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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

SOTU/OTA Wednesday

About that State of the Union address last night... I didn't watch this one, just as I have not watched the SOTU for several years, now. Instead, I read the transcribed address at the Whitehouse.gov site. I find the "sizzle" factor to be a distraction. How someone delivers a speech has some significance, but I just want the meat. On average, I'd probably give the speech a solid "B." An "A" tending toward "A-" for the foreign policy section. A Solid "C" for the domestic section, IMO. Read it for yourself and judge the contents.

Good things: Explaining the need to take the fight to the terrorists (for those who simply haven't been listening since 9/11-apparently just about half the pols in the room. *sigh*). Hitting the old Gray Whore and her pimps with a bitch-slap on the so-called 'domestic surveillance lies, as in,

...to prevent another attack -- based on authority given to me by the Constitution and by statute -- I have authorized a terrorist surveillance program to aggressively pursue the international communications of suspected al Qaeda operatives and affiliates to and from America. Previous Presidents have used the same constitutional authority I have, and federal courts have approved the use of that authority. Appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed. The terrorist surveillance program has helped prevent terrorist attacks. It remains essential to the security of America. If there are people inside our country who are talking with al Qaeda, we want to know about it, because we will not sit back and wait to be hit again.


Exactly.

This is an Open Trackback Alliance-affiliated Open Post. Link here and trackback.

See linkfest for more linkfests, as well as the Open Trackback Alliance Open Trackback Alliance


"Cross the Line"

For an acid spoof of "Brokeback Mountain" (the movie about two homosexual sheepherdersduh, who'd-a thunk o' that?) see WHYGRR's "'Walk the Line' Re-write Features Bi-Curious Johnny Cash; Earns 9 Oscar Nominations" Pure snark. And rightly so.

Knock me over with a feather

OK, so I've resisted moving off blogger for quite some time. Rich, The English Guy, generously offered me hosting and a Wordpress setup. Romeocat, of CatHouse Chat, nearly bowled me over when she offered me a Typepad account. Diane, of Diane's Stuff managed to do the impossible: she struck me senseless speechless (I had the sense to accept her offer, so it wasn't "struck senseless") by sending me the keys to a fully-hosted, already set up Wordpress account, complete with the kinds of plugins, etc., that I use. Told me to "...feel free to use any of the features that are available... Or use none of it and tell me to go to hell..." Like the tag's an option! *sheesh!* When are people going to start living down to my estimation of the human race? I figure it this way: three times excessively generous folk have offered to relieve me of the cross I bear in fiddling and fooling around with Blogspot. Diane went so far as to present me with a fait accompli—just dumped a fully-hosted Wordpress site in my lap, ready made, and left it to me to spurn her gracious gift or not. The people just blow me away! Where does such gracious and generous behavior come from in a race so seemingly bent on self-destruction (after all, consider: in the U.S. alone, nearly half the electorate voted to commit suicide in '04!)? It's darned near enough to fan the embers of hope for human decency! No! It is enough. Thank you Rich. Thank you Kat. And thank you Diane for compelling me to face my churlishness in turning down their generosity. OK, it'll be a little work, and I may lose some linkage and maybe even one of my readers (OK, one of four ain't that bad). I'm not tickled pink with the Wordpress publishing interface, but I have been testing it out enough on the wordpress.com site to know it's workable, and Diane has populated the plugins folder with some cool things, so... Over the course of February, I'll slowly move things over to that site, probably break the (very nice) template she's loaded two or three times *heh* and finally end up migrating there until I settle on hosting I want permanently (or perhaps even take over that package, if that's the option she'd like). Thanks for moving me off top dead center, Diane. I've been looking at hosting packages off and on for the last month and just not wanted to drag my sorry [self] outa my comfort zone (yeh, some of the Blogger stuff hurts, but it's a comfortable, familiar ache, ya know? :-). I'll let folks know when the time comes to turn off the lights here, 'K? Things are definitely NOT open for business, but here's a peek: Sucker punched!

Passable collection of security tips

Every now and then PCMag has a really good collection of tips on one or another area of computing. Today, my inbox had an e- from PCMag with a link to "80 Super Security Tips ". Well they're not really "super" but most of them aren't half bad. Here are links to the first eleven, but watch out for the last one in this list. While having good password cracking software can save your bacon on a Win2K/XP/2003 system where the admin password has become lost or corrupted, there are other less expensive ways (that don't necessarily offer password cracking temptation or the danger of you appearing to have unethical software--whether your intent is pure or not--in your arsenal. E- me if you need to legitimately crack into a Win2K/XP/2003 system where YOUR admin password's become corrupted or lost and I'll point you in the right direction. (Hint: Linux boot CD and password changing utility--free and It Just Works--for most legitimate uses.)

Slapped up on the BB at Conservative Cat

A fine one to be talking...

From John Stephenson at Stop the ACLU, this lil heads up:
The newest full page ad from the ACLU over the NSA stuff is released on the eve of the State of the Union. Here is a little sample of their news release. "The State of Our Union Cannot be Strong if the President Continues to Violate the Law," Says Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU...
Yeh, well, the truth of the matter is that "The State of Our Union Cannot be Strong if..." people can't see through lying pussbags like Anthony D. Romero. His idiotic assumption of the false antecedent "the President has violated the law [in the commie-created NSA kerfuffle]" meme. Anyone who has done their homework knows it is the NYT that has definitely vilolated the law, the ACLU and its ilk that continues to aid and abet in the criminal activities of the Old Gray Whore, and a dumbass population that let's 'em get away with it.

Thanks for the nod, Rick

Rick, over at The Real Ugly American gave me a laurel cap to wear as one of his blog picks for January. He's also tapped a coupla my fav blogs in his "Blog(s) of the Month" post. Thanks, guy!

Where have you been? Neat Google mapping hack

Found this via a link over at Woody's News & Views States of the U.S. I've visited or lived in.
create your own visited states map or check out these Google Hacks. Added Note: of those 44 states plus DC, I've only actually lived in Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. The rest were visited during family forays as a child, other family visits as an adult, vacations and a three-month-long tour with a music group *mumble-mumble* years ago. Not gonna do the worldmap visits. Heck, that'd only be Canada (a few days), Mexico (too many time to count, including a h.s. band trip) and the Bahamas (once) for me. Not such a much. Give it a shot. Kinda fun to see 44 states (and DC!) become "red" states for me... ;-)

Dissing Jean Fraud/OP

No More sKerry BS_button

This is an 0pen Post. Link here (especcially with anything that disses John Kerry) and trackback.

Here's the post link: http://thirdworldcounty.blogspot.com/2006/01/dissing-jean-fraudop.html And here's the trackback link: http://www.haloscan.com/tb/mnmus/113871316786467012/

Let's set aside, for today, my usual Tuesday dissing of Jean Fraud sKerry for his pathological lies, his insulting proclamations, his complete lack of any moral fiber and instead blow a great big fat juicy raspberry his way for his lame filibuster attempt to block the confirmation of Alito.

Did I say "filibuster"? It should be "filibLuster" instead, shouldn't it? Indeed, if global warmists want to "blame America first" for their pet bugaboo, they need look no further than their own kind's continued election of Jean Fraud sKerry, Teddy "Swimmer" (Mary Jo Kopeckne could not be reached for comment) Kennedy, Nancy "Harridan" Pelosi, Harry Dumbass Reid and their ilk for a proximal cause.

For some fine dissing of Jean Fraud, see the Free Kerry's 180 Blogburst, founded and ably managed by Cao. As Cao points pout today, it's been a year since Jean Fraud promised on national TV to sign an AF-180 and release his records. It's been 255 days since he purportedly signed an SF-180. But still no public release. Cao started the Free Kerry's 180 blogburst to keep this lying scumbag's feet to the fire, to keep this issue continually alive.

Wanna play? Go to Cao's and pick up on the game.

Check here linkfest for more open posts. (Also good info on doing trackbacks if you need help. Or just drop me a comment or an e- if you need help.)

