Thursday, December 31, 2009

Be Careful


This road has two solid inches of compressed snow that melted and refroze into solid ice.

Today's weather was just warm enough in the morning to melt some of the snow on the road which later re-froze this afternoon.

By around 3:00 PM the temperature dropped into the 20 degree range. I was out walking the dog and slipped on what I thought was wet pavement, but was really a thin layer of clear ice on the pavement, also known as "black ice."

Tonight is New Years Eve. What we have here is a near perfect storm. A large amount of snow followed by a thaw, then a deep freeze followed by drunken revelry followed by driving.

Drive safely and have a happy new year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We Got Fooled Again!


Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was going to have a quiet sun-filled ocean-side tribunal in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, but someone had the audacity of hope for justice and decided that, to be civilized, KSM should be tried with the full benefit and weight of the U.S. Justice System.

Well, he's getting the full weight of the U.S. Justice system all right. He's getting a whopping security detail that will cost U.S. taxpayers more than seventy five million dollars. Since security is only part of the whole ordeal, imagine what the rest of the iceberg will cost.

This magnanimous gesture of civility filled the hearts of liberal progressives with warm fuzzies, the rest of us with gnawing pains of hunger in our stomachs, and the pockets of New York's legal industrial complex with our cash. What is up with New York Anyway? Didn't Wall Street get enough of our investment money? Didn't they get enough of our bailout money?

Well, it's always just about the money. The next time you feel your heart-strings getting tugged, take a breath and really start thinking about how much it's going to cost.

Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gPwET3Km7O5QWUyXSTmqSLb7SQ4w

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

GOP News Control Plan C - A and B didn't work out so well.

GOP Event at Hoogland Center on Monday evidently Hush-Hush

On the evening of Monday, December 14, 2009 my mother wanted to go to a GOP event because she had a really good question for them. I wanted to go so I could take notes and compare what I heard with how the news media reported it later.

A while ago, perhaps weeks, my mother wrote the event down on her calendar. How or where she found that information was forgotten. Monday evening she wanted to confirm it so she looked it up in that day’s Illinois State Journal-Register. It was not in the “Happening Today” section.

I looked up the schedule for Hoogland Center for the Arts and they had “Geppeto and Son” on the 13th of December, followed by “Every Christmas Story Ever Told” on the 19th of December. Nothing on December 14th.

Mom was frustrated because it was on her calendar, but neither of us could find any supporting evidence that the event was still going on. The Illinois Times dated December 10-16 didn’t mention anything for the event either.

Tuesday morning’s Illinois State Journal-Register has an article titled “GOP candidates against Thomson housing detainees” [ http://www.sj-r.com/news/x1479446421/Five-GOP-gubernatorial-candidates-against-Thomson-housing-Gitmo-prisoners ]

According to the article, the event was hosted by the Springfield Citizens Club. I went to their website [ http://www.citizensclubofspringfield.org/ ] to see if they had any information about the event, and the latest event they had on their website was a public policy breakfast they had on November 20.

“Friday, November 20: Public Policy Breakfast, Tom Cavanagh, County Treasurer and Jim Langfelder, City Treasurer, Hoogland Center for the Arts, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.”

So, we have an event discussing public policy by candidates running for public office, but the venue holding the event does not have it in their schedule, the hosting organization of the event does not have it in their schedule, two of the largest local news publications don’t have it in their schedule. What are we supposed to assume from that?

We can assume that any news reported the following day about the event was completely fabricated because the event itself was entirely controlled and held secret by collaborating organizations.

IS this GOP news control plan C? Plan A was planting a blogger with press credentials in the White House press pool who would ask softball questions. Plan B was paying Armstrong Williams to write GOP leaning news articles during the Bush Years. Plan C appears to be staging top secret press conferences for the purpose of fabricating news. As bad as A and B turned out, C is really the only way to control the situation from start to finish.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Seasonal Affective Disorder is man-made.

‘Tis the season to watch others express joy and love.

Do jewelry advertisements capitalize on the gift-giving season? Not really because the primary function of jewelry is reward. The secondary function of jewelry is expression of wealth, and finally, investment. The order might be different for everyone, but that’s another story.

During Christmas, the perceived context of the act of giving, changes from a wide variety of rationalizations throughout the rest of the year, to a sharp focus at Christmas. At other times of the year I could think of a dozen other reasons why some guy would spend a few months salary on a diamond for his wife or girlfriend.

During that time it doesn’t become personal for me and so the advertising slips away into oblivion after the commercial is over. It’s like that for me because I’m single, but also because one advertisement I see most frequently is the one with the jealous GPS device that won’t let the man out of the car. The other non-Christmas ads portray women talking about some other woman who received jewelry.

But at Christmas, the frequency of jewelry advertising increases, and the context of the advertising shifts from a variety of scenarios to one sharply focused, unambiguous global ritual to which we men measure our own value.

The commercials shift directly to the source of the commotion the other actors were talking about the rest of the year, straight to the couple. And I watch as others are able to give and receive love and joy this holiday season.

I can’t give someone a diamond. I can’t give someone a car. Maybe that’s why nobody calls. According to mass media hype, if I could give away diamonds and cars I would have a massive entourage. If you ever watched shows like “Where Are They Now” or any show about lottery winners, you would understand that the entourage disappears when the money runs out. It’s really sad when you’ve got nothing else anyone wants.

It is my perception that others’ expectations are beyond my reach. I feel this way most of the time but especially during the holidays when it seems like everyone else is capable of giving something that someone else appreciates.

Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Product Alert: Sony Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition

Sony Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition comes with a program called Cinescore Studio that is alleged to generate music for your videos. This program is not supported for Windows Vista 64 bit systems, and will crash on Windows XP systems after about four or five uses.

Tech support is absolutely lacking. The worst experience with tech support I ever had was with Sony products. You get that when you deal with a company that has adopted an arrogant self-image.

Sony totally fails in the software area. They should stick with stereos and cameras and stay out of the computer software business.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

S.A.P. Sapping the state retirement fund.

Did you know that the Illinois Supreme Court has a historic preservation program? Back in August of 2007 an act was passed that funneled five million dollars ($5,000,000.00) of state funds into the program (705 ILCS 17/20-c).

I never heard of the program, but the fantastic thing is that it creates nine jobs, all of which are appointed by the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the house (705 ILCS 17/10, 1-5).

But don’t worry, nobody gets a salary (705 ILCS 17/10 – 5(g)) “The members of the Commission shall receive no compensation for their service, except for their actual expenses while in the discharge of their official duties.” What ever that means, they get to hire staff (705 ILCS 17/20).

I suppose that’s the point leading to my next little steaming nugget.

