May 31, 2007

Notes From The Fringe

I have this one friend who is somewhere beyond Libertarian. In fact he would probably make most of the Libertarian party seem downright authoritarian by comparison. Yes, he moved to New Hampshire shortly after the start of the Free State Project. I applaud and share his commitment to the cause of Liberty. I don't however share his tendency toward paranoia when it comes to virtually EVERYTHING done by the government.

Case in point. Today he sent me - and his entire email list (and I love being on his email list) this link. It's to a blog called "Another Day in the Empire." And I don't think it has anything to do with protecting the Death Star from the Rebellion. (Though I haven't read the whole site so I can't be sure.) The post in question today is "Bush Pens Dictatorship Directive, Few Notice." and it includes this neat graphic (which depicts George Bush looking like a Sith Lord wielding the awesome power of the Dark Side of the Force).

The post is hyperventilating about the National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive which the author believes is really just a pretext for Bush to assume extra constitutional authority under the pretext of a national emergency.

In short, Bush may now declare himself absolute ruler at any moment and Congress can like it or lump it.
This is what the document actually says (emphasis added):
"Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency;
It further states (emphasis added):
Recognizing that each branch of the Federal Government is responsible for its own continuity programs, an official designated by the Chief of Staff to the President shall ensure that the executive branch's COOP and COG policies in support of ECG efforts are appropriately coordinated with those of the legislative and judicial branches in order to ensure interoperability and allocate national assets efficiently to maintain a functioning Federal Government.
I read through the entire document and here is my common sense rational summary. The document assumes an event of significant proportion to severely impact the function of government. (Think of what Katrina did to the government of New Orleans on a national scale). It then lays out the steps that will be taken to plan for such an event and to ensure the resources are available to continue the essential functions of the Executive Branch of the federal government during such a crisis. As a part of this process the Executive Branch will take steps to ensure that the plans and resources they put in place will work with the plans and resources put in place by the Legislative and Judicial Branches. If we do indeed have three co-equal branches of government, and we want them to continue to work as such in time of crisis, it seems perfectly rational, logical and sane that they would "coordinate" their respective emergency plans to do just that.

If Bush, at the behest of "the World Economic Forum, the club of billionaires and transnational corporations that meet annually in Davos," were plotting to be absolute ruler why would he coordinate with the other branches let alone acknowledge that "each branch of the Federal Government is responsible for its own continuity?" Why wouldn't he just instruct his branch of the government to come up with a continuity plan that assumes the other branches no longer exist? Wouldn't that be simpler?

It is worth noting that this executive order is not some great new innovation of the Bush NeoCon autocracy in waiting. Down near the bottom of the document we find:

Revocation. Presidential Decision Directive 67 of October 21, 1998 ("Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations"), including all Annexes thereto, is hereby revoked.
And I must say compared to the Bush version, our previous president was a piker when it came to telling us what was in the plan.

I will give this citizen of the Empire credit for one thing. He didn't go so far as to predict that once the continuity plan was in place and fully coordinated the Ilumiinati/NeoCon/BushCo empire would then cause the triggering emergency. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if the though it.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:00 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment

May 27, 2007

PC Users Invade SF Apple Store

Searching for brains.


Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:27 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment

May 26, 2007

Clean Typing

Let me start with a little confession. I did it again, that really stupid thing that I do sometimes when I'm rushing to get out of the office at the end of the day. I left the power adapter for the Powerbook sitting on my desk.

I know this is probably the eighth time I have mentioned doing this. I know every time I do I say I'm going to buy a second power cord to keep at home. I know that I always say I'm going to sync the bookmarks off the Powerbook onto the home desktop machine. And one of these days I'm going to do all of that.

So I sat down at the home machine, that I almost never use, to see what there was to read at the sites I had bookmarked on it long ago. When I noticed another problem.

A while back we had a keyboard die. No big deal. It happens. So we bought a new Apple keyboard. It was a sexy thing coming out of the box. Clear plastic with white keys. Sweet.

We have kids. My keys were not white anymore. So I began the process of pulling every key and cleaning the crud that was under them and then wiping them down thoroughly before putting them back. So far it looks like I got them all back in the right places. Now they are so clean and white I'm not sure I could even type a dirty word. Ship. Flick. Son of a batch.