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Monday, January 30, 2006

UGH! So fine!

You'll grin. Dian'es first foray into sync-ing music and "slideshow" is a real winner! Enjoy! I figger Bloggin' Outloud is a good place to make note of this...

A Note to Teddy, Jean Fraud and their ilk

Nanny-nanny-boo-boo. (Just trying to keep the discourse at a level they can understand.) OTOH, On a level appropriate for adults,
By a 72-25 vote, the Senate cut off a symbolic filibuster attempt today on the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel A. Alito Jr., all but assuring that the federal appeals court judge will be confirmed Tuesday morning by the Senate.
Let's see now... voting against the filibuster... Republican Senators and Democraps who have seen the handwriting on the wall. (Teddy, Jean Fraud and their partners in crime may have seen it, but their bile has blinded them to good sense, good taste or any connection to ethics. Of course, for most of them in that camp, all of those virtues were lost years ago.) A tip o' the' tam to Jay @ STACLU

Call the Whitehouse Hotline TODAY!

Last chance before the State of the Union Address. Get this out:

The number is:202-456-1111

The issue is: The Fair Tax.

Call and ask that President Bush endorse The Fair Tax.

If you aren't familiar with it, check here and here.

Short and sweet? YOU choose your tax liability.


"...the FairTax bill would abolish all federal income taxes, death taxes, capital gains taxes, and payroll taxes and replace them with a national retail sales tax... In place of all current federal taxes, the FairTax would place a 23 percent tax on the final sale of all goods and services. Exports and business inputs (i.e. intermediate sales) would not be taxed. [emphasis added]

Individuals would file no tax return at all. Businesses would only need to deal with sales tax returns. The IRS and all 20,000 pages of IRS regulations would be abolished.

Under the FairTax, no federal taxes would be withheld from employees' paychecks. Social Security and Medicare would be funded by sales tax revenue."

The sentence bolded above means that YOU would NO LONGER pay the Federal taxes on businesses that are now passed on to you as hidden costs.

Follow up on this. Your children-and grandchildren-will bless you.

Blurb-posted at Conservative Cat and Basil's Blog and Committees of Correspondence and Bloggin' Outloud.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rainy days and Mondays... OP

Yeh. It's Monday.

And looks like rain, too.

I gotta case of it.

And lotsa stuff to do.

I'll add to this post later,[see below] but for now, link here and trackback. Need to go outside and take a bead on the vretin driving his "thumper" down the street...

Check here for more Open Posts:

linkfest

OK, here's your treat for today, folks. Best piece of writing I've read for a while. h.t. James Lileks (who provides no mean read himself... )

January 30, 2006 Guard the Borders Blogburst

By Heidi [Crossposted from Euphoric Reality] This first month of 2006 has seen a spate of unprecedented media attention to on-going border breaches such as drug smuggling tunnels and Mexican Army incursions. Deceitful Mexican government officials have disavowed any knowledge of such breaches, instead presenting laughable theories of "American soldiers disguised as Mexicans". Even our own Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, has covered for the Mexicans by dismissing border incursion as mere navigational "mistakes". (He's failed to comment on the gunfire from said "lost" Mexican soldiers.) No one is fooled. Our border agents continue to risk their lives confronting heavily armed Mexican soldiers and smuggling gangs, while our own American citizens living on the border continue to petition our government for security - to no avail. Two American states, Arizona and New Mexico, have declared a state of emergency in their states, as the financial and societal obligation of caring for illegal immigrants crushes their economy and resources. In four states, the two above plus Texas and California, the new majority is the Hispanic, though mostly illegal. Such a disparity between law-abiding, tax-paying American citizens has caused the unconscionable situation to develop that the minority now pays for the services and support of the majority. In the meantime, trillions of American dollars flow out of our economy and into Mexico's in the form of tax-free cash remittances from illegal labor. These cash disbursements are the largest form of income for the country of Mexico:
Remittances "are our biggest source of foreign income, bigger than oil, tourism or foreign investment," Fox told reporters after a meeting with Mexican-American businessmen. "The 20 million Mexicans in the United States generate a gross product that is slightly higher than the $600 billion generated by Mexicans in Mexico," Fox said, adding that his country has the ninth-largest economy in the world. "If we could add up the two products, Mexico would be the third or fourth economy in the world," he said.
Three years later, the number of illegal Mexicans in America is higher than ever, their impact on U.S. social services even more draining, and the free income is flowing ever-faster into Mexico's coffers. Think of it, their largest source of income costs them nothing in terms of infrastructure, research and development, education, and social services! They export their poorest, neediest citizens (at no cost to themselves) and sit back to wait for the free income to flow. No wonder they feel the need to ease their citizens' illegal entry into America by providing handbooks and maps - it has a direct impact on their economy! What other income-producing activity could they undergo that would require no construction, no training, no law enforcement, and no responsibilities whatsoever to their citizens? Why would they want to curb a free and very lucrative income? The illegality of it bears no consequences or costs, so the Mexican government has no incentive to fix a system that works wonders for them! I do not know how much longer we can afford to single-handedly support an entire nation through second-hand disbursements. The trillions of American dollars that boost Mexico's economy are trillions of dollars not strengthening our own. Possibly even more important, the cultural impact of the burgeoning class of illegals is superseding American traditions and values and having a severe impact on our elections and government. Our country was founded upon the premise "of the People, by the People, for the People" - and those People are constitutionally meant to be AMERICANS. Yet, foreign interest lobbies are having an ever-increasing detrimental effect on our local, state, and federal government as non-citizens are accorded most of the rights and privileges of American citizenship and garner actual governmental representation. This corruption of the intent of our Constitution has been allowed through the steady erosion of our national sovereignty. Today, there are an estimated 23 million Mexicans working and living in America, according to Vicente Fox, who claims he is the leader of 123 million citizens: 100 million in Mexico and 23 million in America. Is it any wonder that he and like-minded special interest lobbies feel the RIGHT to demand more and more from our acquiescent government? Americans watch incredulously as they get most of what they demand, at our expense. To our shame, our nation's government has abdicated our rule of law concerning national sovereignty and national security. We now have a large foreign presence within our borders that is NOT American, has no intention of ever becoming American, has no regard for American law, nor loyalty to America. This is akin to hosting a nation within a nation - and worse, one that is loyal to a foreign power. Last week, in a related article, I summarized our current scenario as such:
Let’s recap: we’ve got your basic violent criminals (mafia, drug smugglers, rapists, killers, etc) crossing UNDER our border with impunity…we’ve got heavily armed Mexican military blatantly crossing OVER our border to protect such criminals…firing on American Border Patrol agents to collect $200,000 bounties…plus, we’ve got ongoing sightings of enemy soldiers from other nations, possibly China or North Korea, crossing our border…also firing at our Border Patrol agents…we’ve got Muslim terrorists infiltrating easily and regularly from Mexico…we’ve got Muslim terrorists that have already successfully smuggled in nukes from Mexico…we've got American citizens living armed in a border zone that has become lawless...though we are at war, our borders are undefended and breached on a regular basis... our sovereignty as a nation is defiled…and WE’VE GOT AN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT THAT KNOWS ALL OF THE ABOVE AND HAS NEVER DONE ANYTHING ABOUT IT!!!
Our government today has monumentally failed in its most foundational duties to our lawful citizenry, as guaranteed by our Constitution. There is no doubt in my mind that our conflicted and disloyal elected "leaders" politicians desperately need the following reminder, from President Theodore Roosevelt:
"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." --Theodore Roosevelt 1907

This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

Blogs already on board:

Euphoric Reality A Lady's Ruminations TMH's Bacon Bits Part-Time Pundit The Right Track Cao's Blog Ogre's Politics and Views In The Bullpen Stuck on Stupid NIF Kender's Musings Watchman's Words third world county Gribbit's Word Right on the Right Team Swap Gina's Rantings The Irate Nation Publius Rendezvous Freedom Folks Bear Creek Ledger Something and Half of Something Mover Mike Independent Conservative The Neo-Con Blogger Ravings of a Mad Tech Parrot Check Curley's Corner Mensa Barbie Welcomes You Intergalactic Source of Truth

Rollin', rollin', rollin...