I heard many times about a bad habit from inside sources, (yes, I have inside sources) there’s a bad habit going around the state I call the State Accelerated Pre-Retirement Promotion method of draining the state’s pension system. People who are close to retirement are getting promoted so their pensions will be much larger than they would be naturally through normal merit based promotions.

It’s not enough that state employees already make such incredibly rich salaries on the backs of poverty level private sector taxpayers that make up nearly one-third of the state’s population; they need to rub it in by appropriating funds away from social programs that subsidize corporations that pay low wages.

Besides that, why is there a separate historic preservation commission away from the Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency? Is that not a little redundant? How many other redundancies are there like this?

Source: (705 ILCS 17/) Supreme Court Historic Preservation Act.
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2924&ChapAct=705%26nbsp%3BILCS%26nbsp%3B17%2F&ChapterID=50&ChapterName=COURTS&ActName=Supreme+Court+Historic+Preservation+Act.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Financial Crisis Lurking

The Real News Network has a video series on "Casino Capitalism" which exposes the web of banking confidence schemes, wild speculation that will continue to another crash.

Everyone who is against the public option for health care keeps complaining about the government taking over health care.

What those idiots don't realize is the government was taken over by super-rich business interests years ago. So stop wasting your energy by fighting a distraction (the government), turn around, and start going after those who feed cash to the insatiable politicians.

Monday, November 09, 2009

History skipped over

In your history books you skipped over some history following the Vietnam War and guess what...too many people died. History isn't just for testing students memories on the names and dates of American "heros."

The following is an example of history that should be taught in school so that it is not repeated. Something our current and previous few presidents seem to have completely ignored, or implemented as some form of stimulus package custom designed for the military industrial complex.

First. the only requirements for completing the mission in Afghanistan are the following original list of demands made to the Taliban on September 20, 2001:

1. Deliver to the U.S. all of the leaders of al-Qaeda
2. Release all imprisoned foreign nationals
3. Close immediately every terrorist training camp
4. Hand over every terrorist and their supporters to appropriate authorities
5. Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps for inspection. (1)

Beyond that, everything else is just plundering of lives and tax money. The war in Iraq was distracting enough to make everyone forget about the above list and then assume the two wars were some kind of massive mission to free people from "tyranny," and spread democracy around the world, turning the whole mess into some mystical endless aspiration, like the "war on drugs."

What happened after the Shah took power in Iran in 1953? The links are there.


OPERATION AJAX


OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM




RESULT: IRANIAN REVOLUTION 1979


RESULT: The natural course of historically consistent results of nation-building.

So, lets start a pool, shall we? How long does Hamid Karzai have as ruler of Afghanistan before he winds up like Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, living in Exile somewhere in the U.S?

Have we no decency?


----------
(1).Wikipedia: Operation Enduring Freedom, US-led coalition action [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Enduring_Freedom ]

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Restoration versus Preservation

I'm no expert in historic preservation but something is bothering me about Abe Lincoln's neighborhood.
Does historic preservation include restoring a structure to its original detail? or is there a difference between preservation and restoration?

Hey, it might be alright to preserve something by encasing it in Vinyl, I don't know much about the integrity of vinyl.

With restoration I imagine one would need to restore every detail of an original structure's architecture. This must be the difference between preservation and restoration.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Photoshop Phumble

If you're thinking about importing a 3D object into Photoshop CS4 so you can make a quick animated GIF file, you might reconsider. When I created a new frame and manipulated the binoculars, the binoculars angle updated in all of the frames of the sequence instead of changing slightly frame by frame. The x/y position is referenced by the animation panel, but not pitch, yaw, or rotation.


I modeled the binoculars in Lightwave and exported them as an .OBJ file. No texture or transparency data survived the transfer.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Political Correctness and the language of marginalization.

Once again a local radio host has fallen back on the old gripe that some people try to get attention by riding in on the coattails of someone else who was the subject of a politically incorrect remark.

He calls them “wimps” and a few other choice words. This topic was started because ESPN broadcaster Bob Griese was suspended a week for a remark he made about NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya.

[ http://www.mercedsunstar.com/236/story/1135242.html ]

The point this local radio talk show host was attempting to make is people are either too darn sensitive to these remarks or some people take the opportunity to exaggerate the situation in order to draw attention to their organization that sustains itself financially on the belief of victimhood and martyrdom.

When you make fun of someone because they chose to affiliate with a certain political party, chose to dress a certain way, chose to behave in a manner they could have chosen not to, then it is okay to make fun of them, such as people who are powerful but use it destructively, bigots, misogynists, chauvinists and predators.

When you make fun of someone because they were raised in a culture that is closed or distant to such a degree that he or she is unaware of how different they are from yourself and perhaps are content in their society, then you are out of line.

When you make fun of someone because they have certain physical traits they can’t change, or are from another country and speak a different language, then you are the one who fits into the category of people it is okay to mock.

The whole point of political correctness is to stop the perpetual behavior of marginalization. The biggest culprit of social division and marginalization is the history lesson.

We are led to believe that we must learn history so that it does not repeat, but what does repeat through history is fear and guilt, directly along the lines of race. Race is an arbitrary product from the minds of imperialists.

The word “race” is from the bygone era before the human genome project. Those who continue to use the language of marginalization are capitalizing on hate or martyrdom.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Priority Care on MacArthur

I was scraping old stickers of the back of my car today when my hand slipped. I drove a razor blade into the knuckle of my fifth digit on my right hand. You know, the pinky finger.

It was a deep cut, so I drove out to Priority Care because I thought it might need stitches. Luckily, they only used Dermabond adhesive, splinted my finger and gave me a Tetanus shot.

I had to pay out of pocket because I'm unemployed and have no insurance. The visit cost me $335.00

Do you accept that? I think it's a little excessive, but the alternative is to go home and wait for the infection and tetanus to set in. Then I would probably go to the emergency room and have my rotten finger amputated among the myriad of other expensive treatments needed to save my life.

My emergency room bill, had I decided to postpone the Priority Care treatment, would cause me to declare bankruptcy.

If I was earning $10 per hour at a part-time job with no insurance, I would have to work 33.5 hours, plus time to cover taxes and other deductions, just to pay for this one visit.

I consider myself lucky to have the money available, but soon it will all be gone.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sub-Woofer Woes

Sound Violations are one of many ordinances that might be considered a solution for waning revenue from sales and income taxes, despite calls by the public for cuts in government salaries.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Like I said before.

Wall Street is making money hand over fist based entirely on the illusion of recovery.[AFP]

My August 4, 2009 post laid out this false recovery in diagram form. Basically, companies are reporting record profits not only due to the influx of stimulus cash, but also by shedding all but the very few necessary jobs, enough to run a skeleton crew until Christmas Eve.

