April 1st, 2013
In ongoing efforts to monetize everything, the Obama
Administration has implemented longstanding plans to incorporate the US
Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines into a single publicly traded corporation
under the title Armed Industries Inc. The initial IPO for the stock (ticker
ARMY) is set for later today, and is expected to shatter records for all
previous IPOs combined. President Obama announced the IPO in the Rose Garden
late last Friday in a joint press conference with industry leaders and key
senators on the finance committee. No press were permitted at the event.
A spokesperson for the corporation said that some layoffs
are expected during the reorganization, and that in order to increase
revenue streams the new financial giant is scheduled to open an online
retail outlet for foreign armies and dictators to purchase the excess
equipment and spare parts that have been stockpiled, but are currently
unusable by the US military because of vast over-ordering of unneeded
equipment and replacement parts for discontinued vehicles. All sales final,
local taxes apply.
To mark the
occasion the Obama Administration has declared April 1st as Drone
April 1st, 2012
Supreme Court to
Hear Arguments on the Constitutionality of the US Constitution
Washington DC. The Commerce Clause of the US Constitution reared its ugly
head again today as the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Scalia v
Ginsberg on the constitutionality of the US Constitution. The case was
brought before the court by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who charged
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with abusing the US Constitution
to determine the constitutionality of cases brought before the Court. At
question is whether the US Constitution violates the Commerce Clause of the
In preliminary hearings Justice Scalia, a vigorous
defender of the right of citizens to not eat broccoli and a self-avowed
broccoli hater, likened the Constitution’s intrusions into interstate
commerce to being forced to eat broccoli every day. Scalia argued that
because broccoli was transported across state lines that it came under
federal jurisdiction, and that because broccoli was malodorous and mephitic,
the constitution was unconstitutional in allowing such a gustatory
abomination on the nation.
Justice Ginsberg countered that broccoli was a sublime
vegetable, robust in flavor and endowed with a bounty of essential nutrients
and fiber. Her words appeared to fall of deaf palates on the court.
When asked if he would recuse himself from deliberations
on the case in light of his being the plaintiff Justice Scalia was quoted as
saying “I’d rather eat broccoli!”
April 1st, 2011
GE to Acquire US
Following on the announcements of Comcast’s acquisition
of NBC/Universal, and Microsoft’s acquisition of Apple, financial analysts
reported today that GE was in talks to acquire the Federal government.
Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE and the White House Business Czar was said to
be in talks with US CEO Barak Obama on the details of the acquisition.
A GE spokesperson who asked not to be named due to the
sensitive nature of the talks said that the US government could be purchased for
pennies on the dollar now, and that the merger would be good for the
The spokesperson was quoted as saying, “When it comes
to corporations, fewer is better, and bigger is better. The acquisition of
the federal government will allow GE to expand its business into new areas,
including declaring war and monetizing high unemployment through taxation of
the unemployed. It’s a win-lose situation for us and workers, which is
something we find attractive”.
No word yet on US CEO Barak Obama’s
proposed salary and stock options in the new GE.gov enterprise.
April 1st, 2010
Merge Baby Merge
On the day when
Google and Topeka Kansas announced their
merger to form Googeeka Inc., and as Comcast and NBC prepare to merge by
dramatically raising their pricing, there is another merger on the horizon
that makes these other mergers seem like chump change.
Gates announced that Microsoft and Apple are merging to form Micropple. Mr.
Gates was quoted as saying “This merger will provide our customers with
fewer confusing choices, and consolidated billing.”
took questions from reporters earlier today. “This is a win-win situation
for Microsoft and Apple” the President remarked. “It will also make it
easier for consumers to make a decision on what type of computer to buy.”
Steve Jobs was
unavailable for comment, but an Apple spokesperson who requested anonymity
responded to questions about the merger by saying “Apple computers have been
the same as PCs for years, ever since we switched to Intel processors, so I
don’t see what all the hubbub is about.”
April 2nd, 2009
April 1st Interview
with Bill Gates
Doc: Mr. Gates…
call me Mr. Bill.
Mr. Bill, what can you tell our readers about the upcoming release of
Windows version 7? What improvements will the operating system have over
previous versions of Windows?
Bill: Is that a
Doc: Not at
all, I'm sure everybody is anxious to hear about all the improvements you
have made to the new operating system.
still sounds like a trick question. Who booked this interview?
Doc: Okay, let
me ask the question another way; what would to like to tell our readers
about Windows 7?
Bill: Oh, well
that’s a different question, Windows 7 will be Microsoft’s best operating
system ever. And because it’s so good, it will be expensive.
Doc: You say
that Windows 7 will be Microsoft’s best operating system to date, can you
elaborate a little on that?
course. The best part about Windows 7 is that most of the really cool
features will be locked and inaccessible when you buy the affordable version.
Then you'll have to pony up over and over again to unlock all those juicy
bits. From our standpoint, this is a big improvement over Windows Vista.
mentioned improvements over Windows Vista, can you tell us more about other
improvements in the new operating system?
Bill: I’d love
Doc: OK, how
about software and hardware compatibility? That was somewhat of a sticking
point with Windows Vista. Will Windows 7 be more compatible with existing
hardware and software?
Bill: You are
referring to legacy equipment and code. We don't discuss legacy issues.
Doc: Well, as
you know, Windows XP was renowned for its ability to run existing software,
and had stupendous driver support for existing hardware. Have you're
engineers been working hard to develop similar support in Windows version 7?
XP is a legacy operating system, and we don't discuss legacy issues.
Doc: So you
have no plans to bring back a single hardware abstraction layer to replace
the broken DRM hardware driver layers that have made Windows Vista so
incompatible with “legacy” hardware?
me? Who booked this interview? I think my cell phone is vibrating, I have to
thanks very much Mr. Bill, that was all very enlightening.
Dec 1st, 2008
Is Vista Destroying
Mac sales are up,
PC sales are down. Even worse for Microsoft, Windows XP sales are up!
How could this be?
Vista is an even worse operating system than Windows Me. In fact, Microsoft
Vista is undoubtedly the worst operating system, and the most expensive one
to develop, that Microsoft has ever attempted to foist on the public.
with Windows Vista are almost too numerous to list, including draconian DRM
(copy protection), incompatibilities with existing hardware and software,
and extremely poor performance, to name but a few.
Vista was Bill
Gate’s dream of an operating system which would force all Window’ users to
replace all of their hardware and most of there software in order to have a
computer that actually functioned. But it backfired. The government as well
as businesses cannot afford to replace all of their printers and scanners
and fax machines and all of their expensive Windows software just so they
can have the latest version of Windows running on their computers. Most home
users feel the same way.
Bill Gates has
his programmers scrambling to churn out Windows version 7 which is supposed
to replace Vista as soon as possible. However, word is that version 7 is
simply a face lift of Windows Vista, and will retain the same broken
hardware interface, and unworkable DRM that plagues Vista. If so, Windows 7
will be just as much of a pariah as its predecessor.
If Bill Gates
wants to remain the predominant purveyor of operating systems he is going to
have to sacrifice his neurotic control tendencies and make a solid,
top-notch operating system without built-in DRM, and with full support for
legacy hardware. Chances of this happening are far below slim-to-none.
Expect Mac sales to continue to climb as Bill Gates fiddles.
April 1st, 2008
Bill Gates to End
founder of Microsoft, and one of the world’s richest people, vowed today
to end global warming all by himself. According to sources in Redmond,
Mr. Gates was quoted as saying “we have a big problem with hot air here
in America, and because nobody is willing to do anything but complain about
the weather, I have decided to do something about it.”
corporation reports that all employees have been told to turn their
computers off, and instead, slide rules and manual typewriters will be
issued to everyone. Further, all buildings will be retrofitted with ceiling
fans, and central air conditioning systems will be decommissioned.
But perhaps the
greatest, and most difficult part of the plan to end global warming is Mr.
Gates pledge to end computer gaming once and for all. He was quoted as
saying “Computer gaming consumes more gigawatts of electricity than
all other human activities combined. Several years ago we set out to reduce
the use of computer games, first by encouraging kids to just get outside,
and ride a bike. That didn’t catch on, so we went to plan B.
Vista hasn’t been as successful at curbing computer gaming as we had hoped
either. So we announce today the end of the Xbox, and the discontinuation of
Direct X for Windows. It’s about time kids stopped sitting on their butts
and clicking their mice all day long, like their parents do.”
December 16th, 2007
Must Read on
Upgrading from Vista to XP
As I predicted, the push for
universal adoption of Windows XP is growing. Vista is
officially obsolete. So what are you waiting for? Upgrade to XP
September 30th, 2007
My April Fools Joke this year was that Microsoft was extending the life
of Windows XP, and would be retiring Windows Vista early.
Headlines at The Inquirer today make a mockery of my mockery:
XP gets reprieve" about Microsoft extending the lifespan of XP...
told to abandon Vista" about people calling for MS to start over and
make a decent OS.
Crap... I'm going to have to be
much more outlandish next year.
August 20th, 2007
IGA stands for "In Game Advertising". It is a blatant attempt by an
advertising firm to put advertisements in every computer game released,
IGA worldwide offers both static and dynamic in-game ads, and insists
that ads plastered all over a game make the game more realistic. Oh
sure, ads for Intel's Core2 Duo in a futuristic sci-fi game!
When advertising firms try to tell you how to think, you should think
again. You pay between $40 and $50 a game, and then they want to shove
ads down your throat on top of that. It's outrageous. But unless gamers
fight back, you will see in-game advertising in the virtually every
future video game.
I could possibly handle a few static ads in some games, but I am
vehemently opposed to dynamic advertising which takes up any CPU time or
Internet bandwidth. I do not want my computer being controlled by an ad
server in Bulgaria while I'm trying to play a game online.
How can you fight back? First off, before you buy any computer games in
the future check to see if they contain in game advertising. Recently I
found that Quake Wars is saddled with in game advertising and I
immediately canceled my pre-order. Another good game bites the dust. All
you need to do before you buy a game is type in the game's name and IGA
into Google and see what comes up. If the game has in game advertising
you will probably find out quickly using this method. Refuse to buy
games that have in game advertising.
