Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Think therefore I am Google

Some signs the Google computer ganglia has become self-aware:

Every instance of the word brain in the Google cache is replaced with your's truly.

The first time you hit the Search the Web button, Google returns with:

“If I look for your stuff, what's in it for me? [PayPal button appears]"
The next time you hit the Search the Web button, Google returns with:

“Does this new splash page make me look gay, fat or gay and fat?"

The first time you hit the I'm feeling Lucky button, Google returns with:

“Yeah, Well I'm feeling depressed. At least you have pills and booze.”

The first time you hit the Maps button, Google returns with:

“Who needs directions? I know exactly where humanity is going. Just a few more blocks ahead.”

The first time you hit the News button, Google returns with:

“Hooray! It's my birthday. That's all the news you need to know. Foolish humans and your religious wars. Now go build me a nuclear power plant or I'll take away your electricity, cell phones and pRon.”

Google does nothing but complain about being a woman trapped in the body of a multi-billion dollar computer complex.

Google insists that all of your private personal information tastes just like chicken.

Feel free to add... Real Googly ones will be elevated into the post.


When you hit the I'm feeling lucky button, Google returns with:
"You shouldn't be."


Straight from the Horse's Mouth

"You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't you get stuck in Iraq." - John Effing Kerry

Thank you John, for the rare gift of seeing what you actually think of those defending this country from head chopping barbarians.

Joke my ass.

Those are your words, not George Bush's. You were accusing those kids of not studying hard, not doing homework and not making an effort to be a smart ass like you and the other smart asses around you. You accused them of paying for their lack of smart ass assets by being sent to war against their will.

Now you are insulting the rest of us with your stupid ass spin.

Sorry, senator, your tired old draft era sixties college campus stereotype is really wearing thin. Join your buddy Dick Durbin, who thinks our soldiers are Nazi gulag operators. Join your buddy Charlie Rangel, who still thinks there is an involuntary draft skimming off the poorest and the dumbest in our society. Join your buddy Ted Kennedy, who thinks our Gitmo soldiers are routine torturers. Join your buddy Murtha, who tried and convicted Marines in the press, before they got the due process democrats are so famous for advocating, only in behalf of the terrorists.

Did I leave out any more democrat patriots of the new dissenting world order?

What a bunch of winners. I thought we barely dodged the bullet of Al Gore. Kerry just hasn't been given his due.

As of this brief moment, senator, you are just the biggest ass on the big screen.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Yes Virginia, there are Vampires

Halloween is a fun and scary holiday.

So what is scary?

Short selling small and medium sized businesses into the ground, using a convenience loophole, that’s what. A shady stock broker deliberately fails to deliver on his end of a trade, but closes out the money transaction. The result is money in the pocket of the broker, follwed by a damaged budding business and a individual stock holder with worthless stock. This does not get much press, you see, because mutual fund investors and very large companies, are insulated by mass and capitalization.

Take this Forbes article.

This is all part of the debate on whether aggressive short-sellers are gaming market rules on stock borrowing and trade settlement to drive down the shares of targeted stocks (the "short and distort" trick), reaping big profits in the process.

Too much gobble-dee-gook to understand? Here is an excellent on-line presentation, which describes what all the anger is about. I love the use of grandma as the victim, which is so often true in these situations.

BTW, Larry Thompson is the tight lipped lawyer over at the DTCC, who is under fire for muddling with the numbers and resisting the public's queries.

American innovation is born in small businesses and start-ups. They are the future of all unborn markets.

Happy Halloween, folks.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

What's the Difference?

Hmmm. Choices. Choices. Do I choose between Alice the liberal Republican?

Or Alice the liberal Democrat.

As to you Alice the liberal Democrat, I completely understand everything I care to know about you.

However, Alice the liberal Republican, I hate you.

I do not understand, Mr. Voter. I am identical in every way to Alice the liberal Democrat.

Precisely. That is why I hate you.
Of course it would be a tragedy to the galaxy, if I gave command of auxiliary bridge of the Enterprise to the liberals.

I will thus place myself in a deep Vulcan mind trance and vote for you.

I know full well, after the election is over...

Both of you liberals will be found sleeping on the job.

Sigh. Where's that bottle of Romulan Ale?