Remember Enron, the Worldcom Bankruptcy, or the Health South scandal?

You can't look back on this and not see that Christmas 2009 will be the worst in history, and then your 401(k) will evaporate into a flurry of snow flakes in January 2010.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Slow Pace of Government.

Way back in December of 2007 ABC ran a story about a woman who was gang-raped while working in Baghdad.

Senator Al Franken was motivated to present an amendment in response to this incident.

U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress - 1st Session
as compiled through Senate LIS by the Senate Bill Clerk under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate
Vote Summary
Question: On the Amendment (Franken Amdt. No. 2588 )
Vote Number:
308
Vote Date:
October 6, 2009, 04:37 PM
Required For Majority:
1/2
Vote Result:
Amendment Agreed to
Amendment Number:
S.Amdt. 2588 to H.R. 3326 (Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2010)
Statement of Purpose:
To prohibit the use of funds for any Federal contract with Halliburton Company, KBR, Inc., any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other contracting party if such contractor or a subcontractor at any tier under such contract requires that employees or independent contractors sign mandatory arbitration clauses regarding certain claims.

Vote Counts:
YEAs
68

NAYs
30

Not Voting
2



Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---68
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs ---30
Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting - 2
Byrd (D-WV)
Specter (D-PA)
Source: Senate.gov


 Those who voted against this amendment have a serious problem. Are they pro-rape?

Driving at D'Arcy's

As we were pulling out of D'Arcy's parking lot one windy dark evening, we drove passed a car that was ready to back out. The car's engine was running and the reverse lights were on. The car was in reverse and starting to move.

Out of the darkness some children ran and opened the car door to get in. There was a small boy and girl trying to get into a car that was in reverse gear.

Drivers please! Before putting your vehicles in gear, make sure everyone is already in and buckled up.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

FTC Blog Compliance

This site is not sponsored commercially and never received compensation for any commercially beneficial communication.

FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
16 CFR Part 255
Guides Concerning the Use of
Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005endorsementguidesfnnotice.pdf

Monday, October 05, 2009

Propriety at the Gas Pump

I was at the Shell gas station up by Dixie Trucker’s Home yesterday and there was a serious human failure happening. There were four or five double-sided pumps. Every pump was occupied with a vehicle, but that wasn’t the problem.

Only about three of the pumps were actually in use. There were two vehicles sitting at pumps, either empty or with just a waiting passenger. It’s understandable that some people prefer paying with cash so they must leave their vehicle to go pay. If they tried to move their car out of the way they might alarm someone into thinking they were about to just “pump-and-dash.”

Then something happened that irked me. A woman approached one of the cars sitting at a pump, but she didn’t have just her keys and a receipt in her hand, she had a foot-long sandwich from the next door Subway restaurant. Instead of moving the car to one of the many empty parking spots in front of the building, she decided she would save herself some time and go get a sandwich.

Oh, that’s not all. She then got into her car which was still sitting at the pump, and proceeded to eat her sandwich, without a second thought about the other people waiting for a pump.

Meanwhile, I was finally able to pull up to another pump where a man had just finished filling plastic gas containers. He was driving a pickup with a large trailer that would not fit well next to the pump. At least he had the decency to keep his larger vehicle and trailer from blocking the access.

But, it was not only the woman who lacked the courtesy to move her car out of the way between the time she paid for their gas and going to eat lunch or browse the convenience store. There were at least two other people who failed to grasp the basic details of the situation, and it takes all genders, classes and races.

Some people assume a right of personal property to where ever they park their car. Wrong. Its okay to leave your car to go pay for the gas, but you better be right back to move your car to a parking spot if you’re going to stay and eat lunch at the restaurant next door.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stumbling Social Security shows potential for Health Care Reform

The Associated Press reported that Early retirement and job losses is causing the tide to go out on Social Security over the next two years. More benefits will be paid out than revenues will be collected for the fund.

This raises the spectre of free-market manipulation of public programs such as social security, medicare, and a health care public option.

Public programs are supported by taxes paid by people who are incapable or are not knowledgeable enough to hide their wealth off-shore.

Employers on the other hand, specifically those savvy enough to hide their money off-shore are typically corporations with the largest number of employees.

Theoretically, corporations such as these could lay-off just enough employees to bankrupt Social Security and other government social programs within a few years.

Ironically, laying off more employees makes the corporation's bottom line look better, and consequently creates the false impression that the economy is recovering, drawing investors, employees looking for 401(K) opportunities and first-time home owners into a deadly trap.

Since the larger multinational corporations have their risk spread around the world, they can go country by country, systematically manipulating governments that rely on income tax.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h6BfoloJOnV0TeI7eIHC1ZWuBxygD9AVS0202

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Laptop bandit strikes again

The State Journal Register reported this morning that another apartment on Seven Pines road was robbed of at least $2000 worth of computers and cash. Last October, another laptop was stolen from a different apartment in the same neighborhood.

This time the door was left unlocked. In the previous case, the front door was forced open.

In another nearby incident occurring in December of 2008, a tenant was visited by some men who suddenly turned on him, beating him and robbing him of various electronic equipment.

The options of escape from this area are plentiful, and the level of activity at these apartment complexes is high, perhaps because of the youthful demographic, which means burglars might not be noticed, even in broad daylight.

One might wonder if the laptop bandit looks at night for windows glowing with the blue haze of computer monitors, or might be a returning student at UIS or Lincoln Land who happens to notice someone at school with a nice laptop and then targets them not by befriending them, but by befriending others around them and then getting invited to parties where they get more and more information. Too much.

It might be someone posing as a lawn care specialist or maintenance person, checking the doors every few days until one is finally left unlocked.

It might be some punk kid who lives right nearby in one of the other buildings. My grandparents were robbed by a kid who lived right across the street.


View SPFLDnet in a larger map

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Real Health Care Reform.

It's unfortunate that insurance is still on the table. Health care reform would mean removing insurance entirely from health care. Costs go up simply because insurance companies dangled the bait of their wealth in front of pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment manufacturers, and hospital administrators.

Those companies jacked up their prices to favor the need for insurance. Insurance companies in-turn convinced the public that their drugs, wheel chairs and oxygen tanks cost so much "because that's just the way it is. Live with it or die without it."

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Freaky Fringe Groups.

What do weird fringe groups have in common with Republicans?

A “Birther” is someone who doesn’t believe Barack Obama should be president because they allege that he was born in Kenya and not the United States of America. Despite the publication of Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate, and confirmation by WorldNetDaily.com that Obama is indeed a U.S. Citizen, “Birthers” still insist that Obama is Kenyan.

