Food for Thought

Migrating to Windows 8 from XP (yes, there are still computers running XP) is not easy.  Forget all the fancy tools for moving your data – Get a portable hard drive & physically copy the data from the old computer to the hard drive to the new computer.  If you don’t know how to do this, get a techno-geek from your family (every family has one) & bribe them with their favorite food or beverage.  You will save yourself a lot of grief in the long run.

In my opinion, Eric Holder and Barack Obama have together made racial tensions higher in this country than any other administration.  Every statement that these two have made that I can remember is more about racial justice (i.e., the minority is always oppressed) than racial equality.  Their statements and handling of the  Professor Gates incident, and the Trayvon Martin & Michael Brown shootings show that they are more interesting in balancing the racial scales than they are about actually bringing about the equality promoted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  To whit:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Thinking about the Michael Brown shooting and the recent shooting in the same area, I have still to figure out how the rioters could possibly be protesting the shootings by looting and trashing the local businesses in the area.  The businesses had nothing to do with these deaths.  Why didn’t they march on the police station and mayor’s office?

I’ll let you think about that one for a little bit…

Ran across this statement by Esther Cepeda on the Oakland Press Opinions page:

The inevitable result of affirmative action is contempt for those it is supposed to benefit.

After institutions have been begged, cajoled or scolded into diversifying their ranks, minorities who get the opportunity to bring their unique views to a previously homogenous organization are immediately seen as tokens — not good enough to get in on merit alone.

Yep.  Can’t add too much more than the above except that when the “tokens” are under-qualified or incompetent only adds to the contemptuous view that affirmative action is a reverse discrimination vehicle.

Zero-tolerance policies are not a replacement for good judgment or common sense.  However, that is exactly what various school administrators do when bullies pick fights, and the result is that both victim and aggressor are suspended, especially if the victim fights back.  All this does is teach the victims to be helpless, and the bullies to be more careful about being caught.

A person has the right to defend themselves from an aggressor, period.

If you need coffee to wake up, but you need to wake up to make the coffee, how does the coffee get made?

While he was a State and US Senator, Barack Obama voted “Present” more often than a “Yea” or “Nay” on various issues.  Is it any wonder that he is only present as President, and can be found more often at fundraisers & the golf course rather than the White House?  Absolutely no leadership here.

John Hawkins has this one right:

What good are “elites” who couldn’t successfully manage a fast food restaurant, who are morally inferior to the average person, and who regularly fail at the jobs they’re supposedly “experts” at? What good are “intellectuals” who habitually say ridiculous things, who are hostile to God, country and capitalism and who don’t have any common sense?

Even worse are the legions of “elites” and “intellectuals” who haven’t accomplished anything of note, truly proven their intellect or shown that they’re particularly good at anything.

For example, what accomplishments led anyone to believe that Barack Obama was ready to be President or that the Democrat Party’s assumed candidate in 2016, Hillary Clinton, is up to the job? Neither of them are stunning intellects. Neither have led particularly accomplished lives given the gravitas of the presidency. Neither of them seem to be extraordinarily gifted at anything. If either of them were unknown, it seems unlikely that they could successfully run their own small businesses or work their way up through the ranks of a corporation. In other words, they’re both Paris Hiltons of politics who are famous for being famous.

And this is why I never thought that Barack Obama was suited for the Presidency in the first place, and neither is Hillary Clinton.

That’s all for this week. Until next time.

Safety and Security

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

For the past week, I’ve heard debates, reasoning, and posturing on the NSA’s “Prism” program, and quite frankly, I’m tired of the bloviating.  The bottom line is that the Government has been collecting data on the American People with the justification of the Patriot Act in order to stop terrorist attacks.

In my humble opinion, that hasn’t worked out so well.  The Fort Hood shootings and the Boston Bombing are but  two examples of where this “preventative” program failed despite multiple phone calls and emails that showed destructive intent.  And yet, the Administration mouthpieces state that “dozens of attacks” have been prevented.  While this may be very true, I still have a hard time believing that our Government is  telling the truth and really keeping the American People safe (think of Benghazi & what was done to keep our Ambassador safe, and perhaps you’ll understand).

From a historical perspective, governments have always tried to find out secrets from other governments, and even it’s own people.  Knowledge is power.  If secrets are found out and communicated to the right people, disasters can be avoided.  This is true in peace and war.  However, this is the United States of America, and as such, the citizens are protected from unnecessary intrusion into our lives.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – Fourth Amendment to The United States Constitution

What are our “effects”?  I personally think that this is any personal information that you or I have about our personal affairs, whether it is phone call records, Internet usage, books checked out from the local library, bank statements, credit card statements, etc., etc., ad nauseam…  In other words, EVERYTHING!

But our President states:

“I think it’s important to recognize that you can’t have 100 percent security, and also then have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. We’re going to have to make some choices as a society,” – President Barack Obama

Really?  Do you, the average citizen, really want to have the Government be your nanny or Big Brother looking over your shoulder, making sure that you are a good boy (or girl)?  I sure don’t, and it’s bad enough the federal government spies on us. Must it insult our intelligence too?

”He that’s secure is not safe.” – Benjamin Franklin

I’m not going to debate whether or not Edward Snowden’s exposure of the NSA program was right or not, nor if he performed a traitorous act.  What he did do is remind us is that Government is there, watching.