A short bits roundup of sorts...

Point Five wants us all to align our monitors pointing North (but doesn't say which end to point that way).

Kender and Cao each go on a tear (and rightly so!) at The Wide Awakes.

The MaryHunter pulls a "Wait 'til your daddy gets home!" with "When Jesus Returns, Boy Oh Boy..." *heh*

Musings from Brian J. Noggle poses a bad analogybetween home ownership and "blaster cars'" stereos owned by cretinous vermin who think nothing of assaulting people with physically harmful noise. Nice try, Bri, but motor vehicles are licensed for a good reason: public safety. And my hearing's safety is in danger with those abominations on the road...

Check out Kris' ongoing auction at Anywhere but Here. Some really nice artwork going out the door.

"If You Believe In Nothing You'll Fall For Anything" Riffing off a comment on her blog, Alexanfra von Maltzen disects The Hollow Men. No, not the poem; the Democratic Party. You tell 'em, Alexandra!

Just a neat find: The Two Grenadiers (in English and German--and an mp3 performance in English). Not just a neat song, something a little more behind the curtain... h.t. to one of Jerry Pournelle's readers.

Speaking of Pournelle, his brief (very brief) discourse on governance in the Middle East is provocative, to say the least. Pay attention while Professor Pournelle *s* holds forth.

There. A very brief roundup. Let me once again recommend The Founders Constitution and The Fair Tax Book, as well, for longer reads.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Something we WON'T see from our jackasses in D.C.

Bolivian leader cuts his salary in half

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) - Bolivian President Evo Morales cut his salary in half and ordered that no Cabinet minister collect a higher wage than his own, with the savings being used to hire more public school teachers.

Yeh, now that's something we need from prezes and congresscritters. Include all the perks, too. Cut 'em to the bone. Not only that, but make 'em ALL give up their cushy government pensions and rely on Social Security.

No, let's go a little further: Congresscritters should make not one dime more than the mean after tax income of all citizens over the age of 16 in their congressional district (or state, in the case of senators). And that income should reflect ALL benefits, perks and retirement. President and cabinet members, etc.? Not one thin dime more in income, benefits, etc., than the mean after tax income of citizens of the United States 16 years of age and older.

Judges and Supremes? Limit them the same. (Oh, and select 50% of all government workers-by lot or by whim or by salary: highest first to go and work on down 'til half are excised- build a fence in Utah around the most desolate land available, confine these critters there and "pension" 'em off at half pay. Better yet, just feed 'em and warehouse 'em. Allow vigilance groups to patrol the fence with open season on any "retired" civil service "workers" who attempt to leave.Do not hire replacements for these "retired" civil service "workers.")

Extend this "rule of income" for five years (or longer) after the fed official leaves office and bar them and any member of their family from anything remotely resembling lobbying for life.

You know who we'd then have running for office? People who were a LOT closer to the citizen-statesmen the Founders envisioned. People who would truly be more likely to enter public office to serve, and then go back to their private lives.

And MUCH less likely to take from those who work for a living and waste on pork.

What chance is there of something like this happening? Well, you know that proverbial snowball in hell? About that. Or, maybe about the chance of Diogenes finding an honest congresscritter in D.C.

Lobbying for this amendment at TMH's Bacon Bits.

Making a hard left, here, in response to one of Woody's comments. Here's a repost of a business card I pulled off a local TWC bulletin board... Cleaners_redacted Yep. That does indeed say "We clean meth houses... " Just another way that druggies (and the "war" on them) benefit enterprising TWC residents...

Happy Birthday, Wolfgang!

...Wherever you are...

Today (edit: well, OK, yesterday when this post was written--heh) marks the 250th anniversary of the birthday of Mozart. Below is a short piece written by the pre-teen (nine years old) Mozart during a visit to London in 1765. It's the only known piece of his that was originally written in English. From Psalm 46:1, God Is Our Refuge and Strength:



God_Is_Our_Refuge


The graphic is linked to a Sibelius Music version of the piece. You can view/play it using the free Scorch plugin (available at the site) or view it there and listen to it by clicking below.

Happy Birthday, Wolfie!



Singing out loud and strong at The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Don Surber's, NIF, Basil's Blog, TMH's Bacon Bits and Weekend Specials at Jo's Cafe.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Arresting Insurgents' Wives, Leverage?

Now call me a right-winger if you want (says I, aghast at being called a liberal by someone before), but I think that that this opening paragraph of the ABC News article really puts this whole thing into perspective:
The U.S. Army in Iraq has at least twice seized and jailed the wives of suspected insurgents in hopes of "leveraging" their husbands into surrender, U.S. military documents show.
So let me get this right: the US Army, in the three years it has been operating in Iraq, and the thousands of people it has arrested, detained, imprisoned, questioned etc., has arrested just two wives of suspected insurgents and the media is clamouring that this was a form of "leverage" to get their husbands to surrender. Note part of the Hammer of Truth's quotation, from an Iraqi human rights activist (Hind al-Salehi). Two. Out of thousands, maybe tens of thousands, maybe a hundred thousand. Just two. And that's a pattern of "leverage" because a civilian intelligence officer suggested it in his memo (pdf)? Isn't this like saying acts of violence were occurring in the middle of a war? The law of statistics surely would allow for one or two arrestees to be related to suspected/known terrorists. Here's the thing, if you or I, the average person, gave shelter to a murderer on the run, we would be committing a felony. Why would it be any different for the wife of a terrorist? Does that law not exist in Iraq right now? Seems to me that it would. Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Donald Rumsfeld indicating that the US had violated the by arresting relatives of Iraqi fugitives (their wives). But again, I contend that in the US such a thing would be commonplace, if they were giving assistance to known criminals (which, the terrorists could be considered, in Iraq). Finally, something from that article which I wanted to point out, by the brigade's deputy commander...
Two days later, the brigade's deputy commander advised the higher command, "As each day goes by, I get more input that these gals have some info and/or will result in getting the husband." He went on, "These ladies fought back extremely hard during the original detention. They have shown indications of deceit and misinformation."
... and this by Lt. Col. Barry Johnson, a US Army spokesmam...
Of this episode, Johnson said, "It is clear the unit believed the females detained had substantial knowledge of insurgent activity and warranted being held."
'nuff said. Crossposted at The English Guy.

The Law of Unintended Consequences Takes a Bite of the Apple?

Well, perhaps.

Apple's recent announcement that it's building PC clones with Intell-based chipsets prettily painted over with a veneer of OS X is really just making lemonade out of a whole big bunch of sour lemons. Why choose Intel chips? Well, cos Motorola and IBM have been wanting out of the PowerPC chip business for years-development had languished and setting up to fab new runs of the things for Apple wasn't great business, since Apple has such a small market share in its idiosyncrastic hardware.

Sooo... go with Intel. The chips are good, their characteristics well-known and not at all difficult for Apple to port OS X to (after all, nearly every other OS will run on Intel chipsets), they're just not "Apple" hardware...

Oh, and this: Apple's Switch to Intel Could Allow OS X Exploits


The recent move by Apple Computer to begin shipping Macintosh computers that use microprocessors from Intel could open the door to more attacks against computers running the company's OS X operating system, security experts warn.

The shift to Intel processors from the Motorola Power PC processors will make it easier to create software exploits for Macintosh systems, and could result in a steady stream of Mac exploits in years to come.

Yeh, the Law of Unintended Consequences. Caught between a rock and a hard place with its perennial chip fabbing problems, Apple bit the bullet, forsook its hard line stance on hardware (like, you couldn't see that coming, as Apple had already adopted the PC's PCI bus, PC-style memory architechture and all the other trappings of a regular old PC) and adopted an Intel chipset.like you'd find in any beige box. Sure Apple dressed it up in pretty, cutsy (impractical) iMac clothing, presented it as "setting the Intel chip free" (in qa Mac OS straight jacket) and loudly trumpeted "Pay no attention to the man behind the cutain!"