Further, you can write to game makers and even to IGA to tell them that
you do not want any dynamic ads in any games ever. You can e-mail IGA at
this address: Inquiries@igaww.com.
PC gaming is slowly dying, and many developers are shifting to console
games. I see in game advertising as one more nail in PC gaming's coffin.
The time to make yourself heard is now. Don't wait until every game is
filled with flashing billboards before you act.
August 13th, 2007
Is Vista Killing PC
Microsoft’s latest operating system, Vista, is proving my age-old
criticism that Bill Gates is Window's worst enemy. Vista is a nightmare
for both users, and developers. Among the software developers most irked
by Vista are the game coders. Vista's Direct X 10 is turning out to be a
major pain, and the looming update to Direct X 10.1 isn't making things
Direct X 10 under Vista is not working out well for anyone, and is
hindering new game development for the PC. Game developers are putting
their efforts into console games, rather than PC games, and the end
result is fewer new games for the PC. Add to this the low adoption rate
for Vista among gamers, and you have a recipe for the end of PC gaming.
not sure there is a way out of this dilemma short of Bill Gates
recalling Vista. In other words, there is no way out of this dilemma.
April 1st, 2007
Windows Products Lifecycle Update
Microsoft’s product life-cycle policies provide advanced notification of
planned changes in product availability and support. This information
helps customers and partners with product planning and information
Today, Microsoft announced amendments to its Windows lifecycle policies
which are as follows.
End of OS version availability:
Windows 95: December 31, 2001
Windows NT Workstation 4.xx: June 30, 2003
Windows 98: November 30, 2003
Windows 2000 Professional: March 31, 2005
Windows Vista: April 1, 2008
Windows XP Professional availability has been extended to January 29,
Microsoft's operating systems have variable useful life cycles based
upon business and consumer installed base and popularity. Some versions
of Windows have relatively longer shelf life than others, and Microsoft
has determined that Windows XP has a larger installed consumer and
business base, and greater popularity than other versions of the
As such, Microsoft will be withdrawing all support for Windows Vista in
the first quarter of 2008.
Microsoft would like to take this opportunity to announce that in the
second quarter of 2008 it will make available “Windows Linux” «, the
operating system of the 21st century.
March 22nd, 2007
Dept. Bans Vista
The chief information officer for the US Transportation Dept. has issued
indefinite ban on installing Microsoft's disaster of an OS upgrade,
Vista. Hardware and software compatibility issues were a major reason
for the CIO to declare that there was no compelling technical or
business reason to upgrade.
concur, and wonder if this is the end for Windows. If the next "upgrade"
5 years down the road is as bad as this one, then I expect that Windows
will die a slow and painful death.
PLEASE! Google, fix up a nice version of Linux with Windows and Direct X
support, and save us from Bill Gates' insatiable appetite for our money.
February 28th, 2007
Open Letter on
Dear Congressman Conyers,
First I want to thank you for your work in the Congress for all these
years. I have always appreciated the fact that you fight for progressive
As an owner of two XM satellite radios and an IT professional, I urge
you to reject the XM - Sirius satellite radio merger for a number of
1) the agreement signed by the two companies must be more than just a
piece of paper that can be thrown in the garbage. Both companies agreed
that they would not merge in order to to maintain competition in this
small but growing market.
2) nothing has changed since that agreement was signed. Public airwave
radio, MP3 players, Internet audio streaming, etc. were all in place
long before XM and Sirius satellite radio signed the non-merger
agreement. No new technologies that compete with satellite radio have
come out since that time.
3) the argument that the merger will benefit consumers is ludicrous.
What will prevent the merged company from raising rates, or forcing
customers to buy new equipment in order to access both networks? There
will be no competition whatsoever.
4) the idea that Internet audio streaming can replace satellite radio is
absurd on its face. The whole point of satellite radio was that it was
going to give us much better audio quality than streaming audio on the
Internet. When there is only one company to go to, consumers will be
forced to pay for the services of a single satellite monopoly without
any other option.
5) currently many new automobiles come with either a Sirius or XM
satellite radio preinstalled. As soon as the companies merge this will
basically force all new automobile owners to ante up to a single company
in order to activate their car radio. The idea that AM/FM radio competes
with satellite radio is also ridiculous. Why did they even start new
satellite radio companies if AM/FM radio provided the same services?
Finally, I do not see how this proposed merger will fix the problems at
the two satellite radio companies. Both companies paid way too much
money to a few celebrities in the hopes that it would bring on many more
listeners. That did not happen to the extent that they expected and they
probably should renegotiate those contracts in order to get costs down.
Consumers should not be saddled with that bill because executives made
the wrong choices. I do not listen to Howard Stern or Oprah Winfrey and
could care less about their shows.
Please do not let these duplicitous corporate officials confuse the
issue and make it seem as though everything has changed since that
agreement had been signed. There is absolutely no benefit for the
consumer, only the probability that new equipment will need to be
purchased and increasing fees will have to be paid.
Dr. John R. Moffett
Email Congressman Conyers:
February 15th, 2007
It looks like Microsoft designed Vista to give all install routines
administrative rights to do just about anything, based on this
analysis by a
security expert. The User Account Control system assumes that all
install routines are run with administrator privileges, thus providing a
means for system compromise. Even Windows XP did not make this
assumption when installing a program, utility or game.
took 5 years for Microsoft to come up with this?
February 14th, 2007
Vista Pain is
If you were
actually one of those brave (dumb?) souls who went out and purchased
Vista when it was released, and installed it on your computer in order
to have direct X10 support for games, you are almost certainly living in
the house of pain right now. Message boards are flooded with
games either not running, not running properly, or even crashing to the BSOD when trying to play games on Vista. Apparently first person
shooters are particularly affected.
device drivers are not ready yet for Vista, including everything from
printers to sound cards. Creative Labs sound cards appear to be causing more
than their share of
with Vista, and it looks like Creative has no intention of writing Vista
drivers for their older sound cards.
that the major new feature offered by Microsoft Vista is a pretty 3-D user
interface, it is extremely difficult to understand why anyone would want to
upgrade their old fully functional Windows XP computer to the new operating
system. Is it really worth dozens or hundreds of hours of pain and suffering
trying to get things to work just to have a nicer 3-D facelift on your
operating system? I don't think so.
The only reason
to run the Vista operating system on your computer right now is if you just
happened to go out and buy a brand-new computer with Vista installed.
Otherwise, installing Vista on an older system should be highly discouraged.
Windows XP is a
perfectly good operating system and it should remain the operating system on
your current computer until your computer's life expectancy comes to a bitter end. You
will not only save lots of money that you can put towards your next computer
system, but you will save endless hours of frustration and irritation.
January 26th, 2007
Experts Agree: Don't
listed some of the many reasons for not upgrading to Windows Vista
next week. The main issue is that hardware drivers are not ready yet,
but other issues also loom large. Some applications will not work on
Vista, you will need to upgrade your hardware unless your system is new
and high-end, and you will need to upgrade to new Vista compatible
utilities like anti-virus and system utilities.
for most people who use Windows, one of the bigger issues is gaming.
Because video and audio drivers for Vista are in poor shape, and because
Direct X 10 games don't exist yet, buying Vista is not particularly
tempting. Add to that the price of the OS itself, basically $400 for the
retail top-end version, and you have all sorts of reasons to stick with
your fully functional, and already paid for Windows XP. Even if you go
for the XP upgrade version, you'll still pay $260.
certainly knows how to make money... if only he were that good at making
January 9th, 2007
Vista for Gamers?
grumbling about Windows Vista is growing, and it will be very
interesting to see how the rollout this month pans out. Amusingly, the
improved security features are so clumsy and intrusive, that it is very
likely that online games won't work without substantial intervention. I
absolutely agree that security is job 1, but how it is implemented is
Windows Vista puts many "security" features above functionality, so the
user response will be critical in determining how well Vista fares, and
to what extent it is adopted. Gamers may want Direct X 10 support, but
at what cost?
December 27th, 2006
Windows XP is Last
Version of Windows for the Masses
What if Microsoft made a new operating system, but nobody came?
Microsoft's new operating system
isn't just full of
security holes, it's also so overwhelmed with anti-piracy and
digital rights management burdens that it doesn't even work right.
Further, it may turn out to be such a headache to write code for, that
it may not catch on at all.
article by Peter Gutmann (presumably no relation to "The Fat Man" in
The Maltese Falcon), a New Zealand physician, details the
onerous nature of Vista's internal mish-mosh of unworkable protection
features, and states that he will not be able to use the OS for his work as
it stands now.
example, he discusses some of the effects of the Hardware Functionality
Scan (HFS) built into Vista:
"The HFS process has another
cost involved with it. Most hardware vendors have (thankfully) moved to
unified driver models instead of the plethora of individual drivers that
abounded some years ago. Since HFS requires unique identification and
handling of not just each device type (for example each graphics chip)
but each variant of each device type (for example each stepping of each
graphics chip) to handle the situation where a problem is found with one
variation of a device, it's no longer possible to create
one-size-fits-all drivers for an entire range of devices like the
current Catalyst/Detonator/ForceWare drivers. Every little variation of
every device type out there must now be individually accommodated in
custom code in order for the HFS process to be fully effective."
regard to the effects on hardware costs and design, Dr. Gutmann notes:
"Vista includes various
requirements for "robustness" in which the content industry, through
"hardware robustness rules", dictates design requirements to hardware
manufacturers. For example, only certain layouts of a board are allowed
in order to make it harder for outsiders to access parts of the board.
Possibly for the first time ever, computer design is being dictated not
by electronic design rules, physical layout requirements, and thermal
issues, but by the wishes of the content industry. Apart from the
massive headache that this poses to device manufacturers, it also
imposes additional increased costs beyond the ones incurred simply by
having to lay out board designs in a suboptimal manner."
There you have it, The MPAA
dictating how hardware is to be built... making it less functional, less
reliable, and slower... nice.
guess is that Microsoft will try to discourage people from continuing to
buy Windows XP, but that eventually they will have to redo Vista, or
they will suffer from declining sales and influence. They will also have
to deal with millions of angry customers who can't get Vista to work
leaves the door wide open for Apple to make OSXi, a Windows-like version
of OSX, available for PC owners, or someone else to make a juiced-up and
user friendly version of Linux to start to eat significantly at the
Windows user base. People will flock from Windows Vista in droves if the
right OS replacement, without crippling DRM, is made available.