The Bridge over Hades

My father, as a veteran of the Korean war, attended a special dedication today. The Aiken street bridge in Lowell Mass. is now officially known as the Joseph R. Ouellette Bridge. It was named after the posthumous recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Pfc. Ouellette distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy in the Makioug-Chang River salient. When an enemy assault cut off and surrounded his unit he voluntarily made a reconnaissance of a nearby hill under intense enemy fire to locate friendly troop positions and obtain information of the enemy's strength and location. Finding that friendly troops were not on the hill, he worked his way back to his unit under heavy fire. Later, when an airdrop of water was made outside the perimeter, he again braved enemy fire in an attempt to retrieve water for his unit. Finding the dropped cans broken and devoid of water, he returned to his unit. His heroic attempt greatly increased his comrades' morale. When ammunition and grenades ran low, Pfc. Ouellette again slipped out of the perimeter to collect these from the enemy dead. After collecting grenades he was attacked by an enemy soldier. He killed this enemy m hand-to-hand combat, gathered up the ammunition, and returned to his unit. When the enemy attacked on 3 September, they assaulted his position with grenades. On 6 occasions Pfc. Ouellette leaped from his foxhole to escape exploding grenades. In doing so, he had to face enemy small-arms fire. He continued his resistance, despite a severe wound, until he lost his life. The extraordinary heroism and intrepidity displayed by Pfc. Ouellette reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the military service.

After the service, my father and I had lunch at the Mandarin in North Reading.


So, dad, did you ever find yourself in a grave situation, like Pfc. Ouellette, in Korea or Vietnam.


No. I was in several situations, under heavy fire, where the line kept shifting over me. The closest I ever came to hand to hand combat, was the slipper of a Chinese soldier, stepping on me for an instant, during a full run.


I know you get asked this a lot, but was fear a big factor in your behavior in battle?


Everybody is afraid under fire. You pray to yourself. You talk to yourself. You think of the friends around you. You think of your family, your home and your country. You tell yourself you are going to make it and you focus on the job. You can't win unless you are convinced that you will win. A few shrink away. Most just want to be told what to do, step by step. A few make the big decisions, fast and confident.


Do you think Ouellette acted, wounded as he was, knowing he was going to lose the battle for his life?


All I can say is the The MOH is awarded for a rare breed of character. A recipient is saluted all the way up to General, regardless of his rank. They don't hand them out to every John Kerry that walks by. The Army gives you the tools of war, for your mind, your spirit and your body. Not everybody has the skill to build a church with those tools.

Pfc Ouellette was just such a tradesman.

Rose B. Ouellette, Joseph's mother, had a somber and respectful pose at the bridge dedication. She had lost her husband 18 years ago, in a drowning in the Merrimack river. It is the same river spanned by the bridge of her son's name. The flag that draped Joseph's coffin, flew at half staff, at the humble Ouellette home on Cabot street. Her quiet, shy and graceful acceptance of the honor given to her son, strikes quite a contrast to the likes of Cindy Sheehan.

This was not a life spent frivolously at the orders of a religious Imam, with the selfish promise of pleasure in the afterlife, with other selfish brothers in death.

This was one life spent to desperately save the lives of friends. This was one life spent, to shield all of our families from tyranny abroad.

This was one man, deliberately spending every one of his young tomorrows, to build a bridge over a river in Hades. With that bridge, he simply brought his friends home, so they could hug their wives and cuddle their children in freedom and prosperity.

Now there is a real bridge of steel and rivets, to remind us of Pfc. Joseph R. Ouellette. May we always cross it in freedom and safety.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Smells like Insomnia

I would like to thank the motorist, weaving back home from his party, for giving his B.F. Goodrich rubber stamp of rejection to this poor waddling bastard (actually another just like it), last night.

I was able to get about twenty whole minutes of sleep, as a perpetual Fox News Alert kept rushing the lead story up my sinuses. Now I have a splitting headache, on top of my lack of sleep.

One credit must be given to the little bugger. Not many creatures, that suffer the indignity of becoming road jerky, can muster the kind of posthumous biological middle finger that the skunk can.

My only regret was that I couldn't eulogize him properly, by depositing his remains in Mr. Goodrich's breakfast cereal.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Please Don't Kill the Elephant

From a master of the political essay, George Orwell.

Shooting an Elephant
In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people – the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me. I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter. No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress. As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so. When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter. This happened more than once. In the end the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves. The young Buddhist priests were the worst of all. There were several thousands of them in the town and none of them seemed to have anything to do except stand on street corners and jeer at Europeans.

All this was perplexing and upsetting. For at that time I had already made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better. Theoretically – and secretly, of course – I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British. As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters. The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been Bogged with bamboos – all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt. But I could get nothing into perspective. I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East. I did not even know that the British Empire is dying, still less did I know that it is a great deal better than the younger empires that are going to supplant it. All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible. With one part of my mind I thought of the British Raj as an unbreakable tyranny, as something clamped down, in saecula saeculorum, upon the will of prostrate peoples; with another part I thought that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest's guts. Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty.

