Saturday, December 27, 2008

Jingle Bell Boogie / BFJO Takasago [HD]

Before Christmas fades away, check out the Big Friendly Jazz Orchestra taking a whack at Jingle Bells. Cool! Thanks to Rugosa of Wild Roses for sending me this link.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Culvert, aka fish blockage.

As a long time neighbor of the Neponset it's great to see the efforts being made to restore this local resource.

Prius: It’s Not Just a Car, It’s an Emergency Generator - Green Inc. Blog - NYTimes.com

Prius: It’s Not Just a Car, It’s an Emergency Generator - Green Inc. Blog - NYTimes.com: "Said Mr. Sweeney, in an e-mail message to The Press: “When it looked like we were going to be without power for awhile, I dug out an inverter (which takes 12v DC and creates 120v AC from it) and wired it into our Prius.”

According to the newspaper, “the device allowed the engine to run every half hour, automatically charging the car battery and indirectly supplying the required power.”"

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tina Paterson Blog

Tina Paterson Blog

Photography!!!

Some final thoughts on Warren - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Some final thoughts on Warren - Ta-Nehisi Coates:

"The appeal to history is false, in the first, for the reason that all appeals to history are false. For thousands of years the dominant form of government in the world was a dictatorship--and then we 'redefined government' to make democracy. Was that wrong? But more than that it's false on the the actual facts--historically, marriage has not always been one man, one woman. It's been one man and fifty women. It's been one man and--what we would consider today--one child. One man and five children. One woman and five men. And so on...

No, the objection here is to gays, in particular, which brings me to Obama and Warren. I want to be absolutely clear here. Obama hasn't betrayed anything or anyone. On this issue, he is what I thought he was. One of the first blog posts ever wrote noted the amazing hypocrisy in Obama lecturing black people on homophobia, while himself, holding a position on arguably the most important civil rights issue of our time, which was essentially bigoted. It's my job to say things like that, to, at once, not just carp, but still not simply fall in line."

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Right wing talk jocks - Aneurisms on the rise as Caroline Kennedy Expresses Support for Gay Marriage

I hope they all pop a blood vessel. And good for Kennedy, it's the right thing to do.



""Kennedy left no doubt, though, about her support for gay marriage, staking a position that is contrary to that of President-elect Barack Obama.

She 'supports full equality and marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples,' her spokesman wrote. Obama supports civil unions for gay couples, but not marriage rights."



Caroline Kennedy Expresses Support for Gay Marriage - FOXNews.com Transition Tracker:

Obama signals willingness to respect science

No more bending to greed and superstition, I hope!
"The president-elect warned that promoting science is "about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology," an apparent reference to the Bush administration's response to research on global warming."



AFP: Obama signals break with Bush in new science team

Sippican Cottage: Hitting Rockbottom With Wallace Nutting

I can go to an auction house website, and get dozens of high-quality photos of all sorts of antiques, along with measurements and a little provenance, and it doesn't cost a penny to look. The auctioneers aren't doing it out of the goodness of their heart. But Adam Smith will tell you it doesn't matter why it happens. The SPNEA website wants to show me a dreadful slideshow using the execrable RealPlayer plugin. No thanks.



Sippican Cottage: Hitting Rockbottom With Wallace Nutting

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Daily Traveler Travel Blog: Travel Tips, Vacation Ideas, and Breaking News from the Editors of Cond�Nast Traveler

World Toilet Day came and went a month ago but the need for basic sanitation never passes so it's still worth mentioning. The post is quite thorough with a good rundown on the topic as well as convenient links to an array of toilet topics, some not as serious as others.

The Daily Traveler Travel Blog: Travel Tips, Vacation Ideas, and Breaking News from the Editors of Cond�Nast Traveler:

"According to the WTO, some 2.5 billion people, or 40 percent of the world population, lack basic sanitation. And of the billion or so people lucky enough to have sewerage systems, only about 30 percent have their sewage 'treated in an environmentally acceptable way.' The rest flows straight into gutters, rivers, or lakes."

AIG Sells $39 Billion Securities Stake to Settle Lending Transactions - WSJ.com

AIG Sells $39 Billion Securities Stake to Settle Lending Transactions - WSJ.com: "In the deal announced Monday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York made a senior loan to Maiden Lane II to buy the residential mortgage-backed securities for an initial purchase price of $19.8 billion. The six-year loan is secured by the $39.3 billion face amount of the securities and bears interest at one-month LIBOR plus 1%.

AIG's life-insurance units used the $19.8 billion along with available cash and $5.1 billion from AIG in the form of capital contributions to settle outstanding securities-lending transactions under its U.S. securities-lending program.

That settlement ended AIG's securities-lending transactions with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York under an agreement announced in October, which totaled about $20.5 billion as of Friday. As a result of these transactions, AIG's October securities-lending agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank and AIG's U.S. securities-lending program have been terminated."

Monday, December 08, 2008

History and Amazement in House Race Outcome - NYTimes.com

History and Amazement in House Race Outcome - NYTimes.com:

"The central insight he appreciates from his philosophical masters, the Russian, [Dostoyevsky], and French, [Camus], apostles of existentialism, is the rule for living that “life is absurd but one cannot succumb to the absurdity of it.”"

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Alliance for Climate Protection

Alliance for Climate Protection

Just saw their TV spot on Rachel Maddow, first time.

Alliance for Climate Protection

Alliance for Climate Protection: "The Chairman of the Board, Al Gore, has been an advocate and leader for climate action for over 30 years.

* View a list of our Board of Directors


Advisory Committee

* Frances Beinecke, Natural Resources Defense Council
* Pete Cartwright, Former Calpine CEO
* Karen Florini, Environmental Defense
* David Foster, Blue-Green Alliance
* Michel Gelobter, Cooler, Inc.
* KC Golden, Climate Solutions
* Paul Gorman, National Religious Partnership for the Environment
* Jonathan Lash, World Resources Institute
* Bill Mitchell, Flatcoat Consulting
* Billy Parish, Ashoka Fellow
* Carl Pope, Sierra Club
* Jerome Ringo, Apollo Alliance
* Rob Sargent, Environment America
* Read Smith, Smith Farms
* Stephen Smith, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Foreign TV crew attacked in China - UPI.com

Foreign TV crew attacked in China - UPI.com:

"A representative for Flemish public television VRT said Belgian journalist Tom Van de Weghe and several of his crew members were attacked by a dozen men while filming their HIV awareness footage, The Hollywood Reporter said Friday.

The unidentified representative alleged the men behind Thursday's attack were recruited by Chinese authorities in the province.

The media incident comes months after a CBS '60 Minutes' crew was attacked in the South China city of Shenzhen while gathering footage of toxic waste processing plant."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Anti Torture Policy Begins To Take Shape

Generals to urge quick action on torture by Obama | Politics | Reuters:

"Gunn and about a dozen other retired generals and admirals, who are scheduled to meet Obama's team in Washington, said they plan to offer a list of anti-torture principles, including some that could be implemented immediately.

They include making the Army Field Manual the single standard for all U.S. interrogators. The manual requires humane treatment and forbids practices such as waterboarding -- a form of simulated drowning widely condemned as torture.

Other immediate steps Obama could take are revoking presidential orders allowing the CIA to use harsh treatment, giving the International Red Cross access to all prisoners held by intelligence agencies and declaring a moratorium on taking prisoners to a third country for harsh interrogations."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Kass: The Smart Guys Continue to Lose | Page 1 of 2 | Investing | Financial Articles & Investments News | TheStreet.com

Kass: The Smart Guys Continue to Lose | Page 1 of 2 | Investing | Financial Articles & Investments News | TheStreet.com: "-- Doug Kass (Jan. 7, 2008)

Back in January, I wrote that smart guys were losing their shirts, a sign for us mere mortals that the going was getting tough this year and next.

Below are some examples that I cited 10 months ago of large investment boners made by some smartypants, even before the credit market disaster spilled over and doomed equities (with updates in parentheses):"

SouthCoastToday.com: Personal care attendants get new contract

SouthCoastToday.com: Personal care attendants get new contract: "It's the first raise the MassHealth-funded PCAs have gotten since 2005.

The union estimated there are close to 2,500 PCAs in the SouthCoast region.

They perform a wide range of tasks for disabled or MassHealth-eligible clients, such as helping people shower and get from wheelchairs to beds.

They also help with tasks such as shopping, cleaning and food preparation."

10 Things Online Retailers Won't Tell You at SmartMoney.com

10 Things Online Retailers Won't Tell You at SmartMoney.com: "4. 'You can return anything...for a price.'

As convenient as online shopping is for consumers, you can't exactly try out or try on what you're buying. Which means a lot of returns — a fact many e-tailers seem to ignore. Sending back opened electronics, for example, can often mean paying additional shipping and restocking fees, which can run anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of the purchase price— no small amount if we're talking about a $4,000 flat-screen TV. Repeat returners can even get banned in some cases — Amazon will cancel your account if it sees what it considers an excessive amount of returns for your account. (The company says the decision to close customer accounts is never taken lightly and can be appealed.)

Happily, some e-tailers offer easy, postage-paid returns. For instance, you can buy three pairs of the same shoe in various sizes from Zappos.com and send back the two that don't fit free of charge. But despite their popularity with consumers, a survey by Forrester Research suggests that postage-paid returns aren't being embraced by retailers across the board; only 31 percent of those surveyed currently offer it. 'There's a fear it could be really expensive,' says Mulpuru."

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Online Sites Are Waging Preholiday Price Wars - NYTimes.com

Online Sites Are Waging Preholiday Price Wars - NYTimes.com:

"E-commerce giants like Amazon.com, which offers free shipping on orders over $25 and eliminates even that minimum for customers who pay a flat annual fee, can easily absorb shipping costs. But small online vendors struggle. Powell’s Books, a bookstore in Portland, Ore. with a site that competes for customers with Amazon.com, offers free shipping on orders over $50."

As Household Budgets Shrink, Associated Content Puts Money in 80,000 Pockets - MarketWatch

As Household Budgets Shrink, Associated Content Puts Money in 80,000 Pockets - MarketWatch: "An online content network and publishing site that enables everyday people to earn money by sharing their personal perspectives and expertise on any subject, AssociatedContent.com received an all-time high of 8.2 million unique visitors in October per Comscore. As more people look to supplement their incomes by publishing through Associated Content's platform, October's record page-view total translated directly into increased earnings for everyone published on the site."

Friday, November 21, 2008

As its customers are squeezed, Akamai gets ready for slowdown - The Boston Globe

As its customers are squeezed, Akamai gets ready for slowdown - The Boston Globe: "Despite the 110 layoffs it announced on Wednesday by Akamai Technologies Inc. of Cambridge, the company insists it hasn't fallen on hard times -- yet. But many of Akamai's customers are being hammered by the recession, and chief executive Paul Sagan wants to cut costs early to prepare for any slowdown in the company's growth rate."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FOXNews.com - Stone Age Temple May Be Birthplace of Civilization - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News

FOXNews.com - Stone Age Temple May Be Birthplace of Civilization - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News:

"It's more than twice as old as the Pyramids, or even the written word. When it was built, saber-toothed tigers and woolly mammoths still roamed, and the Ice Age had just ended.

The elaborate temple at Gobelki Tepe in southeastern Turkey, near the Syrian border, is staggeringly ancient: 11,500 years old, from a time just before humans learned to farm grains and domesticate animals."

The Icahn Report™

The Icahn Report™

For more on executive responsibility and Corporate Governance check out Carl Icahn's blog 'The Icahn Report'. Mr Icahn also has a group, called 'United Shareholders of America', to promote his views on those topics. Membership is free.

Senator rips auto industry at bailout hearing - Nov. 18, 2008

Senator rips auto industry at bailout hearing - Nov. 18, 2008: "General Motors boss Rick Wagoner said his company was attempting to transform itself. He ticked off a long list of innovations - from developing nine hybrid models for next year to rapid development of the Chevy Volt, a car that runs on just electricity.

'We felt we were well on the road to turning around the North American business,' said Wagoner. 'Since then, the industry and the economy has been hit hard by the global financial crisis. It threatens the turnaround and GM's financial survival.'"

Dump the rotten monarchy of Wagoner, Mulally and Nardelli, cut lobbying efforts by 75%, stop saying "Oh, we didn't see the world economic crisis coming and we would have been fine except for that." It's not believable. Do all this and more and maybe you can have the $25 billion.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Everyday Health climbs past WebMD - Medical Marketing and Media

Everyday Health climbs past WebMD - Medical Marketing and Media:

"Another factor, said Wolin, is that Everday Health—in keeping with its name—has constructed a portfolio of products that focus on daily health usage. “Our products, content and tools encourage visitors to come back daily—to check a pregnancy calendar, or to use a diet tool or diabetes tool, for example,” he said."

GocatsBob@aol.com - His Public Face

This guy, I don't know him personally, sends this kind of stuff out on a regular basis. Time to shine a light on this cockroach and the filth he tracks across the floor.

Here's the latest from GocatsBob. By the way, it seems he got this one from this address - jrcritters@att.net.
"An Historic Event"..that's all I keep
hearing. I don't see what the BIG deal is! It
happens every day..... When January 20, 2009 rolls
around, it'll just be another black family moving
into government housing."

I find this objectionable. If you agree why don't you write GocatsBob@aol.com and his buddy jrcritters@att.net and tell them so. Stay tuned for more.

Friday, November 14, 2008

This Will All Be On Your Permanent Record Young Man

Obama Gets Geeky With YouTube Channel and Net Background Checks - PC World

Yes, every single blog posting and every single Web comment you've ever made. Think you could catalog all that info? And would there be anything -- say, an off-the-cuff comment you left on an ex's profile, or an angry remark you made on a blog -- that might make you look less than honorable? We won't even get into why you used to post under the handle "BigPoppa68."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

BBC NEWS | Americas | US Elections 2008 | Who's who on Obama's new team

BBC NEWS | Americas | US Elections 2008 | Who's who on Obama's new team: "By appointing an 'enforcer' like Mr Emanuel to the post, observers say Mr Obama is signalling that he means business.

Some liberal Democrats fear that Mr Emanuel - a moderate - will drag Mr Obama to the political centre.

Republican opponents are complaining that Mr Emanuel's partisan style will jar with Mr Obama's campaign promises to change the tone in Washington."

I think Obama wants to be more centrist. Emanuel isn't going to drag him anywhere and the Republicans are not going to cow him. He has his own mind and his will be the dominant hand as events proceed.

What is the word for someone who discriminates against a person because of their genetic makeup?

I have lots of issues with Sarah Palin, that's why I was reading this article, but the paragraph below is what really caught my attention because it seems to be doing what the authors are accusing Palin of doing.


Alaskans Speak (In A Frightened Whisper): Palin Is “Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean.” | The LA Progressive:

"No wonder the vast sea of white, cheering faces at the Republican Convention went wild for Sarah: They adore the type, it’s in their genetic code. So much for McCain’s pledge of a “high road” campaign; Palin is incapable of being part of one."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sarah Smiled, Todd Looked Pissed Off

McCain concession speech.

Gerry Callahan and John Dennis joke that election postponed - BostonHerald.com

Callahan is toe cheese and Dennis is the odor coming off it. Neither one has an ounce of integrity. If Callahan were to run for public office it would be as a member of the Pro Prison Rape Party. Nice guy!!!

Gerry Callahan and John Dennis joke that election postponed - BostonHerald.com

Images From Election Day

The hands down winner is the aerial shot from Chicago showing a steady stream of people walking across streets and bridges, heading towards Grant Park and the Obama celebration.

Second place would be the "slide show' I saw on Huffington Post. The pictures showed polling places and voters across America. I particularly liked the pics from rural locations and I think the one from Rabbit Hash, Kentucky may have been my favorite.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Election 2008: What to Expect at the Polls - washingtonpost.com

"Director Doug Chapin, editor Dan Seligson and research director Sean Greene of the Pew Center for the States's Electionline.org will be online Friday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. ET to answer all your questions about voting, polling place etiquette and rules in 2008, and other questions you might have about the election."

The session is over but the transcript is there. Best advice, bring a book or an iPod. Make sure you have a good ID and keep your political buttons and clothing under cover while you're at the polling place. And dress warm, you may be there for a while. Oh yeah, if you're challenged there's a phone number you can call. It's 1-800-OUR-VOTE - 1-800-687-8683. Bring that with you too and don't walk away without voting. If you're registered you have a RIGHT to vote. Use it!!!




Election 2008: What to Expect at the Polls - washingtonpost.com

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Boy In The Bubbles - Forbes.com

The Boy In The Bubbles - Forbes.com: "Why do I, why do we, never learn? I could get philosophical about hubris and the lust for immortality. Perhaps by slipping history's bounds we are reaching for the stars, even spitting in the eye of Death itself. Perhaps, as some enemy of bubbles put it, 'Man wants the world to be so perfect that he will not have to be good.'"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Palin In 2012??????????

Rachel Maddow is wondering if Sarah Palin may be drifting away from John McCain with an eye towards 2012. I don't see that happening. Intellectual conservatives don't respect her and I doubt they will want anything to do with her in the future.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin: Moose Huntin' Mom Dressed To Kill

"Sarah Palin, small-town hockey mom and everywoman? More like Sarah Palin, pampered princess. Jeanne Cummings at Politico reports that the RNC’s monthly financial disclosure reports reveal that the Republican National Committee has spent tens of thousands of dollars on the vice presidential candidate's wardrobe and accessories since she was nominated, including $150,000 in September alone."

Take the money and gun, eh Sarah?

Sarah Palin's $150,000 Wardrobe Malfunction? | All The Rage | Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Op-Ed Columnist - The Real Plumbers of Ohio - NYTimes.com

Op-Ed Columnist - The Real Plumbers of Ohio - NYTimes.com:

"I don’t want to suggest that everyone would be better off under the Obama tax plan. Joe the plumber would almost certainly be better off, but Richie the hedge fund manager would take a serious hit."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Colin Powell Speaks Out Against Islamophobia

"I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say, and it is permitted to be said. Such things as 'Well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.' Well the correct answer is 'He is not a Muslim, he's a Christian, he's always been a Christian.' But the really right answer is 'What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?' The answer is 'No. That's not America.' Is there something wrong with some 7-year old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she can be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion he's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

"I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo-essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in you can see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards, Purple Heart, Bronze Star, showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have a Star of David. It had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Karim Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American, he was born in New Jersey, he was 14 at the time of 9/11 and he waited until he can go serve his counrty and he gave his life."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

OK, now OpenOffice is definitely good enough | Education IT | ZDNet.com

OK, now OpenOffice is definitely good enough | Education IT | ZDNet.com: "There is a reason that the OpenOffice.org 3.0 servers are struggling to keep up with demand. OO.org 3.0 really is a serious upgrade over version 2.4 and makes NeoOffice irrelevant for Mac OS X users (previously, OpenOffice only worked within X11; While NeoOffice did a great job porting OO.org to native OS X, OO.org 3.0 works out of the box in OS X as a native Aqua application)."

Red Corduroy Pants

According to the writeup they have snob appeal.

"He gathers credibility with a dignified accent, like a Brit working on US soil. Instead of West End/Oxbridge London, he spews an impeccably hewn Kentucky gentry meets Boston Brahmin with a glaze of Vanderbilt Sigma Nu.

Who says people don't have money to burn?

Bonobos Store�::�trousers�::�capertons

Sarah Palin Lies and Ducks the Tough Issues

Questions abound about this woman who makes vicious attacks on her pollitical opponents but seems afraid to talk to anyone but her supporters. Who is Sarah Palin with her ties to seccessionists, lack of ethics, and her fear of confrontation? Sarah Palin: America can't afford a sleazy coward in the White House.

Commentary: Time for Palin to answer tough questions - CNN.com

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Silver Line Tunnel: Next Big Dig? - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

They're calling for one or two billion. I want to predict six billion right now. And four or five years overdue.

Silver Line Tunnel: Next Big Dig? - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston:

"'We're doing everything we can to stabilize this in terms of best financial planning,' Brennan said."

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Haider Death Could Strengthen Austrian Fascists

BBC NEWS | Europe | Haider death stuns friends and foes:

"Some analysts now believe that with the death of Mr Haider, there may be attempts to reunite the two parties of the far right in Austria - a move that could considerable strengthen their political power."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

AIG execs' retreat after bailout angers lawmakers - Yahoo! News

AIG execs' retreat after bailout angers lawmakers - Yahoo! News

Three former AIG executives were summoned to appear before the hearing. One of them, Maurice "Hank" Greenberg — who ran AIG for 38 years until 2005 — canceled his appearance citing illness but submitted prepared testimony. In it, he blamed the company's financial woes on his successors, former CEOs Martin Sullivan and Robert Willumstad.

"When I left AIG, the company operated in 130 countries and employed approximately 92,000 people," Greenberg said. "Today, the company we built up over almost four decades has been virtually destroyed."

Sullivan and Willumstad, in turn, cast much of the blame on accounting rules that forced AIG to take tens of billions of dollars in losses stemming from exposure to toxic mortgage-related securities.

Lawmakers also upbraided Sullivan, who ran the firm from 2005 until June of this year, for urging AIG's board of directors to waive pay guidelines to win a $5 million bonus for 2007 — even as the company lost $5 billion in the 4th quarter of that year. Sullivan countered that he was mainly concerned with helping other senior executives.

Sullivan also came under fire for reassuring shareholders about the health of the company last December, just days after its auditor, Pricewaterhouse Cooper, warned of him that AIG was displaying "material weakness" in its huge exposure to potential losses from insuring mortgage-related securities.

Obama Smear Artist Corsi Deported From Kenya

Jerome Corsi of Swift Boat fame and more recently author of an anti Obama screed was deported from Kenya just about as soon as he arrived. The government said he failed to obtain a temporary work permit and maybe that's technically true.

American anti-Obama author arrested before Nairobi book launch | World news | The Guardian

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Smoot Lives!!

Who knew? I knew the Smoot story but I thought it dated back to the early 1900's. Not so, 1958 was the the year MIT fraternity members used their 'brother' to measure the Mass. Ave. bridge and in the process they established a new unit of measurement. They did it by laying him end to end, so to speak. It's even available in the Google calculator. Dorothy Parker comments. "If all the young ladies who attended the Yale prom were laid end to end, no one would be the least surprised."

Ceremony honors Smoot, the man who became a measurement - Local News Updates - The Boston Globe

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vampires

Are vampires a metaphor for our sexual selves or our controlling selves?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Stock Market Got You Down?

Retirement fund becoming smaller and smaller? About to lose your job? Can't pay your mortgage? Cheer up. Austria is swinging to the far right, again. And so are a lot of other European countries.



Austria in crisis as far right win 29% of vote | World news | The Guardian:

"Strache calls himself a true patriot, declaring his ambition to be chancellor or interior minister. He hopes to fashion a coalition with Flemish separatists, France's National Front, Bulgarian extreme nationalists and anyone else who will join in a 'European Patriotic party'.

'Thirty percent for people who portray national socialism as innocuous,' wrote the commentator Hans Rauscher yesterday, 'Who crawl around in forests with neo-Nazi mates, who are surrounded by skinheads; who campaign against foreigners; make common cause with the European extreme right; toy with antisemitism; campaign against Muslims, and develop contacts with the Serbian Radical party whose leader, Vojislav Seselj, is in the dock at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. Austria is tops in Europe again.'"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What's In The Bailout Deal - Forbes.com

What's In The Bailout Deal - Forbes.com:

"Under the legislation Treasury will be granted $700 billion in phases to acquire bad mortgage assets from financial institutions at a price it determines or through auction with a market price. If the Treasury decides to take the first option it will have some authority to determine the executive compensation structure of the firm.

If firms sell more than $300 million in assets in the auction, they will lose the ability to deduct the salaries of their top five individuals that have exceeded $500,000. For participating firms there will also be a surtax of 20% on retirement packages of top executives who are involuntarily terminated from their firms, or lose their jobs as a result of the firm's failure."



Sobering quote from Judd Gregg at the end.

"Walking back to his office early Sunday, Gregg told reporters, "Nobody's excited about doing this, but everybody recognizes the alternative to not doing it is so horrific that action needs to be taken." Will it work? We'll see. "

comScore Is Named the Fastest Growing of the 34 Largest Global Market Research Firms - MarketWatch

comScore Is Named the Fastest Growing of the 34 Largest Global Market Research Firms - MarketWatch: "RESTON, Va., Sept 24, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --

comScore, Inc. (SCOR:
comscore inc com

Last: 18.73-0.38-1.99%
4:00pm 09/26/2008

SCOR 18.73, -0.38, -2.0%) , a leader in measuring the digital world, today announced that it was recently recognized as the fastest growing global market research firm in the 12th annual Inside Research report on growth rates of the world's largest market research firms. With $87 million in revenues in 2007, comScore posted a five-year revenue growth rate of 463 percent, triple that of the second fastest-growing company on the list.
The next fastest-growing competitors, Market Probe Inc. and Direction Research Inc., posted growth rates of 154 percent and 116 percent, respectively. The average growth rate for all firms listed was 57 percent during the five year span, or approximately 9 percent on an annualized basis. comScore's compound annual growth rate for the period was 41 percent per year."

Friday, September 26, 2008

I Was Just Looking at Obama


and I flashed on the Dilbert cartoon where the pointy haired boss is introducing a new executive. He's saying, "We think his hair will turn silver."

Conservatives Cringe As McCain Flounders

Is it just me or is McCain blowing up? He sounds disjointed and he's repeating himself with the 'congeniality' catch phrase. Plus he suggested some sort of bizarre spending freeze. What the hey? You want to freeze government spending?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Technorati: Discussion about “Link Roundup: So Much Economic News, So Little Time Before the Depression”

Hey John McCain! Campaign not going too well? Try grandstanding instead.

He's already said his strength is not the economy* and he's not on any committee directly related to the 'bailout' but here he is heading back to Washington to come up with a plan. And he wants Obama to go with him so they can work on it together. It's bizarre. Does he want to pick Obama's brain? Would he like to be Obama's Veep? lol If he has something to add to all of this he should just speak up.

*He proved it too when he said last week that the economy was fundamentally sound and then suggested a commission to study the problem, like we have years to deal with this.

Technorati: Discussion about “Link Roundup: So Much Economic News, So Little Time Before the Depression”

mccain wants to delay friday’s debate … � didionville

mccain wants to delay friday’s debate … � didionville

"meanwhile warren buffett is working his magic on wall street, propping up goldman sachs with some mouthwatering terms for berkshire/hathaway.

yes, this is the same warren buffett who is the richest man in the world (when bill gates isn’t), who decries gratuitous ceo salaries, who warned of the sneaky and dastardly nature of the derivatives market waaaayyyyy back in 2002, and who currently advises obama on economic policy, having met with the candidate regularly over the last several years. (mccain can only fantasize about regular meetings with buffett.)"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Palin Continues Sheltered Workshop Tour

She does know how to deliver a punch line though.

Palin's first Fla. campaign stop a safe one - Yahoo! News:

"After some jokes about the difference between golfing in Florida and Alaska, her remarks hit most of the same points she's made since McCain chose her as the first woman to run as a Republican vice presidential nominee. She did, however, update the stump speech to reflect last week's turmoil in the financial markets."

Touring Urban Wilds � The Garden Club of the Back Bay

Sunday, September 21, 1 - 4:30 pm - Touring Urban Wilds � The Garden Club of the Back Bay

Friday, September 19, 2008

Obama's Fannie Mae 'Connection' - Fact Checker

McCain campaign indulges in more distortion and exaggeration per Washington Post Fact Checker.


Obama's Fannie Mae 'Connection' - Fact Checker

"So what evidence does the McCain campaign have for the supposed Obama-Raines connection? It is pretty flimsy, but it is not made up completely out of whole cloth. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers points to three items in the Washington Post in July and August. It turns out that the three items (including an editorial) all rely on the same single conversation, between Raines and a Washington Post business reporter, Anita Huslin, who wrote a profile of the discredited Fannie Mae boss that appeared on July 16. The profile reported that Raines, who retired from Fannie Mae four years ago, had "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters."

Since this has now become a campaign issue, I asked Huslin to provide the exact circumstances of the quote. She explained that she was chatting with Raines during the photo shoot, and asked "if he was engaged at all with the Democrats' quest for the White House. He said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign. I asked him about what, and he said 'oh, general housing, economy issues.' ('Not mortgage/foreclosure meltdown or Fannie-specific,' I asked, and he said 'no.')"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And they call Al Gore a hypocrite for having a big house

John McCain makes Gore look like an amateur in the hypocrisy department by slamming the very system of government he helped create ten years ago.

"Government has a clear responsibility to act in defense of the public interest, and that's exactly what I intend to do," a fiery McCain said at a rally in Tampa yesterday. "In my administration, we're going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we're going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place."


Wow, and what about the US Senator who enabled Wall Street in the first place? What are you going to do to him?



McCain Embraces Regulation After Many Years of Opposition - washingtonpost.com: "'Government has a clear responsibility to act in defense of the public interest, and that's exactly what I intend to do,' a fiery McCain said at a rally in Tampa yesterday. 'In my administration, we're going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we're going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place.'"

McCain Embraces Regulation After Many Years of Opposition - washingtonpost.com


McCain says, I was against it before I was for it.


McCain says, Seemed like a good idea at the time.


McCain says, My advisers were wrong to talk me into supporting financial industry deregulation ten years ago. It's clear now that regulation is the correct course. Now how should we do this? Okay, we'll advocate setting up a commission. Give them a couple of years to pass their recommendations to Congress and then let them chew on it for awhile. Oh yeah, mention the strength of the American worker too, talk them up, people like that inspirational stuff.

McCain Embraces Regulation After Many Years of Opposition - washingtonpost.com

Palin Password - mommamooseguv

Yahoo!! I'll just use this free internet email for the stuff I don't want on the Official Government Record. Better tell the first dude too. Let him know what's on and what's off the list. Let's see, click 'new', enter the address....



Hi dude, xoxox

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Boo Hoo Hoo - Poor John McCain

The National Review defends poor helpless John McCain who can't use a keyboard.


The Corner on National Review Online: "Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by 'extraordinary.' The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):

>>McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.<<


Ever hear of adaptive devices? There are people far more disabled than John McCain who use computers and send e-mail every day. I’m one of them. Stephen Hawking comes to mind as another but there are lots of others. Some are using voice recognition software, some hold a stylus in their mouth but whatever, ultimately there are as many ways to adapt as there are individual disabilities. All you have to do is consider the situation and then engage in a little trial and error. So don’t say he just plain can’t use a computer because he can. I know he received barbaric treatment at the hands of the North Vietnamese but I’ve seen him and he’s not so bad off that he couldn’t use a computer if he tried. My guess is that he just hasn’t tried and considering computers and the internet and the digital age are the biggest things to come along since the industrial revolution that doesn’t say much for John McCain.

Frank Rich writes what I've been thinking for a week

"If he focuses voters on the 2008 McCain, the Palin question will take care of itself."

Op-Ed Columnist - The Palin-Whatshisname Ticket - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

I'll try not to break my arm patting myself on the back but it's seems obvious enough. Crack McCain and Palin will go with him.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Days Before Scandal, Interior Got Ethics Award - Washington Post Investigations

"The inspector general said Wednesday that federal officials in the Mineral Management Service's royalty-in-kind program allegedly were plied with alcohol and expensive gifts from industry representatives, and in some cases had sex and did drugs with them. The Denver-area office takes in roughly $4 billion each year in oil and natural gas reserves from companies drilling on federal and Indian land and offshore.

But, on Monday, the Interior Department was praised for 'developing a dynamic laminated Ethics Guide for employees' that was a 'polished, professional guide' with 'colorful pictures and prints which demand employees' attention.' The guide, the award noted, was small enough for employees to carry. Interior also was lauded for having held a four-day seminar for its ethics advisors nationwide."


Laugh out loud funny. I heard one guy used his to balance a tippy bar stool.

SFGate: Politics Blog : Does Palin Really Know What the Bush Doctrine Is? (VIDEO)

From the comments section: hartal quotes Norman Ornstein.

SFGate: Politics Blog : Does Palin Really Know What the Bush Doctrine Is? (VIDEO):

"Criticism from Norman Ornstein, a permanent fellow at the very conservative American Enterprise Institute:

'She had me at hello Charley-- had me scared to death. Not a single doubt that she is ready to be president-- everyone, no matter how experienced, should have doubts about the ability to take that job. A combination of utter inexperience and utter arrogance is about the worst possible combination I can imagine. Not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is would be bad enough, but saying unequivocally that Georgia should be in NATO-- meaning we would now perhaps be in a state of war with Russia-- and then without a beat saying that military action should be the last resort-- shows a series of knowledge and logic gaps that ought to shake every foreign policy specialist, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, to his or her roots. Maybe they can force feed her enough facts to skate through a debate, and maybe her self-confidence will still play well with many voters, but this first cut performance underscores our worst fears.'



Posted By: hartal | September 11 2008 at 10:06 PM"

I thought she looked like she was reciting some of it and didn't look like she was completely familiar with the material.

Paper Matters Handmade Greeting Cards

Just spent an hour looking for cards on line. Waded through a whole bunch of stuff that was unsuitable for one reason or another and just when I was going to stop looking I found this site. There's some lovely stuff there, handmade with art papers and flowers & other materials from the artist's garden. Six bucks apiece seems like a bargain for this level of quality. I bought three cards. The site is called Paper Matters. Check 'em out.Paper Matters Handmade Greeting Cards

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh, yes he would!


Oh, yes he would!
Originally uploaded by Buddy Stone
Seen on Flickr

International Fashion's Most Influential Designers - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

Pictures included!!

International Fashion's Most Influential Designers - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

McCain Praises Palin’s National Security Record - Offers No Reasons For the Praise

Probably because there aren't any. Have you heard she lives close to Russia? McCain also ripped Obama but made no effort to explain his reasoning. The quote below is from Fox News, the seemingly Official McCain Campaign News Organ.

McCain Praises Palin’s National Security Record � FOX Embeds � FOXNews.com: "“He was wrong on Iraq, he was wrong on Iran, and he was wrong when he made a moral equivocation between Russia and Georgia when Russia invaded. My friends, he’s wrong on national security, and he has a record,” McCain said. “This person is right on national security and she’s been right. She understands these issues. I am proud of her.”"

A fond farewell in Epping Forest

Whatsonstage.com Blogs � Blog Archive � A fond farewell in Epping Forest:

"Before the ceremony, his friends and family gathered in the reception area, drinking coffee and exchanging stories. Warren Mitchell was in a wheelchair and Peter Cheeseman, former diector of the Stoke-on-Trent theatre where Campbell had a special association in his early days, and now suffering and shaking dreadfully from Parkinson’s disease, was surrounded by well-wishers.



We had a concert of reminiscence. Campbell’s voice spewed out his own material, one speech reminding us that “funeral” was an anagram of “real fun.” Which is what ensued. His first Road Show colleagues Bob Hoskins, Jane Wood, Andy Andrews and Dave Hill recounted Ken’s arguments for not banishing the Lord Chamberlain and stopping all Arts Council grants for five years."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Biden's comments on special needs kids called 'new low' - CNN.com

Biden asks a good question and the McCain campaign accuses him of playing politics. Not true, ask it again Joe. A lot of people will suffer needlessly because of religious resistance to legitimate scientific research. And the longer the resistance lasts the more people will suffer. I don't know how they can have it on their conscience.

They also called him 'desperate' for the second day in a row. I think I'm sensing a branding effort. Keep saying it and maybe it will be so. Right boys?

Biden's comments on special needs kids called 'new low' - CNN.com: "'Well, guess what, folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem cell research?' asked Biden, the running mate of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama."

Snow White And The Seven Ex-Lobbyists

Fact Check: McCain-lobbyist connections - CNN.com

The comparison is thin but I'm going with it anyway. In this case McCain with his snow white hair will play the title role and instead of all the nice dwarves who go off to work in the forest, McCain's has helpers who toiled in the halls of Congress as high powered corporate lobbyists. One of them even used to represent a couple of dictators over in Africa. No blood on that money, I'm sure.

The countries were Zaire and Angola.

Student GOP leader resigns over Obama remark - Yahoo! News

Student GOP leader resigns over Obama remark - Yahoo! News: "LaDuca said Monday that he regrets posting the comments and understands how they can be construed as racist. 'In hindsight, when you read it a second time, it's like, 'oops,'' he said. 'It was just a dumb move on my part to make a statement like that public.'"

Some apology, the problem wasn't saying it or believing it, the problem was saying it in public.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

4 Asian countries to try joint sea route

CCTV International: "The service is expected to start trial operations next month. It will run from Huichun, a key port in Jilin, to Niigata in Japan via the Russian port of Zarubino and South Korea's Sokcho port. The South Korea-based joint venture has registered capital of 3 million US dollars."

5 Reasons Why I'm no Longer Updating iTunes | Geekdad from Wired.com

5 Reasons Why I'm no Longer Updating iTunes | Geekdad from Wired.com:

Russ Neumeier writes: "I held off and held off but finally installed the new version of iTunes (v7.7.1) - the invasiveness of this application (for those readers living in the southern US, I liken it to kudzu) is starting to make me think twice about another iPod…and I love my iPod...our family loves their iPods (we have four in a family of six), but I’m growing weary of iTunes.



It started a version or two ago, but reared its head this update. I run WinPatrol to alert me to any new services or auto-runs in Windows. It took me nearly 20 minutes (and a reboot) to rid myself of unwanted Apple stuff...here are the reasons I'm ignoring the next Apple iTunes update:"

Friday, September 05, 2008

FTC bans prerecorded sales messages starting September 1, 2009 : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

FTC bans prerecorded sales messages starting September 1, 2009 : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

Despite the existence of the Do Not Call list, many telemarketers have continued automated calls whether you're on the list or not, arguing that these types of calls are not specifically addressed by the DNC. The new FTC rules closes any loophole that might have existed, without the headache of endless legal challenges.

The bad news: The rule doesn't go into effect for over a year, which means that all the robots calling my house to offer help with "my payroll needs" or offering to sell toner for my army of photocopiers have another 12 months to continue to bug the hell out of me. Sigh.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Questions and Notes on the John McCain Acceptance Speech

Is John McCain disabled? His right hand doesn't look too good and he can't raise either arm over his head. For the purposes of serving as President I suppose he's not but he clearly has physical limitations. Of course he's also seventy two years old and between that and his North Vietnamese captors

How can you complain about styrofoam columns when you're using a photographic backdrop. And what the heck is that? A large white building fronted by a large expanse of neatly kept green lawn. Is it the White House? And now they've switched to a field. Well at least it's not printed slogans for the inarticulate George W. Bush.

A woman just stormed to the front of the audience looking somewhat crazed and really fired up. I think she was pro McCain but I'm not sure. McCain smiled and laughed a bit.

McCain just said he doesn't work for a party. Huh? So that's why Carl Rove is working so hard to get him elected? Is that why Fox News openly campaigns for him? Fair and Balanced you say? Get a clue.

Now he's attacking judges legislating from the bench. And here I was thinking they were settling legal disputes. Question: What's the difference between an activist judge and a judge handing down a decision? Answer: Your view of the decision.

Study Dispels Link Between Autism and Measles Vaccine - US News and World Report

Study Dispels Link Between Autism and Measles Vaccine - US News and World Report:

"'We are certain that there's no link between autism and the MMR,' Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Mailman School of Public Health Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, said at a Wednesday teleconference.
Not everyone is convinced, however, that the vaccine does not play a role in causing gastrointestinal problems that can precede the onset of autism.


'We found no evidence that the [gastrointestinal] pathology consistently preceded autism, and we also found that the MMR didn't consistently precede either autism or GI pathology,' he added.

Not everyone is convinced, however, that the vaccine does not play a role in causing gastrointestinal problems that can precede the onset of autism."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Palin and the ADA

Sarah Palin just pledged to be an advocate for special needs interests if she is elected. As a member of that group I'd like to know if this means she's going to get the United States Chamber of Commerce off our back? They've been trying to roll back the Americans With Disabilities Act since the day it was Signed Into Law.

Republican support for the ADA? Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Move Over Compassionate Conservatism - Here Comes Conspicuous Compassion

After showing little to no interest in New Orleans' problems post Katrina the GOP, aided by official party organ Fox News, are falling all over themselves to show how much they care this time around.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stand there and watch Obama speak

Listen to him explain a situation. Listen to him explain his view of the subject. Watch him react to his audience. Cool, thoughtful, rational!

He's all Kansan and he's smooth as goose grease

Barack Obama - What more could you want? Four more years of McBush?

Strength through confidence not reaction to fear

Obama knows you can defend yourself fairly and justly without beligerence. He is after all a son of that most American state, Kansas USA.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I smell smoke: Joseph Coveney

I smell smoke: Joseph Coveney:

"The story of the Coveney family in America begins with Joseph, who arrived in New York at the age of 20 in 1825. He seems to have been destitute and without financial assistance from anyone, because his name appears on the Bond Registers for the New York City Almshouse, for June 18, 1825, about a month after his arrival. Joseph Coveney may have lacked money and friendship in his early days in America, but he certainly did not lack ambition. He learned and later mastered the carpentry trade. It was also during his early life in America that he was reading newspaper articles by Thomas Paine, which would later influence his views on religion.
When the California Gold Rush occurred, Joseph went west and earned good money working as a carpenter there. When living in Buchanan, Michigan, he bought a good deal of real estate and became a prosperous farmer. He was well-known and respected in Buchanan for his generosity in providing additional financial support to the public school, but he was most known for his freethinking ideals."

In Ireland Joseph had been an Episcopalian, but he became an atheist after reading the works of Paine and Voltaire. He openly expressed his views to anyone at anytime and his tombstone in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Buchanan is a tribute to his freethinking ideals. The ornate tombstone has become something of a tourist attraction because of its bold and irreverent statements. A few examples are as follows: “Nature is the true God. Science the true religion. The more religion, the more lying. The more Saints, The more Hypocrites.” There was even an article on his death in the New York Times with the headline “Death of an Infidel: Last Words of Joseph Coveney of Michigan were ‘Die as I lived.’”

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Conservatives Marginalized as Moderation Comes to the Democrats

From the Comments section: Developments worse than this could happen.

Biden's Aggressive Approach - The Fix: "I actually see a better 2009 than the last decade...

for the first time in a long time.

Obama, Biden, Gore, (Hillary) Clinton, Hagel, Specter, Lugar, Kerry, Powell, Gates, Dodd,

the A team."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Corsi Strikes Again With Anti Obama Writings

Eugene Robinson - Obama Faces The Smear Machine - washingtonpost.com

The "author" I'm talking about is a man named Jerome Corsi. In a book published last year, "The Late Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada," Corsi claimed that George W. Bush was at the heart of a secret conspiracy to subsume the United States into a post-national, one-worldish North American Union. Corsi's writings on far-right blogs have been even more paranoid and delusional. He has written that pedophilia, for which he used a more graphic term, "is OK with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press." He has referred to Muslims as "ragheads."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Permission Problem: Financial Page: The New Yorker

The central problem!!
The Permission Problem: Financial Page: The New Yorker: "The commons leads to overuse and destruction; the anticommons leads to underuse and waste. In the cultural sphere, ever tighter restrictions on copyright and fair use limit artists’ abilities to sample and build on older works of art. In biotechnology, the explosion of patenting over the past twenty-five years—particularly efforts to patent things like gene fragments—may be retarding drug development, by making it hard to create a new drug without licensing myriad previous patents. Even divided land ownership can have unforeseen consequences. Wind power, for instance, could reliably supply up to twenty per cent of America’s energy needs—but only if new transmission lines were built, allowing the efficient movement of power from the places where it’s generated to the places where it’s consumed. Don’t count on that happening anytime soon. Most of the land that the grid would pass through is owned by individuals, and nobody wants power lines running through his back yard."

Isaac Hayes dies at age 65 | Isaac Hayes | Legacy | News Notes | Entertainment Weekly

Isaac Hayes dies at age 65 | Isaac Hayes | Legacy | News Notes | Entertainment Weekly

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Why don't we see Haitian baseball players?

There must be a couple but I can't think of who they are. And it seems like there ought to be more.


Check out the link to Juan Pierre. He's not Haitian but they love him anyway.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Yanks are playing like they think they can beat the Red Sox

Middle of the sixth: Yanks just ran off the field like a team with it's head in the game, ARod especially. They didn't look like this the last time they played and I'm now beginning to wonder if the Yankees feel confident they can compete with or outplay the Red Sox.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jay Bybee's Torture Doubletalk

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration told the CIA in 2002 that its interrogators working abroad would not violate U.S. prohibitions against torture unless they "have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering," according to a previously secret Justice Department memo released Thursday.

"Because specific intent is an element of the offense, the absence of specific intent negates the charge of torture," Jay Bybee, then the assistant attorney general, wrote in the memo.Previously secret torture memo released - CNN.com

So what does this mean? No matter how much 'severe pain or suffering' is going on it's not torture as long as it's not intended to be. ?? You're not torturing as long as you don't specifically intend to?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Radovan Karadzic


Radovan Karadzic
Originally uploaded by Candlemaker
Hiding in plain sight for all these years. Reminds me of The Purloined Letter.

Western Digital My Book Fails Right On Schedule

Silly me, and here I was actually relying on my Western Digital My Book external hard drive. From what I've just read these failures are not uncommon but the failures seem to occur across brands so it's not like switching to another company will necessarily do any good. How to proceed? Buy another one, just did, and replace it on a regular basis, I guess. Piss poor solution, maybe some research will uncover a better one. I know there are online backup solutions. In the meantime here's a link to a great customer review from a gent on Amazon. It says, in part;

"As with the earlier model, no internal fan is apparent and heat dissipation is absolutely critical to the longevity of any hard drive. Some manufacturers have skimped on this, such as Seagate with their FreeAgent series which has had a high failure rate, but v1.0 Western Digital My Book drives have also historically not fared well either. Consumers want these devices to be nearly silent, and the tradeoff is product design that omits what is often the single most important component to guarantee a longer drive life - a cooling fan.


Although both series of drives seemed to get equally warm to the touch (but not uncomfortably hot), the single most important concern I have about Western Digital's entire My Book product line is drive longevity and data integrity. The last version of this product had scores of complaints about drive failures, almost always resulting in partial or total loss of your data. Most seemed to either fail during the first week of use or right around the first anniversary of purchase."

Amazon.com: Phillip M. Dampier's review of Western Digital 500 GB My Book Essential 2...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

24/7 Wall St.: Citigroup (C) Chairman Sees Two-Year Housing Recession

24/7 Wall St.: Citigroup (C) Chairman Sees Two-Year Housing Recession

"If Citigroup (C) chairman Win Bischoff is right, then his bank and the US economy are going to be cornered by a deepening recession for the next two years. According to Reuters, the Citi chair "has warned that house prices in Britain and the United States are likely to keep falling for another two years."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Oil Speculators Kicked My Dog And Stole My Lunch

The Blame Game - WSJ.com

Point well made in this WSJ piece. Oil speculators are being blamed for everything. Anybody ever hear of China, India and Russia? That's three or four billion people creating a demand for oil that didn't exist as much as ten or fifteen years ago.


"I now know that it was conniving commodity traders who have been losing my bags for the past two decades. Hey, you know what? It was probably some stressed-out oil jockey who in the late 1990s "relieved" my bag of that fifth of bourbon my parents gave me. Thieving, drunken futures traders, the lot of them!"

Beijing Spruces Up For The Olympics

The Olympics are coming to town and the local burghers have a great marketing opportunity.



Wouldn't want a collection of jobless layabouts and whiners messing up the scenery.

Epoch Times - Mass Arrests as Beijing Prepares for Harmonious Olympics:

"At least two petitioners are thought to have died as Beijing authorities intensify their campaign to “clean up” the capital for the Olympics, with busloads of people taken away each evening. Petitioners contacted by telephone told The Epoch Times that on the evening of July 13, five busloads of people were seized and taken away, with another busload taken the following evening."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Apple fails BlackBerry test

Paul Taylor of FT.com gives pretty good marks to the iPhone but prefers his Blackberry for business.
FT.com / Business education - Apple fails BlackBerry test: "
"Despite these drawbacks, the 3G iPhone will undoubtedly be a success for Apple and its network operator partners including AT&T. Personally, I am still not ready to ditch my BlackBerry Curve and am looking forward to reviewing the 3G BlackBerry Bold. But the gap is closing.""

Monday, July 14, 2008

Covalent Solar to Commercialize Low-Cost Organic Solar Concentrators - Jetson Green

Covalent Solar to Commercialize Low-Cost Organic Solar Concentrators - Jetson Green

Chinese Rocket Whiz Carries Olympic Torch

The gentleman is Wang Jiaqi.

"The 68-year-old Wang is well known in Chinese space flight industry. Even before sending the first Chinese astronaut into space with Shenzhou V in October 2003, Wang and his team had already started working on Shenzhou VI."

The original title is Olympic Flame Illuminates China's "Motown" Changchun so I expected a musical tie in to Detroit. Turns out it has more to do with industry and, strangley enough, latitude.

"Changchun, which has the same latitude with Detroit, is known as China's Motown. The first truck and the first car of the people's republic had been made in this city. During the torch relay, so many citizens came to the street to watch and hail the torchbearers."




Olympic flame illuminates China's "Motown" Changchun_English_Xinhua

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cover Art: Sons of the Purple Sage - Western Favorites





Cover Art: Sons of the Purple Sage - Western Favorites

Every Man A King On The Internet?

Not if Comcast, Verizon and others have their way. They have an older concept in mind. Every CEO a Princeling. You live on their land and pay for the privilege. The amount you pay is based on your use of the land and the amount of income you generate. Trouble is, it's not their land. They're just caretakers. They manage the place for the real owners, the public.

F.C.C. Chief Backs Sanctions Against Comcast Over Blocking - NYTimes.com: "“The normative message is that it is wrong to block the Internet,” said Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School who is the chairman of Free Press, an advocacy group that filed the complaint about Comcast for which Mr. Martin is proposing a resolution.

“The deeper message he’s sending here is that users are sovereign. If two people want to send a file between each other, the carriers are not to get in the way.”

Professor Wu said the issues at stake go back to the common-law concept of a common carrier, which defined certain businesses — from blacksmiths to ferries — as so essential to commerce that their owners could not discriminate against any paying customer."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

French Word-A-Day: lexique

The word of the day doesn't have much to do with plants but the post is worth some time.

French Word-A-Day: lexique: "A_day_in_a_french_life
Monsieur Farjon talks about plants as some talk about humans. They have their relations, c'est-la-dire,* they have families, 'ancestors'. They reproduce. They are 'born': some as bastards, others with silver spoons in their botanical bouches.* Speaking of mouths, they even have body parts, such as 'armpits' (aisselles), from which thirsty French birds drink a la 'cabaret des oiseaux'.*"

Monday, July 07, 2008

Boston to ban boaters from harbor dumping -The Green Blog - A Boston Globe blog on living Green in Boston

Based on everything I've heard in the last few years about Boston Harbor having been cleaned up I would have thought that this had been done already.

Boston to ban boaters from harbor dumping -The Green Blog - A Boston Globe blog on living Green in Boston: "Boston today will become the largest urban area in the country to prohibit boaters from dumping out their toilets in the harbor, city and federal officials said."

Tribes of Monkeys Jumping and Screeching at Each Other

Thump your chest a little harder lefties. Fox tactics lack honor!

The Media Equation - When Fox News Is the Story - NYTimes.com: "Part of me — the Irish, tribal part — admires Fox News’s ferocious defense of its guys. I work at a place where editors can make easy sport of teasing apart your flawed copy until it collapses in a steaming pile, but Lord help those outsiders who make an unwarranted or unfounded attack on me or my work. Our tactics may be different, but we, too, are strong for our posse.

Media reporting about other media’s approach to producing media is pretty confusing business to begin with. Feelings, which are always raw for people who make their mistakes in public, will be bruised. But that does not fully explain the scorched earth between Fox News and those who cover it.

Fox News found a huge runway and enormous success by setting aside the conventions of bloodless objectivity, but along the way, it altered the rules of engagement between reporters and the media organizations they cover. Under its chief executive, Roger Ailes, Fox News and its public relations apparatus have waged a permanent campaign on behalf of the channel that borrows its methodology from his days as a senior political adviser to Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush."

Good News for Obama and the Dems

Jim Webb has served in the military, he has a son who is serving now and he doesn't suffer fools, witness a well known exchange with President Bush. But he made clear today that even if asked he won't be a part of the Obama ticket. I respect him for all the things I mentioned above but he is a little too right/hawkish for me and I'm just as just as glad he's out. I still like the idea of Bill Richardson but I also want to hear more floats before I make up my mind. How would I decide among several VP candidates? I would prefer left leaning but the most important thing is to get Obama elected and if that requires a centrist or even slightly rightist VP candidate to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters, so be it.

Breaking news: Now, Jim Webb takes himself off Obama's VP list | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times:

"Jim Webb, the Virginia senator and former Republican who packs his own heat most places, has withdrawn himself from consideration as Barack Obama's Democratic vice presidential running mate.

In a statement released moments ago, Webb said: 'Last week I communicated to Senator Obama and his presidential campaign my firm intention to remain in the United States Senate, where I believe I am best equipped to serve the people of Virginia and thVirginia Sen Jim Webb listens to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at a June rally in Virginia. Webb takes himself out of VP consideration with Obama July 7, 2008is country."

Friday, July 04, 2008

More on Photogravure

The Art of the Photogravure | Blog: Alfred Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession: "'A lasting testament to Stieglitz and his ideas was his periodical Camera Work.� It offered a visual record of the achievements of the American and foreign photographers in whom he believed, a living history of the Photo-Secession, and a digest of the aesthetic theories and intentions of both the progressive photographers and the burgeoning avant-garde in painting, sculpture, and criticism.� As a reflection of what Stieglitz stood for, Camera Work remains a vital wellspring from which creative individuals may still draw nourishment and inspiration.' - William Innes Homer

Good stuff on New Hampshire Journal tonight

First is a piece on photogravure with a good look at the technique and some beautiful prints. It features Graveurphotographer Paul Taylor of Hinsdale and his apprentice Scott Mathus. Next up is a report from the Dublin Small Engine Show. Last is a piece on guns in New Hampshire now & then. It finishes up with some good words on why Americans are allowed to carry guns while the citizens of most other nations are prohibited from doing so.
It's showing again this Sunday morning at 9. Check it out.

FOXNews.com - Flat-Screen TV Gas 'a Climate Time Bomb' - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News

This comes from the notoriously fact challenged Fox News so take it with a grain of salt. Read the first paragraph and you could be excused for thinking that they're just trying to make coal sound better.

FOXNews.com - Flat-Screen TV Gas 'a Climate Time Bomb' - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News: "Booming demand for flat-screen televisions could have a greater impact on global warming than the world's largest coal-fired power stations, scientists warn.

A greenhouse gas called nitrogen trifluoride, used to make the TVs, is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, said Michael Prather, director of the environment institute at the University of California, Irvine."

"Air Products, (APD) which produces the gas for the electronics industry, told New Scientist that very little nitrogen trifluoride is released into the atmosphere.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Honestly, besides being tortured, what did McCain do to excel in the military?

Being tortured is enough! And to say that it's not nice to ask the question [read below], stops short of what should be said and that is that it's a fucking despicable question. McCain spent years in a Vietnamese prison camp being beaten, tortured and subjected to all sorts of inhumane treatment. That's enough, that is giving everything to your country short of your life. No more is required.
That said, I don't support him. But it doesn't have anything to do with his military service or his dedication to his country. I disagree with his policies.
Honestly, besides being tortured, what did McCain do to excel in the military?: "It's not 'nice' to ask the question, but it's actually a pretty good question. Yes, we all know that John McCain was captured and tortured in Vietnam (McCain won't let you forget). A lot of people don't know, however, that McCain made a propaganda tape for the enemy while he was in captivity. Putting that bit of disloyalty aside, what exactly is McCain's military experience that prepares him for being commander in chief?"

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Celtics Fan Murdered?

The Boston Globe is reporting that an investigation has begun. See the quote below.

Investigation launched into death of Celtics fan - Boston.com: "Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, the Boston Police Homicide Unit and the Boston Police Internal Affairs Division are investigating the circumstances of Woodman's death, police said."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Why are all the steelworkers so dirty?

In the ads for Progressive Insurance, it doesn't look right and it doesn't make very good sense. The look more like coalminers or muckers.

Monday, June 23, 2008

More on Carlin

First a comment on News Hounds comments page on HaloScan and then a quote from The Man himself.
HaloScan.com - Comments: "First Harvey Korman, now George Carlin. Sheesh!
At least we've still got Dane Cook. (rolls eyes)
1-20-2009 | 06.23.08 - 4:58 pm | #"

A similar thing happened when John Belushi died and we were left with Jim Belushi.

And now George can have the last word.

A: I like Bill, by the way. If there were only one cherry pie in the world, and Bill Clinton owned it, I might get a piece of it. If Bush or Reagan owned it, you'd have to kill them to get a piece of pie. That's my feeling about Bill. And Bill's a good bullshitter. America likes a good bullshitter. That's one of the reasons he was re-elected. Honesty has no place in politics. It would throw everything off.
1-20-2009 | 06.23.08 - 6:00 pm | #

Fuck Shit Piss Cocksucker Motherfucker Cunt and Tits

George Carlin is dead at the age of 71. That's too young these days.

News Hounds has some nice words about him.


Rest In Peace George

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gloucester Principal Sullivan Can't Remember

From the AP an update on the high school pregnancy story.
Gloucester Mayor "Kirk says Sullivan has told city officials he can't remember his source of information."
This is as bizarre as the original story. How do you go to a major magazine, tell them all about goings on at the school you run and then later forget where you got your information? This doesn't even begin to make sense.

The Associated Press: Mayor: No support for claims of pregnancy pact

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bill Richardson For VP?

I could live with that quite nicely. Two articulate candidates with some true compassion for people and a healthy respect for the Constitution as the Founding Fathers intended; Habeas Corpus and all!!

News Hounds: Bill Richardson Lets On He’s Under VP Consideration: "In a nice change of pace for the show, a Democrat got a segment to himself for a discussion about offshore drilling. Richardson, the former Secretary of Energy in the Clinton administration, advocated drilling elsewhere other than off the coast of Florida or California along with “a bipartisan, comprehensive energy strategy” that includes increased fuel efficiency, alternative fuels, clean coal, natural gas and even “keeping the nuclear option.” You can watch the entire interview here."

Can Wind Turbines Cause Health Problems?

I don't have any idea but this blog post claims they do.
Wind Turbines Being Erected All Over Rural Ontario - Destroying Lives and Property Values � Blowing Our Tax Dollars on Wind Farms:
>>"Bigger setbacks are required.

I’ve been told by a reliable source, that a councilor who voted for the wind farm in Ripley and has at least one on her property is now living in Kincardine at her parents home.

The stray voltage is so bad that when she goes to the farm she suffers nose bleeds and headaches."<<

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sullivan Out At AIG?

A quote from the story on TheStreet.com referring to a report on CNBC.

"Board members will discuss possible replacements for Sullivan, including AIG's chairman, Robert Willumstad, who could take over as the top executive on either a temporary or permanent basis, the report said."AIG Board Meets Sunday on CEO: Report - TheStreet.com

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Obama Defends The Truth - Fights Vicious Rumors

There seems to be no end to the long line of scumbags who are willing to start and or repeat vicious rumors about Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. Putative 'people' like Rush Limbaugh and E.D. Hill nee Tarbox over at Fox News top todays list. Of course Limbaugh may be goofed out on drugs and not know what he's saying. Maybe Hill has a similar problem. Or maybe she just lacks any kind of integrity. Anyway, Obama has put up a web site to refute that kind of garbage. It's called Fight The Smears. Check it out and don't be afraid to set the haters straight.

From an AP Story: The Associated Press: Obama campaign: Wife never used the word 'Whitey': "The rumor that Michelle Obama railed against 'whitey' in a diatribe at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ has circulated on conservative Republican blogs for weeks and was repeated by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. The rumor included claims of a videotape of the speech that would be used to bring down Obama's candidacy this fall.

'No such tape exists,' the campaign responds on the site, http://www.fightthesmears.com. 'Michelle Obama has not spoken from the pulpit at Trinity and has not used that word.'

The site is a response to the realities of a brave new world, where information travels 24 hours a day on blogs and voters are increasingly turning to the Internet for information. It's a particular problem for Obama, a relative newcomer to national politics who is still unknown to many voters and has been the target of persistent misinformation campaigns online."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

90 Day Expiration Limit Stymies Digital TV Converter Program

The expiration date was instated as a guard against fraud but it's causing problems for legitimate coupon holders who may well think they have plenty of time/until February to take care of business. Also, the geniuses running this program don't seem to have enough postage to mail out the coupons. You're doing a heck of a job Brownie.
Feds: We Lack Stamps For Digital TV Converters: "McGuire-Rivera told the subcommittee that only 42 percent of the converter coupons are being redeemed by consumers before they expire; each coupon has a 90-day expiration and consumers now can not apply for a new one if the first one expires."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Associated Press: Max Mosley wins vote to remain FIA president

Mentioned here when the original scandal occurred, Mr. Moseley still has his job. The Associated Press: Max Mosley wins vote to remain FIA president: "F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was 'happy' with the results of the vote.

'The one thing I didn't want to happen, the last thing I wanted, was for Max to go today,' Ecclestone said. 'Up until now, I've asked him a million times to stand down at the end of November. But today he got what he wanted. He is still there and that's it.'

Van Woerkom said most of Mosley's support came from smaller clubs — which held equal sway in terms of voting power to the national federations — because of the money they received after FIA last year gave Formula One team McLaren a $100-million fine for possessing sensitive documents belonging to rival Ferrari. The FIA and its members received $60 million of that sum."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Trucking Regulators Warn on Use of Chantix - WSJ.com

Add this to the earlier ban by the FAA for pilots and air traffic controllers. This can't be good for Pfizer (PFE).

Trucking Regulators Warn on Use of Chantix - WSJ.com: "The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a warning Thursday on the anti-smoking drug Chantix, advising medical examiners 'to not qualify anyone currently using this medication for commercial motor vehicle licenses.'


The FMCSA oversees the interstate trucking and bus industry. Chantix, made by Pfizer, Inc., was attacked in a study by a non-profit group on Wednesday for possible links to seizures, dizziness, heart irregularity, diabetes and more than 100 accidents."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Earthquake Hits CNPC and Exacerbates China's Diesel Shortage

Earthquake Hits CNPC and Exacerbates China's Diesel Shortage: "The earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan Province has affected the operations of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the parent company of PetroChina. According to preliminary estimates, losses due to the earthquake reached 1.78 billion Yuan. PetroChina is now making every effort necessary to rescue wounded staff and find employees that are still missing, while ensuring the supply of oil and the safe operation of facilities in earthquake affected areas.

Influenced by high oil prices in the international market, the diesel wholesale price in some areas rose to 7500 Yuan per ton last week."

Court says money discriminates against blind people - Yahoo! News

The government's arguments were weak at best and the court did a nice job of pointing that out.

Court says money discriminates against blind people - Yahoo! News: "The U.S. acknowledges the design hinders blind people but it argued that blind people have adapted. Some relied on store clerks to help them, some used credit cards and others folded certain corners to help distinguish between bills.

The court ruled 2-1 that such adaptations were insufficient. "The government might as well argue that, since handicapped people can crawl on all fours or ask for help from strangers, there's no need to make buildings wheelchair accessible*, the court said."

*The US Chamber of Commerce, by the way, opposes the ADA every chance they get.

AIG Raises $20 Billion via Shares, Debt Issue: CEO - Financials * US * News * Story - CNBC.com

AIG Raises $20 Billion via Shares, Debt Issue: CEO - Financials * US * News * Story - CNBC.com: "American International Group Chief Executive Martin Sullivan on Tuesday told investors that the insurance company's recent issue of equity and debt raised in the region of $20 billion, far more than initially expected."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Texas FLDS Boys Battered & Sexually Abused?

More from The ABC News story:
ABC News: Polygamy Moms at Custody Crossroads: "The state also claims it has evidence of broken bones and sexual abuse among the boys."

Disabled Boy In A Conservative Religion

I wonder what that's like. How do leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints* regard their disabled members? Are disabled boys and disabled girls treated differently? The piece says the boy was given a prosthetic leg while in Texas state custody. Was he previously doing without? Was he just in need of a new leg? Was he receiving medical treatment at all? What's the scoop?

From the ABC News story: "One of the wives of the sect's jailed leader said she was eager to comply with any psychological testing so she could be reunited with her son, a boy born with a birth defect who has been given a new prosthetic leg while in foster care."

Judge Thomas Gossett

*The link to the Church information goes to Wikipedia. It is provided without my endorsement of the contents. Make of it what you will.

ABC News: Polygamy Moms at Custody Crossroads