October 31, 2007

The Left's Phelps Dilemna

I read a good number of center-right/conservative blogs on a daily basis. I also check out a number of center-left blogs as well. Among the sites I visited today, I noticed something of a trend. I don't think this is necessarily indicative of anything, but the list includes the more prominent blogs on either side of the aisle.

Almost every center right blog I have read has cheered the news of the $11 million verdict against the Westboro Baptist Church. Fred Phelps and his band of lunatic freaks have been protesting at the funerals of members of the military. They are protesting because they object to the U.S. policy of allowing gays to serve in the military.

A number of bloggers have cheered the verdict with sentiment that amounts to (if not outright stating it) "God Hates Fred Phelps."

The response to the verdict from the left can best be surmised as "       ."

I think silence may be the only response open to the left. On the one had the Phelps freaks are protesting gays being allowed to serve in the military. At a minimum this displays a staggering level of intolerance that not even the most intense sensitivity training could cure. They are protesting the inclusion of one of the left's favorite oppressed groups. This would normally have the left howling in fits of rage, but then again the Phelps freaks are protesting the military and a policy that even though put in place by their political god, Bill Clinton, is supported by the evil tyrants Bush and Cheney.

What is a good leftist to do?

What is a good leftist to say?

Apparently nothing.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:59 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 28, 2007

Government Sloth Leads to Death and Destruction

Here's a a few interesting nuggets gleaned from a New York Times article on the San Diego fires.

This pearl of wisdom comes right in the lead

As Californians sift through the cinders of this week’s deadly wildfires, there is a growing consensus that the state’s war against such disasters — as it is currently being fought — cannot be won.
I suppose if someone had to state the painfully obvious it had to be the Times. (Or they were just paraphrasing this.)

But it's not like there aren't people who understand the nature of the problem.
Fire-management experts like Professor Minnich, who has compared fire histories in San Diego County and Baja California in Mexico, say the message is clear: Mexico has smaller fires that burn out naturally, regularly clearing out combustible underbrush and causing relatively little destruction because the cycle is still natural. California has giant ones because its longtime policies of fire suppression — in which the government has kept fires from their normal cycle — has created huge pockets of fuel that erupt into conflagrations that must be fought.
California's current fire suppression policies are a large part of why they have large catastrophic fires. But according to the Times, government fire suppression policies that lead to larger more catastrophic fires are not the real problem.
The main problem is that many in California are ruggedly obstinate about the choice they have made to live with the constant threat of fire.
It's not the fault of the policies that result in the larger, more dangerous fires, it's the people whose homes are destroyed and who face death in the fires.

Might it not be a good idea to do something about the fire suppression policies that lead to these catastrophic fires before more homes are destroyed and more lives are lost? You would think so - if you're not part of the government in California.
Even state officials who are interested in change concede it could take a decade — and more catastrophic wildfires — before it happens.  [...]

The California state fire marshal, Kate Dargan, said discussions had begun at the highest levels of government on some of the toughest proposals: curtailing population growth on the wildland margins or a sweeping overhaul of how the public lands are managed for fire danger. But decisions are perhaps 5 to 10 years away because of the enormity and complexity of the task.

“In the meantime,” Ms. Dargan said, “we’ll have more people living out there, and if averages hold, we’ll have two more catastrophic incidents like this before the decisions get made.”

Two more catastrophic fires before the government of California can or will do anything about it. How do people out there find this acceptable?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:59 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 27, 2007

What Were They Thinking

I have spent the better part of the morning reading through a discussion thread about problems people are having with the upgrade to OS X 10.5. Apparently if you run the installer as a straight upgrade you can run into trouble with common system hacks from 10.4. The OS doesn't seem to be able to start with those hacks installed.

This has a number of people rather ticked off at Apple. Like it is somehow Apple's job to make sure that every little "OOOH Neat" system enhancement they might download is compatible with every upgrade they produce.  I can understand their frustration that it doesn't work though.

The install DVD does have an archive and install option that eliminates the issue because all of the crap added to 10.4 is archived. I understand that this option might not work for some, because it requires a good deal more available disc space that they just might not have.