But really. Apple's become just another Intell PC choice. Spend an arm and a leg on an Apple Intel box... or get very similar functionality (and expansion limited to snaking a buncha wires around your worspace) by spending $300-$400 at WallyWorld for a Mandriva Linux box.

And have the same security issues all Intel-based boxes have. Sure, Wintel boxes more than most, in part because M$ is still not really serious about security (can anyone say "Internet Exploder" and "WMF flaw"?) and even more because nobody bothers to steal from the guy who has nothing worth stealing... When there's an almost overwhelming wealth of Wintel boxes to choose to attack, concentrating on a niche market like Mac users is naturally less appealing.

But now, if Apple makes this run, similarities at low-level-even machine code level-code base could make attacking Apple machines more appealing. And it's not as though Apple users were automatically secure, anyway, as my recent check of Mac security sites rvealed when one of the highly-referenced Mac security sites turned out to have been hacked.

Not a really security-conscious group, as a whole... In fact, Mac users as a class (note: I do know some very sharp, intelligent, competent Mac users who simply like the interface) seem to me to have more in common with AOL users than any other group...

There, now I've slammed both Mac users and AOL users. *heh* That feels pretty good. If I could add enviro-cultists who do their computer faking modeling on Macs I'd have a hat trick.

linkposted at Stuck on Stupid, cos it just seemed appropriate...

Poli-rant/0PEN P0ST

Yet another 0pen Post. Check the OTA link below for more information about Open Posts, if the concept's new to you. Otherwise, links away! Oh, and once you've linked to this post, trackback to it so I don't have to go hunting down your brilliant prose, 'K?

See linkfest for more linkfests, as well as the Open Trackback Alliance Open Trackback Alliance

What is it with the Dems, anyway? I mean, seriously: at the national level there are NO real liberals left. No, not one. You may have been thinking of someone like Joe Lieberman, but if you look closely, you can see a mostly empty suit with ocassional relapses to humanity, even a flash or two of recognizable liberal tendencies. What passes for liberalism nowadays is tyranny cloaked disingenuously in self-righteous doogooder nannyism. Every single damned one of 'em (and I use the term theologically to refer to habitual liars) lies about their own positions and the actions of their political opponents. Oh, yeh, there are a couple who seem to have some shreds of shame, but given their track record, I am reluctantly compelled to believe that's a sham as well.

*sigh*

And oh, those wonderful Republican'ts! While there remain a few with some sort of backbone and committment to principle (mostly in the administration), not a one can truthfully call themselves conservatives, as far as I can tell. (Please prove me wrong!)

Leadership in neither party is willing to actually do what's necessary to fulfill the primary Constitutionally-mandated functions of the federal government: the securing of our borders, and only the Republican'ts are willing to in any way defend this country's citizens against attack by foreign agents who intend to do them harm.

Both parties leadership seem committed to the continued destruction of public education.

Despair, I am often reminded, is a deadly sin. But this year is an election year. And once again, I fear being presented with more choices of "the lesser of two evils" to vote for. And that's the problem: choosing the lesser of two evils still makes me complicit in voting for evil...

*sigh*

Cheer me up, wouldya? Link to this post and trackback with some good reads, 'K?

A voice crying out in the wilderness at a buncha places once the lazy bums get their open posts up... including Adam's Blog,

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Thinking Strategically

Want to know how to win the war on Islamic jihadist butchers? Jerry Pournelle points out some strategic steps we NEED to take in order to win this thing the smart way... Not the whole answer, but absent what he advocates, the task will be much higher in blood and treasure, as well as a lot less sure.
The Iraqi War continues, but we don't do anything about the underlying causes of the war, which is our dependence on the Middle East for vital resources. If we were independent of Middle Eastern Oil, the Arab world would have to develop a real economy, learn to make things and sell them, and in general live with the rest of the world, instead of supporting people with too much time and too much money. They might actually learn to extract the oil themselves, which would require that they develop some actual capabilities other than bomb making and persuading young people to blow themselves up and kill policemen, or sit on the floor learning the Koran, or turning out Wahhabi preachers.
Read the whole thing, would you? OK, another teaser from Dr. Pournelle's post:
I said back in A Step Farther Out that there were three great examples of the futility of vast centralized bureaucracies: the Soviet system of agriculture, the American System of Education, and NASA. One of those has crumbled, and while the Ukraine has not returned to its pre-Stalin status as the breadbasket of Europe, production is higher than under Communism. There is no longer one big central Soviet system of agriculture. In America, though, the education establishment, and NASA/Aerospace Industry are even more centralized and accomplish even less than when I first wrote all that.
Setting up the chess board at TMH's Bacon Bits

Dems critiquing the faux-liberal takeover of a once-great party...

Just read The Real Ugly American's post, Commie Radio Comes Crashing Down! Yeh, it's about a radio station, but really about so very much more. As I read it, I saw the obvious parallells even before Rick drew the straight black lines connecting the dots...

"Blackworm" D-Day approaches

eWeek carries the warning today about "Blackworm"—
The worm, which uses the lure of sexually explicit Kama Sutra photographs to trick e-mail users into executing an attachment, is programmed to deliver the destructive payload on the third day of every month... ...At 5:00 p.m. on Jan 24, more than 700,000 computers had already been infected by the worm, according to a stats counter used by the worm author.
Keep your anti-virus software updated. Do NOT open unexpected email attachments. Do NOT open attachments that you have not MANUALLY scanned with an up-to-date antivirus software. Nuh-uh. Don'tcha do it. Let me try that again: Keep your anti-virus software updated. Do NOT open unexpected email attachments. Do NOT open attachments that you have not MANUALLY scanned with an up-to-date antivirus software. Nuh-uh. Don'tcha do it. Please believe me: "What I say three times is true." Keep your anti-virus software updated. Do NOT open unexpected email attachments. Do NOT open attachments that you have not MANUALLY scanned with an up-to-date antivirus software. Nuh-uh. Don'tcha do it. And last, but not least, "...the ["blackworm's"] payload is capable of completely destroying important documents on an infected machine..." so don't come crying to me if you infect yourself. Nanny-nanny-boo-booed at Customerservant.com and Quietly Making Noise

BLOWN AWAY!

I never even imagined imagining an embouchure like this guy demonstrates! (But I'd not want to be the one to clean his trumpets... ) h.t. to DNW for the link to this amazing display (again, via email). blown at Conservative Cat

A Pearl of Great Price

Actually, the "System Administrator Song" is... priceless. (No, really: priceless. View/listen for free! *heh*) h.t. to DNW for the link (via email) Sung out at Basil's Picnic.

Best anaolgy of the week

Carol Platt Liebau, in a brief post, A Plank in the Eye, on Hillary being portrayed as someone leading "... the charge against corruption and incompetence in government..." invokes an analogy you simply must not miss. Yeh. It's a day later and it still makes me grin. WTG, Carol! While you're there, read some of her other posts. You'll find her pithy commentary addictive.

