Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Epic levels of fail

Even by the extremely low standards set by Government, this has to be seen as a new watermark of fail: Oregon signs up just 44 people for Obamacare despite spending $300 million. So, roughly $7 million per signup.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Obamacare weekend wrap-up

We reduced Japan to a pile of radioactive smoking rubble in 1,346 days. It’s now Day 1,355 and, despite promises to do likewise to the healthcare system, they’re still working on it. The FDR administration built almost a hundred working aircraft carriers faster than the Obama administration has managed to build one working website.

As others have noted, Obamacare can't even do paper any more: “Federal health officials have been advising ObamaCare counselors this week to stop using paper applications to enroll people — out of fear that the applications wouldn’t be processed in time.” We are in actual technical regression with this monstrosity!

To quote Glenn Reynolds this roll-out, this law and this administration is "an onion of fail".

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Reason TV: If you like your plan you can keep it - rap

Another ObamaCare security breach reported in Vermont

It’s increasingly clear that won’t meet the promised November 30 deadline for relaunch with near-total operating capacity. But if the online system ever does improve enough to allow a surge of applicants to get past the front end of the system, they’ll be walking into a data security nightmare, made all the worse by the incontrovertible fact that none of the hasty last-minute fixes could possibly have been tested for either hacker protection, or the kind of self-generated data integrity breach administrations don’t want to discuss, until freedom of information laws force them to.

This same Government that did so well with Benghazi, Fast & Furious, running the VA and managing the TSA. What makes anyone think that they would be doing so much better with this?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Obamacare and related thoughts

The Indiana school districts claim that they'll have to reduce working hours or lay off workers in order to shoulder the increased costs - or financial penalties - the employer mandate would impose upon them.

Sorry but it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people. Teachers overwhelmingly voted for Obama and they overwhelmingly supported Obamacare (ACA). They wanted this, they own this!

In a related article, this part is spot on:

The idea that an insurer like Regence can, or will, spin on a dime and revive our ol’ $587 Woody within the next six weeks is absurd.

True, Obama's "dictate" that insurance companies can continue to offer their older, non-qualifying plans for another year was (as is most things Obama) pure BS. He knows that there is NO way the insurance companies can re-tool their plans and get state commissioner approval to offer the older plans in time. Not to mention that those already cancelled are still cancelled. Done is done.

All I can say is, you voted for it, you own it and you sure are starting to get it! With his closing paragraph, this rube guarantees that he will not only get it, but he will get it hard and continue to get it repeatedly as this particular old dog refuses to learn a new trick.

We’re willing to suck it up and pay our fair share for health insurance. We want the exchanges to work.

What is so funny about this piece is that he still thinks himself so smart, enlightened and righteous but he is none of those things. This was a designed disaster. It may be running ahead of schedule but it is and has been on the projected path. He is a rube of the highest order as even after being shown the truth, he continues to willingly and gladly drink the Kool-Aid.

In a related note, is it just me or do you also want to just scream at everyone that dares utter the meaningless phrase "fair share". What the HELL is your "fair share"? It is liberal fairy dust. It is unicorns. It is whatever the person uttering it thinks it means at that time and place. The is the apex of empty gestures. It is a sliding scale of demand for more. It comes from the same suitcase as "living wage", "give back" and "social justice". These are the things that liberals utter when they can't bring themselves to tell you what they really think either because they aren't thinking or they know what they are thinking will get them laughed out of the conversation so they dress it up with these "oh so PC" catch phrases hoping to slide past logic.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

President "asterisk"

Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report. That along with the IRS intimidation of the opposition, the asterisk on Obama’s re-election gets bigger. . . .

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Obamcare item(s)

I love this quote:

If you can’t take some joy, some modicum of relief and mirth, in the unprecedentedly spectacular beclowning of the president, his administration, its enablers, and, to no small degree, liberalism itself, then you need to ask yourself why you’re following politics in the first place. Because, frankly, this has been one of the most enjoyable political moments of my lifetime. I wake up in the morning and rush to find my just-delivered newspaper with a joyful expectation of worsening news so intense, I feel like Morgan Freeman should be narrating my trek to the front lawn. Indeed, not since Dan Rather handcuffed himself to a fraudulent typewriter, hurled it into the abyss, and saw his career plummet like Ted Kennedy was behind the wheel have I enjoyed a story more.

And this part is a keeper:

During the government shutdown, Barack Obama held fast, heroically refusing to give an inch to the hostage-taking, barbaric orcs of the Tea Party who insisted on delaying Obamacare. It was a triumph for the master strategist in the White House, who finally maneuvered the Republicans into revealing their extremism. But we didn’t know something back then: Obama desperately needed a delay of In his arrogance, though, he couldn’t bring himself to admit it. The other possibility is that he is such an incompetent manager, who has cultivated such a culture of yes-men, that he was completely in the dark about the problems. That’s the reigning storyline right now from the White House. Obama was betrayed. “If I had known,” he told his staff, “we could have delayed the website.”