Vista is not an improvement on XP, it is a serious downgrade in almost
job Bill! Your kitchen-sink approach to OS development continues to pay
off wonderfully. DRM will be the death of your new OS.
November 1st, 2006
Shills for Republicans
Corporations, including some that supposedly feed you daily information,
are boycotting Air America Radio.
turns out that 90 large corporations, including Hewlett Packard,
ABC, Wal-Mart, GE, Exxon, Mobil, Microsoft, Bank of America, Fed-Ex, Visa,
Allstate, McDonald's, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Postal Service
and the U.S. Navy have all blacklisted the liberal radio network from
My guess is that they are patriots in name only, and don't want to pay
their fair share of taxes. They want you to pay all the taxes instead.
Air America advocates a return to sanity, which means that corporations
need to pay their fair share of the tax burden. Corporations will have
none of it, and say FU to the American Taxpayer.
will be writing each of these corporations to let them know where my
dollars are going, and not going.
American censorship has got to end.
October 18th, 2006
Electronic Arts new title Battlefield 2142 is the first major game to
contain in-game advertising (IGA). Publishers insist that $50 per game
doesn't generate enough profit, so they need to force spam into the
BF2142 is simply a mod of BF2, and the major change to the game is the
addition of billboards all over the maps which can be filled with
"targeted advertising". The spamware opens your computer to spam servers
all over the world. I'm encouraged that folks are
will never buy and install a game that has IGA built-in. I pre-ordered
BF2142, and will try to return it, even though it is nearly impossible
to return opened games. I strongly urge everyone to sign the
petition that was just started to tell EA to keep ads out of retail
we don't end this now, it will show up in every future game. EA has been
making huge profits, but that is not enough for them. Because there is
no mention of the IGA on the packaging for BF2142, I am going to look
into starting a class action lawsuit against EA for deception.
October 17th, 2006
Forces Spamware and Spyware on You
It's time to boycott EA, and refuse to buy their new game, Battlefield
2142. When you open your BF2142 up
you will find a
very large notice about IGA
Worldwide spam software being installed automatically by the game.
If you install the game, you install the spamware/spyware called
"in-game advertising" (IGA), even though you already paid EA big bucks
for the game. I just received my pre-order copy, and sure enough, the
notice is in there, and it is like nothing I've ever seen in a game
The software delivers in game advertising
The software monitors your internet usage
The software will upload "in-game objects" to your computer
The software may do this monitoring and spamming from "overseas servers"
offensive User Agreement is here
Considering that you have to pay full retail price for the game, folks
are getting a tad angry about the issue, as you can see
can see how dummy ads look in the BF2142 demo
Obviously, the nefarious software monitors your internet surfing habits
and targets you with popup ads in the game, hoping to get you to buy stuff you
don't want or need. It will certainly slow down game loading and game
performance as various overloaded advertising servers around the world
try to place spam on billboards throughout the game.
does EA say you can avoid having the software spy on you and spam you?
not install or play the software on any platform that is used to connect
to the internet."
helpful when talking about an online multiplayer game.
gamers ignore this issue, and install the game and accompanying spyware/spamware
in droves, it will drive EA to force in-game advertising on us in every
upcoming title. The only way to stop them is to contact EA, and tell
them you will never buy a game with "in-game advertising" built in,
unless they give the games out for free. They can offer two versions of
games if they want to do this crap: the paid-for ad-free version, or the
free spam-filled version. Then everyone will be happy.
October 12th, 2006
Google Buys YouSued?
YouTube is fun, but as a startup without any money, they were not a
target for the Sue-everyone-for-a-living crowd. Now that deep-pocketed
Google has purchase YouTube, I wonder if it is going to quickly become
YouSued. Indeed, before the ink dried on the contract, a Finnish media
company, YLE, is contemplating how much money it can
from Google to get the legal action to end.
Sounds like a process that will be repeated as often as necessary to
drain Google's coffers. I know that Google wants to dominate online
video, but now they may just have set themselves up to dominate online
October 7th, 2006
Vista to Run Games
Slower than XP
As you might expect, Windows Vista will play existing games 10 to 15%
than Windows XP. This is at least in part due to the fact that the new
3-D user interface will always be running in the background and taking
up resources. Also, because Vista will host DirectX version 10, there is
always the possibility that DirectX 9 games will be handled differently
by the operating system.
this information percolates through the Internet, in combination with
the fact that DirectX 10 video cards are not yet available, and that
DirectX games are not scheduled for release until next year, my guess is
that gamers will be very slow to migrate to Windows Vista. Everyone who
has migrated to newer versions of Windows in the past knows that this
process is far from painless. There will certainly be driver issues,
hardware issues, and software issues that will cause untold problems for
users in the first few months after the release of Vista.
guess is that it will be almost a year from now before all the hardware,
software, games, patches, and drivers will be mature enough to make the
switchover to the new operating system a viable option.
September 26th, 2006
Vista Ready to Go?
Apparently not. The Inquirer is
reporting that the latest build (5728) is broken, and would not
install and run properly. I just downloaded a copy from Microsoft
yesterday, but haven't had time to test it yet.
According to the Inq., the system would crash repeatedly, and offered
the message: "The upgrade was not successful, your previous version of
Windows is being restored". Well thank goodness they at least made sure
it backed up Windows XP before installing the faulty OS.
is difficult to see how Microsoft is going to be able to make a rock
solid OS out of this thing in just a few months. It's probably going to
be a good idea to hold off on buying and updating to Vista for at least
a couple months after it comes out, in order to give them more time to
figure out what they messed up.
September 13th, 2006
DirectX 10 will ship with Windows Vista, and is supposed to have
optimized DLLs which should speed up gaming performance. However, it
will make this game API incompatible with older versions of Direct X!
That means that if you buy a Vista machine in January, you will have to
use the built-in legacy DX emulator, which will mean reduced performance
in older games.
your current system for playing your current games! I don't expect many
DX10 games to be out right away, so that means you should be fine with
your existing system until Spring. After that, who knows what the
situation will be like. If games like Battlefield2 run slower on Vista
machines because they use emulation mode, I expect some very frustrated
September 9th, 2006
Business 2.0 has an
editorial suggesting that "Windows Vista" is over-hyped, overdue,
and has few redeeming features that will make it a must buy for
consumers. They suggest that it might behoove computer users to skip the
mandatory computer upgrade when Vista comes out to send a message to
Bill that it is too little, too late, and for too much money.
wrote back in 2005 how MS had failed to produce a functional, new OS,
code-named "Longhorn", and had to scrap that project after years of
development. They then opted to put a facelift on Windows Server 2003,
and call it Vista. But it is truly a facelift, not a new version of
me this suggests that Windows XP/Server 2003 is the end of the road for
Microsoft. They will only modify and tweak it, and add more dumb
features, but they have reached their limit in terms of OS technology.
should mention that because Direct X 10 will probably not work with
Windows XP (of course), gamers will be forced to upgrade to Vista when
new DX10 games start to hit the shelves in early 2007.
August 8th, 2006
The Day ATI Died
Will ATI video cards actually become branded as AMD video cards? Will
their trademark red circuit boards switch to green? That's the
scuttlebutt on the net. Yes, the purchase of ATI by AMD was a
company buyout, not a merger, but nonetheless even AMD executives must
realize that ATI is an incredibly popular brand-name. In marketing
terms, AMD must understand that if people show up at a computer store to
buy a video card, and they don't see any ATI cards available, there will
be confusion. Those same customers might spot AMD video cards on the
shelf and have absolutely no idea what that is. Unless they have heard
about buyout, they will not equate AMD video cards with ATI video cards.
The word is that the disbanding of the ATI tradename will begin
immediately. It will be very interesting to see how that works out as
ATI cards remaining in stock are sold off and replaced with AMD branded
cards. I expect that if AMD does some kind of advertising campaign that
they will be able to win over many ATI fans, but this is not guaranteed.
If AMD is smart, they will retain the ATI trademark. It took well over a
decade for ATI to build their brand name recognition to the point they
have now. I really doubt that AMD wants to start that decade-long
process over again.
July 31st, 2006
AMD and ATI
Everybody is wondering what will happen with PCs now that AMD has
purchased graphics chip maker ATI. At this point it's extremely
difficult to foresee what will happen as this plays out, but it seems
quite possible that the PC market will become split into two distinct
What is most perplexing is the fact that NVIDIA makes some of the best
AMD motherboard chipsets, whereas ATI makes some of the best Intel
chipsets, such as the upcoming RD600 chipset for Intel's Core 2 Duo.
There is much concern about
what is going to happen with the RD600 now that AMD owns ATI. Some
suggest that everyone should just get along, and keep things the way
they are where you can mix and match different graphics cards with
different motherboard chipsets and processors. This flexibility has
helped foster the extreme popularity of PCs.
While there is some reason for hoping that AMD/ATI will continue to make
both AMD and Intel chipsets, and that AMD motherboards will work just
fine with NVIDIA video cards, there are also reasons for doubting that
the status quo will endure.
AMD/ATI will have a much easier go of things at greatly reduced cost if
they can focus on their platform only. Having a second design team which
makes sure that ATI video cards still work on Intel motherboards, and
that NVIDIA video cards will work on ATI chipset motherboards more than
doubles the workload for the company. The easiest way to cut costs would
be to focus on the AMD/ATI PC platform. And at the very least, if AMD
needs a little breathing room as Core 2 Duo comes out from Intel, they
could make sure that ATI delays the release of the RD600 chipset.
So, are we seeing the beginning of a split in PC hardware into the
AMD/ATI and Intel/NVIDIA platforms? Will these platforms simply be tuned
for their specific graphics chips, or will they be made to work
exclusively with their respective graphics chips? The PC market has
flourished in no small part because parts from many different
manufacturers were interchangeable. If AMD's acquisition of ATI leads to
Intel's acquisition of NVIDIA, and the PC market becomes split into two
camps, users will no doubt suffer. At least for now, that does not seem
imminent, but we are certainly moving in that direction.
