Sunday, July 17, 2011

Leave Casey Anthony Alone

It really saddens me that people who claim to be constitution supporting Americans believe that if their opinion differs from a jury they are free to harass, threaten, and denigrate a person who was found not guilty by a jury of her peers. I don't agree with the verdict but I DO respect the process and the verdict of her peers. My disagreement does not entitle me to persecute this person or the jury through any means including social bullying on Facebook, or Twitter or anywhere else.

If you are a constitution supporting American then you must respect the system that tells us we are all innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The system is not perfect but it is certainly better than Mexico where you are guilty until proven innocent.

Consider this, would you want the Attorney General Eric Holder to function under a system that  says we are guilty until proven innocent? Would you want police to act with illegal immigrants under a guilty first system?

I suspect that both progressive liberals and conservatives would all find something horribly wrong with that type of system.

So unless you have EVIDENCE of another crime committed by Casey Anthony then you must let her live her life as an innocent American.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I can no longer respect the NAACP

The NAACP says its mission(1) is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination." Why then does the NAACP ignore Minister King Samir Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party when he says "You want freedom? You're gonna have to kill some crackers! You're gonna have to kill some of their babies!" ?

While at the same time generating a resolution based on "claims of racism, most notably in March near the end of the bitter health care debate. U.S. Reps. John Lewis, Andre Carson and Emanuel Cleaver said some demonstrators, many of them Tea Party activists, yelled a racial epithet as the black congressmen walked from House office buildings to the Capitol. Cleaver, D-Mo., also said he was spit on." (2) None of those claims could be confirmed despite all of the recordings happening at the time of the alleged epithets.

We have clear undeniable evidence of a confirmed racist spreader of hate speak in Minister King Samir Shabbazz that the NAACP ignores while they condemn a group based on allegations with no clear evidence.

How can anyone respect the NAACP or their mission while they behave like this. I will no longer contribute financially to their organization until they decide to actually follow their own mission statement without regard to race.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Comment about my Arizona thoughts along with my responses

The following is a rather lengthy comment in response to my post in support of Arizona. Rather than just publish the comment I felt it was best that I post the comment with my responses.
I will put the relevant Poster part first followed by my response. You will find the comment in its entirety attached to the Arizona post.

" I saw Jay Leno at Correspondent Dinner his best line was; “That was my favorite story (this year) Republicans and a Lesbian bondage club. It’s ironic, Republicans don’t want lesbian getting married but they do like watching them “tie the knot”. So I thought that was interesting.”
My Response:
This has nothing to do with the Arizona law or even imigration. I find it fascinating that this persons first response to my post is to go completely off track and paint a group of people based on a Jay Leno joke or even to paint an entire group of people based on a single event. Oh wait that's profiling so maybe this person is giving us an example of profiling.
You can say the same about Tea Party (they are haters not debaters or as others have dubbed them screamers not dreamers), they say they respect the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence but they do not mind passing laws, through weak Governors (no one voted for this crazy) who only care about getting reelected on the backs of undocumented workers, that will not pass Constitution muster, just like Arizona’s House Bill 2779 from two years ago and your MLK Day ban, keep passing them Arizona and the rest of us will continue to challenged them in a court of law and you will fail again (and yes we will Boycott Arizona). Their phony patriotism is sickening; they are just racists going by another name. We all know you are just itching to put a sheet on their head?
My Response:
Since I never mentioned the Tea Party and no official in Arizona was elected by a Tea Party that I am aware of I am not sure what the point of that part is.
I do agree that you challenge laws in the court, that is the right place to challenge them because what is looked at is the actual law and not irrational fear of a slippery slope that someone is convinced will happen even before the law is implimented. Boycotts among neighbor states are not the answer and only end up hurting everyone. California is having enough trouble managing their own house without attacking a neighbor. As far as undocumented workers I think that's the point to not allow that slavery class to exist because of illegal immigration.
It would have been great to see this person actually read the Arizona law and then comment on the parts that concern them as potential for problems. That however would have meant this person actually had to read the bill, actually had to think about the existing federal law, and instead of mud slinging would have engaged in a real conversation. Unfortunately individuals like this do not think, they only spew the mindless dribble from whomever they receive it be they the left or the right.

The rest of this is a mindless wandering set of mud slinging statements that have nothing to do with my Arizona law post. I will not address this for that reason however I will leave it here to indicate the state of this persons mind.

Let’s face it the Republicans had eight years to deal with health care, immigration, climate change and financial oversight and governance and they failed. It appears that the Republican Party is only good at starting wars (two in eight years, with fat contracts to friends of Cheney/Bush) but not at winning wars as seen by the continuing line of body bags that keep coming home. The Republicans party will continue turned inward to their old fashion obstructionist party (and their Confederacy appreciation roots) because they continue to allow a small portions (but very loud portion) of their party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” to rule their party. I will admit that this fringe is very good at playing “Follow the Leader” by listening to their dullard leaders, Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush, Savage, Sarah Bailin, Orly Taitz, Victoria Jackson, Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Blowhards and acting as ill programmed robots (they have already acted against doctors that perform abortions). The Birthers and the Tea party crowd think they can scare, intimidate and force others to go along with them by comments like “This time we came unarmed”, let me tell you something not all ex-military join the fringe militia crazies who don’t pay taxes and run around with face paint in the parks playing commando, the majority are mature and understand that the world is more complicated and grey than the black and white that these simpleton make it out to be and that my friend is the point. The world is complicated and people like Hamilton, Lincoln, and Roosevelt believed that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now it’s about dancing around the claim of government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. For a party that gave us Abraham Lincoln, it is tragic that the ranks are filled with too many empty suits and the crazy Birthers who have not learned that the way our courts work is that you get a competent lawyer, verifiable facts and present them to a judge, if the facts are real and not half baked internet lies, then, and only then, do you proceed to trial. The Birthers seem to be having a problem with their so called “facts”. Let’s face it no one will take the Birthers seriously until they win a case, but until then, you will continue to appear dumb, crazy or racist, or maybe all three. I heard that Orly Taitz now wants to investigate the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC), she wants to re-establish a family values party, that’s like saying that the Catholic Church cares about the welling being of children in their care, too late for that. Yee Haw!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Arizona is doing the right thing for their citizens

And before you go there, illegal immigrants in the state are not citizens of the state.

Before any more ignorant individuals decide to "boycott Arizona" perhaps they should read the actual law. Here is the link to it Click Here The protections in the bill against profiling/racism are completely spelled out and that is mostly because the federal law already has those protections built in.

The real problem here has nothing to do with the actual law because all it does is restate the existing federal law, the real problem for some people is the law might actually be enforced more successfully now since Arizona citizens can sue people like the Mayor of Phoenix that want to interfere with law officers actually enforcing the law.

In 2009 there were 2,426,400 non-farm employees and ~500,000 illegal immigrants in the state. Now everyone knows that prices for what we buy are set by a forces referred to as supply & demand. What many people do not realize is that labor rates are set by the same set of forces and if only half of those illegal immigrants are taking jobs then the labor pool is diluted by 10% and labor rates for many industries will remain lower. When you hear a company or industry spokes person say "these are jobs Americans don't want to do" what they are really saying but not going to tell you is that "these are jobs Americans don't want to do FOR WHAT WE WANT TO PAY THEM". Industries like landscaping and others employing illegal immigrants keep labor rates lower for everyone by doing so.

You go Arizona and everyone who believes in the rule of law should support Arizona. Perhaps even spending a little money this year specifically on Arizona Made Products

Even though it is made in New York I will even be buying extra Arizona Tea products this summer.

Come on people, illegal immigration impacts all of us in some way not just the border states.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fox News Channel and the White House

First I want to make it clear up front that I have watched CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News a great deal over the last 10 years so I have enough experience to weigh in on this dust up between the White House and Fox News.

Members of the Presidents staff have accused Fox News of "not being a real news organization". So if Fox News was not doing a good job of being the watch dog the press is suppose to be then why would institutions like the New York Times say this:
"Executives at other news organizations, including The New York Times, had publicly said that their newsrooms had not been fast enough in following stories Fox News had been heavily covering through the summer and fall — namely, the focus on past statements and affiliations of White House adviser Van Jones that ultimately led to his resignation and questions surrounding the community activist group ACORN"

I believe that the vast majority of Americans can distinguish between commentary shows (that tell you on almost every show that they are not journalist but are commentators) and news programs that call themselves that. If you watch Glenn Beck and Chris Wallace and you can not tell the difference then you are blinded by your own prejudices. Glenn Becks web site actually says the "fusion of entertainment and enlightenment" which pretty much tells you this is not news from a journalist. It does not appear that our current Presidents administration can tell the difference between commentators and journalists. .

