Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I am interested in the site that allows you to browse and search on the Usenet. For this to be viable, they can't show you actual content, but they can show you the headers and group. You have to use what you find with a news reader to actually download content. I am now exclusively using NewsBin Pro. What is especially nice about is that it is uncensored. I hope that this can survive. The United States now has prohibited material of all too many sorts that we are not allowed to see or have (shades of the Soviet Union?).

Friday, December 26, 2008

"For Christmas" I bought an Epson Artisan 800 Multifunction box

I tried the Canon MP460 multi-function box, but I was dissatisfied with it. Mechanically, it is too fragile, because the lid pops off way to easily and is hard to get back in place. The scanner is too low-resolution, as well. If I had looked more closely at the specifications before I bought it, I probably would have purchased something else. The best thing about the Canon MP460 is the print quality, which was why I had originally picked it out.

We have limited places close by to by computer and electronic equipment. If I really have to, I will go to BestBuy, but I prefer OfficeMax. I am price sensitive, though, so I was energized by a good deal on a Compaq Presario C700 Notebook computer and bought it at Staples, my only major purchase there. But today, I went to OfficeMax and ended up with the Epson Artisan 800 multi-function box. I knew that I wanted to get a printer that would sit on our wireless network and had good resolution scanning and printing. The Epson fit my price and specification constraints.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A sign

This morning, I noticed a small sign at the corner of Grand and Harwood in south Dallas. The sign said: "Dallas banks discriminate against Black businesses and consumers. Why is that?" (the last might be slightly wrong, but the right sense). I took the city street route to work because of the danger of ice on the highways. The temperature was 31 degrees and it was misting heavily.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blogger and lawyer Bill Dyer reviews the Blackberry Storm

Bill Dyer writes at Beldarblog (Beldar being a corruption of his name, Bill Dyer, inspired by Saturday Night Live). Bill has a review of the new Blackberry Storm.

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 7, 1941

When I think of December 7, 1941, I think of two men. One was my father, who decided to enlist in the navy the next day. He was 19 years old. The other was my wife's late uncle. He had been a machinist on a battleship in the late 1930's as a sailor. When his enlistment was up, he was invited to take a job as a civilian machinist at Pearl Harbor. In December 1941, he worked as an aviation machinist at Ford Island. On December 7, he and his neighbor both went on the base after the attack to help with the recovery.

Friday, November 28, 2008

"Samantha Power is back"

Apparently, Barack Obama's "firing" of Samantha Power was not for real, as she is back at work, looking at State Department staff. This is probably the "hottest" picture of her in existence. She is essentially a bomb-throwing radical foreign policy expert and advisor.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am trying out NewsBin Pro

I am learning to use NewsBin Pro, which I had only learned about today. The features which caught my eye were that it could use SSL and had a search facility. The down side is that the documentation is pretty pathetic. However, I was able to figure out how to use it, so it must be pretty "user friendly". It also works with many binary file formats. I like being able to download files to directories of my choosing ("folders" in Windows parlance).

Monday, November 24, 2008

YaCy: distributed open source web search

What do you know? Ask and you shall receive (are there any more cliches?). I am going to try YaCy, the open source web search tool.

$1.729 for mid-grade

I paid $1.729 a gallon for mid-grade gasoline at my local Tom Thumb gas station. There are reports of regular unleaded in the Dallas-Fort Worth area under $1.60 per gallon. I have thought that we were near a bottom on gas and oil prices, but I hope that I am wrong. From the perspective of the oil industry in Texas, we need oil above $40 a barrel. Of course, we can be pleased that low prices are making life difficult for the Mullahs and Hugo Chavez.

We need uncensored search of the Internet and Usenet

In 1998, the Internet and Usenet were like the "Wild West". Today, it is like living in the Soviet Union. There is a great deal of "Prohibited Material" that the Government doesn't want us to see. The DCMA, the "war on child pornography", and the "war on terror" are used to justify the excesses and trampling of constitutional rights. Search engines are forced to censor what we see. I have thought that Google had a social agenda that also justified some of that, as well. Two things that would help bust us loose would be to have client-based of both the Internet and Usenet. Server-based options can be shut down by the government, because they cache everything, including "prohibited material". It would be interesting to see if anyone is providing tools for uncensored search.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Underground Economy

"Dr. Helen" thinks that the Underground Economy is unfair, in that the participants pay no taxes while those of us who follow the rules do. I would much rather not have to pay a high proportion of my income as taxes, but the problem is the tax system and government, not with the underground economy. I just happen to be firmly entrenched in the Above Ground Economy.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My card number and pin were ripped off at a gas station

I bought gas at a Raceway station on Gross Rd. in Mesquite this morning. I used a different pump than I usually use. Right before 5pm today, I got a call from my bank saying that two gas purchases at Shell stations in the Houston area looked fraudulent. I confirmed that I had not made the purchases, and the whole hassle is created of having to change over all my business to use the new card number. Still, I am glad that they didn't get much with my card number and that I won't get burnt. I had heard on the radio (KRLD 1080am in Dallas) about this sort of rip off when they have readers on pumps. Well, I found that it is a real threat. The fix is said to be that if you use a card, don't enter your pin but use it as credit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The 32nd Division in 1917-1918

My grandfather, my Dad's father, fought in France in 1918 with the 32nd Division. He was injured by a large caliber German artillery shell and from mustard gas. He received disability after the war for his injuries. That paid his way to the University of Michigan with an architectural engineering degree.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Goofiness on the campaign trail

This is the presidential campaign that has gotten extremely goofy. For one thing, John McCain refuses to use the best stuff that they have on Barack Obama, because he doesn't want to be a bad guy. In our family, one family member things that we are in the end times and that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ. Another family member, who is the atheist, pro-abortion, pro-Israel, anti-radical Islam, is sitting this one out, because the person doesn't like either side. Besides, a vote for Obama would likely mean getting on the jury duty list. Another relative, who is a liberal, thinks that America is not ready to elect a Black man president.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Colin Powell

Colin Powell was one of the leading army officers of the late 1980's and early 1990's. He is a man of immense prestige and could well have had a chance of being the first Black American president. He was blocked by his wife, who feared for his safety and wanted to keep their family secrets from being exposed.

As soon as he could function in a more public way, General Powell showed himself to be politically center-left. That is despite his famous "Powell Doctrine", where the American armed forces would use overwhelming force to reduce American casualties. The "Powell Doctrine" is not inconsistent with being a moderate Liberal in politics, because it reflects his concern about the welfare of people.

I found Colin Powell's performance as Secretary of State to be disappointing, particularly because of the his apparent support of a pro-Palestinian slant in Israeli-Palestinian relations. While I sometimes blanch at some Israeli moves, I am pro-Israeli as a matter of policy. I also take a dim view of anti-Semitism, even though I am not Jewish.

So, Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama was not unexpected. I was a bit bothered that Colin Powell's apparent motivation was that he was excited about the prospect of a Black president. I was bothered, because Colin Powell is orders of magnitude more qualified for the presidency than Barack Obama. Barack Obama, outside of his academic career, has accomplished little other than to have associated with the Weather Underground figures since the early 1980's and then participated in a few failed leftist causes and organizing activities. I would rather vote for Powell than Obama. There is nothing about Obama that motivates me to vote for him. He is all image and no substance. General Powell is a man of substance, in sharp contrast to Obama, so his endorsement of Obama is disappointing.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Colin Powell "bolstering Barack Obama's national security credentials"

My opinion is that to say that Colin Powell "bolsters Barack Obama's national security credentials" is ludicrous. To begin with, Barack Obama's national security credentials are non-existent. Next, Colin Powell has lost any credibility he might have once had during his tenure as Secretary of State under President Bush. That was unfortunate, because Colin Powell had gained a great deal of credibility for his service under the former President George Herbert Walker Bush.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Obama speech suppression

As usual, Barack Obama is "out there" trying to suppress negative speech about him and his friends.