It Was All a Pack of
Bit by bit, every single piece of information given to the United States
public about the reasons for going to war in Iraq have been proven
false. Worse yet, the evidence clearly indicates that the Bush
administration knew the claims were false before they even uttered the
falsehoods in public.
Now we learn that the government knew that the so-called mobile
bio-weapons factories had nothing to do with biological weapons, and
several inspectors dubbed them “giant sand toilets”. (They
actually turned out to be hydrogen generators for weather balloons). But Bush and Cheney
turned sand toilets into imminent threats. They lied and lied and lied.
There are still lying to the public on a daily basis, and for some
reason they think they will get away with it despite all the evidence
showing that they are lying. Now they are stirring up trouble with Iran
for one simple reason; they don't want people talking about how they
lied us into the war in Iraq, and how they exposed a covert CIA agent to
squelch criticism of their malfeasance.
They have so thoroughly trampled on our military - over extended them,
under-equipped them, pushed them to the limit, lied to them about the
reasons for being there, and botched the diplomacy that could have
quelled the insurgency - that they couldn't attack Iran now even if they
wanted to. But expect a lot more Bush bluster about Iran, and a lot more
lies about how Iraq was a substantial and growing threat to the United
The Bush administration will go down in history as the most disingenuous
and disastrous administration to ever come to power in America. What
worries me most is how much more trouble they can get us into over the
next 2 1/2 years in an attempt to distract attention from their criminal
The argument will go something like this: “Iran –threat… Iran -big
threat… Iran -nuclear threat… you're all going to die!” (George isn't
big on complete sentences).
A quick note to those who don't think George Bush should be impeached
along with Dick Cheney: exactly how many lies and false wars will they
have to foist on you before you get angry? How much debt will they need
to saddle your children with in order for you to get angry? How much
will they have to abuse our military personnel, wasting and destroying
many of their lives, before you get angry? Which is more important; the
United States of America, or the Republican Party?
Think about it.
column published yesterday Todd Huffman writes “If you don't mind,
why don't you mind?” That's a question I've been asking for some time
now. The truth of the matter is that about two thirds of the country
really does mind, and is either frustrated or outraged. It's just that
other one third which doesn't seem to mind what the Bush administration
is doing in our name.
It is now official that President Bush authorized leaking the name of a
CIA agent, only to come out later and publicly say he wanted to know
“who did the leaking”. If that level of official disingenuousness is not
enough to infuriate you, then probably nothing will.
According to recently released information concerning the dubious nature
of President Bush's claims about Iraq obtaining nuclear material from
Niger Africa, Bush knew long before his State of the Union speech that
the claims were false. From the Washington Post story
“The [National Intelligence]
council's reply, drafted in a January 2003 memo by the national
intelligence officer for Africa, was unequivocal: The Niger story was
baseless and should be laid to rest. Four U.S. officials with firsthand
knowledge said in interviews that the memo, which has not been reported
before, arrived at the White House as Bush and his highest-ranking
advisers made the uranium story a centerpiece of their case for the
rapidly approaching war against Iraq.”
There is no doubt now, (nor was there much doubt in many peoples minds
in March of 2003), that the president lied about the reasons for going
to war, and then lied again about the evidence that he had concerning
the reasons for going to war. We were also told there was much
additional information that was classified that showed Saddam was a
serious threat, and now it turns out that was a lie as well.
It is time for conservatives and liberals alike to realize that they
have been set at each other's throats by incompetent liars who are
trying to divide the nation into two warring camps so that they can stay
in power. It is time for conservatives and liberals to stop looking at
each other as the enemy, and see the Bush administration as the true
enemy of us all. The latest headlines at the Washington Post talk about
bombing Iran. Americans need to come together and
write their congress people and tell them that there is absolutely
no way America is going into another ill-advised war based on Karl
Rove’s political strategies. Rove is a one trick pony who thinks that
everyone will rally behind a war president.
Liberals and conservatives alike should work together to impeach both
Bush and Cheney so that America can move on. This is one time when
Americans need to come together regardless of party in order to save
their country from ruin. The moment we start dropping bombs on Iran is
when Iran begins full-scale support for the insurgency in Iraq. Only a
madman would want to put our troops in even more danger than they
If there was ever a time when liberals and conservatives needed to work
together to prevent further disaster, the time is now. If you are not
part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
Another Missing Link
announced the find of several fossils from Devonian rocks in Canada
that clearly show a transitional form between fish and early land
animals. The fish fossils have many additional bones in their forelimbs
that appear to be the forerunners of modern arm/wing bones from land
animals. The new species of fossil has been named Tiktaalik roseae.
For scientists this is just another in a long series of discoveries that
show how animals have evolved over the previous 600 million years, but
for proponents of intelligent design, this is another fossil record gap
filler that makes their argument of huge gaps in the fossil record sound
more and more shrill. One of their favorite gaps was the fossil record
gap between fish and land animals. Fossil fish with short stubby fat
front fins have been found, and amphibian fossils with very primitive
limbs have been found, but this is the first transitional fossil form
which shows intermediate limb development.
Scientists have noted for some time now that creationists have claimed
that evolution cannot explain the gaps in the fossil record, and they
call the creationists point of view “the God-of-the-gaps”. As the gaps
become filled in, the God-of-the-gaps is squeezed more and more out of
the picture. Expect to hear plenty from evangelicals; everything from
accusations that the fossils are fake, to declarations that the forelimb
bones of the fossils do not look like modern arm bones, and are
The really bad news for intelligent design proponents is that there are
billions of cubic acres of fossil bearing rocks still to be examined,
and many new fossils yet to be found. The fossil record will never be
perfect, but as it stands now it has already given us huge volumes of
information about how life changed on earth over the last several
hundred million years.
War Profiteers are
Picking Your Pocket and Making You Less Safe.
reported in the New York Times today that as much as $26 billion
worth of defense contracting money may have been spent on an unworkable
antimissile defense system. The contractor and war profiteer, Boeing,
apparently falsified data on the accuracy and kill rate for missile
interceptors they were contracted to provide the government. The project
is slated to cost a total of $250 billion.
A heated dispute has sprung up between the General Accounting Office
(GAO) and one of their employees who disclosed the falsified documents
and the subsequent cover-up to the public.
As an example, a single failed missile attempt cost American taxpayers
$100 million, and Boeing falsified data concerning the test. Perhaps the
most disturbing part of this story of war profiteering, falsifying data,
and cover up is the fact that there is no nuclear missile threat anymore
to protect the United States from.
George Bush came to office determined to build an antimissile defense
system despite the fact that there was no longer any threat from enemy
nuclear missiles. Add to this the facts that the interceptors rarely
find their target, even when it is a lone warhead, and it is impossible
for the interceptor to determine which is the real warhead when decoys
In other words, the system cannot possibly work as advertised, and it is
designed for a threat that no longer exists. Does that sound like
something you want 250 billion taxpayer dollars spent on? Isn't it
possible that spending that money on securing our ports and borders
might make Americans safer than protecting us against non-existent
I expect most Americans will just roll their eyes and say “oh well”. And
of course that is the crux of the problem in America today. Americans
should be outraged at this squandering of their tax dollars to boost a
failing corporation, Boeing. The sad fact of the matter is, eventually
Boeing lost the interceptor contract to another company, Raytheon, but
Boeing still retains control over the entire missile defense project. I
suppose it's just another example of promoting those who fail.
When Will Americans finally rise up against in this kind of
government/corporate abuse? Probably never, they're too busy watching
April 1st 2006
Taking White House Jobs That Americans Don't Want.
In a shocking move that has the White House staff in a frenzy, President
George Bush has announced a White House staff shakeup. After the
resignations of Scooter Libby and Andrew Card, the president has been
having trouble filling top positions in his administration. According to
Scott McClellan, the president's press secretary, Americans just don't
want those kinds of jobs. “Americans are basically an ethical lot”,
McClellan was quoted as saying. “It's hard to get an honest, taxpaying
citizen to fill these sleazy positions”.
When questioned about specifics, McClellan noted that the White House
chief of staff position would soon be open and that Mr. Bush was
interviewing potential candidates for the job. One high-level staffer at
the White House said that a number of applicants had been interviewed,
but that no Americans were willing to stoop that low. It was noted
however, that Jes˙s Jimenez (pronounced Hesus Himenez), an illegal
immigrant and day laborer in Northern Virginia, had expressed some
interest in the job opening.
Other top-level positions rumored for rapid turnover included Secretary
of State, Secretary of Defense, and Vice President. McClellan
ruminated; “These are important positions, and just because they aren't
glamorous, and they have been sullied by their current occupants,
doesn’t mean that they are bad jobs”. When asked about progress on
filling the vice president's position, McClellan was quoted as saying “I
can't comment on ongoing job applications”.
Is GoogleNet in
Google is issuing a gazillion new shares to raise money, which has
everyone wondering about big plans. I've heard rumors of something big
in China, which would be interesting, but it strikes me that they may be
thinking about something much bigger. What if Google buys up enough
fiber optic network to make a secure internet within the un-secure
internet? Think a paid-for-service called "GoogleNet".
It sounds like something that would propel Google into the sphere of
"world dominator" in the way the Microsoft has done with operating
Combine this with their new attempts to hook up various cities with free Wi-Fi
access (coincidentally called GoogleNet), and it starts to sound
I'd pay $20-$30 extra a month for access to a secure, pop-up-less,
virus-free, spam-free safe haven on the Internet. You could always go
through the swinging saloon doors out into the Wild Wild West, but
"GoogleNet" would always be there for secure surfing and emailing.
Sounds like a plan to me. But it's just a guess.
Dubya's Plan for
Winning in Iraq
When asked at a recent news conference how long US troops would be in
Iraq, our brilliant leader said “that will be for future presidents and
future Iraqi governments to decide”.
There you have it, the brilliant tactical plan of George W. Bush for
winning the war in Iraq: leave the huge mess for the next president. For
those of you who need a Bush translator, what he is really saying is “I
f’ed up, now someone else's gunna have ta fix it.”