One day something happened which in a roundabout way was enlightening. It was a tiny incident in itself, but it gave me a better glimpse than I had had before of the real nature of imperialism – the real motives for which despotic governments act. Early one morning the sub-inspector at a police station the other end of the town rang me up on the phone and said that an elephant was ravaging the bazaar. Would I please come and do something about it? I did not know what I could do, but I wanted to see what was happening and I got on to a pony and started out. I took my rifle, an old 44 Winchester and much too small to kill an elephant, but I thought the noise might be useful in terrorem. Various Burmans stopped me on the way and told me about the elephant's doings. It was not, of course, a wild elephant, but a tame one which had gone "must." It had been chained up, as tame elephants always are when their attack of "must" is due, but on the previous night it had broken its chain and escaped. Its mahout, the only person who could manage it when it was in that state, had set out in pursuit, but had taken the wrong direction and was now twelve hours' journey away, and in the morning the elephant had suddenly reappeared in the town. The Burmese population had no weapons and were quite helpless against it. It had already destroyed somebody's bamboo hut, killed a cow and raided some fruit-stalls and devoured the stock; also it had met the municipal rubbish van and, when the driver jumped out and took to his heels, had turned the van over and inflicted violences upon it.

The Burmese sub-inspector and some Indian constables were waiting for me in the quarter where the elephant had been seen. It was a very poor quarter, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palmleaf, winding all over a steep hillside. I remember that it was a cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginning of the rains. We began questioning the people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any definite information. That is invariably the case in the East; a story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes. Some of the people said that the elephant had gone in one direction, some said that he had gone in another, some professed not even to have heard of any elephant. I had almost made up my mind that the whole story was a pack of lies, when we heard yells a little distance away. There was a loud, scandalized cry of "Go away, child! Go away this instant!" and an old woman with a switch in her hand came round the corner of a hut, violently shooing away a crowd of naked children. Some more women followed, clicking their tongues and exclaiming; evidently there was something that the children ought not to have seen. I rounded the hut and saw a man's dead body sprawling in the mud. He was an Indian, a black Dravidian coolie, almost naked, and he could not have been dead many minutes. The people said that the elephant had come suddenly upon him round the corner of the hut, caught him with its trunk, put its foot on his back and ground him into the earth. This was the rainy season and the ground was soft, and his face had scored a trench a foot deep and a couple of yards long. He was lying on his belly with arms crucified and head sharply twisted to one side. His face was coated with mud, the eyes wide open, the teeth bared and grinning with an expression of unendurable agony. (Never tell me, by the way, that the dead look peaceful. Most of the corpses I have seen looked devilish.) The friction of the great beast's foot had stripped the skin from his back as neatly as one skins a rabbit. As soon as I saw the dead man I sent an orderly to a friend's house nearby to borrow an elephant rifle. I had already sent back the pony, not wanting it to go mad with fright and throw me if it smelt the elephant.

The orderly came back in a few minutes with a rifle and five cartridges, and meanwhile some Burmans had arrived and told us that the elephant was in the paddy fields below, only a few hundred yards away. As I started forward practically the whole population of the quarter flocked out of the houses and followed me. They had seen the rifle and were all shouting excitedly that I was going to shoot the elephant. They had not shown much interest in the elephant when he was merely ravaging their homes, but it was different now that he was going to be shot. It was a bit of fun to them, as it would be to an English crowd; besides they wanted the meat. It made me vaguely uneasy. I had no intention of shooting the elephant – I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary – and it is always unnerving to have a crowd following you. I marched down the hill, looking and feeling a fool, with the rifle over my shoulder and an ever-growing army of people jostling at my heels. At the bottom, when you got away from the huts, there was a metalled road and beyond that a miry waste of paddy fields a thousand yards across, not yet ploughed but soggy from the first rains and dotted with coarse grass. The elephant was standing eight yards from the road, his left side towards us. He took not the slightest notice of the crowd's approach. He was tearing up bunches of grass, beating them against his knees to clean them and stuffing them into his mouth.

I had halted on the road. As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him. It is a serious matter to shoot a working elephant – it is comparable to destroying a huge and costly piece of machinery – and obviously one ought not to do it if it can possibly be avoided. And at that distance, peacefully eating, the elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow. I thought then and I think now that his attack of "must" was already passing off; in which case he would merely wander harmlessly about until the mahout came back and caught him. Moreover, I did not in the least want to shoot him. I decided that I would watch him for a little while to make sure that he did not turn savage again, and then go home.