How daring will the Left and Obama be if they win?

We have heard all sorts of stories about what is planned when Obama wins the election. His buddies on the Left can't conceive of him not winning. It goes all the way to show trials for Bush administration officials, including the President, and more. We can imagine firing squads setup in the parking lots, in the style of Cuba and post-revolution Iran.

I think that Obama has less of an emotional stake in this business than his fellow-travelers. At least, a Drudge comment makes me think that. Still, Obama's longtime connection with the radical, violent Left causes me concern. More and more, it seems that he has known Bill Ayers since the early 1980's when the Weather Underground was bombing against South African Apartheid interests.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oh, that is what I thought it was all about

The Obsession video on DVD has harsh things to say about Radical Islam: "it portrays radical Islam as a ... force bent on world domination". Gosh, that is what I thought that Radical Islam's goales were. I removed "demonic" as it is not part of what I think about them. Just because someone is a Muslim or from a Muslim country doesn't mean that they believe any of that, but the Mullahs in Iran and the El Qaeda crowd certainly are bent on world domination. They want to convert everyone at "sword point" and would kill or at least enslave those who would resist. Those were the original marching orders from 1300 or 1400 years ago. They are a fraction of the population, but are too many. They are akin to the Egyptian cab driver in the Dallas area who shot his two teenage daughters to death and probably fled the country because they were too westernized for his liking (their mother was an "Anglo" Texan).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The hottest story "out there", by far

Vera Baker is off the radar. Today, the hottest story going is from Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute: "Why Obama's Columbia Years Went AWOL". Tom tells about evidence that Barack Obama was living close to Bill Ayers and that they both had an interest in the Anti-Apartheid "Movement". They people doing the Brinks robbery and the bombing were Weathermen buddies, of not the real thing.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Good news on Yahoo Web Analytics

I received an email about Yahoo Web Analytics saying that the service will continue to be available to me at no cost. I had received some emails about billing that horrified me when I saw them.

Yahoo has apparently ruined IndexTools

What I had been concerned about has happened. I just cancelled my IndexTools account, after some bad billing practices by Yahoo.

Paul Krugman winning the Nobel prize for Economics is a joke

Do you automatically equate Paul Krugman with Milton Friedman? Me neither. Awarding the Nobel Prize for Economics to him just shows how bankrupt the Nobel Prize has become. The prize has degenerated into a vehicle for promoting leftist politics, rather than being about recognizing excellence.

Melanie Philips, at The Daily Mail, on Obama

Melanie Philips, writing at The Daily Mail, has an opinion piece about Obama.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Whoops...Safari is having problems with IndexTools (Yahoo Web Analytics)

I just had a problem trying to log into IndexTools (now Yahoo Web Analytics) with Safari. Then again, it just may be IndexTools (I mean, Yahoo Web Analytics).

I am now a Safari user (3.1.2)

FIrefox made me angry once too many times. I am now composing this blogpost using the Safari 3.1.2 browser. I imported my Firefox bookmarks and was in business in no time. One thing that I noticed immediately is that I am getting much better performance from Safari. Part of the problem with Firefox is that it is a memory hog.

It is the Daily Mail that has the story

I should have known. The Daily Mail has is the source of the buzz about an Obama girlfriend. They have the obfuscated picture that I had seen earlier.

This story is so big that people in the know are scared as hell of it

It has been some time since I have seen a story so big as this one is that people who know the most are scared as hell of it. The is especially true of Ace and the person or persons in the MSM who know about it.

JammieWearingFool weighs in

Who is Vera Baker (sort of like, who is John Galt)? JammieWearingFool weighs in on the current hot story. We like pictures, even if her face is hidden. All indications are that this is going to blow up soon.

Ace says that there is a hot story and asks us not to use a few key things in reference to the story

The Ace, of Ace of Spades HQ, says that there is a hot story and that this is for real. He says that this story is about to hit. He has retracted some post on the subject, so it is hard to say how long this one will work. If you look at everything here and at "My Back Pages ", you may be able to put two and two together. Yes, it is about Obama.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Texas Gekko

This Gekko was outside, between the back door and window. Firefox 3.0.3 is a piece of junk. Despite my choosing to allow popups, it is blocking them, anyway! The Gekko is very tiny. I had to open up IE6 to upload the photograph, if you can imagine that, because of Firefox being balky.

If this is true, someone should be sweating

This is from Ace of Spades HQ: Clinton supporters sharing evidence for RICO case against Obama campaign.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bess Levin?

So, what about Bess Levin, from DealBreaker? I am pretty new to them. So is she what she called "The Street Sweety"?

We seem bent on electing Obama

I decided that I shouldn't say inflammatory things about Obama's seeming impending election as president. I would just say that from everything I have seen, he is not up to the job. That bodes ill for the future. John McCain has many faults, but I would go with him over Obama and will.

Unbelievable: The Globe and Mail endorses Stephen Harper and the Tories

I don't disagree but am still shocked: the Globe and Mail endorses Stephen Harper and the Tories.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More censorship

It is not just the Conservative Christians involved in censorship. We are headed back to the Sixties at many levels. Not just the Radical Left, but censorship, as well. This is just another case where the Constitution is disregarded in favor of what someone thinks is a good thing, even when they are in the minority.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Megan McArdle agrees?

So..., whaddya know? Megan McArdle agrees with me.

So, Nancy Pelosi wanted the rescue bill defeated?

This is a new twist for me: Nancy Pelosi set up the vote yesterday for the economic rescue bill to be defeated.

Political Suicide

My take is that the Republicans in the House of Representatives committed political suicide yesterday and threw the election to Obama and the Democrats. They also probably threw the world economy into another Great Depression. I hope that I am overreacting, but one night gone, it still looks bleak.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Doubling down

The Republicans in the House just doubled down their bets. Now, not only have the bet the family car and the old homestead, but they also threw in their life's savings and their children's college funds. They better hope that they are right, because they can easily be called irresponsible idealogues. The come across as being more interested in politics than the good of the country.

Freedom of Speech

If you like oppressive regimes that crush dissent, you'll love Obama.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obama's Sturm Abteilung

If this is what it would be like with Obama in power, what do you think of it? He seems to have his version of the Sturm Abteilung to use to throw his weight around.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Guess what...

Our benevolent overlords instituted robots.txt files in July 2007 and not everyone had gotten the word. After the Blogger robots.txt file was put in place, the traffic on my best blog went from 2000 to 3000 a day to under 100 on bad days. I would be sitting at zero, except that several lower traffic search engines ignore the Blogger robots.txt file. Along with the robots.txt file, they have made it next to impossible to contact them to ask about it or to complain. I understand that they run a free service and can make the rules. That is why I have started with TypePad, although only in a small way.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Weird things on the Gulf Coast

As you may be aware, we are not getting good information about what is happening on the Gulf Coast. The worst case is Galveston Island. Is the entire west end of the island gone? That is the impression that you might get from the media. My thought is that Galveston's mayor is "in over her head". I also have the impression that restoring services is halted on Galveston for some undisclosed reason. Does the Federal Government want to block Galveston recovery? Is it the State of Texas?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Modfied Cars": the 2006 Nissan Sentra

I have this concept for having a series of modified car pictures to show how some subtle changes could improve some real cars. This is my first attempt at a modified 2006 Nissan Sentra. I think that I can do better, but this is a start.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


SiteMeter tried to migrate to a new site this weekend, but it has not been well-received. They are doing are have done a rollback. My main problem is I don't understand how to use the new site, as it seemed non-intuitive (I am sure that was not what was intended).