Yep. It's clean.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:00 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment

May 24, 2007

PhotoShop for Fun and Profit

As a day job, I'm a designer. I spend probably half of my day working in PhotoShop. (Half of it in Illustrator, half of if answering pointless emails and two thirds of it in pointless meetings, and I get an hour for lunch.) So I don't often do PhotoShop for fun. But some times it's just too much fun to pass up.

I was scrolling through a photo essay at Zombie Time. Zombie went to an al Gore speech/rally/book signing and got great photos of all the SUV's in the parking lot. He even managed to get a few photographs of al Gore himself.

Unfortunately in the photo where al Gore was posing with his book, the flash completely washed out the cover. It was an invitation and blank canvass I couldn't pass up. By sheer strength of will I forced myself to stop after two. (click for a full size look at my mad skills and rapier wit)
Img 3409 Blank.Jpg-1Guide-Book

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:36 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment

I Can't Serve In Congress

I have disqualified from service in the United States Senate by virtue having an IQ higher than 20.

There are actually serving Senators who are arguing that the Z Visa process in the McCain/Kennedy immigration bill will help us to keep tabs on potential terrorists who have entered the country illegally. Because we will have their fingerprints etc. on file.

If someone with aspirations of launching a terrorist attack went to all the trouble to sneak into the country illegally what makes these idiots think this person is going to register for a Z Visa?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 06:49 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

May 23, 2007

Chaos Theory

I am not by nature and organized person. I don't use categories on blog posts in part because it's just one more thing to have to maintain. And if I had a whole list of categories, I would feel compelled to be sure that a category was not being ignored. I might really want to right about politics, but if I hadn't done a post in the sailing category in a long time I would feel obligated to do one. I have the category so I should use it. Right? So no categories for me.

I don't make playlists in iTunes either. I don't bother to categorize songs by genre - though some songs have that column filled in so that must have come with them. When iTunes first came out I did make one play list called "Play it LOUD." But I never just played that list. I always just set it to play random songs from the whole library so what was the point. You can probably guess that in the olden days I didn't keep my albums in alphabetical order. For the people who were that way, iTunes is a dream come true. You can sort by song, artist, album genre in ascending or descending order and change from one sort to another with just a click. But if that's not anal retentive enough for you - you can make playlists.

I do believe that there is a place for everything and everything should be in its place, but I'm not too rigid about how they get there. When I moved into my first apartment I never really unpacked and put everything away. I got something thing out when I needed it and put them where it seemed it wanted to be. It was a sort of organic, almost zen approach to organization that I still practice today.

I don't think my wife likes the way I have the kitchen organized. But I do most of the cooking so it stays that way.

Some people have called it sloppiness or even chaos. But I figure everything will eventually find a home.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:09 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

May 21, 2007

Who Is Bill Whittle

I'm sure many of you catch the reference in the headline. But in case you don't I will explain.

Bill Whittle is the anti- John Galt.

In Ayn Rand's polemic novel Atlas Shrugged the hero answers the question "Who is John Galt?" by proclaiming "I am the man who stopped the motor of the world." Galt spoke to the best and the brightest in the arts, sciences and business and convinced them to withdraw from the world. To shrug. He brought them all to a valley hidden in the mountains where they lived an idyllic life of unadulterated freedom and individuality and reason while they waited for the world they left behind to collapse. Then they would return and build a better world on its ashes.

The resident's of Galt's Gultch were the Remnant. Don't know what that means? Neither did I until a few moments ago. I'm not sure I fully grasp what it means, but I understand enough to know in my gut that I am Remnant too.

Now if you are familiar with the writings of Bill Whittle - and you really should be - you must be puzzling how I can call him the Anti-Galt. Certainly the virtues of freedom and individuality are the cornerstones of his essays.

Like Galt, Whittle has a vision of place. A haven for the Remnant. But unlike Galt, Whittle does not want to stop the engine of the world. He wants to start it, and open the throttle wide. He wants to work toward building a better society, without having to start from ashes.

I would like to create a virtual city where we can pool our knowledge and skills, refresh our courage, re-affirm our morality and then take those virtues back out into the world and re-light the fire of liberty, courage and reason.
I guess it's more of an anti-shrug.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:25 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment

May 20, 2007

Immigration Headache

I have an immigration Headache. I got it trying to read and understand the Bipartisan Universal Lengthy Legislative Senate House Immigration Transformation. Forced reading of the McCain/Kennedy Immigration Reform, AKA the BULLSHIT Act would probably be considered torture under the Geneva Convention, and certainly under McCain's interrogation bill.