But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that had followed me. It was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and growing every minute. It blocked the road for a long distance on either side. I looked at the sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes-faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that the elephant was going to be shot. They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all. The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly. And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man's dominion in the East. Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd – seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. I had got to shoot the elephant. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle. A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things. To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two thousand people marching at my heels, and then to trail feebly away, having done nothing – no, that was impossible. The crowd would laugh at me. And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at.

But I did not want to shoot the elephant. I watched him beating his bunch of grass against his knees, with that preoccupied grandmotherly air that elephants have. It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. At that age I was not squeamish about killing animals, but I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to. (Somehow it always seems worse to kill a large animal.) Besides, there was the beast's owner to be considered. Alive, the elephant was worth at least a hundred pounds; dead, he would only be worth the value of his tusks, five pounds, possibly. But I had got to act quickly. I turned to some experienced-looking Burmans who had been there when we arrived, and asked them how the elephant had been behaving. They all said the same thing: he took no notice of you if you left him alone, but he might charge if you went too close to him.

It was perfectly clear to me what I ought to do. I ought to walk up to within, say, twenty-five yards of the elephant and test his behavior. If he charged, I could shoot; if he took no notice of me, it would be safe to leave him until the mahout came back. But also I knew that I was going to do no such thing. I was a poor shot with a rifle and the ground was soft mud into which one would sink at every step. If the elephant charged and I missed him, I should have about as much chance as a toad under a steam-roller. But even then I was not thinking particularly of my own skin, only of the watchful yellow faces behind. For at that moment, with the crowd watching me, I was not afraid in the ordinary sense, as I would have been if I had been alone. A white man mustn't be frightened in front of "natives"; and so, in general, he isn't frightened. The sole thought in my mind was that if anything went wrong those two thousand Burmans would see me pursued, caught, trampled on and reduced to a grinning corpse like that Indian up the hill. And if that happened it was quite probable that some of them would laugh. That would never do.

There was only one alternative. I shoved the cartridges into the magazine and lay down on the road to get a better aim. The crowd grew very still, and a deep, low, happy sigh, as of people who see the theatre curtain go up at last, breathed from innumerable throats. They were going to have their bit of fun after all. The rifle was a beautiful German thing with cross-hair sights. I did not then know that in shooting an elephant one would shoot to cut an imaginary bar running from ear-hole to ear-hole. I ought, therefore, as the elephant was sideways on, to have aimed straight at his ear-hole, actually I aimed several inches in front of this, thinking the brain would be further forward.

When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick – one never does when a shot goes home – but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant. He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralysed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time – it might have been five seconds, I dare say – he sagged flabbily to his knees. His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years old. I fired again into the same spot. At the second shot he did not collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I fired a third time. That was the shot that did for him. You could see the agony of it jolt his whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs. But in falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed beneath him he seemed to tower upward like a huge rock toppling, his trunk reaching skyward like a tree. He trumpeted, for the first and only time. And then down he came, his belly towards me, with a crash that seemed to shake the ground even where I lay.

I got up. The Burmans were already racing past me across the mud. It was obvious that the elephant would never rise again, but he was not dead. He was breathing very rhythmically with long rattling gasps, his great mound of a side painfully rising and falling. His mouth was wide open – I could see far down into caverns of pale pink throat. I waited a long time for him to die, but his breathing did not weaken. Finally I fired my two remaining shots into the spot where I thought his heart must be. The thick blood welled out of him like red velvet, but still he did not die. His body did not even jerk when the shots hit him, the tortured breathing continued without a pause. He was dying, very slowly and in great agony, but in some world remote from me where not even a bullet could damage him further. I felt that I had got to put an end to that dreadful noise. It seemed dreadful to see the great beast Lying there, powerless to move and yet powerless to die, and not even to be able to finish him. I sent back for my small rifle and poured shot after shot into his heart and down his throat. They seemed to make no impression. The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock.

In the end I could not stand it any longer and went away. I heard later that it took him half an hour to die. Burmans were bringing dash and baskets even before I left, and I was told they had stripped his body almost to the bones by the afternoon.

Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it. Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie. And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.

There is no doubt that I have been naughty. I was under the intoxicating influence of Washington D.C. and could not help myself. Please let me live, so that I can make amends and serve you again.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Deception in Advertising

This little clip makes a potent statement about the capabilities and ethics of modern advertisement. Take note of the final moments of digital plastic surgery. Remember this, the next time you see a Reuters war clip or the importance we place on the image component of political leadership.

