December 2008 Archives

Monday Morning Quick Post

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Not anything of import, just waiting for the vehicle I use to get back from errands. So, I thought I'd say hi.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Well, just got a call from The Fuskers™. He needs his Magic (The Gathering) deck for his communications class. So, I have to go.

Hello!

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So, I have been without anti-virus protection on my computer for months. Yes, of course I should know better. I had Symantic, which sucks beyond suckiness. I tried the free McAfee offered by Comcast, which turned out to run neck in neck for the title of suckiness. So, I went without for a bit.

Unfortunately, I allowed The Fuskers™ to play on one of his game sites, and he accidentally hit one of the advertisements, sending him into viral hell. By the time I showed up, he had managed to get the ever popular Trojan.Win32.Generic downloaded into my system.

Well, after many hours of rigorous searching I managed to find a program to use in conjunction with Kaspersky to eliminate the dastardly virus from my computer. No more hijacking of my browser to bring up irritating and worthless products that do nothing but continue to inflect mindless, corrosive files into the system folders.

Don't kid yourself. If you think you can get along fine without an anti-virus program, your wrong. I found out there were many other viral files in my system that I didn't know were there until that program (I forgot the name-I had to change it before running it, or the virus would have recognized it and infected it) deleted them along with all the Trojans.

Evil. Pure. Evil.

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Because.... well, because some things are just not right. Tim F. is truly sick.

Friday Stolen Code Blogging

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Bark Bark Woof Woof

Friday Blogaround
This is it: the last weekend before Christmas, and the start of my two weeks off. Now I'll really have time to keep up with the LC.

- A Blog Around The Clock: drop 'til you drop.
- All Facts and Opinions: Old Spice's Man of the Year is a right-wing nutjob.
- archy: CEO government.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: being gay and going to high school.
- Bloggg: snow daze.
- Collective Sigh: an update and a plea for blood donations.
- Dohiyi Mir on Caroline.
- Echidne Of The Snakes on the Rick Warren issue.
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: Hold on, Holder.
- Iddybud Journal: intellectual bankruptcy.
- Left Is Right: short bits and pieces.
- Left Turn Only is still working out the kinks.
- Musing's musings on GOP tactics in Illinois.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web's silly site o' the day... it's like whack-a-mole.
- Rick's Cafe Americain: Patriots fan.
- Rook's Rant: writing on writing.
- rubber hose on the warren issue.
- Scrutiny Hooligans recaps the election a la "previously on The West Wing..."
- SoonerThought: union busting.
- Speedkill: music of 2008.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: torture.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: can a non-Christian be an American citizen?
- The Invisible Library: Bush's library is short of cash.
- WTF Is It Now?? the legacy.
- ...You Are A Tree received some very good news.
Shopping's done.
Shopping's done, huh? Must be nice. The GirlFriend™ starts her Holiday Shopping (bite me Bill O) on December 26th, and doesn't finish until December 24th.

Writing Note

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So, I get up at 8, 8:30 this morning and after making myself some toast and a bowl of cereal, I commence to writing. Several hours and 18 to 19 pages later I finally come up for air.

I love when that happens.

Personal Update

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Well, I've learned one important fact; I need to get my ass to bed by 9:00 or 10:00 PM, or I just don't have the energy to get up in the morning to write. This past week I've managed to get in just a half hour of writing on my novel. It's rather pathetic. But life has been hectic, what with the Holiday Season (please don't tell Bill O. I said "Holiday," he might send the rapid anti-Christmas response team after me), this damn cold, and my back acting up. Needless to say, I am letting myself get stressed out and run down. Not good.

So, yesterday, I decided to give myself a treat; I am starting the LOTR books again. I just finished "The Sword Of Shannara," a book I first read back in grade school. To be honest, I have not one memory of the story, so reading it was new. Now, though, I am stuck without a book to read. I was working on "The Sword Of Truth" series, but the next book in the series has not been at any of the book stores, and I am not in the mood to buy a used copy online. Well, that and I am short on money for the moment.

So, I'm back to Middle Earth for a time.
Bark Bark Woof Woof

Friday Blogaround
What's up this week in the LC?