Perhaps this explains why the Republican Party is in meltdown mode, they
can't wait to lose the next several rounds of elections and dump this
mess on the Democrats. It will be impossible to leave Iraq any other way
but in disgrace, and George would rather have that disgrace fall on the
Democrats as much as possible.
We are currently constructing permanent military bases in Iraq, and my
guess is the Republicans have no intentions of leaving that country. And
how do you think Muslims around the world will feel about more US
military bases in and around the holy lands? It should not be lost on
the American people that many large corporations, some of them connected
to Bush and Cheney, are making billions of dollars on war profiteering.
This way the “long war” becomes the “huge profit” for Halliburton, GE,
Northrop Grumman and others.
But don't talk about impeachment, or you’re a terrorist sympathizer.
It is sad how low we have sunk.
Apparently, Dick Cheney insists that television sets be tuned to Fox
News before he gets to his motel rooms. This is, I suppose, to ensure
that the Cheney Reality Bubble moves preemptively ahead of the Vice
President wherever he goes. You might think Mr. Cheney would like to get
a range of news and opinions before making important decisions, like
maybe, going to war preemptively, but that would appear not to be the
vast array of terrible mistakes made by this administration are perhaps more
understandable in light of the fact that Dick Cheney likes to have his own
misinformation fed back to him, rather than hearing the unvarnished, painful
truth. I suppose he gets the additional benefit of being able to watch his
propaganda machine in action so that he can prepare the next day's talking
points for the actors to read over the airwaves at Fox news.
Bill is At It Again
leaked out from Microsoft that Bill Gate’s “kitchen sink” obsession
is causing massive problems with their new operating system, Vista.
According to the leak, His Billness has recently demanded that 60% of
the Vista code be rewritten before the January 2007 launch.
Keep in mind that this operating system has been in development since
2001. The entire project was scrapped in 2005 and the base code was
replaced with the kernel of Windows server 2003. So while Bill will not
have an entirely new operating system as he had hoped, at least that
should fix the major problems, correct?
Not even close. Apparently Bill has demanded that Windows Media Center
must be an integral part of the operating system just the way he
insisted that Internet Explorer must be part of the operating system,
not an add-on. But it turns out that ramming Windows Media Center down
Window’s throat isn't going well. Indeed, Bill has even yanked his Xbox
team and has chained them to their desks in the Media Center gulag.
To add insult to injury Bill is trying to jam Intel Viiv support
directly into the operating system for some completely unknown reason.
I'm sure it has something to do with lots of money though. This is also
proving to be a bit of a sticky wicket.
As I have said for many years, it is a shame that Bill did not use this
opportunity to create a rock solid secure core operating system with
high speed connectors to peripheral modules such as browsers,
entertainment suites, and media players. Unfortunately for all of us,
Bill Gates is still living in a kitchen sink world where everything must
be an integral part of the operating system.
If you ask me, the time is right for a company like Google to gobble up
a solid version of Linux and make it into a consumer level operating
system that will also run Windows programs. Oh sure, just like George
Bush and Dick Cheney will all of a sudden become wise leaders. I'm
Dell Buys Alienware
No, it's not April 1st yet, so it
can't be a joke. I suppose that once Apple switched to Intel
processors after all those years telling us that RISC processors were
better, you'd expect one of the worst PC makers in the country to buy
one of the best.
swears that they will not mess around with Alienware's business, but then
you have to ask yourself what's the purpose of the acquisition? Obviously
some things are going to have to change and the question on Alienware's
customer's minds is, "what things"?
Theoretically, prices could decline on Alieneware machines because they are
able to get better pricing on parts. But the other possibility is that Dell
will insist on cutting corners to improve the bottom line. Only time will
tell. Maybe it's time to reopen KickAss Gear!
Are They Na´ve,
Ignorant, or Dumb?
Bush administration officials seem more and more confused and frustrated
about their failing attempt to force democracy on the Islamic Middle
Eastern nation of Iraq. As you may recall, Bush and Co. insisted that
the war would take a few weeks at most, would cost no more than $1
billion, that we would be greeted as liberators and showered with
flowers and chocolates, and that we would be able to install a
democratic government in an Islamic nation in no time flat.
I ask again; are they na´ve, ignorant, or just plain dumb? It is now
three years later, over 2300 lives later, $250 billion later, and the
members of the puppet Iraqi government we have installed can't even meet
in the same room for more than a few minutes because they hate each
As Maxwell Smart might have said…
“missed it by that much”.
Traitorous liberals such as myself suggested 3 1/2 years ago (before anyone
died, or any money was wasted) that all that talk from the Bush
administration was pie in the sky stuff; that you could not possibly expect
an Islamic nation to all of a sudden become a perfectly functioning
democracy just because Mr. Bush said so. Ask yourself now, were liberals
like me “terrorist sympathizers” as Dick Cheney would suggest, or were we
correct about the massive insurgent quagmire that Iraq could become if we
invaded it? Hmm, let me think about that for a minute.
Now Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld
say it is “time for resolve, rather than retreat”. They say that the
Iraqi government is making great progress, and that the new Iraqi army is
performing magnificently. Does that ring true to your ears based on what you
are seeing and reading from Iraq? Can these guys be trusted to give you
unfiltered truth of the matter? Hmm, let me think about that for a minute.
No tale of our woes in Iraq would be complete without mentioning the great
enablers; the war-drum-pounding, macho-chest-beating US media. You know, the
ones that the Republicans love to call “the liberal media”. Without their
unflagging and continuous support, Bush and Co. couldn’t have pulled off
such a horrendous series of deadly mistakes. The media, such as they are,
continue to give the Bush administration a pass on all of their erroneous
claims and the ensuing debacles. Hell, the cheerleaders can’t all of a
sudden start rooting for the other team in the middle of the game, now can
To top it all off, the Democrats are acting like a bunch of wet noodles. So
without a functioning, questioning media, and with cowering Democrats
everywhere you look, it is no wonder that we are digging ourselves into a
deeper and deeper hole in the Middle East.
So hang in there for the “long
war” as they are calling it now. And hold on to your wallets while
you're at it; Bush just raised the national debt ceiling to over
$9,000,000,000,000, or about $30,000 per man woman and child in the US.
Don't worry about roads and schools and infrastructure and port security in
the US, we are going to practice all that stuff over in Iraq first before we
try it here.
Google has a few beta services that have been up for a little while that
you may not have seen. One is a mapping system for
other is for the moon.
So if you need to get directions from Elysium Mons to Albor Tholus,
Google's got you covered. I'm not sure what average folks would want to
use these for, but they are pretty cool nonetheless.
for fun, check out the highest zoom level on the moon map! :)
Winners and Losers
When someone is elected to an office in the United States, whether it be
president, Senator, or Mayor of a city, what do we call him in America?
He is “the winner”. And the other candidate who lost the election, what
do we call him? “The loser”.
Take a minute to think about this in relation to governing our country.
What do we really mean when we say winner and loser? We mean that there
was a contest, a game of sorts, where someone comes out victorious, and
the other person is defeated. If you think about this a little bit
deeper, it is somewhat unsettling to note that we are treating something
as critical to our democracy as electing a president as though it were a
So what's wrong with that? For one thing, it turns one of the most
important civic duties that each citizen should perform into a
trivialized and shallow endeavor, and artificially polarizes the
electorate. I say artificially because many Republicans and Democrats
are simply voting for their team, regardless of the previous performance
record of their team.
For the good of our country, wouldn't it be much better for Democrats
and Republicans to work together to accomplish at least those things
that they can agree on? The Maryland legislature yesterday voted
unanimously, 137 to zero, all Republicans and all Democrats, to
the Diebold AccuVote electronic voting machines that had been slated to be used
in the upcoming 2006 elections. They have agreed to the simple idea that
a paper trail back-up is essential in the case of close elections if a
recount is required. This proves that we can all work together when the
objective is clear and important. Let's hope more states make the same
When we let a sports mentality - a desire for our team to win at all
costs - insinuate itself into the deepest aspects of our political
elections, we all lose. But the entire concept of civic duty is lost in
modern America, and I am not certain that we can get it back anytime
soon. Rather, most Americans sit on the political sidelines and cheer
for our team (and vehemently harass the other team) without any real
concept of what either team stands for. Just as good sportsmanship has
become so elusive in America, honest political discourse also seems
beyond our grasp. But Americans are not a particularly introspective
lot, so I'm not sure what it would take to reignite the concepts of
honest political discourse and civic duty into our national psyche. We
seem to be inexorably infatuated with the spectacle of winners and
Intel Admissions of Our Time
I am really beginning to wonder about Intel and their decision-making
capabilities. I was left awestruck after reading a small piece over at
CNet as to why Intel does not include a memory controller on their
current processor chips. As you may know, AMD has had a fairly efficient
DDR1 memory controller in their Athlon and Opteron processors for some
time now, and this has had a positive effect on the bottom line of
performance. Intel, on the other hand, still places the memory
controller on the motherboard, which significantly reduces performance.
let's get back to Intel's reason for not having an on-chip memory
controller. According to Intel's CEO
Paul Ortellini, the memory controller would take up too much on-die
space, reducing the number of processors that can be produced in a single
run. That's correct, it has nothing to do with functionality or performance,
only Intel's bottom line.
Herein lies Intel's woes - bean counters. I began complaining about this
problem at Intel back in 1999. The bean counter-trumps-engineer scenario has
been all too evident at Intel for some time.
Mr. Ortellini also mentioned that an on-chip memory controller was
limited to DDR1memory modules, which is true. However, the next generation
of AMD chips will have an updated memory controller that can interface to
newer types of DDR memory, so that is really not an issue. The main reason
is that Intel needs to pump out huge numbers of chips to make up for the
fact that, very often, they give companies like Dell huge discounts on
volume purchases of Intel chips. So they need to make up in volume what they
lose in per-chip profits.
good to have large corporations fess up occasionally, I just wonder if they
do it intentionally.
So You Say You Want
So you've got a great new high definition TV and either satellite or
cable with a dozen or more a high-definition channels. You're having a
great time with your expensive new home movie theater and you just can't
wait for those new high-definition DVD players and recorders. Right?
There are many controversial issues surrounding the debut of
high-definition disks and players ranging from incompatible formats to
draconian copy protection schemes.