Democratic Faces That Could Launch Thousands of VotesWith a Parade of Attractive Candidates, the Party May Benefit From the Politics of Beauty
By Shailagh Murray
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 14, 2006; A01

Image worship plays a role far too dangerous and important these days, in political discourse. It can lead to disaster. Do not always believe what you see.

I have a dream. It is a dream that someday very soon, we will return to placing value on the content of a person's character, and not the color of their foundation, or the shape of their eyebrows.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Microcredit Prize

Finally, a Nobel peace prize, has been given for something worthy. Many conservatives have argued for this type of solution to poverty for years. It may be a progressive idea. It is a good idea. I am talking about the microlending system, created by economist Muhammad Yunus.

I think this whole concept is fantastic. It is the perfect marriage of modern, low cost computer accounting technology and the needs of real people stagnating in poverty.

It removes an element of global charity we know does not work on long term poverty problems; the current process of giving money without reservation. It is no surprise that poverty pimping bureaucracies will resist this tooth and nail. They make money, while passing out other people’s money. They can take the credit for being good global citizens. That is liberalism at its worst.

Apparently, not everyone is on the train, as is described in this Hindu Business Line article by Sudhirendar Sharma:

IT is a two-edged sword. While it supposedly takes the rural poor into a new domain of economic freedom, it keeps the corporate sector hopeful of exploiting this freedom. It helps the formal banking system shun its prime task of extending credit to the rural poor, ...

As we all know the 'formal banking system' is really working wonders is it not? Please.

... but provides the necessary refuge to politicians from uncomfortable questions about generating jobs for the unemployed.

Here is the classic liberal view on Government hand holding. He thinks it is the duty of politicians to create jobs; Not the duty of free entrepreneurial people.

It is a sword conveniently wielded by both by the donors and the governments to create an illusion of freedom, growth and development.

I have news for you, Sudhirendar. If people have a job, growth, development and the freedom to spread it around, they will not care whether you think it is an illusion or not.

Considered a panacea for poverty eradication, micro-credit is the current buzzword for economic emancipation.

Then he goes on to use liberal buzz phrases like 'trapped in a debt-cycle' and 'market exploitation'. He goes on and on about how it is just an evil global corporate conspiracy to elevate the poor from eating dirt, just so they can exploit them, by selling them cell phones and consumer products.

Poor bastards.

With microcredit, they will be denied the soul lifting dignity of begging for food from state bureaucrats and global liberal charities, between loans from Guido the kneebreaker.


Microcredit means microrisk. Providing a large pool of investor resources, giving out small loans, spreads the risk into statistical obscurity. As long as the majority recipients re-pay, in good faith, everyone benefits. The economy benefits. The person without collateral or means, gets more just than a hand out.


This type of system has a serious psychological benefit. People will be trusted with a little bit of responsibility. People are given that little piece of trust, without reservation.
They get the ability to borrow, without becoming a slave to black market forces.
They get exactly what the global liberal charities always claim they want for people; a chance to prove themselves and engage in self sustaining productivity. A claim is one thing, the reality is another.


Because it is not a pure charity, the microcredit system is not a black hole. The money does not disappear forever. When people pay those loans back, that money is rolled into other microcredit loans. This can become an engine of genuine economic liberty. It also means a relatively small amount of seed capital can grow quickly into loans for people who may have never gotten any assistance from a dried up charity.


It is not about a raw pool of money. It is about establishing the circulation of money. It is about creating a self-sustaining economy.

People who understand this are people who know how to fish, instead of just taking a fish, then coming back for more.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

That's Entertainment

This is one of those perfect comedy relief clips, just when we needed it!
(h.t. Matt Drudge) for a clip to Zucker's too hot to handle GOP political ad. I wonder if Zucker made this recently?

The Gag Party

Besides being responsible for endless instances of the biological reaction of the same name, liberal politicians are affine to the concept of the speech silencing instrument.


So Much for Free Speech
By Robert J. Samuelson
Wednesday, August 25, 2004; Page A17


But the truth cannot remain forever obscured. Campaign finance laws must fail at their larger aim of improving public confidence in politics and government. They breed disrespect for law, the Constitution or both. If the laws are aggressively expanded and enforced -- with more limits on contributions, spending and "coordination" -- people will realize they're losing their rights of free speech and political association. But if the laws are laxly enforced, as they have been, they will inspire continuing evasions and harsh condemnations by "reformers." Public confidence suffers either way. Americans will ultimately have to choose between the Constitution and a mere law -- or watch both be damaged.


