party, and ½ of that ½ comes to the polls — Katie bar the door — the old political “wisdom” of “50% independent + 30% D’s + 20% R’s = election” is out with the trash. That “½ of a ½” swamps the “regular voters”. It’s what propelled Ike and Reagan to victory. The great “unwashed.”

(5) If he pick Michelle Bachman as his running mate, then he’s got a great chance to win. And, she’d be a shoe in to her own follow up run.

This country would be well on its way to the next 100 years of Pax America. I don’t see how we survive another 8 or 12 years of hack politicians.

I copied the usual suspects on this rant.

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INTERESTING: Losing the old values

http://web.docuticker.com/go/docubase/64167

The New Digital American Family
April 14, 2011 02:36
Source: Nielsen

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• Ward and June Cleaver have left the building. The white, two-parent, “Leave It to Beaver” family unit of the 1950s has evolved into a multi-layered, multi-cultural construct dominated by older, childless households. Marketing budgets need to recalibrate to reflect the very different composition of the New Digital American Family.

*** end quote ***

Sad to see that era pass. Women had to go back to work to pay the taxes. That’s not progress!

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HARDWARE: Newell Rubbermaid kills CARDSCAN sync and they try and sell me more hardware! I don’t think so.

http://links.mkt2703.com/servlet/MailView?ms=MzY1NDU1MjES1&r=NTE3MDUxMDQwMgS2&j=OTk5MDgzNzcS1&mt=1&rt=0

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DYMO, a member of the Newell Rubbermaid family of brands.

*** end quote ***

You kill the CARDSCAN sync service and then have chutzpah to try and sell me something. Why should I believe ANY promise that you make?

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Why would you trust these people? Ever!

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GOVERNACIDE: The USA never learns from past mistakes

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/04/16/u-s-failed-to-learn-from-conquest-of-philippines-historian-says/

U.S. Failed To Learn From Conquest of Philippines, Historian Says
April 16, 2011 posted by Veterans Today
Unintelligent Design
By Professor Michael Chesson

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David R. Kohler (a Navy special warfare officer) and James W. Wensyel’s (a retired U.S. Army officer) essay, “America’s First Southeast Asian War” (1990), explains that the U.S. plunged into a war that would see 200,000 American soldiers sent to the Pacific, with 125,000 actually serving in the Philippines, and suffering 7,000 casualties.

About 15,000 to 20,000 Filipino rebels were killed, along with more than 200,000 civilians, all too easily dismissed as what would today be called collateral damage. There were mounting atrocities on both sides. The Americans used various forms of torture, including water boarding, to interrogate captured rebels. Though a few officers were court-martialed for sanctioning torture, their punishment was light. Our generals adopted a fortified hamlet strategy, free fire zones, and destruction of crops in the countryside to deny the rebels food.

Aguinaldo’s guerrilla tactics dragged out the war and made it one of attrition. His men received no outside help, despite pleas to Japan, because the U. S. Navy blockaded the islands. Our troops, with some exceptions, were better armed, fed, and supplied. America won the war, but paid a terrible price, the worst part of which was that neither our military nor civilian leadership seemed to have learned anything about the challenges of jungle fighting against a resolute foe supported by the local population at the end of a logistical chain ten thousand miles long. The lessons were forgotten, to be relearned in Vietnam sixty years later.

*** end quote ***

And, relearned in Afpak, Iraq, Libya, and a thousand other places.

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INSPIRATIONAL: Diabetes kill another nice person; when can we get a cure?