Trying out Wordpress

OK, so operating on my Tightwad Modus Operandus, I'm giving Wordpress a shot at the relatively new Wordpress.com freebie site. It's not bad, but the freebie site so far doesn't let me upload my own template, has a very, very cumbersome means of adding links (hence no real blogroll as yet), doesn't let me directly edit my template, has the same 9or similar) clunky text/quasi, sorta, half-assed WYSIWYG editor as another Wordpress site I've been given guest posting priviledges on (almost identical to the Typepad web interface--*blech*), and I don't have a plugin or separate app for posting to the site that'll be better, as far as I know. It's workable, and the new importer feature did seem to import all my TWC blogposts and Blogger comments (though it couldn't import something like 1,600+ haloscan comments and even more tbs). Ahh, how much work could it be to export alla those from Haloscan, upload 'em to a separate page in the Wordpress blog and then link alla those comments/trackbacks back to their respective posts? Not much at all at all, huh? *heh* Not gonna do it. Nuh-uh. Oh. Well. It's HERE for whenever Blogger locks me outa posting again. Yeh, yeh, I know I'm muddying the water having another blog with the same name. So? Confusion to all! ;-)

Climate change/climate schmange

This guy almost had me. First paragraph I saw on his blog:
If you have i.e you will have noticed the formatting problems, i`ve been trying to sort this but no success so far (if you can figure out the problem all advice welcome Calvin dot Jones at gmail dot com). Alternatively to get away from this problem, get yourself a decent browser like Firefox or Opera!
OK, so he has a healthy view of Internet Exploder (and an interesting disregard for capitalization :-). *heh* But then I read his other posts and saw he was hawking the same old envirocultist dogma about impending doom from a new ice age ('70s enviro-cultist)/global warming (90s enviro-cultist) in the new cant of "climate change." How hard is it for these folks to actually look at just the historical record and see that, even through the course of recorded history, the rule for climate has been change—in more extreme amounts than we currently know. Seems this guy, among others, wants to play the part of King Canute instead of actually seeking to understand the underlying causes of climate change (the only constant about climate). "Nope. Having none of that, thank you," says the enviro-cultist. "Just give me my pet theories, 'backed up' by computer models that cannot 'post-dict' previous known data. Using these fake data, we can beat up developed countries in our real goal: the total annihilation of Western Civilization." Or so it seems to this observer who simply looks for the unstated consequences of enviro-cultists' desired outcomes. Does man contribute to climate change (remember: as recently as last year the buzzword phrase was "global warming" from these enviro-cultist bet-hedgers)? Maybe, even probably. To what degree and in what ways? No one knows. Seriously. Enviro-cultist arguments are all smoke, mirrors and computer models that cannot take 1900 data and "predict" 1950 climate. Until we know how and how much mankind affects climate, taking actions prescribed by enviro-cultists is stupid. Originally posted at the "other" third world county, since Blogger seemed to be down (for me, at least) for its "30-minute" maintenance event for over 13+ hours... And yeh, I'm still griping about it. *heh*)

Stop the ACLU Blogburst

This in from Jay at Stop the ACLU
Crossposted from Stop The ACLU Convincing liberals that the ACLU is leading us down a dangerous path is about as productive as talking to a rock. Perhaps this is because I mostly deal with far left liberals who share the same insane views and have the same radical agenda as the ACLU. Anyone who believes that the ACLU is there to purely defend the Constitution is naive at best. Surely there are some moderate liberals out there that can concede that the organization is in need of reform. A balanced society can not survive resting in the fringe. A Nation only concerned with security will drift toward a police state, and one that follows the absolutist views of liberty like the ACLU will drift toward anarchy. The ACLU proudly display a banner that states, Keep America Safe and Free, but any honest person will admit that the ACLU have done nothing for the safety of America. As a matter of fact, all evidence leads to quite the opposite. The ACLU are always ready to put the security of America at risk in the pursuit of its absolutist views of liberty. Many of the ACLU's former leaders have noticed the irresponsible shifting of the ACLU away from true civil liberty protection into a much more dangerous agenda. For example take the words of this former Executive Director of the ACLU
The right to express unpopular opinions, advocate despised ideas and display graphic images is something the ACLU has steadfastly defended for all of its nearly 80-year history. But the ACLU, a group for which I proudly worked as executive director of the Florida and Utah affiliates for more than 10 years, has developed a blind spot when it comes to defending anti-abortion protesters. The organization that once defended the right of a neo-Nazi group to demonstrate in heavily Jewish Skokie, Ill., now cheers a Portland, Ore., jury that charged a group of anti-abortion activists with $107 million in damages for expressing their views. Gushed the ACLU's press release: "We view the jury's verdict as a clarion call to remove violence and the threat of violence from the political debate over abortion." Were the anti-abortion activists on trial accused of violence? No. Did they threaten violence? Not as the ACLU or Supreme Court usually defines it, when in the context of a call for social change. The activists posted a Web site dripping with animated blood and titled "The Nuremberg Files," after the German city where the Nazis were tried for their crimes. Comparing abortion to Nazi atrocities, the site collected dossiers on abortion doctors, whom they called "baby butchers." ... This is ugly, scary stuff. But it is no worse than neo-Nazi calls for the annihilation of the Jewish people, or a college student posting his rape fantasies about a fellow coed on the Web, both of which the ACLU has defended in the past. None of the anti-abortion group's intimidating writings explicitly threatened violence. Still, the ACLU of Oregon refused to support the defendants' First Amendment claims. Instead, it submitted a friend-of-the-court brief taking no one's side but arguing that speech constitutes a physical threat only when the speaker intends his statement to be taken as one. ...Before anti-abortion zealots started getting sued, the ACLU had much more tolerance for menacing speech. Few of the 20th century's great social movements were entirely peaceable. The labor, civil-rights, antiwar, environmental and black-power movements were an amalgam of violence, civil disobedience and highly charged rhetoric. But to gag fiery speakers who call for harm to the establishment because others in the movement pursue their political goals with fists, guns or bombs would do terrible damage to strong, emotive pleas tot social change. It is something neither the ACLU nor, thankfully, the courts have countenanced in the past. That's why in 1969 the ACLU helped defend a Ku Klux Klan member who had called for violence against the president, Congress and the Supreme Court. At the ACLU's urging, the Supreme Court ruled that speech advocating violence was constitutionally protected unless it incited imminent lawless action and was likely to produce such action. This case was later used to defend the speech of black militants. The ACLU also applauded a 1982 Supreme Court decision that found that speeches promising violent reprisals were protected by the First Amendment. During the civil-rights movement, a leader of the NAACP called for "breaking the necks" of blacks who violated a boycott of white-owned businesses in Mississippi, and published a list of those who did. Some of the boycott violators were beaten. The court ruled that despite the atmosphere of fear, all the speeches and lists were part of a debate on a public issue that needed to be "uninhibited, robust, and wide-open."
I would argue that the Constitution doesn't protect all of these extreme positions of the ACLU, but that isn't the point he is trying to make. The issue is the ACLU's curious commitment to "uninhibited, robust, and wide-open" free speech when it involves things such as virtual child pornography, but not when it involves a something like a boss making racially offensive statements. Unfortunately, there are some people who are so hypnotized by the ACLU's absolutist views and of the ACLU's campaign for pedophilia and child pornography that they are prepared to defend an organization that has become a shadow of its former self--a group that lets its idealistic and skewed understanding of the establishment clause trump freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
Stop the ACLU had the opportunity last year of interviewing a former ACLU lawyer. He was concerned with much of the same things.
The ACLU played a helpful role in the civil rights movement defending these people, and I can't turn my back on that. I have to give credit where credit is due." "But….that being said, what they have done in the past is completely eviscerated by what they do in the present. The ACLU has become a fanatical anti-faith Taliban of American religious secularism." "The ACLU is involved in the secular cleansing of our history. This is not just a fight about free exercise, but about the protection of our American history. The ACLU want to deny America the knowledge of their Christian heritage."
It seems that the many of the ACLU's greatest critics came from their very ranks. The division within the ACLU will continue as long as the ACLU continues on the irresponsible, hypocritical path it is on. America needs a civil liberties union, sadly the ACLU isn't doing that job. If the ACLU succeeds in the dangerous direction it is steering America, they will ironically be putting in jeopardy the very liberty they claim to protect. This was a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst. If you would like to join us, please email Jay at Jay@stoptheaclu.com or Gribbit at GribbitR@gmail.com. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll. Over 115 blogs already on-board.
See other posts on this topic at Stop the ACLU (linked above) and other blogs participating in the Stop the ACLU blogburst.