Napoleon Bonaparte
“A journalist is a grumbler, a censurer, a giver of advice, a regent of sovereigns, a tutor of
nations. Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”

Perhaps the White House has started their anti-FNC efforts because they fear the information presented. Perhaps we should all watch FNC, check the facts presented ourselves (easy enough with youtube and the Internet today) and then decide whether there is merit to what the White House is communicating or not.

Benjamin Franklin gives us another reason to look into this ourselves and decide:
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of

The purpose of the free press and the job of journalist is to be a watchdog and inform the citizenry when wrongs are done and abuses occur. Watch CNN, MSNBC, FNC, etc, and then decide for youself who is truly being a watchdog and who perhaps is being a lap dog. While we all know the internet is full of wrong information we also know that many facts can be confirmed through the use of the internet.

Quotes are from this source

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Duke Nukem Forever is Never - MIA not KIA

Well it seems that Joel Siegler (See his comment on my "Duke Nukem Forever is not happening" blog entry) was pretty close to dead wrong. As I stated in that post 3D Realms is, in my opinion, incompetent in its approach to delivering Duke Nukem Forever. And it seems news releases have now come very close to confirming that I was right and Joel was wrong about the potential for Duke Nukem Forever to ever see the light of day.

See this article

The really sad part here is that if 3D Realms had been only reasonably competent in their approach to delivering products to their customers it is likely they would still be in business. I suggested before and I still believe their best approach is to license the Duke Nukem property to a company that is actually competent in creating, testing, and delivering good video games to their customers. Perhaps Bungie or Infinity Ward?

Very sad that these guys, in my opinion, let arrogance destroy their company. The arrogance that said "when it's done". Think about how much customers were crying out to own this game, I would refer you to their forum but the 3D Realms website is already shut down, and it's pretty obvious the game would have been a significant money maker.

But perhaps playing World of Warcraft was just a higher priority for them.

I certainly hope someone picks up the Duke franchise.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Duke Nukem Forever wins #1 Vaporware Spot!

Well Duke Nukem Forever continues to earn top marks as Vaporware. Check out the latest at Wired Magazine. For 2008 DNF gets the #1 spot although it should be noted that Heroes Journey is only 2 years behind DNF so who knows if DNF actually releases then it might lose the #1 Vaporware spot of all time.

Mr Anonymous tells me it will be an AWESOME game whenever it releases. I am not sure how he/she knows this because so far the teaser trailer is extremely unimpressive. If you slow down the video you see some really crappy quality on both characters and the backgrounds. They flash the monsters by real fast but a little closer inspection shows some real boring coloring and cartoonish graphics in the background. The blood splatter on the bus looks flat, Dukes muscle shirt has little depth to it and looks like he painted his skin. Granted its a teaser so perhaps the final product will be awesome or perhaps with so much FPS competition out there it will be just another "whatever" moment for gamers.

On a happier note Dawn of War II the sequel to 2004 Dawn of War releases February 19th, imagine that a sequel that was produced in 4 years, what a concept.

Perhaps 3D realms should sell the Duke rights to a company that actually believes in producing products for their customers and retire with a boat load of cash to play WOW full time with hookers and cocaine as their guild partners. Hey it's a thought and I am not the first one to have it.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Podcasts are fun on the run

Podcasts have been around for a while now but never interested me until I had something portable to play the podcasts. I could play them at my PC but I have better things to do when working or playing on my PC. Now that I have a Zune I have really gotten into podcasts on everything from Buzz Out Loud to Ugly Betty (OK yes I like to watch Ugly Betty). The reason for this is because I can play them on the run with my Zune. I can listen at Starbucks while having coffee or play them in the car through the AUX port while driving, or play them while sitting in some waiting area for doctors, car repairs, etc.

The Zune software has made it real easy to access podcasts where ever I find them on the internet so now I look for podcasts as I do research on the web. Obviously other software can do this just as well but what is important to me is the software made it easy to do without having to be some podcast technical guru.

Thanks to PirateT7 for introducing me to podcasts all those years ago even if it did take a long time before I actually used them. :)

Gamestop is wrong to worry about Steam

Rumor is GameStop is refusing to sell or take orders for Dawn of War II because the game requires installation of the digital download capability STEAM. GameStop corporate is cutting their nose to spite their face on this one. I find it hard to believe that I am the only gamer out there that prefers physical media to digital download. I will be picking up Dawn of War II at another retailer now that GameStop has made this poor decision.

Check out this article

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Duke Nukem Forever is not happening

Duke Nukem was a great game released in the 90's and in 1997 the company 3D Realms announced Duke Nukem Forever as a game they were developing for release in 1998.

In 2000 Wired Magazine ran an article on the top 10 vaporware products.

"The winners of the Wired News Vaporware 2000 awards in reverse order are:

10: Tribes 2:
9: Wireless Web Pads:
8: Bluetooth:
7: Silicon Film's Electronic Film System:
6: Warcraft III:
5: Intel's Itanium chips:
4: A New Linux kernel:
3: Black and White:
2: Duke Nukem Forever:
1: Mac OS X: "
Link to the article I quote:
The only one of these to NEVER see the light of day in 10 years is Duke Nukem Forever.

It even made PC Worlds list of the top 15 vaporware products of all time.

It seems the title was very prophetic since it will be the far side of forever before it ever releases. The saddest part is 3D Realms treatment of their fan base, you should see the list of topics you are not allowed to discuss at their forum. Basically anything to do with the fact that they are incompetent and completely unable to plan a project to deliver this game. I work in software development so I understand the kinds of things that can derail, delay, cancel, etc product development. At this point they should just cancel the product all together and stop stringing their customers along. By this time Halo, Doom, Quake, Gears, Resistance, Call of Duty, etc have taken such a chunk of their customers away that I doubt any Duke they would manage to release could ever recoup the development cost. And notice the companies that work on these other games have actually managed to complete a software development project to produce a successful product multiple times during the last 10 years

3D Realms - Stop jerking everyone around and stop being so arrogant with your customer base. It will be done when it's done I expect from a 10 year old not from a business entity that is suppose to actually produce a product.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

HellBoy 2 - a very fun ride for fans

I have to say I enjoyed the first HellBoy movie and enjoyed the second even more. It's not for everyone but I hope fans of the HellBoy series will positively react to the second movie so we could perhaps get a third one :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

France must like repeating history - AKA Chip on shoulder=stupidity

France's foreign minister has made some very interesting statements about the United States. Here is the gist of what he said

PARIS — Bernard Kouchner, the foreign minister of France, said Tuesday that whoever succeeds Bush in the White House will have to restore the United States' battered image and standing overseas [...].

[...]Kouchner said the United States will never be the country it was before the Bush presidency and would have to work to repair its reputation, especially since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. [...] He added that, although it will take time, the new president will have “many means to re-establish the image” of a country whose reputation is suffering. [...]

"We have to talk with our enemies," he said.

I especiallyi like that last statement. Talk is all the French actually seem willing to do and this is not the first time. Remember that little bit of history called WWII, now before you start telling me to get over it and times are different hear me out.

Consider this point:
Hitler started to re-arm Germany and in 1935 he re-introduced conscription (the recruiting of all young, able men into the army). This was against the terms of the Versailles Treaty. Britain, France and Italy condemned Germany's actions but did nothing to stop her.

Yes I know Italy was a bad boy later on but still the two leading world powers talked and did nothing.

And this piont:
the Rhineland area it was to be a 'demilitarised' zone. But in 1936 Hitler marched troops into the Rhineland. The French had a much bigger army than the Germans and could have driven the German troops out. But the French army took no action.

And this point:
when Hitler marched troops into Austria, Britain and France only protested.

And a final point"
Neville Chamberlain, [...] (British)Prime Minister in 1937, was determined that Europe should not be dragged into another world war. He wanted to find out what Hitler wanted and if necessary, give it to him in order to maintain peace. This was the policy, popular at the time known as appeasement. Hitler told Chamberlain that once the question of the Sudetenland was settled he had 'no further territorial ambitions Europe'. Britain and France therefore persuaded Czechoslovakia to hand over the Sudetenland to Germany in order to maintain peace in Europe Hitler had lied.