A “Deather” is someone who believes that the public health care option will involve panels of people who decide whether or not someone should receive treatment because they are beyond a certain age. They called these fictional panels “Death Panels.” They do not exist in any form, and there is no plan for any such panels.

A “Secessionist” can reside in either Texas or Alaska. They want their state to become a nation separate from the United States, independent of any federal taxation or intervention of any kind. But they still want Medicare and Social Security, and their governors, despite supporting the idea of secession, went ahead and spent the federal stimulus money anyway.

What do these groups have in common? They are all narcissistic. In other words, they have an inflated sense of self-importance. However, it’s not really their fault that they think their beliefs are more common than reality.

The news media is responsible for picking up these tiny freakish mind-sets and creating groups out of them. The news media latches on to the bizarre and insignificant, inflates the idea to create the impression that these twisted views represent almost half the country’s opinion. How do they do that?

The media continues to associate these fringe groups with conservative Republicans.

So the liberal left wing news media is lumping freaky fringe groups together with the Republicans, but why are no Republican congressmen distancing themselves or making an effort to correct the media about what it really means to be a Republican?

Perhaps because the media doesn’t cover it. The last time the media covered a Republican correcting a distorted belief was when John McCain corrected a woman at one of his campaign stops. She thought that Barack Obama was a Muslim and he shut her down immediately.

After that, not a whimper of corrective action from level-headed Republicans can be heard in the media.

Now the news media is all-over President Obama’s speech to the kids today. They are focusing on those few schizophrenic parents who don’t want their kids to hear his speech. But they never report the actual number of people who are protesting Obama’s speech.



There may only be as many as a thousand in the whole country.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Springfield Clinic needs Healthcare Reform quick!

I know someone who is going on a trip to the Amazon later this fall. We'll call him Hal. His doctor is a physician at Springfield Clinic.

Hal needs to start taking an anti-malaria pill weeks in advance for it to be effective against the disease should he encounter malaria infected mosquitoes while he's on the Amazon River.

Hal only needs a prescription for the anti-malaria. There is Doxycycline which is reported by a post at Yahoo Answers to be the cheapest at around "$50 for 6 months" whatever that means.

Springfield Clinic wants $400 up front for nothing more than the appointment, and Hal's doctor won't prescribe the medicine.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ashland Incident poised to bring down Illinois

The subterranean infrastructure of Illinois politics is about to get another exposure.

The dirty dealings that got former Governor George Ryan Convicted and then former Governor Rod Blagojevich Impeached, is about to be exposed again through it's lack of action regarding the murder of Steve Watkins in Ashland, Illinois over nine months ago.

According to DIMFI.com, the Cass County State's Attorney passed the case off to the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor’s Office, which is said by some people to be a place where cases go to die.

Where they thinking Steve Watkins had no next-of-kin?

The Appellate Prosecutor's office is currently occupied by an individual who, while a Sangamon County Assistant State's Attorney, charged someone with murder who was then incarcerated, but not prosecuted. The state supreme court let the suspect go on for being incarcerated for too long.

This case will grow to include questions about the higher-ups who employed those responsible for investigating and prosecuting this case. The relentless vine of justice climbs higher every day. Every day, Mark Thoma updates the status of the Steve Watkins case from 3 to 6 P.M. on WMAY AM 970

Monday, August 24, 2009

Predicted “Staycations” didn’t include IL State Fair.

Soon after the economy pinched a loaf last winter, the news media started repeating the trendy new word "Staycation" until it became a cliche. It was an accurate prediction for Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Ohio and possibly Kentucky, that local state fair attendance would go up.

Not so for Illinois and Michigan.

I went to the Illinois State Fair last week, and spend most of my money on the admission and parking fee. $12.00 Attendance was reported down by 15% on WMAY this morning. They must have gone to the Missouri State fair which was up by the same amount from last year.

While Michigan’s state fair is not expected to start until August 28th and run through Labor Day, The Detroit Free Press reports that Governor Granholm is faced with a $1.8 billion deficit, plans to cut the fair’s budget. Eviction notices have been sent to the tenants, apparently scheduled for immediately following this year’s fair, freep.com reports.

The admission fee is broken down into the categories of “Super Saver Combo Pass,” $25.00 for gate admission and all day rides per person; $25.00 admission of 2 adults and 2 children; $9.00 for one adult; $4.00 for a child 3-12 years of age; $4.00 for a senior 62 or older. Groups of 25 or more get in for $7 per group member.

Meanwhile, Missouri’s state fair attendance was up fifteen percent, according to kansascity.com. Governor Jay Nixon’s office reported that nearly 110,000 people attended the Show-Me State’s fair this year, nearly the population of Springfield, Illinois. Missouri’s state fair had an admission charge of $1.00

Indiana’s state fair this year was 17 days long and so far had an attendance record of 905,645. This past Saturday the attendance was announced at 73,645 according to ChicagoTribune.com.

The Kentucky State Fair is currently ongoing and attendance numbers are not yet available.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

EPA Fails to Inform Public About Weed-Killer in Drinking Water

By Danielle Ivory
Huffington Post Investigative Fund

One of the nation’s most widely-used herbicides has been found to exceed federal safety limits in drinking water in four states, but water customers have not been told and the Environmental Protection Agency has not published the results.

For the full story - click this link:
http://huffingtonpostinvestigativefund.org/2009/08/epa-fails-to-inform-public-about-weed-killer-in-drinking-water/

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Obama buckling on health care reform?

The news media is all a bluster about Obama back-tracking on health care reform.

There is no guarantee that your health insurer won't reject your claim because you visited a physician who is not part of your company's plan, or that your claim won't be rejected because of a pre-existing condition, or that your insurance coverage will not drop immediately following your next claim, or that your deductible won't double in size, or that your prescription coverage will cover what you need tomorrow.

It looks like the Democrats are weakening into a compromise that will not fix anything.

The only solution if this happens, is to save as much money as possible for your own health care.

Personally, I don't think people should be selected for survival by insurance companies. However, sickness is part of natural selection.

If health care is reactionary instead of proactive in countries where health care intervenes in natural selection, that nation is actually weaker than the worst developing country with no intervention in natural selection.

What nation are we? Just watch Morgan Spurlock's movie "Super-Size me."

Those involved in reactionary health care reap all the benefits of a free unregulated marketplace that supplies unnaturally concentrated amounts of fat, sugar, salt, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine.

Proactive health care would tax commodities that are known to cause obesity, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer. The public will become violent, like drug addicts, should these commodities become strictly regulated or taxed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hannibal Missouri

I went to Hannibal, Missouri today. It's only an hour and a half west on I 72. I made it just in time for the 11 AM river excursion on the Mark Twain Riverboat. They have two bars on board and they offer evening dinner cruises too.