But what I cannot understand is what would make a person think that inserting the install DVD for a major system upgrade and hitting the go button on a system for which they have no back-up is a good idea? There was one guy in the thread who had no back-up of 50 GB of data that he would be "seriously screwed" if it were lost.

Applications you can re-install. Settings and preferences you can rebuild. You can't go back and retake that photo. Don't have a handy external drive to back up on? Go out and buy a pack of CDs and make copies of the stuff you can't recreate and don't want to lose.

Otherwise stop whining. Idiots.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 11:04 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 23, 2007

Common Ground

A shudder ran down my spine when I found myself in complete agreement with most of what the comments at the Daily Kos had to say about Rep. Pete Stark's apology.

Unlike the Kosmonuts I think the apology was called for. But like them I think Congressional Democrats are pack of useless weenies and their leadership is nothing but a duplicitous, corrupt cabal of self-aggrandizing twits.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:18 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 20, 2007

Missing Links

Since I migrated this site from the old Mu.Nu Movable Type installation to the new better goodness of the Mu.Nu Minx installation, some of the old posts are busted. Images aren't loading and links to other HTM posts don't link.

As I have time and motivation I'm fixing things. But there are 1395 posts going back to August of 2003. For now I keep checking the referral logs and seeing if there are images being searched for and making sure those are working. Eventually I'll start going through the archives and fixing links and images.

Eventually.

Also, the software I used to use to write posts, Ecto, does not currently work with Minx - thought it will one day. Aside from just being a great work environment for blogging, Ecto generated those email notices of new posts that some of you have grown used to receiving. Without Ecto I have been generating those emails manually. I'm too damn lazy to keep doing that so until I can go back to Ecto the emails are stopping.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 03:53 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


Every Site on the Web Illegal

Some people annoy the hell out of me because they are stupid. Some people annoy the hell out of me because the are obnoxious. Then there are those who do both.

I read about this law firm that specializes in internet law in a brief post at Overlawyered. These guys really annoyed me. They hold a copyright on the internet. Here's a little snippet (copied under Fair Use) from their "User Agreement."

Dozier Internet Law, P.C. has a lot of intellectual property on our site. For instance, we are the creators of all of the text on this website, and own the “look and feel” of this website. We also own all of the code, including the HTML code, and all content. As you may know, you can view the HTML code with a standard browser. We do not permit you to view such code since we consider it to be our intellectual property protected by the copyright laws. You are therefore not authorized to do so. In addition, you should not make any copies of any part of this website in any way since we do not want anyone copying us. We also do not allow any links to our site without our express permission, except that you must maintain the link in our Copyright Infringement Warning Button as it is designed. The name “Dozier Internet Law, P.C.", and similar derivatives of it, constitute our trademark and servicemark, and should not be used in any manner without our permission.
Let's have a little fun breaking that down shall we. (Please keep in mind that I am not a lawyer and anyone who takes anything written here as legal advice is the subject in the first sentence of this post.)
Dozier Internet Law, P.C. has a lot of intellectual property on our site. For instance, we are the creators of all of the text on this website, and own the “look and feel” of this website. We also own all of the code, including the HTML code, and all content.
First follow the link and take a peak at the "look and feel" of their site. This is just my opinion, as a professional designer, but I don't think they have to worry too much about people copying that. It looks like they bought some html editor and picked the ugliest template available, changes the colors an called it their own. Though I suppose it is possible that they sat down with a text editor and hand coded something that awful.

They get into there area of grandiose hubris with their claim that they "own all of the code, including the HTML code." (emphasis addeed)

Without their express permission and in violation of the User Agreement, I viewed the source code for their site and was alarmed to discover that I was apparently using some of their code on my site. In fact, aside from their site specific content, I have probably used a substantial portion of the html that they own.

I'm not suggesting that you go to Dozier Internet Law, P.C. and view their source code without permission, but you should consider your own liability. If your site uses HTML you are probably using code that they own.

