Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Low End Linux Netbook Prices Continue To Drop - O'Reilly Broadcast

"Last month I wrote about netbooks powered by the MIPS processor, originally developed by SGI. I also pointed out that the price for the Belco Alpha 400 had dropped to $149 last December and January. That is now the regular price for the lowest of low end Linux netbooks at Geeks.com. Last week they had a special and the price dropped to $139."

Mother, daughter, file $100M suit in fatal Metro crash | Washington Examiner

Well, that didn' take long.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sen. Inhofe Calls for Inquiry Into 'Suppressed' Climate Change Report - Political News - FOXNews.com

The 98-page report, co-authored by EPA analyst Alan Carlin, pushed back on the prospect of regulating gases like carbon dioxide as a way to reduce global warming. Carlin's report argued that the information the EPA was using was out of date, and that even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased, global temperatures have declined.

"He came out with the truth. They don't want the truth at the EPA," Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla, a global warming skeptic, told FOX News, saying he's ordered an investigation. "We're going to expose it."

Last Days of the Republicans Part 16 - What's News Tonight

"This is a personal issue, unless tax-payer funds were used for the travel."


Lefties listen to their candidates express a belief in God and, nudge-nudge, know big-tent politics when they see it: "Give us free, government-paid everything, get church out of my face for my strange sexual practices, but allow me to claim a need for pot and peyote for my special rites I invented yesterday."

Conservatives, and I'd say, even not-religious conservatives actually expect their candidates to live by some sort of moral compass. That moral compass doesn't have to match their (the voter's) own precisely, but there has to be something there that serves as a foundation for the candidate's belief system so that when the candidate says "read my lips..." you have some basis to think they mean it.

What does it mean when an avowed atheist takes an oath on a Bible? To me it means nothing, and I'm sure it means nothing to them as well. When our country was founded, most people, even politicians, were religious in one way or another. An oath, to tell the truth, or serve the public meant something. Today's politicians, as well as much of the public that vote for them believe in nothing that can't be touched, worn to a nightclub, switched on, or driven around the block. The only thing that concerns them is not getting caught in their lies and thievery. Concerns about what God may do to them don't enter into it, I assure you. Otherwise, we'd all be hard pressed to explain their actions, which in this case go way beyond a simple affair and in the case of other politicians go way beyond stealing pencils from the supply cabinet. One hundred thousand dollars found in your freezer is just the entry fee for corruption in todays political market. But the fact is, if you are a liberal Democrat, your misdeeds will fade a lot more quickly than if you are a Republican.

After all, if you are a Republican you are supposed to believe in something beyond the tangible, and your misdeeds to the non-believing public smack of the only sin they know about: hypocrisy. Democrats, nudge-nudge, can't be guilty of this mortal sin.

In the future, I'm quite sure that missing a few candidates like Sanford will not be our biggest problem. Our problem will be with what, if anything, the electorate believes in. And from my canvasing, the answer is: precious little.

Conyers' Wife Pleads Guilty On Corruption Count | TPMMuckraker

Monica Conyers, the president pro tem of the Detroit city council -- and the wife of Rep. John Conyers, the powerful chair of the US House Judiciary committee -- has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.

While Republicans may be guilty of hypocrisy for their personal immoralities, it is clear that corruption for personal financial gain tends to run in Democrats and their families.

Which would you rather have in office?

Bing: The Better Way To Google!

Metro Crash May Exemplify Paradox of Human-Machine Interaction - washingtonpost.com

Greg Jamieson, an expert who studies human factors and engineering systems at the University of Toronto, said many automated systems explicitly tell human operators to disengage; they are designed to eliminate human "interference." After the previous fatal accident on Metro, in which a train overshot the Shady Grove station on an icy night, the National Transportation Safety Board found that the driver of the train had reported overshooting problems at earlier stops but was told not to interfere with the automated controls.

"The problem is when individuals start to overtrust or overrely or become complacent and put too much emphasis on the automation," Jamieson said. "In the Shady Grove accident, for a year before the accident, the transit authority had put in position a directive that you were not to drive the train in manual."

China's banks are an accident waiting to happen to every one of us - Telegraph

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Speaking Truth To Power: A Casualty Of The Obama Administration | The New Ledger

Perhaps–just perhaps–an investigation of Amtrak’s relationship with its IG is in order. During the course of that investigation, we might wish to inquire why a paid lobbyist is the current vice president and legal counsel for Amtrak, and whether efforts to protect Amtrak from vigorous IG oversight have anything to do with the fact that the current Vice President of the United States is a longtime Amtrak patron–not to mention the fact that Hunter Biden, the son of the current Vice President of the United States, happens to sit on the Amtrak board.

The Great Climate Tax | The New Ledger

If one truly cares about the planet, why do we want to make steel in China rather than in the United States where our carbon emissions are one-third that of the Chinese per ton of steel produced? One Arkansas refinery recently testified that under a cap-and-tax regime, they would be forced to close their 1,200-employee plant while India builds the largest in the world to ship fuel to the United States with nowhere near the environmental protections we have. We’re not helping the environment by sending industries that operate cleanly and efficiently in the United States to a regulation-free China or India.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Power Line - Thoughts on Health Care "Reform"

Our would-be masters have no intention of relying on hideously substandard socialized medicine--that's for those who are without influence in the Democratic Party. In what many have viewed as a watershed moment, Barack Obama, during the ABC News infomercial last night, refused to commit to treating his own family under the "public option," insisting that he "always want[s] them to get the very best care." Well, sure, so do we all. The difference is, Barack is special. He gets to write his own exception into the statute, along with Democrats in Congress.

Friday, June 26, 2009

California, Here We Come! - HUMAN EVENTS

Still, where California is at, America is headed.