For more information, visit http://www.marktwainriverboat.com/index.html

Here is a link to my photographs.
http://picasaweb.google.com/spfldnet/HannibalMissouri?feat=directlink

Monday, August 10, 2009

Political Destruction Playbook

The chapter on seduction for political destruction.

1. Recruit new police officers for an assignment, fresh with optimism and with tendency toward over-zealous behavior, hypersensitivity and suspicion untempered by experience.

2. Present them with a general profile of an individual without revealing the name of the individual. This profile is built after following the individual over a long period of time, documenting habits and weaknesses.

3. Assign the officers a specific location based on the profile of the target.

4. Let the chips fall where they may.

References

http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2007/7/11/state_rep._arrested_for_soliciting_a_male_prostitute.html

http://crooksandliars.com/2007/07/13/mccains-florida-campaign-co-chair-arrested-for-solicitation#comment-32507

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/08/28/craig.arrest/

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Claims against health care reform.

Actual itemized contents of the Health Care Reform Bill:

"Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!"

TRUTH: This is not an "audit," it's a study. Moreover, the bill states (pp. 22-23) that the report will "include any recommendations the Commissioner deems appropriate to ensure that the law does not provide incentives for small and mid-size employers to self-insure or create adverse selection in the risk pools of large group insurers and self-insured employers." This is almost directly the opposite of the email's claim.

"Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!"

TRUTH: Page 29 continues to define the "essential benefits package" and discusses limits on what Americans will have to spend on health care under this minimum standard. In no way does this section stipulate the rationing of care.

"Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process)"

TRUTH: Page 30 begins to describe the Health Benefits Advisory Committee which establishes certain minimum standards for health insurance plans. In no way does this committee deny treatments and benefits to Americans with health insurance.

"Page 42: The 'Health Choices Commissioner' will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None."

TRUTH: Page 42 begins to describe the Health Choices Commissioner's duties. The idea that this person will decide what benefits Americans receive is patently false, given that most Americans will keep their current plans under reform, and Americans within the exchange will have the choice of purchasing many different kinds of health plans. Rather, the Commissioner will establish minimum standards to protect Americans.

"Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services."

TRUTH: Pages 50-51 contain a provision stating that discrimination will not be allowed in the provision of health care services. Nowhere does the bill state that non-US citizens will be provided free health care services. The bill prohibits federal dollars from being used for undocumented immigrants.

"Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Healthcard."

TRUTH: Page 58, in the context of a discussion of administrative standards, mentions that "determination of an individual's financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility...may include utilization of a machine-readable health plan beneficiary identification card." In no way does the bill state that such a card would be national, or that it would be issued to every person, or that it would, in fact, be used at all.

"Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer."

TRUTH: Page 59 continues the discussion of administrative standards, and authorizes electronic transfers of money within the government. In no way does this provision grant the government access to individual bank accounts.

"Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN)"

TRUTH: Here's what page 65 says: "Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall establish a temporary reinsurance program to provide reimbursement to assist participating employment-based plans with the cost of providing health benefits to retirees and to eligible spouses, surviving spouses and dependents of such retirees." No mention is made of unions or community organizations.

"Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange."

TRUTH: That's true! Plans have to have a minimum standard of benefits, bat can offer other plans as well. But that's fair, isn't it? Private insurers can continue to operate outside the exchange if they wish - should the government establish no standards for the exchange? In that case, how could reform end insurance industry abuses and help to control costs?

"Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans)"

TRUTH: This section says is that if private health care plans want to operate in the Exchange, they must provide a basic benefit package.

"Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens"

TRUTH: Some American citizens are more comfortable speaking a language other than English, especially in a sensitive situation like a consultation with their doctor. This provision in no way opens the door for coverage of undocumented workers.

"Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan."

TRUTH: Page 95 makes no mention of ACORN and Americorps; all it says is that the Commissioner can conduct outreach to vulnerable populations, making them aware of their options.

"Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter."

TRUTH: People who are eligible for Medicaid will not have to face the burdens of paperwork and other bureaucratic struggles. Far from depriving people of choice, this measure will ensure coverage.

"Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No 'judicial review' is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed."

TRUTH: This section describes rate-setting under the public health insurance plan option, which will compete with private insurers, who can set their own rates. Because of inherent advantages like their established administrative and provider frameworks, private insurance companies will not be "crushed" by government competition.

"Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages."

TRUTH: The government will negotiate rates with providers under the public health insurance plan option. However, private insurers will continue to pay their own rates.

"Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives."

TRUTH: This is simply not true. Employers with more than 20 employees aren't even eligible to participate in the exchange, let alone the public plan, until several years after the exchange launches in 2013. Moreover, no employer will be forced to participate in the public plan.

"Page 146: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families."

TRUTH: Employers are required to pay some benefits for part-time employees on a basis proportional to what they pay for full-time employees. No language on this page or the next stipulates coverage for the families of part-time employees.

"Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll"

TRUTH: The payroll penalty applies to employers with payroll over $500,000 who do not provide insurance to their employees. The percentage for employers with payroll from $500,000 - $750,000 is 6%. Employers do not have to offer the public option to avoid this penalty, they can offer private insurance if they wish.

"Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll"

TRUTH: This is false, see above.

"Page 167: Any individual who doesn't' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income."

TRUTH: Pages 167-173 detail what "acceptable health care" means (basically, insurance coverage) and also allow for many different kinds of exceptions to this rule.

"Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them)."

TRUTH: Non-resident aliens do not have to pay the penalty for not having health insurance, nor will the receive federal assistance, because they are not required to purchase health insurance. They are not exempted from individual taxes generally.

"Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records."

TRUTH: This is a gross overstatement. For the purposes of determining affordability credits for Americans who need financial assistance in purchasing health insurance, employees of the Health Choices Administration will have access to tax information that the federal government already keeps. As is clearly stated on page 196, "Return information... may be used by officers and employees of the Health Choices Administration or such State-based health insurance exchange, as the case may be, only for the purposes of, and to the extent necessary in, establishing and verifying the appropriate amount of any affordability credit described in subtitle C of title II of the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 and providing for the repayment of any such credit which was in excess of such appropriate amount.''

"Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that."

TRUTH: This quote is taken out of context, and is in fact referring to a calculation used in the bill. Full context of quote: "'(4) NOT TREATED AS TAX IMPOSED BY THIS CHAPTER FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES.-The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax imposed by this chapter for purposes of determining the amount of any credit under this chapter or for purposes of section 55.''

"Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."

TRUTH: This section has nothing whatsoever to do with reducing services. It makes much needed changes to the way in which physician reimbursement is recalculated every year. The bill will, in fact, create much more opportunity for seniors and the poor to receive necessary care.