I'm going to start doing a little research to see if I can find an alternate coding language to build my site with. One that does not violate the intellectual property rights of Dozier Internet Law, P.C.. I think if I can show in court that I did not know that I was using html that Dozier Internet Law, P.C. owns and that I have been trying to learn, or if necessary create, another language to code my web page I may be able to avoid liability.

Something tells me that I might need a good lawyer.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:00 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


October 19, 2007

1... 2.... 3.... Pull

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed went to the Senate floor today, walked up to his own petard, and issued the command to hoist.

When I spoke to Mark May he and I thought this probably wouldn't make much money, a letter written by democratic senators complaining about something. This morning, the bid is more than $2 million for this. We have watched it during the week. It keeps going up-and-up and up. There's only a little bit of time left on it. But it certainly is going to be more than $2 million.

Never did we think that this letter would bring money of this nature.

And, for the cause, madam president, it is extremely good.

Now, everyone knows that Rush Limbaugh and I don't agree on everything in life and maybe that is kind of an understatement. But without qualification Mark May, the owner of the network that has Rush Limbaugh and Rush Limbaugh should know that this letter that they're auctioning is going to be something that raises money for a worthwhile cause. I don't know what we could do more important than helping to ensure that children of our fallen soldiers and police officers who have fallen in the line of duty have the opportunity for their children to have a good education.

Think of this, more than $2 million — that will really help. That's, again, an understatement.

There's only a little bit of time left so I would ask those that are wanting to do more, that they can go to Harry Reid letter and it will come up on e-Bay. I encourage anyone interested with the means to consider contributing to this worthwhile cause.

I strongly believe when we can put our differences aside, even Harry Reid and Rush Limbaugh, we should do that and try to accomplish good things for the american people. This does that, madam president. More than $2 million for a letter signed by this senator and my friends.
That has to be the most pathetic pile of crap ever uttered in Washington. And in DC they sort of specialize in pathetic piles of crap.

Reed tries to make it sound like he and Rush teamed up to write this letter as a joint fund raiser. Reed taking any credit for the resulting $4.2 million donation is like the thief taking credit for the cops paycheck.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 03:39 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 18, 2007

Trick Or Treat

This post is currently tax free.

However the federal law that prevents the taxation of internet access is set to expire on October 31. Congressional Democrats have already blocked efforts to enact a permanent ban on internet taxation so it looks like we may have to settle for another temporary ban.

The real trick is the phony opposition of Democrats to a "permanent" ban. Everyone knows that such a ban would only be permanent until the government decides it doesn't want it to be permanent any more. They just pass another law and like magic the "permanent" ban goes away.

The problem is that repealing a ban would require an affirmative action on the part of congress. They would have to go on record as voting for a new tax and they don't want to have to do that.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:10 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 16, 2007

What Would Peace Do To the MSM

This story leads me to believe that if World Peace were to be acheived, the mainsteam media would self destruct from the cognitive dissonance of the only headline they could write:

World Peace Arrives. Thousands of munitions workers out of jobs.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:08 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 13, 2007

The Truth Is Out There

Here's a look at what really happened when they tried to launch that full size x-wing fighter. This is the full version of the video. Not the NSA edited crap that was going around the internet recently. The truth is there if you are willing to look beyond the pablum you are being fed by the government and the their media lapdogs.


Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:26 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 12, 2007

Political Quiz Time

I stole this quiz from Neal Boortz.

Who said that?

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...and to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."

A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We)...can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."

A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Jose f Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own...in order to create this common ground."

A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."

A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in (the) entire economy that they are being watched."

A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above

Answers are below. No peaking.

more...

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:49 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


It Pays The Bills

The high priest of the Church of Global Warming has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Leaving aside that al Gore's proselytizing environmentalism has nothing to do with peace, what does the award signify?

For starters, al Gore gets a nice medal he can display on the mantle next to his Academy Award and the ribbon he got when he was voted class clown in ninth grade.

There's also a rather large cash award that he has to share with the UN IPCC (think of them as the bishops and cardinals.) al Gore's share ought to cover his utility bills,  travel expenses and the carbon offsets he buys from his own company for at least a year.