From Karen Kenworthy email account

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April 25, 2011 5:30 PM

Dear Friends, I suspect that many of you have noticed that the last issue of Karen©s Power Tools Newsletter was dated March 17, 2010, and you may have been anxiously awaiting another. It is with great sadness that I write to tell you of Karen©s death on April 12, 2011, after a long struggle with several debilitations, including diabetes. I know that Karen touched many of you with her kindness, wit, creativity and encouragement. She was a loving daughter, sister, aunt and friend. And she was a pretty darned good programmer, too. We are deeply grieving her loss. For now, Karen©s server is still running, the programs she has written can still be downloaded, and donations can still be made through the website. We are also working to fill all CD orders that have been submitted or mailed. It is difficult to make business decisions while grieving. So, at this point, I cannot say what will be the future of KarenWare.com, except to say that we will certainly continue Karen©s commitment to safeguard your privacy as shown at the Privacy link of KarenWare.com. Many of you have already written many kinds words of condolence and comfort. Please know that we greatly appreciate you. If you care to make a contribution in her honor, she was a long-time supporter of The Dohnavur Fellowship, a special children©s ministry in southern India. You can learn more about them at http://www.DohnavurFellowship.org. All we ask is that you remember her whenever you take the case off of your computer, contemplate removing entries from your Windows Registry, listen to Bob Wills or Riders in the Sky, or wave and say ©Hi!© to anyone on the ©net. May God richly bless you, as He has all those who knew Karen. Bill Kenworthy Karen©s brother

*** end quote ***

Dear Bill,

I’m very sorry to hear this. While I didn’t know Karen, I was just a fan. My wife died in February also after a long struggle with diabetes and its complications. I know somewhat of what you’re going through. You’re all in my prayers. What else can one do?

fjohn

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What do we have to do to get a cure to this deadly killer. Clearly what we are doing right now isn’t getting us a cure.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — attributed to Einstein

We need some “outside of the box” action!

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INTERESTING: Noise?

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-noise-impacts-your-health/

14 APR
How Noise Impacts Your Health

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A friend of mine recently turned me on to a book called In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise by George Prochnik. Prochnik’s a self-proclaimed noise-a-phobe who sets out to probe both the culture of noise and science behind silence. His quest takes him everywhere from urban streets to university labs to a Quaker meeting to Trappist retreats. The stakes are high, experts tell him: one-third of us, Prochnik learns, demonstrate measurable hearing loss.

And it’s not just our ears that feel the toll. Noise, experts explain, causes stress that can result in serious health risk. A New York Times article last week reported ominous findings of a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. Noise, and the stress and sleep disruption it imposes, appears to be responsible for 1.8% of heart attacks in Western Europe and 2.7% in more densely populated Germany.

*** end quote ***

I used to listen to a lot of background noise. Water falling was my favorite. Instant sleep.

Now I’ve started to turn off the TV and radio I play as “background noise”. (That’s a habit my Mom had. Our Girl too. She liked music though.)

Maybe I should spend some time in the Trappist monastery?

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TAGONIST: Police beating of Las Vegas man caught on tape

http://www.lvrj.com/news/exclusive-police-beating-of-las-vegas-man-caught-on-tape-120509439.html

Police beating of Las Vegas man caught on tape
BY MIKE BLASKY LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted: Apr. 22, 2011 | 1:43 p.m.

*** begin quote ***

When Mitchell Crooks checked out of the county jail last month and checked into a Las Vegas hospital, the 36-year-old videographer knew he had a fight on his hands.

His face was bloodied and bruised. His $3,500 camera had been impounded by police, and he faced criminal charges for battery on a police officer.

One month later, things have changed for Crooks.

The Clark County district attorney’s office has dropped all charges, and Crooks has retained an attorney of his own. The Metropolitan Police Department has opened an internal investigation into the Las Vegas police officer, Derek Colling, who Crooks says falsely arrested and beat him for filming police.

And his camera — which captured the entire March 20 altercation between Crooks and Colling — has been returned.

*** and ***

“Officer Colling was aggravated that a citizen should have the audacity to video tape, him — a Las Vegas Metropolitan Patrol Officer,” Otto wrote. “Officer Colling decided to use the fear and terror of his physical ability to beat Mr. Crooks into submission — to teach Mr. Crooks and, by example, all citizens and residents of the Las Vegas Valley.”