Action is often neccesary to prevent larger problems later down the road. Problems that may or may not be caused by previous actions such as the Versaiille treaty being a big part of what brought about WWII.

The problem with the French is they only care about themselves, it is not their population being poison gassed, it is not their leader who refuses to allow UN inspectors unfettered access, it is not there leader that ignores every UN sanction making that form of diplomacy useless and it is not their people suffering needlessly.

Do we need to talk? absolutely! but to the extent that things get completely out of hand.

When is the right time to take action? I am not sure and I don't think anyone can really ever know before the action is taken. Because of this we must ask ourselves is the action we are taking making positive contributions and not just to us, like the selfish French, but to those we are helping.

Consider the progress that France and liberals want us to ignore:
Pessimists have been repeatedly wrong about the prospects for postwar political progress in Iraq.
They doubted that the Iraqis would finish writing an interim constitution on time in 2003;

they doubted that sovereignty could be transferred to an interim Iraqi government by that constitution’s deadline in 2004;

they doubted that elections could be conducted on the constitution’ ambitious timetable, in January 2005.

They were wrong on all counts.

One last point about progress in Iraq:
Although critics impatiently complain about its slow pace, Iraq is making much faster progress in standing up an elected government than Germany or Japan did following World War II. Given the tremendous damage inflicted on Iraqi civil society by more than three decades of dictatorship, the Iraqis are doing remarkably well in forging a national consensus among the Shiite Arab majority, Sunni Arabs, Kurds, and other minority groups with a long history of mutual distrust.

I don't want any countries soldiers or citizens dieing in a war and yet there are circumstances that demand such sacrifices. France only wants to talk which means ZERO sacrifice on their part and continued sacrifice on the part of others they refuse to help.

Link to French foreign minister story
Link to before WWII information
Link to progress in Iraq article

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Berkely California is PRO rape, PRO murder, PRO torture,

It occurs to me that the city of Berkely must really enjoy rape, murder, discrimination against women, torturing children, and poison gas as a means of controlling a rebellious population.

You see if you are against what we are striving to do in Iraq than you are willing to allow all of this to return.

So let's see
The city of Berkely California is PRO rape rooms.
The city of Berkely California is PRO mass murder of men women and children.
The city of Berkely California is PRO chemical weapons of mass destruction.
The city of Berkely California is PRO torture. Not the silly water boarding kind, I am talking the feet in the plastic shredder kind of torture.
The city of Berkely California is ANTI a judicial system that does not do as told

This article from the Wall Street Journal gives you an idea of what we stopped. My only complaint is we did not help the Iraq people soon enough.
Criminal Against Humanity

We can choose to disagree about why we went into Iraq and we can choose to disagree about how to best complete operations there but one thing we should not disagree about is that we are doing much more good by being there than by not being there. If the City of Berkely California ran our country prior to WWII we would all be talking German or Japanese today.

Let's not be totally short sighted about this and lets support every one of our troops completely even while we argue with our politicians about how to best complete operations.

Monday, January 28, 2008

RAMBO - as true to life as it gets

This weekend I saw Rambo, I was both horrified and impressed. The story is plausible and it highlights the Burma civil war in graphic detail. Killings in this movie are so real it will make most people cringe and turn away. The important thing to remember is the realism is not exaggerated but rather is showing you truly some of what is going on in the ongoing Burma civil war as well as the realities of what must be done to protect the innocent. Cruel, violent, men without morals or conscience can not be negotiated with they can only be removed like a cancer from the earth.

This movie is well worth seeing if you have the stomach to know what it really is like for the people of Burma and those that try to help them.

Monday, January 07, 2008

You know your a racist when.....

This December I had a horrible encounter with a member of our camping club. We were having what started out as a good dicussion of political candidates when suddenly this person says "I don't know what would be worse a woman or a nigger in the White House." To say the least I respectively explained to him that a persons skills, knowledge, ability to lead, etc. are determined by many things. The color of their skin or what they have between their legs are two things that do not determine anything. I find it so dis-heartening that we are 144 years past the emancipation proclamation, 53 years past Brown vs. Board of Education Topeka, KS. and we still have people that judge others by color or gender.

The flip side of this to be fair are people of color that think all white people are racists, I know such a person. This is just as bad and until this event the most racist person I knew was a black person.

Judge all by their actions, and deeds. Do not judge them by appearances.

Back to Blogging I hope

Well the fall and holidays was a killer time for me at work and at home. Pretty much put blogging and a bunch of other stuff on hold for months :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 - Is this really what you want?

I thought our country supported our military troops even though some of us disagreed with the current Iraq policies? If this is true why does attack our military leader with their advertisement. General Patreaus was almost unanimously approved by Congress and yet now liberal democrats remain silent when their dictatorial master attacks this fine commander.

Could someone, anyone, point out to me what is wrong with our Iraq policy? I see people happily voting in IRaq, I see women getting educated, being allowed into politics, and freed from the tyranny that existed in a regime that ruled through torture and fear. I read the transcripts I can find from Saddam's trial and shudder at the many examples of WMD's turned loose on the IRaqi people. I remember U.N. inspectors being prevented from confirming the elimination of all WMD's and related technologies in Iraq.

Do Americans really cower and want to turn away because a minority of bad apples in Iraq want us out before the country achieves true democratic Independence? The path to freedom and democracy is not an easy one and not something that happens on a set timeline. I know we want more political progress to be made but leaving does not abandon politicians that are not doing things fast enough. Leaving abandons all the wives, mothers, women, children, men, fathers, and husbands that seem to relish their freedom as demonstrated by their enthusiasm in elections.

For any that read this and comment I ask one specific question of you that I want your comment to address: Do you condemn what has done in its Patreaus add?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Xbox Live is Poisoning Your Children

As many of you know I am an avid gamer and play many games online through Xbox Live. The games I play are mostly rated M for Mature meaning adult only, sort of like an X rating on movies. What I find surprising is the number of very young children I hear playing these games which are extremely brutal with significant foul language. The game is actually the tame part of the experience for children under 17. The really vulgar part of the experience is many of the people on live. You hear people, including many young children, curse and degrade players with terms like Mother Fucker, Gay asshole, and nigger. Yes I used the N word because outside of some movie use Xbox live is the only place I hear children calling other people these terms. Your children are learning hate, foul language, and how to degrade others if they are playing on Xbox Live. Every parent that allows their child to play online must sit-in and listen to what they are experiencing. Many parents I am sure would immediately cut the network cable if they knew what was really going on. Here are some other things I hear all to often when playing games online.

You fucking newbie, go play with yourself you motherfucker

Your a God damn nigger you fuck!

Yea I raped your mother too shit head!

That's right asshole I tea bagged you!

Your so fucking gay

And trust me this is just the tip of vulgar iceberg. Parents listen to what is going on and take control before your child thinks calling people niggers or motherfuckers is acceptable.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I read the Presidents Speech again and I still think we did the right thing for the right reasons

Reading the entire speech from President Bush on Iraq before the war I still think America made the right move for the right reasons. I was and still am unwilling to wait for those that are proven enemies of freedom to go too far before we do something about them. Remember President Clinton passed over a chance to stop Osama before he became too dangerous and look at the repercussions of that decision. We should not judge President Clinton on this single point though because again he made what he believed was the best decision based on the information he had available at that time.

New information or changing intelligence does not mean we stop a course of action unless you truly believe that course of action is wrong in its entirety. Abandoning the freedom loving, struggling voters of Iraq is wrong. We are not a conquering nation and there are many reasons to see this through. Including helping in the overall war on terrorism. I love the fact that we are catching Al Queda leaders over there.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Equating disagreement with the President's strategy with lack of support for the military [ is nonsense ]

The title was a comment I received on a previous post and this person could not be any more wrong. Who according to our constitution is the Commander in Chief of the military and why do you think our founding fathers knew that a war run by a political committee was doomed to fail. Our founding fathers and other wise men after them did know that the people through their representatives needed to approve any war. They also knew once that approval was given the President needed to run things and not political parties. Congress approved the war, Congress approved the current military commander in Iraq, unanimously, and they approved the troop escalation his plan called for. But now suddenly when it has become politically expedient for them to do so some of these same people start calling for troop withdrawal plans, less than month after starting the new strategy they voted for they say it has failed. Then they choose to play political football with troop funding including increased compensation for the volunteer military personnel that are implementing the strategy congress approved. There is only disagreement with the President's strategy because Democrats and secular progressives see it as a political win to disagree. I applaud those in Congress who have asked for improvements, got those improvements and now want to provide our military commanders the time to enact new strategies.