- A Blog Around The Clock: how to organize a smart mob.
- All Facts and Opinions: California cities line up against Prop 8.
- archy: a fine state.
- Bark Bark Woof Woof: does it matter what the bible says about same-sex marriage?
- Bloggg: when it comes to corruption, Chicago ain't got nothing on Philly.
- Dohiyi Mir: how did a day without a gay go?
- Echidne Of The Snakes: do bitches have feelings?
- Florida Progressive Coalition Blog: Dan Gelber in the Senate?
- Iddybud Journal: worth the fight.
- Left Is Right: bits and pieces.
- Left Turn Only: changes are coming to Chris's site.
- Musing's musings on the background of Gov. Blagojevich's troubles.
- Pen-Elayne on the Web: sorry for the inconvenience...
- Rook's Rant: remember that stimulus check?
- rubber hose: czar wreck.
- Scrutiny Hooligans seeks advice on a new computer.
- SoonerThought: the next Secretary of Education.
- Speedkill gets life advice from absolute strangers.
- Steve Bates, The Yellow Doggerel Democrat: snow in Houston.
- Stupid Enough Unexplanation: keep the fitz in Fitzmas.
- The Fulcrum: cannon fodder.
- The Invisible Library: Keith spins his yarn about his trip to Ireland.
- WTF Is It Now?? time wasters.
- ...You Are A Tree: Starship mash-up.
Okay, I did some shopping this week. But only on-line.
Oh, all right. So I was a bit late in doing my weekly larceny. What are you going to do? Report me to the Blog Patrol? Yeah, right.

How'd That Tax Rebate Work?

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So, somewhere in the middle of this finally acknowledged recession, there was a tax rebate. I am just wondering what affect it had on this still visiting recession? As I'm as ignorant as a box of rocks when it comes to economics, I'd sure like to be pointed to a good, simple article or post that shows it's wondrously medicinal qualities. I figure, considering all the hype it got, it must have prevented the recession from turning into a depression.
CNN

(CNN) -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is in federal custody on corruption charges, a law enforcement official said Tuesday.

Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, are charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office for the Northern District of Illinois.

Both men are expected in U.S. District Court in Chicago later Tuesday.

A news conference is expected at noon ET.

Federal prosecutors say Blagojevich, Harris and others conspired to gain financial benefits in appointing President-elect Barack Obama's Senate replacement, according to the statement.

I'd normally be suspect about this move, except that the person spear-heading this investigation is none other than Fritz! What the hell was Blagojevich thinking?

Taliban Around Kabul

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CNN

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The Taliban insurgency is widening its presence in Afghanistan and "closing a noose around Kabul," an international think tank report says.

The report -- issued Monday by the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) -- said the Taliban movement "now holds a permanent presence in 72 percent of Afghanistan, up from 54 percent a year ago."

NATO, which commands about 50,000 troops in the country, disputes the figures.

I understand that what is, is. Still, it is frustrating to have to be having this discussion at all. Here we are, coming up to 8 years after 9/11 and Afganistan is still not resolved. On top of that, the very group responsible for harboring al-Qaeda, the Taliban, looks to be close to resuming control. Any way I look at it, I see failure.

Failure: The Hallmark of BushCo™.

Sigh

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Excuse me just a bit.

[loud sound of wood scraping on the floor]

Okay, there. I've got my soap box in place. Now, I just have to find my microphone.

[turns head about, looking for microphone]

Oh, come on! It's a simple request! Where in hell is my mic?

Oh, there it is.

[grins sheepishly]

Sorry. It was just sitting here on this table. Don't know how I missed it the first time.

[Steps up on soap box, adjusts mic on stan....]

Where the hell is my mic stand?

For Christ's sake! Who took my mic stand?

Oh, wait. There it is under my winter coat.

[another sheepish grin]

My bad. I forgot I hung it on the stand when I first arrived.

[steps back up on soap box, adjusts mic on stand, causes loud feedback]

Oh, jeez! I am so sorry.

[hops off of soap box and adjusts setting on amp]

[steps back up on soap box, adjusts mic on stand, taps mic]

Can you all hear me?

What? You, in the back, speak up. Turn it up? Oh, okay. I gotchya.

[hops off of soap box and adjusts setting on amp again]

[steps back up on soap box, adjusts mic on stand, taps mic]

Can you hear me now?

[makes a dead pan face]

No, I don't work for Verizon. Smart ass.

[makes final adjustment to mic stand, holds hands out for quiet]
MSNBC

The measure would rush bridge loans to Detroit's struggling Big Three but would also demand that the auto industry restructure itself in order to survive and would put an overseer chosen by President George W. Bush in charge of monitoring that effort, according to a draft obtained by The Associated Press.
I was hopeful for a good outcome until I read the above graph.