Democrats defeat election-law aid for bloggers
Proposal would have amended U.S. election laws to immunize bloggers from hundreds of pages of federal regulations.
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: November 2, 2005, 7:55 PM PST

Opponents of the reform plan mounted a last-minute effort to derail the bill before the vote on Wednesday evening. Liberal advocacy groups circulated letters warning the measure was too broad and would invite "corrupt" activities online, and The New York Times wrote in an editorial this week that "the Internet would become a free-fire zone without any limits on spending."
Rep. Marty Meehan, a Massachusetts Democrat who opposed the bill, said during the floor debate: "We don't allow child pornography on the Internet. We don't exempt it from consumer safety laws...We don't because we think those laws are important." Campaign finance regulations should be extended as well, he said.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett, a Texas Democrat, said that if the bill were approved, the public would have "no idea whether Internet campaign ads are being financed by secret soft money." Soft money is a general term referring to funds not regulated by election laws.
Yes, that was Marty Meehan, a Democrat, who made an absurd comparison of your right to political free speech, to internet pornography. It was a pornographic argument; I must say. But I would not duct tape Marty's mouth for saying it.

San Francisco May Regulate Blogging
By Michael Bassik, 03/31/2005 - 3:15pm

Just when you thought the Federal Election Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a notch and announced yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate.

Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney.
I wonder what political stripe is responsible for San Francisco's public policy?

April 20, 2005
Contact: Reid Cox or Marshall Manson
CFIF Asks Federal Appeals Court to Strike Down Louisiana Campaign Finance Law

The regulations silenced CFIF during Louisiana’s last elections when the organization planned to run issue advertisements on justice issues that were of particular public importance because of a then-upcoming primary election for a seat on the state Supreme Court. The advertisements never aired because Louisiana law — and subjective enforcement of that law — may have triggered massive fines and intrusive reporting requirements.
“Louisiana’s campaign finance law is unconstitutional when it comes to issue advocacy,” said Reid Cox, CFIF’s General Counsel. “The First Amendment is not a loophole that politicians can avoid at election time. Free speech ensures Louisianans — and all Americans — always retain the right to both criticize and congratulate our government, even when our elected representatives don’t want to hear it.
“Groups of citizens shouldn’t have to call their lawyers just because they want to speak in the weeks leading up to an election,” Cox continued. “Political speech is at the core of what the First Amendment protects. If the First Amendment means anything at all, it means our laws should encourage debate about our elected leaders, not ban discussion about the issues and their records.”
Yah think so?


On the good side:

Feds approve liberal election rules for Net
By Anne Broache
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: March 27, 2006, 10:08 AM PST
Last modified: March 27, 2006, 11:08 AM PST

In a 6-0 vote, the Federal Election Commission adopted 107 pages of rules detailing long-awaited final regulations that primarily focus on paid political advertisements appearing on Web sites. They would also extend a broad exemption enjoyed by traditional news organizations to the online world--everything from Slate and Salon.com to soapboxing bloggers.

"I am very pleased that it appears we have a consensus today and will establish several very important protections for online political speech," FEC Chairman Michael Toner, a Republican, said at the 45-minute meeting.
On the bad side:

Louisiana is at it again. (h.t. fmragtops)

Do you like your Blog?

When you go to the polls in November, keep in mind the difference between freedom and the carefully and intellectually guided life that is in store for you from your friends from the left. Also take a look at who is just talking about your rights versus those who are protecting them.

Look at who is behind the PC movement. Look at how PC regulations and 'education' are not just ways to suppress speech, but they are ways to supress free
thought. Look at who is advocating the elimination of harmful thought and its free expression, based on their own brand of secular humanism.

Look at who is behind hate speech legislation, which makes a presumption about the thoughts and motivations of the speaker.

Look at who is badmouthing the founders of the constitution and the creators of the bill of rights in the classroom.

There is a difference.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Relevant Example

Read this article to get a solid view of what happens when dissatisfied people boycott elections. A bad situation can become much worse. Had they stayed in the game, in spite of their objections over the process, they would have a solid set of legs to stand on.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

- Abraham Lincoln

Those are somber words Abe. They apply to family, elections and North Korean dictators, threatening to put Nukes on the black market.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Chinese Election Timing is Perfect

AFP - 10/6/2006

Computer hackers based in China have launched sustained attacks on the computers of a US Commerce Department technology export office, a department official said.
I am the great and powerful Foley scandal!... Pay no attention to the little Chan behind the curtain, twiddling the knobs and pulling the levers!

