SERVICE: Dropbox two-step authentication

http://lifehacker.com/5937946/dropbox-rolls-out-two+step-verification

Dropbox Adds Two-Step Verification for Enhanced Security, And You Should Turn It On Now [Dropbox]
by David Galloway

*** begin quote ***

Dropbox Adds Two-Step Verification for Enhanced Security, And You Should Turn It On NowMost security-minded computer users know about Google’s two-step verification process, but other popular webapps like Facebook and Amazon have also added this great way of reducing your chances of being hacked. Today, Dropbox joins the two-step verification party .

To enable Dropbox two-step authentication you’ll need to allow Dropbox to send you a text message with a code or use a mobile authenticator app if you don’t want Dropbox to have your phone number. Either way works fine and enables the “something you have” plus “something you know” steps to help keep you safe.

To get started go to your account settings page on Dropbox, click on the Security tab, and scroll down to the bottom of the page and enable two-step verification. Or just click this link.

*** end quote ***

GREAT!

We need two factor on more critical inet services.

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JOBSEARCH: Your intellectual capital walks out the door every night!

http://nicholasnigro.blogspot.com/2012/08/anatomy-of-boss.html

Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Anatomy of a Boss…

*** begin quote ***

It was, nonetheless, an era when men were evidently men. Recently, I watched an episode where a haplessly green eighteen-year-old joined Mr. Favor’s outfit. Ordered to rein in some misbehaving cattle, the youngster was no match for the bovine ensemble’s frenzied antics. Rowdy desperately wanted to intervene on the boy’s behalf, but Mr. Favor, who had assigned him another vital task, refused to allow it. When the poor kid was trampled to death, Rowdy was disgusted with his remarkably callous boss, who had told him point-blank that “men are replaceable; cattle aren’t.” By the end of the episode, though, Rowdy somehow understood where Mr. Favor was coming from in their cow-eat-cow world.

Favor’s cool hard line, which was probably closer to the reality of the times and job, wouldn’t wash today on the small screen. He was, after all, the show’s leading man, authority figure, and hero. But then when you get right down to it, I suspect there are more than a few boss figures who believe men (and women) are replaceable. In fact, I more than suspect this…. Head ‘em up; move ‘em out!

*** end quote ***

A couple of people at work are calling me “boss”. 

I find this humorous because I do very little “boss-ing”. It’s more about setting the objective and letting them loose.

One fellow said to me: “I don’t have to get permission to do this …”. I gave him my pat: “Does it violate any ‘standing orders’? If not, then let’s get it done and beg forgiveness if we need to. You can always blame me.”

LOL!

After a recent bad storm, the first thing I did, dropping back to my old AT&T training, was check that all our people were safe and didn’t need anything. Then, once that was done, I started to figure out what had to get done and not done with the resources we had available.

Others were more worried about “the work”; rather than “the people”.

Guess they never heard the old Wall Street adage that: “Your intellectual capital walks out the door every night!”

Most Wall Streeters worried about it coming back the next morning. Like AT&T!

Argh!

That’s why I tell any fat old white guy turkeys, or anyone who will listen, that you have to be “the captain of your own ship”, the CEO of “You, Inc.”, or just understand what YOUR objectives are. If they happen to overlap with your employer’s, great. If not, first things first.

I’ve told more than one “employee”, who was putting the employer first, that their job is to FIRST find your next job. Good performance at your current job is an important component of doing that. BUT, it’s not the FIRST priority. Third at best!

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POLITICAL: Chris Christie’s RNC speech

http://drudgereport.com/flashcc.htm

The Hon. Chris Christie
Governor of New Jersey
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery at Republican National Convention
August 28, 2012
Tue Aug 28 2012 21:26:40 ET

**Exclusive**

This stage and this moment are very improbable for me.

A New Jersey Republican delivering the keynote address to our national convention, from a state with 700,000 more Democrats than Republicans.

A New Jersey Republican stands before you tonight.

Proud of my party, proud of my state and proud of my country.

I am the son of an Irish father and a Sicilian mother.

My Dad, who I am blessed to have with me here tonight, is gregarious, outgoing and loveable.

My Mom, who I lost 8 years ago, was the enforcer. She made sure we all knew who set the rules.

In the automobile of life, Dad was just a passenger. Mom was the driver.

They both lived hard lives. Dad grew up in poverty. After returning from Army service, he worked at the Breyers Ice Cream plant in the 1950s. With that job and the G.I. bill he put himself through Rutgers University at night to become the first in his family to earn a college degree. Our first family picture was on his graduation day, with Mom beaming next to him, six months pregnant with me.

Mom also came from nothing. She was raised by a single mother who took three buses to get to work every day. And mom spent the time she was supposed to be a kid actually raising children – her two younger siblings. She was tough as nails and didn’t suffer fools at all. The truth was she couldn’t afford to. She spoke the truth – bluntly, directly and without much varnish.

I am her son.

I was her son as I listened to “Darkness on the Edge of Town” with my high school friends on the Jersey Shore.

I was her son as I moved into a studio apartment with Mary Pat to start a marriage that is now 26 years old.

I was her son as I coached our sons Andrew and Patrick on the fields of Mendham, and as I watched with pride as our daughters Sarah and Bridget marched with their soccer teams in the Labor Day parade.

And I am still her son today, as Governor, following the rules she taught me: to speak from the heart and to fight for your principles. She never thought you get extra credit for just speaking the truth.

The greatest lesson Mom ever taught me, though, was this one: she told me there would be times in your life when you have to choose between being loved and being respected. She said to always pick being respected, that love without respect was always fleeting — but that respect could grow into real, lasting love.

Now, of course, she was talking about women.

But I have learned over time that it applies just as much to leadership. In fact, I think that advice applies to America today more than ever.

I believe we have become paralyzed by our desire to be loved.

Our founding fathers had the wisdom to know that social acceptance and popularity is fleeting and that this country’s principles needed to be rooted in strengths greater than the passions and emotions of the times.

Our leaders today have decided it is more important to be popular, to do what is easy and say “yes,” rather than to say no when “no” is what’s required.

In recent years, we as a country have too often chosen the same path.