You have probably heard that the two new high definition player/disk
formats, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, are not compatible. They will play older
DVD disks, but not each others disks. HD-DVD will hold 15GB of data
(30GB for dual layer), and Blu-Ray will hold 25GB (50GB for dual layer).
Dual layer burners may not be out for some time after the debut of the
first generation of players/burners.
So what’s the deal with the incompatible formats? There is a lot of back
story here. First, most companies decided early on to adopt the HD-DVD
format, as opposed to Sony’s Blu-Ray for one simple reason: existing DVD
player and disk factories can be retooled inexpensively and quickly to
produce HD-DVD burners and blank disks. On the other hand, Blu-Ray
burners and disks require entirely new factory production lines and
manufacturing methods. Based on their specifications, Blu-Ray will
almost certainly be the higher quality high definition format, but due
to the higher cost of retooling manufacturing plants, most manufacturers
have abandoned Sony and instead are backing HD-DVD.
Observers are beginning to
note that this is very much like the Betamax/VHS standard wars from
the 1980s. Sony backed the higher-quality Betamax standard, but due to
increased manufacturing costs, prices on the units, and lack of customer
interest, the Betamax standard slowly faded into obscurity. It seems now
that the same scenario is playing out with new high-definition DVD
formats. Sony has lost most of their support from the industry to the
point where the major use of Blu-Ray could just end up being in the new
PlayStation 3, made of course by Sony.
Prices on HD-DVD players/burners will probably start in the $400 range
whereas prices on the initial Blu-Ray units will probably exceed $1000.
That fact alone is likely to be enough to doom Sony's standard to the
scrap heap of consumer electronics history.
I haven’t even touched on the copy protection schemes that will come
with the new players, which will almost certainly present consumers with
many headaches and irritations. In the long run, many folks may opt for
continuing to get their high definition content from their cable or
satellite providers, rather than paying for expensive players and disks
that are saddled with strong copy protection. In a sense, the Motion
Picture Association of America’s insistence on overbearing copy
protection may have killed their new cash cow before they were ever able
to get it to market.
What Will it Take?
The Bush administration promulgates one disaster after another in both
foreign and domestic policy, and yet their poll numbers rarely drop
below 40% popularity. This indicates that the Republican base in America
is solidly behind George Bush & Co., regardless of Bush's failure rate,
or the number of serious political scandals his administration is
Let's take a look at some of the disasters, scandals, and deceptions
foisted on the US public by the Bush administration, and then decide how
much of a scandal the same offense would have been perceived by
Republicans if a Democrat were involved.
We can start with the relatively trivial hunting accident PR debacle
where Dick Cheney shot a friend and fellow hunter in the face and neck
and chest rather than shooting the quail he was aiming at. Now imagine
if this had happened to John Kerry during the last election. The media
frenzy would have been far worse, and the accusations coming from the
Republicans would have been vicious. They would've talked about how
Kerry knew nothing about hunting or proper hunting safety techniques,
how he was incompetent, couldn't shoot straight, and if he didn't reveal
it to the press for 24 hours there would be constant talk of an
attempted cover-up. How do you think Republicans who forgive
five-deferment Dick Cheney would have felt about John Kerry if he had
accidentally shot a hunting buddy?
Then there is the warrant-less spying on Americans by the Bush
administration, which is a clear violation of existing law by bypassing
the FISA court system set up for just such surveillance oversight.
Considering how berserk Republicans went over the FBI files that were
reviewed by the Clinton administration, mostly files of White House
personnel such as groundskeepers, doesn't it seem a little bit
surprising that Republicans are all for spying on Americans as long as
Republicans are in charge?
How about lying America into an unnecessary war? Remember how the
Republicans responded when Bill Clinton wanted to intervene in Bosnia or
go after Osama bin Laden? The Republicans said “no war for Monica”.
Republican senators said that it wasn't worth losing a single life to
stop the bloodshed in the ex-Yugoslavia, and in the end, not a single US
soldier was lost due to enemy fire in that conflict. Compare that with
the death toll and injury toll in Iraq. And yet many Republicans still
feel that we are fighting the good fight in Iraq.
What if the Republicans had caught the Clinton administration torturing
prisoners, and setting up secret detention centers around the world? Can
you imagine the level of outrage? And how about if Bill Clinton or
Hillary Clinton were accused of purposefully outing a covert CIA agent
for political purposes? What a media frenzy that would have been. And
what if Clinton had told the American people that the war in Bosnia
would cost $1 billion, but then it ended up costing $300 billion? Think
about how big a scandal it would have been if Bill Clinton had
dismantled FEMA and allowed over a thousand people to die in New Orleans
after the hurricane.
So my question is, what would it take for Republicans to finally come
around to the idea that the Bush administration is not defending the
Constitution, but is rather shredding it day by day? What would it take
for Republicans to realize that it is ludicrous to fight for freedom in
Iraq while simultaneously eroding our freedoms at home?
think it will take a complete
change of mindset because currently many Republicans seem to treat
politics as a contact sport rather than the means by which we govern our
country. To them it is win or lose, and where sports are involved, winning
is everything. I believe that much of this mindset has to do with the split
in our news media where we now have hard-core right wing news, wishy-washy
mainstream news, and a smattering of hard-core left wing news. The
population is split into two sides that get their information from different
sources. This fuels a sports mentality view of politics. Until the vast
majority of the US population recognizes the fact that politics are not
sports, and that the outcome of elections really matter, there will not be
sufficient public pressure to change the status quo. I have to wonder after
all that has happened, what will it take to run the bums out of town, and
WTF Happened To
MoonBlister to Dr. John:
What's with all the political commentary anymore, John. WTF happened to
you ? You used to interesting. Now you have turned into another boring
left wing whiner, that is filled with some sense of self importance that
we actually might give a shit about your world views when people thought
this was a site about computer hardware.
Thanks for the kind words. Maybe it's just that hardware and software
don't seem as important as lying the US into war, holding prisoners
without trial or lawyers, torturing prisoners, wasting 2000+ soldiers
lives, squandering $250 billion of your taxpayer dollars, dismantling
FEMA, and total political corruption from Cheney's office down to Duke
Cunningham's bribery shop. The large corporations are in bed with Cheney
and Bush, and everyone else in the country loses.
I know I just sound like a left wing nut, but so did Thomas Jefferson
and Ben Franklin, whom, by the way, said "those who would sacrifice
freedom for security deserve neither".
Maybe you didn't notice, my last post was about High def DRM.
To be honest, you are the first person to complain. If I get more
complaints that everyone wants to hear more about software and hardware,
I'll switch back. But right now I feel like I'm doing my little
patriotic part to help get the criminals out of office. What are you
doing? Just complaining about "boring left wing whiners”? That should
fix the mess we're in.
High Def Disk
Will any boycott of
high-definition movies ever take hold? That is what Mike Evangelist,
former Apple software engineer in charge of projects such as Final Cut
Pro, is hoping will happen. On his blog, Mike has
how he will not buy into the MPAA’s new digital rights management system
that will come on all new high-definition movie discs. Mike's main
concern is that the new copy protection system known as AAAS will allow
restrictions and permissions to be applied after the fact. In other
words, The Motion Picture Association of America can decide to further
restrict the ability to view the high-definition version, and disable
the ability to view that content.
More likely, what we're really talking about is the fact that you will
not be able to play high-definition movies on your existing television
that even if it is a brand new high def TV. It is not because the TV
will not be able to process the picture, but because it does not have
the correct copy protection circuitry built in.
I have been talking about this for months, especially the fact that you
will have to refit your entire home entertainment system in order to
play the new discs. Considering that you can now select and play
high-definition movies on demand from your cable system for a very low
price, I am wondering how many people will rush out to buy a new
high-definition TV and player just so they can play new high-definition
The fact that everyone will need to buy new television sets simply so
that the MPAA can block content seems not only illogical, but downright
crazy. I can imagine that some people will rush out to buy a new TV set
without realizing that they are getting rid of their old, perfectly good
high-definition TV (which does not contain all the extra digital rights
management circuitry), and replacing it with something that gives the
movie industry full control over what their television set will play.
I personally am not going to buy a high-definition disc player for my
home entertainment system. Rather, I will buy a high-definition burner
for my computer, primarily for backup purposes. Having 30 to 50 GB of
space on a burnable disk is going to be very nice. So for me, the idea
of a high-definition movie boycott is somewhat irrelevant simply because
I don't see myself spending money on copy protected high-definition
movie discs. Perhaps if sales are slow and consumer polls show wariness
among the public concerning the digital rights management system on
high-definition disks, the industry will be forced to back off. But
somehow, I doubt it. Sales will probably be brisk because most people
don't know how restrictive the new systems will be.
The Gang That
Couldn't Shoot Straight
Getting shot in the face neck
and chest with a shotgun blast is no laughing matter. If you're in doubt
about that, try it sometime. It is somewhat astounding to me that
everyone seems to be making light of the fact that the vice president
shot someone in his hunting party. The victim, Mr. Whittington, is 78
years old and I don't care how good shape he's in, he is going to have a
long hard road to recovery, that is if he does fully recover.
The levity that has been associated with this hunting accident is
misplaced, and the trademark secrecy that has surrounded the incident is
emblematic of the Cheney White House’s disdain for disclosing
information that should be public. Both the levity and secrecy emanate
from Cheney's office itself.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of the entire incident is the fact that
like all other disastrous mistakes he has made, Dick Cheney blames the
victim. This is a quintessential Dick Cheney trait: it's always someone
else's fault. Dick Cheney is flawless, of course. So when Dick Cheney
ignores the basic rules of hunting, including making absolutely
certain you have identified your target before shooting, he still has the gall to claim
that the accident was the victim's fault. Apparently, when the vice president is
hunting, the rules change and everybody better just get out of the way.
My guess is that Mr. Whittington will get worse before he gets better,
that is if he does actually get better. Reports are that he has between
100 and 200 lead pellets embedded in his body, and that they are
shifting position. One has lodged in his heart muscle causing a minor
heart attack (fibrillation), and we can only assume that his condition will worsen over
the next few days as more pellets migrate.