The Dallas school superintendent should have been gone before this

The current superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District is in his post due to identity politics. He has a long record of screw ups. The latest should be his last, if logic and reason were an issue in Dallas. Also at work is progressive politics, as Dallas in the midst of a transition into being the Minneapolis of the mid-South. It is not a good thing, but it is what is happening.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Portable Apps" (U3-style)

I am increasingly excited about having portable apps around that I can run from my 4GB Sandisk Cruzer USB drive. I had not realized that there was a portable version of the GIMP (the Gnu Image Manipulation Program) that could be run without being installed on a PC. I see now that there is also a "portable" version of Blender, the open-source 3D modeling tool. I am working in an environment which seems to be increasingly typical, where you can't install just any software on your work PC. We also cannot bring in our personal laptops, like I could at my last job. So... the answer is "portable apps".

How did we end up here?

Here we are, seven years since September 11, 2001. We now have a Democratic House and Senate and the possibility, although it seems less likely, of a Democratic president. We went into Iraq and seem to have won that war. We seem to be losing "the big one" in Afghanistan, because we are afraid of Pakistan and Pakistan is behind much of what is going wrong. None of that will change, probably, under the next administration. How did we forget about what happened on that fall morning, seven years ago? I still remember listening to Bob Edwards talking about a twin-engined plane having hit one tower of the World Trade Center on Minnesota Public Radio. I was stopped in traffic on eastbound I-694, heading for work in Brooklyn Center. After I got to work, one of our co-workers had his radio turned on and we listened to the events unfold in Washington and in Pennsylvania. We quickly learned that this was a terrorist attack, when the second plane hit the other tower. The rest is history, as you might say. I can only think that the American people wanted this all to go away, and that they thought that by going to the Democrats, they could make that happen. Sorry about that, but that won't work.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Henry Payne, over-the-top

Today's Henry Payne cartoon in the Editorial Cartoons section of shows Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden lynching Clarence Thomas. I thought that Henry went too far on this one, showing Clarence Thomas hanging from a tree with Joe Biden holding the rope. It is irrelevant that it is true (a verbal lynching in the confirmation hearing).

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I was in the break room at work right after the announcement of McCain's vice-presidential running mate. One guy said that it was like checking the Democrats in the election chess game. Naming Sarah Palin was not "check mate", but it put the Democrats in check, and they would have to make a move in response. I have four old Sarah Palin pictures:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Would be assassins?"

The British are all over this story, but we seem to be very wary of it in the U.S.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's there to not like about Rita Rudner?

Hey, what is there to not like about Rita Rudner showing off what she has?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We've blown out ANOTHER wireless router

We determined tonight that our last wireless router was blown out in the lighting storm Wednesday night. We eventually lost power for about a half-an-hour, but it was a loud and lightning-filled night before that. The router is a D-Link DIR-625. I had repeatedly tried to reboot it by cycling power, but to no result. The lights blink, but it won't connect to the radio. We use a fixed-wireless broadband connection that is good for about 7.6mbit down and about 1.6mbit up. I am directly connected to the radio right now, since the router is useless. We have had three previous routers blow out in lightning storms, as well. They connect to the radio, which is connected to the dish attenna on the roof.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It is only going to get worse...

If, in fact, Barack Obama is elected president and the Democrats retain both houses of Congress, then we are screwed. Even before that, the Federal Election Commission is out restricting free speech (like the courts). The Constitution is routinely ignored when it inhibits achieving whatever political or social outcome is desired. We might as well not have a Constitution. It is only invoked when it ensures some leftist outcome.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What's not to like about women's Olympic beach volleyball

Hey, you have decent-looking women who are really in shape and wearing bikinis. What is not to like about women's Olympic beach volleyball? The pics are great, for sure. I don't that we can link to images, but I am going to try.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I thought of this after hearing about the guy in Denver

I read this morning about the Somali man who died in Denver from mishandling cyanide. He seemed to be planning an attack on the Democratic National Convention. That made me think about the Oklahoma bomber. In both cases, the authorities acted to try and dispel any talk of terrorism, although they both seemed bent on terrorist attacks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ethnic cleansing in Geogia

According to the Sky news guy talking on Fox News, Russian militiamen are doing the dirty work of ethnic cleansing and presumably committing atrocities. I was amused that Russian APC's are described as "tanks". Fox News showed a column of really low-profile Russian APC's with a variety of turrets. Some seem to be armed with what was traditionally a smoothbore 3in gun and others had light automatic guns.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Lefties apparently think that this is good fun

The next thing you know, the lefties will have firing squads set up outside the capital for executing former Bush administration officials (and maybe the president, as well). Take a look at this. It is shades of Fidel Castro's takeover of Cuba.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bennigans and Steak & Ale

The 93-year old German bought Bennigan's and Steak & Ale and then spent the remaining time between then and now running them into the ground. The way he did it was to progressively degrade the menu, service, and decor over twenty-plus years. Steak & Ale suffered the least of the two, but Bennigan's was devastated. Someone could pick them up at a fire sale price and make them into good restaurants, again, very easily. They only ended up in this state by really wrong-minded management. Bennigan's went from a favorite to a place that I rarely visited. Even Chili's is doing some of the same things that the Bennigan's management did, but so far, they have not flipped over the precipice. Screw healthy menu choices. People want food that tastes good. Being good for you is secondary. The restaurants should be a place that is friendly and a nice place to be in, and the food and atmosphere should be good. You need many menu choices, not too few. At both Steak & Ale and Bennigan's, you should have been able to get a regular slice of hot pecan or apple pie, with ice cream. Doing away with that option was alone, a killer.

Tom Elia shows the kind of hotdog I like

Tom Elia, at The New Editor, shows what a good, Chicago-style hot dog looks like. This is the kind that I like.

Bennigans-Steak & Ale filed for bankruptcy

Another "wow"! The corporation that owns Bennigans and Steak & Ale filed for bankruptcy protection.

Wow!: Bennigans is closing down (perhaps just corporate "stores")

The host scoop here in the Dallas area is that Bennigans is closing down their "stores" (I would call them restaurants). We think that they got off on a health kick which meant that they discontinued good menu items that we and others liked. They USED to have home-made potato chips and good queso and chips, for example. UPDATE: I hear that it is just corporate-owned restaurants, not the franchisees.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Windows Vista

As I have written, I have a brand new Compaq Presario 770 US laptop computer. The computer has Windows Vista Home Premium edition. The computer has 2GB of RAM and a dual core processor, so Vista is "snappy". My wife has a Toshiba with only 512MB of RAM and with that, Vista is a dog. It "outta be" a crime to sell a computer with both Vista and only 512MB of RAM.

Friday, July 25, 2008

At Former Naval Person, I have plenty of Rielle Hunter

Before I went wall-to-wall Emma Watson fakes, I also had celebrity news on Former Naval Person blog (now largely NSFW). I have two posts there about Rielle Hunter. This is the last, when the MSM and Google tried to purge any mention of Rielle Hunter from the Internet. This is the one with more pictures of Rielle, prior to the pregnancy. John Edwards is really a bad person. I am not sure how else to put it. He got Rielle Hunter pregnant while his wife is battling cancer to stay alive a little while longer.

Is Spam protected speech?

I just heard about this convicted spammer who killed his wife and child and then committed suicide. I waste a lot of time dealing with spam, but my opinion is that it is protected speech. I have the benefit of not being a lawyer, but I am really concerned about how courts decide that free speech can be curtailed when there is a consensus that it should be, regardless of the constitution.

My Staples deal beats Amazon by a tidy amount

I went looking for Compaq Presario 770 US laptop computers for sale. Amazon will sell you one for $609.99 before the rebate. The mail-in rebate reduces the price to $579.99. I paid 479.99 at Staples and have a further $30 rebate to mail in. That deal is only good through today, apparently, "in-store".