What the hell were they thinking? Hello! Remember Brownie? Katrina? Iraq occupation? The unfinished war in Afghanistan?

This is stupid beyond belief. The man is incapable of leadership. He sure as hell never could assemble anything remotely resembling a successful team. Now congress wants him to pick the person who will oversee the effort to restructure the US auto industry. Where's Einstein when you need him to remind people of the definition of insanity?

Carl & His Rolling Stone

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Carl figures he's Sisyphus, but somehow seems to have lost his rock.

CNN

(CNN) -- Five former security guards from Blackwater Worldwide have been indicted on charges of voluntary manslaughter, attempt to commit manslaughter and weapons violations, Justice Department officials announced Monday.
I have been meaning to write a post about this since it was first announced. Unfortunately, my anger, or my outrage fatigue, has prevented me from doing so. To be honest, I still am not going to write anything of merit, because it disgusts me to no end. These trigger happy 21st Century Cowboys are a disgrace to our country. They are mercenaries who killed innocent lives, and then lied about it to stay out of trouble.
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Five detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say they want to confess to conspiracy charges for planning the September 11, 2001, attacks, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Monday.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed architect of the attacks, and four other alleged co-conspirators asked a military judge if they could withdraw all pending motions and plead guilty, Maj. Gail Crawford said in an e-mail.

The defendants announced their decision in front of relatives of victims in the al Qaeda-orchestrated attacks, said Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch. She attended Monday's hearing.

Gee, could it be they see their chances of martyrdom going the way of the Dodo once Obama is in office?

Shallow Thought

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Leave it to the Bush Administration to announce a recession at the start of a depression. But, to their credit, at least the two words rhyme.

RIP Atrios

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Sorry, but Blue Girl knocks Atrios out with this one.



Of course, I suspect Atrios has his tongue firmly placed against his cheek with his pick, but that's only because I find him to be a sarcastic smart ass. Who knows, maybe he really does find that video to be great. There's no accounting for taste.
CNN.com

ATHENS, Greece (CNN) -- Hundreds of young self-styled anarchists rioted in the streets Sunday and attacked police in several Greek cities in a fury over the shooting death of a teenager by a member of an elite police corps.
I would like to know what is going on in Greece that young people are confronting the police in this manner?

A police statement about the boy's death said the incident started when six young protesters pelted a police patrol car with stones. The 16-year-old boy was shot as he tried to throw a fuel-filled bomb at the officers, police said.
Anarchists tend to gain traction under oppressive governments. But I am not all that up on Greece at the moment, so I don't know if that is the case. Is the Greek government oppressive?

That rioting would explode over much of the country indicates a rather ominous sign; that the government is either oppressive and/or corrupt. Unfortunately, this article does little in the way of explaining the motivation of the youth. Describing them as Anarchists just doesn't suffice.

As to police shooting the 16-year-old; if you find your car is being pelted with stones, get the hell out of there. Obviously the mood of the country is such that confrontations with children only makes those in authority seem that much more incompetent. That's right, I am indeed qualifying a 16-year-old as a child. Maybe if the police officer in question had keep that in mind, he might not now be facing manslaughter charges. Nor would the country be inflamed in rioting.

I know, I know. 20/20 and all that. Tough. I get tired of the old mantra of respecting authority. You want respect, then earn it. Acting dictatorial and oppressive earns you animosity and anger, not respect.

Of course, I realize I am going off half-cocked. Like I said, I know little of the political situation in Greece. For all I know, the government is an example of Democratic perfection and the children have been mislead by a vast, virulent, network of lying propagandists. I mean, it could happen. Right?

Irony

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Does the Navy even know it's supporting a pro gay/lesbian video?

Navy ad.gif

Not that I have a problem with the Navy advertising on Jack Black's site. I would love to see the Don't Ask, Don't Tell abomination thrown out and the ban against gays and lesbians in the military lifted. From the sounds of it, Obama is leaning in just that direction.

However, considering the slant of Jack's video, the Navy allowing advertising must mean that at least one branch of the armed services is ready to allow gays and lesbians. But than, I am just conjecturing. I could be wrong.

Oh, by the way, the pic above is from Bark Bark Woof Woof. Go, enjoy the video. You'll be surprised at some of the performers.

Obama Takes Shinseki for Cabinet

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CNN.com

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President-elect Barack Obama will nominate retired Gen. Eric Shinseki to be secretary of Veterans Affairs, two Democratic sources said Saturday.