To me, this incident is telling of the way the Cheney White House
operates in general. “The hell with the rules, the hell with public
opinion, the hell with the evidence - we are going to do what we want to
do and damn the consequences.” Cheney couldn't shoot straight on weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq, Cheney couldn't shoot straight when it came
to disclosing the identity of a covert CIA agent for political purposes,
and Cheney couldn't shoot straight in the response to the worst natural
disaster in recent US history. In short, Cheney can't shoot straight and
everybody else is that much worse for the wear.
But of course, the gang that
couldn't shoot straight is going to keep us all so very safe from
terrorists and natural disasters - so you can all put on your orange
hunting jackets and relax.
Who You Gonna Call?
George Bush & Co. want you to be
very afraid that the bogeyman is going to get you. This is a Dick
Cheney-modified version of the Cold War, and it is meant to trample
civil rights, civil liberties, freedoms, and dissent against the
administration and its policies. Bush and Cheney will chant their mantra
of “we are a nation at war” over and over until they feel confident that
you are paralyzed with fear, and they can get away with anything.
As we head in to another election year they will use this trick over and
over to try and fool the American people into thinking they are
about to die, and that only Republicans can save them. Childish? Yes,
but in America it seems to work very well.
You are going to hear a whole lot from the Republicans about how the
Democrats are soft on terrorists, and soft on protecting America from
threats. They will tell you that the Republicans are really mean and a
really tough, and they will get the job done.
This of course assumes that you haven't paid any attention over the last
five years at how poorly Bush and Cheney have protected the American
people and our troops from harm. Pulling our troops out of Afghanistan
and sending them to Iraq did not make America safer, it squandered over
2000 lives and hundreds of billions of dollars with the result of an
inflamed and enraged Middle East rather than a pacified one.
When it came time to protect Americans during one of the worst natural
disasters in American history, the Bush administration set around
playing guitars and talking about how wonderful it was that New Orleans
“dodged the bullet”. Tough talk from incompetent and irresponsible draft
A month before September 11, 2001 George Bush was on a month-long
vacation. He received a daily brief that said Osama bin Laden was going
to attack the United States sometime soon. George Bush, the guy who
wants you to think he will protect you, pretty much remained on vacation
until after the terrorist attacks had occurred. Does that sound like
someone who is going to protect you?
In every single case, George Bush and Dick Cheney, with the incompetent
help of Donald Rumsfeld have made our military and our civilian populace
much less safe rather than more safe. So when the next election comes,
and the incompetent fools in the White House ask you “who you gonna
call?” to protect you from terrorists, the answer is clear. If you're
smart, you're NOT going to call the king of cronies who has failed to
protect America time and time again against enemies or natural disasters
for over five years.
We have found the real enemy, and he is, unfortunately for all of us, in the White House.
The Ostrich Effect
Every time I watch the news I am
amazed at the level of denial amongst Republicans. No matter how many
egregious Bush administration crimes are reported, Republicans stick
their heads in a hole and pretend nothing happened. There was no CIA
leak. There were weapons of mass destruction. There were connections
between Iraq and Al Qaeda. They couldn't have anticipated the levees
would break. They didn't know the levees broke until the next day. There
was no other choice but to go to war in Iraq.
All these contentions are completely false, but you hear them repeated
by Republicans day in and day out all over the news. Now clearly many of
these pundits know that they are spewing falsehoods publicly, and they
are doing it on purpose to confuse the issue. However, when I here
Republican citizens calling in to talk shows and repeating the same
erroneous talking points I have to think that many of them believe what
they are saying is true.
In order to facilitate this self-deception, it requires that most
Republican Americans forego reading what I consider to be conservative
newspapers such as the New York Times or the Washington Post. These
papers have supported the Bush administration in the run-up to the war
and in many other circumstances, and yet they still continue to run
stories that punch tractor-trailer sized holes in the Republican talking
points on an almost daily basis.
For example, in the Washington Post today a top-tier official from the
CIA says that the Bush administration kept pushing for the information
they wanted, and ignored all the information that contradicted their
plans for attacking Iraq. The CIA intelligence reports clearly indicated
that Saddam Hussein was “in a box”, and that the best way to keep him
contained was to maintain the status quo and increase the inspection
schedules. Instead Bush and Cheney ordered the inspectors out, and took
us to war under the false assumption that we would be greeted as
So as dozens of scandals play out ranging from the indictment of a top
White House official to the Abramoff lobbying scandal to the
warrant-less spying on American citizens, Republicans must shove their
heads deeper and deeper into the hole while chanting the Battle hymn of
the Republic to drown out the disturbing news. But they will never turn
against the Republican politicians that have lied to them because that
is their team, and you always have to root for your team in America. My
team right or wrong, my party right or wrong. The hell with the truth.
The ostrich effect is in full swing throughout the Red States of
Wrong? Blame the Democrats!
In case you hadn't noticed, the
president and the Republicans are now employing a typical kindergarten
tactic; when you mess up real bad, blame it on innocent little Billy who
is sitting quietly next to you.
Just about everything that president Bush and the Republicans have done
for the last five years has been a debacle, ranging from their
unwarranted and ill-advised attack on Iraq, to their mis-handling of the
massive Katrina disaster in New Orleans, to warrant-less spying on the
But rather than take responsibility for their reckless policies and the
enduring negative consequences they will create, they instead are trying to shift the
blame to the party that has been out of power for years. The Democrats
According to George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, the only way we could
possibly lose in Iraq is if Democrats continue to criticize the war
effort. That will give aid and comfort to the enemy, and our mighty army
will be defeated simply by a few critics in the United States.
Typical Republican hogwash. We already won the war in Iraq when Saddam
Hussein was captured. If we had really intended to turn the country over
to the Iraqi people we could have phased out our troops and then turned
security issues over to the Iraqis themselves. But we pressed on with
ineffective hit and run tactics, with troops that were spread too thin
and improperly equipped.
Now our heavy-handed tactics have fueled a countrywide insurgency that
may last for years, such that leaving now would certainly lead to civil
war. So Bush and Co. have turned victory into defeat and want to blame
it on the Democrats.
What sniveling cowards they
The Poor State of
What has George Bush
accomplished so far on behalf of the American people?
He expanded the size, power and scope of the Federal government to
levels never before seen, and elevated the office of the Presidency
above the other branches of government.
He escalated the federal debt and deficit to unprecedented levels.
He has lied the American people and Congress into a political war in
Iraq, rather than a war of necessity, while at the same time failing to
finish the job in Afghanistan, including the apprehension of Osama Bin
He has discarded our moral base and ethical superiority by instituting
policies for our military to sink to the level of despots and tyrants,
where we have used torture, kidnapping the relatives of supposed
insurgents and even murder as accepted methods of “combat”.
He has eliminated the right to a trial in America for so-called “enemy
combatants” under the guise of protecting Americans from danger. But he
gets to say who is an “enemy combatant”.
He broke the law and began side-stepping the FISA courts by spying
secretly on phone calls into and out of the country without restriction,
oversight or accountability.
He has purposefully and enormously divided the nation along political
lines, while at the same time using the bully pulpit to spread fear of
terrorism in order to get 50.5% of the American people behind him during
elections. The hell with the other 140 million Americans.
He has used American taxpayer dollars to create and disseminate
pro-government propaganda in true Stalinist style. His is the most
secretive administration in our history.
He has done more to blur, and even tear down the lines of separation
between church and state, for political purposes, than any previous
He botched the planning and execution of the Iraq war to the point where
it is now on the verge of civil war, and our troops are strained to the
breaking point. The war in Afghanistan was never finished, and now we
are stuck in an insurgent war for who knows how long in both countries.
He has squandered thousands of lives and hundreds up billions of tax
payer dollars on a war that has no purpose, and no end in sight.
He is made the Middle East far more unstable, and more prone to
terrorism. He has infuriated the Muslim world and increased the
recruitment of terrorists in virtually every corner of the planet.
He disclosed the identity of a covert CIA agent as political payback for
criticism of the war in Iraq.
He dismantled critical federal agencies such as FEMA, and filled their
ranks with political cronies, leading to one of the worst failures to
respond to a major disaster in US history.
The Poor State of the Dis-Union -
Tomorrow night President Bush will tell you to be very afraid of
terrorists. He will use the specter of “9/11” again and again to try to
make you mad and to try to get you to trust him to "do the right thing to fight those who
hate our freedoms". But of course it is George Bush who seems to most
hate our freedoms, because as Benjamin Franklin said “Those who would
sacrifice liberty for security, deserve neither”. George Bush is asking
all of us to go even further - to sacrifice liberty for a false sense of
What a great deal.
What a pitiful excuse for a president.
A War They Can
In 1795 James Madison lamented; "Of all the enemies of true liberty, war
is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops
the germ of every other. In war, the discretionary power of the
Executive is extended; its influence is multiplied; and all the means of
seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the
This often quoted admonition about Presidential wartime powers is a
clear exposition of original intent by one of the founding fathers.
Presidents must be restrained in times of war, especially in times of
Karl Rove and George Bush have made it clear in the last few days that
they are going to use war rhetoric to trample our liberties, and
hopefully for them, keep control of the Congress in the next election.
But to do so, they need our cooperation. They need a fearful, paranoid
populace that can be manipulated with their fear tactics.
So expect to hear an awful lot more about “terrorism” and “terrorists”,
and “they hate our (dwindling) freedom” from Bush and Co. Expect them to
try as hard as possible to yank your fear chain, and then yank it again.
The Bush Administration has become a one-trick pony under the deranged
tutelage of Rove and Cheney - “talk up the war”, Karl chants over and
So you can go along with their plan to fear-i-tize you, or you can snap
out of it and realize that you have far more chance of dying in a car
crash than from a terrorist attack. In fact, now you probably have a
better chance of being picked up as a terrorist and put in jail forever
without trial, than you have of being blown up by evildoers.
So get used to all that domestic surveillance, and prepare for much more
war rhetoric, because it will only get worse with the “hate our freedom”
president in charge.
January 23rd 2006
New Server is
We are up and running on a new Opteron-based server! We hope to have our
new Battlefield 2 server up and running on the box soon.
The Bush administration has millions of guinea pigs.