*** end quote ***

ANT-TAGONIST: The police, as well as any Gooferment “official”, must expect to be “supervised” by anyone. Citizen, Resident, Illegal Alien, or just PIA with a video. Politicians and bureaucrats view video the way Dracula saw Holy Water. BTW don’t the cops have dash cams in their cars to film the mundanes? Sorry, but there are bad cops. In some confused sense, when we allow this phantom illusion called the Gooferment some sort of right to use force, we set up failure. Who goes into “law enforcement”, those that want to use force on others. In a great example of the Peter Principle, the police hierarchy selects the dim witted. (OK what would you call a policy where you weed out all the smart applicants?) And, that hierarchy sets up Rule Of Engagement that allows the cops to get away with murder. Unless the killing is of one of the elite. Yes, we need some sort of security. But it should be based of the Zero Aggression Principle. No one is ever allowed to initiate force on another human being. Peace officers, yes. Police, no. And, along the way, maybe we can change the Gooferment’s “justice” system from “rehabilitation” to “restitution”. Rehabilitation is just code for recidivism. To quote Reagan, who got a few things correct, “Gooferment is the problem” and police behavior is just another symptom.

PRO-TAGONIST: The transcript indicates he told the police officer that he didn’t live there…and he said he even regrets lying to him. Lying is never good. The officer likely suspected foul play.

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MONEY: The golden dinar

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=13024

The Weak Dollar Problem
by Steve H. Hanke

*** begin quote ***

For the countries — like the oil producers in the Persian Gulf — the U.S. dollar bloc and fixed exchange rates are a necessity. These countries are mono-product economies, and their “product,” oil, is invoiced in dollars. Accordingly, if a floating exchange-rate regime were adopted, their nominal exchange rates would fluctuate erratically as oil prices fluctuate. When the price of oil rises (falls), the local currencies would appreciate (depreciate). Without a currency link to the dollar and a nominal anchor for its price level, the oil producing countries would experience a wild roller-coaster ride — one distinguished by deflationary lows and inflationary highs.

Thanks to the Fed’s weak dollar policy, the U.S. faces an inflation problem and so does the rest of the world. The weak dollar and the lack of “flexibility” — properly understood — also threaten the free flow of capital and the stability of the international monetary system. It’s time for the Fed to start focusing on the value and stability of the U.S. dollar.

*** end quote ***

As a fat old white guy injineer, it would seem that any thinking person would recognize “the dollar” has failed in one of the definitions of money.

“Money is a matter of functions four, a medium, a measure, a standard, a store.” He repeated that four times like poetry. “Six Characters in Money: Portable – Durable – Divisible – Uniformity – Limited Supply – Acceptability.” — CHURCH 10●19●62 (Vol 1) 978-0-557-08387-9 page 110

It’s no longer “uniform”. And, it no longer functions as “a measure”, “a standard” or “a store”.

Imagine baseball or football, where each year “a yard” got smaller? Or larger?

In the grocery store, packages stay the same or get larger, while the contents shrink. And, the makers pray the consumer doesn’t get wise.

(What was the name of that Olive maker that destroyed his business by saving one olive per bottle? The consumers disciplined that company out of business.)

We’re on the road to be like pre-WW2 Germany with raging hyper-inflation.

At least, when the golden dinar becomes the world’s standard, we’ll have honest money!

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Hanke, Steve H. (2011, April 15). The Weak Dollar Problem. Retrieved April 18, 2011, from The Cato Institute Web site: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=13024

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INSPIRATIONAL: Date specific Mass Cards

Recently, I was surprised when someone close to me didn’t know that there were two kinds of Mass cards. I thought this was surprising. Blinding flash of the obvious. I figured I should post about the difference.

Catholics, and others, “buy” “Mass Cards” for the deceased. It’s an attempt to “buy the deceased’s way into heaven”.

You can decide if such exists, if it’s an appropriate strategy, and if it does any good.

There are, in fact, two types. One with a specific date for the Mass being offered for the name deceased and one without.

The date-specific ones cite a date, time, and location where that specific Mass will be offered.

The non-date-specific promise something else. Masses offered, prayers, “enrollment”, and all sorts of stuff.