"Page 241: Doctors: no matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!)"

TRUTH: Page 241 does not say this. Nowhere does it say this. It does say that physicians will be grouped into certain categories regardless of specialty. These categories merely determine if the physician is engaged in primarily therapeutic or preventative care.

"Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc."

TRUTH: There is no good response to this assertion as it appears to have been made up completely. The section deals with 'misvalued codes' meaning that the government is potentially not paying an acceptable rate for a specific service. This will allow the government to, for example, pay more for services that require more payment, such as high-overhead procedures. The author of these criticisms separately attacks the bill for paying the same rate to all doctors, then attacks again for paying different rates.

"Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries."

TRUTH: This section amends the Social Security Act to include productivity measures. There is no mandate or control of anything. This merely updates the way in which doctors and hospitals are paid through Medicare.

"Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs."

TRUTH: This is simply not true. This slightly amends existing guidelines for payments for medical equipment, in this case power-driven wheelchairs. This section introduces no 'regulations' that are not in the Social Security Act.

"Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!"

TRUTH: Overusage of the hot-button word "rationing" is a way to deflect attention away from the actual language of the bill and incite unjustified fear. This section only compares costs incurred by cancer hospitals to costs incurred by similar hospitals, and adjusts payments to reduce the possibility of fraud and abuse.

"Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions."

TRUTH: This is almost correct. The section is one of the first efforts at targeting excessive readmissions. Excessive readmissions are physically and emotionally damaging to patients, while simultaneously putting them, and the health care system, in far more financial risk than is necessary. The American Hospital Association recommended reduced payments for avoidable readmission in testimony to Congress.


"Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government."

TRUTH: This is patently false. The section is about possible methods that the Secretary of Health and Human services might consider in order to address the growing problem of patient readmission. This section does not, in any way, create a penalty, nor does it even mandate policy. It merely provides examples of recourses that might be considered.

"Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited from owning and investing in healthcare companies!"

TRUTH: This provision only limits Doctor's investments in health care facilities that they refer patients to The effort to limit self-referral has been ongoing for many years as an effort to reduce fraud and abuse. This is, essentially, the medical community equivalent of insider trading. Limiting this incentive works to put the patient's health above all other considerations. Doctors remain free to engage in investment opportunities in areas that don't create a significant conflict of interest.

"Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval."

TRUTH: This section regulates physicians' investment in hospitals to make sure that physicians are not unfairly benefiting from their power to refer patients to hospitals they have a stake in. The section does not prohibit hospital expansion.

"Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on 'community' input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN."

TRUTH: In the ongoing effort to demonize community-based groups such as ACORN, every instance of the word "community" has become associated with that group's efforts. In reality, this provision allows for anyone to provide input. This includes homeowners, religious leaders, neighborhood groups, and others. There are no payoffs. There is no money exchanged in any way.

"Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing."

TRUTH: This provision is included in order to allow the government to base payments on practices that work. Nowhere does it say health care will be rationed. The attempt to isolate what works and what does not work in Medicare Advantage plans only benefits the health care system in general.

"Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc."

TRUTH: The government can disqualify some Medicare Advantage Plans from receiving some additional payments, but only if those plans are not meeting necessary requirements.

"Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals."

TRUTH: This section only deals with how to handle special needs individuals who need to enroll outside of the open enrollment period. Almost every type of plan operates with open enrollment periods. This section does not create more restrictions.

"Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone)."

TRUTH: This section merely expands existing Telehealth programs, which supplement but do not replace other health coverage, and provide a vital resource to Americans in rural and remote areas.

"Page 425-430: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?; Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time; Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death; Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends; Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT; Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life."

TRUTH: All of these hysterical claims have been debunked elsewhere. HR3200 provides for the reimbursement of a voluntary session of end-of-life counseling with your physician once every five years. This in no way means the government will make decisions for patients or encourage doctor-assisted suicide. Counseling simply makes patients and their families aware of their options.

"Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN."

TRUTH: ACORN is not a Community-Based Medical Home.

"Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN."

TRUTH: This is clearly still referring to community health groups, not ACORN.

"Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage."

TRUTH: Covering marriage and family therapy, as many private insurance plans do, does not mean that the government "intervenes in your marriage." The types of individuals who are recognized as therapists are clearly defined on page 491; in brief, professionals only, not bureaucrats.

"Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services."

TRUTH: This section expands government coverage for mental health services under various government programs, and ensures that all mental health services will be offered by qualified professionals.


Source: evana - Health Care for America Now: http://www.healthcareforamericanow.org

Friday, August 07, 2009

Springfield Hangman's Noose a diversion

The Nooses hung at local utility company offices operated by city government are engineered to distract politicians and the public from the primary issue of national health care reform. Local media have taken the bait and are expending all of their energy on a contrived race issue, while the G.O.P. flanks the media and disrupts the progress of health care reform.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Anothe Economic Recovery Myth


The news today is good. They are reporting that the number of unemployment claims has dropped. This is supposed to be a good thing, right?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Rally against Racism in Springfield, Illinois.

August 5, 2009 at 5:00 P.M.

We gathered in front of the Municipal building today to protest bigotry and hatred.

Click on the slide show to go to the main album. There you will be able to look at larger pictures.



Photos from the rally in Springfield taken by Fred Slocombe.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Business Lesson


As long as costs can be cut faster than falling profits, anyone can fake a recovery long enough to dump their shares of stock in the company before the final implosion. They did that at Enron and Worldcom, but they cut their costs so much it critically impaired their ability to operate and they got caught.

The trick is to always have more expenses than necessary in reserve exactly for this situation. Thus you can have a larger window of opportunity to pull the wool over the eyes of the little Day Traders, Red Hatters, and people who watch the sucker network: CNBC.

Keith Olbermann on the Corporation

I couldn't have said it better.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Is the news media stoking racism?

The authors and editors of a publication titled "Cultural Criminology" say YES!
http://www.sageofspringfield.com/cognition/culturalcriminology.htm

The discussion about a noose hung at a workstation at City Water Light and Power continues at WMAY AM 970.

Listen live online at http://www.wmay.com

Friday, July 31, 2009

Recession over?

No. Businesses have reduced their costs faster than their falling profits, creating an artificial improvement in PE ratios.

Sell all of your stock now!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Is the news media stoking racism?

The State Journal-Register published the following story:

Police, CWLP investigating noose hung in water plant workstation

It was immediately implied that the noose was hung in place as a racist statement simply because of the race of the person who found it and the race of the people suspected of placing it.

The newspaper will claim no racist implication other than race was mentioned in the story as a normal method of describing people in the news.