"Wasms"

Communism, socialism, liberalism, pragmatism, utilitarianism and yes, even conservatism all inevitably wreck themselves upon the rock of Unintended Consequences, and their brightest ideals become "wasms." The reason why the highest ideals and practical decisions of human wisdom inevitably fail is because we can only guess at their outcomes. Pragmatism is perhaps the most glaring failure, because future events inevitably prove that our pragmatic choices depended upon making choices to create a future we cannot predict. Better simply "...to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with [our] God." Ah, but being just is hard when the world abhors justice. Being merciful is difficult even when we embrace justice (and impossible without justice). And humility is impossible for those who reject both justice and true mercy. Originally posted at the "other" third world county when Blogger's "half hour" of downtime extended well into "sudden death overtime"... Noted at TMH's Bacon Bits' open post.

What? Blogger's up?


Powered by Castpost
Hmmm... have to wait on some feedback here, but for me, Blogger was "down" for more than 13 hours past its scheduled 30-minute downtime. Back in the saddle again, I guess. Sooo... was reading The English Guy's Networks and Security blog and ran across this: "Skype may assist botnet attacks" The post points to the fact that the proprietary technologies of Skype and Vonage and other VOIP providers could pose a security risk. Read the post. He makes some very good points and points to more genuinely interesting observations by a group that watches such things. OTOH, As much as I appreciate the argument that open standards could increase security in some ways ("many eyes" etc.), I think I'd rather trust my phone service to the market pressures on my provider. Proprietary technology doesn't always have to mean Microsoft-style security holes, and proprietary tech does offer some shielding from snoops (particularly, govt snoops would need subpoena authority to obtain the proprietary info, or else someone to reverse-engineer it, with no assurances of getting it really on the money or *gasp* and actual warrant to tap would have to be obtained!) that open standards may not. The "many eyes argument" does, as I implied above, have a lot going for it, but I think mixing open and proprietary tech can offer some advantages. The biggest argument for open tech is a philosophical one, frankly, and like the process-oriented POV that argues for an "open standard" for Wikipedia, doesn't always lead to the best end product. One notable exception to the open tech/mixed quality problem is the notably consistent high quality in Linux offerings. But there, linus Torvalds still acts as a benevolent dictator-of-last-resort. In much of the open source/open tech community, there is no equivalent overseer. And the group noted in The English Guy's post that apparently wants to oversee the technology is... funded by the feds (how'd I misread that? Not feds, a buncha academia nuts). (Who woulda guessed that one?) I'll have to give this one some more thought: market pressures vs. socialist idealism. Maybe there's a "third way"? *LOL* Oh, yeh. Develop PGP-based/type products for phone encryption over VOIP? Not seeing that one right away, as it would seriously mod the PGP model, but my head's flipping through ideas... Maybe that is it: third-party encryption add-ons to VOIP appliance firmware. Yeh. LEOs* would love that one... *heh* *Law Enforcement Officers

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Prisoner/0PEN P0ST

Note the 0PEN P0ST info below.

Just a quickie:

Anyone remember this show from the 60s? Frustrating piece of work... always thought Tantalus had it easy compared to Number Six. Ah, well, at least it was my second memorable exposure to Patrick McGoohan (have "Secret Agent Man" stuck in my head now. Arrrr!).

The Complete Prisoner Megaset

Secret Agent: Music From The TV Series





Spyware of the 1960s. A different thing to spyware today... Ah, well...

:-)

Yeh, this is an open post. Check the OTA link below for more information about Open Posts, if the concept's new to you. Otherwise, links away! Oh, and once you've linked to this post, trackback to it so I don't have to go hunting down your brilliant prose, 'K?

See linkfest for more linkfests, as well as the Open Trackback Alliance Open Trackback Alliance

And see Diane's Stuff for the latest leaks... Meanwhile, while (like the double "while"? Well there's a third) you're at TMH's Bacon Bits looking over the latest linkfest tbs there, check out the Bacon Bits listed below, as well...

How to fold a t-shirt (for the "folding-impaired")

You don't need to speak/understand Japanese to get the technique (although I have to wonder if the demonstrator isn't reciting a dirty Japanese limerick while showing how to fold a t-shirt... ) How to fold a t-shirt (for the "folding-impaired") PSa at The Conservative Cat where Ferdy is waging unending war on spammers...

Apple iMac PC? *yawn*

Just checked out a PC Magazine article featuring the Apple iMac PC with the Intel dual core. "Setting the Intel chipset free!" is the silly Mac commercial airing, now. *yawn* Let's see... ~$1,800 for a decently configured INTEL computer running the Mac OS X... Or ~$1,200 for a similarly configured (or slightly better--and including a 20" LCD screen as the Apple iMac PC does) regular ole ordinary PC running Windows XP. LESS if one wanted to use Linux. Sorry, Apple. Macophilic Macultists will get a buzz on. Everyone who understands that the extra $600 is just money wasted on a name (and an OS that is still the most rigid, frigid, controlling lil piece of eye-candy out there) will find better uses for the extra cash. Heck, the pics at the PC Mag article show it shipping with the assinine Apple one-button mouse with two awkward "side buttons"! Only a masochist could love the thing... But you can count on it: there are plenty of pervs out there who will go ape wasting $$ on an imitation PC. One inexplicably stupid comment made by the PCMag writer was this paragraph:
Aside from cooler cases, another benefit of running dual-core on Mac OS X over Windows is that in a Windows environment, you must run security software (such as antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall). Though dual-core processing helps speed up general performance even with such software running in the background, you are still diverting processor cycles. With Mac OS X, such security software is not necessary, so you're getting more processing power dedicated to apps you're actively using.
Yeh, right. Pull the other one. "...such security software is not necessary..." At the very least every knowledgeable Mac user/guru (you know: the ones who actually know how the OS woks) I know of recommends at the very least having a decent firewall—software and/or hardware. And sales of Mac-only anti-virus software haven't slacked off all that much despite the claims that all the virus writers are targeting Windows and simply leaving macs alone. What? Just because your neighborhood has never been hit by burglers you decide locking yuour door is unecessary? Let me know where you live. I'd be glad to hock your Mac. (Really funny thing? While checking on Mac security products, I saw a Mac Security site that had been hacked. It's front page was "owned" by the hacker who had taken it down. *LOL* Saved a screen shot for future laughs.) Then there's the "diverting processor cycles" comment above. Silly ass. The price comparison I made above was between the iMac Intel PC clone in the article with a 2.0 Ghz INTEL processor and a brand-name PC using a 2.8 Ghz processor—the only brand-name Wintel computer I could find spec'ed down enough for a comparison. Computing cycles to burn, baby. (And isn't it interesting that Apple's starting with a processor that's about 1.5 Ghz behind the curve for most other current Intel machines? Their code's not all that svelte.) Gee. Want the advantages of a more secure, robust OS (but one that's genuinely flexible) AND really hot hardware, you could buy an off-the-shelf regular old PC (with the latest, not the next-next-next latest, as with the iMac PC clone) hardware, pop a Mandriva CD set in, boot and have a really slick Linux comp. Loads more stable and secure than either a Windows or Apple OS. And have money left to burn, as opposed to the over-priced iMac PC clone. Yeh, but it has the really cool look, right? Uh-huh. And NO expansion slots. Wanna add peripheral components? Fine, snake a buncha USB wiring and clutter your desktop with boxes and other junk. with the PC I spec'ced above, lotsa that kinda thing can go inside a slick-looking box, with 5 PCI slots available. Nah. The iMac in its current reincarnation as a PC clone is the same old, same old Apple ploy: eye candy at excessive prices. Funny that to get a favorable price comparison to the iMac, the writer of the PCMag article had to compare the iMac "pony" to a Sony Vaio "dressage competitive thoroughbred" with a faster processor, full media computer capabilities, a 50% larger hard drive, all-wireless remote keyboard/mouse/remote control, etc. All among the many things the Vaio cited comes with which are lacking in the Apple PC clone. *feh* That was a review? A puff piece written by someone who expected only subliterates to read it. [Let me be clear: the Mac OS is fine... for Great Aunt Tilly. After all, since it is the ultimate "training wheels" OS, it does prevent people from easily messing about in its innards and doing wild things to screw it up. Which also means it is inordinately difficult to get anything done any way EXCEPT "the Mac way". Amusing—and true—story. Was once part of a small office where each of us used our own computers at work. Right. Very small office. I had a coworker—a devoted Macrophile who had run the all-Mac computer lab in college—who was constantly coming to me and asking to borrow the use of my computer to do things he was unable to do with his Mac. Yeh, largely the result of being the only Macuser in the office and needing to manipulate PC files, a task never quite as easy as Apple claims. He also continually complained that my PC was too hard to use because it didn't do things the way he was used to... on his Mac. Each time, I'd show him how to do things: "See? Just push this little button on the CDROM drive. You don't have to drag the CD to the trash bin... " "Your CDROM drive has a button?!?!? Amazing!" etc. *sigh* Inflexible, almost unteachable. Mac user. Needed his "training wheels" OS. Never "got" it that I liked doing some things at a command line (still do). Windows ain't all that great, but at least it's not like using a computer while wearing a straightjacket.]

Drive-by post

"Gore to publish book on global warming" (What? Another one? Get with it, Al. The catchphrase for au courant enviro-wackos is "climate change") Deadly freeze claims more lives in Eastern Europe (The atypical cold weather in Europe this winter is reported to be featured in Algore's book's arhythmia section as proof of global warming... along with...) "Skating flamingos, swollen elephant ears in frosty German zoos" *brrrr* More of that damnedable global warming at work.

Head 'em up; move 'em out!

Here's a roundup for ya:

It Is About Time We Were Politically Incorrect Part II from All Things Beautiful. Preach it Alexandra. (And don't miss It Is About Time We Were Politically Incorrect Part I.) Regarding the intolerance of the left for religion (as long as that religion espouses Judeo-Christian principles) in America,

And, as I recall, the Founders wrote a great deal about the fact that if America ever ceased to be a religious society, freedom, and the republican ideal, would fail, because the citizenry would lack the moral virtue to keep it all going.

Yeh, I touched on that comment by John Adams in my guest post over at Bloggin' Outloud, Teach Your Children Well. Jerry Pournelle referred to the truth of that sentimentrecently as well:

I know of absolutely no argument for assuming human equality other than religious postulates, as Jefferson did in the Declaration. War on religion is a war on the underlying assumptions of American political life. Why the same group that insists on equality of outcomes in all matters also insists on undermining the religous basis of American politics is an interesting question. Hypocrisy or double dyed villainy?

Dafydd ab Hugh notes the temblor in Canadian politics: Canadian Vote a 7.2 On the Political Richter Scale. He closes his post with this piece of black humor:

Let's keep our fingers crossed that the Liberals don't simply dig in their heels and try to prevent any legislation at all from occurring, as the Democrats are doing here. It would be decent to give Harper at least one chance to make good.

Riiiiight... like that's going to happen in my lifetime: the faux liberals of the 21st century actually acting decently? Not. Going. To. Happen.

Data-Mining, the FISA Court, and Wartime from TMH's Bacon Bits:

[Michael] Chertoff, formerly a federal judge and head of the Justice Department's criminal division, explains in fairly clear terms the National Security Agency's "warrantless eavesdropping" and the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court's place in all of this...

Read it. And while you're there, load the main page and read Williewonkaville: Rebuild or Reload? and other great posts by the Bacon Bits crew.

If you missed my pointer to the Carnival of the Recipes #75, head on over to Christine's Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea so you can add a few things to your grocery list.

"That seismic disturbance is George Westinghouse spinning..." in his grave. (h.t. "Jim" - email posted at Chaos Manor Musings. You can find my own brief comments about Jesse Jackson Jr.'s-call him JCube-proposed "Education Amendment" to the Constitution at the same link... as well as some interesting Dr. Who brews news. :-)

University students offered B-minus to stay away. Diploma-mill-style, a Canadian lecturer offered a B minus grade to students who would bring him a tuition reciept and then not come to class. While I can think of a couple of classes in my undergrad years where that would have enhanced my educational experience (classes where the droning of a stupid, stupid prof were guaranteed to lower students' IQs by a couple of points *sigh*), being open about the fact that colleges and universities are becoming little more than certification stops for illiterate high school grads (and full employment for academia nuts) may not be the best way to insure the downgrading of education continues.

At least it was in Canada. This time.

Hit up Keep the Coffee Coming for some Bob Dylan, The Tokens ("...Lion Sleeps..." yeh, the memories) and Billie Holiday. Let kat know you dropped by. drop her a note in comments and just say "Hi" wouldya?

iHillary has a great photoshop spoof to accompany his repost/commentary of a WSJ article in his post, Plantation Madness. A must-see to go along with the WSJ article... (BTW, you're one mean blogger, dude. Love it.) While you're there, steal his Alito graphic featuring democrappic attackers with an image of Joe McCarthy in the background...

Winds of Change notes the effect of killing terrorist leaders. (Hint: it's a good thing.)

Dan Riehl's mini-fisk of Cindy Sheehan's "matriotism" is just exactly as much attention as the twit should get. Thanks, Dan. Especially for sparing us by quoting only as much of the twit as necessary to have done with her.

Woody's own comment on his "Bin Laden's Real Message" post in reply to a moonbat's spouting of lying memes about the war on Islamic jihadists really deserves to be brought onto his front page. it closes with,

The fact that Bin Laden talked about a truce is evidence enough of the weakened state of Al Quaeda. How did that happen? UN Envoys? NO... US Cowboys.

Correctamundo, Woody. Read the rest of his comment at the link.

And, from the People's Cube:

Bin laden's New tape Narrated from the Astral

heh

Douglas Kern, writing at Tech Central Station, succinctly sums up the feelings I have been unable (or unwilling to let loose and... ) articulate about a recent ruling by a Vermont judge in the case of the serial rape of a child... If you have strong stomach, read, "What the Monster Learned."

Kidnap "victims" for hire.

And still reading The Founders Constitution. (Navigating the book[s] online is not all that straightforward, but worth your time, IMO.)

Well, I didn't get 95 theses, and I'm nowhere near Wittenberg, so I'll just tack this to the door over at Adam's Blog and Historymike's Musings

Monday, January 23, 2006

Free Kerry's 180/0PEN P0ST

Yep. Link here and trackback: it's an Open Post.

Normally, Tuesday is a "Free John Kerry's 180" day, and, really, today's no exception.


No More sKerry BS_button


But today is a very different kind of "Free Jean Fraud sKerry's 180" day. Today, I'm asking both of my readers *heh* to finish this thought:


"Jean Fraud sKerry's lies and obfuscations in pursuance of avoiding the release of the records he has repeatedly promised to release is like NOT emptying a weeks'-long overfull cat litter box, because... "


Answers in comments or a trackedback post, please.