Obama was expected to make the formal announcement Sunday -- Pearl Harbor Day -- at a news conference in Chicago. Veterans groups appeared to support the selection.

"I am excited. I don't know him personally but this is a huge move," said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

For years, Shinseki, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran, has been the patron saint of Pentagon critics who say the former Army chief's sage advice was ignored in 2003, resulting in too few U.S. troops being sent to Iraq after the invasion.


Well, if this doesn't convince the skeptics on the left that Obama is moving in the opposite direction of Bush, than nothing will. If nothing else, this selection shows that he is not going to surround himself with a bubble of yes men.

Shinseki spoke with condor and honesty about what he thought would be the necessary troop levels for a successful invasion and occupation of Iraq. Somehow, I do not see Shinseki becoming Army chief of staff without being able to recognize the prevailing political winds. So, I figure he knew speaking his opinion was going to have consequences.

It may have taken 5 years, but his honesty and willingness to speak his piece has finally paid off. True, he may not be leading the army, or the armed forces, but he sure as hell was just offered an important post. For most of my life, I have seen veterans handed the short stick. It's almost as if the United States is embarrassed that service members are wounded during combat. Quite frankly, the current administration has acted as if the only sacrifice they were willing to acknowledged was death. And even then, just barely.

I hope Eric Shinseki turns out to be a true advocate for the injured men and women of the armed forces. Lord knows they need one after eight years of the apathy they've had to experience from BushCo™.

Shallow Thought

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Washing your face before using an electric razor produces a closer shave.

Another Good Choice

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CNN - Obama to Nominate Richardson for Cabinet

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President-elect Barack Obama plans to nominate New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson to be secretary of commerce, a Democratic source told CNN on Tuesday.

The former Democratic presidential candidate's name has been bandied about as the next head of Commerce.

Obama spoke with Richardson about the position November 14, a senior Democratic source said. The source said Richardson has always been on Obama's list of possibilities for the key Cabinet position.

Richardson, 61, also traveled to Chicago, Illinois, in November to meet with Obama, according to a source.

"He brings to this plate, in particular in an era where the economy is the focus of attention, a lot of skills that could be put to use -- perhaps opening up marketplaces for U.S. products abroad," CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley said.

"In New Mexico, he sought to bring in new businesses and to create jobs ... so the Obama team considers this part of the economic team."

So far, most of the major cabinet posts seem to be no brainers.


About Mom

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Well, there has been a medical issue developing slowly with my mother over the last 3 months. First, they suspected she had Emphysema. That was eventually ruled out. Finally, they discovered her right diaphragm was paralyzed. They figured it happened all the way back in 2001. At least, the nerve was pinched back then, and the diaphragm finally stopped working about a year ago.

Well, now she's having other problems. Over Thanksgiving, her ankles swelled up to the size of her knees. Finally, Saturday morning, she was confused and bordering on hallucinating. Dad took her into the hospital at 9:00 PM that night. I went to see her yesterday at the Burnett County Medical Center in Grantsburg, WI. She was doing better.

However, I received word today she was transferred to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. It's part of the Allina System, a former employer of mine back in 2006. Anyway, tests are going to be run on her heart, to see what is going on. Like my problems earlier this year, it seems to be taking much longer than ought be necessary to discover the source of her discomfort and ill health.

I know that diagnosing illness is as much an art as it is a science, but right now I can not help but think the delay in finding my mother's problem is as much fear of running tests because of insurance interference then just not knowing. To be honest, I would rather see expensive tests run with a quick discovery of the cause, then to err to the side of monetary conservatism. Somehow, personal suffering for the sake of medical cost efficiency just does not seem right. But then, I never did understand conservative compassion.

Shallow Thought

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Damn, I'm tired of people bitching about Obama.
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Call Sarah Palin the closer.

The Alaska governor and former Republican vice-presidential nominee is back on the campaign trail Monday, teaming up with Sen. Saxby Chambliss at four campaign events in Georgia on the last full day of campaigning before the state's Senate runoff election.

Chambliss is the freshman Republican senator from Georgia who's fighting to keep his seat. He's up against Jim Martin, a former Georgia state lawmaker, in the runoff election.

Personally, I call her the loser.

There is some irony in having the losing presidential candidates stumping for Chambliss. Of course, this is still in motion. Should Chambliss lose the run off election, the irony will be complete.

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.

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