So far the issue of race in this and other instances has only been implied by journalists and not the facts of the case. This report, and so far the news media alone is responsible for stoking and reinforcing racism. Because there are no facts or statements by any people described in this story who directly make racist remarks, we have only to look at reporters and writers who use circumstances to drive the public to make racist inferences.

Race is falsely inferred because the meaning of the noose has been inflated as racist by the media, even though the noose is a generic historical symbol of capital punishment that in reality has wider implications that includes racism as a part of it's utility.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The final say on "Birthers" and "Believers"

There is a difference between stating that someone believes something, and stating that someone is claiming to believe something.

The former is a deliberately implicit attempt to plant seeds of doubt on the issue, while the latter is a realistic statement because you have to be that person to be accurate in your claim that they believe something.

Anyone in the news media who discusses topics about people who believe something rather than discussing people who claim to believe something are complicit in propaganda.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

MSNBC reporting on the "Birthers"

"Birthers" are people who allegedly believe that Barack Obama is not a U.S. Citizen and therefore should be removed from office.

This question was long-ago answered and the issue closed when President Obama's birth certificate was published on the Internet, yet people persist on bringing up the issue despite the overwhelming evidence.

The trouble is, these people don't really believe Obama is not a citizen, they are simply "Swift-Boating" the weak-minded public.

The news media is playing its role by pandering to the idea that these people actually believe what they are claiming. Personally knowing the capability of those people to convince others they believe something they know is false, I'm not surprised that MSNBC would fall for it so easily.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Photoshop CS2 and the Nikon D60

Yesterday I suddenly couldn't upload pictures. I was using Zazzle.com as a service to make posters and T-Shirts. My browser crashed every time I tried to upload a picture.

Zazzle.com was able to upload pictures using a Java program, but errors made me upload the pictures multiple times until it worked.

Both Firefox and Internet Explorer 8 crashed when I tried to upload the pictures. Then, I tried to open pictures in Photoshop, and Photoshop also crashed.

I sent error reports to Microsoft, but Microsoft replied automatically "No solution at this time."

I finally ran a system restore to fix it. The problem was embedded in my operating system's subroutine for selecting files.

The damage was done either by downloading a utility from Cnet.com that was supposed to convert .NEF files to .TIF files; or installing the consumer program that came with the camera just to convert my pictures. A huge waste of space and time. And that's another example of planned obsolescence.

Why the big hassle?

Adobe no longer support CS2. If you purchase a Nikon D60, Photoshop CS2 will not be able to load the newer .NEF or RAW images. They will need to be converted to .TIF files through another program, and if you know Photoshop (on a Windows platform), you know that it does not like to share memory with anything else, it's selfish and temperamental.

If you want to safe yourself time, space, and not have to work with .TIF files, you will need to shell out the $700 for the Adobe CS4 package.

Real slick, eh?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gas prices.

Gas prices gradually crawl up using a saw-tooth pattern that is intended to make the consumers feel a false sense of relief when the price goes down slightly after it spikes. The steep drop in gas prices last December brought the price of gas back down to early 2004 levels. Prices are now back up to Spring 2007 levels after only six months.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Illinois Workforce Development Center

I don't think the Illinois Workforce Development Center is justified in it's existence and should be shut down to save the state money.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Finish Illinois

Okay everyone, here's a solution. Figure out what behaviors you do (I'll do this myself too) that makes the state the most tax dollars, and stop the behavior.

Bankrupt the whole state because they are wasting our money and lining their pockets. We will have to starve them out in order to start fresh.

These people have created bureaucratic fiefdoms and monarchies and this must stop.

Testing at CMS for a state job is just a Red Herring. Workforce Development is a Red Herring. So figure out where most of your tax dollars are generated and divert them elsewhere. Lottery, Cigarettes, Alcohol, Whatever. Enough is enough.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Ripoff Report link available here.



I now posted a link to RipOffReport.com (Special Springfield Edition) in the margin matter of the blog.

http://www.ripoffreport.com

Fireworks at the Carillon

Nope. Didn't get any photos. I couldn't find any place to park. I couldn't even find a place to stop so I could take a photo of the streets clogged with minivans and SUVs. What irked me especially was a limousine that took up three spaces along Lawrence next to Pasfield Park. That's one way to show a middle-finger to everyone else.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The nice thing about Digg.com

Digg.com is really handy when you want to comment on a story published online by the newspaper, but for whatever self-serving reason, they turn off the ability to leave comments.

When I "Digg" a story, it becomes part of my virtual news clipping collection which you can see below if you scroll down. This is called a "Widget." When you sign up for Digg.com it costs nothing, and at the bottom of their page you can find tools that will allow you to put a widget on your own blog.

When you click on the yellow square that has the number of "Diggs," you will be taken to Digg.com where the story is posted. It will show you the comments left by others, and you will be able to see a list of who "Dugg" the story.

You can then find out what else they dugg, and you might make some friends in the process.

Other awesome news: Feedburner.com is now part of Google's repertoire. Feedburner.com is somewhat the same as Digg.com, except you get to constantly watch the same feeds. At first I thought I could only collect my own feeds, but as you can see on this blog way down at the bottom, I "feedburned" the Springfield Rants and Raves from Craigslist.

It doesn't look great and I could go back and change it to show just the headlines, but what would be the fun of that?

☠ A few of today's comments I left behind:

☠ There's always the other government on the Internet. There are a few users here and there, but I have yet to find a central location online where everyone visits and casts their votes on issues. A single online place that can serve as an alternative to the diabolical old club that is occupied by generations of politicians and moneyed patrons.

☠ Dear Illinois Legislature. This tactic is called "pulling up the ladder behind you." Congratulations, the game is over. You closed the door behind you and firmly locked it. Now all that is left is to ensure that you breed generations as heirs to your now Feudal thrones. May I suggest you read "The Prince" by Niccolo Machiavelli. It will hasten your footsteps upon your current path of leadership. He has a few suggestions you may find familiar and others I'm sure you will gleefully incorporate into your diabolical repertoire.

☠ The public sector is hoarding skilled labor from the private sector which cannot afford to pay higher wages that will create more disposable income to circulate in the local economy. Some businesses are happy to be in close proximity to a lot of state offices and couldn't care less how their own employees are suffering through such low wages and no benefits as in Springfield. I imagine that the rest of the state's communities that have very few state offices have balanced and equitable local economies where prices are generally lower. It's a horrible existence.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Swine Flu

The mountain out of a mole hill

Judge Sotomayor’s sense of humor is beyond the range perceived by main-stream journalism. The predilection for conflict in everything, which is the meat of main-stream journalism, has spoiled the reality and the facts of so many situations that main-stream journalism is tainted by it's desire to make everything interesting. It cannot survive in this age of high-speed information. The mischaracterization of Judge Sotomayor's statement is a crystal clear example of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Radio talk show host evades the truth on WTAX

WTAX - Jim Bohannon was interviewing author David Bacon of the book "Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants"

The author stated that the main cause for illegal immigration from Mexico was that corporations such as Cargill glutted the Mexican market with corn, driving the prices down so much that it became impossible for local farmers to make a profit. Consequently they lost their land and had no recourse but to migrate to the U.S. to find work.