Californians who are running away from the communities and towns in which they were raised have Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Utah and Nevada to head to. But when all of America arrives at where California is at today, where do the Americans run to?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

“God” doesn’t take sides in the trivial contests of man | The Real Revo

Obama has, having seen half the American people and 99% of journalists become enchanted with him, believed that his smooth oratory would melt the hearts of America’s enemies as well. Recent experience with Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leads reasonable people to question that belief. Obama, however, is still anxious to sweet talk the Iranian thugs into becoming better people.

Not that he wants them to come around to he American way of thinking. Obama himself hasn’t come around to the American way of thinking. Frankly, the American way of thinking is beneath this “citizen of the world.” As we have seen in Berlin, Cairo and everywhere else, Obama isn’t willing to limit himself to the American view. He sees himself far too important and special for anything as pedestrian as American values. This is what Newsweek editor Evan Thomas was talking about when he said “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God.”

Dana Milbank - Washington Sketch: Welcome to ‘The Obama Show' - washingtonpost.com

The use of planted questioners is a no-no at presidential news conferences, because it sends a message to the world -- Iran included -- that the American press isn't as free as advertised. But yesterday wasn't so much a news conference as it was a taping of a new daytime drama, "The Obama Show." Missed yesterday's show? Don't worry: On Wednesday, ABC News will be broadcasting "Good Morning America" from the South Lawn (guest stars: the president and first lady), "World News Tonight" from the Blue Room, and a prime-time feature with Obama from the East Room.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Through the Looking Glass With Andrew Sullivan | The New Ledger

Andrew Sullivan immediately leaped into the fray. Unlike the rest of these non-experts, many of whom began to back off of the story when word emerged that Mrs. Palin’s daughter was pregnant and had been close to the time of Trig’s birth, Sullivan, who apparently received a secret medical degree while attending Harvard, began obsessively following this story, turning the Atlantic from a fairly uninteresting opinion website into a leading journal of gynecology and obstetrics. Rarely in human history has a gay man been that obsessed with a married woman’s vagina.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Microsoft Office Oultook 2007, Full Version - eBay (item 180372176540 end time Jun-29-09 11:36:08 PDT)

It's brand new and never been opened. My boss bought it right before I moved the whole company over to Google Apps.

We never looked back, but here's your opportunity to live it up, 90's style, with this great, retro piece of Microsoft 2007 software.

Unique features include:

* Lengthy key you have to register with a company!
* Real, plastic disks known as "CD's".
* Huge files saved ON YOUR COMPUTER!
* The thrill of wondering if you've backed up your data recently after your on-site hard drive dies.
* Appeased paranoia that your contacts will never be extracted by an international organization bent on stealing your identity and submitting LOL cats to all your business contacts.

Throw off the Web2.0 zeitgeist, and know that your entire business can fit in a single plastic box that can easily be left under a train seat.

As a bonus, your software will be Platform Dependent, meaning it will only run on "Windows" (not included).

I'm on vacation, so I can mail day-of-sale for all orders before 4MST.


Monday, June 22, 2009

White House Twelver Rewrite Desk - What's News Tonight

I have an incomplete list of who or what the White House thinks about when it rewrites and repositions and refashions the Twelver apologies. First must be the TV audience: very dangerous lot, since it doesn't listen to words, it looks into the eyes and studies the body movement and can smell clumsiness and false witnessing. Secondly is the print media, leading with NYT but also including the hard working WaPo and the dutiful EU papers like the Financial Times and the Guardian. Then there is the Democratic left, the Republican right, the so-called independent bloggers, and also Maureen Down hearts Karl Rove. Way down on the list is the Iranian ex-pats and the Tehran demonstrators. Am unsure where the Twelvers are on this list. Or the Twelver factotums such as Hamas, Hizballah, Damascus, or the Twelver adversaries such as the House of Saud and the creaky Cairo lot. You can see why rewrite is maddening at the NSC.

Featured Article - WSJ.com

GDANSK, Poland--When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.

Poles fought for their freedom for so many years that they hold in special esteem those who backed them in their struggle. Support was the test of friendship. President Reagan was such a friend. His policy of aiding democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe in the dark days of the Cold War meant a lot to us. We knew he believed in a few simple principles such as human rights, democracy and civil society. He was someone who was convinced that the citizen is not for the state, but vice-versa, and that freedom is an innate right.

Billboard cartel says no to questioning Obama

"These people have a very strange sense of what is political and what is not," said Farah. "Apparently, support for Obama is not political, but questioning is – and it's also, by definition, misleading. It's scary that people like this are actually working as media professionals. They have no sense of standards at all. And they have no clue about the proper role and responsibility of the media in a free and open society."

Farah points out the OAAA claims to "advocate the use of outdoor advertising for political, editorial, public service and other noncommercial messages." Yet, he says, "If that message is one they disagree with, all bets are off. If that message is one that might potentially compromise their ability to seek favors from government, all bets are off. If that message is one that is not 'politically correct,' then all bets are off."

Overhauling The Financial Regulatory System - John Stossel's Take

...it is ominous that a bright guy like Obama doesn't know this. He thinks he must regulate the system because it is so complicated and so important. In fact, those are the reasons why he cannot regulate it and had better not try. The relevant information is too ever-changing and widely dispersed.

New Google Phone Still Lacking Must-Have Features, Pricing (GOOG)

The new gadget is nice-enough looking, and the Google software is better than a lot of the competition. But in the era of a $99 Apple (AAPL) iPhone and $199 iPhone 3G S, there's nothing here that makes this a must-have phone. Unless T-Mobile and Google do something radical -- such as offering the phone for $49 or free, or making monthly service much cheaper than $65+ a month -- it is not going to attract a whole lot of would-be iPhone buyers.

Google's Whitehouse.gov Privacy Policy Explained | Peter Kafka | MediaMemo | AllThingsD

Long version: After I wrote my story, I got a note from Daniel Brandt, who runs Scroogle.org, a nonprofit that tries to foil Google’s attempts to track its users’ online behavior. He contended that that Google was still tracking YouTube views on the White House site. “I just clicked on a video at whitehouse.gov…and the YouTube Flash code phoned home to Google about two seconds into the video,” he wrote. “Nothing has changed. What is Google/YouTube talking about?”