This is how you know we’re in the political sweet spot: when the only plausible excuses for the administration are equally disastrous indictments.

Nice graphic with the article too!

In addition to stories/opinion pieces like this, "old" news continues to leak out. Items like:

"what neither Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius nor WebMD mentioned at the time was that the company, which millions of Americans regularly read for health news, also stood to earn millions of dollars from a federal contract to teach doctors about Obamacare."

With a revelation like that, how much can you really trust WebMD?

In related news, the White House says that 26,794 Americans selected insurance through the Obamacare web site in its first month.

What the heck does "selected" mean? If they "bought" insurance or "paid" for insurance, they would surely say that. Instead they use the word "selected". Well I selected a car I want, a Maserati but as I can't afford it, I don't think the local dealer will be able to count my "selection" in their quarterly sales report. Only the government can say or do things that citizens and businesses would be locked up for.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Obamacare, the gift that keeps on giving...

Per PJMedia (read the whole thing):

  • Non-citizens are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). This is not a new development. However, the documentation and verification process for such enrollments was significantly eased by regulations in the Affordable Care Act.
  • Getting fraudulent applications for Medicaid or CHIP approved is now easier, and thus more likely.
  • Applicants attempting to register for Medicaid as non-citizens by using will have their identification checked in real-time by the SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) database. But if SAVE verification fails, the applicant is not prevented from enrolling in Medicaid/CHIP.
  • In fact, the opposite occurs: the applicant is likely enrolled in Medicaid immediately.
  • The applicant is then given a 90-day period to clear up the identification problem.
  • This “enroll first, confirm later” regulation, combined with the ACA’s easing of verification requirements, allows anyone, from a computer anywhere in the world, to successfully auto-enroll for 90 days of Medicaid by entering fraudulent information about being a certain category of legal alien living in the United States.
  • There is no guarantee that state governments will take action to cancel these enrollments at the end of each application’s 90-day period if identification is never provided. The cancellation of unverified enrollments is left to each state’s available manpower and political will.
  • At the end of the 90-day period, if states do indeed ask the applicant to produce identification or to have the enrollment canceled, the applicant is allowed to ask for an extension of the 90-day period. The applicant can get the period extended for significantly longer.
  • Obamacare does not allow any information entered into to be used for legal action against illegal immigrants. Like “catch and release,” an applicant could attempt to fraudulently enroll repeatedly.

So Obamacare has been designed to allow ANYONE (citizen or not) to apply for insurance and likely register to vote. They have at least 90 days to verify that they are citizen or legal immigrants but if not, oh well, no big deal.

To add insult to injury, the latest Obamacare ad campaign takes condescension and insults to an entirely new level, though as the target demographic (young adults) overwhelmingly voted for Obama, the agency releasing the ads may "know their market" all too well...

There is the "Brosurance" ad:

Then the "Hosurance" ad:

And finally the "Young, Single, Pregnant" ad:

One needs to ensure that these young folks understand how important insurance is in terms they will understand. How not having insurance can affect your budget (cutting into beer money), your recreational activities (slutting around is easier with "free" birth control) and if that should fail, dealing with the resulting wanted or unwanted pregnancy.

The funny thing about all of this is that this generation is the one getting royally screwed by Obamacare. They are the relatively healthy folks that would normally only have a catastrophic coverage plan as they don't go to the doctor much, get sick much or have minor (doctor visiting) injuries much. They ALL now have to have plans that contain maternity, pre-natal, birth control, etc., etc., etc. Now they have to have a full coverage plan with higher than expected premiums to help pay for everyone else's insurance.

You all like trolling for strange? Well Obama has definitely given it to you good and hard with "sloppy seconds" by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Hope you enjoyed it and just be gone by morning...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Obamacare realities

Well it looks like the "new reality" is starting to sink in and even those that chose to be willfully blind are starting to notice.
But don't worry because the exchanges are working so very well!
  • In NC "only 1,000 people had filled out applications as of October 15th. In fact, only one person was able to successfully use to enroll in the new exchange." but "even that single person has not paid, which means the enrollment is not complete"
I am sure that they will run this program so much better than their "free cell phone" program. The size of Obamacare makes the cell phone program look like a lemonade stand and look how well they have been managing that program!
  • The government spent $2.2 billion on the program last year alone, and a review of the top five providers by the FCC for the Wall Street Journal showed that 41 percent, or six million of their free-phone subscribers, couldn’t demonstrate eligibility or failed to respond to requests for certification.
So, with this as typical Government competence in running large programs, I am sure we don't have anything to worry about. The "glitches" will be worked out any day now and then it will be all smooth sailing!

It is getting to the point that the most frightening words you can ever hear are: We are from the Government and are here to help.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Post Obamacare America

Welcome to the new post-Obamacare America where the constitution and individual liberty is just a quaint relic of the past.