We can only fail in Iraq by turning our backs on our military and all the freedom loving people of the world. The terrorist organizations that are arranging for beheadings' and road side bombings are the same terrorists that attacked the US, Spain, Britain, and other countries that love freedom. Anyone who thinks the people in Iraq causing trouble are not terrorist organizations needs to pay closer attention to the all the facts coming out of Iraq. If the people of Iraq were not interested in Freedom and getting the help they need then they would not have turned out for the elections in such large numbers under the threat of death from terrorist organizations.

Iraqi's genuinely want to be free and here is one example:

"He [top U.S. commander in Baghdad] said that in the Abu Ghraib area more than 1 500 fighters had volunteered to serve in the Iraqi security forces, with 300 new recruits showing up each day.[...] They also have to take an oath of allegiance to Iraq, Fil said."They want to fight with us. They are tired of Al-Qaeda and the influence of Al-Qaeda in their tribes and in their neighbourhoods, and they want them cleaned out," he said."

Here is the link to the full story Click Here

I have one last comment. Read as much testimony from Saddam's trial as you can find and then tell me we should not be there, he never had WMD's, and we should not stay.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

If Democrats were in charge in 1776 our country would not exist

I don't understand why Democrats keep harping on a pull out strategy, a strategy for losing to the enemies of freedom. Why is it so hard to trust our military leaders and be supportive of their efforts to help an entire country to live free and never again be a haven for terrorists that want to destroy us. And on top of that liberals want to blame our President for starting a war. Joy Behar on "The View" when discussing Presidential candidates said perhaps we would elect one that won't start a war. When did President Bush launch missiles into the World Trade Center, when did President Bush blow up the U.S.S. Cole, when did he support training camps in Afghanistan, when did he drop poison gas and nerve gas on Kurdish Villages in Iraq, when did run Iraq as a dictatorship friendly to terrorist groups?

Our Military has some of the best leaders in the world and while no human is perfect I do believe our military leaders have implemented a better strategy in Iraq. Our military leaders deserve our support and deserve our patience. None of us wants people dieing in Iraq. Our military soldiers have the dedication to see this through and they deserve us continuing to support them instead of trying to demoralize them by asking for a pull out plan.

Tell me this which wars ended better, those we stuck with or those we bailed on because we lacked the backbone to finish. And please don't confuse Vietnam with Iraq. In Vietnam our President thought he was a great military leader and he screwed the pooch by micro managing the military. President Bush is relying on his military professionals like a President should. That is why the supporters of Freedom will win in Iraq when we did not win in Vietnam. And this is why we should stick with Iraq until the job is done instead of acting like scared yellow children who are easily bullied by the guerrilla tactics used by terrorists.

Monday, June 25, 2007

FOX news fair and balanced is too much for Democrats

I am still pretty surprised by the reaction of Hillary Clinton(She dropped the Rodham part) Clinton and Barack Obama to a debate on Fox news sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Both of them are shunning the debate. Consider that the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation started looking for a television outlet for a debate four years ago and in that time only one news outlet made an acceptable offer to them. That news outlet is Fox News, how much more fair and balanced can you get than to work with a fine organization like the CBCF to put on a political debate for the largest cable news audience in the country. I am not sure what constitutes acceptable to the CBCF but surely this means a well structured and fairly run debate. Why then would leading democratic candidates shun this debate merely because they "feel" Fox News is a pro conservative news outlet? Who gives a care and even if it is pro-conservative isn't that the audience these democrats want to convert to their side? In my opinion Fox News is more fair and balanced than other cable and network news outlets. Their only sin is in being willing to deliver the conservative message that previously was relegated to only talk radio.

Consider the mission statement of the CBCF:
"With a focus on Leadership Education, Public Health, and Economic Development, CBCF is the premier organization that creates, identifies, analyzes and disseminates policy-oriented information critical to advancing African Americans and people of African descent towards equity in economics, health and education."

This debate on Fox News is exactly the sort of activity that supports this mission statement. Regardless of your race or political slant all of us should be very angry with any presidential candidate that refuses to debate on any national platform offered to them and that includes the CBCF debates on Fox News.

References for this blog include:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What is wrong in Boulder? or how to get a secular progressive to really piss people off!

The details of the Boulder High School discussion panel about sex and drugs is all over the news and the Internet so I won't repeat that here. What I will say is there is no way to experiment with drugs responsibly, there is no reason to encourage teens to experiment with sex, there is no reason to suggest it is natural for teens to experiment with homosexuality, unless you are a secular progressive that wants more people to be as immoral as you are. But of course secular progressives think there should be no rules and everything you want to do should be OK with all of society. Alcohol abuse, illegal drugs, sexually transmitted diseases have not claimed enough lives yet for them. Secular progressives want our teens to do these things "responsibly" but do not think anyone should have to be responsible for their actions "that do not hurt others." I wonder if a mother that lost her child to meth agrees with that or a parent that has lost their child to alcohol agrees with this. People are hurt every day by the immoral acts of those they love and people around them, that is what makes these things immoral, their damage to society.

The secular progressives on this Boulder High School discussion panel showed their true nature.
How long will society last if our country is shaped as they wish it to be? Perhaps chaos and complete lack of any social health is exactly what they wish.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Paris Hilton - You get what the judge thinks you need

There are a lot of self appointed experts in the media trying to justify why Paris Hilton should not serve time in jail or should be allowed home detention based on what punishment was or was not handed out to other celebrities or people. I think people are forgeting that the judge sat through the whole trial and determined based on all of the information in the trial what the sentence should be for Paris Hilton.

Personally I don't think Paris showed any respect for the court or the law during this whole issue and that contributed to what many perceive as a harsher sentence than necessary. The judge decided this sentence was needed to get through to Paris and get her to take this part of her life seriously. If the judge saw true remorse and respect for the law coming from the plaintiff I think that allows the judge to go easier on a plaintiff. There is no such thing as a single sentence standard that can be applied to everyone. The circumstances of the crime and the need to get through to a person are important parts of the sentencing phase.

Love or hatred by the public toward a celebrity has nothing to do with how any judge should or does determine a sentence.

And let us not forget that a DUI is part of this as well as a probation violation both of which would result in a much harsher sentence for most people in this country.

Paris needs to shut up, sit down, serve the time, and then take a more serious approach to the law of the land in the future.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Democrats do not think Fox News viewers are worth talking to..what do you think?

Can you imagine the screams that would come from the liberals and secular progressives if Republican candidates refused to debate on an extremely liberal biased television channel like MSNBC or CNN? If the democratic candidates truly believe that Fox News is biased toward conservatives and attracts conservative viewers then refusing to debate on that channel means they do not believe conservatives need to be informed on their positions or hear their messages. How can Presidential candidates justify refusing to debate in front of the largest cable news audience in the country?

Here are some graphs representing viewership. The first is prime time and the second is day time viewership among cable news channels.

How sad that secular progressives are so unsure of their message that they can not debate on the most viewed cable news channel in the country. Democrats need to realize they are dismissing a large portion of the country and that is about as un-American as it gets. Can anyone that cares about themselves and their country really connect with candidates that could that care less about them?

Here is my source for the graphs.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

The war on terror is like the cold war...long and hard and worth all the effort in the long run

People in America need to understand that the war on terror is a long and hard war just like the cold war was. Obviously the difference is that the war on Terror is on many fronts. Iraq and Afghanistan are only two of the fronts. Home land security is another front, the border with Mexico is another front in this war. I find it hard to believe that the general population of Iraq wants to be under the thumb of Islam extremists and that is exactly what happens if the good people of this world leave Iraq one second sooner than is right. Liberals that grew up in the 60's seem hell bent to have another Vietnam and have only bad things to say about America and our efforts to free the people of Iraq. Wake up people, citizens of Iraq were tortured, gassed, shot, arrested without any form of due process, and suffered without many of the freedoms and comforts that all Americans enjoy. Why is it so many Americans are convinced that people are getting hurt because we are in Iraq. People were getting hurt and suffering a long time before we got there. In fact I think we waited to long to go help the people of Iraq that had no clean water, food shortages, no electricity, mis-treatment of women and people out of power, lack of medicines, while those in power partied and built palaces to their glory. Before you decide we need a time table for with drawl you should really read what was happening before we got there. I have read many of the transcripts from the trials that have been going on over there and what those people have to say tears at my heart more than what the insurgents are doing now. God bless our troops and the military leaders in their efforts to keep a people free from tyranny. And liberals stop having such a short sighted view of this war.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Microsoft Customer Service has lost a loyal customer

As most of you know I am a pretty big fan of Microsoft and their products. This includes my love for the Xbox 360. Well my loyalty to Microsoft has been shattered by a horrible customer experience. My 3rd Xbox 360 died on the 17th of April with the now famous red ring of death. This was too much, I was really pissed from having two refurb units die on me after only 6 months of use on each. I called the Microsoft support line, went throught the required troubleshooting and then told the guy I wanted them to send me a NEW unit and I would return my unit in the same box. I am tired of the long turn around times to replace the damn thing when people with Best Buy contracts just walk in and swap. I was told they could do this but another department handled that so my case was escalated to this 2nd level department. I was told I would hear back in 24 -48 hours. Forty-Eight hours later I call them again, this time I am told I am scheduled for a call back between 7 and 9 pm that night.