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 32% of the nation's voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-four percent (34%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -2. That’s the President’s lowest rating to date and the first time the Presidential Approval Index has fallen below zero for Obama.

Friday, June 19, 2009

VDH's Private Papers::Why I Oppose Judge Sotomayor

I particulalry liked this quote from Bork:

Judge Bork describes post-modernism as follows:

This development can be seen in any number of academic, previously intellectual fields. Sometimes called post-modernism or post-structuralism, the denial of truth is, as Gertrude Himmelfarb says, "best known as a school of literary theory. But it is becoming increasingly prominent in such other disciplines as history, philosophy, anthropology, law, and theology..." It is also becoming increasingly difficult to call some of those subjects "disciplines." In every case — the attack on reason, on the concept of truth, and on the idea that there is an objective reality to which we must attempt to make our words and theories correspond — the impetus behind such assaults comes from the political left. … Nonsense these attacks may be, but, as the history of our century teaches, there is no guarantee that nonsense will not prevail, with dire results. In law, philosophy, literary studies, and history, among other subjects, we are raising generations of students who are taught by the "cutting edge" professors that traditional respect for logic, evidence, intellectual honesty, and the other requirements of discipline are not merely passé, but totalitarian and repressive, sustaining existing social, political, and economic arrangements to the benefit of white, heterosexual males. To change society in radical directions, it is said, it is necessary to be rid of the old apparatus. (Slouching towards Gomorrah, pp. 268-9)

U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time


Facebook Taps Privacy Hawk as Lobbyist - washingtonpost.com

Do we need proof that lawyers are about making money, not causes. Even high minded liberty liberal ones.

Price Tag of Health Reform Bill Prompts Sparring and a Delay in Congress - washingtonpost.com

In a speech to the American Medical Association on Monday, Obama bragged that he had spelled out $950 billion worth of budget cuts and tax increases over the next 10 years -- an amount, he said, that takes "us almost all the way to covering the full cost of health-care reform."

But the independent CBO estimated that a draft bill by the Senate Finance Committee would cost $1.6 trillion, a figure that Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) described as "a jolt of reality."

That reality can be nasty stuff.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Microsoft Says New Google Tool Interferes With Outlook Software - WSJ.com

Responding to the comments more so than the article itself...

Sorry, but while I agree with your frustration, I can't in the slightest agree with your explanation for the cause. I take issue with the two other responses to your message so far too. Some examples:

When Microsoft was the upstart company their word processor was good, but not great. As they worked to improve it to compete with the then dominant Wordperfect it had the amazing ability to read and write almost any type of word processing file from any vendor. They also (in a letter from Bill Gates) proclaimed that the operating system should provide open standards for interaction between all applications programs and the hardware (printers, scanners, disk drives) that previously had required each separate application to cooperate with. This is in fact what operating systems are supposed to do. Up to an including Windows NT, Microsoft put a lot of effort into writing and testing drivers for all then extant hardware.

After Windows NT though, things changed. Windows, now the de facto standard of the US government became the arbiter of what new devices users would have easy access to. The Windows-compatible branding program put the onus back on the hardware vendors to be compatible with Windows rather than the other way around. Only that Windows standard has been an intentionally moving target since then with each new version breaking compatibility with whatever came before, at each stage giving Microsoft applications and Microsoft partner hardware an unfair advantage, and inconveniencing users who sometimes were quite happy with hardware made by now defunct vendors.

The Microsoft lock on big government has made them almost invulnerable to competition no matter how poorly their products perform (and by that I mean performance, bugs, security, etc.).

The one company that Microsoft has partnered with (both on and off the books) is Intel and it is no coincidence that each new generation of Intel processors require a radically new version of Windows to work optimally (this is not true technically, but only from a marketing perspective) and each new version of Windows has performed sluggishly on all but the latest Intel processor. Our PCs have been blindingly fast from the mid 90s but you would never know it if you run Vista on anything but the latest systems equipped with more memory than the older systems can even be upgraded to.

This simply ISN'T the results of competition. Quite the opposite it is the results of one hardware company and one software company having completely unassailable positions in the marketplace.

How ironic it is that Microsoft, with a long list of competitors that they ruined by pulling the rug out from under them would now complain when it for once goes the other way. Cry me a river.

If you ever get a chance to speak to a Justice Department official who actually knows anything about computers, please ask them why they have allowed this travesty to continue. Also ask them what percent of their computers are running Windows and Office, and what they pay for it on a per seat basis. Of course maybe MS cut that particular department a deal to stay off the hook.

All I know is that technology would have advanced far faster if WordPerfect and Lotus 123 were still thriving and government offices could run Windows, OS/2, Linux and OS X and all the end-user applications would run on each of those systems. It's doable, as shown by Wordperfect that ran on just about any OS even after they had been reduced to a shell of their former self. It is Microsoft that has held you back, with the help of a few accomplices who all benefited from the arrangement.

Competition, which now rears its head with Google, is the cure for this disease, not the cause of it.

Apple, while I applaud their inroads into the Microsoft monopoly, such as they have been, isn't a whole lot better. They thrive in the shadow of Microsoft by excelling in areas that MS simply can live without. I would love for them to make a run at the entrenched government installed base and provide a credible alternative to Office as well. You'll notice they show no interest in doing such a thing and Microsoft only dabbles (Zune) in areas where Apple is strong. Google is a threat, why?, because so far they have not sent signals that they will join in this dance. So far anyway, and I hope they stick to it.

The Lost World - Google Books

Swollen gas-bags!

(a description of the MSM in 1912. Things have only gotten worse.)