Virginia Democrat Calls For Forcing Doctors To Accept Medicare And Medicaid Patients

In this new America, we all are property of the Government and it (the Government) is free to allocate us (resources) as they see fit. This includes requiring doctors to see patients. You can't have people reacting to government incentives, can you? Screw with the healthcare system, reduce the patient / doctor relationship, set disbursement rates below the cost of care and remove doctor choices. This all results in doctors exercising their rights as citizens and business owners to choose who to service.

Democrat delegate candidate Kathleen Murphy said that since many doctors are not accepting medicaid and medicare patients, she advocates making it a legal requirement for those people to be accepted.

She did not recognize that the payments are inadequate to cover the doctors' costs. She also did not recognize there is a shortage of over 45,000 physicians now and that it is forecast to be 90,000 in a few years.

Democrats appear to want to make physicians slaves of the state, but Democrats don't admit they would just drive more doctors out of practice into retirement and other occupations.

The land of unicorns and rainbows (Obamacare) continues its slow motion crash into the granite wall known as reality with more and more stories like this: a patient with stage-4 gall bladder cancer had great doctors and health insurance until his plan was cancelled and now worries about how long he will live.

He is not the only one: The 84-year-old widow, whose husband worked at now-defunct Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, saw her payment for out-of-pocket expenses go from $3,400 to $6,700; the co-pay cost for a hospital stay went from zero to $200 a day. “I think it’s terrible. They shouldn’t be canceling what I have,” she said. “They are raising my prices and taking away privileges.”

“It is highly alarming that Obama repeatedly claimed that everyone could keep their doctor and their insurance plan and that now appears to have been – how to put this? ... A lie,” said Iowa State University political science professor Steffen Schmidt. “People by the millions are and will have their current policies cancelled, period.”

Despite all of the evidence that Obama did not speak the truth: White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett tweeted on Monday night: “FACT: Nothing in #Obamacare forces people out of their health plans. No change is required unless insurance companies change existing plans.”

Really Valerie? Tell that to all of these people that have had their current policies cancelled. You and the likes of James Carville might consider their existing insurance plans "fake plans" or "not really insurance" because they don't support things like maternity coverage or birth control but it was working just fine for these people.

When Obama made all of those great healthcare speeches, he said "If you like your plan you can keep your plan." and "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor". and "Nothing on the ACA is going to change what you have now." At no time did he ever say, unless (as it happens every year) your plan changes IN ANY WAY no matter HOW SMALL. Rates are always adjusted year to year. Plan details are always being tweaked. Most people did not expect business and usual to result in their current plans no longer being eligible for grandfathering. No one that is except for the Democrats that wrote and jammed this mess through Congress and onto the President's desk. They knew this. The Republicans knew this and tried to stop it but all of the Democrats 100% voted to keep these restrictions in the law forcing YOU to loose your current plan.

Some would argue that this entire Obamacare fiasco is going according to plan. President Obama is on record saying he is in favor of single payer and Obamacare looks like the perfect tool with which to destroy the American medical system. This is such a mess that people will demand a solution and team Obama will say they need to move to single payer to "fix this mess". They will blame "this mess" on Republicans, the Tea Party, insurance companies, doctors, and anyone and anything else they can think of but will always advocate doing more instead of doing less. More government, more intervention, more rules and more regulations. That is all they know, that is all they can see and most importantly, that is all they want.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Obama and the Democrats OWN Obamacare lock stock and barrel

Senate Democrats voted unanimously three years ago to support the Obamacare rule that is largely responsible for some of the health insurance cancellation letters that are going out.

The citizens overwhelmingly did not support Obamacare. The Republicans did not support Obamacare. The President and the Democrats not only completely, 100% own this mess but lied about it just about every step of the way. From Nancy's "We have to pass it to see what is in it." to Obama's "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan." and crap this this. It is ALL on them. Don't let anyone forget or spin their way out of this.

Obamacare enrollment numbers are finally being "found"

"the government said there were 4.7 million unique visits in the first 24 hours...six enrollments have occurred"

By the next day enrollments were up to "approximately 100"

No wonder they "don't have any figures".

How much did they spend on this site again? How long have they been pushing this site again? If this were the private sector, not only would the company have fired those responsible but the Government would be holding 24/7 hearings and demanding accountability, refunds and heads.

Don't forget, Sebelius said to Congress that she did not have any figures. If CBS News could get them, how come she couldn't? Did she lie to Congress? To quote another Obama appointee "What difference does it make"?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"You will be able to keep your healthcare plan PERIOD".

That is what he said: "You will be able to keep your healthcare plan PERIOD". Not "You can keep your [what we say is a] healthcare plan". Not "You can keep your healthcare plan [if it is are REAL - in our eyes - healthcare plan] period".

That my friends is a lie. No two ways about it. A lie. He new it was a lie at least by the time he signed the bill and most definitely by last week when he was still saying it.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another Obamacare success story!