But mostly what it means is that al Gore is not going away anytime soon. We will have to suffer this fool for at least another decade.

Our only hope is that his belief in his own importance to the world convinces him that he should enter the race for President.

I say this our only hope because if he enters the race as a Democrat, Hillary Clinton will eat him alive. Any slightly tawdry less than boy scout behavior from al Gore's years as Vice President will suddenly be unearthed by a press that ignored them when he ran against George Bush.

His defeat by Hillary would be so thorough and humiliating that it would make his post 2000 election days as a bloated bearded professor seem like good times. It would be the end of al Gore as a public figure.

An even better scenario would be if  al Gore decided to run as a third party candidate. Do you think the Green' s will have him?

No doubt Hillary would destroy him. But she would have to do it in the context of a general election and al Gore would still draw enough votes to cost Hillary the throne.

The day the next Republican President takes the oath of office, al Gore would become the most hated person on the left. Between that and the dirt from the campaign, it would be the end of al Gore as a public figure.

And that would be prize for us all.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:28 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 11, 2007

I Lost to Hillary

When I wrote this little bit of parody of some of the many promises of Hillary Clinton, I had no idea that she would come out the next day with a statement that was a better satire of her than I could have ever written.

"I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all."

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:50 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


Keep On Movin On

Michelle Malkin highlights further efforts by MoveOn.Org to silence it's critics by abusing trademark and copyright law.

For what its worth, MoveOn has not responded in any way to my Cafe Press shop which features items that were designed to actually exceed the bounds of fair use - but which contain a positive message about the organization.

I do know that the shop has been brought to their attention at least once via the contact form on their web site. If anyone else felt the need to call it to their attention, it might further the experiment.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:38 AM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 10, 2007

Driving America Forward

Political analysts have praised the presidential campaign of New York Senator Hillary Clinton for the skillful way in which they have released her plans to remake the United States according to her vision. It was apparently the subject of intense debate whether to release the plan piece by piece or all at once declaring and end to the tyranny of the dead white slave owning males we call the founding fathers. In the end it was the candidate's husband who made the decision that voters would more easily understand and accept Hillary's vision in smaller pieces.

"The people just can't handle anything this big, this magnificent all at once. Most of them don't have the attention span, and the rest would just be scared by the magnitude off it all."
The first piece presented was Hillary Care. The plan to nationalize the health care industry that is essentially an edited version of the plan the Clintons were unable to enact when Bill was President.

The second announcement was the baby bond. The idea was to give every child not aborted a $5000 savings bond that they could use when they reached 18 to pay for education or a home. The main purpose of the measure is to teach every future American that they are dependent on the government to provide for them.

To reinforce that lesson Clinton proposed to establish a government controlled 401K investment program. Americans with a reported income of $60k or less could put money into the plan ad the government would match up to $1,000. None of the Senator's critics from either side of the aisle recognized that just as the S-CHIP expansion was designed to pave the way to fully socialized medicine, the 401K program was designed as a first step toward achieving the partial privatization of the Social Security system.

The next piece of the plan due to be released is called "Drive America Forward." Critics who have previewed the details of the plan have begun calling it "Drive America Crazy." In this proposal, the federal government would provide a voucher to every American with an income of less than $60,000 that could be used to purchase anew car or truck for private use. The vouchers would be based on a progressive formula with those earning between $45k and $60k receiving $20,000; those earning between $28k and 45K receiving $25,000; and anyone under $28,000 receiving $30,000. These low income earners would receive car vouchers every four years.

The vouchers would be funded by a $1.34 increase in the federal gasoline tax. According to Mrs. Clinton
"The real beauty of this plan is that not only does it finance itself with millions of new drivers who will be paying the gas tax, but it will allow us through mandated mileage requirements to cut gasoline consumption by an estimated 15%. This will help to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and the newer more efficient cars will help reduce greenhouse gases. And this program will create American jobs and through the voucher purchase requirements provided a much needed lift to the American Automobile industry."
When asked a question by a reporter from the Washington Post about which car companies would be approved under the voucher program, Mrs. Clinton thanked the crowd for coming and left the stage. We have not been able to confirm rumors that the reporter was fired within the hour.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:29 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


October 08, 2007

Wax Off



Representative Henry Waxman launched an investigation into talk radio.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:56 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


You Were Expecting Honesty?