George F. Will - New Bill, More of the Same: Protecting Big Tobacco - washingtonpost.com

Ironies abound. The February expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program is supposed to be financed by increased tobacco taxes, so this health care depends on an ample and renewable supply of smokers. State governments, increasingly addicted to tobacco tax revenue, face delicate price calculations: They want to raise their regressive tobacco taxes (smokers are disproportionately low income and poorly educated) to just below where smokers are driven to quit.

Governments cannot loot tobacco companies that do not flourish. In a 1998 settlement, 46 states conspired to seize $206 billion from companies selling legal tobacco products made from a commodity subsidized by the governments that subsidize treatment of tobacco-related illnesses. The dubious premise of the settlement was that smoking costs governments substantial sums. Actually, tobacco is the most heavily taxed consumer good (Rhode Island's tax is $3.46 per pack) and the accurate actuarial assumptions of public and private pension plans are that premature deaths of smokers will save billions in payments.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Walking the Censorship Tightrope with Google's Marissa Mayer - O'Reilly Radar

James Turner: Is Google Apps for Domains ever going to seamlessly integrate in terms of single sign-on with the rest of Google?

Marissa Mayer: We are working on that. In fact, they are building ways for people to sign on on other sites, and then Google apps using their Google account. So we are working on federating our log in. And yes, I think the answer is yes. It may take longer, and I'm not sure that the federation will come in the exact form that you want it, in terms of seamlessness. But we do see this as a priority. And we are working on it.

Can't happen soon enough.

Microsoft YouTube Competitor, Soapbox, Teetering | Peter Kafka | MediaMemo | AllThingsD

Microsoft is willing to burn lots of cash as it stubbornly pursues its Internet strategy–it lost a staggering $575 million on its online business in the last quarter alone–but even Redmond has its limits. The company is finally confessing that Soapbox, the would-be YouTube it launched in 2006, is no YouTube. And it doesn’t sound that enthusiastic about keeping it going.

Fired IG Calls White House Explanation 'Baseless,' Says He's Being Targeted - Political News - FOXNews.com

Facing bipartisan criticism for the firing, Obama sought to allay congressional concerns with a letter to Senate leaders Tuesday evening explaining his decision. In the letter, White House Special Counsel Norman Eisen wrote that Walpin was "confused" and "disoriented" at a May board meeting, was "unduly disruptive," and exhibited a "lack of candor" in providing information to decision makers.

"That's a total lie," Walpin said of the latter charge. And he said the accusation that he was dazed and confused at one meeting out of many was not only false, but poor rationale for his ouster.

We're getting used to being lied to without any protests by the MSM.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bezos: We've got issues with Google Book Search | The Social - CNET News

"We have strong opinions about that issue which I'm not going to share," Bezos said to interviewer Steven Levy at the Wired Business Conference. "But, clearly, that settlement in our opinion needs to be revisited and it is being revisited."

What? You have a copyright on your opinions too?

My problem with Amazon is that after they came out with the Kindle they acquired Mobipocket and on the homepage of that site are listed the "100 last arrivals", which it seems came to an abrupt halt on 2006-03-19. Fortunately there are alternate (and better) sources of public domain books in Kindle compatible format, but no thanks to Amazon, who would much rather direct you to moth-eaten hardcopies at their partner sites (used bookstores who pay Amazon for the privilege of selling through them).

I like the Kindle, but I don't like some of the self serving attitude that goes with it. Amazon can keep their strong opinions to themselves.

Obama blocks access to White House visitor list - White House- msnbc.com

"The Obama administration is fighting to block access to names of visitors to the White House, taking up the Bush administration argument that a president doesn't have to reveal who comes calling to influence policy decisions."

Same-o same-o

Monday, June 15, 2009

YouTube - Five Key Reasons to Reject Class-Warfare Tax Policy

YouTube - Beck & Byron York on the Firing of Inspector General, Gerald Walpin

Ask a Puerto Rican, But Don't Expect Much of an Answer - Reason Magazine

Arellano gave us his three biggest misconceptions about Orange County back in November 2008. And never forget Reason.tv's classic on "Hollywood's sick love affair with Che Guevara"

Cheney Responds to Panetta

So, Panetta was for a truth commission so Obama's "ambitious political agenda" would not be derailed? Imagine the reaction if say, Porter Goss had said something like that.

GOP 99% Socialist | Cato @ Liberty

My point in the New York Post piece is that the GOP needs to challenge Obama’s big spending agenda at a more fundamental level. They need to do some careful research, pick out some big spending targets, and go on the offense. Why not propose to eliminate the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development? Why not sell off federal assets, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, in order to help pay down the federal debt? Why not open up the U.S. Postal Service to competition?

Obama won’t agree to these reforms at this point, but they would hopefully open a serious national debate about reforming our massive and sprawling federal government. Ronald Reagan in 1980 and the congressional Republicans in 1994 didn’t win by splitting hairs with the Democrats over 1% of spending. They offered a more fundamental critique.

THE BONDHOLDERS - Who they are, what they lost

Daily Kos: Obama's Speech To The AMA

Are extremely long meandering speeches part of the DNA of leftists? You decide.

The inside story of the Conficker worm - tech - 12 June 2009 - New Scientist

Six days after the 1 April deadline, Conficker's authors let loose a new version of the worm via P2P. With no central release point to target, security experts had no means of stopping it spreading through the worm's network. The URL scam seems to have been little more than a wonderful way to waste the anti-hackers' time and resources. "They said: you'll have to look at 50,000 domains. But they never intended to use them," says Joe Stewart of SecureWorks in Atlanta, Georgia. "They used peer-to-peer instead. They misdirected us."

Gawker - CNN Debates Twitter's Relevance While Ignoring Important World Events Being Reported on Twitter - twitter

"On Saturday, as things turned from bad to worse in Iran as thousands of protesters took to the streets in anger to revolt against the sham election in that country, CNN, a cable news network that rose to prominence largely because of its reporting of strife in foreign lands, was virtually silent about the uprising on television and on the web. As pointed out by ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick, 'hours after Iranian police began clashing with tens of thousands of people in the street, the top story on CNN.com remains peoples' confusion about the switch from analog TV signals.'"

Sunday, June 14, 2009

YouTube Provides Better Coverage of Events in Iran Than MSM | NewsBusters.org

"If you are following the amazing events currently unfolding in Iran in the wake of their turbulent election, then YouTube will give you a much better sense of what is happening than the mainstream media. Yesterday, while the dramatic protests were unfolding, CNN held an extended forum on healthcare. The other cable news channels weren't much more enlightening in their coverage of events from Iran."

An Inconvenient Frost | The Real Revo

"Does global warming scare you? Has Al Gore made you nervous every time warm winter day? Does the possibility of an increase of one degree Centigrade over the next century keep you up at nights? If yes, you are worrying about the wrong things. One aspect of the AGW hoax is the argument that a little warming is a bad thing. In reality, warming has been a boon to human societies resulting in increases in health and populations throughout history. A little warming is unlikely to be much of a problem.

If you want to be terrified, imagine a hard frost five weeks earlier than normal across the growing regions of North America. Imagine a early September frost two years in a row. We aren’t talking about a new ice age here. Just imagine a few hours below freezing across the farm belt one night early in September. The destruction of crops would be devastating. Two years in a row would cause world wide famine. It is pretty easy to imagine a wide ranging frost a few weeks early. It has happened before. Could it happen again?":

For the second time in little over a year, it looks as though the world may be heading for a serious food crisis, thanks to our old friend "climate change". In many parts of the world recently the weather has not been too brilliant for farmers. After a fearsomely cold winter, June brought heavy snowfall across large parts of western Canada and the northern states of the American Midwest. In Manitoba last week, it was -4ºC. North Dakota had its first June snow for 60 years.

Power Line - What's Happening In Tehran?

According to our private phone conversations with people in Tehran, hundreds of parents have gathered by a police station in Yousef Abad, now known as Seyyed Jamal Aldin Asad Abadi, with their hands raised to the sky saying "Obama, please help us, they are killing our young children."

Yeah. Right. A reader at The Corner makes a cogent point:

Obama has squandered [strategic opportunities] by demonizing Bush and the Iraq war for years.

Imagine how powerful it would be for Obama (or, more likely, a surrogate) to be able to stand up and say to the Iranian protesters, "Under the USA, your neighbor Iraq held free and fair elections. The government of Iran went out of its way to demonize the US and undermine those elections. We are now seeing the results of that mindset come home to Iran as you are denied a voice by your government in your own elections. The US government stands behind all who seek free and fair elections."

Of course, he can't say that with any legitimacy because he has spent years putting down Bush and Iraq. This is a classic example of why partisan bickering needs to be toned down; it hamstrings the new Administration. So frustrating to watch.

The Meaning Of Bing (MSFT)

"Since next week is the Global Issue of Advertising Age, first a word about Bing's supposed connotations outside the English-speaking world. Maybe you've seen the endlessly tweeted Twitter meme, 'Bing means disease in Chinese,' which usually points to posts at either TechCrunch or the Brand Infection blog, both of which included an image of a 'Learn Chinese' fortune-cookie slip that translates 'bing' as 'disease.' Brand Infection asked, 'Does Microsoft not research the meaning before introducing a new brand? Or will Microsoft rebrand the product in China? Or did Microsoft never intend to market it there? Or does Microsoft not care?'"

Probably sharing research assistants with our State Department.

Megalomaniac Surprises World By Fixing Elections

"In the most Iranian elections, voters have been allowed to choose between candidates hand selected by the ruling mullahs and whose differences largely boil down to those who prefer to chant “Death to Israel” before “Death to America” or vice versa. In this set of elections, Ahmedinejad was faced with a popular former Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, who was in favor of reforms and closer ties with the West. While the election was expected to be close, the Iranian regime ignored its own election rules to quickly declare that Ahmedinejad had won in a landslide, providing numbers that even crooked gambling dens said were suspicious.

No doubt, President Obama is shocked (shocked!) to learn that someone he has personally offered to meet without preconditions and who has such close ties to world figures like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Vladmir Putin of Russia would stoop to rigging an election. Thank goodness our Dear Leader won’t let the minor issue of legitimacy get in the way of… more talk."

Conan O’Brien: Class Act and Worthy ‘Tonight Show’ Successor

"Comedy has gotten coarser today, as has society in general. This can be seen in the failed attempts at humor over Barack Obama. Too many liberal comedians will not mock him, and too many conservative comedians just echo the viciousness that liberal comedians directed at George W. Bush (although with much less ferocity and drool.).

Conan O’Brien has stayed above the fray. He is silly, and sometimes sophomoric, but he simply refuses to be mean. Even Triumph the Insult Comic Dog just wants somebody to poop on."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ousted AmeriCorps watchdog defends waste probe - Yahoo! News

"Obama's move follows an investigation by Walpin finding misuse of federal grants by a nonprofit education group led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is an Obama supporter and former NBA basketball star. Johnson and a nonprofit education academy he founded ultimately agree to repay half of $847,000 in grants it had received from AmeriCorps."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Official Google Enterprise Blog: Serena Software on switching from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps

"The overall move to Google Apps took all of six hours. We waited for the phones to ring, but all we heard was silence – in fact, we sat there playing meebo for quite a while – and still, nothing happened. We cut the cord all in one stroke to avoid the hassle of living in two environments at once. We made the switch globally, all in one day – and, due to the advantages of this cloud computing solution, we’ve never looked back."

snopes.com: Richard Lamm on Multiculturalism


Atomic Warfare - Cringely on technology

The problem with PC’s in general and netbooks in particular is that they aren’t very profitable for Intel campared to the good old days. Microsoft makes more profit from every Windows PC sold than does the PC manufacturer and LOTS more profit than Intel makes despite its massively dominant market share in microprocessors. And with Netbooks retailing under $400, compared to Microsoft Intel makes hardly any profit at all. So Microsoft has to die.

This is a huge change for Intel, which has for decades acted as Microsoft’s bitch, doing pretty much whatever Redmond demanded for fear of being written-out of the next Windows PC hardware spec in favor of AMD or even IBM. But that was the old Microsoft. The Microsoft of today isn’t nearly as powerful, whether they yet know it or not.

And this may back that up:

Linux To Be First OS To Support USB 3.0

Microsoft to discontinue MS Money | Beyond Binary - CNET News

"The discontinuation of Money is one of the more high-profile product cuts made in the wake of the company's cost-cutting efforts, which began in January. Microsoft said in March it was largely discontinuing its Encarta encyclopedia and has also scrapped its Windows OneCare antivirus product."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Whitacre Vows to ‘Learn About Cars’ as Chairman of New GM Board - Bloomberg.com

June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Edward E. Whitacre Jr. built AT&T Inc. into the biggest U.S. provider of telephone service over a 43-year-career. By his own admission, he becomes chairman of General Motors Corp. knowing nothing about the auto industry.

Not to criticize his selection (I don't know enough one way or the other), but if you look at the history of AT&T you will see that it was for most of it's history a monopoly until roughly 1984 when it was busted up into several smaller regional monopolies providing local phone service. AT&T then proceeded to flounder around either merging with other companies or spinning off parts of itself in a desperate struggle to survive as a non-monopoly company.

The regional bells, continuing to rake in unearned profits wisely sought to diversify themselves, going into publishing, cable TV, cellular, and even the furniture business. It would be at least very difficult to catalogue where all the monopoly money ended up, except to say that some of it, if not most of it, ended up wasted on dead-end products and projects. In the process all the baby-bells as they cam to be called went on wild rebranding sprees yielding meaningless names such as Verizon, Qwest and SBC (which might have stood for Southwest Bell Corporation at one time but just stands for SBC (nothing ) now).

I certainly don't know what Whitacre's real resume would look like, but he was at least NOT with AT&T during most of this time, but when AT&T re-merged with SBC in 2005 (AT&T as the company being acquired) he was head of SBC, not AT&T.

Someone else can figure out to what extent he was responsible for the success of what was still a mini-monopoly, I'm more interested in the principle than the individual.

The principle being, as someone put it recently, that most of these companies are not too big to fail, they are in fact too big to exist. I personally think that busting the AT&T monopoly was a good thing, particularly as it wasn't just a big company it was almost an extension of the government in its monopoly powers.

Now, in saving GM (and some banking and investment businesses), we are moving in the opposite direction, that of combining more and more businesses into government run monopolies (including offloading of Chrystler to the Italians so that we at Government Motors only have one remaining private company, Ford, to deal with). Of course we are told that all of this is only temporary. Problem with that is that temporary can turn into a very long time.

The two most likely outcomes are that GM will succeed, at the expense of the only other large American car company, ending real choice, or that through gross mismanagement, it will fail, leaving taxpayers with a big bill to pay and also leaving Americans with only one company to chose from.

Very little that is good can come from this, but our die has been cast, and I will not let those around me forget who (which voters that is) are the responsible parties. Before anyone protests, no, the Obama administration didn't cause it all, they have just provided the "punch line" that shifts our course from heading toward simple socialism to something much much more sinister.

For the real punch in the gut, we should all remember that none of these recent course changes can be corrected during most of our lifetimes, assuming we start correcting them in 2010, which is still doubtful considering new high school graduates know almost nothing about this country's history or how its government was designed to work. Congratulations to all of you who "won".

Web Surfing in a Wireless Network of Your Very Own | Katherine Boehret | The Mossberg Solution | AllThingsD

"The luxury of MiFi doesn’t come cheap. The device itself costs $100 with a two-year service agreement and after a $50 rebate. Two monthly plan options are available: $40 buys 250 megabytes with a charge of 10 cents per megabyte over that allotment; and $60 buys five gigabytes with a five-cent charge per megabyte of overage. Users who don’t want to mess with the monthly service plan can buy the device at its full retail price of $400 and pay $15 per 24-hour access period, which is called a Verizon Wireless Mobile Broadband DayPass."

Nice idea. Still too expensive (for me anyway), and besides, I rarely travel.

Asustek Vows to Out-Apple Apple - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

"So far, Acer’s model of selling cheap gear and following quickly behind Asustek has translated into higher sales for Acer. In fact, Acer now leads in netbook sales despite Asustek being the first to market with the products.

“Acer has a larger channel, and people know Acer more than Asus,” Mr. Tsang said. “That is the reality, and we need to face it. But we will keep running faster. They may pick up on our products after half a year, but then we will have another product and another one.”"

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

US Jobless Rates May Be Closer to 16%: Analyst - CNBC.com

Take the better-than-expected U.S. jobs report with a grain of salt, cautions Tim Mulholland, MD at China-America Capital Company. He tells CNBC's Martin Soong that there have been some prominent reports that suggest jobless rates are probably closer to 16%.

Use Microsoft Outlook with Google Apps for email, contacts, and calendar

McGurn: The Media Fall for Phony 'Jobs' Claims - WSJ.com

"Of course, the inability to measure Mr. Obama's jobs formula is part of its attraction. Never mind that no one -- not the Labor Department, not the Treasury, not the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- actually measures 'jobs saved.' As the New York Times delicately reports, Mr. Obama's jobs claims are 'based on macroeconomic estimates, not an actual counting of jobs.' Nice work if you can get away with it."

Obama Tells American Businesses to Drop Dead

U.S. firms have nonetheless prospered because our tax code allows a business to set up a subsidiary in a low-tax country. When that subsidiary earns profits, they are taxed at the rate of that country, and don’t face U.S. tax until the money is mailed home.

The economically illiterate partisan Democratic view is that this practice is unpatriotic and bleeds jobs from the U.S. The economic reality is that American companies use this approach to acquire market share overseas. The alternative is losing the business to foreign competitors.


So the question is, why does Obama advocate a policy that so flies in the face of everything that economists have learned? How could Obama possibly say, as he did last month, that he wants “to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens?” Further, how could Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner call a practice that top scholarship has shown increases wages and employment in the U.S. “indefensible?”

Monday, June 08, 2009

Ron Radosh - America’s Socialist Future: Martin J. Sklar vs. John B. Judis

More surprising for a man of the left, Sklar believes that “Bush has been one of our more effective and progressive-left Presidents in domestic and international affairs.” Sklar believes that Obama’s economic proposals are based on high-tax, protectionist and a slow-growth program. Bush’s in contrast, was based on a lower-tax, low-cost energy, “high-growth/job stimulus” program, and was not “ensnared in the green business/academia lobby agenda of high-cost energy,” which would work to both restrict economic growth and workers’ incomes.

Moreover, Sklar is concerned, as he writes, that Obama will make “central to his presidency” what he calls “proto-statist structures characteristic of fascist politics- that is, ’social service’ political organizations operating extra-electorally and also capable of electoral engagement,” that will lead to “party-state systems…in which the party is the state.” Thus, he notes that during the campaign, Obama favored armed public service groups that could be used for homeland security, that would tie leadership bureaucracies to him through the unions and groups like ACORN.

Year without a summer

"According to Long Range Expert Joe Bastardi areas from the northern Plains into the Northeast will have a 'year without a summer.' The jet stream which is suppressed abnormally south this spring is also suppressing the number of thunderstorms that can form. The ones that do form in areas of the Ohio Valley and West are forming in places with very cold temperatures which can lead to more electrified thunderstorms than normal this year."

msnbc.com:The presidential teleprompter

MSNBC finally develops a sense of humor about Obama.

Note though the reporter's inept use the the keyboard.

I guess on-air-heads aren't used to typing.

Bond-market rout lifts mortgage cost

"NEW YORK (AP) - The Federal Reserve announced a $1.2 trillion plan three months ago designed to push down mortgage rates and breathe life into the housing market.

But this and other big government spending programs are turning out to have the opposite effect. Rates for mortgages and U.S. Treasury debt are now marching higher as nervous bond investors fret about a resurgence of inflation."

You have to wonder also what the chilling effect is on GM bondholders getting the shaft is having on financial markets belief in the sanctity of contract law. Essentially the government is saying that "for the good of the country we can come in late in the game and change the rules on which everyone was playing...retroactively", and in the case of GM, not for sound economic reasons, but to please a voting constituency (special interest group).

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Confederate Yankee: Newsweek Editor Fellates God-President

From the comments I found this gem:

"It's hard wired into humans to believe. The lapdog media, along with academia and other elitists, have long since abandoned any faith that requires them to refrain from any carnal pleasure. So they substitute one of the popular superstitions, Astrology, LGM, Global Warming/Climate Change or Obamaism. They laugh at churchgoers and scorn any expression of faith while worshipping their little tin gods."

Internet Explorer 6 Forces Bing As Default Search Provider

"It appears that Bing is overriding the default search provider set by users of Internet Explorer 6. Several IE6 users have complained that since Bing launched, the search provided went from Google (which they set manually) to Bing. To makes things even worse, when the user tries to set the search provider back from Bing to Google, it doesn’t allow them."

He goes on to say that when contacted, Microsoft said it was a bug.

What a sense of humor these people have.

I wonder if the Justice department will laugh too.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Pelosi Still Receives CIA Briefings, But Won't Say If They're Truthful - HUMAN EVENTS

Pelosi was pressed by reporters on whether she continued to receive briefings and admitted that she is still receiving the CIA presentatoins. She refused to answer when this humble correspondent asked whether or not she believes intelligence professionals are still lying to her.

Google Goes to War - What's News Tonight

Pakistan as a country is as stable as Citibank, that is, bankrupt, doomed, aimless, too big to fail quietly. The civilian leadership is bootless, larcenous, devious, wholly false and cowardly. The military leadership is a cult of sadists, lunatics, paranoids and cynics. And this is to leave out what to make of the ISI with its hands on the nukes. There is no alternative to the Taliban except the devils in Islamabad. The Obama administration, following Colin Powell's rule, "You break it, you own it," -- now owns Pakistan.

BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Giant laser experiment powers up

This intense energy will be focused on a ball-bearing-sized pellet of fuel, ablating the surface and compressing the remaining material inwards.

"This process will create temperatures of 100 million degrees and pressures billions of times greater than Earth's atmospheric pressure, forcing the hydrogen nuclei to fuse and release many times more energy than the laser energy required to spark the reaction," said Dr Moses.

Sometimes you wish California were farther away. And it soon may be.

Pillars of Amazon's Success

Bezos calls the process "working backwards" from customer needs rather than a "skills-forward approach that says, 'We are really good at X. What else can we do with X?'" While useful, the skills-forward approach doesn't enable a company to develop fresh skills or capabilities. It becomes outmoded. "Working backwards from customer needs often demands that we acquire new competencies and exercise new muscles, never mind how uncomfortable and awkward-feeling those first steps might be," he said.

Major Bill Clinton Ally In Kazakhstan Uranium Scandal

"So... The former President takes an unknown mining executive to Kazakhstan, the guy gets a huge deal, and then just a few months later donates $31.3 million to the Clinton foundation. Maybe that's not so bad. After all, if the former President (who is a private citizen -- although his wife is secretary of state) helped hook us up on a sweet uranium mining deal, we'd probably show him several million worth of gratitude too.

But if the deal was illegal -- not just based on Clinton's connections, but on actually breaking the laws of Kazakhstan -- then it's another story for both Clinton and Mr. Giustra (and now, by extension, publicly traded Uranium One). Especially if the guy who sold the mines did so because he was hoping to get some political favors in return."

George F. Will - Have We Got a Deal for You at GM - washingtonpost.com

"Washington mandates that Detroit must build cars for which there is much less demand than Washington demands that there be. Then Washington tries to manufacture demand with a $7,500 tax credit for purchasers of the electric Chevrolet Volt, supposedly GM's salvation. So, GM is to be saved by a product people will not buy without a cash incentive larger than the income tax paid by 83.4 percent of America's families."

Friday, June 05, 2009

Ex-State official, wife accused of spying for Cuba - CNN.com

"The official also said it was unclear whether Myers acted for financial reasons, but a law enforcement official said the couple's primary motive was not money. The couple were 'true believers' in the Cuban system, the official said."

Barney Frank, Car Czar - WSJ.com

The latest self-appointed car czar is Massachusetts's own Barney Frank, who intervened this week to save a GM distribution center in Norton, Mass. The warehouse, which employs some 90 people, was slated for closure by the end of the year under GM's restructuring plan. But Mr. Frank put in a call to GM CEO Fritz Henderson and secured a new lease on life for the facility.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Ballmer Says Tax Would Move Microsoft Jobs Offshore (Update3) - Bloomberg.com

"Chief Executive Officer Steven Ballmer said the world’s largest software company would move some employees offshore if Congress enacts President Barack Obama’s plans to impose higher taxes on U.S. companies’ foreign profits.

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said in an interview. “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.”"

YouTube - Mad Avenue Blues

Me(to my local paper): Cancel my subscription.
Local Paper: But wait, we have all sorts of valuable content.
Me: Like what?
LP: National and International news, local sports scores, classified ads, police reports, obituaries.
Me: Reuters, AP, UPI, local teams pages, Craigslist, local police web page, … wait, you want me to pay for your paper to get obituaries?
LP: Uh, well, yeah!
Me: Cancel my subscription.
LP: Cents off coupons?
Me: Click.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

YouTube - Brian Williams says goodnight to President Obama

Well, I think I heard his heels clicking together, no "Mein Führer", but otherwise, yeah, I'd say this looked right out of an old German war film.

Venezuela Chavez says Comrade Obama more left-wing | Reuters

"Hey, Obama has just nationalized nothing more and nothing less than General Motors. Comrade Obama! Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to his right," Chavez joked on a live television broadcast.

During a decade in government, Chavez has nationalized most of Venezuela's key economic sectors, including multibillion dollar oil projects, often via joint ventures with the private sector that give the state a 60 percent controlling stake.

Which makes him more astute than just about 54 percent of American voters.

American Thinker: The Speech Obama should Give in Cairo

"Our hand is outstretched, but we are not unrealistic about the nature of the world. The animus between us is as much, if not more, the result of the doctrines of jihad and Islamic supremacism as it is a result of American policy. I am telling you today that we understand this, and will be acting accordingly. Ultimately a policy based on realism will be much better for both of us than policies based on the fantasies and half-truths that have hitherto prevailed.

Thank you, and may God bless you."

If only.

Sinatra - My Space

Paterson Blows a Whistle on the Stealth Candidacy of Andrew Cuomo | Politicker NY | New York Politics News, Reaction, and Analysis

"This is what the Cuomo 2010 insurgency looks like. He collects positive headlines as attorney general, drops hints about his political future without actually saying anything, puts in just enough public appearances to leave them wanting more. His task is to see to it that his poll numbers make him irresistibly attractive to a party that wants to make sure it has a winner at the top of the ticket, and to make sure that the members of said party know that that’s exactly where he wants to be."

Official Google Blog: Tour the homepages of your favorite celebrities

Headline should read: Google publishes pseudo home-pages of well known liberals.

They must have started with the invitation list for a Democratic fundraiser. It might be interesting if I thought that any of these people actually maintained their own page.

It's SO biased you kinda wonder if they weren't aiming to get it out before November.

Truly disgusting.

DOJ Probing Hiring Pact Among Top Tech Firms: GOOG, APPL, YHOO . . . - SiliconValleyWatcher

"The DOJ, under the new leadership of Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney, seems to be determined to find some type of anti-trust behavior by top US tech firms, especially Google. But this investigation seems to be clutching at straws. Even if true, it would probably not result in a criminal prosecution. The Deal Pipeline reports that the letters are in the form of a Civil Investigative Demand."

Once again, the Obama campaign did a lot of tough talk during the campaign and now find themselves hard pressed to turn those words into (substantive) action.

Might there be some collusion in this area? Sure. Is there likely to be a paper (or e-mail) trail no. Is it likely that some third, smaller, upcoming company is harmed by this in any way? No. In fact I'd say the smaller companies are blessed by the fact that these has-beens are doing all their job-hopping among the majors, dragging them down with their big salaries and small, re-cycled ideas.

There are so many ways that big business present a barrier to competition from smaller ones it could fill and encyclopedia. Instead they go after something nobody cares much about. In fact, any DOJ action in this area is sure to be a benefit to the Googles and Microsofts of this world.

We DO know that the DoJ and other agencies can't account for millions of dollars they spend each year. How about a scaled back accounting, just for IT expenditures:

(1) Every IT dollar spent on major vendors: IBM, Microsoft, Google, and the major Beltway bandits (they don't call them that for nothin').

(2) Publish the minutes (or best approximation) of every meeting DoJ purchasing people had with these vendors on pricing issues, delivery problems, etc., so that we can see exactly how you negotiate with these monopolies on purchases that taxpayers bear the brunt of.

I guarantee you if you can put enough information out there you won't have to pay anyone to track down problems with your own budget. And pairing back monopoly companies abuse of government spending will go a long way toward pairing back the monopoly power these companies have.

I dare ya.