Dumping this litterbox at Linkfest_Haven

Bonus Guard the Borders

Here's a bonus crosspost from Heidi at Euphoric Reality
Last week, those of us who keep an eye on border issues noticed that several mainstream media sources had featured articles about the regular Mexican military incursions over our borders and into our country. This is nothing new, as the Border Patrol has documented hundreds of such illegal incursions by an armed Mexican military over the past decade, and our government has done nothing to curb these incursions. In fact, it seems our government has looked the other way. While I'm relieved that this information is getting out into the mainstream, I have little confidence that our governement will actually do its job and secure our borders. Some confrontations between the Mexican military troops and our own Border Patrol agents have become violent as Mexican soldiers have fired their weapons at the Border Patrol. It's a mystery why our government refuses to acknowledge these hostile invasions. They surely know about it, and the Mexican Embassy in Washington D.C. has gone so far as to publicly deny that the Mexican soldiers are hostile, but rather there to "patrol for illegal border jumpers". Contrary to that public statement, however, most of the Mexican military troops on the border are moonlighting as security escorts for drug smuggling gangs the coyotes who are running large groups of illegals across the border.
T.J. Bonner, a 27-year Border Patrol veteran who heads the National Border Patrol Council [said], "Intrusions by the Mexican military to protect drug loads happen all the time and represent a significant threat to the agents. "Why else would they be in the area, firing at federal agents in the United States? There is no other explanation," said Mr. Bonner, whose organization represents all 10,000 of the nonsupervisory Border Patrol agents. He also challenged reports that Mexican military units had crossed mistakenly into the United States, saying, "Every country's military has a [global positioning system] nowadays, including the Mexicans. "If the border is so poorly marked, why don't the thousands of Border Patrol agents working 24/7 along it ever seem to get lost, and none of us have been issued a GPS," he said. [...] Attacks on Border Patrol agents in the past few years have been attributed to current or former Mexican military personnel. U.S. law-enforcement officials have long thought that current and former Mexican soldiers are being paid to protect drug shipments bound for the United States. Several agents said the attacks have escalated in the past two years as U.S. security efforts on the border have increased -- including the July shooting of two agents in an ambush near Nogales, Ariz., by assailants in black commando-type clothing, who fired more than 50 rounds. Authorities said the gunmen used military-style cover-and-concealment tactics to escape back into Mexico. No one has been arrested.
Without any federal commitment to secure our borders, the Minutemen, a volunteer citizen's group, has performed an invaluable civic service in patrolling our borders to document and verify the location of illegal border crossers. They, too, have encountered Mexican soldiers on the WRONG side of the border. The video clip below comes directly from the Arizona Minutemen who told the Mexican soldiers, when confronted, they were there as "media" to document the border situation. It is incredibly important to note that there is no reason why American citizens should EVER be required to justify their lawful activities on American soil to a FOREIGN military presence. That is anathema to our rights as American citizens!

(SCOTTSDALE, AZ) January 20, 2006 – The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps ("MCDC") announced the release today of video footage of an incursion by a unit of the Mexican army across the U.S. border in Arizona. Chris Simcox and a group of Civil Defense Corps volunteers encountered a squad of approximately eight armed Mexican soldiers about 500 yards inside American territory. The Mexican soldiers started running back through the brush to Mexico when they realized they had been spotted. The video shows a uniformed Mexican soldier climbing through a barbed wire fence on American soil to return to the Mexican side of the border as he races to catch up with the other Mexican soldiers who had also climbed back through the fence as they retreated back into their country. A group of armed Mexican soldiers then returned to the barbed wire fence (on American soil) and confronted Simcox and the volunteers. A discussion in Spanish ensued, with the agitated soldier 'in charge' saying the Americans had no business being there. Simcox and the volunteers did not budge. The Mexican soldiers left and drove off. Judging from earlier activity observed at the ranch that morning, Simcox is of the belief that a trafficking operation had been disrupted by the volunteers. The footage, filmed in 2004, was sent to then Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. His office did not respond. The video has remained in the Minuteman video archive and is being released in response to recent news reports that over 200 cross-border incursions by the Mexican army have been documented since 1996.

This has been a production of the Guard the Borders Blogburst. It was started by Euphoric Reality, and serves to keep immigration issues in the forefront of our minds as we're going about our daily lives and continuing to fight the war on terror. If you are concerned with the trend of illegal immigration facing our country, join our blogburst! Just send an email with your blog name and url to euphoricrealitynet at gmail dot com.

Blogs already on board:

Sorta Beef Stroganoff

Actually, you might call this Quick Quasi Stroganoff. heh Ingredients:
  • 1 pound ground beef (actually, ground chuck or better, or shredded, leftover roast)
  • 1 medium yellow (scourge) onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced (or use your garlic press)
  • 1 can mushroom soup (yeh, I use the fat free)
  • 8-12oz sour cream (for this, the fat free sour “cream” does fine, too)
  • about ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • a couple of dashes of Chinese five spice
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (I like lots)
  • an 8-oz can of sliced mushrooms, drained, or clean and slice about 1/2 to 1 cup of mushrooms of your choice.
Prep If using (lean) ground chuck, start browning the meat*, then add the chopped onion and minced garlic as the meat releases a little fat. Brown the meat on medium high and clarify the ionions and garlic with the meat. It should come out about right: the meat will be cooked through about the time the onions/garlic are done. Tinker with your timing. With good lean ground chuck, you shouldn’t have much grease to drain at all. Add the grated nutmeg, pepper and a couple of dashes of Chinese five spice just as the meat is cooking thtough, toward the end. Add the mushroom soup, sour cream and mushrooms (if using "fresh" mushrooms, add them a little earlier as the meat is just about done, as well). Bring to a nice low bubble and then back the heat down to simmer. Cover for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over rice, egg noodles or... baked potatoes. A side of fresh or frozen peas (cooked your fav method, of course, silly) and a salad can round this out nicely. It's a meal from semi-scratch in under 30 minutes. If I'm using baked potatoes to serve the stuff on, I just nuke 'em; rice—even brown rice—and noodles cook really quickly, so it really does only take 30 minutes to prepare. Easy, and it is at least evocative of real stroganoff. *You thought I'd forgotten instructions if you use leftover roast beef, didn't you? Nah, just tacking it on here cos it's such an easy variation—actually saves time. Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add the meat and everything else and simmer til done. What could be easier?

The New Slave Trade--Guard the Borders

America's problem with slavery didn't end in 1865 at Appomattox. After that, wage slavery was still as common-or more-as before, for example. And today, we have a moral problem of gargantuan proportions as we allow the import of illegal labor in order to keep effective wages depressed.

Yep. Our porous border is a dual assault on those at the low end of the earnings curve. Offer what jobs they may have to people who will work-often doubly illegally-for less and keep the wages offered to those who manage to keep their low-paying jobs artificially depressed.

It's been done before as "an economic tool to keep the wages of labor near subsistence levels." Ya know, Rome?

Yet another reason to dumb down schools. What the potential serfs/slaves don't know helps keep them from making waves...

This has been a drive by dope slap as a part of the Guard the Borders blogburst. Stealing a riff from TMH's Bacon Bits (where The MaryHunter examines security aspects of our porous borders),

"If you'd like to join the blogburst, send an email to kit.jarrell AT gmail.com with your blog's name and URL. About 40 blogs are currently signed up."

See my left sidebar for a list of blogs involved.

Running the border at Committees of Correspondence

h.t. for the Rome in Crisis article and slavery tie-in to Charles Brumbelow, commenting at Jerry Pournelle's place. Thanks for the reminder.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Conspiracy of dunces or...

...a conspiracy to create dunces?

But first, some housekeeping: this is an open post. Link to this post and trackback.

Now, to the topic of this post. Jerry Pournelle is no wild-eyed conspiracy nut, but he does note something interesting about America's broken system of public education:

Of course if the goal is to see that the children of people rich enough to send their children to private schools, or to have a stay at home parent to home school, will get far ahead of everyone else regardless of intelligence or merit, we may achieve that goal.


So, what are our choices? That all the "smart" people who tell us to just do more of the same that has resulted in sub- and illiterate high school and college graduates over the past 30+ years-just spend lots more doing it-are too stupid to pound rocks and too prideful, greedy and power-hungry to admit their educratic edicts have made a ruin of public education?

Or, is it really a plot by self-designated elites to breed serfs?

Of course, Pournelle also mentions "...Vonnegut's wonderful story Harrison Bergeron..." (IMO, one of the few really good Vonnegut works). Yep. Harrison Bergeron is definitely where the dark side of "No Child Left behind" seems to point...

Kept after school at The Uncooperative Blogger. And "writing lines" on the blackboard at Linkfest_Haven

Carnival at Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea

Christine, who honored me by adopting me as her blogfather for Blogfathers Day, is hosting this week's Carnival of the Recipes. Delicious food, beautifully presented (of course) at Morning Coffee and Afternoon Tea. Go. Graze the buffet. I'm gonna have some of that Lazy Broad's Smoky Chicken to start... (I'm a baaaaad dad. I forgot Christine was hosting the Carnival of the Recipes this week and tagged her with the Four Things game for another of her blogs... Oh. Well. I'm lucky she's the forgiving kind. :-)