Now who can guess what happened between 7 & 9 pm? uh come on say, NADA, absolutely f*&^%_$# nothing. So I call back which was useless but I did and NOW I am told I will get a call back on the 22nd of April, a Sunday. I do keep trying to get connected to whomever these 2nd level people are but the supervisor just keeps telling me they have no way to cal l them. Of course the truth is if the outsourced partner calls Microsoft then the outsources partner pays a penalty to Microsoft.

Now who can guess what happened on Sunday? You people are all so quick today, your right abolutely no fuc%$^& phone call from anybody at Microsoft.

I decide to go around these people and right to Microsoft directly. This is not an easy task, their contact phone numbers are hidden better than Jimmy Hoffa, but I do find the number and manage to conince the auotomated operator to connect me to a human operator, again no easy trick but I am smaaaaaarrrrter than the average bear. This very nice lady, who speaks perfect American English, explains to me there is not "Customer complaint department" that she can connect me to. Microsoft ONLY takes customer complaints through email. At this point I am wondering and I say this with all respect for the victums but I am wondering if the Virginia Tech murderer was an Xbox 360 owner because my stress level with this situation is now way over the top.

I relent and send an email to the person, I do not wish to name, that the nice lady gave me. The email address appears to just be a dumping box to some customer complaint team. The email address is I was actually contacted within hours of sending that email. I sent the email on April 23rd at 11:40am ET and heard from the person assigned to me by 6pm ET that night.

On the downside this person explained that Microsoft is unable to ship me a new unit first. I even offered to provide a credit card in case I ripped them off but MS is not setup to process things this way. That is sad. On the upside the person said he can in fact replace mine with a new unit fresh off the production line. The unit won't be "retail" since it is not in a retail box but it will be a newly manufactured unit. So now I sit here waiting for the empty box that will arrive next Monday to my house.

From start of this to getting my empty return box will be a total of 13 days, I should have just had them send me an empty box on day 1 :(

At this point I have lost all respect for Microsoft customer service and my loyalty has been shattered which means I will no longer promote them or their products to friends and family.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Do anti-war protestors really understand what is at stake?

In an article from A.P. about anti-war and pro-war protesters I found what I considered to be a very enlightening quote from an anti-war protester.

"Too many people have died and it doesn't solve anything," said Ann Bonner, who drove through snow with her husband, Tom O'Grady, and two children, 13 and 10, from Athens, Ohio. "I feel bad carrying out my daily activities while people are suffering, Americans and Iraqis."

"Too many people have died", of course too many have died, even one dieing is too many but here is the problem. You can not resolve issues with those that seek only your destruction and do not seek negotiation. This has been true through out time and only when a group that does evil is put under enough pressure do they begin to accept the concept of negotiation. Remember that most of these terrorists are religious zealots that only seek the complete and total destruction of "the western world"

"and it doesn't solve anything," Really, perhaps we should examine what has been accomplished in Iraq as a result of the allies efforts to fight terrorism. Women have a right to education, more people have clean water and electricity than ever before. Please notice we did not fix, secure, and protect the oil fields. We have been fixing infrastructure that was dilapidated under the palace building dictatorship of Saddam and the beneficiaries of our efforts are the free people of Iraq. We have stopped an entire society, the Kurds, from being slaughtered for having the audacity to disagree with the previous government.

"I feel bad carrying out my daily activities while people are suffering, Americans and Iraqis." If this person is going to "feel bad" then feel for the true suffering that was endured by these people when no one would help them to become free. Kurdish families and indeed whole towns were attacked with poison gas. These butchered defenseless people are who we should have felt bad for a long time ago.

The problem as I see it is that this war protester like so many others does not examine the facts but instead only reacts emotionally to vague statements like "Bush lied to us" or "this was is over oil". By the way if oil was all we really wanted we would have ignored the U.N. sanctions and happily traded with Iraq for oil. Here Saddam we only care about the oil so how about we guarantee to buy 5 million barrels a day, cash, and you guarantee us $30 a barrel oil for the next 10 years? Deal? cool and good luck with those pesky Kurds and women who want equal rights.

Check your facts and then think about this stuff people, quit dragging your family across country for an anti-war rally because you "feel bad". None of us feels good but those of us that seek out a few facts very quickly realize the price we are paying today will do more for humanity over that long term than anything else we could have AND DID try.
Title: War Protesters, Supporters Rally in D.C.
By LARRY MARGASAK and MATTHEW BARAKAT (Associated Press Writers)
From Associated PressMarch 18, 2007 1:05 AM EDT

Monday, February 12, 2007

WOW am I behind in blogging

I have been disappointed in my blog. The primary issue is no one ever finds my blog to read and comment about. I used Google to search EXACT phrases on my blog and Google never even finds my blog. Unless I can completely correct this issue I see no value in blogging, hence my long abscence.

I know I need to look into this more but for now I am just sulking :(

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bill O'Reilly - Culture Warrior

First let me set the foundation here and say that I am not for or against Mr. O'Reilly and to tell you the truth I knew very little about him when I picked up his new book "Culture Warrior". I had not read anything by Bill O'Reilley in the past and I have watched his show "The O'Reilly Factor" only a few times in the past. The reason I need to set this foundation is because of how many people I have run across lately that are rabidly opposed to this man and yet have not read his writings or watched his tv show either. People see me reading this book and immediately indicate disgust and ask me how I can believe the trash this man spews. This has happened more than once and from strangers as well as people I know. I politely explain this is my first exposure to him and then I ask what they thought about the book, the answer is always the same, they never read this book or any other by Bill O'Reilly. OK, then what was it about his TV show that turned you off? The general response boil down to "Fox news is a bunch of lies and I wouldn't watch his show to save my life"

These people are the mindless sheep of our country that will in fact sell us down the river because they will believe any feel good dribble the seculiar progressives espouse. If you are going to dislike Bill O'Reilly then do so based on facts and read his books so you know where you disagree.

I found the book to be well written with facts, that I could confirm, very well presented. Perhaps the real problem for people is understanding what is at stake takes too much effort and just going along with what "feels good" is easier. What is right and best for us is not always what feels good.

While I do not agree with every position Bill takes in the book I do agree completely with this"

"it is simply better public policy for the United States to stay close to the vision of the Founders, which includes independance from big government, hard work, personal responsibility, and looking out for your neighbor" p174, Culture Warrior

Tell me this, do you think this [read next paragraph] should be allowed for anyone that feels like having this done?

" I stood at the doctor's side and watched him perform a partial-birth abortion on a woman who was six months pregnant. The baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. The doctor delivered the baby's body and arms, everything but his little head. The baby's body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. The doctor took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby's head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. Then the doctor opened the scissors up. Then he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp."

Apparently if it feels good to us it does not matter how it feels to the baby.

This is the sort of thing that is allowed to go on as seculiar progressives try to eliminate personal responsibility and looking out for your neighbor as concepts in America.

If you disagree with me then read the book and post comments of substance. If you haven't read the book then we have nothing to discuss.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gears of War Player Review

Gears of War for the Xbox 360 has been a great deal of fun to play. The AI is pretty good, the graphics really are 2nd generation quality on the 360, and the story line is well supported with great cut scenes. One down side is the single player is very short. There are three difficulty levels: Casual, Hardcore and Insane. I played through the whole game in under 9 hours on the casual level and on Hardcore I have gotten through about 1/2 of the game in 5 hours.