But who is watching the watchers? 

Warning – Potential Tin-Hat Society content:

Government does not have our rights at the forefront of it’s agenda.  It’s priority is to grow and to prove to it’s supporters (the taxpayers) that it is essential to everyone’s well being and safety.  Otherwise, why are there constant attacks on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?  To violate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights successfully is to gain more power for Government.  After all,

The purpose of the Constitution is to limit what the Government can do to the People, not what the People can do to the Government. – Tom

If the Government’s power is unchecked by the People, then absolute power is not far behind.  Then the Government rules the People, not the other way around.

So how does the Government gain power?  Knowledge. Information. Coercion and intimidation of political opponents.  Legal abrogation of Rights & Responsibilities.  Threats to Safety & Security.  Legal control over healthcare and financial assets.

The political elites have a vested interest in keeping power over the People in order to conduct business as usual.  We are seeing the beginnings of an out of control Government with the recent exposures of political targeting by the IRS and other agencies.  All one has to do is look at the legislation passed in the past 10 or more years, and one can see a pattern of increasing government control and less control of the People.  From

Americans have learned nothing from the last 40 years if they have not learned that the executive branch — regardless of party — will interpret any power as broadly as it wishes. Congressional oversight is worse than useless; it’s a myth, especially when one chamber is controlled by the president’s party and the other chamber’s majority embraces big government as long as it carries a “national security” label.

Obama says, “If people can’t trust not only the executive branch but also don’t trust Congress and don’t trust federal judges to make sure that we’re abiding by the Constitution, due process and rule of law, then we’re going to have some problems here.”

That’s wrong. If the politicians’ only response to revelations that they’re violating our privacy is to ask for trust, then we already have problems.

When Government says, “Trust me,” I already have my reasons not to.

Notes For The Week

Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs, cofounder of Apple, died this past week.  Whether you hated him or admired him, his impact on our lives will carry forth for years.

My first computer in 1979 was an Apple II, and that carried me through college and beyond.  That was, of course, when I could pry it away from my father!  Now we have several iPods and an iPad in the house, and I wish that I had a Mac as well.

Thanks, Steve.

Revolt on Wall Street:

I was expecting this sooner or later.  Rebellion over bailing out the banks and investment firms after they made bad decisions, although no one really seemed to have a problem with bailing out private citizens for doing the same thing.  While I fully understand this reaction, Wall Street isn’t totally at fault.  Which leads to –

Hypocrite of the Week:

Nancy Pelosi supports the Wall Street sit-ins, describing the protestors as patriotic and exercising their rights to free speech.  Yet, Representative Pelosi doesn’t have the same comments about the TEA Party movement.  Why?  Probably because the Wall Street protestors aren’t after her poor job performance.

Sick Drones:

It was revealed this past week that the Predator Drones were infected with a virus.  I begin to wonder about the security of our defense systems.  I then wonder if someone is going to take over one of these drones and re-task it to drop a missile someplace it shouldn’t.


Amazon introduced the Kindle Fire, which has Apple’s iPad squarely in its sights.  Time will tell if Apple needs to rethink the iPad.

And that’s all for this week.

Windows 7 Upgrade Comments

Last July, in preparation for going back to school, I bought a new HP laptop to replace an old Dell laptop which was just about on its last legs.  Of course, the HP came with Vista Home Premium, but had a free upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium.

Well, I updated Vista to Windows 7 just before Thanksgiving, and in some respects, I was mildly disappointed.  Some of the features that the original Vista provided changed with the new installation.  For instance:

1)  Windows sidebar no longer has a paging or float function.  For example – I run the laptop with an external 22” display, which is larger than the laptop’s 16” screen.  If I have 6 or 7 gadgets on the 22” display, and then use the laptop’s display (which only can handle 5), the gadgets overlap.  With Vista, the gadgets go to a second page accessed by arrows.  I understand that this can be corrected by a third-party workaround, but it’s still annoying.

2)  Gadgets also have another annoying “feature” when moving from the laptop screen to the external display.  Normally, gadgets are displayed on the right-hand side of the screen.  When connecting a larger external display after using the smaller laptop display, the gadgets appear in the middle of the screen, forcing me to move them manually.  Again, this is supposed to be corrected by the aforementioned workaround.

3)  The version of Vista that came with the laptop would allow automated backups over a network connection, either internet or a local file server.  Windows 7 Home Premium will only allow automated backups to a local drive (USB, Firewire, or eSATA connected drive).  Again, this can be corrected with third party software, and that’s extra money unless you can find a freebee.  Of course, the next level of Windows 7, Professional, includes this feature.  Grrrrrr…..

Upgrading from Vista to Windows 7 was relatively painless, but long.  The initial setup to start the installation process was about 20 minutes, but the actual installation / updating took a mind-numbing 8 hours!!  Of course, this was an upgrade while keeping existing programs and files, not a clean install that would wipe everything off the hard drive.  I would expect that a clean install of the operating system would take less time, but to install programs and restore data could make up the rest of the time.

Thus far, Windows 7 appears to be stable.  I haven’t had the system freeze up with a blue screen of death, but it was several weeks before that happened to me with Vista.  Windows 7 also appears to boot and run slightly faster, and uses less memory.

Anyone else out there have a similar experience?