A quick note to Senator "I know more about immigration than you" McCain. F* you too. The only thing good about this abomination of a reform is that it probably put your chances at the GOP nomination at about even with Ron Paul.

Yeah I know what you're all going to say. "If you think this bill is so horrible, come up with a better idea." Well I have one. It's probably not original since it's based on common sense, and surely I'm not the only person on the planet with any common sense. Hence the "common."

First: Close the border. Build fences real and virtual. Pay for people to enforce border security on a large scale. This must be done first and must be achieved before moving on to the next step. Steps two and three would be fairly useless if we left the borders as wide open an Paris Hilton's legs.

Two: Start deporting people as fast as we can. Everyone always says we can't deport all 12 million illegals currently in the country, to which I say so what. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good right? Deport as many as we can as fast as we can.

Three: Levy massive fines on anyone hiring illegal aliens. I think $50 k a piece for every illegal hired knowingly. $25 k a piece if you can show you took reasonable steps to verify an employee's status. That should pretty much put an end to their motivation for coming here illegally in the first place. Here's a tip for you. If you're driving down to the 7-11 to hire a couple of guys to get some yard work done cheep you're hiring illegals and you know it.

Four: Double or even triple the resources for handling legal immigration. If you want to come here to escape the corrupt socialist hell hole you live in, if you want to come here for a piece of the American Dream, the door is open. But you have to come in the front door.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:25 PM | Comments (14) | Add Comment

May 19, 2007

How We Suvived

About ounce I year someone forwards me that email about how our generation survived childhood. About how we rode bikes without helmets, climbed trees, drank water from the hose etc. I put the whole thing in the extended entry. Of all of the silly chain/inspirational email I get from family and friends, this is the only one that I like and that I can even recall. The part about being out playing until the streetlights came on always brings a warm smile of remembrance.

Via Instapundit I find that someone has taken that email, expanded it, and turned it into a bestselling book (Actually I have no proof that the email had anything to do with the book, other than that they spring from the same spirit.)

The book is The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden. Originally published in the UK, here is the Amazon description of the US edition:

The bestselling book for every boy from eight to eighty, covering essential boyhood skills such as building tree houses, learning how to fish, finding true north, and even answering the age old question of what the big deal with girls is.
In this digital age there is still a place for knots, skimming stones and stories of incredible courage. This book recaptures Sunday afternoons, stimulates curiosity, and makes for great father-son activities. The brothers Conn and Hal have put together a wonderful collection of all things that make being young or young at heart fun—building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world's best paper airplanes.
The completely revised American Edition includes:
The Greatest Paper Airplane in the World
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Five Knots Every Boy Should Know
Building a Treehouse
Making a Bow and Arrow
Fishing (revised with US Fish)
Timers and Tripwires
Baseball's "Most Valuable Players"
Famous Battles-Including Lexington and Concord, The Alamo, and Gettysburg
Spies-Codes and Ciphers
Making a Go-Cart
Navajo Code Talkers' Dictionary
Cloud Formations
The States of the U.S.
Mountains of the U.S.
The Declaration of Independence
Skimming Stones
Making a Periscope
The Ten Commandments
Common US Trees
Timeline of American History
Yes, I'm buying the book. But I have mixed feelings about it. It's really cool that this book is out there. It's really sad that it needs to be. more...

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:53 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment

May 15, 2007

Fred vs Michael

I saw over at Captain's Quarters that Micheal Moore challenged Fred Thompson to a debate. What a show that would be. Conservative heavyweight vs heavy liberal. There was a link to Thompson's reply which clearly illustrates why it's a shame the debate will never happen.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:00 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

That Voodoo That I Do

Bill Whittle at Eject Eject Eject is starting a new project based around the thought that "You are not alone." So far the details of how it will work are a bit sketchy, but I think the objective is to change the world.

As part of the preliminaries he posed a question to his readers:

So, while we are still getting the sets and costumes ready, let me issue another small challenge. Think about, when you can, something very simple and yet very deep -- and that is this: What are you good at? That's not necessarily even what you get paid for.
What are you good at? Can you teach it?
Think it over.
A seemingly simple question that I found remarkably difficult to answer.

It's not that I'm not good at what I do, it's that it's difficult to boil it down to its essence in a way that is relevant beyond the "job."

Starting at the top, I am a designer. My particular specialty is graphic design for print. It encompasses advertising, sales materials, trade shows, and even the coupons in the Sunday paper insert. I create the graphics, I build the layouts, I write the copy.

I could probably teach some of that to almost anyone but the that is not really what I do. Those things are are really the how.

The what is some ways much more complicated and much more simple. The simple one word answer is teaching.

The more complex explanation is that I distill a message down to it's core. This could be as mundane as the value proposition of a given product or as sweeping as defending our Constitutionally protected right to freedom of speech.

The next step is to identify and understand exactly who it is who has to understand the message. And beyond that to understand how to present that message in way that the target will receive it willingly. If I do this well, I can teach them something about a product or an idea.

Understanding and effectively presenting the core of an idea. Teaching. That is what I do well.

Can I teach it?

I think I can. If you made it to the end of this post with an understanding of what it is that I do, I'm off to a good start.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 12:33 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

May 13, 2007

End of An Obsession

Since the start of this blog I have an obsession of sorts with SiteMeter. At times it has been frighteningly important, at times an obsession simmering just below the surface. My SiteMeter page has been the start page of my browser for years. That said I've never really done anything for express purpose of generating traffic - and it shows. I've always had a sort of if you write it they will come kind of approach. That "they" haven't come by the thousands doesn't seem to be an issue. The obsession has never been that I have big numbers, just that I know what the numbers are.

But that obsession is over. With a tip of the hat to Little Green Footballs I have kicked the SiteMeter habit. The bottom line is I don't like the fact that SiteMeter was using my site to deliver third party cookies to your browser.

If you received these cookies by reading this site, I apologize. I had no idea this was happening. But I do know it won't happen again as I have removed all SiteMeter software from Hold the Mayo.

I've replaced it with StatCounter - Let the new obsession begin.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:37 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment

May 10, 2007


Just last week marketing guru and blogger Seth Goodin asked for predictions on the future of the iPhone.

My prediction was in part:

The bottom line is the iPhone will be too pricey for a lot of people's bottom line.
Which of course Apple will address with the iPhone Nano. Lower iPod capacity, smaller screen, and a smaller price. Along the way, look for the introduction of iPhone access to the iTunes Music Store - for those willing to pay a service charge to their provider, on top of the cost of the music, for downloading directly to their phone.
Today I found this little bit of info at Cnet:
The iPhone isn't even here yet, but a newly revealed patent filing could shed light on Apple's next move.
The filing--which we noticed on Unwired View directed by Crunchgear--shows what an iPod Nano would look like with a touch screen on the back of the player. The touch screen interface looks quite a bit like the iPhone...
Next weeks winning lottery numbers are...

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:28 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

May 04, 2007

The Great Debate

I didn't get invited to the Republican Presidential Candidate's Debate. It may be because I'm not a Republican and I'm not a candidate. But whatever. They left me off the guest list, and it's just not right.

Luckily, I found a transcript of the questions, so even though I wasn't on the stage I can still get my answers into the record. Keep in mind I don't have a staff of handlers to coach me on proper sound bites, and there have been no rehearsals.

In the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, just 22 percent believe this country is on the right track. Mayor Giuliani, how do we get back to Ronald Reagan's "morning in America"?

I am not now nor have I ever been Mayor Giuliani. Next question.
Most of the public pessimism today has to do with Iraq. How -- what would you need, as commander in chief, to win the war in Iraq?
I would need a team of people who were charged with making sure the whole story of Iraq is told to the American people. The people know only half of the story - since the death toll - particularly of US military personnel is about the only story they ever hear.
Recent polls in the Islamic world reveal a sea of hostility toward the United States, feeding what General Petraeus calls the central front of al Qaeda in Iraq. How do we win this war if every dead terrorist is so easily replaced?
I find most domestic public opinion polls silly and irrelevant, why would I care about those?
How do you deal with the problem, revealed in a recent Zogby poll, that in countries that are moderate, you mentioned -- like Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, another Islamic country -- 10, 12 percent of the people support us; the rest are angry at us. Doesn't that create a sea of recruitment opportunity for our enemy? And how -- I'm just asking, do we have to reduce that temperature of hatred before we win the war, or simply continue to fight the terrorists?
Didn't I just get through telling you what I think about polls?
I'd like to get your views about how you balance loyalty and accountability. Would you have fired Don Rumsfeld before last November?
Loyalty is immensely important to me. But loyalty without accountability is not loyalty it's blind faith. No one gets that.
Do you think a general shake-up in this administration's Cabinet right now would be good for the administration?
I think it would give the press something to jabber about for a while. Certainly the Senate confirmation process would give the Democrat's greater opportunity to control the White House from the Capital building. I don't think it would do much for the president though.
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson said that Iran has already committed acts of war. Do you agree? And secondly, as part of that, what's your trip wire for a U.S. strike in Iran?
Yes. fred is right. The only thing we lack is a Congress with the backbone to support doing anything about it.
Imagine you're president of the United States and this is a likely or possible scenario, certainly plausible. You get a call from the prime minister of Israel, the prime minister of Israel, who's now Ehud Olmert, saying Israel's about to strike Iran's nuclear sites and he wants U.S. help. What do you say?
What do you need and when do you need it?
When speaking about Osama bin Laden last week, Governor Romney said, quote, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth, spending billions of dollars, just trying to catch one person." Senator McCain called that naive. Who's right?
The governor is the closest to being right. We need to continue efforts to deal with bin Laden as an individual. But the hunt for one man cannot overshadow the war against Islamic Extremists.
Sarah (sp) from Arlington, Virginia, wants to know if you would comfortable with Tom Tancredo, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, as head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Certanly, but I think he may have other career aspirations at the moment.
Should we change our Constitution which we believe is divinely inspired -- -- to allow men like Mel Martinez, the chairman of your party, born in Cuba, great patriot, senator from Florida, and Arnold Schwarzenegger to stand here some night?
I neither believe the Constitution was divinely inspired nor do think this would be an appropriate amendment.
Daniel Dukovnic (sp) from Walnut Creek, California, wants to know: What do you dislike most about America?
People who refuse to see anything good in America.
Do you believe global warming exists?
Do I believe that the climatic temperature of the planet is not a fixed number and that at some times it is generally warmer or cooler than others yes.
David Diamond from Memphis writes in, "Do you have a plan to solve the shortage of organs donated for transplant?"
No. Other than speaking to the issue and encouraging people to sign donor cards, this is not a problem the President or the government should be involved in.
Maggie from Highland Park, Illinois, wants to know if you consider yourself a compassionate conservative, like President Bush.
If you were president, would you work to phase out the IRS?
Phasing it out sounds like it would take too long. Can't we just give them two weeks notice?
Would the day that Roe v. Wade is repealed be a good day for Americans?
Yes. Because it is a poorly set precedent that represents a Federal usurpation of state authority.
Would you support the use of public funds for abortion? [edited]
No. The crux of the Roe v. Wade decision is that this a private issue between the patient and the doctor. If the procedure is a private matter, the bill should be too.
We're in the house of Ronald Reagan. Every cab driver in America knew what Ronald Reagan stood for: defeat communism abroad, reduce big government at home. Can you restore that kind of unity of purpose?
Yes. Except there's not much left of the communism that Reagan was fighting. I would have to substitute terrorists for the Russians (like they did in the movies before it was politically incorrect.)
How do you unify the country the way Reagan did, a good portion of the country?
Present a clear an consistent vision of the great nation that we live in. Keep that vision in front of the people.
How do you reconcile this moral -- moral leadership kind of role of conservatism with the very libertarian strain of conservatism, the Barry Goldwater conservatism that you represent? How do you put together what he just said with what you believe in a unified national purpose?
Lead people toward freedom, individual responsibility and self reliance. I would consider that moral leadership.
What do you say to Roman Catholic bishops who would deny communion to elected officials who support abortion rights?
Nothing. It's their church they can do what they want free from interference from the government. Read the First Amendment.
Congressman Hunter, Governor Schwarzenegger -- who is here tonight -- has won the state twice by downplaying partisanship and taking centrist positions on the environment, immigration, abortion. Is that the way to win for Republicans?
Well, my name's not Hunter but I'll take this one anyway. I don't believe in taking any position just because I think it might help me win. I believe in standing on principles and the strength of my ideas. If the people agree with those ideas they will vote for me.
Do you want to keep [Karl Rove] in the White House if you get elected president as the president's chief political operative?
Why? I've got my own people. But then again it would annoy some people who are worth annoying.
Has the increased influence of Christian conservatives in your party been good for it?
Has the decreased influence of any and all faith been good for yours? Besides this is not my party - I'm just crashing here.