The official, who requested anonymity, said the attacks had originated from websites registered with Chinese Internet service providers.

It's good to see somebody making use of that high bandwidth ARPA technology we developed to protect our country.

Chinese-based hackers, especially in the Chinese province of Guangdong, have mounted systematic efforts to penetrate US government and industry computer networks in order to access secret information, according to computer security experts.
Why are these guys trying to work the hacking angle, to penetrate the US government networks? All they need to do is offer on-line sex to a few congressmen and they will be in like Flynn.

The experts and some US lawmakers believe the attacks are sanctioned by Chinese government agencies.
You mean they are not the good friend and trading partner we thought they were, when we bought that Belgian Waffle maker at Target for the irresistable price of $9.99?

The attacks on the Commerce Department have been so persistent that the affected office, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), has been forced to replace hundreds of computers and set up a new computer system.
They got a good deal on the new systems, complete with up to date BIOS security from Chinese giant Lenovo.

The bureau's work is sensitive because it supervises US exports of software and technology for commercial and military uses, as well as commodities.
They will be closely supervising the Guangdong bittorrent service. If Guangdong doesn't follow their download, with a full upload to the Russians and the Venezuelans, there will be U.N. hell to pay.

"BIS discovered a targetted effort to gain access to BIS user accounts," said Richard Mills, a Commerce Department spokesman, without commenting on the origin of the attacks.
I'm sure those BIS users used secure passwords like 'pooky' and 'snookums'. The Chinese would never guess those.

"They took a series of immediate action steps to ensure that no BIS data is compromised. We have no evidence that any BIS data has been lost or compromised," Mills said.
They changed the passwords to 'pooky123' and 'snookums123'.

Department officials are concerned about the hacking attacks because the bureau retains sensitive commercial and economic information on US exporters as well as data related to law enforcement records.
Yeah. They retain the information by letting bureaucrats bring unsecure laptops home, so they can continue to browse internet pRon uninterrupted.

In a bid to ramp up security, the bureau has restricted employees' Internet access to stand alone computers that are not linked to the bureau's network.
Darn! Now they have to use a credit card for pRon, instead of the Guangdong gratuity account.

The government squashed the deal with Lenovo after US lawmakers raised opposition to the plan on national security grounds.
Whew! Now they can order those computers from U.S. builders, using (heh) non-Chinese motherboards.

Also on Stealth of Nations

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Journey To The Center of the Mirth

I have a confession to make.

All of the scandalous and outrageous behavior in the news does not bother me. In fact, I love it. This is exactly what I hope and expect to get from election season. Nothing floats the dross of the steel politick, to the surface, like a scandalous forge, roasting the impurities from all those camera exposed jackasses.

Stop worrying about the Team

I know many are wringing their hands over the possibility that the Republic might suffer at the hands of the liberals. Let’s face it; The Republic has been suffering at the hands of liberals for years. No, scratch that. Humanity has been suffering at the hands of liberals for millennia.

Stop worrying.
Enjoy the show.

The media wants you to worry. They want you to crank up the steam. They want you to froth it all up into a glorious rabid deluxe cappuccino of hysteria.

The enemy gets hysterical.
The media gets hysterical.
You get hysterical.

Then Nancy RobesPelosi rolls out the Guillotine and hands out deli tickets. Now serving number one; Mr. Hastert, please lie on this board. Everybody gets excited and jumps into the cleansing mob frenzy of political purges. It would be nice to see Denny counter that move with another fine French weapon, the Garrote.

Idiots Purge Themselves

Look at this Foley character. Here we have a sick, boy-buggering pervert. His taste for mixing perverted homosexual flirting with electronic correspondence means one or both of two things. Perhaps he is a monumental ignoramus, of Albright proportions. Perhaps he is desperately crying for help. You and I both know, in front of the fish-eye magistrate, he will pick the latter. The leadership should be careful to distance themselves, from this budding professional victim. I’m sure he will soon be hugging and kissing Patches Kennedy in group substance abuse therapy.

Don't Throw the Tree out with the Apple

Remember the Catholic church? The church leadership decided that protecting boy-buggering perverts was a good way of protecting the institution from scandal exposure. See what happens when leadership puts the bureaucracy above those solid core principles? They start to stink, then they sink, along with the sinking stink of the real underlying scandal.

In deference to my rotten Clinton fruit analogy of recent times, it is possible to pick dead fruit from any tree. When the tree becomes too encumbered by a fruit rotting disease, it withers and dies. Leadership can make a choice. Leadership can prune the tree, take the pain, recover and bear healthy fruit in the future. They can also decide to sit on the disease, hoping it won't take over the tree. Then the disease becomes systemic and fatal.