Now the funds, given for “Mass Cards”, hopefully go towards good works. So in that sense, it always does good.

There’s a tradition in the American Irish, (I don’t know about other groups), that date specific events in memory of a loved one should be attended.

So, I received four of these. And, I attended one so far, and I plan to go to the other three.

It may or may not make a difference.

So, now, everyone knows that there are, what I will call, “Mass Cards” and “ersatz Mass Cards”.

Interesting the distinction.

It’s inspirational in that people will give away their wealth to try and make the family of the deceased feel better.

One of my now deceased Uncles, called these “White Elephants”, in that you’re being given something that requires actions on your part.

So imho be careful to GIVE “white elephants” they seem to be worth more.

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POLITICAL: Just say no to raising the debt ceiling

MESSAGE TO CONGRESS CRITTERS:

Subject: Tell Congress to cut federal spending

Please cut federal spending.

Please do NOT raise the debt ceiling.

Very simple, just DON’T do it.

As a matter of fact, let’s start cutting the debt ceiling. How about cutting the debt ceiling 1% a year for the next 100 years?

Don’t saddle the future with our mistakes.

If you do, don’t plan on getting my vote. And, you’ll see me out actively opposing you. I realize I’m only one little guy, but I will vote and I will campaign.

fjr

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Dear Mr. Reinke:

   Thank you for contacting me about federal spending. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

   I share your concerns about the deficit inherited by this Administration. I have been a strong advocate for balanced budgets throughout my career in the Senate. As the Ranking Member on the Senate Budget Committee at the time, I helped negotiate the “Balanced Budget Act of 1997,” which restored fiscal discipline to the federal government and ended years of deficits. These provisions eventually led to a federal budget surplus of $237 billion in 2000, the first period of budget surplus since 1969.

   However, when this President took office, we had record deficits because of the recession and eight years of unpaid-for wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, and expensive spending programs. I am proud to support efforts that will restore fiscal discipline and I voted in favor of legislation (P.L. 111-139) that requires any new federal spending to be offset. This bill was signed into law on February 12, 2010.

   Please be assured that I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues and President Obama to reduce the deficit and our national debt, and I will keep your concerns in mind as this issue receives further consideration by the Senate. Thank you again for contacting me.

FRL:MD

Sincerely,

Senator Frank R. Lautenberg

[JR: Non responsive. I asked about the debt ceiling. But, if you’re such a deficit hawk, then either you’re ineffective or corrupt. Couldn’t hold the line or were bought off. Either way, I’m not voting for you.]

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Waiting for the others to respond.

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FLASH: Two U.S. soldiers were killed

http://original.antiwar.com/updates/2011/04/23/saturday-9-iraqis-killed-6-wounded-2/

Saturday: 2 US Soldiers, 9 Iraqis Killed; 6 Iraqis Wounded

by Margaret Griffis, April 23, 2011

*** begin quote ***

At least nine Iraqis were killed and six more were wounded in light violence. Two U.S. soldiers were killed during operations in southern Iraq as well. Although there were no large-scale attacks reported, a spate of shootings in the capital targeted government or security officials. Also, protests continued in at least two cities.

*** end quote ***

Unacceptable!

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SERVICE: LULU pushes my content to the Apple iBookstore

Lulu.com


Publish | Buy | Services

Visit the Lulu Blog

Dear Ferdinand Reinke,

Lulu’s goal is a simple one: help you sell more books. This note is to tell you about an exciting new effort from Lulu to help achieve this goal by ensuring your work is able to reach readers across all devices, starting with the 130 million+ customers who own an iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod touch® and shop at the iBookstore℠. Over the coming weeks, at no charge to you, we’ll be making the title you have for sale on Lulu.com also available as an eBook edition on the iBookstore.

If for any reason you don’t want your book available in the iBookstore, you can opt-out easily. Just send an email to ipad_opt_out@lulu.com with the subjectline Opt-Out of eBook conversion. If you wish to opt-out, please make sure to do so within 5 business days of receiving this message. Otherwise, you don’t have to do anything to have your book included in this program and we think it’s a great idea to join the ranks of Lulu authors who have already sold 60,000 eBooks through the iBookstore.

We cannot guarantee the new eBook formatted version of your book will appear on the iBookstore, but we’re taking measures to ensure a high success rate. Here’s how the process will work:

  1. We’ll begin the process on your behalf by converting “Church 10?19?62” into an ePub formatted eBook – absolutely free.
  2. Next, we’ll submit your newly formatted eBook to Apple and request a listing in the iBookstore. In some cases we may need to make tweaks to your book’s catalog data* in order to meet Apple’s requirements.
  3. We will notify you once your eBook has been accepted by Apple and is available for sale in the iBookstore. At first, your book will be listed in the iBookstore with default pricing.
  4. We’ll place a new eBook project in your My Projects list on Lulu. You’ll then have full control over the project, and can opt-out of iBookstore distribution, change the default price, etc. at any time. Additionally, this ePub file will be available for you to distribute to our expanding list of eBook retail partners.

To learn more about this exciting iBookstore program, visit our knowledge base. Thank you for your continued support of Lulu and our ongoing efforts to help you sell more books.

Best,

Lulu Enterprises, Inc.

*Note: “Tweaks to book catalog data (metadata)” will be minor edits such as correcting capitalization problems. We will, of course, contact you before making any significant changes.


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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Gooferment Internet Identity plan

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/04/with-passwords-broken-us-rolls-out-internet-identity-plan.ars

With passwords “broken,” US rolls out Internet identity plan
By Nate Anderson

*** begin quote ***

NIST hopes to arrive at privacy standards that will give Internet users confidence in using such credentials, to clarify the liability that credentials providers will face should someone still manage to steal your identity, and to issue a “trustmark” that accredits participating credential providers and websites.

Public meetings on NSTIC begin in June, and NIST hopes to be funding pilot projects by 2012. Still, ordinary Internet users won’t be able to use the system for three to five years.

*** end quote ***

The Gooferment did so well with the Social Security Number, I think they should just leave everyone the hell alone.

What’s next tattoo everyone?

Kick the ISPs! They are being paid to provide access. Credit cards! That sounds like a reliable identity to me.

Argh!

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RANT: Minnesota School Issues iPad 2 To Every Student

http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/11/04/23/019219/Minnesota-School-Issues-iPad-2-To-Every-Student

Minnesota School Issues iPad 2 To Every Student
Posted by timothy on Friday April 22, @09:40PM
from the boondoggle-defined dept.

*** begin quote ***

tripleevenfall writes

“Thanks to a federally-funded grant for magnet schools, every student at Heritage Middle School in West Saint Paul, Minnesota, now has an iPad 2.”

Why in my day, we had to buy our own graphing calculators — in the snow, both ways, uphill!

*** end quote ***

Why am I paying for this? Nuke the Department of Education and such waste. I’d like an IPAD2! Why do I have to pay for someone else to get one?

# – # – # – # – # 2011-Apr-23 @ 02:36

RANT: The Gooferment’s role in “healthcare”

Don’t Let the Republicans kill Medicare!

act.credoaction.com

*** begin quote ***

Republicans are pushing hard on a plan to end Medicare as we know it. They’re trying to replace it with a ludicrous privatized system where seniors are given vouchers to try to buy coverage from private, for-profit insurance companies–the very same companies notorious for denying them coverage.

*** end quote ***

And, it’s a lousy system. Have you seen the stats on how much goes to fraud and waste. Never mind the “personal mobility” scams. Sorry, but Medicaid is the big hole in the Titanic and Medicare is the second biggest. Now we can stand around and listen to the orchestra play “Nearer My God To Thee”. OR, we can debate how to fix this disaster better, faster, and cheaper. Personally, I never want to have the Gooferment as having any role in healthcare. It can either be the referee or a player in the game. Not both. In the case of Medicare, the Gooferment wants to be the doctor, the insurance company, and the referee. Argh! And, it has a vested financial interest in the decision in both Social Security, Medicare, Standard of Care, and the “overhead in medical care” born by the Gooferment. Still want the Gooferment deciding about care?

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MEMORIES: Days Of Our Lives aka DrOOL!

“NBC has only one soap opera left, “Days of Our Lives.”

Our Girl’s “soap”. She watched it with her Mother growing up. (I believe watching it transported her to a happier place and time. For her, it was a near religious experience.) She watched it every chance she got. When it was bumped by a current event, the Saint Patrick’s Day parade, or anything, she’s get up and watch it at 2 or 3 in the morning.

With the advent of the VCR, she watched it every night. And woe was me, the techie genius, if the VCR didn’t tape. (Luckily, much later in our lives, the SOAPNET channel rebroadcast it at 11PM and 4AM. And on weekends, all five episodes were on in a row, twice. DrOOL overload. A few times I caught her peeking.)

She took a lot of good natured ribbing about “DrOOL” from me, but she never wavered from her devotion to her “television family” The Hortons. Maybe it was the family she wanted to have in her childhood. In the TV realm, everyone is perfect. The men are hunks; the women not a hair out of place. No one is poor. No one is hungry. No one suffers. And, they all look good as they deal with all their “problems”.

When we were flush, I even took her on a “DrOOL” cruise. She was disappointed; she wanted the whole TV family to be there. And, Micky didn’t look to “Micky-ish” in the harsh glare of sunlight and no make up. After seeing him in person, she didn’t want to see anymore “real life” representation of her idealized family. I guess one has to protect the only emotional link she had to her long passed Mom.

DrOOL was that link. And, I hope that she’s with her Mom finally. Finally at peace. And, I’m sure they are watching DrOOL together once again as the did so many decades ago.

I wonder if Micky looks better now that he’s passed too? I wonder if Tom Horton is there as well. She mourned their passing as she would an old friend.

I’m glad NBC never cancelled DrOOL while Frau Reinke was with us. That would have been tragic for her.

I still watch it from time to time. And, I imagine her sitting in her recliner, eating her lunch, usually Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup, Diet Pepsi, and a baloney sandwich. In a time warp, back with her Mom. Watching DrOOL together.

When NBC cancels DrOOL as it eventually will, that will be tragic for me, severing my connection to Our Girl.

Maybe I can buy a DVD of an episode and replay that over and over, when I need to feel her emotionally.

Donna Nobis Pacem.

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TECHNOLOGY: McGraw-Hill and ebooks

http://web.resourceshelf.com/go/resourceblog/64169

McGraw-Hill Create: Customized eBooks for the Classroom
April 14, 2011 12:28
From CNBC:

*** begin quote ***

The McGraw-Hill Create platform enables instructors to easily customize digital content for their courses, combining their own course-specific materials with a range of other resources. Instructors have instant access to a vast library of McGraw-Hill resources to develop instructional materials adapted specifically to the needs of local markets. At Create’s core is a Google-like search engine functionality that enables professors to immediately pull from a wide range of quality content, including 4,000 McGraw-Hill textbooks, 5,500 articles, 11,000 literature, philosophy and humanities readings, and 25,000 business case studies from prominent providers such as the Harvard Business School

*** end quote ***

Perhaps they are feeling the heat, as their “franchise” swirls the bowl? I guess the days of big over-priced textbooks is over and the inet hosted ebooks is just over the horizon. Obviously, this has implications for MC, the faculty, and staff. Not to mention the Library, and the Technology Architecture. Argh! I guess my big concern would be who own’s the copyrights and the “organization of the dikw (i.e., data, information, knowledge, wisdom)”. Maybe I’m a skeptic, but, since “crowd sourcing” is all the rage, perhaps the “customized digital content”, and the organization there of, becomes the property of McGraw-Hill. Then, they turn around and “sell” it as a new “title” to anyone who will buy it? Bet some evil lawyer has billed a lot of hours writing that licensing agreement that will be a quick pop up. Hmmmm?

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