What's with your party and all this corruption?
I think we would be far better served by just focusing on eliminating all corruption rather than having a contest to see which party has the most scandals. I think there is plenty of corruption on both sides of the aisle and we need to deal with all of it.
A through F, how would you rate the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq war?
Overall a C+ though with the early progress of the new security strategy I might bump that to a B-.
Is racism still a problem in our society? And can a president do anything about it?
I believe there are still many areas where race is an issue in this country. I believe the President can do a lot to lead the nation toward realising the dream of Martin Luther King. That we all be judged by the content of our character and not the color of our skin.
David Kim (sp) from here in California wants to know, beside yourself, who do you think should be the Republican nominee for president of the United States, and why?
With no offense to the esteemed gentlemen on the stage, no one. If I didn't believe that I was the best person for the job I wouldn't be here.
Anyone with disagree with the strong anti-illegal immigration position?
Not me.
Kenyu Thomas (sp) from Honolulu, Hawaii, wants to know if you watched Al Gore's environmental documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth."
No. Nor do I plan to.
Bob Hussey (sp) from Minnesota writes that perhaps the most important skill a good president must have is the ability to make good, sound decisions, often in a crisis situation. Please cite an example when you had to make a decision in crisis.
I always try to make decisions before we get to the point of crisis. Helps to keep the stress levels manageable.
This question comes from Malika (sp) in Washington, DC. Women are the fastest growing prison population. Most are mothers who are non-violent, first-time offenders. What will you do to address the issue of mothers behind bars and the children left behind?
I believe the advice Jim Carey gave to a client in the movie Liar Liar sums it up best: "Stop breaking the law a$$hole."
We have Mrs. Reagan here. The camera will not focus on her, but I will tell you, it will now focus on you. Mrs. Reagan wants to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Will that progress under your administration?
I would do everything in my power to make sure the federal government stays out of the way.
I want each candidate to mention a tax he'd like to cut, in addition to the Bush tax cuts, keeping them in effect.
Death tax, Marriage tax, Capital Gains Tax, if it's a tax I'm interested in cutting it.
Senator McCain, you said you plan to appoint a Democrat to a major Cabinet post. Tell us some of the Democrats you've got in mind. We'll give you bonus points if you give us a name other than Senator Lieberman.
Sorry you must be confused. I am actually a believer in free and unfettered speech - especially in the political process. Do. Not. Ever. Call. Me. McCain. Again.
Ryan from Los Angeles wants you to name one thing that the federal government does really well and one thing that it does poorly.
The Federal government spends money very well. What it does poorly is spend it wisely.
Do you believe in evolution?
Robert Dietricht (sp) from Towson, Maryland, wants to know which Cabinet official would be at the top of the list of those you'd like to carry into your administration if you're elected.
I would probably bring in my own posse.
He wants to know, what is the difference between a Sunni and a Shi'a Muslim?
I suggest he open a book or look it up on Google.
Carrie (sp) from Connecticut asks, do you trust the mainstream media?
I think you can always trust the mainstream media to by and large present a consistently left leaning narrative. I think they can be trusted to downplay or ignore any American success particularly if conservatives hold leadership.
A reader wants to know if your personal religious beliefs influence your foreign policy thinking.
The reader is an idiot. If a person professes to religious beliefs then tells you that their beliefs will not effect their thinking, that person is a liar - either about their faith or their thinking.
Jessie (sp) from Madison wants to know, what do you consider to be your most significant weakness as a candidate for the president of the United States?
I don't have any money. I'm not part of a party. No one knows who I am. Should I go on?
In light of the scandals plaguing the current administration and its allies, involving corruption and cronyism, which mistakes have you learned not to repeat?
I think we need to create as much openness in the government as possible so we shine a bright light on the corrupt cockroaches that infest our government. It might be hard when it's a Senator steering military contracts to a company owned by a spouse or who's collecting bribes connected to military contracts because there can be classified information involved. But when such things are exposed those responsible should be subject to the full force of the law.
Will you work to protect women's rights, as in fair wages and reproductive choice?
I will protect the rights of very individual. That's part of the job. I will protect the rights of the employee and the employer to pay and receive a fair wage that they agree to. I fully support a woman's right to choose to reproduce - as long as she is willing to accept the responsibility for her reproduction.
I want you to explain it and defend it: a national tamper-proof ID card.
A handy way to control the movement of the population and keep tabs on people. As for defending it, I can't defend the indefensible.
Do you think Scooter Libby should be pardoned?
If Skooter broke the law he doesn't deserve a pardon. Come to think of it a grown man who goes by the name Skooter shouldn't get a pardon anyway.
Let me ask you a question which has grabbed a lot of Americans personally, the Terri Schaivo case. Again, it was a question of whether the United States -- the U.S. Congress should have intervened and passed a law to advise the appellate court whether to act or not in this case, the district court it was. Terri Schaivo, should Congress have acted or let the family make the decision, the husband?
The idea of the federal government attempting to decide individual court cases legislatively is an appalling overreach of authority and I find it abhorrent.
Seriously, would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?
Since the only way that will happen is if Hillary Clinton is elected president I can't think of a worse thing for America.
How will you be different in any way from President George W. Bush?
I will not forget domestic issues such as reigning in the federal government in size and authority while resolutely fighting the war against Islamic terrorists. I may have a tendency to swagger, but I don't have a Texas drawl.
I should have been there. I would have mopped the floor with those guys.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:23 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment

May 01, 2007


Seth Goodin, one of my favorite marketing pundits put a out a challenge for predictions about the success of iPhone.

Let's see. iPod, cell phone, address book, Safari, Mail all in one sleek handheld package with some really cool touch screen technology. Nope won't do well at all.

First, I want to remind everyone of my earlier prediction on the evolution of the iPod

I think Apple is moving the iPod toward a stand alone device - untethered from the desktop. Here is how they are going to do it.
They will take the slimmer 30GB drive and put it in the 40GB case. What will they do with all that extra space?
The AirPort Extreme Card is about half the size of a standard business card (smaller than the previous AirPort Card). With AirPort Extreme-enabled Macintosh systems, it's a snap to exchange files or play multiplayer games at data transfer rates of up to 54 megabits per second. AirPort Extreme uses a brand new wireless standard called 802.11g, which is also backward compatible with the 802.11b standard.
Add in the color screen from the iPod Photo and upgrade the software to be able to surf the iTunes Music Store. Hear a song in the bar at the airport that you really like, hop over to the iTunes store and its yours.
This would also make it compatible with AirTunes. Meaning you could walk into your home or office, the iPod would pick up your wireless network and the music plays via your stereo.
And hey, if its got a wireless card and a color screen why not throw in an iPod version of Safari?
Now that would be cool.
So I missed the whole built in cell phone and touch screen and it's not 802.11g, but I still call my original prediction pretty close to the spirit of the device.

So here's my prediction for how the iPhone will perform in the market. When it finally launches (and there are some delays) it will be an explosion. There will be in instant mass of sales that will quickly ease off as supplies run short. The iPhone will continue to be in short supply and Apple will get some bad press about the lack of supply and probably battery life, and some issues with the touch screen.

The supply issues will be resolved with the launch of the second generation iPhone that will have much better battery performance and no touch screen issues. Sales will be steady and heavy though not at wildfire levels. The bottom line is the iPhone will be too pricey for a lot of people's bottom line.

Which of course Apple will address with the iPhone Nano. Lower iPod capacity, smaller screen, and a smaller price. Along the way, look for the introduction of iPhone access to the iTunes Music Store - for those willing to pay a service charge to their provider, on top of the cost of the music, for downloading directly to their phone.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 02:56 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

In which I Agree With an Illegal Alien

I heard a report from one of the illegal immigrant demonstrations on the way home today. And strangely found myself in agreement with one of the protesters. I don't recall the name he gave, so I'll call him Juan.

Juan self identified as an illegal alien and said something to the effect of "I've been here for 20 years and I demand justice."

Amen, Juan. Amen.

You've been here illegally for 20 years and I demand justice as well.

I somehow though suspect that at this point Juan and I will come to a parting of the ways. Juan, I think, would spell justice A-M-N-E-S-T-Y. I am more inclined to spell in D-E-P-O-R-T-A-T-I-O-N.

In the end, I'm afraid, we will just have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 01:36 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

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