My recommendation is folks rent this game and if you enjoy it enough and want to continue to play online then it might be worth purchasing. Honestly you can play through the single player a few times in a one week rental.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Marie Antoinette Movie was horrible

This past weekend my son and I went to see the movie Marie Antoinette for extra credit in his French class. This movie was horrible almost from the start. The story was very disjointed, the transitions between scenes were too slow and almost incomprehensible. We were dragged through this movie and never were able to connect with any of the characters. The characters were flat and two dimensional with no story to even play with in most scenes.

Take my advice and rent the 1938 version of this movie.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How does a closet beta tester become official

My friend Sparky has me hooked on Microsoft OneNote and helped me to get a beta installed that I currently use. As you know my friend Sparky is looking for employment elsewhere. While I do plan on staying in touch with Sparky I do wonder what the process is to let MS know "Hey I like this and want to be an official Beta tester for you, how I do dat?"

I am going to try and promote OneNote to my team and user our sharepoint server to store notebooks that we can share, this should be fun.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oh My God! I might leave Xbox for PS3!

Ok, many of you know I am an avid Xbox 360 and XboxLive gamer. I really love playing online games and video games in general. So much so that I also travel with my Xbox 360 and play from my motorhome over wifi and from hotels on business trips. Here is where the problem comes in. Many wifi providers require IE browser to authenticate into the wifi network. THE XBOX 360 HAS NO WEB BROWSER! So I get stuck offline about 90% of the time. Well according to this writeup the PS3 will have that browser I need.

Unlike the Xbox 360, the PlayStation will incorporate a browser so that gamers can surf the web via their console.

If I can surf the web then I can get access to those browser login pages I need to use to gain wifi network access.

Please Microsoft, please, please, add browser support so I can use IE on the Xbox 360 to log into wifi networks and then play my heart out.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Starbucks is really going to crap!

For many years Starbucks would change the flavor of their coffee multiple times a week. Bold, Mild and Decaf move around and let us both explore and enjoy a variety of coffees. Then a couple years ago they flavors went to changing weekly. This was not as good but it was ok, 104 flavors a year seemed pretty good (I do not drink decaf). Now my Starbucks has stopped changing the flavor. They have had House Blend as the mild flavor for WEEKS and they tell me it will stay that way until the end of the year! If I wanted the same flavor coffee every week I would go to one of the Bread Company places.

Another thing that made Starbucks interesting is they would re-arrange their furniture from time to time. Reminded me of coming home from school and finding my Mom had moved everything around. Well it seems the district manager does not like this and has insisted that the furniture remain one way to facilitate getting more customers through more quickly. Excuse me but it is this kind of attitude, worrying about revenue above everything else, that has caused me to leave other businesses. And they have stopped changing their music selection as much too, instead of each Starbucks having a variety of cd's to play they all now must use that crappy Hear music service.

Certainly I want them to be profitable and I know moving customers through quick helps, having a consolidate music service reduces costs etc. but I go there for the atmosphere as much as anything and they have killed the atmosphere.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Layoffs suck all around

A very good friend of mine has been laid off from the company we both work for. He is actually the friend who introduced me to blogging and opened my eyes to many other internet technologies. To be sure the layoff sucks most for him and his family during this time of uncertainty. At the same time it also sucks for those of us left behind who keep looking over our shoulders and wonder when the layoff bullet will finally hit us.

My friend, we will call him Sparky, has a valuable skill set that I think is really needed in the company so why then did the layoff hammer hit him? Like so many it is all about where you are in the company and not about your skills or value to the company. If you organization can save the company tons of money by shipping labor over seas to China or India or Costa Rica or even Canada then your organization will do that. Corporate America does not care that the average family income continues to drop year after year, they only care about cutting out the cost of labor as much as possible. Of course this does not extend to off-shoring our CEO's or Vice-Presidents.

I want to ask Sparky how the job hunt is going but I also don't want to rub salt in the wound since I am still employed. I want to tell him how much his friendship means to me but guys usually don't speak about such things. I want to apologize for not being a very good friend most of the time. Most of all though I want him to know how much I have appreciated his willingness to put up with me and open my eyes to so much in the world of technology.

I hope we can still see each other at Starbucks once in awhile Sparky.



Monday, July 10, 2006

Don't take your eye off the immigration ball

With all of the recent news about North Korea launching missiles and Iran refining weapons grade uranium it is easy to forget about other major issues. Illegal immigration is one of those issues and this issue is impacting every working American on a daily basis. Total employment is about 144 million right now. If illegal immigrants are anywhere between 11 and 15 million then those people are artificially diluting the labor force by as much as 10% and that is reflected in lower competition for labor which translates to lower wages for everyone.

Don't take your eye off the ball because anyone in this country that earns an average income is losing ground because of this issue.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Why do we owe illegal immigrants anything?

I here a lot about it being impossible to remove 12 million illegal immigrants from the country and therefore we need to make them "legal" overnight and provide a path to earned citizenship. Excuse me but this country has never shied away from doing the impossible. Employers that employ illegal aliens must be severely punished and when the jobs dry up for the illegals then those illegals will go home. Every foreign citizen that wants to work in America or become an American citizen must do so according to the laws of this country. Illegal immigrants negatively impact everybody from an economic stand point and they prevent our capitalist system from working as designed. The only thing businesses are worried about is their profits. Capitalism does not guarantee any business a profit and hiring illegal immigrants to avoid raising labor rates to what legal citizens are willing to work for is unethical business at best.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hiring illegal immigrants is an unethical business practice

The mantra of industries that hire a large number of illegal immigrants is that the work they need done is not something Americans are willing to do. Product and Service pricing is set by many factors that most economists would boil down into supply and demand. What no one in these industries will admit is that labor rates are set by a very similar set of factors that also boils down to supply and demand. If you demand labor (employees) and you do not get enough candidates then you must increase the compensation offered or make other changes to attract more potential employees. The same way you lower or raise prices to create demand for products or services.

A representative of the landscaping industry was on WGST Atlanta the other morning with Tom Hughes and explained that American children are not raised to do this kind of work. He also explained that the average wage in his industry was good at $9.50 an hour. And from his perspective, with unemployment at 5% there just are not enough workers available.

First lest talk about American Children and how they are "raised".
In 1999 (the latest year I could find data on)
62.9% of high school graduates enrolled in a college.
70.6% of the 17 year old population was high school graduates.
46.6$ of students completed a 4 year BA/BS degree
(Data on college completion rates is for the prior period, BA degree complete in 1995-1996)

The available labor pool for industries like landscaping would seem to be fairly significant.
For every 100 seventeen year olds in 1999 there were
30 without a high school diploma
26 with high school diploma that did not go on to college

I looked at over a dozen landscape labor job postings and almost none listed any qualifications required. Here are the requirements for one landscaping job listed on the web
Job Requirements
Required Qualifications:
Skills Requirements:
GENERAL LABOR, landscape

Note that a high school diploma does not seem to be required and so the labor pool of 56 out of every 100 seventeen year olds would be available for these jobs. The Landscaping industry must now compete for these employees with other companies and industries. This is where supply and demand starts to set labor rates for an industry like landscaping.

"Wal-Mart claims an hourly wage of $9.68 an hour is its national average" While some independent research indicates this amount is lower I will use both what Wal-Mart claims and what the landscaping industry representative have said as fact for this discussion.

It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that the average 18 year old would rather work in a low stress air conditioned Wal-Mart then doing the more grueling work involved with landscaping, FOR THE SAME WAGE. So what does a landscaping company need to do if it is going to run an ethical business? They need to increase their compensation to attract employees away from employers like Wal-Mart. This is the capitalist system. Yes this will raise their costs and prices and will lead to a thinning of the heard as far as landscaping companies go but that is legal, ethical, and natural business in a capitalist system.

Employing illegal immigrants artificially manipulates the labor side of supply and demand. It brings in a labor pool that under legal circumstances would be just as happy to work for Wal-Mart but cannot do so easily. The advantage to the landscaping industry is lower wages, reduced costs and increased profits. If this industry played by the rules it would create higher paying jobs that folks from Wal-Mart could move to in order to improve their situations. Because illegal immigrants are so heavily used this opportunity has been eliminated for citizens of America.

Consider that a fulltime worker at $9.50 an hour is ending up with about $15,000 in their pocket (80% of gross income). If the industry played by the rules the compensation they provide would have to increase to attract enough laborers. To keep costs down the industry would have to become more efficient in other ways. This is how our system is supposed to work.