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A good deal

I had stopped by the small Stapels store in east Dallas near loop 12 and I-30. They had an advertisement that caught my eye, immediately. It was for a Compaq laptop with 2GB of RAM, a dual-core processor, and a 160GB disk...for about $450 after an instant rebate and a $30 mail in rebate. We talked about it and I went back tonight and bought one! I have been planning to replace my oldest desktop computer with a new box, but this looks better than what I had expected to be able to buy. I also picked up the deal to get Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Edition for about $80. I had not been happy at the prospect of having to use "Open Office", as their Word substitute was not up to par when I tried it last. This deal apparently ends tomorrow. The notebook computer is a Compaq Presario 770US with an the Intel dual-core mobile processor. Presumably, it is OK to talk about it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Perhaps we will finally see justice done

A Grand Jury in Texas just handed down the initial indictments in the "Yearning for Zion" case involving the Morman polygamists. Finally, we are seeing the possibility of justice being done in this case. I still can't explain why these guys got away with this deal for so long. They appear to have protected by local authorities who knew what was happening in the compound.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Stephen den Beste

Stephen den Beste was one of the early blogger stars. He writes about his current non-participation. I was one of many readers who was sorry to see Stephen stop blogging. If his health and enthusiasm had allowed him to continue, I think that he would be a super-star on the level with Glenn Reynolds and Power Line. Of course, the big lefty bloggers are in a universe of their own. Stephen illustrates that you don't have to be part of "Big Media" or be a university professor (or even have a degree) to have a substantial audience, if you write well and have interesting things to say.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Shades of the Great Depression

Where have we heard about runs on banks? Ans: the Great Depression. Here we go again.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

People are starting to catch on that Barack Obama is a fake candidate

Barack Obama decided to run for president when he realized how positively he was perceived by people who knew nothing of his experience and background. He had crafted a cover story about his childhood and early adulthood that played well with progressive voters. The cracks are starting to appear as Barack Obama's shifts in position have alienated many of his progressive support.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Gasoline as a political issue?

I bought two new rear tires for my car, yesterday. While I was waiting, I spoke with an electrician who was also buying tires. He had just moved into town from a town 60 miles to the northeast. He comes into contact with many working people in his work. Much of his work in the recent past had been from wiring new homes. Now, all the work was making repairs and improvements to existing homes, as well as businesses. This man asserted that many people are "teetering on the edge" and a higher price for gas will push them over the edge. When I talked to my wife, when I got back, she thought that the price of gas will be a political issue. This is one issue that the Democrats seem to have wrong and should pay a price for opposing new oil drilling in the U.S. Can the Democrats demagogue their way out of this one?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Internet Connection speed tests

I just tried a speed test and was pleased with the result:

Download Speed: 5605 kbps (700.6 KB/sec transfer rate)
Upload Speed: 1647 kbps (205.9 KB/sec transfer rate)

This was the SpeakEasy speed test.
I also tried the CNET Bandwidth Meter and got a similar download speed:

5326.4 Kbps

We use Cool Access for our Internet provider, which is a north Texas business, but expanding south and to the northeast. We have done business with them for four years.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Is Google letting politics interfere with business?

Perhaps I am overreacting to this, but I have been concerned for some time, as a big Google paying customer, that they are letting some agenda other than business affect what they are doing. I have wondered about Blogger, where this blog and most of my others are hosted. Starting in July 2007, they started interfering with the ability of Google to index many blogs, including the NSFW Former Naval Person blog.

Now, we read that Obama partisans might be interfering with Hillary Clinton supporting bloggers. Bloggasm has the story. They are said to have persuaded Google to act against some blogs.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kodak M863, my latest acquisition

I received a box of old pictures from my Mother's house. I didn't want to beat them up by scanning them, so I purchased a Kodak M863, which has a 8.2M pixel resolution. I tried the camera in Office Max, and found that with strong light, I could get good results at will, even quick point and click. One difficulty is that I don't have good light at home. I went to the best room to try my luck, and had some problems with flash and glare. Still, using the "Digital Image Stabilization", I got better results. I often had to keep moving the center of the photo area and took more pictures until I got acceptable results, at least based on the display. I also have an HP R717 that is 6.2M pixels resolution. Compared to the new Kodak, the HP now seems clunky. Partly, that is because the HP was a 2006 purchase, and things keep getting better.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

vero possumus

I am not sure if this is the spelling he uses, but Barack Obama's motto of "vero possumus was translated by InterTran as "in truth to be able". The "Day by Day" cartoon wrote it as "Vero Possomus", which is wrong. (I see that they were making a joke about the possumus being like "possum").

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Demagoguing on drilling for oil

I was just listening to a Democratic operative on Fox News. The way that he was defending the ban on drilling offshore and in ANWR was to say that the "oil companies" already had leases on a large amount of land that has a large amount of oil that is untapped. Why do they need more land to drill on when they have enough now? Someone needs an effective answer to those tactics, because there are many people, including in my family, who are "environmentally conscious", and who blindly support the drilling bans. By the way, an online poll at KRLD radio's website shows that 79% of respondents support lifting the ban on offshore drilling. That tells me that the Democrat demagogues have some work to do to make their position stick.

Normal or sporadic outages?

Over the last few days, the Formal Naval Person blog (NSFW) has been experiencing a more normal pattern of traffic. To me, a normal pattern shows a great deal of continuity in traffic. There are no odd spikes or valleys. If you look at SiteMeter on higher traffic blogs, you can see what a normal pattern looks like. A return to a normal pattern makes me think that Blogger has been having ongoing problems. That seems more likely to be the problem rather than BlackLabel Ads, SiteMeter, or IndexTools, all of which run scripts.

Monday, June 16, 2008

121 weeks: Weight Watchers is still working for me

Saturday, June 14, I started my 121st week in Weight Watchers. I got my lifetime membership a year ago, but I had drifted back up about 9 pounds, starting late last year. This Saturday, I was back down to 1.2 pounds over my goal weight, which means that I don't have to pay to attend meetings. When you are more than 2 pounds over goal weight, you have to pay.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Of course, now, whatever was happening has subsided

I wish that we could understand what has been happening. I suspect Blogger or perhaps Google having either technical problems. In any case, yesterday was a "better day".

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Former Naval Person (my original blog) is practically "flat-lining"

I am not sure of the cause, for sure, but my original current events commentary blog, which morphed into a racy pictures blog, is practically flat-lining on traffic. My recent startup on TypePad is doing better today. The whole business is crazy, but it is illustrative of the power of censorship by search engines. Up until July 2007, Former Naval Person had days above 3,000 visits. Starting in July, Blogger (owned by Google) put robots.txt files on some blogs that keep Google from indexing the blogs. The nasty feature is that the proprietor of the blog can't change the robots.txt file. I was slow to pick up on what was happening. I could see the results, but didn't know the cause. I finally was able to check, using the Google Webmaster tools, and found the problem. At that point, I started up the TypePad version of Former Naval Person blog. I checked with TypePad to see if they had a problem with what I was doing and then got started.

Some predictions

(1) My prediction is that if, in fact, Barack Obama is elected president and the Democrats expand their hold on Congress, that one of their first moves will be to nationalize the oil industry. That will not do anything to solve our present problems, but it will make a bunch of lefties feel good.

(2) Northrop Grumman will be lucky if they get to build some of the new tankers for the Air Force. Boeing "owns" too many politicians. The crazy thing is that Boeing had the original contract, but lost it due to their seemingly corrupt practices.