Cupcake Store Among Wrong Businesses Listed on State Obamacare Signup Site

This is just another recent example of the incompetence of this administration and the totality of the people involved in the Obamacare program and roll-out. These will also be the people that will have control over YOUR data. Your health records, your tax/payroll records, all of it. If they can't get the little things right, what makes you think they will do better with the big things?

These are the same people (the Government) that has been so successful with:

  • The IRS (targeting conservative groups while green-lighting liberal ones)
  • BATF (fast and furious anyone?)
  • State Department (remember Benghazi - "a video did it")
  • The VA (understaffed and over budget)
  • Homeland Security
  • TSA
  • NSA
  • etc., etc., etc.

Has this government really done ANYTHING recently to earn your trust? Obama himself said many times over many, many months "If you like your health insurance, you can keep it." Well 16 million people [so far] have learned what the shelf life of that statement was AND even Obama knew it was a lie. He may not have known it the first time he said it but he surely knew by the 40th. He surely knew last month when he was still saying it!

Welcome to the new America where the disaster that is the Obamacare web site and roll-out is merely a "glitch". Where the president can lie. Where the Attorney General can lie. Where the speaker of the House can lie. Where no one, not the media, not the opposing party, no one will call them on it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

And the fleas continue to bite at the dog...

End of an era: Last U.S. lead smelter to close in December

Doe Run made significant efforts to reduce lead emissions from the smelter, but in 2008 the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead that were 10 times tighter than the previous standard. Given the new lead air quality standard, Doe Run made the decision to close the Herculaneum smelter.

What is clear is that after the Herculaneum smelter closes its doors in December, entirely domestic manufacture of conventional ammunition, from raw ore to finished cartridge, will be impossible.

This will drive up ammunition prices, there is no way it can't. US manufacturers will have to rely on lead from recycling and imports which will be more expensive than domestically smelted lead. Other businesses that rely on lead will be affected too. Car battery prices will increase.

The industry has tried to switch from lead to alternate materials but most of these do not have enough of the properties and characteristics of lead to be a viable long term substitution. Government agencies at all levels rely on the biolistic properties of lead projectiles as part of their CSI programs. The substitutes do not match and will need to be studied and their behaviors coded.

There will be ripples...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Durbin Amendment Costs Consumers $22 Billion

All in all, consumers took it on the chin for $22 billion and possibly more. That $22 billion is the present discounted value of the losses to consumers, starting in October 2011 when the caps went into effect, and off into the future.


The fact that the Durbin Amendment resulted in a wealth transfer to retailers from consumers and banks is not surprising. The regulations shifted more than $7 billion of money from the annual income of banks to the annual income of merchants. There is no reason to believe that merchants would give this windfall back to consumers or that the banks could absorb the full loss in their profits. A wealth of economic studies shows that does not happen in the real world. But, the bill to consumers over time will add up to at least $22 billion, and potentially more.

It is hard for me to believe that Congress could not see this coming. You take away profit from a business and they have to replace it somehow. In this case, banks lost revenue due to interchange caps and as a result profits. Those profits needed to be replaced and so banking fees to consumers increased and other free services were cut to reduce costs.

One of the scariest things a person can say is "I am from the Government and I am here to help!"

Friday, October 25, 2013

AWK Musings

I like AWK and have used it for years. I feel that it is an elegant language that does what it was designed to do quite well. I don't use it very much at all anymore due to how what I do has changed over the years. It is still in my toolbox and every now and then I like to pull it out, dust it off and use it even if I really don't have a need.

While thinking about this on my way to work this morning, I wondered if there was a web hosted version of AWK (figured there had to be as everything is on the internet) and lo and behold there is! It is an implementation of AWK in JavaScript and is available here. Have not used it much so can not say what (if any) the limitations are but it has worked for the simple things I have thrown at it.

There is also an AWK PDF manual available here (as well as many other places).

Additionally there is also an online "run anything" web site here that supports a great many languages including ADA, AWK, C#, COBOL, Fortran, etc. It has a nice editor and it has worked on the C and AWK that I have submitted. Very nice!

Get the door Chad...

Why it is always 1984, example 1

Here is a perfect example of why it will always be "1984" (the land of double-speak) in this country.

Someone in the White House was briefing Democrats on a meeting that took place involving the President and high ranking members of Congress.

That someone described the meeting to Sen. Dick Durbin and here is what happened next: Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., wrote Sunday on Facebook that “Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn’t try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you.”

It turns out, no Republican actually said that. Here is how ABC describes what happened: White House Bungles Leak About GOP Leader Trashing Obama

Not sure what journalism school Arlette Saenz went to but a LIE is not the same as a LEAK. The definition of a leak is: an intentional disclosure of secret information. The definition of a lie is: a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth. See how they are different? There is an expectation that a leak is factual. Arlette even states in his article "Turns out, it never happened". Why does he call it a leak then? The headline should have read: White House Bungles LIE about GOP Leader Trashing Obama. Is it because it was done by a Democratic administration and involved a Democratic Senator?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Obamacare “Navigators"

"Application assisters listed on this page may still be completing federal and state certification requirements. They are obligated to let you know if they are certified or not if you contact them. If they are not certified, they cannot help you."

If you choose to call an entity from this database, the only action has taken — or the only action you are permitted to know about — towards preventing fraudulent actors/identity thieves from taking part in a process involving your private information is this: they have been told they are “obligated” to turn you away.

So the Obamacare web site that asks you every manner of personal question to ascertain what insurance plans you might want and what subsidies you might be entitled to (to help pay for it) has a database of "navigators" to help you through the process except the site warns you not all of the people the site shows you and has made available to you to pick from, have been "certified". Don't worry though, they are OBLIGATED to let you know if they are not yet certified! Why worry? They only have access to ALL of your personal information!

Why not just show those who have completed the certification process? Could it be because so few have?

Obamacare - the gift that keeps on giving.

President Barack "Sgt. Schultz" Obama

Sgt. Schultz of Hogan's Heroes was famous for his "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!" refrain and appears to be the guiding mentor of our current President, not Rev. Jeremiah "God Damn America" Wright as you might have expected. It seems that President Obama and his handlers go to great lengths to give him plausible deniability for every government failure and scandal.

A partial list is available at Legal Insurrection and includes:
  • Obamacare web site issues
  • IRS targeting of non-liberal groups
  • The Petraeus extramarital affair
  • Benghazi
But also includes other gems like:
  • Fast and Furious
  • The AP taps
  • GSA 2010 scandal
  • Solyndra
There are others but you get the picture. This President has raised "not knowing" to an art form. You have to ask, if Obama really doesn't know anything about what is going on - who is really running the country?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No really! Voter fraud is a myth!

The former chief of staff of a Democratic Florida congressman will serve 90 days in jail after admitting to a voter fraud scheme during the 2012 election.

Monday, October 21, 2013

But again, election fraud is a myth!

Christina Ayala also wouldn't talk about the state panel's recommendation that her mother, Democratic Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala, be criminally investigated for fraud and conspiracy for allowing her daughter to use a false address on Noble Avenue as her place of residence between 2009 and 2013. The investigation revealed evidence that Santa Ayala knew of and may have cooperated in the fraud.

An elections commission investigation found that Ayala voted in nine different elections using that address, when she actually resided elsewhere.

"There is evidence that she ran for elected office twice from this false address during the period, including for the office she currently holds," said the report of a commission attorney. "There is evidence that she also applied for funds from the Citizens' Election Program using this false address.

So, she not only listed her "not address" on her election papers, she also voted from her "not address" at least nine times and she applied for public funds to help her run for elected office for the district of her "not address".

It only took till the 8th paragraph to learn her mother is a Democrat and not till the 13th paragraph do you learn that Ayala is a Democrat. Have to wonder why they bothered mentioning it at all.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Says it all...

Via Legal Insurrection...

New Kid at School

Congressional Republicans act like the new kid at school who has a self esteem problem. They will do whatever the other kids (Democrats & MSM) say in order to be accepted and to fit in. Every once in a while they remember who they really are and try to resist but in the end they always surrender to peer pressure.

It is like an after school special. You always root for them hoping this time they will stand firm. That they will finally realize the cool kids will never like them but if they take a stand for what is right, for their convictions, they just might get some respected. Alas it is not to be. We have been down this road before and it is to the point where you know, in your heart that they will let you down.

The Republican party can't seem to understand why support from the base is so low. Why voters are just not turning out. This is why. You take the right road and we think maybe this time will be different but as soon as you see the first pothole you turn the car around and go the other way.

As a fiscally conservative voter I feel like I am being played for a sucker and I am tired of it. Based on the turn-out for the last election, I am not the only one. Apparently the national Republic party is happy to be "Democrat Light", fine. You can have it. I am tired of going into the voting booth, holding my nose and pulling the lever for the "lesser of two evils". That road has gotten us here, where we are today. I might as well have just stayed home the last few election cycles. If this is the best that the Republican party can do then in the future I will. The Republican party has spend years making this bed with the Democrats, I hope you enjoy sleeping in it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Republicans Surrender

Looks like the Republicans have once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They agreed to reopen the government, not defund Obamacare, to extend the debt limit, and publicly say to the country that they are very, very sorry (that last one is not officially in the deal but is the result of this capitulation).

As a country, we can not get rid of this bunch of spineless losers fast enough. They are a disgrace to what once was the Republican party. They were winning, again. The government was shutdown and NO ONE noticed! They could have at least passed a CR with funding levels per last year, no increases and let the Democrats pick what to reduce but NO, they have to be total wimps and give away the entire farm.

Sad and pathetic, AGAIN...

Another Obamacare "rube" self identifies...

My wife and I just got our updates from Kaiser telling us what our 2014 rates will be. Her monthly has been $168 this year, mine $150. We have a high deductible. We are generally healthy people who don’t go to the doctor often. I barely ever go. The insurance is in case of a major catastrophe.

Well, now, because of Obamacare, my wife’s rate is gong to $302 per month and mine is jumping to $284. I am canceling insurance for us and I am not paying any fucking penalty.

What the hell kind of reform is this?

It is EXACTLY the kind of reform you were warned it would be BUT the warning came from those evil Tea Party people, those evil Republicans and those evil libertarians SO you would not listen. Plus like all of the rest of you progressives, you agreed with Nancy and just wanted SOMETHING passed. You did not know or care what was in it and figured it would be anyone else's problem but yours. Sorry to point this out but you were EXACTLY who this was aimed at. Young people who did not really need insurance. Congratulations, you get to be forced to have more coverage than you want and much more expensive insurance than you need (to also help pay for grandma's policy). Well Merry Friggin Christmas to you!

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 16

The default that wasn't...

[T]here is no such thing as default unless there is an actual evil attempt from the administration. When you have 18 percent of GDP coming in in cash, less than 2 percent going out in debt coverage—I’m stunned you all fall for it in the press. None of you were math majors, were you?

We are all (well most of us) are being played for suckers, again, with a complicit press dutifully playing their part. Remember, if this were past shutdowns like when Republicans were in charge this would all be the President's fault for refusing to compromise. With the press, it is ALWAYS the fault, no matter what it is, of the Republicans.

By the way (and because I KNOW you did not hear this from the MSM) the House GOP voted 11 times to reopen the government.

As Obama is fond of saying "Never let a crisis go to waste".

If you are really serious about wanting to fix things (which most politicians on both sides are not) here is a plan that would actually work: An across-the-board cut of 5% in every government department's budget line. (You can't convince me -- and you'll certainly have a hard time convincing voters -- that there's not 5% waste to be found in any government program.) Then a five-year freeze at that level. Likewise, a one-year moratorium on new regulations, followed by strict limits on new regulatory action: Perhaps a rule that all new business regulations won't have the force of law until approved by Congress.

As has been noted here (earlier) and elsewhere, this may have started with (the train wreck known as) Obamacare but this issue is bigger than that and the GOP really NEEDS to draw a line in the sand here and now. No more. Enough is enough. We are bankrupting this country and enslaving our children for generations to come. The debt is too large and is growing every day. The government is printing money as fast as they can to prop up this mess of an economy while they continue to regulate what is left of it to death. Quantitative easement (fancy talk to printing more money than is needed to replace money physically destroyed) is flooding the economy with paper that is melting the buying power of your current earnings as well as your retirement account. Wages are flat, growth is flat, more people are out of work (officially unemployed as well as having just given up looking for work) at levels not seen for decades. The country is burning and while Obama plays the fiddle.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 15

And the insanity continues!

I hear tell that the great powers that be are in heated negotiations with the hope of bringing this civilization destroying government shutdown to an end (even if only temporarily). I have to ask, why? We have gone on now for 15 days with the government "shutdown" (in reality it is a "slowdown" as many workers have continued to work based on the designation of being critical to the country) and truth be told the impact for everyone but government workers has been so inconsequential that the Obama administration has been forced to make the shutdown more public by using the parks and recs service to strong arm and bully citizens and tourists.

Instead of the GOP snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, they should instead press on with the shutdown and continue to submit department by department funding measures with each department being funded at 2005 levels (as a start) for those that have to be continued while saving for last (or not at all - even better) those less critical departments like the Department of Education. There is NO government department that can not survive a 15% budget cut (or more). The real fear in Washington is that the longer this shutdown goes on the more obvious it becomes how little we the people need our current, bloated government. That is what those in Washington are really afraid of and that is what all of this blatant disregard for their parks shutdown theater is showing everyone. People are beginning to wake up to how little the government impacts their daily lives, how little we need them. So GOP, if you want to have any hope of staying relevant and preserving any chance of regaining your political clout, DON'T BE STUPID and DON'T CAVE. Stand firm and keep the breaks on.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 14


Not long ago, the conventional wisdom in official Washington held that the so-called sequester spending cuts would be a disaster for the Republican Party. They were expected to rise up in vehement protest once the “cuts” went into effect.

Instead, nobody outside of Washington noticed.


Reid and other Democratic leaders Saturday rebuffed Collins’ proposal to fund the government through March and lift the debt ceiling through January. In return, Collins’ plan would have delayed for two years a tax on medical devices implemented through Obamacare and created income-verification measures for those receiving subsidies under the new health law.

And don't miss...

On Sunday, protesting the barricades placed at memorials around Washington D.C. by the vindictive Obama administration, veterans removed the barricades and proceeded to take them to the White House.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Obamacare - tick, tick, tick

The American public is being hooked on a plan being implemented without planning which has a timebomb set to expode in 2015.

This goes far beyond RI. It will affect every state that has setup an exchange. Come 2015 the infrastructure funds from Washington end and each state will have to come up with another way to fund it. Won't that be fun!

Aren't you glad we had to pass it in order to find out what was in it?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Government waste - "You can't make this stuff up" department

USPS to Destroy ‘Just Move’ Stamp Series Over Safety Concerns

"the USPS will be destroying the entire press run after receiving concerns from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition over alleged “unsafe” acts depicted on three of the stamps (cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads and a headstand without a helmet)."

Headstand without a helmet? Who the heck wears a helmet to do a headstand? What the heck are these people doing to this country? If that is an issue, why no complaints about skipping rope without a safety harness?

Obamacare web site news...

Taxpayers Shelled Out $634,320,919 To Build Obamacare Website…

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 10

Really? Has it really come to this?

National park goons remove handles from trail water fountains...


Shutdown-busting gardener tells how he was ordered off Lincoln Memorial by 'bully robocops'

How much money is the government spending, trying to make everyone understand what happens when they don't have money? Only in a truly partisan liberal mind does any of this make any kind of sense.

That everyone can not just agree (regardless of how you feel about the shutdown) that these kinds of antics are just plain wrong, stupid and petty is an example of just how far this country's politics has fallen. No one in the Obama administration has pointed out how ridiculous these kinds of theatrics are?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 9

Well here we are at day 9 and the pettiness of the current administration continues...

  • You can't recreate here.
  • Maybe people are beginning to wake up and remember that this is THEIR country, it does not belong to the government...
  • Obama’s goons trucked in barricades to keep out World War II vets and other visitors. By one estimate, the barricades and workers cost $100,000.

At least many people understand where the issue really is...

As has been noted elsewhere, this may have started over Obamacare (which has been a disaster so far to businesses and the shiny new exchanges don't work) but it now appears to be growing into a general government spending movement!

If the republicans were smart (which they usually are not) they would [daily] send department specific spending bills to the Senate and report far and wide which ones they submitted and that Reid is not moving on them. They should also take the time to review each department budget and adjust the appropriations bill according to NEED verses desire. These auto-budget increases NEED to stop. Most should be slashed, The longer this "shutdown" continues, the more people will realize just how little they need the government at its current size and scope.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ColdFusion (Railo) and RSA Public Key Encryption

I was working on a project that involved having to encrypt some data with a public RSA key that is retrieved from a web service, used to encrypt some data and submit that data as part of a larger XML document back to the service. The data is for performing a web based credit card authorization. The card number and security code need to be individually encrypted using a public key. As this is for a web project, my web language of choice is ColdFusion. I have used it since version 4 and think that you can not beat it for power and speed of development. I just expected that this would be no problem. I was wrong...

I am fond of ColdFusion but not so fond of the most recent releases (since MX). Just did not like where it was going and was not fond of the cost. I like the earlier releases though I thought the move to a true Java core was spot-on. I kept a lookout at the various open source efforts but was not committed.

I had reason to look back into this a couple of months ago (not for this project but close) and came across the Railo project. I am impressed. The quick start version is just fantastic. Download, unzip, and launch. There you go. A local CF development environment at no cost. So far it is really compatible (with the CF versions that I like) and I have not run into any issues to speak of. What is not to love?

Back to my current project.

So, I have to retrieve a public RSA key from a remote web service (any one of many keys will be returned and so when I submit my encrypted data I have to include the ID of the key used), rebuild the public key, use the public key to encrypt sensitive card data and then submit that data to a web service for processing. I had everything done but the encryption part. I searched the web for CF examples/samples of doing RSA and most of the examples I came across assumed you are issuing the key and so show you how to make both the public and private keys and how to encode using the private key. Not a lot on rebuilding a public key. Also, a good bit of "Bouncy Castle" but I wanted to stick with the basic Java (and I had some issues with the BC solution).

To make it function, I wound up using a number of Java classes from within CF. I have stripped out most/all of the error checking and the non-encryption related code. I also slimmed down the comments to fit within the formatting limitations. Even with that, this should still be plenty to get you going and I hope it saves someone the effort I had to go through. If you already have the key parts and just need to build a public key, lines 50 through 83 are the meat and 96 to 99 do the actual data encryption.

Have fun!