Keeping costs and prices down is not a valid justification for employing illegal immigrants and so the industry tries to hide behind the fallacy that "this is work Americans are unwilling to do". Shame on any industry that wants the sales side to play by the rules of supply and demand but refuses to allow the labor side of business to play by those same rules, unethical business practices are never justifiable. Remember the goal of a capitalist system is NOT to keep you in business.

Final note: Tom Hughes indicated his wife hires a couple women to do their landscaping on a regular basis while the person across the street has a crew of potentially illegal immigrants show up and do his landscaping. Tom is paying more money for his service and lamented that he is a fool for paying more. I strongly disagree and I applaud Tom for playing by the rules and insisting his contractor do the same when it comes to employment.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Protecting my Xbox 360 investment

Well it happened to me, my Xbox 360 died a horrible "internal software error" death. The unit was still under warranty so it is being repaired/replaced for free. This experience has me thinking more about protecting my huge investment in this system and the associated games. I plan on being on this platform for at least the next four years and really don't want to run into more trouble.

Let me say here and now that the unit has run perfectly until this event and I have no complaints about the unit at all.

So what am I to do if I want to protect my investment. Well I am going to do three things to protect this investment.

1. I will purchase the extended warranty, the price is reasonable for two years and gives me peace of mind.

2. I have not had any indication of heat problems BUT you can never keep technology like the Xbox 360 too cool, and the cooler you keep high tech devices the longer their life in my opinion. I am buying an accessory to help keep the unit cooler. The cooler I have chosen is the Nyko Intercooler 360. The unit was only $20 and every review I could find from users were very positive.

3. Because the 360 allows the covers to be removed (for replacing with cool skins) I will be diligently blowing the unit clean with compressed air on a quarterly basis to avoid a dust build up.

I believe this combination of things will help to avoid any problems related to heat as well as give me a comfortable back stop if the unit should up and die again on me.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Illegal immigration is just that ILLEGAL!

I believe we should strengthen our borders, and punish employers seriously for hiring illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants would not come into this country if there was no employment. Employers that higher illegal immigrants are do it to contribute to our economy. They are hiring these folks to take advantage of people that are willing to work for wages far below the value of the work. Consumers want low cost but I do not believe consumers want low cost at the expense of other people being taken advantage. That is EXACTLY what employers that hire illegal immigrants are doing. They are taking advantage of people to line their own pockets with more cash. Market forces should set the wage rate and price of goods. That relationship should not be manipulated by keeping people poor.

Perhaps some of these jobs are not filled by legal immigrants and citizens because the wages do not fir the work. Employers should raise the wages and the prices to be able to provide these products, they should not take advantage of the poor from other countries so we can have cheap apples and low cost landscaping.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

President Bush is too polite at press conferences

I find it amazing that liberal biased media journalists keep asking the President why he "wanted to go to war". Not only did he not want to go to war but once war was upon us it is the Congress that approved going to war. Why then did these Congress men and women approve going to war. For many obvious reasons that are as true today as they were then. Terrorists brought the war to us and we took our response to them where they live, train, and recruit. The major media outlets seem to want to ignore everything that is true about this situation and only concentrate on the clarity of things brought by hind sight. Journalists that documented the use of WMD's against Kurds in Iraq are suddenly indignant that intelligence reports before the war were not 100% accurate about WMD's. Excuse me, if Saddam used them once, he would certainly be willing to use them again and you can only use the best intelligence you have to make the best decision you can. That goes for Congress as well as the President.

I still believe that we are in Iraq and Afghanistan for all the correct reasons. Eliminating terrorist strong holds, bringing freedom to millions that yearn for it, and trying to create some stability in an area of the world that is historically instable. Perhaps if we had been as pre-emptive in 1939 then millions of people would not have been exterminated by the Nazi regime across Europe and Russia.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I am part of the BlogOsphere and I support the President

Starting with Rush Limbaugh there seems to be a growing opinion that the BlogOSphere is comprised of extreme liberal nut jobs. Today I heard Tom Hughes, on WGST 640am radio in Atlanta, connect the term extreme left democrats and blogosphere. I realize that organizations like are out there on the extreme but not all bloggers are liberals. I am a conservative but rather than preaching fear and half truths on my blog about the President I choose to blog about life in general. Apparently conservative bloggers need to start dedicating some of their blogging to supporting the conservative values we agree with.

According to Tom Hughes, the blogosphere is very angry over the war in Iraq. I am always amazed at how selfish and self-centered liberals can be. Here we are a country that millions around the world have come to for the sole purpose of having freedom and yet we are suppose to ignore regimes like Saddams and NOT help others to have the simple freedom of choosing their own destiny. OH! That's right, liberals know better what is good for us, we should sit down, shutup, and do as they see fit. I do not think so.

I know that bringing freedom to Afghanistan and Iraq has cost us and is costing us American lives. This is not a sacrifice that I or any of us should commit to easily. When we do commit to this sacrifice it must be for something as important and critical to human beings as freedom. We can argue over how Iraq got to where it was for ever and never agree to what should or should not have been done, etc. I do not shy away from that debate I only point out that the current objective of bringing freedom to an enslaved, downtrodden, and abused populace is of such high importance to humanity that at this point it does not really matter how we got here. What matters is the smiling faces of millions of purple fingered people in Iraq that have tasted true freedom and are hungry for more.

As estimated 8 million people, 60 percent of eligible voters braved violence and calls for a boycott to vote in Iraq. A string of homicide bombings and mortar volleys killed at least 44 people, including nine attackers.

Americans suffer no such threats at 99% of polling places and yet we do not vote in such enthusiastic numbers, that is the power of people that are hungry for freedom, we take our freedom for granted.

99% of Iraqis's are praying America does not abandon them until they can truly stand on their own against the 1% ooppressorsrs that wish to return to the good old days of the powerful few dominating and controlling the lives of the many. Hey, wait a minute, isn't that what liberals want to do to us? Hmmm, maybe their anger with the war in Iraq is making sense now.

Liberals seem to forget or perhaps refuse to understand that conservatives do not "support war" but rather that we understand that in the course of history it is sometimenecessaryry to go to war in order to bring freedom and stability to an enslaved nation. War is NOT the first course of action but it is a course that once chosen cannot be abandoned for selfish reasons leaving other people to suffer once again under the yoke of oppression.

Were liberals so self-centered that the ONLY reason they approved the war in Iraq was because of weapons of mass destruction? Did the suffering oIraqis's, the documented brutaatrocitieses of Saddam's regime, and the DOCUMENTED use of weapons of mass destruction against the Kurds have nothing to do with their decision to support the war? If liberals reasons for supporting getting into the war were in fact so self-centered and narrow then it makes perfect sense that liberals now want out. The war serves no purpose for them and they could care less about what it means to humanity, the future of millions of people in the middle east, or the fact that turning tail and running would reduce our ability to help others in the future.

Let me close by saying that I appreciate the sacrifices that our military men, women, and families have made since 1776 to protect the freedoms we all enjoy and to bring freedom to others. The Germans, the FrenchIsraelis's, and countless others have the freedoms they enjoy as a direct result of our country putting the importance of freedom above the preservation of our own lives. Well maybe the liberals don't but I think the majority of Americans do, and if we don't we are doomed to losing our freedoms very soon.

Thanks for reading, Eric

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Call of Duty 2 needs an upgrade!

I have been playing Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and this game has the kind of lobby system for online play that I wish COD2 had. GRAW is first of all as awesome of a game as COD2, killer graphics, fun game play, and for people like me that love playing but suck we can kill bots in the online game.

I really want COD2 to do a major upgrade and give us a great lobby system. Another problem might be achievements, GRAW gives achievement points for online play while COD2 does not.

On a side note, I believe it would be best if all 360 games(that are xbox live enabled) provided 1000 achievement points for campaign and another 1000 points for online play, or 500 each at a minimum. Today it is a mixed bag where some games divide points and others do all points for the campaign

Call of Duty 2 needs an upgrade!

I have been playing Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and this game has the kind of lobby system for online play that I wish COD2 had. GRAW is first of all as awesome of a game as COD2, killer graphics, fun game play, and for people like me that love playing but suck we can kill bots in the online game.

I really want COD2 to do a major upgrade and give us a great lobby system. Another problem might be achievements, GRAW gives achievement points for online play while COD2 does not.