(3)Barack Obama is sitting on a figurative pile of bombs, at least one of which is "atomic". All their fuses have been ignited, so it is just a matter of time until they "explode" onto the news. My guess is that it won't happen until AFTER he is inaugurated president, so his choice of Vice-President is critical.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Paid People Searches

I have been doing some genealogical research and background checks, trying to do it online. I have been appalled at how bad the situation is. I have even tried "for pay" searches and was greatly disappointed. I have used USSearch before, but they don't even have an easy way to update your credit card expiration date! What a way to inspire confidence, yes? Another service, Intelius, didn't produce anything useful. Even USSearch seemed to find more, although I couldn't find a way to pay for it. Things that were easy six or eight years ago now seem impossible.

Kristen Schaal

After seeing the YouTube clip of Kristen Schaal stripping down on the Daily Show (Steve Silver has it), I have been looking for images of her. There is apparently an R or X rated pic of her and Dave Hill "exposed", but the one shot on the web is censored. One thing that I found is that Yahoo Image Search has much better coverage of her than Google. Google Image Search is really pedestrian, while Yahoo has many unique images. It is NOT the case that Google Image Search is better. It used to be better, but since they started censoring search results, Google is in near collapse. I can't really explain it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

This would be fun...

If this is true, it would be fun to see: "Rumors Of A Michelle Obama 'Whitey' Video Abound" (by Kevin Aylward at Wizbang!). Given Barack Obama's modus operandi, would he divorce her for this? He has been throwing everyone else "under the bus".

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Navy is really on the wrong track

I read and article today that I can't find right now, but it said that Congress has lost faith in the current navy leadership. The issues are a combination of policy and lack of forthrightness in budgeting. The real issue is the mismanagement of all aspects of defense policy and procurement. I am a Republican and am center-right, politically, but I really dislike what I have seen in recent weeks. I am a consultant and can read a company portal that continually has good defense-related articles from the defense websites. I have questions for some time the idea that building the stealth destroyers for billions of dollars each is a good idea. Why stealth destroyers? What is needed, instead, are good, seaworthy ship with advanced electronics and weapons. We don't need to hide ships from our Islamic enemies, especially Al Qaeda and the Iranians. YOu could argue that the Russians are now enemies and the Chinese are a threat, but that still does not justify building ships that cost too much and can't be produced in the needed numbers. There are a range of issues that concern me about the navy, from the building program to aircraft acquisitions. One good feature of a radical change in administration is that there are Democrats who believe in a strong defense and who have good ideas.

Bill Dyer on the Texas Supreme Court decision

When I heard that the Texas Supreme Court had sided with the appeals court, I hoped that Bill Dyer would comment on the case. I found that Bill has more to say. He says that the ruling is not as negative for the Texas Child Protective Services as it is being portrayed in the press.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The polygamist protectors and apologists

On the way home yesterday, on KRLD radio, I heard part of an interview with a lawyer who is on the polygamists defense team. She said that fears that the polygamists would flee Texas if they get their children back are unfounded. I don't believe it. The Dallas Morning News has more on the story. The polygamists have functioned in their enclave ("Yearning for Zion") for this long because of their apologists and protectors. It is unclear who all their protectors are, but they have them. Otherwise, they would have been shut down long ago. Leftists who are interested in bringing down the more conventional institution of marriage are at least apologists. Polygamy is somehow tied up with Gay Rights and Gay Marriage.

You know your claim is stupid when...

The bozos who are claiming that they are allergic to Wi-Fi are the latest in goof-ball leftist agitation. You know when you have gone to far when the gay, leftist, sysadmin cartoonist, J. D. Frazier ("Iliad"), says you are stupid. Today's User Friendly cartoon shows the talking, artificially intelligent computer saying that. (for some reason, he makes it impossible to link to a particular day's cartoon).

Monday, May 26, 2008

More thoughts on the news group mass extinction

I suspect that news providers that have described themselves as "uncensored" are uncensored no longer. The United States, in the present political and legal environment has been eroding what we thought were constitutional rights. The sad thing is that much of this comes from the far left, not just the fundamentalist Christians. I would guess, though, that the prime movers in causing news providers to drop news groups is the copyright enforcement threat, by way of lawsuits, and the full-court press by law enforcement. The same thing is happening in Canada, Britain, and the Netherlands. So, we end up bidding a fond farewell. I am sure that there are other groups that I just not tested yet. We might as well be living in the People's Republic of China.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A recent mass-extinction of news groups

I was shocked that some old standby news groups that I had been following for a decade have vanished. I was going to check to see if there were new posts on the and found it was gone. Over the years, I had been looking at pictures from there and then deleting them. Now, it is no more. Do you suppose that Color Climax is on a tear, enforcing their copyright, so the news providers dropped the group for fear of litigation? In any case, it is gone. There is apparently no such thing, anymore, called "fair use". The damnable DMCA seems to have blown it away. Soon, the UseNet will be reduced to amateur groups and spam. It is already largely spam, but some of it is moderately interesting, except for being repeated so often!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bill Dyer answers Eugene Volokh

Bill Dyer has an interesting blog post where he challenges Eugene Volokh's assessment of the appeals court ruling about the polygamist cult children (children of the "Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints" "sect" or "cult").

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Eugene Volokh writes about the polygamists

A Texas appeals court ruled that the actions of the Texas Child Protective Services were unjustified today. Eugene Volokh writes about the situation at his blog. When my wife heard about the court ruling, she was appalled by it.

Wild fluctuations: what is the cause?

I continue to be baffled by the wild fluctuations in traffic, particularly on my Blogspot blogs. I just got an error that makes me think that "Blogger" is having ongoing issues, at least with some of the servers where some of my blogs reside. I have speculated that the positive spikes for an hour or two are what the traffic would be if there were not technical "issues".

Some more speculation

I have thought that the reason that the State of Texas is so wary of the "Yearning for Zion" crowd is that they are afraid that some court is going to make polygamy and adults having sex with children legal. This is, after all, in the post "Lawrence" judicial environment. By the way, KRLD radio reported that Texas Child Protective Services was turned back by a demand that they get another warrant before entering the "compound".

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Two topics

Right now, there are two topics that have my intense interest. One is the ongoing flap over the polygamous cult in Texas. The other is the balloon in the price of oil and gasoline.

As for the first, I heard on KRLD radio this afternoon that apparently, there are more children being hidden at the compound. I assume that they have some problem like pregnant 12 year old girls or the like. What amazed me is that armed guards at the compound turned away the child protective services people and would not let them on the compound. If I did that I would either be arrested or dead. What's the deal?

As for oil, I really expect that as soon as a few days from now, we could be at $150 per barrel and very soon after at $5 per gallon gasoline. We could be quickly at $200 or $250 per barrel oil and $10 per gallon gasoline. How long can Congress keep us from drill for oil offshore, where we know it exists and how long can they keep us from getting oil from the oil sands in Canada and the Upper Mid West? Alaska is not really an issue, as it would take too long to get oil from there. If they won't give in, a clever opponent in this election could beat them with this issue. Of course, the Republicans are incompetent goof balls, just like the Democrats, so we are in deep trouble in the near term. Let us hope that I am wrong!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The wild west is gone

There was something fresh and exciting about the Internet in 1997 and 1998. It lasted for a bit beyond that, starting with the DMCA, the Bush administration, and September 11th, things have gone downhill. There are still some good things happening, but we are at the mercy of the government, the RIAA, and the motion picture industry. We no longer can get uncensored internet search. Instead, we are in a tightly controlled sandbox. While there is a market for an uncensored search, the government would never allow it to exist. Google is the worst offender. Yahoo has not buckled under quite as far as Google. Google is desperate to keep the government happy, so that it will not curtail their business. How will this be fixed? I doubt that electing either Barack Obama or Hillary will change anything. The politics are so incendiary that no one can touch the issue. It seems like our Southern Baptist friends, along with their leftist feminist allies are riding roughshod over rights, claiming that we need to suspend the constitution to achieve their righteous goals.

More Barack Obama thoughts

Barack Obama is the sort of "rock star" personage that Martin Luther King, Jr. had become. Martin Luther King, Jr., we find, had all these lefty white women throwing themselves at him, and being a normal man, he was weak enough to partake of some of their favors. We came imagine that Barack Obama is seeing some of the same sort of thing. He is the great hope (not white) of the left. He is their best chance to have a radical left president in our time. Jimmy Carter comes close to him, but did not have the rock star aura that Obama has. I believe that it was the National Enguirer that had the headline a few weeks ago about the Obama marriage erupting over Barack's infidelities. There may not be anything to it, and the Clinton camp probably will not want to use what they have for fear of alienating lefty voters, but if it is real, it will eventually be exposed.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Are the rumors true about Obama?

I just read Susan Estrich's piece on Hillary and Obama, and I came away wondering if the tabloid rumors about Obama might be true. Is it not plausible that he is a philanderer? All you have to do is listen to his condescending tone to women: the "Sweetie" comments to women reporters.

Friday, May 16, 2008

This is amazing: the strap-on, powered wing

This guy has achieved what people have been talking about for more than fifty years: the flying man. It may not be the "jump off the ground and fly" thing, but what he has is really exciting and amazing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More weird stuff

The old "Former Naval Person" blog has had some good days recently, but today is the pits. I cannot tell if it is technical problems with Blogger or Google doing bad things, either at Blogger or from search. My TypePad blog that is also "Former Naval Person" had a run of better days, but has dropped back to a lower level. When the traffic was up, it was all driven by different nationality Google search sites. Now, there is a big "unknown" source, which I have thought was from Yahoo image search. My advice to everyone is that if you can, you are better off if you can stay in the good-graces of Google, as when they cut you off, it is pretty grim. A nasty feature of Google is that it is impossible to communicate with them about things like this.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More weird stuff on the web: Blogger at work?

When traffic for the original Former Naval Person blog dropped off this morning, I wondered if Yahoo search had done something. I checked the IndexTools referalls, and Yahoo still predominates, followed by AltaVista. So what gives? I theorize that Blogger is "doing something". After all, they are responsible for putting a robots.txt on the blog to keep Google Image search from indexing it. Regular Google seems to not have the same restrictions, because the TypePad version of Former Naval Person, with similar content, is growing in traffic. You tell me what is happening, because I don't have clue (I bet you guessed that). IndexTools shows that almost all the traffic is from some form of Google search, so that is an indication that Blogger is doing bad stuff. I like Blogger and depend on it, but I don't like what they have been doing to FNP.

Monday, April 28, 2008

More "Yearning for Zion" news

What I understood from listening to KRLD radio (AM 1080) is that many of the young girls aged 14 to 17 from the Yearning for Zion compound at El Dorado, all were either pregnant or had already had children. Given that and the fact that they were indoctrinating boys to be future abusers of young girls, I disagree with the law professors and think that the judge and state of Texas did the right thing in removing the children from what was a criminal operation. Update: The Dallas Morning News says that the numbers are 31 of 53 were pregnant or already had children.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"The Polygamist Sect": Ann Althouse weighs in

The big name bloggers are finally writing about El Dorado and "The Polygamous Sect". Ann Althouse has a piece about the story, finally, that she posted this morning. I think that the real story is the question about why this cult was allowed to operate so long when everyone locally knew what was happening there. When the State of Texas went in and shut the operation down, they found exactly what was rumoured to be absolutely true.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I had a chuckle about this: I have thought it was the case, before I saw this

This article from The Australian just confirms what I already had thought to be the case: we are in severe danger from global cooling, and the process has already started.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A dirty little secret

One thing that is not often mentioned is that the "Mormons", who call themselves the "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", is commonly considered a cult. We are generally too polite to dwell on that fact. The church tries very hard to look normal and mainstream to the outside world. That the group that got into trouble in El Dorado was doing is probably just what was common practice in the latter 19th Century in Utah. Is that about right?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Are these guys going to "get off the hook"?

I heard Mark Davis, of WBAP, this morning, and he pointed out that the fact that the call that prompted the raid on the "polygamous compound" in El Dorado was faked, that fact tainted the case. My concern is that guys perpetrating this deal will get "off the hook", due to the bogus phone call.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The "Yearning for Zion" defense

We now know what the defense is that is being used by the "Yearning for Zion" group. The call that triggered the raid on the site was bogus. That well may be true. But the groups says that the call was bogus, there was no child sexual abuse happening, the bed in the temple was not being used for sex. The children should be returned and the authorities should let the group go back to living their lives. The only problem is that the judge has found evidence that young girls have been made pregnant, and that young boys were being groomed to be "sexual predators" (I hate the phrase). In fact, the judge has ordered that genetic testing be done on everyone from the site to determine the relations between people. She refused the order to return the children. That is all based on what I heard on the radio news, which included station WBAP, this morning.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The "Yearning for Zion" cult

I have to call the organization that calls itself "Yearning for Zion" a cult. Tell me I am wrong about it. Certainly, it is a cult derived from the more orthodox Church of Latterday Saints, but they are radically different in some essential ways. They also have brainwashed everyone or else forced them to comply, at least. I keep hearing new goodies about these people. Not only were young girls taken by force as soon as they had matured enough to get pregnant, but they also played around with "wife-swapping", if you want to call the females "wives". They were more like sex slaves in a baby factory. They have found girls under the age of 18 who are pregnant. There are some girls or women there who bore children as young as the age of 13. The questions I have are: (1) why didn't the local authorities act? They have known for a long time what was happening there. It took the state of Texas to shut them down. (2) Who paid to build the facility and how is the continued operation financed? I feel rather sorry for mothers separated from their children, but it is unavoidable. The mothers are victims as much as the children are.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I lucked out in having two distant cousins from different parts of my family who have built family trees in and have attached photographs. For my mother's family, I have had to do research. Fortunately for me, my mother is old enough so that her parents and grandparents show up in census records from 1930 and earlier. Without that, I would know essentially nothing new.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Oops, he said what he really believed

The Chicago Sun-Times has an article about Barack Obama's recent gaff. Barack Obama made hte mistake of saying what he really believed about rural people. Yes, his "remarks on 'bitter' working class voters [were] ill chosen". The basic problem is that Barack Obama is an elitist, leftist snob who disdains the people he talked about.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Big-time law breakers

The Chicago Sun-Times has more about the "polygamist sect". What I don't understand is why authorities were so hesitant to move against these guys, who were big-time criminals (if you call people who break criminal law "criminals", which I do). The guys behind the "sect" had the perfect system set up. As soon as young girls were old enough to bear children, they were given to one of the guys and they were repeatedly raped until they were pregnant. They had children who were raised. When the girls were old enough, they too went into the system and were raped and brutalized. The girls were fed a cover story that painted the outside world as being even worse than their hell-hole lives. The system worked as designed. All you have to do is to realize that the sixty-some guys at El Dorado, Texas had produced over 400 children, who were just removed. So what is the big problem about inforcing the law against polygamy and child sex abuse? The police were also enforcing the law against assaulting women and children, who were physically abused, as well. Now, the authorities have withdrawn from the "compound" and are extremely apologetic about having acted. Why is that? They did the right thing and enforced the law. They knew what was happening at this place. They had an informant. Were they afraid of Mormons rioting and carrying out terrorist attacks? I doubt it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I am starting to feel ill: IndexTools is being acquired by Yahoo

I have been relying on IndexTools for almost three years. Now, I am feeling ill, as I just received an email saying that they are being acquired by Yahoo. I hate to think what that might mean for IndexTools customers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The "Polygamists"

Make take is that the situation with the so-called polygamist compound in Texas is less about polygamy and more about fifty-year old guys who figured out a way to have harems of 14-year old girls. Of course, when they turned 18, they didn't necessarily discard them. If this was just about "polygamy", I would be more sympathetic, but this is something else. They are about like the Muslim guys in Dearborn, Michigan, who have their small harems of15-year old girls that the local authorities ignore. The problem is that the authorities are trying to be so non-judgmental that they ignore sexual abuse of young girls. The guys in Texas have these large harems of girls and are busy having sex with them, making babies, as fast as they can, up to their capacity to "do it". They all deserve to be "taken out", and as soon as possible. It is all done under the cover of "religion", of course.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Ipso Facto" is finally back!

I received an email from Mike Wallster saying that his "Ipso Facto" cartoon is finally back and being updating regularly.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hillary Clinton would be a fool to quit

Given what we know is "out there" about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton would be foolish to give up her quest for the presidency right now. I fully expect that before long, Barack Obama is going to be toast. The probably cause is Tony Rezko-related, but there could be more about Jeremiah Wright that could take him out. Then again, there is likely to be more stuff that we have not heard about yet. You can be sure that Clintonites are out, beating the bushes, looking for such material.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sadly, the FBI is not on our side

Perhaps I am being too harsh, but I think not. At Classical Values, Eric Scheie talks about what I have mentioned before: clicking a bad link is now criminalized! This is just another example of where the courts ignore the constitution, when they choose. I say this because they are ready to violate our constitution to achieve most people view as a reasonable end. The courts are complicit in this business and are as much to blame for ignoring the constitution when it suits them.

Friday, March 21, 2008

This sounds scarey

Orin Kerr, at The Volokh Conspiracy, has a piece about "Fake Hyperlinks Used in FBI Child Pornography Stings". We could imagine getting a spam email, say, with such a link, and without much thought clicking on it. That could you mean that the next morning, before dawn, you would have an assault team breaking down your front door and arresting you and confiscating, at least, your computer. I would guess that they would have hard to distinguish from home invaders (at least in the Dallas area). Suppose you tried to resist, thinking that they were criminals, and you are shot and killed? You get a URL-encoded link, so that they know from which email account the link was clicked. Talk about a police state. The person being arrested has not clicked on a link that would actually produce a nasty child pornography video file. The link is broken, but you are busted anyway, just for clicking a link with a bad file name ("4yosuck"). Why not go after the people who are doing bad things to young girls and making videos? Child Pornography is the "new war on drugs". There is the same overreaching in the name of doing good that caused Randy Weaver's wife to be shot and killed at Ruby Ridge (by the same people, the FBI) and the Branch Davidians to be burnt alive at Waco. I don't see how this will be fixed, either. We keep adding new crimes and increasing the penalties by orders of magnitude. that is why you see the goofy things like $250 fines for getting caught by a red light camera. "We are going to show them", for doing whatever wrong thing that they did. Once we are all sold on something being "bad", we jack up the penalties. The new Dallas District Attorney, despite not being ready for a job with this much scrutiny, is on to something. He wanted to stop the over-prosecution of black men in Dallas county and to free as many of them as possible who could be proved to be innocent by DNA tests. He has freed a good number of black men who now seem to have been wrongly convicted. The assumption had been made in the past that if it was a black man, there was the assumption of guilt. He had to prove his innocence beyond a shadow-of-doubt to keep from being convicted. The problem has spread, if anything.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Flying out of Libya at Mach 3.5 at 80,000 feet

This article by retired Major Brian Shul is cool. He tells the story about flying out of Libya in their SR-71 at Mach 3.5 at 80,000 feet. Using a calculator from the NASA website, that comes out to be 2,311 mph.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

There seem to be ongoing Blogger problems

Given that at various times, I got server errors when trying to read other people's blogs, I would guess that we are seeing a lot of Blogger trouble. Anyone who has a Blogspot blog would potentially be affected. Right now, our higher traffic blog is being hammered by something. Presumably, we are seeing the affects of the Blogger trouble that other blogs are seeing.

Carrie Newcomer

I still like Carrie Newcomer's music and listen to what I have. I disagree with her politics and stance on terrorism, however. She is strongly pacifist, and I lost my patience with pacifism early on the morning of September 11, 2001, as events unfolded. In the past, I had complained about her injecting her beliefs into her music, but I would accept that doing so is a reasonable thing. I just removes any interest that I might have had in her new material. What brought this topic into my consciousness is that the current album that is playing on my car CD player is one of hers. Carrie comes from the same part of the country as I do. While she grew up in northern Indiana, she was born in Dowagiac, Michigan. That is about 44 miles from where I grew up. She is younger than I am, but she is just a bit older than my youngest brother.

Friday, March 7, 2008

"Study claims no link between vaccines and autism"

I liked the title on the Chicago Tribune story about the new study that says that there is no scientific link between vaccines and autism. The title writer obviously assumes that we all think that there is a link, even though the conclusion has consistently been that there is no link. Otherwise, why wrote a title like "Study claims no link between vaccines and autism". The idea of the link is somehow tied up with leftist politics, in a way that I do not understand.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Texas Primary

I voted just after 7am this morning. Our polling place was mobbed: not with Republican but with Democrats. The Democratic turnout at our precinct was ten-to-one or more over the Republicans. I tell you, too, it was not Republicans voting in the Democratic Primary, but Democrats. The people in the Democratic line were obviously (to me) Democrats.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Robert Novak's column about Barack Obama and the indicted Tony Rezko is worth a read. Do you like conspiracy theories? This one is highly speculative. We know that Barack Obama has received undisclosed amounts of money from Tony Rezko, who is being pursued by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. Apparently, Tony Rezko has been funding the Obamas since 1995. We now know that at least some of Tony Rezko's money was coming from the indicted Iraqi billionaire in London, who was thought to have been laundering money for Saddam Hussein. This part is really crazy: suppose that Barack Obama is a mole hiding in deep cover. In this scenario, he surfaces after being inaugurated. He has a Sturm Abteilung in Louis Farrakhan's organization. Who knows what might happen, at that point? How is that for a wild and crazy conspiracy theory? As I say, it is based on a small bit of known fact and a lot of wild speculation, without any evidence. Let us hope that there is no basis to it, because Barack Obama is the likely next president. In any case, I doubt that it is true, or at least I certainly hope that it is not, as I said. By the way, even Hillary seems to agree with this sort of thing, at least to a small degree.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

SiteMeter and IndexTools not track closely

Back some time ago, the usual situation was that IndexTools and SiteMeter followed each other very closely, when tracking visits and page views. Then, because of technical problems with one or both, they sharply diverged. Just recently, they are back in close agreement. I find that reassuring.

Blogger was apparently down, at least some servers

There was a point today when the Blogger control panel didn't work and when my Blogspot blogs were all inaccessible. The traffic that I am seeing well may be caused by Blogger, not some other issue.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I hate Yahoo Mail performance at peak hours

I find that Yahoo Mail Performance at the peak hours is close to unbearable. I am using the "classic version" because the AJAX version brought my computers to a halt. My problem is that I am committed to Yahoo Mail, because that is where I forward all my POP3 mail and where I have a lot of business mail sent.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Odd things happening

I knew that something odd was happening when traffic to Former Naval Person blog (NSFW) dropped way off four days ago or so. I guessed, earlier today, that Yahoo must have stopped making referrals. I checked IndexTools referring domains, and sure enough, Yahoo referrals are down to almost nothing. Now, almost all traffic is from the mysterious "Direct access or bookmark". That actually covers everything from browsers where Javascript is disabled. I assume that a concerted move is underway to suppress Emma Watson fakes, or readers' access to them. Alternatively, they don't like the advertising. If I go without advertising, what little revenue I am currently receiving evaporates. So I just do it to see what traffic I can draw, rather than for revenue.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Technical problems?

I have an idea that we would learn a lot if we could understand what is happening with traffic to "Former Naval Person" blog (very NSFW). The blog is hosted with Blogger, a Google subsidiary, as is this blog. The pictures shown most recently are also hosted with a Google facility associated with Blogger. We have reason to believe that Google has blocked traffic to "Former Naval Person" starting late in July 2007. Very occasionally, the block slips and traffic jumps up to as much as 1,100. With the block in, most traffic comes from Yahoo-related search engines. A substantial amount of traffic cannot be tracked by SiteMeter and IndexTools, because they see the browser involved as having Javascript disabled. That is sufficient to hide any information about the visitor, except IP address. The Google ban seems to be related to the nature of the content. For the last year, about, the main topic has been Emma Watson fake racy pics. I believe that not are hardcore, just erotic with nakedness. That killed off using Google AdSense, as they frown on that sort of thing. The main issue would seem to be that Emma is as young as she is (a teenager). Google has also been known to squash female celebrity pics, perhaps when requested. But who knows what the real reason is in this case?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The "Bubble" has air escaping

I consider the economic stimulus package to be totally bogus. This does not solve "anything". It is more a Clintonesque gesture to show that "the government cares". The problem that we are in is just a natural, but nasty feature of the air finally escapting from the "housing bubble". The bubble is not new, as everyone knows. When I went up to Minneapolis to work in 2001, I saw that housing prices there were bubbling. I wondered how long it could last. I would have liked to see some "housing bubble" action in our part of the Dallas area, but it never happened. The bubble obviously has one or more holes and the air is escaping. That causes problems, but long-term, it also fixes them. I only hope that we can survive the fix.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Where's the beef?"

Everywhere I looked this morning, cartoonists were knocking Barack Obama's lack of substance. He seems to be running on his charisma and nothing more. He also has the problem that if he spoke about what he wants to do, it would turn off too many people!

AT&T on the move

We got knock on door early last night. A man and a woman were canvassing door-to-door for AT&T. The most interesting thing that they offered was fiber optic internet connection with up to 10 mBit service for $30 a month. Supposedly, it would never go up in price. My service provider, who has a fixed wireless system is vulnerable, I am sure, but Time-Warner would seem to be the big target. They went through in the last year or two and did a similar door-to-door canvas. AT&T is offering an AT&T-branded version of Dish Network, along with the fiber optic internet connection. Time Warner cable is higher than the sort of numbers that were casually tossed out to me, so I imagine that they will lose customers. I am not switching. My wife keeps the AT&T wireline service, but that is all we have. We have our own Dish Network arrangement that we have had for about ten years, gradually upgrading along the way. We are going with the very high speed version of the fixed wireless internet connection, upgrading on Friday with the required radio. I can't see using AT&T-filtered and logged internet when I get internet without AT&T intrusion.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Web traffic

One striking aspect of trying to monitor and study web traffic is that the main tools that I use (and Google Analytics, as well) are blocked by using IE7 with Javascript disabled. That means that I can tell that traffic is coming from some unknown source, but can't tell what it is.

From sometime on Thursday until Midnight, Pacific Standard Time, Friday night, there was a large amount of traffic coming to the Former Naval Person blog (very NSFW). At 2am, CST, the influx ceased and dropped back to what has become the usual, normal level. The only thing that I can figure is that at Google HQ on the west coast, occasionally, their block is removed and traffic flows to the blog and then someone wakes up to the fact and turns it off again, at midnight, the next day. Tell me that something like that is not what is happening.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What now?

If Mitt Romney has given up his quest for the presidency, we are left with the slugfest in the Democratic pary. You almost have to wonder, with Romney still doing relatively well, if someone had something so damaging against him that he bailed. Also, will spoiled baby conservatives go into their corners and pout? Are they ready to elect an unacceptable Democrat? I suspect that they so want their way and won't play ball, that they will. They will live to regret that attitude. These are the same people who pitched a fit over Harriet Miers, a decent women, and insisted on having their way.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Super Bowl

In my opinion, New England needs to be beat in the Super Bowl. I have happy that the Giants are doing as well as they have. To go into the half just down 7-3 says that the Giants have a shot. The knock on New England is that they play dirty and cheat. We have already seen them do that sort of thing. They seem to get a away with dirty play when someone else would not.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


We are now using 802.11n for our network and I like it a lot. We are seeing a much higher signal strength, reliability, and speed. Part of the good experience is due to using the D-Link DWA-142 Wireless USB Adaptor. We have a D-Link router, with all of our desktops using the external adaptor. Only our two laptops are not 802.11n.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Firefox as memory hog (with memory leaks)

I finally killed Firefox when it had ballooned to over 400K. I restarted the session, with the same tabs, and the size had shrunk to 100K. I hate Firefox, but not as much as I hate the alternatives. I do end up using IE7 for sites that will not work with Firefox. After a small bit of usage, it has grown to 138K. How much of this is due to Yahoo Mail?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The whole immigration issue is a mess

The whole US government immigration bureaucracy has long been troubled and continues to have similar issues. This blog post just illustrates the widespread problem of government overreach. In this case, it talks about US citizens being abused by the "ICE".

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The apocalypse?

On the way home, I could see the tall, dark clouds to the east, but no lightning. I could imagine the apocalypse about to occur. I expected to hear voices from the sky. Then the skies cleared and there was the setting sun. This is especially appropriate, as we have the reports from the southwest of us about the huge unidentified flying objects, a mile long and a half-mile wide, hovering less than a 1,000 feet above the ground and then streaking off into the distance.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I just replaced my failed 802.11g wireless router with a D-Link DIR-625 router, which is 802.11n compliant. I have had problems with routers, perhaps due to having fixed wireless internet service, so that the router connects to the radio and antenna on the roof. We have many storms with thunder and lightning, and I theorize that that the last storm, three days ago, took out the router. I find that most of my network problems must have been the result of a failing router, and this has at least temporarily fixed the problem. Only two of our five computers on the network have 802.11n interfaces, but I would expect to change to the D-Link USB2 wireless interfaces in the next few months. I already see better reliability. There may be higher speed, as well.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Rep. Ellen Tauscher sounds like someone I would like

Rep. Ellen Tauscher is a Democrat from California, but she talks sense about the Air Force and military in general. The present crowd have mismanaged the government and Defense Department, and maybe we need a change. If we do, who knows what we will get, but there are some good Democrats "out there".

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Some global cooling, anyone?

With my interest in 16th and 17th Century history, I am very aware of the warming that occurred by the late 17th and early 18th Centuries. During the period of the mini-Ice Age, many far north latitude summer and winter storms occurred. This article talks of a coming cooling that will start in a few years. The author is a Russian, of course. They are serious scientists.

The murdered sisters

When you see the picture of the two teenage girls murdered, probably by their Muslim father, you can see that they were typical Texas girls. They obviously had assimilated into the local culture. We can imagine that the father hated that assimilation, so he finally killed them. KRLD has the story and picture.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Did a religious fanatic kill his teenage daughters?

I have a friend who calls the fundamentalist Muslims "religious fanatics". That is how he described the people who President Carter and his buddy Zbigniew Brzezinski helped to bring to power in Iran. They all don't need to be Shia, but could be Sunni, as well. A father, who was a cab driver, apparently killed his two teenage daughters, here in the Dallas area. We can imagine that perhaps his daughters were Americanized and he didn't like it. His reaction was to kill them, apparently.