Saturday, October 31, 2009

The John Batchelor Show :: Very Cool Climate Data - De-Brief

The UN climate pow-wow at Copenhagen approaches with the strangely irksome detail that there is no scientific, political, or philosophical agreement that mankind is the cause or even a factor in the recorded climate progression of the planet. The meaning of this confusion is that the behemoth Cap and Trade legislation in the Congress is suspect as junk science, hooey, a tricked up tax grab, and the parley at Copenhagen may have the credibility of the Red Queen's Justice Ministry.

Daily Times - Site Edition [Printer Friendly Version]

Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan: Hillary Clinton

* US taxes everything, and ‘that’s not what we see in Pakistan’
* Pakistan must start planning for challenges posed by population growth
* US secretary of state meets COAS

LAHORE: The leadership of Al Qaeda is in Pakistan, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

“I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to,” she added.

“Maybe that’s the case; maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know... As far as we know, they are in Pakistan,” Clinton told senior Pakistani newspaper editors in Lahore, AFP reported. “The percentage of taxes on GDP (in Pakistan) is among the lowest in the world... We (the United States) tax everything that moves and doesn’t move, and that’s not what we see in Pakistan,” she said.

Hillary leaves State Department, Joins Pakistani Bureau of Immigration.

Democrats' climate bill failure -

"Supporters of the climate bill passed by the House and the similar bill under consideration in the Senate -- including President Obama and Democratic congressional leaders -- say that the cap-and-trade approach would guarantee greenhouse-gas reductions. But this claim ignores the flaws inherent in both bills that would undermine even their weak emissions-reduction targets and would lock in climate degradation."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Kristiansen: Boeing's pick of South Carolina for 787 line should be 'wake-up call' for Washington state

House Republican Caucus Chairman Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, issued the following statement after Boeing announced it would put its second line for building the 787 in South Carolina, not Snohomish County.

"It's extremely disappointing that Boeing has chosen South Carolina over Washington, but not surprising at all. Boeing has been very critical of our state's difficult regulatory atmosphere. At the end of the day, it has to be able to compete successfully on an international scale, especially against Airbus. Instead of providing a level playing field, Washington has consistently put up barriers that make it difficult not only for Boeing to compete, but also for other employers throughout our state.

"It's been no secret that other states have been courting Boeing for years. Boeing has tried to make it work here. However, it has gotten to a point with unemployment insurance issues, regulatory burdens, business and occupation taxes, and recently, the governor being willing to consider tax increases, that Washington is no longer a place where Boeing can be competitive.

Yossi Klein Halevi: The Return of Israel's Existential Dread -

"Few Israelis took seriously the recent call by former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski to shoot down Israeli planes if they take off for Iran. But American attempts to reassure the Israeli public of its commitment to Israel's security have largely backfired. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent threat to 'obliterate' Iran if it launched a nuclear attack against Israel only reinforced Israeli fears that the U.S. would prefer to contain a nuclear Iran rather than pre-empt it militarily."

Big Labor’s Selfish Healthcare Motivation

"Labor complains about paying taxes to the government while pocketing union dues, in essence, an employment tax that gives workers the right to keep their job. Taxing hard working Americans is unfair, which is why people should not be forced to join a union.

The marginalized worker is being exploited, by unions, to further labor’s political agenda. Although unions have it right, health care shouldn’t be taxed, it is hard to take them seriously, as they have little credibility in the realm of free choice."

Fannie and Freddie’s Starring Role in the Housing Debacle

"It was an evolution that took years in the making. As HUD secretary, Andrew Cuomo boasted in one report in the late 1990s that the new mandates he was imposing on Fannie and Freddie to ramp up subprime lending “could be of significant benefit to lower-income families, minorities, and families living in underserved areas.”"

Net Neutrality For Campaign Donors

USA Today goes on to report that one top-level fundraiser apparently awarded with a plum job is Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski.

The paper reports that Genachowski raised more than $500,000 for Obama—which critics charge may have helped him “buy” a position that now puts him at the center of one of Washington’s most heated policy debates, namely that regarding net neutrality.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

House health bill clocks in at 1,990 pages - Jonathan Allen -

And for those who cry “read the bill,” beware. There are plenty of paragraphs like this one:

“(a) Outpatient Hospitals – (1) In General – Section 1833(t)(3)(C)(iv) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395(t)(3)(C)(iv)) is amended – (A) in the first sentence – (i) by inserting “(which is subject to the productivity adjustment described in subclause (II) of such section)” after “1886(b)(3)(B)(iii); and (ii) by inserting “(but not below 0)” after “reduced”; and (B) in the second sentence, by inserting “and which is subject, beginning with 2010 to the productivity adjustment described in section 1886(b)(3)(B)(iii)(II)”.

orkut Blog: Introducing the new version of orkut: fun new features, faster browsing, the same great friends

Hell hath frozen over!

Caveat: I still don't see the new interface, and most people will not until they open it up. At least this time the claim isn't that it is only available in Brazil and India.

I suspect this is far too little and far too late to have any impact on Facebook.

Recommendation to Google: Buy what's left of Myspace and Ask and add to your existing international Orkut base and give Facebook a REAL run for their money. Otherwise, this is no more than a respectable holding action, but a holding action none the less.

Simon Thulbourn - I'm getting better!

"It turns out, it's remarkably easy to register people as dead with Facebook, you need very little information and the person who you're killing off doesn't need to confirm that they aren't dead, all you need is:

Networks (not even all of them)
Date of birth
Their email address
A URL of an obituary that no one will bother to read (we'll come back to this)"

If Facebook was a grade school student and you were his teacher, you would write a note home to his mother saying that "Face needs to pay more attention to the work that he turns in. I know he is capable of doing better."


MSN Direct Support

"3. I just bought an MSN Direct enabled navigation device, what do I do?
MSN Direct service will continue to be available until 01/01/2012. New 12 Month subscriptions will continue to be offered through December 2010. If service beyond 01/01/2012 is a concern, please see your retailer for information on device returns."

What better example of a company that views it's customer as chattel. How dare they complain about having paid extra for a product that uses a service that will expire in a couple of years (and don't count on it working too well in the mean time by the way).

Message to hardware makers: don't "partner" with Microsoft!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Google's Free GPS Service Crushes Garmin, TomTom Shares (GOOG, GRMN, NOK, AAPL)

"Investors fled GPS-makers' shares today after Google announced it would offer free turn-by-turn GPS directions in its Android phones and as a service for other mobile phones, like Apple's iPhone.

Garmin shares dropped 17% and TomTom shares dropped 21%."


Google Public Policy Blog: Our response to the FCC on Google Voice

"We went to work on this fix because earlier this year, we noticed an extremely high number of calls were being made to an extremely small number of destinations. In fact, the top 10 telephone prefixes -- the area code plus the first three digits of a seven digit number, e.g., 555-555-XXXX -- generated more than 160 times the expected traffic volumes, and accounted for a whopping 26 percent of our monthly connection costs."

Sounds like Google is about to be hoist by its own Network Neutrality petard.

That didn't take long.

Governator in acrostic 'f**k you' outrage • The Register

Democratic donors rewarded with W.H. perks - Washington Times

"High-dollar fundraisers have been promised access to senior White House officials in exchange for pledges to donate $30,400 personally or to bundle $300,000 in contributions ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, according to internal Democratic National Committee documents obtained by The Washington Times."

Middle Class New Yorkers Fleeing State -

"Between 2000 and 2008, the Empire State had a net domestic outflow of more than 1.5 million, the biggest exodus of any state, with most hailing from New York City. The departures also have perilous budget consequences, since they tend to include residents who are better off than those arriving. Statewide, departing families have income levels 13% higher than those moving in, while in New York County (home of Manhattan) the differential was even more severe. Those moving elsewhere had an average income of $93,264, some 28% higher than the $72,726 earned by those coming in."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TARP Should Not Be Extended -

"The Troubled Asset Relief Program will expire on December 31, unless Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner exercises his authority to extend it to next October. We hope he doesn't. Historians will debate TARP's role in ending the financial panic of 2008, but today there is little evidence that the government needs or can prudently manage what has evolved into a $700 billion all-purpose political bailout fund."

Slush fund would be more like it. Those who make a living sucking down taxpayer funds are going to have a sudden dry spell (like the Cash for Clunkers programs but magnitudes larger). The expiration of these funds may in fact trigger the second dip, which given those in charge is seeming almost inevitable.

Administration officials blame shortage of H1N1 vaccine on manufacturers, science -

"Administration officials sought Monday to explain why so much less H1N1 flu vaccine is available than had been promised, blaming the manufacturers and the vagaries of science for nationwide shortages."

Why don't they get HHS officials on the assembly lines pronto to clear this thing up?

U.S. official resigns over Afghan war -

I wonder if eventually even the left will figure out why we didn't confine our war on terrorism to Afghanistan.

Probably not.

Monday, October 26, 2009

President Obama ties George W. Bush on golf - Patrick Gavin

President Barack Obama has only been in office for just over nine months, but he's already hit the links as much as President Bush did in over two years.

Rep. Visclosky and lobbying firm can be swift path to earmarks -

In rapid succession, the three-employee technology firm, NanoSonix, filed its incorporation papers in Skokie, Ill., and hired a Washington lobbying firm, K&L Gates, which boasted to clients of its close relationship with Visclosky. A week later, Visclosky wrote a letter of support for a $2.4 million earmark for NanoSonix from the House Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee.

"I understand how this can look from the outside," NanoSonix chief executive Sean Murdock said in an interview, describing his company's rush to get research funding to develop night-vision goggles. "My belief was we had to pursue government funding if this technology was going to see the light of day."


In Hollywood they can't write this stuff!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Japanese firms to develop small nuclear reactors

"Japan's major nuclear reactor manufacturers have begun developing small nuclear power systems for both developed and emerging countries, a report said on Saturday.

Toshiba Corp. is developing an ultra-compact reactor with an output of about 10,000 kilowatts and has started procedures for approval in the United States, the Nikkei business daily said."

Way to get ahead of the Al Gore crowd. (Soon nuclear will be the only legal form of power generation that is actually viable.)

Open Commission Meeting – October 22, 2009 -

Here is the website for the Network Neutrality "rulemaking" that everyone is so excited about.

Here you can download copies of the 5 voting members statements on the subject. But I found only one that contained any substance that reflected actual knowledge of the subject matter rather than just platitudes. Is it hard to guess that he was a dissenting vote?

Here is a direct link to his PDF (they are a bit hard to find in the "Scribd" muddle, but the links are above the articles as displayed.):

Some excerpts:

Furthermore, as we go forward, I hope we can explore the differences between discriminatory conduct and anticompetitive conduct. The public interest would be better served if the debate would focus more on this dichotomy. During the course of this debate, many have confused the important difference between discriminatory conduct and anticompetitive conduct. But the reality is that the Internet can function only if engineers are allowed to discriminate among different types of traffic. The word “discriminate” carries with it negative connotations, but to network engineers it means “network management.” Discriminatory conduct, in the network management context, does not necessarily mean anticompetitive conduct.

For example, to enjoy online video downloads without interruption or distortion, consumers expect video bits to be given priority over other bits, such as email bits. Such conduct is discriminatory, but not necessarily anticompetitive. If discriminatory conduct were to become anticompetitive conduct, then could it not be addressed in the context of competition and antitrust laws? While today’s Notice provides an opportunity to comment on the applicability of such laws, I hope that the record will contain a relevant market analysis before we venture further. Without a finding of a concentration of market power and abuse of such power in the broadband market, additional regulation is likely not warranted.

In fact, just over two years ago the Commission launched an inquiry into the state of the broadband services market. We cast a wide net in an effort to harvest evidence of fundamental market failure, and we came up empty. Similarly, after a lengthy and thorough market analysis, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report on the state of the broadband market just 27 months ago. In a unanimous and bipartisan 5-0 vote, the FTC strongly cautioned against imposing Internet regulation, saying:
[W]e suggest that policy makers proceed with caution in evaluating calls for network neutrality regulation …. No regulation, however well- intended, is cost-free, and it may be particularly difficult to avoid unintended consequences here, where the conduct at which regulation would be directed largely has not yet occurred. … Policy makers should be very wary of network neutrality regulation.

What tectonic market changes have occurred since the 2007 FTC report that would warrant a change in policy? Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Brand X, 4 we have been busy taking broadband services out of the common carriage realm of Title II and classifying them as largely unregulated Title I information services due to market conditions.5 So an important question to ask might be to what degree would a lack of a change in market conditions threaten the viability of any new regulations on appeal?
Emphasis mine, answer: Election of a collectivist President.

Obama vs. The American Businessman

This is, of course, the Obama Cosmotology. The private sector is largely populated by devils, who are self-oriented, concerned about personal gain, and unconcerned about others. The government, on the other hand, is made up of people bathed in altruism, whose only concern is you. Thus it is quite easy for Obama to recall the divide between the private and public sector as “enemy lines” even though he would never call the Iranian Mullahs, Hugo Chavez, or Vladimir Putin an “enemy.”

Saturday, October 24, 2009

New York suspends mandatory flu shots for health workers -

"The federal government had told states that, by the end of October, an estimated 120 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine would be readily available, according to Paterson and Daines. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have only about 27.7 million doses of the vaccine at month's end."

Of course I'm sure the fed's estimates on the economy are right on target.

Friday, October 23, 2009


"Does the nation with the world’s second-largest reserves of oil really need nuclear power to turn on its lights? Or is Iran so green that it can’t stand to contribute to global climate change?

That our secretary of State is naïve and inexperienced enough to fall for this line is incredible. That she might have been president is worse. And that the real president may be falling for it, too, is beyond worse."

Does Father of Linux Favor Windows 7? - PC World

"So how do you explain a picture of Linus Torvalds giving a thumbs up to Windows 7 in Japan?"

You go to the link of course.

Net Neutrality, Slippery Slopes & High-Tech Mutually Assured Destruction — Technology Liberation Front

One can imagine how some might use such language to accuse Google of being in “a dominant cloud computing position” such that “the context of network neutrality” will be applied to cloud service (like Google Voice) to “modify the existing balance between regulatory and market forces” through regulation. Indeed, that’s precisely what AT&T has suggested in recent letters (September 25th and October 14th) to the FCC.

AT&T’s partner Apple has already been the subject of such attacks for its decision to block the Google Voice app earlier this summer. The incident marked the beginning of open warfare between Google and AT&T/Apple. The FCC quickly jumped into the mix, first questioning how Apple manages its iTunes apps store for the iPhone, then questioning how Google runs its free Voice application. What legal authority the FCC has over either service is far from clear, but Apple seems to have gotten the message: It recently approved the Spotify music streaming app for the iPhone, which could be a serious competitive threat to the iTunes music store. This small incident highlights how easily regulators can impose their will through informal mechanisms like open-ended investigations even without clear authority to issue rules or bring enforcement actions. Yet none dare call it what it is: regulatory blackmail.

YouTube - Monty Python's The life of Brian - I want to be a woman

In response to Global Warming, Health Care, and other current "initiatives":

Google chief favors net neutrality but is wary of government regulation of Web -

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt favors net neutrality, but only to a point: While the tech player wants to make sure that telecommunications giants don't steer Internet traffic in a way that would favor some devices or services over others, he also believes that it would be a terrible idea for the government to involve itself as a regulator of the broader Internet.

"It is possible for the government to screw the Internet up, big-time," he said. Google is strong enough as a company to weather any possible outcome on the issue, he said. But what he worries about "is the next start-up."

A little late to be worrying about that now in my opinion. We have a hypothetical law that has only been violated a few times, if at all, but will now serve as yet another excuse to expand the federal workforce. Those newly enfranchised enforcers of the law are going to be looking diligently for law breakers. And if they can't find any they will happily make the law more stringent until they do find some.

Mr. Schmidt now sheds crocodile tears for start-ups after campaigning for a President that would secure Google's position as a major Internet force (and I say this as a fan of Google, so far).

Once these "rules" are in place there will be no going back to a time when the feds kept a "hands-off" stance in how the Internet was run.

Messrs Schmidt and Cerf have help push this concept to fruition through the election of a President that is technology minded in only the most superficial of ways. It is not only possible for the government to "screw the Internet up big-time", thanks to your politicking, it's almost inevitable at this point.

You've made your bed (and ours), now we all have to lay in it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Battle Of The OS Titans -

"Like Henry Ford's famous line about the Model T car, 'you can have any color you want as long as it's black,' so it has been with operating system choice, with Windows being the default for most of us."

Poll: Americans' belief in global warming cools �|

"'Perhaps the most interesting finding in this poll ... is that the more Americans learn about cap-and-trade, the more they oppose cap-and-trade,' said Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who opposes the Senate bill and has questioned global warming science. Republicans in general have grown even more steadfast in their opposition. A majority — 57 percent — now say there is no hard evidence of global warming, up from 42 percent last year, according to the poll."

George F. Will - $250 COLA substitute reflects entitlements culture gone wild -

"Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe is being beatified as the incarnation of bipartisanship because, of the 217 Republican senators and members of Congress, only she cast a vote for a Democratic health-care addition to the nation's Ponzi entitlement structure. Yet in 2005, she opposed a Republican plan for shaving just $10 billion from government health-care entitlements over 10 years. If, as seems probable, she would have opposed the health-care bill she just voted for if Republicans had proposed it, does that devalue her version of bipartisanship?"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Grating Communicator - HUMAN EVENTS

"Remember, Keith, like his MSNBC colleague Contessa Brewer, majored in 'communications' in college, not a research-related field, such as political science. In his coursework, he learned such skills as: Dramatically Turning to Camera, Hysterical Self-Righteousness, Pausing Portentously and Gravely Demanding Apologies/Resignations From Various Public Figures."

Official Google Blog: RT @google: Tweets and updates and search, oh my!

That didn't take long.

Democrats Plan to Strip Sustainable Growth Rate Formula from Health-Care Reform -

"Like other industry lobbies, Mr. Rohack seems prepared to trade away his members for a sack of magic beans. We agree that the SGR is a farce that nonetheless has very damaging effects on physician practices, but the least the AMA can do is use its political leverage for something more lasting than a 10-year promise that is bound to be revoked when ObamaCare's costs run off the rails."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Official Google Enterprise Blog: Guest post: Australia's Mortgage Choice goes Google

"Even now, as we roll out to the rest of the organization, we're seeing immediate benefits outside the original project focus of Mail, Calendar and Chat. Users are adopting other Google Apps, such as Google Docs, for collaboration in real time with co-workers and business partners. They're building forms based workflows for their business processes, and have used Google Sites and Google Video to deliver specific on-demand training websites and online manuals.

This innovation is taking place organically at the initiative of users and without the requirement for traditional IT involvement or assistance. Furthermore, it has come at no additional cost and at a pace chosen by the initiators."

Apple Updates Mac Lineup, Announces Multitouch “Magic Mouse” | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

"The Apple (AAPL) store went offline Tuesday morning and when it returned (I’m referring to the French site, here), it did so with a groaning board of new hardware — a new range of aluminum and edge-to-edge glass iMacs, new Mac Minis, a 13-inch Unibody Polycarbonate MacBook and a wireless, multitouch “Magic Mouse”."

IBM and Canonical team up against Windows 7 | Software, Interrupted - CNET News

IBM and Canonical, the commercial entity behind Ubuntu Linux, on Tuesday are launching a combined cloud and Linux desktop package designed for Netbooks and low-end PCs.

For those of us still waiting for Linux to hit the desktop, this type of packaging may be exactly how the move from Windows starts to pick up steam.

A very lucky universe | John Gribbin | Comment is free | The Guardian

"This theory suggests there are many – perhaps infinitely many – universes, some more or less like our own, some very different. This is not an idea confined to science fiction; it is respectable scientific speculation. Such universes are thought to exist in their own sets of space and time dimensions, and include worlds where key turning points in history, such as the Battle of Hastings, turned out differently from the way things happened in our world. The physicist Hugh Everett proved half a century ago that this 'many worlds' idea is completely compatible with everything we know about the way the world works, and is a natural feature of quantum physics."

I'm booking passage to the universe where Obama lost the election (because the electorate wasn't getting its news from late night comedy shows).

Monday, October 19, 2009

Big Government » Blog Archive » The Pork Report: October 19, 2009

"No punishment for National Park Service employee, paid $145,000-a-year, who used his government computer to view thousands of sexually explicit images?"

$2.3 million in federal stimulus money is going to pay for Tampa Bay area beauty school tuition - St. Petersburg Times

More than $2.3 million in federal economic stimulus grants have gone to eight Tampa Bay area cosmetology and massage schools to pay tuition for the hairdressers, masseuses and nail technicians of tomorrow.

That's swell news for those who see the beauty trades as a way to gain a firmer footing in the job market. But is there truly demand for more beauty school graduates at bay area salons?

Not really, said Monica Ponce, owner of Muse The Salon in Tampa.

"Instead of encouraging more people to go to beauty schools," Ponce said, "they should probably help the stylists who are unemployed."

CNBC, Reuters fall for climate hoax

"In a story posted Monday morning, Reuters declared: “The Chamber of Commerce said on Monday it will no longer opposes climate change legislation, but wants the bill to include a carbon tax.”

Reuters updated the story to acknowledge the hoax, but it was too late: The Washington Post and the New York Times had already posted the fake story on their Web sites."

Garry Kasparov: Russia Worries About the Price of Oil, Not a Nuclear Iran -

"If the U.S. is serious about preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, then Mr. Obama must get to the point and state the penalties unequivocally. Repeating over and over that it is 'unacceptable' has become a joke. For more than 10 years a nuclear North Korea was also 'unacceptable.' If Mr. Obama says the U.S. will do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon, then we will see if Tehran blinks. At a minimum, the White House should publicly promise that any attack on Israel with weapons of mass destruction will be treated as an attack on American soil and urge NATO to make a similar commitment."

White House boasts: We 'control' news media

President Obama's presidential campaign focused on 'making' the news media cover certain issues while rarely communicating anything to the press unless it was 'controlled,' White House Communications Director Anita Dunn disclosed to the Dominican government at a videotaped conference.

It gets worse from there.

Hillary Clinton suffers ‘mis-speaking’ relapse with Belfast bomb claims - Times Online

'nuff said.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

George F. Will - Claims on Job Situation Foreshadow Election -

"Today, Washington routinely speaks of trillions, as in: This year's trillion-dollar deficit. And the $9 trillion in projected deficits over 10 years. And the upwards of $1.8 trillion that Baucus's '$829 billion plan' would actually cost in the first 10 years (2014-23) in which its provisions would be fully operational. But the number from which Washington flinches is precisely 999,999,999,997 less than a trillion. It is: 3."
Don't miss the punch line on this one.

Verizon Droid Is The Real Deal -

"The Droid poses a different and more significant challenge to the iPhone than any other phone to date. The Palm Pre could have been that challenger, but it lacked the Verizon network, and users were unimpressed with the hardware. According to people who've handled the device, the Droid is the most sophisticated mobile device to hit the market to date from a hardware standpoint. When you combine that with the Verizon network, you've got something that is most definitely a challenger to the Jesus phone."

Peggy Noonan: There Is No New Frontier -

"People who oppose a health-care overhaul are not in love with insurance companies. They're not even in love with the status quo. Everyone knows the jerry-built system of the past half-century has weak points. They just don't think the current plan will shore them up. They think the plan would create new weak points and widen old ones. They think this because they have brains."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Does the Vaccine Matter? - The Atlantic (November 2009)

The results were also so unexpected that many experts simply refused to believe them. Jackson’s papers were turned down for publication in the top-ranked medical journals. One flu expert who reviewed her studies for the Journal of the American Medical Association wrote, “To accept these results would be to say that the earth is flat!” When the papers were finally published in 2006, in the less prominent International Journal of Epidemiology, they were largely ignored by doctors and public-health officials. “The answer I got,” says Jackson, “was not the right answer.”

Friday, October 16, 2009

Obama Barred Constitutionally From Accepting Nobel -

"The award of the peace prize to a sitting president is not unprecedented. But Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson received the honor for their past actions: Roosevelt's efforts to end the Russo-Japanese War, and Wilson's work in establishing the League of Nations. Obama's award is different. It is intended to affect future action. As a member of the Nobel Committee explained, the prize should encourage Obama to meet his goal of nuclear disarmament. It raises important legal questions for the second time in less than 10 months -- questions not discussed, much less adequately addressed anywhere else."

OSFA Case Study - NSA

"The NSA found it was spending too much money to acquire software that was quickly obsolete. It was dependent on a handful of companies who had every reason to lock the NSA into their platform. What's worse, the private sector had no ready access to this technology that could be enormously helpful in the war against hackers and viruses.

Stephen Smalley at the NSA had a new approach. He knew that if he could solve the MLS problem with open source software, it would
simultaneously reduce the cost of the software, open the field to new innovations, and make the technology available to the private sector. In one stroke.

So Smalley and his team did something unprecedented: they took their proof of concept and released it to the world as a project called
SELinux. It began as a set of changes to the open source Linux operating system, but soon it was completely integrated. What was once expensive and proprietary was now available to millions of Linux users and developers at no charge."

OSFA - About Open Source for America

"Open Source for America (OSFA) is an effort to raise awareness in the U.S. Federal Government about the benefits of open source software. We hope to encourage the government's utilization of open source software participation in open source software projects, and incorporation of open source community dynamics to enable transparency."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Power Line - Rush Is Out

"A final observation, perhaps too obvious to require saying: It's no coincidence that Democratic Party outlets like CNN had to dredge up fake quotes to make their case. Nothing Rush actually said would do the trick, even though he's been on the radio three hours a day, five days a week, for more than twenty years. That really tells you all you need to know."

The Rush Limbaugh media lynch mob – Telegraph Blogs

"The irony is, of course, that the people reporting this as fact are the same types who are always denouncing bloggers and the internet as forces of evil intent on destroying proper journalism – proper journalism being the kind that involves checking facts. In the case of Rush Limbaugh, however, it seems to be enough that the intention (i.e. to show the talk radio host is a racist) is considered pure.

Even those who have been primary movers in spreading these malicious falsehoods – which would lead to payouts of hundreds of thousands in British libel courts if lawsuits were ever filed there – are brazenly unapologetic."

Republicans fail to stop Gitmo transfers into US

"Handing President Barack Obama a partial victory in his effort to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, House Democrats on Thursday repelled a Republican effort to block transfer of any of the detainees to the U.S. Instead, by a 224-193 vote, the House stood by a Democratic plan to allow suspected enemy combatants held at the controversial facility in Cuba to be shipped to U.S. soil—but only to be prosecuted for their suspected crimes."

Fox News: They Report, Obama Decides - HUMAN EVENTS

When it was learned that the reason for the administration’s animosity toward Fox News was based in part on the network’s coverage of Obamacare and Glenn Beck’s opposition to bringing the Olympics to the Chicago, Fox News’ Chris Wallace called Obama a “crybaby” and the battle began.

The last time such a war raged between the White House and a media outlet, Richard Nixon was President, and his V.P, Spiro Agnew, was doing all he could to blackball the New York Times over their unflattering coverage of the Vietnam War. This time, the war is between a President whose skin is at least as thin as was Nixon’s, but whose motives are far more self-serving.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Obama To Enter Diplomatic Talks With Raging Wildfire | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Obama To Enter Diplomatic Talks With Raging Wildfire

YouTube - Robert Reich: What An Honest President Would Say About Health Reform

Natural-Born Losers

The difficult choice Obama faces in Afghanistan is entirely of his own making, not his generals' and certainly not Bush's. It was Obama's meaningless blather about Afghanistan being a "war of necessity" during the campaign that has moved the central front in the war on terrorism from Iraq -- a good battleground for the U.S. -- to Afghanistan -- a lousy battlefront for the U.S.

At a D.C. Station, News Anchors Will Have to Run Their Own Prompters

"Instead of orchestrating coverage, fact-checking, handling breaking news, paying attention to the [newscast], engaging reporters, questioning authorities, covering bad writing and technical mistakes, anchors will now spend most of their time" running the prompter, said one newsroom employee, who asked not to be identified because he's not authorized to discuss the change. "It's kind of like a literal one-man band -- singing, banging a drum, crashing cymbals, playing a trumpet and strumming a guitar . . . except we're not playing show tunes here."

I have doubts that on-air "personalities" have done that for a very long time. If ever. We have Dan Rather as one of many examples. Then there's this bit:
Some at the station worry that such a roll-your-own system could increase the potential for on-camera blunders, as anchors fumble for the right spot in their scripts. They also say that viewers may notice some awkward cranking and pumping beneath the anchor desk.

I think the cranking and pumping might be the standard interfacing with the party of "change".

Obama's critical moment approaches | Salon

Another good one from Paglia:

"What you have described is the Orc-Urizen cycle, a pattern identified by the great Romantic poet and visionary artist William Blake after the French revolution. Blake saw every radical impulse toward freedom eventually ossifying and turning back on itself in a new oppression and tyranny. You are quite right to detect adolescent naiveté in many demands of white middle-class young people in the 1960s. We had been overprotected by our parents, who had suffered Depression and war for most of their lives and were determined to give us something better. Unfortunately, the result of this well-intended paternalism was a cultural banality and stifling conformism that the '60s tried to destroy by any means necessary. But it is still puzzling why that dissident generation so enamored of freedom would have drifted toward today's speech codes, thought control and ideological intolerance."

Obama's critical moment approaches | Salon

"The mainstream media's failure to honestly cover last month's mass demonstration in Washington, D.C. was a disgrace. The focus on anti-Obama placards (which were no worse than the rabid anti-LBJ, anti-Reagan or anti-Bush placards of leftist protests), combined with the grotesque attempt to equate criticism of Obama with racism, simply illustrated why the old guard TV networks and major urban daily newspapers are slowly dying. Only a simpleton would believe what they say."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Microsoft, T-Mobile Stumble With Sidekick Glitch -

"Microsoft Corp. said a technical snafu has likely caused the loss of contacts, photos and other personal data for users of the T-Mobile Sidekick, a mobile phone for which it supplies software and online services.

The foul-up is a major embarrassment for Microsoft at a time when the Redmond, Wash., company is seeking to turn around its mobile phone offerings, which have stumbled in recent years."

Does Snafu stand for something in the same way that FUBAR does?

Anyway, if your going to use Microsoft products make sure you don't have any of those pesky snafus lurking about. It's all the users fault of course. Don't call us (if you can), we'll call you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | What happened to global warming?

"The oceans, he says, have a cycle in which they warm and cool cyclically. The most important one is the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO).

For much of the 1980s and 1990s, it was in a positive cycle, that means warmer than average. And observations have revealed that global temperatures were warm too.

But in the last few years it has been losing its warmth and has recently started to cool down.

These cycles in the past have lasted for nearly 30 years."

T-Mobile Sidekick Disaster: Danger’s Servers Crashed, And They Don’t Have A Backup

"Wow. T-Mobile and Danger, the Microsoft-owned subsidiary that makes the Sidekick, has just announced that they’ve likely lost all user data that was being stored on Microsoft’s servers due to a server failure. That means that any contacts, photos, calendars, or to-do lists that haven’t been locally backed up are gone. Apparently if you don’t turn off your Sidekick and make sure its battery doesn’t run out you can salvage what’s currently stored on the device, otherwise you’re out of luck: Microsoft/Danger is describing the likelihood of recovering the data from their servers as “extremely low”."


Why Do Federal Workers Make Twice As Much As Private-Sector Workers?

Great comment left at this article (which is really just a pointer to another article.):

"The way it works in business (save for this atrocious bail-outs of the past year) is that some guys make millions and some go bankrupt and wind up with nothing. I have a company and its really up to me how much I want to take home or invest back into the company. If I screw up and take too much home then I'll be wiped out and out of business. But right now I'm trying to put my competition out of business. I'm hoping one day I can take home millions. The nice thing is that it doesn't matter to you what I do because you don't pay my salary.

My neighbor had a career in public education and takes home a $90,000/yr pension. Any investment guy will tell you you need to bank $1 million for every $20,000/yr you hope to have in retirement, without dipping into your equity. That means my well-paid employees have to save $4.5 million by the time they retire to match the school teacher next door. But I also happen to live in an area with a public pension system that is about to bust and so me and my employees are getting slammed with property taxes to pay my neighbor's public pension.

It does seem nuts to me what some Wall Street traders make a year, but I don't really care. It doesn't come out of my pocket and its none of my business. But I'm paying for all these gov't salaries and pensions and so it is very much my business what gov't workers get paid. If gov't workers don't like the pushback they're hearing, I have some good advice for them: quit. Start a company, but you better have a strong stomach for it. You can make a lot of money, but you won't know at the beginning whether you'll even survive six months. And as you're struggling and putting back the Pepto Bismal, think about all those public pensions you're working so hard to pay.

I do agree with you about the unions, and for that matter anyone working at a company that's now gov't owned."

Ryan Sager - Neuroworld – Obama, Peace Prizes, and Reciprocity - True/Slant

"Funny story: I was singing in the shower this morning, and Robert Gibbs called to tell me I’d won a Grammy. It was actually a little embarrassing, though, since all I’ve ever really done when it comes to music is tool around with a four track and some barely competent guitar playing. Still, I may have done more to deserve my Grammy than President Obama has done to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize."

The Billionaire Apparatchik - Reason Magazine

"The estate tax weighs heavily on those who have asset-rich businesses, typically family businesses that have taken years to break even and accumulate value. When the owner dies and the children take up the reins, the estate tax comes into play, sometimes costing as much as the business itself. The heirs are then forced to sell the business before losing any more money. This is how Buffett came to own Dairy Queen and the Buffalo News, among other businesses, as they were being sold at lower prices than their actual value. In the latter case, Buffett bought the paper for less than what it would wind up making him each year.

Beyond providing Buffett with a bumper crop of businesses to purchase, the estate tax also provides him with customers. Any financial advisor will tell you that the major component of a sound financial plan is composed of asset allocation, not blue chip trades on the stock market. And that is why they recommend you purchase some life insurance to shelter your money from large taxes such as the estate tax. And why not purchase that life insurance from Buffett's very own insurance company, GEICO?"

A Wicked and Ignorant Award -

"More deeply into the political life of the 20th century, there were Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, and their Peace Prizes were what they were. But each man had a body of work; each had devoted considerable time and effort to a great issue. It was always absurd that Ronald Reagan, whose political project led to the end of the gulag and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and who gambled his personal standing in the world for a system that would protect the common man from annihilation in a nuclear missile attack, could not win it. But nobody wept over it, and for one reason: because everyone, every sentient adult who cared to know about such things, knew that the Nobel Peace Prize is, when awarded to a political figure, a great and prestigious award given by liberals to liberals. NCNA--no conservatives need apply. This is the way of the world, and so what? Life isn't for prizes."

Friday, October 09, 2009

CBO Report on Baucus Bill -

Washington spent the week waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to roll in with its new cost estimates of the Senate health-care bill, and what a carnival. Behold: a new $829 billion entitlement that will subsidize insurance for tens of millions of people—and reduce deficits by $81 billion at the same time. In the next tent, see the mermaid and a two-headed cow.

Hire Americans First! - HUMAN EVENTS

Over 800,000 people quit the labor force in September. They packed it in. They stopped looking for work. That is six times the number who quit looking in August and five times the monthly average of those who have given up the search for work in the year since Lehman Brothers died.

Adding to the near 15 million unemployed those who have given up looking for work and those who have taken low-paying part-time jobs, the Times estimates the true employment rate at 17 percent. We used to call that a depression.

Charles Krauthammer - Obama Indecisive About Afghan Strategy -

That was more than five weeks ago. Still no response. Obama agonizes publicly as the world watches. Why? Because, explains national security adviser James Jones, you don't commit troops before you decide on a strategy.

No strategy? On March 27, flanked by his secretaries of defense and state, the president said this: "Today I'm announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan." He then outlined a civilian-military counterinsurgency campaign to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dangerous foods list includes leafy greens, eggs, tuna - Oct. 6, 2009

Leafy greens -- including lettuce and spinach -- top the list of the 10 riskiest foods, according to a study from a nutrition advocacy group released Tuesday.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest listed the following foods, in descending order, as the most risky in terms of outbreaks: leafy greens, eggs, tuna, oysters, potatoes, cheese, ice cream, tomatoes, sprouts and berries.

Remember that Woody Allen movie, "Sleeper" where all the common beliefs of the time turned out to be not true?

Maybe it really was a documentary.

Then... there... are these.

Debian -- News -- Robotic Submarine Running Debian Wins International Competition

This August, a team of 35 undergraduate students from Cornell University sank the competition at the 12th annual Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition, sponsored by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Office of Naval Research. The competition takes place in a large acoustic testing pool operated by the US Navy SPAWAR Systems Center. It calls for entries to pass through a gate, follow a path, ram a submerged buoy, fire through a square target with small torpedoes, drop markers into bins containing simulated targets, recover a PVC target and surface through an octagon shape, all without human intervention. The Cornell Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Team (CUAUV) took first place by completing the entire course at the competition, a feat not seen since MIT won in 2002. This was Cornell's first victory since 2003.

Cornell's vehicle, named "Nova", runs a custom software stack on top of a single board computer running Linux and relies heavily on Debian. "Debian works amazingly well for us," said Benjamin Seidenberg, CUAUV's new software team leader. "Not only do we use it on the vehicle, we also run it on the computers in our lab and our servers, and use it to develop our custom electronics." Seidenberg, who also handles IT issues for the team, said that they consolidated on Debian three years ago. "When I joined the team, we had computers running Windows XP, Windows Server, Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD and Gentoo. Now we've settled on Debian for the sub and the servers; our lab workstations dual boot Debian and Windows. It's a lot easier to manage, and it's great to be able to develop in the same environment that the submarine runs."

The team also uses other open source software on their vehicle such as OpenCV for image processing and libdc1394 for video capture. According to Arseney Romanenko, another member of the software team, these libraries are essential for doing vision processing in an embedded environment; they are fast and lightweight which translates into significant power savings.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

YouTube - Ben Stein - America's Education Crisis

White House's botched 'op'

OOPS! A crowd of 150 doctors gathers in the Rose Garden to support the health-care overhaul -- as White House staffers scramble to hand out camera-ready white coats to those who forgot their own.

The Associated Press: Democrats defeat GOP attempt to remove Rangel

"House GOP leadership spokesman Michael Steel said the attempt to remove Rangel 'highlights the Democrats' broken promises' for an open and ethical Congress.

'Obviously, given that House Democratic leaders haven't chosen to do the right thing, an important part of our strategy is to make sure the American people know they're trying to sweep these matters under the rug,' Steel said. 'The American people will certainly remember the Democrats' broken promises on these issues.'"

Botnet Statistics from the Security Labs team at M86 Security

Unless you are running Windows, there is no need to look at this.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Google Public Policy Blog: Open government and the Federal Register

"The Washington Post describes the Federal Register as the 'de facto daily newspaper of the executive branch.' Making the Federal Register available on is an important step towards making that newspaper more accessible to citizens across the country."

Monday, October 05, 2009

I, Cringely: The Cybersecurity Myth

So this is the wrong approach entirely. It won’t work, the DHS probably knows it won’t work (if they don’t know that, well God help us all) but they see it as better than nothing.

Then God help us all. I seriously doubt they know how ridiculous that 1000 number sounds or what a security expert is.

We are at the mercy of ignoramuses, and that is true (regardless of party affiliation) with each new Federal pronouncement on the subject (Network Neutrality fits into the mold as well).

These people are “true believers” regardless of whether they support limited government or an ever expanding one.

Of course if you want to posit that those at the top are fully aware of the situations and are simply putting on a show to retain their safe, well paying jobs** at our and our children’s expense while accomplishing nothing of true value, then I’d say the situation is far far worse.

** not to mention creating up to 1000 new ones for family and friends.

And from the link CNN article:

Department officials could not say precisely how many cyberexperts now work at DHS and its various component agencies such as the Secret Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Napolitano said she doubts it will be necessary to fill all 1,000 of the authorized positions, but she is focused on making DHS a "world-class cyberorganization."

I'm watching the gravitas bleed out of this administration at an alarming rate. Que episodes of the keystone Cops.

At least this Janet hasn't ordered the fire-storming of any fringe religious groups. Yet.

Sounds like 2% unemployment in the DC area is safe though. I'm sure the nation appreciates this.

Oh, then there's this:

The Department of Homeland Security today appointed a senior Microsoft Corp. executive to head a section charged with protecting the federal government's computer networks from cyber attacks.

Still, critics say DHS cyber efforts have been characterized by inefficiency and leadership failures. Amit Yoran, a former cybersecurity czar at DHS before he left the department in 2004 after little more than a year on the job, said Reitinger has some tough work ahead of him.

Yoran cited as an example the current status of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). Widely considered one of the most effective cyber components of DHS, Yoran said US-CERT has been ripped apart by years of political infighting and political stovepipes.

Oh, no business as usual there eh?

Don't miss the irony of hiring a former Microsoft employee (with vested options perhaps?) to look over security issues for a federal bureaucracy plagued with improperly installed and maintained Windows systems.

In congressional testimony his predecessor mentioned Windows issues multiple times. Maybe that's why he was compelled to leave. In any even all our federally installed malware will have nice generic designations now I'm sure. We don't want to hurt any company's feelings after all.

Finally, apropos of nothing other than federal incompetence in general:

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Now will Congress investigate ACORN? | Washington Examiner

Evidence continues to accumulate from far and wide that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now is lousy with corruption. The latest revelations come from Louisiana and Oklahoma. In the former, the local ACORN Housing Corp. office received contracts worth a combined $625,000 from the City of New Orleans for repairing existing low-income housing and developing new units in poor neighborhoods. The contracts were paid for with funds from federal Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. An investigation by the Pelican Institute think tank of New Orleans, however, found that no work was actually performed to fulfill the contracts. Worse, Pelican couldn't talk to the ACORN official managing the contracts because he had left the organization months ago. One more thing: The office address listed on the contracts for ACORN turned out to be a vacant lot, although new plumbing connections indicated a trailer had recently been located on the site.

YouTube - ABC's John Stossel Destroys/Pulverizes/Crushes Obama's anti-American 'Health Care' Plan

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Net Neutrality Will Increase Government Regulation -

So it turns out that Google's enthusiasm for government-imposed "net neutrality" is qualified. The Internet giant wants cumbersome network management rules applied to everyone—except Google.

Net Neutrality, like "health-care reform" and Global Warming initiatives have become religions. People are for them, without actually knowing what they consist of or what might fall out of them.

Google founders, like all libtards in modern academia have learned to question all that is traditional, while at the same time setting up new traditions that can't be questioned.

To put a positive spin on it, for the companies involved, I'd say that it's all about big companies encouraging new regulation to hold back the upstarts, and that is certainly true, in its effect.

But as religions, which these things have become they represent not competitive advantages, but a modern form of Luddism that simply desires a return to the "god old days" of five, ten, or fifty years ago (depending on your age).

Don't be surprised if Google (and other new companies) regularly act against their own best interest in the name of these modern replacements for religion.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Google Sidewiki entry by Mac

Bungholes perhaps?

in reference to:

"Why do Democrats in Congress want to change key laws that have helped to discover terrorist plots?"
- Michael B. Mukasey: Don't Weaken Our Terrorist Intelligence-Gathering Capabilities - (view on Google Sidewiki)


"The Pres is out of town, yipee, I can say stupid stuff and it will show up in newspapers. Yeeeeehaaaaa!

Hey, get a picture of me standing on my head...."



1749: Time for the announcement...

1748:... but first, the Olympic anthem!

1747: There is the envelope - still sealed from the earlier vote - and the announcement is moments away. Are you ready? Welcome to the stage IOC president Jacques Rogge..."

My Way News - CBS worker arrested in Letterman blackmail plot

A CBS News employee is accused of trying to extort $2 million from David Letterman, forcing the late-night host to admit in an extraordinary monologue before millions of viewers that he had sexual relationships with female employees.

I bolded the only thing I find interesting about this story. Letterman ceased to amuse me a long time ago and his dabbling interest in politics only makes it worse. But CBS News? I think it represents more of an embarrassment for them that they still have this sort of people working for them (now that Dan Rather is gone).

Thursday, October 01, 2009

L. Gordon Crovitz: You Commit Three Felonies a Day -

Boston civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate calls his new book "Three Felonies a Day," referring to the number of crimes he estimates the average American now unwittingly commits because of vague laws. New technology adds its own complexity, making innocent activity potentially criminal.

Mr. Silverglate describes several cases in which prosecutors didn't understand or didn't want to understand technology. This problem is compounded by a trend that has accelerated since the 1980s for prosecutors to abandon the principle that there can't be a crime without criminal intent.