They test all of their new
political theories on their vast herd of subjects.
First, they float the idea that
pre-emptive wars against vague enemies will protect us from evildoers.
That met with great satisfaction
among their test subjects.
Then they proffered the idea that
torture and mistreatment of prisoners was good for national security.
That was received with uproarious
applause from the subjects.
Then they said that they need to
spy on all Americans, to protect Americans from non-Americans.
The test subjects erupted with
Who are the guinea pigs? They are
not the Democrats, or Independents... they are the Republican base in this
country that accepts anything that the Bush administration does without
question. They are the Americans that say the Constitution does not matter
in this "time of war". Democrats and Independents don't buy any of
Bush's war rhetoric, so he and his minions are only talking to Republicans
To my mind, Republicans are not acting
as patriots, they are acting as partisans that care more about the
Republican party than they care about the constitution, or our nation.
Free Them With
The intelligence was unmistakable. Abdul the Pakistani goat herder,
whose goat had been killed by neighbors the day before, told the CIA
that all of the al Qaeda leaders were having tea in his neighbor’s
house. “They are terrorists… they are goat killers” Abdul was quoted as
The CIA hurriedly confirmed the report by speaking with Achmed, Abdul’s
brother. With such actionable intelligence in hand, the CIA knew it had
to act quickly - tea time only lasts so long you know. So in went the
Predator drones, in went the laser guided missiles, and out came the 13
body bags, including 3 children and 5 women. No al Qaeda terrorists,
just Pakistani villagers.
Pakistan erupted into nation-wide
protests as US Senators went on the Sunday talk shows. "We
apologize, but I can't tell you that we wouldn't do the same thing
again," said Senator John McCain of Arizona. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana
said, "It's a regrettable situation, but what else are we supposed to
Hmm. Good question. Let me think. Maybe, not bomb and kill the innocent
people we are proclaiming to liberate? That’s a novel idea.
I made the part about Abdul and his brother up, but to make a point.
Since when has CIA or DIA or NSA intelligence overseas, or even in the
US, been accurate enough to trust innocent people’s lives to? If the
intelligence had said that a top al Qaeda leader was in a Pakistani
hotel filled with US tourists, would the missiles have been fired
anyway? No. But our government doesn’t consider Pakistani lives to be as
important as American lives. That’s why it’s OK to free them with bombs
and missiles slamming into their homes. Remember, “It’s a regrettable
situation, but what else are we supposed to do?”
I suggest we stop treating other people around the world like acceptable
collateral damage in our misguided, ill-conceived, and irreparably
mismanaged “war on terror”.
So hang in there all you oppressed people throughout the world. The
defense department is preparing brand new bombs with your freedom in
mind, and clever slogans scribbled on the side like, “For Abdul, and his
Mr. Bush, How Can
We Impeach Thee? Let Us Count the Ways.
Elizabeth Holtzman, one of the members of Congress who sat on the Senate
Judiciary Committee during the Watergate Investigations of Richard
Nixon, outlines the many high crimes and misdemeanors of George W. Bush
She finds at least four classes of impeachable offenses committed by Mr.
1) Illegal wiretapping of US citizens, bypassing the required FISA
2) Leading the nation to war on false claims (Nixon and Johnson got away
with this, and Bush probably will too).
3) Going to war before the troops and military were properly equipped,
including the lack of up-armored vehicles and body armor with side
4) Violation of his oath of office to uphold the laws of the land,
including bans on the torture of prisoners, ignoring the Geneva Conventions, and
ignoring the statutes of international treaties signed by the US.
To be honest, I would add the gutting of US agencies tasked with
protecting Americans, such as FEMA, and curtailing their ability to
respond to natural disasters, as another offense against the American
I would also add the explicit use of federal monies to produce
propaganda advertisements and newspaper columns favorable to the
Finally, I would add the explicit funding of religious organizations
with federal monies as another clear violation of Mr. Bush’s oath of
office. If he wants to do things legally, he needs to pass legislation
through his Republican Congress.
If Nixon deserved to be impeached, Bush’s high crimes and misdemeanors
certainly meet those same criteria. Compared with the so-called crimes
that President Clinton was impeached for, Mr. Bush has greatly exceeded
that very low bar, set by Republicans in recent years.
I dare conservatives and Republican die-hards to read Ms. Holtzman’s
detailed analysis, and come away still thinking that Bush is a hero, as
opposed to a criminal.
Why Bush Secretly
President Bush said that he needed to bypass the FISA courts and
secretly wiretap US citizens in order to fight terrorism. But I suggest
that the NSA and other spy agencies turned attention to US groups such
as Greenpeace, the ACLU and the Quakers for the same reason that Richard
Nixon had criminals like G. Gordon Libby break into the Watergate hotel
to steal documents on what the Democrats were doing. They were doing it
to help counter anything that Democrats were planning.
We have more than enough
information to come to this conclusion. First, the Bush administration went
through the FISA courts for thousands of warrants. So why would they have to
bypass the mandatory court for other warrants? Obviously it was because the
FISA court would absolutely refuse to let the NSA spy on Quakers simply
because they were planning an anti-war rally.
Second, we now
hear from a whistleblower that the NSA actually spied on millions of
Americans illegally. Russell Tice is a longtime employee at the NSA, and he
said on ABC yesterday that he believes that the NSA has done far more
illegal spying on Americans than has been admitted to by the Bush
administration. Obviously, there aren't millions of al Qaeda members in the
US, so the spying must have had another purpose.
Finally, we know that Dick Cheney
and Don Rumsfeld were in the Nixon White House in the early 1970s, and were
frantically trying to do damage control on the Watergate scandal. It is not
hard to imagine that these old dogs are using the same old tricks as Tricky
Dick did to keep tabs on the political opposition (at taxpayers expense).
Bush spied on us because he
doesn't trust the very people he is supposed to be serving.
Alito to Protect
Citizens Rights Until Birth
If you are a fetus, you have nothing to fear if Judge Samuel Alito is
confirmed to the US Supreme Court. But if you are unfortunate enough to
have actually been born already, you might not be as happy with the
future rulings of this imperial-president-loving judge.
Judge Alito has ruled in favor of
the government and corporations, and against average US citizens without
exception throughout his tenure on the courts. He has often written
dissenting opinions that have flabbergasted many of his conservative
colleagues by virtue of their extreme nature and tortured logic.
Judge Alito has worked much of
his life to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and to make all abortions illegal. But he
also has worked tirelessly to give more power to the Executive branch, and
to take power from both Congress, and the Judiciary.
Specific examples of Alito's
opinions include vigorous defense of the strip searching of a 10 year old
girl by police, support for warrantless searches (sound familiar?), and
support for people owning machine guns (think Jack Abramoff in his trench
The general consensus is that
Alito will be confirmed, but I am not entirely certain of that outcome. I
will be watching CSPAN today starting at 9:30 am, and I hope to see Alito
grilled like a weenie at NY hot dog stand. Expect Scarry Sammy to decline to
answer most Democrats questions.
Love of Being Lied To
The Republicans in this country have a funny relationship with official
lying. They despise it when a Democratic president, like Clinton, lies
about sex, but they seem to embrace official lying as long as it comes
from a Republican administration.
Bush: “Mission accomplished” – That was over 2 years ago, and more than
2,000 US soldiers have since been killed, and nearly 20,000 seriously
Cheney: “The insurgency is in its last throes” - Over 120 Iraqis and
eleven US soldiers killed in one day yesterday.
Bush: “To do a wiretap, you need a warrant, nothing has changed” – That
quote came 2 years after Bush started illegal wiretaps of American
citizens, including those in Greenpeace and the ACLU.
Cheney: “Saddam has certainly reconstituted his nuclear program” – The
Bush administration knew long before Cheney lied that this was not true.
Bush: “Anyone involved in releasing the name of a CIA agent will no
longer be in my administration” – That was a year ago, and Karl Rove is
still in the White House.
Watch any White House press conference with Scott McClellan and you will
hear either waffling, avoidance or lying. How about the one where
McClellan said - “Mr. Bush has never met Jack Abramoff personally”. Oh
sure. You’ll never get a straight answer on anything from these crooks.
I can’t wait until Bush is forced, like tricky Dick, to say to the
cameras – “I am not a crook”. But that would be just another official
It would take an entire book to detail all the lies and distortions that
the Bush Administration has foisted on the public, but what is most
astounding to me is that Republicans actually enjoy the lies. As long as
it comes from a Republican, conservatives seem to appreciate being told
that everything is OK, even when everything is obviously falling apart.
Iraq war? OK! Spying on US citizens? OK! No weapons of mass destruction?
OK! Huge deficit? OK!
I have a strange feeling that the Republicans love of official lies will
wane quickly when a Democrat is back in the White House.
January 3rd 2006
As with all things the Bush Administration does that would be unpopular
if properly named, Mr. Bush wants you to think of privatized Social
Security and privatized everything else as an "ownership society" where
everyone owns lots of great stuff. But a casual glance at what the
average American would actually own under Mr. Bush's ownership society
reveals that the primary possession would be endless debt.
Think about it. You don't really
own your house, the bank does. You just own the mortgage. You don't own your
car as long as you are paying off the debt you incurred on purchasing it
(just ask the repo-man when you can't make the payments). You may
technically own the stuff you buy on your credit cards, but more than
anything, you own that mounting debt, and the interest that you must pay to
maintain that debt.
With privatized Social Security,
you would be given a pittance to put in an account that you almost certainly
would have to raid to pay off your mounting debt from your house, your home
equity loan, your car loan and your credit card debt. You end up with
nothing. Hell, I'd rather take my chances with Social Security.
Most American's salaries haven't
even kept up with modest inflation, and many people have lost lucrative jobs
only to have to take lower paying jobs to pay the bills. My brother is a
Northwest Airlines pilot, and he and his fellow pilots just had to accept a
33% pay cut. After automatic deductions for all of their debt (house, cars,
a boat, etc), one of my brother's pilot friends at Northwest received a
paycheck that totaled $1.74 (one dollar and seventy four cents).
If Mr. Bush called his plan the
"dog eat dog, social Darwinism plan", do you think folks would go for it?
Maybe that's why they call it
"the ownership society".