Fresh on the heals of the phony Rush Limbaugh scandal about phony soldiers, that saw phony soldier Tom Harkin delivering the most disgusting insults from the floor of the Senate; fresh on the heals of the phony stories from Scott Beauchamp; Fresh on the heals of the sentencing of phoy soldier Jesse McBeth; the Democrats decide to put yet another phony in the spotlight.

In this case it was a phony victim. I feel bad for 12 year old Graeme Frost and his sister for the injuries they suffered in a car accident. But the sympathy ends there.

I don't blame young Graeme for the part he played in this intellectual fraud. I place the blame on his parents and on the Democratic Party. They are the ones who put young Graeme in the spotlight.

Follow the link above to find the exposed details of the latest fraud from the Democrats.

I understand what the Democrats did and why they did it, the only pieces missing are the who and the how.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:00 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


October 05, 2007

The New Look

So the new look is really a lot like the old look. I kind of liked the old look so I wanted to keep some of it around. But there is a lot of potential for me to be able to mess around with it. Which of course means there is a much greater danger that I can screw it up too! This should be fun.

A huge thanks to Pixy Misa. Not only did he move my whole blog to Minx - he wrote Minx. I highly recommend that click the link to mee.nu in the banner and check it out.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:28 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment


October 03, 2007

Testing a Theory

Michelle Malkin, via her syndicated column, is providing just about the only MSM coverage of MoveOn.org's efforts to shgut down Cafe Press vendors who were offering items critical of the organization and its "General Betray Us" ad.


The Free Speech for Me but not for Thee thugs at MoveOn used copyright law to send cease and desist letters to Cafe Press and the vendors involved.


So I decided to conduct a little experiment. I opened a Cafe Press shop and listed some items that according to their standard violate MoveOn's copyright. My items however don't say anything bad about MoveOn. (and yes it was very hard to do!)




There are also buttons, mugs and a bumper sticker.


How long do you think it will take before I get a cease and desist letter for violating their copyright?


Any proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to the National Military Family Association charity.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 08:01 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment


October 01, 2007

Rush To Judgement

The left and the right are reveling in a furor of righteous indignation over the Media Matters selective editing of a statement by radio host Rush Limbaugh. The right is in an uproar because Media Matters lifted a Limbaugh statement out of context and used it to claim that Limbaugh was smearing anti-war troops as phony soldiers. The left is in an uproar, because even though they know the charge is bogus they have the chance to say that Rush was smearing the troops.

Resolutions have been put forward in Congress condemning Limbaugh's comments.

Here's the thing. I don't care what Limbaugh said. I don't care if he did say that any soldier opposing the war is a phony soldier (he didn't) because that would teach me something valuable about the character of the man and it would inform my decision about whether or not I would ever listen to his broadcast (and advertisers). I don't care if by bringing up Jesse McBeth in the context of discussing six soldiers who wrote an anti-war editorial he was attempting to smear them by association (I don't believe he was).

What I do care about is that the United States Congress should not be passing resolutions condemning speech. Any speech. I do not think Congress should have passed any resolution condemning the utterly repugnant MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" ad.

Any member of Congress who wishes to condemn either the MoveOn ad or the statement that Rush didn't make is free to do so. Being elected to Congress does not vacate their freedom of speech. They could do so with certainly a larger audience than my criticisms on this blog will ever receive. But for Congress to pass an official act condemning speech is chilling - even if it is non-binding and has no force of law.

It is no surprise that the approval ratings for Congress are at an all time low. And before the right trumpets that as an indicator of the public's perception of the left's majority, they should remember that they are also part of the problem.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:59 PM | No Comments | Add Comment


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