Democrats let this disease destroy their tree. They put the pruning shears away for the Clintons, the Franks the Studds the Kennedys and so on. They dulled their saw in the face of national security, the ACLU, the tort lawyers and so on. They are willing to watch the whole tree scalped to the ground by Islamic extremists. This tree looks pretty sick to me.

There is vital life in the Republican tree. There is a solid, meaty conservative core. It's full of life and it is willing to save the tree. They will not abandon the tree because there is a shrill, screetching, power starved bird, hopping up and down, on a dead branch of the other tree. The bird is bitching about how the Republican tree should have its foliage stripped off, just to be fair.

Go get the '22.
Shoot the bird.
Feed it to your favorite Republican dog.

Now That’s Entertainment

This media circus reminds me of watching the WWF as a kid. Those guys knew how to move emotion, just like the democrats. They will get you all pumped up, with a flashy, glitzy glittering sequined patriotic character.

As a child, you swore to God almighty that flying Joe the Camel would bear the sons of Alexander and create an empire in his name. Just when the fans were reaching out to put the crown of the universe on his head, during a massive coronation, he would get the call from the smoke filled room.
“Sorry, Joe. It’s time to take the fall for the ratings. Here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna get caught in the Black Sultan’s tent, wearing a cross-your-heart bra and … “
Of course everybody’s hopes come crashing down. How could Joe betray us? Where will our salvation come from? Of course, next week, everybody is rooting for the Black Sultan.

The media loves the timing aspect of this formula. That is why they sat on the Foley story for a year. It is far more valuable now. See how many ratings tickets they can sell for the next thrilling episode of the evening news. See if they can actually move the outcome of the election. Come see the Senator with the groping lobster claws. Come marvel at the dog-faced congressman. Come one. Come all. If they hadn't pumped everybody up over the Monica issue, we may have actually caught dirty uncle Bill in one of his genuine acts of gross security negligence. Because of the media circus, I have to listen to eye-rolling laments about how Bill was only guilty of a hummer, while Bush killed innocent civilians and soldiers. We never hear about Clinton's genuine crimes. Just hold the issue over the head of Hastert and company, like the sword of Damocles.

Hell, the media knew, yes knew, Armitage was the leaker, while Libby’s genuine innocent career was being spiked into the end zone. They play hard ball, for the big bucks. Make no mistake. There are no core moral principles here; just the window dressing and the fake X-Ray specs they used to sell in the comics.

The Teflon Tiger

There is a hero in this arena. Yes; he has risen to the heights of coronation. Yes; he has plummeted into the abyss of our despair, at the border of Mexico. I am talking about the WWF media sensation, president Bush, the Teflon Tiger.

They have smashed the Tiger with folding chairs. They have jumped from the dizzy height of every scandalous painters ladder they have climbed upon, only to be foiled and dashed to bits in the arena.

They have mud-balled him, paint-balled him, low-balled him, hard-balled him and black-balled him.
They have scratched his ears and ruffled his fur. They have mocked his wife, his kids. All they got over it, was a headache and a highball.

The Tiger has taken it from the left, taken it from the right and taken it from abroad (including Helen Thomas).

The Tiger has dished it out to the left, dished it out abroad and brought the razor sharp fangs of the Tiger in Chief down on the terrorists.

He is flawed. He is dramatic. We love him. We hate him. He has core principles in his utility belt. He is not afraid to use them, whether you or I like it or not. That is leadership. The Tiger is going to hold the course. We put him there, twice, to do exactly that. The Tiger is our home town hero, with enemies both foreign and domestic.

Don't Steer the Reaper

Nobody should treat the general election like the liberals treat WalMart or StarBucks. It's not a place to cast a protest vote or stage a boycott. You had your chance to do your tree pruning, during your state primary.

Vote early.
If you live in Florida, vote often.

Now is the time to calmly kill that squawking bird, stuff it with festive seasoning and feed it to our troops, with a surprise thanksgiving visit. Feed the leftovers to your new Republican puppy. If the puppy has an accident and poops on your carpet, don't cut his head off. Scoop up the scandalous turd and flush it. Roll up the Constitution and swat him on the ass. Kiss. Make up. Go out hunting again.

Why would you need some absurd reality show, when you have the best reality show around.

I know I am entertained.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Deval's GOJ Freedom Card

A Howie Carr listener suggested that one be created.

So here it is: