Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Going through internet withdrawls

I'm in internet limbo. My in-laws don't have a wireless router and I don't want to sit and tie up their computer all day like a rude guest.

I'm going bananas! I need a fix!!!! I need those bits and bytes and whatnots (especially the whatnots!).

My boys, sitting at home, are probably laughing at my situation.  They're home with laptops and desktops and tablets and smart phones.  My phone couldn't be any dumber.  All it does is dial numbers!

Technology is both a blessing and a curse. I'm living the "curse" part right now.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Speaking of getting fired...

Yesterday I wrote about Steven Screamin' A. Smith losing his gig as the Fox Sports Radio morning drive host.  Today I wish to write about a different individual losing a different type of job.

The Pharisee reported on Monday that the Caput a Palos, AKA TxBluesMan, AKA Sgt. Gregory Prickett, AKA The Prickette (pictured at left), has left the employ of UNT-Dallas.  It is unknown at this time if he jumped or was pushed.  Regardless of how or why, he is no longer employed by UNT.

I'm an empathetic person at heart, so I have a certain feeling of sadness for the Caput a Palos.  There is nothing more damaging to a man's self esteem than the loss of his employment.  Most of us feel somewhat defined by our occupation ("I'm a doctor", or "I'm a lawyer", or "I'm a glorified mall cop", for example).

That stated, I have to admit to a certain schadenfruede over the news.  After all, Mr. Bigshot has wrongfully maligned me and blogger friends of mine with the vilest of accusations, and did so under cover of anonymity.  That his cover has been blown and his shady acts of cowardice exposed is a satisfaction ranking right up there with a 49ers Super Bowl victory for me.

When The Prickette was outed, he lashed out against those most prominent in the exposure of his identity by filing a bogus lawsuit against them.  The Pharisee reported on Tuesday that the lawsuit is effectively kaput.  Given that it was strictly an intimidation ploy by The Prickette all along, Hugh has filed a criminal complaint against him.  It seems that in Texas -- and pretty much nowhere else -- it is a felony crime to engage in Barratry - the act or practice of bringing legal action solely to harass. The complaint also details The Prickette's harassment of Hugh's daughter, an innocent bystander in this particular pissing contest.

Hey, if this is a pissing contest, has Hugh succeeded in making it halfway up the 30' pole (as compared to The Prickette's measly 2 feet)?  I always suspected that The Prickette was a little...uh...lacking...in the man-plumbing department.

I hear that every time a cop gets fired a member of NWA gets his wings. Could be.  All I know is there's one less goon out there busting teeth today than there was last week at this time.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One and done

It was just over one year ago that the programming geniuses at Fox Sports Radio fired long-time morning host Steve Czaban and crew.  My thoughts on the matter were, shall we say, not positive. 

I simply couldn't believe that FSR would drop a successful morning drive show and replace it with Steven Screamin' A. Smith.  It was beyond counter-intuitive to me.  Smith's act had gotten tired at ESPN, being that it is a one-pony trick: express an opinion, and express it more loudly than those with whom you disagree.  WHY would FSR think that he would succeed as a morning drive host?

Apparently the Screamin' A. Smith show was...how shall I put this?...somewhat less than successful.
"Zack and Jack" will take over morning drive from 6-9 a.m. on WOFX-AM (980). The show replaces the "Stephen A. Smith Show." Smith will be moving into the roll of NBA analyst for all of Fox Sports Radio's shows. Smith's last show is Dec. 31.
One year. One solitary year. Yeah........how'd that work out for you, FSR?

Naturally, Czaban wasn't exactly crying about this development. And who could blame him? His show ran 7 years at FSR. Seven. Now he's back on morning drive with Sporting News Radio, which XM has FINALLY added to their lineup, albeit on channel 242, WAAAAAAY out past the traffic report stations.

No matter. The story has a happy ending.

FSR dumped a popular host in search of....what exactly? That lucrative Black urban professional demographic (approximately 1% of the population)?   That lucrative Black urban 18-34 demographic (approximately 4% of the population)?

In return they got one lousy year of Screamin' A., affiliate cancellations, and yet another lineup change. Meanwhile, Czaban is right back in prime time, better than ever.

Suck on it, FSR.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Neutral? Hardly.

The lame duck (with heavy emphasis on the "lame") Congress is trying to force through all manner of ill-conceived legislation.  Gays in the military.  The DREAM act.  The START treaty.

But that stuff is merely a distraction.  There's something more sinister afoot than any of that.  Matt Drudge is posting one, after another, after another, after another, link to stories that identify a threat far more dangerous to our freedoms than anything else in the news right now.
The Federal Communications Commission will vote on Dec. 21 on whether to adopt regulations that ban the blocking of lawful traffic but allow Internet service providers to ration Web traffic on their networks.
So? What's the big deal? This is.
The fixers here are pursuing something called "net neutrality," which will change the way certain Internet providers pay for privileged rights to the Web and charge their customers accordingly. "Net neutrality" sounds good to anyone not paying attention, but it must be accomplished by a seizure of authority to do so, a seizure not by Congress (which would be scary enough), but by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Here's the skinny. The Internet is currently the last bastion of freedom. It exists, for the most part, free from interference from government or regulators. It is the one place where an American citizen can still speak his or her mind unfiltered.

While the Internet is pooh-poohed as being frivolous and "experts" insist that it is not subject to the protections in place for Big Media (the BM for short), the fact is that a number of extremely important news stories, including Matt Drudge's breaking of the Monica Lewinsky story, have had as their mode of conveyance the "frivolous" Internet.

An authoritarian government seeks to restrict freedom of the press at all costs.  Ours is becoming increasingly authoritarian.  The BM is already working under the thumb of government regulation.  They are also tied to corporate masters whose survival hinges on government's selective picking of winners and losers.  The BM is no threat to the government.  The Internet is.

If you understand government, you'll understand that the FCC won't be content with setting "fairness" rules.  They'll also want to regulate content.  Politically charged speech would most surely be restricted ("We have to stamp out hate speech!").  The writings of this particular blogger, fond of referring to the past two Presidents as King George the Dim and Il Duce, would most certainly fall under their definition of hate speech.

But, hey.  You go right on sweating gays in the military, the DREAM act, and the START treaty.  Nothing to see here.  Move along now.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Horrible and ironic ways to die

This item speaks for itself.
A 33-year-old man who was part of a crew renovating an apartment on Milwaukee's west side was killed Tuesday when he was struck by a refrigerator his co-workers threw from the building, a Milwaukee police spokeswoman said.

Initial reports indicated the refrigerator fell from a fourth-floor porch to the ground, where the man was struck.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Weekend wrapup: a tale of two weekends

After last week's spanking by the Green Bay Packers (34-16, and it wasn't as close as the score would indicate), I was ready to sign off for the season.  After all, who wants to hear me bitch about my mediocre, under-achieving team?

Then Sunday the heavens opened and all was right with the world again.  The 49ers delivered a beatdown on the hated Seahawks (40-21, and it wasn't as close as the score would indicate).

Sadly, "...and it wasn't as close as the score would indicate" has become the modus operandi for the 49ers for the past 4 games.  Blown out by Tampa Bay.  Dominated the Cardinals our bitch.  Humiliated by the Packers.  Dominated the Seabags. 

Alex Smith made his triumphal return to the starting lineup, and, although his numbers weren't spectacular (255 yards passing), he threw for 3 touchdowns and didn't turn the ball over at all. 

Matt Hasselsuck lived up to the name, throwing 4 picks and losing a fumble.  One interception was in the end zone, killing a productive drive.  One interception was a pick-six. 

So, at 5-8, the 49ers are still alive in the abysmal NFC Worst.  The Seabags loss, coupled with the Rams humiliating loss to the Saints, puts the 49ers one game out of first place in the Worst.  Fortune smiles: the 49ers have only one really tough game left, in San Diego on Thursday.  The 49ers could conceivably go 7-9 (which I predicted two weeks ago as being their final record) and win the division.  OY!

I'm not sure if I'm happy about this or not.  Winning a Division title with a losing record (and then, in all likelihood, getting pummeled by a real playoff team) isn't what I had in mind for this year.  I thought we'd be so much better than that.

There's another aspect to this.  The team most likely to be left on the outside looking in as the 49ers enter the playoffs with their losing record is Tampa Bay.  Youngest son is a die-hard Bucs fan.  I hate seeing his team sitting at home for the post season with a significantly better record (and significantly better chance of advancing) than my boys.

In the immortal words of Dennis Leary, "Life isn't fair.  Get a f***ing helmet".


Monday, December 13, 2010

Put up or shut up

The small-L libertarian has for years sat on the sidelines when it comes to our ability to actually effect change in Washington.  That has effectively changed.
After years of blocking him from a leadership position, Mr.Paul’s fellow Republicans have named him chairman of the House subcommittee on domestic monetary policy, which oversees the Federal Reserve as well as the currency and the valuation of the dollar.
Finally! This is awesome news. But, as Vox Day so adroitly noted in his WorldNetDaily column published today, getting the position means it's "put up or shut up" time.
Ron Paul, sound money champion and author of "End the Fed," has been named chairman of the House subcommittee for monetary policy.

Note to Paul: I am your biggest fan at WorldNetDaily, but put up or shut up time has now officially arrived. There is no time for meandering lectures on the theoretical advantages of a gold standard or esoteric soliloquies regarding the correct definition of money. The American people just want the facts about their money and where it has gone. They need the facts. And then they need action.
He's absolutely right. It's one thing to "talk the talk", something we small-L libertarians have been limited to in the past. Now he has to "walk the walk".

I have the utmost faith that Representative Paul is up to the task. Where I have my doubts is with the Team Elephant leadership. Will they allow him to do the things he needs to do -- like, for instance, a complete audit -- in order to bring the Fed to task for their crimes against the U.S. economy? Lest you think I'm being over-the-top hysterical in referring to "crimes", let me remind you that the U.S. Dollar has lost 96% of its buying power since the Fed came into being. If that's not a crime, tell me what is?

Go to town, Dr. Paul. Slay the dragon.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A change in talk radio?

I don't normally listen to Quinn and Rose in the morning.  Oh, sure, I used to on occasion, if for no other reason than for confirmation of the latest "conservative" talking points and for their histrionics about "the most importantest election ever!", whichever election it might be.

But this morning Mike Church went to commercial and The Sports Junkies were in a commercial break as well, so I tuned in Q-n-R.  What a surprise!  Rose (of course it wasn't Quinn!) was waxing wroth against a dangerous man.  And it wasn't Il Duce!

Rose read from an article written some months ago by WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah.  The last sentence of the article reads,
There is perhaps no more dangerous man in America today than Mitt Romney. If he succeeds Obama, it will be the final nail in the coffin of American liberty. You've been duly warned.
That Farah, a man of principles, would say this about Mitt Romney is not unexpected.  Farah isn't one of those "vote for the guy with the 'R' after his name or we'll all die!" pseudo-conservatives.  He sees the Elephants for what they are.

But for Rose to read his article -- and agree with it wholeheartedly -- is something of a "man bites dog" moment.

Is there something happening out there in Talk Radio land?  Have the blathering heads seen the writing on the wall and started distancing themselves from the Rockefellerite elitists of Team Elephant?

It's too soon to say for sure.  But I, for one, hope that, like the old folk song says, "the times they are a changin'".


Monday, December 6, 2010

Shady Marketing

Hat tip to xfloggingkylex for passing on this story.
If you read tech news today, expect to see a story making the rounds concerning a "consumer poll" rating the iPad versus the Galaxy Tab. According to the report, an "overwhelming majority" of consumers prefer Apple's tablet over its nearest Android competitor -- a whopping 85 percent of those queried felt the iPad had a higher perceived value than the Tab. Sounds shocking, right? Except there's one small problem. The "survey" (and really, you have to use the term loosely here) consisted of 65 people. Let's just say that again: 65 respondents. That's problem number one.

Problem number two is that the survey was conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who is not only using a bizarre and somewhat useless metric like "perceived value" to judge these devices, but is also known for wildly miscalculating sales numbers and expectations for Apple products. In fact, Gene Munster should probably be close to the top of the most wanted list for irresponsible analysts. Some of his famous misses? Take the wildly speculative report that Apple would sell 5.6m iPads in 2010 (a baseless prediction which he quickly reassessed to more reasonable digits... the day after the device's launch), or the prediction that Apple would build its own search engine (so far so good!), and of course, Gene's news that Apple will have an HDTV on the market by 2011. Did we mention the $1,000 AAPL stock price call? No? Okay.

So this latest report, in which Gene apparently just polled the families living on his block, seems beyond disingenuous. The margin of error on a group of 65 people is so high that it makes the results of the iPad vs. Galaxy Tab study all but meaningless, and further demonstrates the insidious, dangerous power of some analysts and their fantasy football stock manipulations. The moral of the story? Next time you see the names Gene and Munster in the same sentence, don't just take the news with a grain of salt -- use the whole shaker.
Let's set the stage here, shall we?

Apple fan-boy "analyst" makes outrageous claim.

So-called "tech news" magazines run with it - without questioning either the claim or the source of the claim.

Did I miss anything?

Just remember to always keep that shaker of salt handy. Because pretty much everything you read these days requires it.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Weekend Wrapup: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good: The 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals their bitch by a score of 27-6 Monday night.  The game wasn't as close as the score would indicate.  Had Troy Smith played even marginally well, this could have been a 44-6 blowout.

The 49ers are now just one game out of first place in the putrid NFC West.  Un.  Freaking.  Believable.

The Bad: The 49ers lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 21-0 the week before.  The game wasn't as close as the score would indicate.  The 49ers best offensive penetration into Bucs territory was to the 33 yard line, and that resulted in a punt. 

Hideous.  Truly hideous.

The Ugly:  Could we have a moment of silence for the loss of 40% of the 49ers offense?  Frank Gore, the best player on the entire team, with the possible exception of Patrick Willis, is out for the season with a broken hip.  At the time Gore went down with his injury, he was personally accountable for over 40% of all yardage gained by the 49ers offense.  This was, BTW, the fourth season in the last five that Gore has contributed at that level.  Only Eric Dickerson, Walter Payton, and Jim Brown had been at that level of productivity with greater frequency.  Last I heard, those three used to be pretty good.  Now that monster productivity is gone.

Yes, Brian Westbrook did a stellar job of filling in Monday night, rushing for over 130 yards.  But Westbrook has a lot of miles on his odometer, and a history of concussions.  Not much of a confidence builder, that.

Prognosis: The 49ers will probably finish at 7-9 this year, second in the West behind the suddenly mediocre St. Louis Rams (trust me - in the West, mediocre is king).  Troy Smith has come back to earth and revealed just why the Ravens gave up on him.  He's a stellar backup quarterback.  He's not a reliable starter.

In the immortal words of fans everywhere: wait 'til next year!


Monday, November 29, 2010

TVL turns three

It was three years and 763 posts ago that this humble blog got its start.  The first post, from November 24th, 2007, reads as more overwrought and ponderous than more recent blog posts -- at least, I hope so.

Three years into this little endeavor I'm still going at it.  My site hits have risen steadily each year, but are still in the "is anyone out there?" end of the the hits spectrum.  No matter.  I plan to keep at this for the foreseeable future.  That's either good news or bad news to you, depending on your opinion of the things I write about the subjects I write about.

Many thanks to you, the reader, who have kept me from throwing in the towel and inspired me to "aim lower" with every post I make.


Nothing better to do

Hat tip to xfloggingkylex for pointing me in the direction of this one.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) apparently has the border situation under control.  It apparently has drug, weapon, and other smuggling under control.  How else can you explain this?
[T]he US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may have crossed a line -- in the midst of nabbing counterfeiters this weekend, the government organization seized the domains of a torrent meta-tracker and a trio of music sites. Today, the picture above is the only thing you'll see if you go to Torrent-Finder.com, RapGodFathers.com, Dajaz1.com or OnSmash.com, as the ICANN domain registration for the four are now in the ICE's possession, presumably on suspicion of piracy.
Copyright enforcement.  Seriously?  You're confiscating web sites -- without prior warning, without presentation of a warrant, without even Congressional mandate (the bill to provide that mandate has not yet passed Congress, and may not, based on the negative reaction of some Congressmen to ICE's heavy-handed power grab).

But you can't be bothered with border security, apparently.  Maryland is practically Quebec; signs in both English and Spanish are popping up everywhere.  If Maryland, which had approximately 14 Hispanics living in it when I moved here in 1987, has reached this point, what does that say for ICE's priorities?

It speaks volumes.  It says that ICE's priorities are the oligarchy's priorities.  That, and nothing more.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Piling on: more TSSA abuse

TSSA (you can't spell Schutzstaffel without the double S) is the hot topic these days, crowding out the G20 Summit, the ConAgra/Archer Daniels Midland/Big Agra food industry takeover bill, and, well, everything else. And why not?  After all, they make it so easy!

The latest is this tale of humiliation.
A retired special education teacher on his way to a wedding in Orlando, Fla., said he was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers recently at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

“I was absolutely humiliated, I couldn’t even speak,” said Thomas D. “Tom” Sawyer, 61, of Lansing, Mich.

Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his stomach. “I have to wear special clothes and in order to mount the bag I have to seal a wafer to my stomach and then attach the bag. If the seal is broken, urine can leak all over my body and clothes.”
Long story short...
I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me. Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants.”

The security officer finished the pat-down, tested the gloves for any trace of explosives and then, Sawyer said, “He told me I could go. They never apologized. They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn’t seen what happened. But I know they saw it because I had a wet mark.”

Humiliated, upset and wet, Sawyer said he had to walk through the airport soaked in urine, board his plane and wait until after takeoff before he could clean up.
Ah, but don't worry, Mr. Sawyer.  Il Duce feels your pain.
President Obama said today he sympathizes with passenger complaints about aggressive body pat-downs at airports, but his counter-terrorism aides say they are necessary to guard against hidden explosives.

Balancing privacy and security is a "tough situation," Obama told reporters at a news conference following the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

"One of the most frustrating aspects of this fight against terrorism is that it has created a whole security apparatus around us that causes a huge inconvenience for all of us," Obama said.
Uh, no, Mr. President. It is NOT a huge inconvenience for ALL of us.  You traipse all over the world in the opulence that is Air Force One.  And even those members of Congress who make a big show of flying commercial (hey, how 'bout that? [/sarcasm]) manage to skip the humiliation reserved for the rest of us (hat tip: Ye Olde Journalist).
No airport pat-down for the incoming House speaker.

On Friday, the GOP's John Boehner was guided past the metal detectors and hand inspections given to other passengers on his flight home to Ohio.

Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel said his boss followed procedures set by Capitol Police and the Transportation Security Administration. Steel said the same rules apply to other congressional leaders.
Yeah. The same rules apply to other congressional leaders. Because, after all, only we mundanes should be humiliated, NOT the elites who rule us.

Toes forwarded a proposed solution to the TSSA madness. I think it's a huge improvement over the current MCF.
Solution to issue of full-body scanners at airports: A booth you step into that will detonate any explosive device you may have hidden on or in your body. The explosion is contained within the booth. Win-Win? No profiling and will eliminate long and expensive trials. Hmmmm: In the airport you hear a muffled explosion. Later an announcement, "Attention, standby passengers! Seats now available on flight number...


Friday, November 19, 2010

Too big for idealogues

Newsweek Magazine says the Presidency is too big for one person.
Can any single person fully meet the demands of the 21st-century presidency? Obama has looked to many models of leadership, including FDR and Abraham Lincoln, two transformative presidents who governed during times of upheaval. But what’s lost in those historical comparisons is that both men ran slim bureaucracies rooted in relative simplicity. Neither had secretaries of education, transportation, health and human services, veterans’ affairs, energy, or homeland security, nor czars for pollution or drug abuse, nor televisions in the West Wing constantly tuned to yammering pundits. They had bigger issues to grapple with, but far less managing to do. “Lincoln had time to think,” says Allan Lichtman, a professor of history at American University. “That kind of downtime just doesn’t exist anymore.”
One of the benefits of being old like me is that you've personally experienced things that younger folk might perhaps be unaware of.  See, I remember having heard this same line of hooey before.
A January 13, 1980 Washington Post article made a similar conclusion about the beleaguered Carter administration: "Voters have lowered their expectations of what any president can accomplish; they have accepted the notion that this country may never again have heroic, larger-than-life leadership in the White House."

Post writer Walter Shapiro went on to describe how, "Some voters have entirely discarded textbook notions about presidential greatness and believe that Carter is doing as good a job as anyone could in facing new and difficult problems and in coping with an independent and restive Congress." He actually lamented the fact that "a sizable segment of the electorate...still applies traditional standards in assessing Carter's performance in office."

Later that same year, in a Christian Science Monitor story entitled "Carter and the Eroding Presidency," writer Richard J. Cattani cited Stephen Wayne of George Washington University, who claimed: "There's something institutional about the decline." Cattani noted how "Wayne and others...see a weakening of the presidency since Vietnam and Watergate that makes it difficult for officeholders to fulfill expectations."
So...the Presidency was too big for one person in 1980.  And the Presidency is too big for one person in 2010.  But this idea was never pushed in the later 80's, in the 90's, or in the 00's.  Why 1980?  Why 2010?

In 1980 the President was Jimmy "Malaise" Carter.  In 2010, the President is Il Duce.

I think the conclusion is obvious.  "The Presidency is too big for one person" is code for "the current President is an incompetent bumbler, completely unqualified for the position".


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More TSSA fun and games

Last evening Toes alerted me to this amusing post by IowaHawk.  I liked it.  I've never followed IowaHawk, but I'm starting to think I should.  After all, a guy who suspends himself from his own blog has definite potential.

Seems all of the blogosphere opiners is taking their best shots at the TSSA (you can't spell Schutzstaffel without the double S) -- and why not?  The bastards just keep on giving us ammunition.  You thought that getting groped through your clothing was bad?  That ain't NOTHING!
The TSA’s invasive new screening measures include officers literally putting their hands down people’s pants if they are wearing baggy clothing in a shocking new elevation of groping procedures that have stoked a nationwide revolt against privacy-busting airport security measures.

Forget John Tyner’s “don’t touch my junk” experience at the hands of TSA goons in San Diego recently, another victim of Big Sis was told by TSA officials that it was now policy to go even further when dealing with people wearing loose pants or shorts.
This is sick. Read on, if you can.
Stone [noted] how the TSA thug directly patted down his testicles, penis and backside while his hand was inside Stone’s pants. Stone was initially embarrassed to reveal the full scope of the groping but related the details of what amounted to nothing less than outright sexual molestation.

A 54-year-old Missouri City man experienced similar treatment when he was going through security at Fort Lauderdale Airport.

Thomas Mollman was subject to a groping by a TSA officer that was tantamount to sexual molestation.

“I was wearing shorts at the time – between the underwear, right on the skin, all the way around the back, all the way around my front, 360 degrees, touched inappropriately,” he said.

“This was an assault. This was no different than a sexual assault,” said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.
You got that right, Joel!

You would think that the TSSA goon squad would at least KISS you first before they go to third base with you.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vulture Droppings: "Check your bag, sir?"

Vulture Droppings is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It's a kind of "Random Thoughts" post in which I try to quickly summarize a particularly large event or series of events. Think of it being sort of like what a vulture leaves behind after devouring a horse. You don't get the whole horse, just highly processed leftovers.

Not content to merely annoy and harass, the TSSA (you can't spell Schutzstaffel without the double S) has moved on to actual assault.  Their new policy - submit to the nudie ray or get groped - has a lot of people in high dudgeon.

The Germans staged an innovative protest of the scanners -- you wanna see me naked?  I'll come to the airport naked!

Vox Day has opined.  So have Will Grigg and Ye Olde Journalist.

Now it's my turn.  This edition of Vulture Droppings is brought to you by the letter "G", as in "grope"

"What's the big deal?", I hear some so-called "conservatives" ask.  We NEED the government to keep us safe in the airports.  Even if that WERE true (I believe wholeheartedly that it isn't), how is groping 13-year-old girls for sport keeping us safe?  Yeah, you read that right - only children over the age of 12 get groped. Bet that makes all of you fathers with hot 15-year-old daughters happy.

"You don't HAVE to get groped!  You can go through the scanner, you know!"  Yeah.  Not any better.  The scanner shows everything God gave you in graphic detail.  Think I'm kidding?  Check this out - not only can you see dude's junk, you can tell that he's not circumcised.  Again, the question to all of you fathers with hot 15-year-old daughters -- you want your little girl leered at by Tommy TSSA like she's some sort of common whore just because she's flying to see grandma?

"But the pictures are purged after they've been viewed! The embarrassment is only temporary!"  No, no they're not - at least not all of them.  Body scan pictures are starting to crop up in various places; one courthouse in Florida (figures!) has over 35,000 saved images!  Now, fathers, ask yourself this: how would you feel about scanned images of your hot 15-year-old daughter showing up on the internet?  Are you STILL a supporter of the scanners?  I can't see how.

TSSA, naturally, stands by the scanners and their new grope-down procedures.  They deny that any groping is going on, notwithstanding the growing number of complaints from the molested (see here, here, and here also).  Nor are they too happy with those who protest against being scanned or groped - this guy faces possible criminal charges.

The issue is apparent. So is the solution, IMO. Abolish the TSSA. Let the airlines handle their own security. You may not feel safer, but you'll feel less violated.  And you'll get back the freedom you once had to enter an airport without being molested.

Of course, if you like that sort of thing....in which case, I say - TO THE AIRPORT WITH YOU!


Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend wrapup: channeling Daryl Lamonica

The 49ers won yesterday, 23-30.  The game was every bit as close as the score would indicate.  The referees were abysmal.  And Troy Smith channeled Daryl Lamonica.

Think I'm kidding?  Smith completed his first two passes...for 97 yards.  That's 48.5 yards per toss.  That's Daryl Lamonica numbers, baby!

Smith ended up having an other-worldly day, completing 17-28 for 356 yards and 1 TD that counted.  Why do I say "that counted"?  Because 3 (THREE!) were wiped out by penalties, including two in the 4th quarter prior the the one that put the 49ers ahead with just under 3 minutes to play.

I said that the refs were abysmal, but I'll give them this: they called a holding penalty against a 49er opponent for the first time in 6 games.  Yes, children, that is correct: in the previous 5 games no 49er opponent was called for holding.  Not even the Raiders!

Of course, the refs more than made up for that table scrap by calling FOUR holding penalties on the 49ers, including two that killed 4th quarter touchdowns that would have put the 49ers in the lead.

That cloud over Frederick just before 7 PM yesterday?  That was caused by the swarm of f-bombs I was dropping as the refs forced my blood pressure into the stratosphere.

The game was tied at 20-20 at the end of regulation, thanks to a quality drive by rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, who appears to be on the verge of becoming the next great NFL quarterback.

When the Rams got the ball first in OT, I feared the worst.  However, the Rams were unable to move the ball and punted.  This is when the abysmal refereeing struck again.  This time, however, the 49ers were the beneficiaries.  Troy Smith was under pressure in the pocket and threw up a prayer in the general direction of Delaney Walker.  It was thrown about two yards behind Walker, who spun around and tried to get back to the ball.  In doing so, he ran square into a Rams safety, which drew a highly questionable pass interference penalty.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the pass supposed to be CATCHABLE in order for pass interference to be called?  Even if the Rams safety wasn't in the way, it would have been virtually impossible for Walker to reach the pass.

The PI penalty and 2 Frank Gore runs set up the winning field goal by an ailing Joe Nedney.

26 penalties (12 against the Rams, 14 against the 49ers) for 240 yards (105 against the Rams, 135 against the 49ers). Way to go, Ed Hochuli Hercules!

If we didn't have a QB controversy before this week, we certainly have one now.  Troy Smith was mega clutch down the stretch in the 4th quarter.  Moreover, he refused to let the BS penalties that negated the two 4th quarter touchdowns impact him.  He continued to press forward and push his team to victory.  The key plays of the 4th quarter happened after the second touchdown-negating holding call created a 3rd-and-32 situation at midfield.  Credit offensive coordinator Mike Johnson certainly, both on these plays as well as for the game as a whole.  But give Troy Smith HUGE props for turning 3rd-and-32 into a more manageable 4th-and-18, and then converting that 4th down with a nice pass to and run by Frank Gore.  The go-ahead touchdown was scored on the very next play.

Did I mention Frank Gore?  He was huge, with 87 yards rushing, 67 yards receiving, and a touchdown.

You'd think with 356 yards passing that there would be a 100 yard receiver...and you'd be wrong.  Johnson in game-planning and Smith in execution were masterful in spreading the ball around the field.

The defense played well at times.  Patrick Willis was excellent as always (11 tackles, 1 sack).  Justin Smith had 5 tackles and an important sack in overtime.

The 49ers are 2 games out of first place.  They are on a 2 game winning streak.  It's not gonna be enough, even in a putrid West Division.

Damn it.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Stink. Stank. Stunk.

It has been postulated that leftist idealism is a mental disorder.  It has been asserted that leftist idealism is partly genetic.  I tend not to put much stock in that kind of quack science/quack psychology.  That is, until I read something like this.
The New York Times has just reported on a new trend towards what's sometimes known as soap-dodging. Among those who have cut down on daily showers, baths or hair-washing were a woman who swipes a sliced lemon under her armpits instead of deodorant, another who uses baby wipes to freshen up after her lunchtime runs, and a salesman who shampoos only once a month and gave up anti-perspirant for three years.
Why in the name of sanity is this happening? It's partly as an extension of the "save the planet" mentality we're badgered with relentlessly by leftards.
There are, of course, environmental benefits. In a bid to reduce his carbon footprint to the absolute minimum, environmentalist Donnachadh McCarthy, 51, limits his showers to about twice a week.
Apparently it's not enough for leftards to offend us with their demands on our wealth and freedoms. Now we have to put up with BO in the name of Save the Earth.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The reality of campus police work

I know that I have been very hard on Sgt. Gregory Prickett (hereinafter referred to as The Prickette).  I poked fun at him for pretending to be a legal expert when he is not even a lawyer.  I also poked fun at him for working in a law enforcement capacity I deemed as roughly the equivalent of a mall cop.  I have since seen the error of my ways.

It turns out that campus police have real, uh, police responsibilities.  Not only that, but they have state-of-the-art police equipment at their disposal!

Take, for example, the campus police squad car.

This is one fine piece of machinery here!  Campus criminals have no doubt when they see this vehicle that they're in the presence of an elite police officer.

But it's not just the squad cars that are state-of-the-art awesome.  Check out the unmarked vehicles they utilize.

Criminals seeking to commit crime in the campus environment will never know what hit them when one of these beauties comes screaming up behind them.

I saved the best for last.  This is the latest in high-tech SWAT support vehicles available to campus police.

You get the idea.

Greggie, you shouldn't be so sensitive when people call you a mall cop.  A mall cop wouldn't be caught dead in one of those things.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coercing "good"

Stop me if you've heard this before. 


First it was RFID chips hidden in the gigantic space-eating recycling bins foisted on us by Frederick County  "to prevent theft".  This was followed by reports of other counties using their RFID-chipped bins to monitor utilization and impose fines on those deemed to be non-compliant with the "voluntary" recycling.

Now allgoodmusic passes on this story, which categorically proves that, when it comes to predicting governmentmental (with heavy emphasis on the "mental") intentions, no one can touch the Vulture!
The Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance requiring residents to recycle their trash.

On Monday, Councilwoman Wendi Peters spoke for the Town's Sanitation and Recycling Commission, which recommended the town pass the ordinance.

The ordinance penalizes residents with a $100 fine for repeatedly or willfully not recycling, according to discussion among council members.
The "town council" in question is that of Mt. Airy, located in.......Frederick County, Maryland.

Beware of the do-gooder. They come to you draped in the vestiments of righteousness. They implore you to "do good". And when that isn't sufficient to accomplish their aims, they employ the power of government to MAKE YOU "do good".

Government, being in its very nature all about coercion, is more than happy to help the do-gooder. It's why we have so many regulations making our lives more difficult and less free.

But the do-gooders are happy. At least until the next opportunity to "do good" arises...


Wrap up - a complete game

(In case you think I've lost my mind, this entry is one week late.  The 49ers are on a bye week this week.)

San Francisco finally played a complete game, where both the offense and the defense were in sync for 60 minutes.  The 49ers beat Denver 24-16. 

Smith had a solid if not spectacular game at QB.  Uh, that would be TROY Smith.  And, yes, we officially have a quarterback controversy.

Where Troy Smith really distinguished himself over Alex Smith was in the area of dealing with defensive pressure.  Troy Smith successfully bought time with his feet and kept plays alive.  This was particularly true on his spectacular scramble-and-pass to Delaney Walker in the 3rd quarter that essentially changed the momentum of the game.  Alex Smith has amazing physical tools.  But Alex Smith doesn't make that play, because Alex Smith panics.

At 2-6, why WOULDN'T the Niners give Troy Smith a chance as the starter to see if he is the guy who can get it done? 

I never understood why Troy Smith was so disrespected as an NFL QB prospect.  Oh, wait, yes I DO understand it -- it's that league-wide prejudice.  "Because he's black?"  Hell no!  It's because he's SHORT.  If a QB is under 6'1" (Smith is listed as 6'0", but, trust me, he's standing on tip-toe to register that), he's summarily dismissed by the NFL "brains". 

Short QBs get no respect.  As a short person, I personally resent that a great deal. 

Marc Wilson was 6'6".  He couldn't have sucked more.  Dan McGwire was 6'8".  He couldn't have sucked more.  Derick Anderson is 6'6".  You get the idea.

Joe Theissman was listed at 6'0" (meaning he was maybe 5'10"), and he was the starting QB in 2 Super Bowls.

Other QB's listed at 6'0" (meaning they're maybe 5'10"): Drew Brees, Jeff Garcia, Mike Vick, Fran Tarkenton, Sonny Jorgenson. 

Joe Montana was listed at 6'2".  Someone who knew him at Notre Dame told me that he wasn't anywhere near that tall.  Steve Young was listed at 6'1", and there were insinuations that he was definitely shy of that height.

C'mon, Niners!  Give a Shorty a chance! 

The first half of the season is, mercifully, over.  Here's hoping for something to build on in the second half.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vulture Droppings: Electoral Defeat

Vulture Droppings is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It's a kind of "Random Thoughts" post in which I try to quickly summarize a particularly large event or series of events. Think of it being sort of like what a vulture leaves behind after devouring a horse. You don't get the whole horse, just highly processed leftovers.

Some of you are going to read the title of this point and come to the conclusion that I've finally gone around the bend.  You're going to assume that I've completely LOST IT.  While you may, in fact, be right about my failing sanity (until you've lived a workload like I've had for the past 4 months, you have NO IDEA what insanity really feels like), I am speaking from the heart here.

This edition of Vulture Droppings deals with my analysis of the 2010 elections, which are, thankfully, finally over.  If I had to watch one more ad for Candidate A in which Candidate B was painted as Hitler's more evil twin, followed apace by an ad for Candidate B in which Candidate A was painted as worse than Stalin, I think I would have stuck a pencil in my eye.

It is said that a pessimist views the glass as half full, while the optimist sees it as half empty.  So what does that make me?  I see the glass as nearly empty, leaking, and what little water remains in it is polluted.

What most so-called conservatives are touting as a major electoral victory is nothing of the sort.  Team Elephant won the House - hey, how 'bout that?  "Oh come on, Vulture!  Even you have to concede that the historic taking of the House is a major victory!"

No.  No I don't.

The House will make for a nice, boisterous legislative soap opera for the next two years.  But the Senate is still under the control of Harry Reid (more on that later), and the White House is still in the clutches of Il Duce.  Good luck getting anything constructive done in the next two years.

What constitutes victory? What defines defeat?  Let me take a stab at it.
  • Victory would have included a major purge of Team Donkey leadership.  
See Harry Reid?  Still standing.  See Nancy Pelosi?  Sure, she's no longer the Screecher of the House...but she's still standing.  See Barney (Elmer Fudd's evil twin) Frank?  Still standing. Team Elephant might not have had a legitimate chance at taking down "Air Force 3".  But that senile old fool Harry Reid was ripe for the taking.  And Barney Frank was extremely vulnerable, given his cozy relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  But the elitist snobs that run Team Elephant (into the ground, I might say) weren't about to lend any material support to a commoner like Sharon Angle.  She wouldn't fit in at a Washington cocktail party at all!  Neither was there any real effort on the part of the Elephants to take down Frank.  You leave Harry Reid and Barney Frank standing -- that's not victory.
  • Victory would have included a change in the kind of candidates elected by the Elephants.  
Set aside for a moment Rand Paul's win in Tennessee.  See anyone else "different" winning anywhere?   I don't.  And, no, Marco Rubio doesn't count.  I think he's every bit the faux conservative that John Boehner is.

Sharon Angle?  Joe Miller?  Christine O'Donnell?  They were undermined at every turn by the Elephant elites.  Face facts, conservatives: your side threw the game.  They were happier with losing those races than with dealing with commoners in their midst.

But don't worry.  John McCommie won reelection.  Yeah....
  • Victory would have set the stage for the dismantling of Obamacare.
You can't roll back Obamacare with just the House.  Face facts -- we're stuck with it.  In 2 years, even if the Elephants win the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, they'll throw up their hands and say that Obamacare can't be rolled back because too many people are dependent on it.  That's Washington DC Realpolitik.

You're going to think I've lost my mind, but I'm actually sorry that Russ Feingold lost his Senate seat in Wisconsin.  Yeah, he's a big Lefty.  But he's an HONEST big Lefty.  And he was one of the few in Washington willing to stand up to the abuses of the DHSS (you can't spell Schutzstaffel without the double S).

One final observation on the election.  No matter the political climate.  No matter the economic parameters.  Even if the very survival of the human race were at stake, it just wouldn't matter.  The People's Republic of Maryland will vote Democrat.

The Elephants didn't even bother to field a candidate against Senator-since-Reconstruction Barbara Mikulski.  Yeah, there was some guy's name with an 'R' next to it on the ballot.  But I wouldn't recognize him if he was standing in my kitchen carving the turkey at Thanksgiving wearing a sweater with his name embroidered on it.

6 of 8 Congressional districts went Donkey.  The 2 that didn't?  Frederick County and points west, and the Eastern Shore, both heavily agricultural.

Martin O'Malley, quite possibly the worst governor in the State's history, won in a crushing landslide against former governor (and RINO) Bob Erlich.

Yeah, I'm ready to move.  You can't live in Libtardia for 20-plus years and not have it affect you.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Vulture Droppings: Most Importantist Election Ever Edition

Vulture Droppings is a semi-regular feature of this blog. It's a kind of "Random Thoughts" post in which I try to quickly summarize a particularly large event or series of events. Think of it being sort of like what a vulture leaves behind after devouring a horse. You don't get the whole horse, just highly processed leftovers.

There's an election tomorrow.  Hey, how 'bout that? [/sarcasm]

"Shame on you, Vulture!  It's the most importantist election ever!"  Uh huh.

"Vulture!  It's all different this year!  The Tea Party is gonna change everything!"  Really?  How so?  The Tea Parties have been completely co-opted by Team Elephant.  Why would I say that?  What evidence do I have of such a thing?  A sampling:

Some traditional Republican consultants are advising — with a straight face — that newly elected Republican members of Congress "reach across the aisle…and "work with the Democrats."

John Boehner "rallies the troops" with empty (and limp) words "backing" Tea Party principles.  He swears spending will be rolled back to "pre-bailouts levels".  Seriously?  Going from $1.5 trillion deficits to $1 trillion deficits?  Oooooh!  I'm SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO impressed!

And worst of all, the Queen of Inside the Beltway faux conservatism "celebrates" the Tea Party as having "saved" Team Elephant from King George the Dim.  Ms. Noonan, for those of you who weren't paying attention, was one of King George's biggest apologists during his 8 year reign of error.

"Vulture! Even YOU have to admit that we're better off with Republican-co-opted Tea Party candidates than with the Dhimmi-crats who have rammed a 50-year wish-list of Progressivism down our throats the past 4 years!"

Better?  Better HOWBETTER would have been for the Tea Parties to have come together as a third party or under the umbrella of one of the existing third parties (Libertarian or Constitution, for example).  BETTER would be for those candidates to be able to enter Mordor on the Potomac (hat tip: Mike Church) with a clean slate and a fresh canvas than to walk into the clutches of Mitch McCommie and John BaneTurd.

Here's the big reason I'm so unenthusiastic.  I'll lay it out in a single sentence.  The co-opting of the Tea Parties by Team Elephant guarantees the failure of the principles that brought those people together.  Guaran.  Effing.  Tees it.

There is no principle that Republicans will not run from, no compromise they will not accept, no stand crucial enough for them to make.

What happens to the Tea Parties after their "champions" are relegated to the Congressional equivalent of the Back Bench, and the John Boehner Business-as-Usual express continues propping up Crony Capitalism?  What happens after Mitch McConnell compromises for the umpteenth time on a point of principle that just SCREAMS for men of courage and conviction to just say "NO!"?

You kill this once-in-a-political lifetime awakening of the sheeple, and you kill any chance we ever have of wresting power away from the looters.

But that's the idea really, isn't it?  That's why the GOP has co-opted the Tea Parties.  They like the gravy train that is "public service" in Washington every bit as much as Team Donkey does.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Law (?) and Order (?!?!?!?) - Caput Penitus Culus Edition

I have to admit that when it comes to the legal system I'm a fish out of water.  The terminology.  The prosaic phraseology.  The BS preambles with their legal buzzwords ("hereinafter referred to as The Plaintiff", "party of the first part", etc.).  The BS Latin and Latinate words and phrases ("pro se", "ad litem", "dominum dictum", "ex nihilo", etc.).  Truth is, it's a foreign world to me.

But there are certain legal concepts I understand completely.  'Hot check' is one of them.  And 'hot check' is the latest development in the sorry case of Mall Cop a Palos v. Bloggers.
When all the legal challenges to bloggers over one being classified as a “Rent-A-Cop” came out, the first place checked was the court records.

Still there today, as you can see in the image below, were the records indicating that an employee of the University of North Texas, a Gregory J. PRICKett, had evidently obtained the services of Natalie Malonis to file and PAY the fees necessary to get the process started.
Go on.
Now that you’ve seen the financial records which started the ball rolling, along with a couple more payments made by Gregory J. PRICKett to keep it headed just where he hopes it will help him the most, let’s move on to the latest under the “Events & Orders of the Court” in those records from the District Civil Court in Texass.
Ooh! Tell me more!
10/27/2010 HOT CHECK
Natalie Malonis, Attorney At Law – Refer to Acct Dept x7260
Oh how the mighty have fallen!  Attorney Natalie Malonis, once a featured "expert" on the Nancy Grace Show, has now been reduced to passing bad checks on behalf of her partner in calumny, Sgt. Gregory Prickett, pictured at top, hereinafter referred to as The Prickette, a known hostis humani generis (you like that, pretend lawyer asshole?).

I don't need to remind you of the enmity I (and frankly, all people possessed of human decency) have toward the foul pretend lawyer behind Coram Non Judice, ah, excuse me, Caput Penitus Culus.  That he and his particeps criminis, Ms. Malonis, have been exposed and put in a position where they are on the defensive is extraordinarily gratifying.  That Ms. Malonis is reduced to passing bad checks in the shadow of accusations that she "misappropriated" child support payments intended for a client is absolutely....priceless.

By their fruits ye shall know them.  I smell rotten apples.  And Noxzema.  And mall cop.


Friday, October 29, 2010

The 'Liberal Gene'

So much of what passes for 'science' these days is total crap.  Total.  Crap.  This study is no different.
Researchers have determined that genetics could matter when it comes to some adults' political leanings.

According to scientists at UC San Diego and Harvard University, "ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4." That and how many friends you had during high school.
"That and how many friends you had during high school." This is what passes for science in 21st century America.

While I focused in on the quack science of the study, the commenters had a field day with the idea of a "liberal gene". Here is a sampling of the comments.
So, we now have scientific proof that liberalism is a birth defect?

I knew it! I knew they were born F'd up!

That explains their total lack of logical thinking, they can't help themselves. Probably explains why they're so needy too.
And my favorite:
Does this discovery bring us closer to a cure?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weekend update: "We want Carr!" "We want Carr!" "We....oops."

Memo to all of those alleged 49ers fans chanting "We want Carr!" during rough stretches of the past two games prior to this weekend: Be careful what you wish for.

Sunday the 49ers lost to the woeful Carolina Panthers 23-20.  And David MF'ing Carr was a big reason why.

Carr was 5-13 for 67 yards (Wait...did he actually complete FIVE passes?  Funny, I don't remember that).  He also threw a back-breaking interception to set up Carolina's winning field goal.  He missed receivers high.  He missed receivers low.  He completely sucked.

What was Carr even doing in the game?  He was in there because Alex Smith got hurt when rookie tackle Anthony Davis executed a perfect "Ole!" non-block on the Carolina DE, who immediately lit up Smith and landed on him hard, injuring his left shoulder.

The 49er Faithful fair weather fans fell for the oldest fantasy in the book.  They believed that everything was the starting QB's fault, and all would be right with the world if only the backup QB were inserted in his place.

Well, all is definitely NOT right with the world. 

I'm not blaming Carr, understand.  There's more than enough blame to go around, all around.

It's time to clean house on this poorly coached, underachieving team.

Who needs to go?  Head Coach Mike Singletary.  Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky.  Alleged Cornerback Nate Clemons.

Why Clemons?  Because, even though he had a sack and made a couple of slick plays, he is ALWAYS out of position and ALWAYS gambling for the pick (and getting burned as a result).  He sucks.  Clemons has to go.

Why Manusky?  The defense keeps making the same mistakes, over and over.  The color commentator noted that every team in the league is coaching its backs to bounce running plays to the outside against the 49ers when the middle is clogged, because there'll be no outside contain.  He's absolutely right.  And it's been that way all season.  The one thing a 3-4 defense should ALWAYS do well is outside contain.  But the 49ers outside linebackers are never at home.  Never.  That's the blame of coaching.  Manusky has to go.

Why Singletary?  This one breaks my heart, because I absolutely LOVE Mike Singletary.  I love everything about him.  That is, everything about him except his attention to detail and his complete inability to either manage the clock or make in-game adjustments.  Sorry, Coach.  I love ya.  But Singletary has to go.

Who stays, and why?  Offensive Coordinator Mike Johnson, Quarterback Alex Smith, RB Frank Gore, and Linebacker Patrick Willis.  The last two are obvious: Willis is all-world in a confused and poorly coached defense.  Gore is all-world in an offense that has trouble getting out of its own way.

So how do Alex Smith and Mike Johnson make this list? 

For the first time since Norv Turner in 2006, Smith has an Offensive Coordinator who's worth a shit.  And that's why Mike Johnson stays.  He has taken what was a predictable and uninspired offense and turned it on its ear.  The color commentator from Sunday's game marveled at how the 49ers would come out in an "obvious" passing formation and run, in an "obvious" running formation and pass.  The offense has been extremely effective in spurts, and Johnson is the reason why.  Considering he has had 4 weeks to make-over Jimmy Raye's gawdawful excuse for an offense, what he has done is spectacular and deserves being rewarded.

Alex Smith's turnovers are down the past few weeks because he's not being put in bad spots where turnovers are practically inevitable.  And he's shown so many flashes of brilliance this season that he's just GOT to get one more chance.

This season is over.  It really sucks to be in 2004-mode when I started the season in 2002-mode (the last time the 49ers won their division). 

Thank God hockey season has started.  Go Caps!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Hype and vaporware - welcome to The Cloud

If you watch NFL football on Sunday - and you know I do - then you've seen the BS Microsoft ad where the condescending shrew/wife/mom creates a wonderful family photograph by invoking the power of "The Cloud".  I can't watch this commercial without my head exploding.

I am an applications programmer who for the past decade and change have been working in environments that are just "one-off" from the bleeding edge of technology.  I am usually aware of what's coming a good 6 months before it hits the "real" marketplace, as it's been bandied about in tech journals, various conferences, etc.  Some of the hyped products make the grade, some don't.

I've been hearing about "The Cloud" for over 2 years now.  I'm sick of it.  It's what we in the industry call "vaporware".  Vaporware is just what it sounds like -- over-hyped, wonderful-sounding futuristic does-it-all software that doesn't really exist.  I think you get the concept.

I did a quick Google search on "Cloud real or hype".  All of the returned links referred to how "The Cloud" was on the verge of moving beyond hype, how it was over-hyped, etc.  Here's a sampling.

Cloud computing moving behind hype to real-world use
Keeping it real: Cloud hype in the IT Industry
Toning down the hype and getting real
The promise is real, but the hype is extreme

I think you get the idea.  It's a big steaming pile of hype, with a smidgen of bombast lumped in for good measure.

Memo to Micros**t: knock it off!  No more commercials hyping "The Cloud" until there is one...and, no, the one on the flow diagram marked "a miracle happens here" is NOT the "cloud" I'm talking about.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Great idea enforced via coercion

Coercion.  It's the statist way.

First, let me back up and set the table for the topic of this post.  Anyone who has lived in California for an extended period of time -- like, say, the 20 years I lived there off and on from 1967-1987 -- knows that when it comes to rainfall, there are only two seasonal variations: drought, and OMG flooding.

Unfortunately, it seems that drought happens way to often, resulting in water rationing.

I've long thought that the way toilets are designed is inherently flawed.  One flush fits all.  But why does it have to be that way?  Couldn't you have a lesser flush for No. 1, and a greater flush for No. 2?  Wouldn't that make more sense?  Wouldn't that be a great way to conserve water in those drought years?

It turns out that some inventive type has come up with a commode that meets that exact criteria.  But in New York City, letting the market introduce this wonderful innovation into common use just won't do.  No, NYC is going to use government's favorite (only?) tool and force its use.
Under a law passed by the City Council today, new toilets will have to be high water efficient or "dual-flush," which allow users to choose between a high pressure flush for solid waste, and a low-pressure flush for liquid.

The law, which significantly changes the city plumbing code starting July 2012, applies the same strict water efficiency standards to plumbing fixtures like showerheads, urinals and sink faucets.

The package of water conservation bills also requires water fountains have separate spouts for drinking and for filling water containers; commercial buildings install alarms and sub-meters to detect water leaks; and limits the use of "once-through" cooling systems, such as those used to cool ice-making machines, walk-in coolers and older medical x-ray and laser equipment.
OMG. Is there anything else you want to throw in there? Like, how many gallons of urine an individual is allowed to produce per week?

Council member James Oddo sums up what should be every freedom loving American's reaction to this government overreach.
When does it stop? Does it stop when we micromanage every minute facet of our lives?
Great question.  When DOES it stop? At what point do the sheeple wake from their torpor and ask that question?

God only knows.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finally off the schneid

It wasn't pretty.  No, the fact is it was just about as ugly as a win can be.  It took 6 weeks, but the 49ers are finally off the schneid.  Final score: 17-9.

That it was the woeful Raiders, at home, and we trailed for the first 44 minutes and change of the game is an indicator of just how ugly it was.

This was, however, the first game in which the 49ers had zero turnovers this year.  Yes, you read that right.

Alex Smith threw for two touchdowns in the second half after a woeful 2 of 11 start.  Frank Gore got back on track, rushing for 149 years, including a spectacular 64 yard run to set up the second touchdown.  Even Michael Crabtree contributed, making an easy catch look difficult in snagging Alex Smith's pass for the first 49ers touchdown.  Jerry Rice would have made that catch in his sleep and made it look easy as can be.  But Terrell Owens would have dropped it, so at least Crabtree has the fact he caught it to fall back on. 

The one negative of the game (besides Alex Smith playing like ass for the first 25 minutes of the game) was the officiating.  More on that follows.

I look at the remainder of the 49ers schedule and can't help but think: there's no one on tap who scares me.  San Diego?  Child please!  They lost to the Raiders and the Rams in back-to-back weeks.  Speaking of the Rams, we have them twice, plus our bitch, the Cardinals, twice.  (Bill Bidwell owns the Cardinals 363 days per year.  The 49ers own them the other two). 

We have the Seahawks again...but they're quite a bit less threatening away from their Stadium of Doom.  There's Denver in London.  But beyond that?  Nobody scary. 

Jed York could be right...we might just win the division after all.  I might just have to start drinking that Kool Aid again after all...

Officiating has been quite consistent this year...consistently dreadful. It's not just the 49ers getting jobbed. I sat and watched the Saints commit holding on at least a dozen plays against the Buccaneers on Sunday with nary a flag in sight. I saw a Saints tackler dive into the knees of a receiver, injuring the guy. No flag for unnecessary roughness. It's atrocious.

In the past two games, 49ers opponents have not been called for holding. Not once. Never mind that I've seen defensive lineman change directions, in ways not humanly possible without being held, at least a dozen times. Not one flag.

Okay, I can see the Eagles, a team with a reputation for playing clean, getting some slack from the zebras. But the Raiders? The effing RAIDERS?!?!?!?!? The most penalized team in the history of pro football? Child, please!

I haven't figured out why this is happening. Is it the new positioning of the Umpire in the offensive backfield instead of behind the linebackers? Maybe the Umpire -- usually the official who watches for and calls holding -- just can't see what's going on in there from that position.

Or maybe the referees just suck this year. Yeah, I think that's the answer.

How else can you explain the intentional grounding penalty called the play prior to the 49ers first touchdown?  The rule, as I understand it, is that it's grounding if the quarterback throws the ball away in an effort to avoid a sack and there is no eligible receiver in the vicinity of where the ball was thrown.  So how does Alex Smith get called for grounding when (a) there was no threat of a sack, and (b) there WAS a receiver in the vicinity?  Granted, he would have had to be 13 feet tall to have caught it, but he WAS in the vicinity! 

I may have set a world's record for dropping F bombs in the aftermath of that play.  I'm still salty about it two days later.  Talk about incompetence!

I can't believe the way this season has played out. Teams that were supposed to be awesome (49ers, Chargers) suck. Teams that were supposed to be dreadful (Bucs, Chiefs) are in the mix. The more I watch NFL football, the more I realize that I haven't a clue.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

The OC attacks

For the most part, I respond to comments in the {expletive-deleted} Echo comments.  But when there is a comment requiring too much response for just a comment, or a comment that really sticks in my craw, I reply with a blog post.

This comment met both criteria.  It was in response to my comment that we are "living in Atlas Shrugged".
You're living in Atlas Shrugged, which was the vision of a lunatic who has as much insight into living human beings as Dustin Hoffman's "Rain Man". To be a consistent Randian you need to have as much contempt for Christianity as for Socialism. Of course it was all that "Good Samaritan" and "Golden Rule" crap that she particularly hated. Is that part of your Christianity?

If you can back up your claims with anything besides wordplay and overuse of the word "literally", that might hold some interest . As it is, you remind me of the "merry pranksters" of the 60s/70s with their "radical" "underground newspapers" with everyone they opposed dressed up as Nazis. I like you in many ways -- primarily when you talk to me directly; not so much when you're preaching, but I gotta speak the truth as I see it.
Don't put words in my mouth. I was neither preaching, nor espousing the incoherent, contradictory, and, frankly, sophomoric epistemology of Ayn Rand.  When I said that we are "living in Atlas Shrugged", I meant the world portrayed by Rand in the novel.  In the book, the government and industry were run by looters --  looters who raped the productive by pushing legislation in the interest of "fairness", etc.

The world we live in has looters pushing legislation "for the children", "to save the planet", "to make us safe from terrorism", "to make health care affordable for everyone", "because they're too big to fail".  The end result of all of these legislative "responses" to "crisis" is the same as those portrayed in Rand's novel.

Wealth is confiscated from the productive.
Government amasses more power over all facets of our lives.
Our personal liberties are lost.

You cannot deny this - not if you're paying attention, not if you're being honest and not disingenuous.

You believe in AGW - hey, how 'bout that?  I don't.  ALL proposed "solutions" to AGW involve confiscation of wealth.  That and nothing more.

You're free to continue your misplaced "faith".  I see AGW for what it is: the hijacking of science to promote an agenda that centralizes government power, redistributes wealth (mostly to crony capitalists), and destroys individual freedoms.


Friday, October 15, 2010

I wonder what FLDS Texas thinks of this

That sound you hear is the concussion wave from a dozen heads exploding over at FLDS Texas upon reading this.
President Barack Obama's polygamist half brother in Kenya has married a woman who is more than 30 years younger than him.
Hmmm.  I didn't know there were FLDS living in Kenya [/sarcasm].

Where's your outrage and indignation NOW, bigots?  Or is it okay in Kenya, or when the offending party is related to the President?

I'd go over there and comment on it myself.......but they've banned me from posting comments there.  Whus the matta, bigots?  Skerd?


Is it Echo....?

Yesterday I received an email notification from Echo, my current -- and soon to be ex -- comments provider/software/PITA.  The email said I had a comment from {Person X}, and included the comment content.

However, when I went out to reply to the comment, I found it wasn't there.  Okay, figure I, it's probably just a lag between the time the comment hit Echo and the time that the blog widget refreshes to get the most current comments.

I waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.

The comment never showed!

So my question is...is it Echo "swallowing" the comment because I refuse to convert to their pay-for-play service?  Or did {Person X} delete the comment...maybe have second thoughts?

Echo wants me to convert to their pay-for-play service.  To quote a great American, "NFW".  Echo, to put it succinctly, sucks.  It makes the native Blogger comments service seem awesome by comparison.  Why in the name of all that is right with the world would I PAY MONEY to receive the same shit service and use the same POS user interface I have now?

Query to my fellow bloggers out there.  Is there a comments service out there you use and recommend?  Don't suggest CoComment -- it absolutely refuses to acknowledge my "ownership" of TVL. 

I don't care what it takes -- even if I have to pay for someone else's service -- Echo is coming down.  I've had it.

Man, I miss Haloscan!

P.S.  Message to {Person X} -- thank you so much for your kind comments.  Encouragement is always much appreciated.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Real scientists and AGW

Hat tip to bingbing for this one.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it.
Who's that saying those heretical things about Mother Gaia and the blessed religion of AGW?  Some clown in the employ of Big Oil?  Some flat-earth-know-nothing?

Nope.   It's Professor Emeritus Hal Lewis of the American Physical Society.  A physicist.  A REAL scientist, not some IPCC quack.

Remember this the next time someone tells you "the science is settled".


Weekend wrapup - yet another meltdown

Will the real Alex Smith please stand up?  No, really - PLEASE!

Is Alex Smith a clownish turnover machine?  Or is he a bona fide potential top-tier NFL quarterback?

Sunday night, he was both.

The Niners lost 27-24 to the Iggles in a game where flashes of brilliance collided face first with the worst sort of ineptitude. 

Five turnovers.  Five.  Five MF'ing turnovers!!!!!  Holy Joe Montana!

For his part, Alex Smith was responsible for 3 of the five -- one a cover-your-eyes backpedal resulting in a fumble returned for a touchdown -- with the usually reliable Frank Gore accounting for the other two.  I love Frank Gore, but he has a propensity for serial fumbling.  If he fumbles once in a game, look out -- another is sure to follow.

Alex Smith was nearly booed out of the building, and nearly benched.  Then he proceeded to run off an amazing sequence of plays where he could do no wrong, bringing the Niners from two touchdowns behind to 3 points behind.  Of course, he ended this amazing sequence with yet another turnover.  *sigh*

There was a Michael Crabtree sighting Sunday night - he had his first 100 yard receiving day of his career and a really pretty touchdown grab.  But he's still a turd in my book.  With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, he made a catch and run for a first down, then jumped up and started celebrating.  Hey, asshat!  Know the situation!  Inside of two minutes with time ticking away is NOT the time to showboat.  Tool!

The team is now 0-5.  You're smoking crack if you think a playoff appearance is in the cards this year. 

I think I'm gonna be ill.