On a side note, I believe it would be best if all 360 games(that are xbox live enabled) provided 1000 achievement points for campaign and another 1000 points for online play, or 500 each at a minimum. Today it is a mixed bag where some games divide points and others do all points for the campaign

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Quake 4 Online play is not so awesome

Quake 4's online play through Xboxlive works great and is a pretty fun time except for one minor little quirk that is aggravating to some of us. Jumping. People spend so much time jumping around like a bunch of hopping bunnies that the game is no longer any fun for those that want a first person shooter with some realism to it. The jumping is very fast, frantic, and short unlike Halo 2 where jumps are relatively slow and long. This is where Perfect Dark Zero really excels for folks that like first person shooters, there is no jumping, but you do tuck and roll in a realistic fashion and at a realistic speed in any of 4 directions.

I you want to spend your time jumping like a bunny and hunting bunny wabbits then Quake 4 online play is for you. If on the other hand you want more realism in the movement of a first person shooter then switch to Perfect Dark Zero.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Westinghouse 37" LCD HDTV Monitor LVM-37W1

I finally picked up a wide screen monitor for my entertainment center. The unit is made in China by a company that uses the Westinghouse name on the box. I found this unit to be the best all around unit for my needs. And one of the very few that will do 1080P.

The picture quality is EXCEPTIONAL, I could not be happier with the picture. This unit will accept 420P, 420I, 720P, 720I, 1080I and the important difference for me is that it will accept 1080P which helps me be prepared for the future. This was one of the few that had a resolution of 1920 X 1080, almost every other unit was X 768. Other units cost more for the lower resolution.

One warning about stores that sell this and other units. All the stores make the picture look perfect on the units they want to sell, which is usually the more expensive ones. Don't trust the picture you see at the store. Look for the features you want and the price you are willing to pay. I picked up this unit for $1499. At home this units picture looks as good or better then units selling for over $3000 at the store.

Display modes allow you to show standard TV in a square box with black bars on the side or a zoom feature puts the picture up to full screen mode. 420I looks good in the zoom unless there is a very dark background then the pixelation from the zoom appears. Switching to the standard TV view resolves this completely. The Xbox 360 games are so awesome looking as to be unbelievable. I hooked up the laptop for the first time and I am not sure how I will ever live with a normal monitor or laptop screen at home again. Having the real estate to use with the laptop and using the Bluetooth keyboard/mouse from the lazy boy chair is something I could definitely get used to :)

The number of inputs was important to me because I really hate to use a switch box to move between different video sources. I have the following components hooked up

Xbox 360 Component Video 1
Xbox Component Video 2
DishNetwork DVR AV (I am considering moving this to the S video port instead)
Laptop VGA port

This still leaves two DVI inputs for the future

Now my quest is to put a unit like this in every room of the house!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Xbox 360 Condemned Game

In this game you are a federal agent that is accused of shooting two police officers. A stranger that was a friend of your dad helps you escape capture so that you can hunt down the real killer. There are minimal traditional weapons in this game such as hand gun and shot gun. The primary weapons are bashing weapons such as steam pipes, rebar, fire axe, sledge hammer, etc. You also have investigative tools such as black light and digital camera that you use to collect evidence. That evidence is sent through your cell phone to the lab who gives you results and help along the way. The graphics are smooth but very unimpressive and really this game is hardly as good as a standard Xbox 1 game.

This game is a little too dark for me. I am up to level 4 and I have spent the entire time having to use a flashlight and grope through the dark. This gets tedious and makes the game feel like graphics were an afterthought. I prefer games that are more balanced when it comes to using a flashlight. Yes it is cool and should be needed during some of the game but the flashlight should also not be needed during some of the game as well.

This game is definitely a rental before you buy.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

XBOX 360 - Quake 4 is AWESOME!

This game is by far the best overall game so far that I have played on the Xbox 360. The game play is smooth, graphics are excellent, and the online play rivals Halo 2.

There are a wide variety of reviews of this game with weapon details, in game pictures, etc. so I will keep my review short. The game play is just awesome for a first person shooter and if you enjoy the thrill of fighting evil you need this game for your 360.

Try this link for a good discussion and information on Quake 4

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Xbox 360 - Call of Duty 2

My Setup: Xbox 360, 27" Flat Screen 4:3 TV

I picked up Call of Duty 2 with my 360 back in November and I am still enjoying playing the campaign mode. The graphics are very realistic and the 360 has the power to show think like a soldiers breath in the cold Russian air. Frame rate is high enough to make the entire game run very smoothly with no slow down or jerking during extreme amounts of action.

Video cut scenes explain the current situation and take you from battles in Russia to the African Desert and onto the D-Day invasion. Mission objectives are added as each mission moves along. Most of the objective updates are spoken by commanders during battles. The dialogue is realistic with mission discussions happening all around you, and like I said, some are directions to you by commanders during a battle that give you new objectives.

The action shifts gears from slow to extremely fast action during the game. You can be slowly sniping the Germans during one objective and then in the next you have to really think and move to avoid being killed during an ambush.

I played online only a couple of times, the Live ability of this game is horrid. The problem here is that the Halo 2 lobby system has really spoiled those of us that like to form parties, chat in the lobby about what we are going to play, etc. COD2 does not offer this sort of live environment. I will be trying it some more and experimenting with the live portion in the future so expect an update on this part at some point.

My current gamer score is 760 with four levels yet to complete on the hardest difficulty setting.

I highly recommend this game as a great first person shooter campaign game and military history buffs will appreciate the realism and fairly accurate recreations the game uses.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Over the next few weeks I will be posting my opinions about the Xbox 360 and the games I own. This week I examine the system itself, next week I will start game reviews.

I was one of the lucky ones that pre-ordered the Xbox 360 and received my unit on the launch day back in November. I got the $399 full system, an extra controller, and two games. The games I got at the time were Perfect Dark Zero and Call of Duty 2. Since I have gotten Project Gotham Racing 3 and Quake 4. Following are my opinions after a couple months use on a normal 4:3 flat screen 27" TV.

Xbox 360
The graphics are fantastically crisp, clear, and smooth in all of the games. The graphic detail is very impressive and includes little extras that I have not seen in other game systems. In Call of Duty 2 you can see someone's breath in the cold Russian air, lip movement is more natural and matches better what is being said, facial features overall are much more natural. The Dashboard is a set of tabs or folders and is very easy to navigate. The system has the ability to download game updates, videos, skins and Microsoft Arcade games to play, one game is included free, Hexic HD, a variation on Tetris. Most of the downloads are for sale such as the arcade games. Rather than charge the payment to your credit card you have to purchase "gold points" that are used to pay for any downloads. This means Microsoft gets money up front for what you will buy in the future. There are FREE movie trailers, many in both 720p and 420p, that can be downloaded. Downloads on my 1.5Mbs DSL are much faster on the 360 then they are on the Xbox 1.

The system definitely runs HOT and I had to move the system from a slot in my entertainment center with 3 inches clearance all around to a slot with 6 inches of clearance all around. I plan on installing some sort of supplemental fan system to move heat out of the slot it resides in. This heat problem is likely why Microsoft moved the hefty power supply into an external enclosure instead of leaving it in the system.

The wireless controller is 2.4ghz and works flawlessly while my 2.4ghz wireless network is busy. Ergonomically the controller is well designed, feeling very comfortable in my hands and not causing finger fatigue. The white and black buttons of the Xbox 1 controller are now secondary trigger buttons above each of the triggers. This took some getting used to since I would suddenly push one while furiously working the trigger.

The Live headset that came with the system plugs into the back of the controller, it includes a mute slide switch and volume control. The head set SUCKS in almost all aspects. Sound quality is horrible, the sound breaks up and the headset is not very comfortable on my skull. Some of this could be the audio circuitry in the controller itself. I am looking forward to this being a situation that is drastically improved by the after market industry. Plantronics WHERE ARE YOU?!

The only backward compatible game I have played on the unit is Halo 2. The download to enable this went fine, and since the first download there has been another update to the backward compatibility for Halo 2. H2 on the 360 does not seem as responsive to me and I seem perform better playing H2 on the Xbox 1. Others I have asked had split opinion on this, some notice a difference and some do not. Backward compatibility ONLY works if you have the full system with hard disk drive or buy the disk drive option for the core system.

The 360 definitely rocks and from my perspective has already paid for itself in enjoyment. Usually I am one of those that waits until the price drops and I am always a year or two behind on consoles. This time I am EXTREMELY glad that I did not wait because I am really enjoying this system.

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