It’s been easy for our leaders to say not us, and not now, in taking on the tough issues. And we’ve stood silently by and let them get away with it.

But tonight, I say enough.

I say, together, let’s make a much different choice. Tonight, we are speaking up for ourselves and stepping up.

We are beginning to do what is right and what is necessary to make our country great again.

We are demanding that our leaders stop tearing each other down, and work together to take action on the big things facing America.

Tonight, we choose respect over love.

We are not afraid. We are taking our country back.

We are the great grandchildren of men and women who broke their backs in the name of American ingenuity; the grandchildren of the Greatest Generation; the sons and daughters of immigrants; the brothers and sisters of everyday heroes; the neighbors of entrepreneurs and firefighters, teachers and farmers, veterans and factory workers and everyone in-between who shows up not just on the big days or the good days, but on the bad days and on the hard days.

Each and every day. All 365 of them.

We are the United States of America.

Now we must lead the way our citizens live. To lead as my mother insisted I live, not by avoiding truths, especially the hard ones, but by facing up to them and being the better for it.

We cannot afford to do anything less.

I know because this was the challenge in New Jersey.

When I came into office, I could continue on the same path that led to wealth, jobs and people leaving the state or I could do the job the people elected me to do – to do the big things.

There were those who said it couldn’t be done. The problems were too big, too politically charged, too broken to fix. But we were on a path we could no longer afford to follow.

They said it was impossible to cut taxes in a state where taxes were raised 115 times in eight years. That it was impossible to balance a budget at the same time, with an $11 billion deficit. Three years later, we have three balanced budgets with lower taxes.

We did it.

They said it was impossible to touch the third rail of politics. To take on the public sector unions and to reform a pension and health benefit system that was headed to bankruptcy.

With bipartisan leadership we saved taxpayers $132 billion over 30 years and saved retirees their pension.

We did it.

They said it was impossible to speak the truth to the teachers union. They were just too powerful. Real teacher tenure reform that demands accountability and ends the guarantee of a job for life regardless of performance would never happen.

For the first time in 100 years with bipartisan support, we did it.

The disciples of yesterday’s politics underestimated the will of the people. They assumed our people were selfish; that when told of the difficult problems, tough choices and complicated solutions, they would simply turn their backs, that they would decide it was every man for himself.

Instead, the people of New Jersey stepped up and shared in the sacrifice.

They rewarded politicians who led instead of politicians who pandered.

We shouldn’t be surprised.

We’ve never been a country to shy away from the truth. History shows that we stand up when it counts and it’s this quality that has defined our character and our significance in the world.

I know this simple truth and I’m not afraid to say it: our ideas are right for America and their ideas have failed America.

Let’s be clear with the American people tonight. Here’s what we believe as Republicans and what they believe as Democrats.

We believe in telling hard working families the truth about our country’s fiscal realities. Telling them what they already know – the math of federal spending doesn’t add up.

With $5 trillion in debt added over the last four years, we have no other option but to make the hard choices, cut federal spending and fundamentally reduce the size of government.

They believe that the American people don’t want to hear the truth about the extent of our fiscal difficulties and need to be coddled by big government.

They believe the American people are content to live the lie with them.

We believe in telling seniors the truth about our overburdened entitlements.

We know seniors not only want these programs to survive, but they just as badly want them secured for their grandchildren.

Seniors are not selfish.

They believe seniors will always put themselves ahead of their grandchildren. So they prey on their vulnerabilities and scare them with misinformation for the cynical purpose of winning the next election.

Their plan: whistle a happy tune while driving us off the fiscal cliff, as long as they are behind the wheel of power.

We believe that the majority of teachers in America know our system must be reformed to put students first so that America can compete.

Teachers don’t teach to become rich or famous. They teach because they love children.

We believe that we should honor and reward the good ones while doing what’s best for our nation’s future – demanding accountability, higher standards and the best teacher in every classroom.

They believe the educational establishment will always put themselves ahead of children. That self-interest trumps common sense.

They believe in pitting unions against teachers, educators against parents, and lobbyists against children.

They believe in teacher’s unions.

We believe in teachers.

We believe that if we tell the people the truth they will act bigger than the pettiness of Washington, D.C.

We believe it’s possible to forge bipartisan compromise and stand up for conservative principles.

It’s the power of our ideas, not of our rhetoric, that attracts people to our Party.

We win when we make it about what needs to be done; we lose when we play along with their game of scaring and dividing.

For make no mistake, the problems are too big to let the American people lose – the slowest economic recovery in decades, a spiraling out of control deficit, an education system that’s failing to compete in the world.

It doesn’t matter how we got here. There is enough blame to go around.

What matters now is what we do.

I know we can fix our problems.

When there are people in the room who care more about doing the job they were elected to do than worrying about winning re-election, it’s possible to work together, achieve principled compromise and get results.

The people have no patience for any other way.

It’s simple.

We need politicians to care more about doing something and less about being something.

Believe me, if we can do this in a blue state with a conservative Republican Governor, Washington is out of excuses.

Leadership delivers.

Leadership counts.

Leadership matters.

We have this leader for America.

We have a nominee who will tell us the truth and who will lead with conviction. And now he has a running mate who will do the same.

We have Governor Mitt Romney and Congressman Paul Ryan, and we must make them our next President and Vice President.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good paying private sector jobs again in America.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the torrent of debt that is compromising our future and burying our economy.

Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to end the debacle of putting the world’s greatest health care system in the hands of federal bureaucrats and putting those bureaucrats between an American citizen and her doctor.

We ended an era of absentee leadership without purpose or principle in New Jersey.

It’s time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House.

America needs Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and we need them right now.

There is doubt and fear for our future in every corner of our country.

These feelings are real.

This moment is real.

It’s a moment like this where some skeptics wonder if American greatness is over.

How those who have come before us had the spirit and tenacity to lead America to a new era of greatness in the face of challenge.

Not to look around and say “not me,” but to say, “YES, ME.”

I have an answer tonight for the skeptics and the naysayers, the dividers and the defenders of the status quo.

I have faith in us.

I know we can be the men and women our country calls on us to be.

I believe in America and her history.

There’s only one thing missing now. Leadership. It takes leadership that you don’t get from reading a poll.

You see, Mr. President – real leaders don’t follow polls. Real leaders change polls.

That’s what we need to do now.

Change polls through the power of our principles.

Change polls through the strength of our convictions.

Tonight, our duty is to tell the American people the truth.

Our problems are big and the solutions will not be painless. We all must share in the sacrifice. Any leader that tells us differently is simply not telling the truth.

I think tonight of the Greatest Generation.

We look back and marvel at their courage – overcoming the Great Depression, fighting Nazi tyranny, standing up for freedom around the world.

Now it’s our time to answer history’s call.

For make no mistake, every generation will be judged and so will we.

What will our children and grandchildren say of us? Will they say we buried our heads in the sand, we assuaged ourselves with the creature comforts we’ve acquired, that our problems were too big and we were too small, that someone else should make a difference because we can’t?

Or will they say we stood up and made the tough choices needed to preserve our way of life?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to read in a history book what it was like to live in an American Century.

I don’t want their only inheritance to be an enormous government that has overtaxed, overspent and over-borrowed a great people into second-class citizenship.

I want them to live in a second American Century.

A second American Century of strong economic growth where those who are willing to work hard will have good paying jobs to support their families and reach their dreams.

A second American Century where real American exceptionalism is not a political punch line, but is evident to everyone in the world just by watching the way our government conducts its business and everyday Americans live their lives.

A second American Century where our military is strong, our values are sure, our work ethic is unmatched and our Constitution remains a model for anyone in the world struggling for liberty.

Let us choose a path that will be remembered for generations to come. Standing strong for freedom will make the next century as great an American century as the last one.

This is the American way.

We have never been victims of destiny.

We have always been masters of our own.

I won’t be part of the generation that fails that test and neither will you.

It’s now time to stand up. There’s no time left to waste.

If you’re willing to stand up with me for America’s future, I will stand up with you.

If you’re willing to fight with me for Mitt Romney, I will fight with you.

If you’re willing to hear the truth about the hard road ahead, and the rewards for America that truth will bear, I’m here to begin with you this new era of truth-telling.

Tonight, we choose the path that has always defined our nation’s history.

Tonight, we finally and firmly answer the call that so many generations have had the courage to answer before us.

Tonight, we stand up for Mitt Romney as the next President of the United States.

And, together, we stand up once again for American greatness.

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Good speech. Not sure if I believe that the R’s are any less corrupt than the D’s.

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POLITICAL: GOP changes their rules to prevent “grass roots”

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/118902.html

August 25, 2012
GOP Acts To Prevent Another Paulian Insurgency
Posted by Lew Rockwell on August 25, 2012 08:37 AM

*** begin quote ***

LA Times:

The RNC laid the groundwork to change its rules in a maneuver that would effectively make it harder for a Paul-type candidate in future elections. A key committee voted to raise the number of states required to put a name in contention from five to eight, and to allow campaigns to select state delegates. The latter is a response to Paul’s campaign this year, which in some states was successful in working local and state party rules so their delegates are appearing in Tampa despite other candidates’ winning the states’ voting contests.

Of course, as it turns out–surprise!–a Paulian insurgency was already impossible, because the GOP will lie, cheat, steal, threaten, and bribe to prevent an opponent of the warfare state from coming to the fore. It all began when Ron won the Iowa straw poll, and the Republicans changed the votes to make him #2. Of course, the GOP is an arm of the lying, killng, looting state. Why would we expect anything else from these gangsters?

*** end quote ***

The answer is that BOTH political parties are virtual clones of each other.

A viable third party has to form around: Sound money (like pre the FDR gold grab); Smaller Government (like the pre-War of Northern Aggression); and Peace through Strength (like Switzerland).

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HARDWARE: CHROMEBOX; my experience

http://reviews.cnet.com/desktops/samsung-chromebox-series-3/4505-3118_7-35313576-2.html

Samsung Chromebox Series 3 review

*** begin quote ***

The Chromebox does support dual-display output, but right now it will only mirror the desktop image to both displays, rather than extending a single operating environment across multiple screens. Again, the system chooses the output resolution automatically, in this case opting for the highest common resolution between both monitors.

Along with connecting a monitor to the Chromebox, you must also provide your own mouse and keyboard. That opens up a larger discussion about device compatibility, which is less of an issue for the Chromebook considering its built-in Webcam and input devices.

Six USB 2.0 ports on the system (two in front, four in back) imply broad support for the vast ecosystem of USB devices. I did not expect the Chromebox to support every esoteric peripheral, but I was also surprised by how quickly I found devices that didn’t work.

*** end quote ***

MY experience mirrors the review with one big positive and one surprising negative.

Positive: This puppy doing gmail is FAST. Like an idiot savant, it renders web pages quick like a bunny.

Negative: I never realized how much I depend upon text expansion utilities. 

I’d buy a CHROMEBOOK to replace my obsoleted MACBOOKAIR. (That alone makes me a NEGATIVE Apple Fan Boy. What is the opposite of a FAN boy?)

So, I’m stuck. I am getting off the Apple “upgrade” treadmill. I’m burnt out on Microsoft problems. Not sure if Ubuntu will give me text expansion. 

Welcome to the “glue trap” or worse whatever.

Sorry, but CHROMEBOOK isn’t ready for me. BUT, if you have kids or old folks, it’s perfect and cheap!

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POLITICAL: Zero Aggression Project

http://www.downsizedc.org/about

Consumer Controlled Government
By Perry Willis (351 words)

Yesterday we explained how . .

The government is NOT the society, the country, the nation, the culture, the people, the traditions, or the land. Instead . . .
Government is merely a service provider, like Exxon or Microsoft.
Service providers are supposed to serve, not rule.
A government, properly understood, should be below you, NOT above you. Therefore…
Government should never INITIATE violence.

So we urged you to STOP thinking of The State as some magical, mystical entity, and instead think of it the same way you think of Walmart. Today we’ll take this concept further . . .

If Walmart does something you dislike you can FIRE IT and hire Kmart or Target instead.

Please notice that you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to do this, and Walmart won’t do anything to harm you.

You have all the power. Walmart has none.

This is true for all service providers, except The State. Walmart must earn your support, The State does not. The State will harm you if you try to withdraw your business. Thus . . .

The State does what it wants, NOT what you want.

Can you vote to change The State’s management? Not really. That requires the permission of your fellow “citizens.”

We are all captive customers, held in bondage to the politicians and each other.

Does it need to be this way?

What if The State lost the power to hold its customers captive? What if The State could no longer INITIATE violence against its customers? Then it would have to earn your support.

You would have the control.

Notice that this idea says nothing about downsizing government. Government could be as big or as small as its customers want it to be.

This would be consumer controlled government.

Such a government would serve, not rule. It would be below you, not above you.

Do you want to explore these possibilities, and promote these ideas? If so, we need your help. We’re not like The State. We can’t force you to do anything.

We must persuade you and earn your support.

Please become either a Co-Founder or an Associate Founder of the Zero Aggression Project.

********************

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I’m a Founder. 

ZAP!

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JOBSEARCH: An oldie but a goodie

Surf over to my “turkey farm” and review some of the key points. Regardless of why you have been out of the workforce, you have a “unique value proposition” to express. You can unlock same value for some one. If you can’t, what are you selling? You have to find out what that value is. Then, you craft a “unique sales proposition” (i.e., how do I get someone to hire me). Then, you build a resume and cover letter to that purpose.

I counsel “turkeys” (i.e., people who have gotten the axe from their employer). I’ve been axed several times. After the first time, it should NOT hurt. And, it certainly shouldn’t be a surprise. Happens to everyone. If it doesn’t then you’re playing your cards to tight to the vest.

Your letter and resume have to tell a story. They have to initiate a conversation. You want them to make the reader pick up the phone and say “how did you do that? can you do it for me?”.

It’s hard work. The hardest you’ll ever do. But, you’ll be motivated because you’re working for yourself.

I’ll close with one story. An “old” turkey (i.e., one who has been out of work for a “long” time) was sent to me for “help”. So, I looked at his resume with a three year hole in it. I naturally inquired, in my blunt cavalier injineer way, “been in jail?”. Mind you this was the resume he was sending out and didn’t understand why no response. He said “no, i was caring for my dying wife”. My jaw dropped to the floor.

He wasn’t telling his story. We fashioned a “job entry” that said something like “Care Giver, Medical Treatment Assistant, and Medical Billing Expert” with three bullet points. Recruiters hate holes in time lines; they suspect you’ve been in jail or worse off having the fun that they are not having. Any way, this turkey had a senior level IT job in an HR department working on their benefits billing systems in less than five weeks.

All I did was get him to tell his story. All you have to do is to tell yours. AND, express what you are going to do for the reader.

Good luck,
fjohn
just a big old fat turkey hisself

MONEY: Error Employees Make

http://www.ricedelman.com/cs/pressroom/pressroom_detail?pressrelease.id=3234

The Most Common Error Employees Make

For Immediate Release
August 10, 2012

*** begin quote ***

Unfortunately, only 9% of the nation’s 60 million workers who are eligible to participate in 401(k) plans contribute the maximum, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. The Plan Sponsor Council of America says only 5% of employees do so. And a recent survey by CouponCabin found that 73% of Americans aged 18–34 — the group whose long-time horizon offers them the best chance of creating wealth by retirement — don’t invest for retirement at all.

*** end quote ***

I’m not a “financial advisor”. Nor do I play one on TV. 

Remember the sources of my education: I’m just a fat old white guy injineer with: Law “degree” from watching Judge Judy; Medical “degree” from watching Doctor Phil; Building “degree” from watching “Holmes on Homes”; Investing “degree” from reading about Bernie Made-off; and creating caring human relationships from studying the movie roles of Gunny Ronald Lee Ermey!

And, while generally and usually agree with Ric, and by way of disclosure I am a Customer of Ric’s, I think I’d like to quibble with him a little.

Not that folks should be worried about the future and saving everything they can. He and Dave Ramsey together are good pundits. But I disagree with both around the edges.

But back to Ric and 401Ks.

There are at least three specific incidents where the 401K advice hits a boundary.

(1) Some 401Ks REQUIRE you to rollover into the company’s 401K. There is the infamous case of the guy who rolled a million dollar PGE IRA into Enron and is now living on welfare or social security.

(2) Some 401Ks are really “house organs”. The CFO makes a sweetheart deal and the employees get screwed. High fees, limited choices, and you name it.

(3) Some 401Ks are not worth chasing to get the limited match.

Then there are some TINFOILHAT considerations:

(A) The Gooferment desperate for money needs 13T$. The IRA / 401K holding is 14T$. All the politicians and bureaucrats have to do is to twist the arms of ~2500 “custodians” and give the “owner” an “enhanced social security benefit” and all their portables are solved. For YOUR OWN GOOD of course. (Yeah, it can’t happen here — the FDR gold grab, GM bailout, … … the Japanese Internment, Trail of Tears, … … yeah trust your Gooferment.

(B) The 401K is in dollar denominated assets.What if the Fed does QE3+4+5 … and we get a Carter stagflation? Remember 21% Treasury Bills that were losers in a 30% inflation world? The dollar has lost 99% of its purchasing power in 30 or 40 years at a few percent. No doubt that I like nickels, silver and gold.

All I’m saying is do trust. Have a Plan B, Plan C … and some bullion in your basement.

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FLASH: Mad Gunman 1 NYPD 10; and who’s more dangerous?

http://www.inquisitr.com/311349/bloomberg-confirms-one-dead-bystanders-accidentally-shot-by-police-in-workplace-shooting/

Bloomberg Confirms: One Dead, Bystanders Accidentally Shot By Police In Workplace Shooting
Posted: August 24, 2012

*** begin quote ***

In the gunfire on the street between Jeffrey Johnson and the NYPD officers, seven men and two women are said to have been hit, all are likely to survive their injuries.

*** end quote ***

On one private club / gun range I frequent, the Range Safety Officer (and, there has to be one on duty for the range to be open) is required by club policy to announce “LEO on the line” so that those on the line can retire to safety. And, the backup Assistant Range Safety Officer comes to the line to observe the LEO or LEOs on the line. Note the club’s ONLY THREE accidents have been when LEOs were involved. A regular member is ejected and loses his deposit if they or their guest violates a safety rule.

Further, most gun owners know that the cops don’t practice enough to maintain proficiency. Unlike the Marines and the Military Police who practice a lot.

So why are we surprise when civilians get hurt when the kops “protect and serve”?

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INTERESTING: Titanic sunk by a “cold water mirage”

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Did-the-Titanic-Sink-Because-of-an-Optical-Illusion.html

Did the Titanic Sink Because of an Optical Illusion?
New research may have found the reason why the ship struck an iceberg: light refraction
By Tim Maltin
Illustrations by Charles Floyd
Smithsonian magazine, March 2012

*** begin quote ***

An unusual optical phenomenon explains why the Titanic struck an iceberg and received no assistance from a nearby ship, according to new research by British historian Tim Maltin. Atmospheric conditions in the area that night were ripe for super refraction, Maltin found. This extraordinary bending of light causes miraging, which, he discovered, was recorded by several ships in the area. He says it also prevented the Titanic’s lookouts from seeing the iceberg in time and the freighter Californian from identifying the ocean liner and communicating with it. A 1992 British government investigation suggested that super refraction may have played a role in the disaster, but that possibility went unexplored until Maltin mined weather records, survivors’ testimony and long-forgotten ships’ logs. His findings—presented in his new book, A Very Deceiving Night, and the documentary film Titanic’s Final Mystery, premiering on the Smithsonian Channel at 8 p.m. on April 15—are distilled here:

1. The Titanic was sailing from Gulf Stream waters into the frigid Labrador Current, where the air column was cooling from the bottom up, creating a thermal inversion: layers of cold air below layers of warmer air. Extraordinarily high air pressure kept the air free of fog.

*** end quote ***

Fascinating. 

This video explains and rationalizes the reason that Titanic didn’t see the iceberg that sank it.

Human frailty. We don’t know what we don’t know and our paradigms fail us.

I wonder how many “optical illusions” have tripped me up over my life?

Argh!

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INTERESTING: India’s blackout is in the USA’s future

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/infrastructure/
us-woefully-unprepared-for-a-blackout-like-indias-analysis-11413652

U.S. Woefully Unprepared for a Blackout Like India’s: Analysis
Two major blackouts last week left hundreds of millions of Indians in the dark. PM contributor Glenn Harlan Reynolds says despite its advanced grid, the U.S. needs major improvements in infrastructure and preparedness to be ready for a major power loss.
By Glenn Harlan Reynolds

August 6, 2012 2:16 PM 

*** begin quote *** 

Last week, India suffered two huge blackouts. Tuesday’s cut power to 370 million people; another one on Wednesday blacked out 670 million people, making it the worst blackout in the history of humanity.

Talking about this with a colleague, I said, “Don’t worry. That can’t happen here.” “Why not?” she asked. “Because we don’t have 670 million people,” I replied.

*** end quote ***

As a fat old white guy injineer, E-lect-trick-al for that matter, I know how fragile our infrastructure is.

A power outage for a week and we are in TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It).

Civilization will break down in a month.

Personally, I’m suggesting that only the Amish, the Mormons, and a few preppers will survive.

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MONEY: Polish Ponzi hurts; a lesson for the USA and the Federal Reserve System “dollar”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/and-why-you-always-demand-physical

Aaaand It’s Gone: This Is Why You Always Demand Physical
Tyler Durden’s picture
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 08/14/2012 21:09 -0400

*** begin quote *** 

We have said it over and over, we’ll say it again. For all those who for one reason or another would like to boycott the broken markets, yet trade gold in paper form, please understand that all the invested capital is at risk of total loss and can and will be lost, commingled and rehypothecated, not necessarily in that order, with little to zero recourse and the residual claim on liquidating assets pushed to the very end of the queue. Because if Lehman, MF Global, Peregrine, and countless other examples were not enough, here comes Amber Gold: a gold-based investment ponzi scheme out of Poland, in which it is likely needless to say that the gullible investors never had actual possession of the gold. And when they tried, it was gone. All gone.

*** end quote ***

Why do you trust that someone else is watching your assets?

Argh!

Ponzi is the meme.

Social Security Insurance, fiat paper money that channels John Law, and any promise made by politicians and bureaucrats!

Cynical?

Nah, realist.

Save your nickels!

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SERVICE: GIST goes bye bye; don’t depend on anything in the cloud?

Gist
We started Gist in 2008 to make connecting with your key contacts faster and easier to help you create stronger business relationships. In February of 2011, we become part of Research In Motion (RIM) to bring the Gist vision to millions of BlackBerry customers. Since our acquisition we built the BlackBerry Playbook Contacts app and more recently, our team has been tasked with creating the native address book/contact manager for the next generation platform, BlackBerry 10.

In addition to our core focus on the Contacts app, we have been given expanded responsibility for everything social at RIM including BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook and Twitter apps and instant messaging as well as much of the identity platform, location services and user analytics features.

With all this responsibility, we feel even more empowered to deliver a truly unique and amazing experience for aggregating, enhancing and connecting you deeply with your key contacts. All of this feels pretty exciting, but you may have noticed limited innovation on the core Gist product offering over the last year. In an effort to make the most of our new focus, we have, with heavy hearts, decided to shutdown the stand-alone Gist service. Sigh.

As of today, we are no longer accepting new users and Gist.com will officially be closing on September 15, 2012. Click here to read the blog post and learn how to get your data out of Gist so you can transition to another service.

Thanks,
The Gist Team
http://www.gist.com

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Argh!

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MEMORIES: The Grand (Central) Hyatt; the visit makes me sad

This past week end I had occasion to stay at the The Grand Hyatt in NYC over Grand Central Station for work.

It was in the Fall of 1967 that I attended the Injineer’s Ball in that very same hotel with my beloved.

Made me very sad.

What can I say? If I knew then what I know now, would it have made a difference? If I knew then what I know now, could I have changed the course of history? Would I have lived with more zest knowing that the end was fast approaching?

Or, would by knowing, would something different have happened?

Argh!

In my Great American Novel, CHURCH 10●19●62, I postulated an etherial “probabilities” machine.

*** begin quote ***

(Upon having his name invoked, Saint TAQ checked the Eternal Possibilities Machine, which generates all the possibilities for use in creating the alternative worlds. In all those probability lines where those three survived to lead the survivors, everyone died. Marie never was in a place and motivated to open the water valve. No one else would have found and read the directions. Saint Taq petitioned the Lord to soften Jody’s heart to Marie’s pain. And vice versa.)

*** end quote ***

— CHURCH 10●19●62 (volume 1) page 45

Were I had such a thing to “know” the difference?

Argh!

Sadly, we’ll never know.

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INTERESTING: Sleep is not the cousin of death

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-three-ss-you-must-get-right/

The Three S’s You Must Get Right

*** begin quote ***

You hear it all the time: “It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change!” or “Fitness is something you live!” It seems like every health guru out there with a diet and/or workout plan says something to that effect. Unfortunately, if you fully subscribe to their prescriptions and do so for life, you’re still only changing what you eat or how you work out.

While that’s most of the battle, it’s not enough. Diet and exercise are simply vital components of a lifestyle. If you make a permanent modification to your diet and exercise without addressing the other things that encompass a “lifestyle,” you’re selling yourself short.

Which is why I believe it is necessary to focus on the other stuff, too. I’m convinced that good health, longevity, happiness, and weight management come down to far more than just diet and exercise.

*** and ***

Sleep

Sleep is not the cousin of death, and no, you shouldn’t hold off on sleeping until you’re dead. Sleep is restoration time. It’s when your body repairs itself. And, chances are, you’re not getting nearly enough of it.

Are you? How often do you get a “good night’s sleep?” Do you regularly wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day?

If you are like most people you are not getting good, regular sleep. You’re hitting the snooze button several times, fumbling for your coffee fix, and yawning at work. You’re staying up late with the TV going or you’re taking your laptop into bed.

It wasn’t always like this. For millions of years, up until about a hundred twenty years ago, humans all over the world enjoyed restorative, refreshing, regular sleep. When the sun went down, they either went to sleep or started getting ready for it. Life would wind down. Candles and fire were too costly to burn all night, every night, so nighttime meant bedtime.

*** end quote ***

This will be the hardest part of going primal.

I am NOT a good sleeper.

We’ll see.

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GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal

From: WSJ.com Editors <access@interactive.wsj.com>
Date: Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Subject: WSJ NEWS ALERT: Watchdog Offers Mortgage Rules
To: reinkefj

__________________________________
News Alert
from The Wall Street Journal

A federal consumer regulator is expected to propose Friday the first set of national standards for the mortgage-servicing industry, which has been riddled with problems in the wake of the housing bust.

Under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal, loan servicers would be required to evaluate homeowners’ applications for loan-assistance within 30 days of receiving an application and would be barred from going ahead with a foreclosure until a final decision has been reached on a borrower’s application for help.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444900304577579591114136230.html?mod=djemalertNEWS

 

# – # – # – # – #    

Talk about locking the barn after the whole herd has left the building!

I can’t wait to see the details of this.

Does it “charge back” the originator with the costs. IBM used to have a commission back out program when a Customer was “lost”. Needless to say, they lost very few Customers and, when they did, a sales team exited with the Customer.

Does it set standards for downpayments, ARMs, negative amortization, and balloons? In the “old days”, home mortgages were 50% down and 5 years max. Needless to say there were few if any defaults. Compare that to the NIJA no down no income no job applications of the subprome mess. Clearly these protections should apply to the Donald Trumps. He can stand the loss, but the “little people” need to be taught the lesson.

As a little L libertarian, if I have to have Gooferment, let’s at least try to pretend it can do something.

Argh!

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RANT: Obama White House’s cronyism

http://news.investors.com/article/621355/201208071855/white-house-takes-workers-pensions-and8212-and-lies-about-it.htm

Did White House Commit Perjury About GM Bailout?
Posted 08/07/2012 06:55 PM ET

*** begin quote ***

Cronyism: In recent days, the scope of the Obama White House’s cronyism has become shockingly apparent. A trove of emails shows it deprived thousands of workers of their pensions to benefit unions, then lied about it.

The news site The Daily Caller has obtained internal government emails that show the U.S. Treasury Department, led by Timothy Geithner, pushed in 2009 to end the pensions of 20,000 non-union employees of GM’s Delphi auto parts unit as part of the auto bailout.

What’s truly outrageous is that, while those workers were cheated of their full pensions, union employees of the same Delphi company got their pensions paid.

This financially ruinous favoritism of union workers over nonunion workers is blatantly unfair, illegal and a violation of Constitutional guarantees of equal treatment under the law. And the reason is political.

By its own reckoning, organized labor spent nearly $400 million to get Obama elected in 2008, more by far than any other interest group. So it’s no surprise the White House punished nonunion workers and rewarded union members when it came time to “bail out” GM.

Total value of the auto industry bailout to the unions was, by one estimate, $26 billion. For the unions, their $400 million was money well spent indeed.

What’s disturbing is it now appears several White House officials may have lied about how this obvious favoritism came about. Looking at the record, Treasury and White House officials appear guilty not just of political malfeasance, but of perjury as well. On this, the Daily Caller’s email cache is damning.

*** end quote ***

Frau Reinke was always enraged about “losing” her 5k$ GM bond to the Gooferment bailout. 

We knew it was a corrupt bargain, but there was no recourse.

The public, bondholders, preferred stock holders, … … everyone got <synonym for the past tense of the procreation act.>!

She didn’t loose her “lunch money”. But it still hurt her.

The pensioners lost their “lunch money”!

That’s not right.

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MONEY: What is the value of a fiat currency?

http://www.silverdoctors.com/cnbc-are-fiat-currencies-headed-for-a-collapse/

Are Fiat Currencies Headed for a Collapse?
Published: Friday, 27 Jul 2012 | 5:27 AM ET
By: Lisa Oake
Anchor, CNBC Asia-Pacific

*** begin quote ***

Shockingly, CNBC even points out in the article that “Every single fiat currency in history has collapsed, this time will be no different.”

*** and ***

A fiat currency derives its worth from the issuing government – it is not fixed in value to any objective standard. That means central banks can print as much money as they want. If an economy is struggling, injecting more notes into the system juices activity but lowers the value of the currency in question.

Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, says investors will soon start to demand fiat currencies be backed by gold or other hard assets.

“It’s already happening, you’re beginning to see that trend with central banks stocking up on gold. The estimate is that at least half of the buying is central bank buying. They are looking to the day when they can say okay, our currency is backed by gold and therefore we’re a strong country,” Mobius told CNBC Asia.

*** end quote ***

Argh!

All one has to do is study a little history and you have to be afraid.

Weimar Republic, Zimbabwe, Iraq — come immediately to mind.

We’ve been the guinea pigs in a hundred year experiment in a fiat currency. Now the free ride is coming to an end.

The fun question is how does it unwind?

With a thud!

Does the Carter-style inflation return? Or does it just start to accellerate, continue, and never stops until the value is zero?

When the wild ride starts, it’s too late to covert to hard assets.

Argh!

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SOFTWARE: Peanut Butter PC; better than nothing?

http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/window-on-windows/peanut-butter-pc-trying-to-keep-kids-safe/6428?tag=nl.e101

Peanut Butter PC: Trying to keep kids safe

*** begin quote ***

Bottom line

In summary, although Peanut Butter PC as a product offers a good idea for making the computer safe for kids, some youngsters with more crafty hacking smarts could get around the confines of the custom desktop and back into the cruel, unprotected world of regular Windows. Although this application serves as a decent roadblock for some that aren’t familiar with computers, it cannot be considered a replacement to parental supervision. It is always important to monitor your child’s usage of the machine, just in case someone does end up finding a way around the fence. At the price of $24.95, it might be worth considering after you give the software a test run via Peanut Butter PC’s 15-day trial.

*** end quote ***

Putting computing power in the hands of children is at best a calculated risk.

Perhaps, by putting it in their hands earlier, with instruction, examples, and SUPERVISION, can make it safer for all involved.

If I had a family, I’d put OPENDNS in the family’s router. That’ll help.

Reviewing logs is a good way to get to sleep at night.

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HARDWARE: Retire old hard drives?

http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=31811.msg295493#msg295493

Should we pre-emptively retire old hard drives?
« on: August 02, 2012, 01:52:50 AM »

*** begin quote ***

We all know that hard drives can and will fail eventually, and often unpredictably and without warning. That’s why we make sure we back up regularly.

But here’s is a question I’ve been thinking about lately, and I don’t know the answer to:

Should we pre-emptively retire old but perfectly-working hard drives, and migrate data to a new drive? If so, after how many hours?

Or should we just run them into the ground until they fail?

Here’s a screenshot of one of my favorite tools (CrystalDiskInfo), showing smart data of my oldest drive, with 39,000 hours powered up:

*** end quote ***

What a GREAT question?

I’ve have NEVER heard it asked before. (And, I’ve been in and around it for a LONG time!)

I’ve been burnt by hardware failures a few times. Couple of times the hard disk died. Couple of times it was the supporting hardware.

(The disk might have well died. Thanks, DELL, for using a proprietary motherboard / disk drive combination. Couldn’t just take the good drive from a dead mother and slap it in another DELL as a primary or secondary. That consumed a HUGE number of hours of me, my hardware savvy tech friend, and DELL “technical support”. That one HURT! Turns out most of the backups I’d taken were corrupt. Good thing I’m a “belts ‘n’ suspenders” kinda guy. Had PRINTED copies of data. Paperless society my <synonym for donkey>!]

Cloud is the ultimate backup.(Another great business idea missed thanks to my “huevos muchos pequeño”!) But even that cloud solution can fail. What do you do if you can’t connect?

Argh!

Two of my more SPECTACULAR failures were, both times in a corporate setting — different employers — where I was REQUIRED to depend on centralized IT back up service, when I depended upon those others and … (wait for it) … one time my platform was “overlooked” and at the other place “ALL my backups for THREE <synonym for the act of procreation in real time> YEARS were corrupt”.

Double Argh! or is that (Argh!)**2?

Just writing this I’m now getting crazed because my current employer is another of those “you must use the centralize backup service” kinda places. 

(Note to self: ask them to restore some random file every week!)

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FUN: Tongue-in-cheek advice for Taylor Swift

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/04/advice-for-taylor-swift-for-her-romance-with-conor-kennedy.html

*** begin quote ***

Do: All the driving. Leave aside whether you believe in the mythical Kennedy Curse, thought to have plagued the family for generations. Think not of Mary Jo Kopechne, the would-be lady friend to Ted Kennedy who died at the bottom of a tidal channel in Chappaquiddick in 1969 after he took a wrong turn and drove them off a bridge. Think not of JFK Jr., who died in 1999 while piloting his own plane, taking his wife and sister-in-law with him. Think not even of Kerry Kennedy, who blamed a recent car wreck on a seizure. Teen boys are the most dangerous drivers in America, accounting for 30 percent of the total cost of motor vehicle injuries in the country. Why tempt fate? Better yet: Hire a chauffeur.

*** end quote ***

In my earlier “advice”, I was worried for “America’s sweetheart”, the poetess laureate of puberty. The Kennedy’s are not what I’d call a “model of faithfulness”. How they are labeled “Catholic” defies my common sense? But, then if I was a bishop, I’d be suing for false advertising. 

I pray that she comes through this with a worst some good song material. 

Argh!

Being an old “SWIFTIE” has its angst.

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LIBERTY: Gooferment involvement in “religion” leads to abuses

http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/117010.html

Religion and Libertarianism
Posted by Walter Block on August 4, 2012 03:22 PM

*** begin quote ***

Basically, I contend that contrary to “religion” being responsible for the Crusades, the Inquisition, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, the treason against the Waldensians, the purges in England, and the oppression in Geneva, to name but a few, it was the fact that these religious positions held a controlling interest in the State that resulted in the terror exacted upon innocents. For instance, Lutheran segregation in post-Luther Germany was a result of the marriage of church and State in that country, the oppression in England of differing religious positions was because of the involvement of the State in religion, Calvin’s oppression was because his religion WAS the State, and, most egregiously, the Vatican itself IS a State, to which over a billion souls worldwide pledge (unwittingly, in most cases) their allegiance, even before their own home countries.

Thus, while religionists have played a significant role in the history of the world, it’s always those people’s access to State power that results in persecution. For instance, you’ll never hear of Baptists, Quakers, or Amish oppressing other religions, as these groups (I am a Baptist) have never sought to control the political reins of any region or State. In fact, Rhode Island’s charter was premised on the Baptistic doctrine of Soul Liberty, a Biblical principle that I would suggest is the foundation for the concepts of Liberty as taught by John Locke and his intellectual descendants.

*** end quote ***

Interesting. 

I never thought of it this way. 

It’s not a “religious abuse”, but a “Gooferment” abuse!

Wow, I should have realized that.

# – # – # – # – #  2012-Aug-04 @ 21:06  

RANT: U6 is 15%

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/jobless-rate-climbs-to-8-3-percent-creating-more-anxiety-for-obama-and-the-left/#utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Cato-at-liberty+%28Cato+at+Liberty%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Jobless Rate Climbs to 8.3 Percent, Creating More Anxiety for Obama and the Left
Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell

*** begin quote ***

Can we finally all agree that Keynesian economics is a flop? The politicians in Washington flushed about $800 billion down the toilet and we got nothing in exchange except for anemic growth and lots of people out of work.

Indeed, we’re getting to the point where the monthly employment reports from the Labor Department must be akin to Chinese water torture for the Obama administration. Even when the unemployment rate falls, it gives critics an opportunity to recycle the chart below showing how bad the economy is doing compared to what the White House said would happen if the so-called stimulus was enacted.

*** end quote ***

http://portalseven.com/employment/unemployment_rate_u6.jsp

*** begin quote ***

What is U6 unemployment rate ?

The U6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.” Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week. And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work. The age considered for this calculation is 16 years and over …

*** end quote ***

U6 is 15%

FIFTEEN PERCENT!!!

Why is not the lead on every news report?

Argh!

# – # – # – # – #  2012-Aug-04 @ 17:31  

 

 

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POLITICAL: Maine fights a privately financed and managed toll road

http://channel-surfing.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-natural-extension-of-bad-idea.html

Saturday, August 04, 2012
The natural extension of a bad idea

*** begin quote ***

A businessman in Maine wants to build a privately financed and managed toll road cutting east-west across Maine, saying it will make the state an important cog in the global economy.

*** end quote ***

Naturally everyone opposes it. Saying the “state”, if there was such a thing, will get stuck.

So, why can NOT the Gang, that pretends to be an organization called “the Gooferment of the purported area called Maine”, just require an insurance bond to restore the property to it’s original condition?

OH, they don’t WANT a solution!

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FUN: Dutch tourists

FROM LUDDITE:

Watch this one to the end … these Dutch tourists certainly lucked out when they came upon this!

click here: http://www.youtube.com/embed/f_gBWPs4r3U

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Even a stopped clock is right twice per day!

Luddite scores a funny one.

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TINFOILHAT: Was Obama a “foreign exchange student”?

http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/obama%E2%80%99s-college-classmate-the-obama-scandal-is-at-columbia/

Politics
Obama’s College Classmate: ‘The Obama Scandal Is at Columbia’
Posted on August 6, 2012 at 10:28am
Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Campaign Committee.

*** begin quote ***

I am President Obama’s classmate at Columbia University, Class of ’83. I am also one of the most accurate Las Vegas oddsmakers and prognosticators. Accurate enough that I was awarded my own star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. And I smell something rotten in Denmark. Obama has a big skeleton in his closet. It’s his college records. Call it “gut instinct” but my gut is almost always right. Obama has a secret hidden at Columbia- and it’s a bad one that threatens to bring down his presidency. Gut instinct is how I’ve made my living for 29 years since graduating Columbia.

*** and ***

My answer for Romney? Call Obama’s bluff.

Romney should call a press conference and issue a challenge in front of the nation. He should agree to release more of his tax returns, only if Obama unseals his college records. Simple and straight-forward. Mitt should ask “What could possibly be so embarrassing in your college records from 29 years ago that you are afraid to let America’s voters see? If it’s THAT bad, maybe it’s something the voters ought to see.” Suddenly the tables are turned. Now Obama is on the defensive.

My bet is that Obama will never unseal his records because they contain information that could destroy his chances for re-election. Once this challenge is made public, my prediction is you’ll never hear about Mitt’s tax returns ever again.

Why are the college records, of a 51-year-old President of the United States, so important to keep secret? I think I know the answer.

*** and ***

The first question I’d ask is, if you had great grades, why would you seal your records? So let’s assume Obama got poor grades. Why not release the records? He’s president of the free world, for gosh sakes. He’s commander-in-chief of the U.S. military. Who’d care about some poor grades from three decades ago, right? So then what’s the problem? Doesn’t that make the media suspicious? Something doesn’t add up.

*** and ***

Here’s my gut belief: Obama got a leg up by being admitted to both Occidental and Columbia as a foreign exchange student. He was raised as a young boy in Indonesia. But did his mother ever change him back to a U.S. citizen? When he returned to live with his grandparents in Hawaii or as he neared college-age preparing to apply to schools, did he ever change his citizenship back? I’m betting not.

*** and ***

If it’s okay for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to go on a fishing expedition about Romney’s taxes (even though he knows absolutely nothing about them nor will release his own), then I think I can do the same thing. But as Obama’s Columbia Class of ’83 classmate, at least I have more standing to make educated guesses.

*** end quote ***

Yup, you have to love it. Just ask then cup bono and you’ll understand why the media fails to do its scared duty. Why bother having “freedom of the press”, when the Fourth Estate does do its job?

Can you smell the cover up?

Who knew what and when did they know it?

If the fish stinks, then it’s rotten to the core.

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Wayne Allyn Root is a former Libertarian vice presidential nominee. He now serves as Chairman of the Libertarian National Campaign Committee.