The problem, Jim Bohannon said, was that it was against the law, and that was his focus during the entire interview. Every time the author mentioned the corporate foreign policy of destroying foreign economies, Jimbo would continuously repeat "But these people shouldn't come over the border because it's against the law.

Remember Farm-Aid? Right here in the U.S. http://www.farmaid.org was started because the same practice was going on right here in the U.S. Giant Agribusiness corporations were glutting the local market with grain and beef to drive family farms out of business so they could buy up the land at cheap prices.

As a direct consequence, people had to migrate to the cities to get work. Now they are getting laid off. They have no land as a fall-back position.

David Bacon discovered the real cause of why we are having illegal immigration, but Jim Bohannon would have none of it. He just kept looking away. This is why the Republicans fail. They refuse to see the un-sustainability of what they allege to be a “Free Market Economy.”

Monday, May 25, 2009

Requiem for an abandoned blog


It's no longer an issue, sides rather, there are no sides, there is only the staff of physicians hovering over an enigmatic patient for whom they have little hope and are ready to transfer to hospice.

The ideology of the "right" drove U.S. foreign policy to the point of being hated by all foreigners. The ideology of the "right" drove an antiquated unsustainable economic model to death, and to this day the few that remain believe they are Napoleon.

It just doesn't seem right to complain anymore. It actually seems cruel to criticize them "because they no not what they do."

There's simply too much information available to the public to make it worthwhile to criticize the "right" anymore. Even their sad, sad cartoons.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What you don't know won't hurt you

George didn’t believe in driver’s education, he didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

Never mind how he learned to drive, his biggest fear was that his children would get hurt if they learned too much about it in advance, but he knew his children would one day drive a car when they reached the legal age.

Until then, he decided, his children would be allowed nowhere near his car or even see the keys, and especially not one of those rules-of-the-road books, that would be just irresponsible in the eyes of George’s community.

Mike had a safe full of guns and ammunition. He liked to target practice and hunt, but he absolutely didn’t want his children to know anything about any guns until they were old enough, but how old is old enough?

Sarah has a motorcycle but she absolutely didn’t want any of her kids to even think about riding a motorcycle, ever.

Okay, what is wrong with these people? They all use the notion of “Abstinence-Only,” which means simply “Stay away and ignore it, and maybe it will just go away.” Or “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” Does it make sense? Will their children be safe from exposure to driving a car, shooting a gun, or riding a motorcycle?

The United States Federal Government seems to think so, and so do most of the state governments.

I received an email from Planned Parenthood of Illinois this morning asking me to send an e-mail to Governor Quinn stating the following: [edited for clarity]

“Reject federal funding for Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage programs!

In your FY 2010 budget proposal you included a continuation federal Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage (AOUM) funding. I urge you to reject this federal funding. These programs do a disservice to Illinois youth.

A federally-funded, nonpartisan study of the effectiveness of AOUM programs has found these programs to have no impact on the sexual abstinence of youth. The students' AOUM education had no effect on the age of first intercourse, number of sexual partners, or condom usage. Continuing to fund ineffective AOUM programs is throwing good money after bad.

Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections are important problems. Comprehensive sexual health education programs (which include information about abstinence, contraceptives, and sexually transmitted infections in addition to other key elements) are proven to delay sexual activity and prevent disease among young people. While stressing abstinence, comprehensive sex ed provides students with the information they need to stay safe and healthy.

Again, please reject the federal Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage funding so Illinois can move forward with positive programs that protect our youth.”


The Illinois Governor has an opportunity to accept or reject funding that will go to such programs in the states, but I challenge President Barack Obama and Congress to suspend that program’s funding altogether on the grounds that it is a violation of the separation of church and state.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tea Party at the State Capitol at 1PM


I read a post on Craigs List Rants and raves that a Tea Party was to take place and I missed it. Because it was yesterday

Here's the post:
http://springfieldil.craigslist.org/rnr/1178221173.html

I didn't read it until around noon this morning. I was bored anyway so I went down there and snapped off some photos anyway. It sure would have been nice to get a little more advanced notice.

I wonder if it made any difference?

Monday, May 18, 2009

American Idol

Are you into American Idol? I never saw the show, but I know just enough to know that anyone who actually watches that show is at the same time having their pockets picked.

In economics, an opportunity cost is another name for something else you could have spent time on. For example, American Idol is an opportunity cost of education. That is where you are getting ripped off.

Moment by moment your life is slipping away as you sit there and admire someone who doesn't even sign your paycheck.

I suppose you could say you were studying for Springfield Idol.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The art fair clouded by metal music?

Art Fair? If you subscribe to the Illinois State Journal-Register, you may accidentally read about the art fair a couple of days in advance, if you're lucky. I also discovered it listed at the Illinois Times website as well, but only after breaking through the barrier of being put-off by it for so long.

Why was I put off by it? I have an aversion to so-called "metal" music. Substitute the word "bad." I was classically conditioned against it when my ears rang for a week after a particularly bad experience. I thought I was going to have permanent Tinnitus.

So naturally browsing through the "Pub Crawl" section of Illinois Times I see listing of band after band playing in bar after bar. My head would start to hurt and I would put the magazine down, for literally months.

Websites such as eventful.com are a very poor source of information because the site relies on input from local individuals. Eventful.com is full of similar music venues as Illinois Times.

I was getting just as put-off by it as I was Illinois Times, but someone actually posted the Illinois State Fair, an event that requires no late nights, no alcohol consumption, no ear plugs, and does not close at five o'clock.

But sadly, the Art Fair going on right now at the Old State Capitol cannot be found at eventful.com

Sites like Craigslist.com have event sections, but they are clogged with advertising that have nothing to do with local events. No mention of the art fair there either.

The underlying problem is the distribution and saturation of event information. Publishers, in their attempt to reach the widest audience possible, have homogenized their content to such a degree that their product becomes unattractive.

I added http://www.bandnut.com/ to my list of links. If you in a band you can post your venues and other stuff there, and you can stay there.

I'm going to check out the nice peaceful art fair. Maybe next time I'll pick up the Illinois Times and see more frequent non-alcoholic, non-late night, non-ear-busting events.

Thankfully, I no longer have to use the phrase "Smoke-filled."