1:  <!--- create a web service object --->  
2:  <cfset webService =   
3:     createobject("webservice", "https://URL/RequestHandler.svc?wsdl")>  
5:  <!--- build request for public RSA encryption key --->  
6:  <cfxml variable="xmldoc" caseSensitive="yes">  
7:     <requestHeader>  
8:        <stuff />  
9:     </requestHeader>  
10:  </cfxml>  
12:  <!--- make xml document internet safe --->  
13:  <cfset xmldoc64 = toBase64( #xmldoc# )>  
15:  <!--- make the request (via web services) --->  
16:  <cfset resultsRaw =   
17:     webService.ProcessRequest( "#xmldoc64#" )>  
19:  <!--- convert/format results into an xml object --->  
20:  <cfxml variable="resultsXmlDoc" caseSensitive="yes">  
21:     <cfoutput>#ToString( ToBinary( resultsRaw ) )#</cfoutput>  
22:  </cfxml>  
24:  <!--- check the results code to see if it worked --->  
25:  <cfif resultsXmlDoc.EncryptionKey.ResponseCode.XmlText eq "0">  
26:     <!--- now convert the encryption key information  
27:     into an xml object so it is easier to use (the  
28:     initial XML doc actually contains another XML doc  
29:     with the key info) --->  
30:     <cfxml variable="xmlResultsPublicKey" caseSensitive="yes">  
31:        <cfoutput>#resultsXmlDoc.EncryptionKey.responseMessage.PublicKey.XmlText#</cfoutput>  
32:     </cfxml>  
34:     <!--- save the parts of the RSA key data --->  
35:     <!--- service can return many keys, save ID --->  
36:     <cfset publicKeyID =   
37:        resultsXmlDoc.EncryptionKey.responseMessage.ID.XmlText>  
38:     <!--- main part of the public key (to be) --->  
39:     <cfset epublicKeyModulus =   
40:        xmlResultsPublicKey.RSAKeyValue.Modulus.XmlText>  
41:     <!--- minor part of the public key (to be) --->  
42:     <cfset epublicKeyExponent =   
43:        xmlResultsPublicKey.RSAKeyValue.Exponent.XmlText>  
44:  </cfif>  
47:  <!--- now that we have all of the parts, we need to  
48:   make a valid java RSA key object from the parts --->  
50:  <!--- create java string object for key modulus --->  
51:  <cfset encodedKeyModulus =   
52:     createObject( "java", "java.lang.String" ).init( epublicKeyModulus )>  
53:  <!--- create java string object for key exponent --->  
54:  <cfset encodedKeyExponent =   
55:     createObject( "java", "java.lang.String" ).init( epublicKeyExponent )>  
57:  <!--- need a java BigInt AND decoding on the fly --->  
58:  <cfset modulusKey =   
59:     createObject( "java", "java.math.BigInteger" ).init( 1, BinaryDecode( encodedKeyModulus.getBytes( "UTF-8" ), "base64" ) )>  
60:  <cfset exponentKey =   
61:     createObject( "java", "java.math.BigInteger" ).init( 1, BinaryDecode( encodedKeyExponent.getBytes( "UTF-8" ), "base64" ) )>  
63:  <!--- build the KeySpec and load it with key parts --->  
64:  <cfset javaKeySpec =   
65:     createObject( "java", "" ).init( modulusKey, exponentKey )>  
67:  <!--- build RSA key factory for rebuilt public key --->  
68:  <cfset javaKeyObject =   
69:     createObject( "java", "" ).getInstance( "RSA" )>  
71:  <!--- use the keyspec to initialize the key factory,  
72:   instantiating a RSA public key from its encoding and  
73:   recreating a valid public key --->  
74:  <cfset javaKey = javaKeyObject.generatePublic( javaKeySpec )>  
77:  <!--- create a new java cipher object and load it with  
78:   our new (rebuilt) RSA public key --->  
80:  <!--- mode tells the Cipher we will be encrypting --->  
81:  <cfset cipher =   
82:     createObject( "java", "javax.crypto.Cipher" ).getInstance( "RSA" )>  
83:  <cfset i = cipher.init( cipher.ENCRYPT_MODE, javaKey )>  
85:  <!--- convert strings into java strings --->  
86:  <cfset stringCardData =   
87:     createObject( "java", "java.lang.String" ).init( )>  
88:  <cfset stringCvvData =   
89:     createObject( "java", "java.lang.String" ).init( )>  
91:  <!--- ensure strings are the proper character set --->  
92:  <cfset stringCardDataBytes = stringCardData.getBytes( "UTF8" )>  
93:  <cfset stringCvvDataBytes = stringCvvData.getBytes( "UTF8" )>  
95:  <!--- now to perform the encryption on each string --->  
96:  <cfset encryptedCardData =   
97:     cipher.doFinal( stringCardDataBytes, 0, len( StringCardData ) )>  
98:  <cfset encryptedCvvData =   
99:     cipher.doFinal( stringCvvDataBytes, 0, len( StringCvvData ) )>  
101:  <!--- base64 them so they are internet safe --->  
102:  <cfset base64CardData =   
103:     BinaryEncode( encryptedCardData, "base64" )>  
104:  <cfset base64CvvData =   
105:     BinaryEncode( encryptedCvvData, "base64" )>  
107:  <!--- DONE, we should now have proper, public key  
108:   encrypted data! Congratulations! --->  

I then include the web safe, encrypted strings in my larger XML document, BineryEncode the entire thing and submit.

Good luck and hope this helps!

Update: 5/12/2016

OK, looks like Railo is dead and a replacement is available called Lucee. I am just starting to use it so can not say much about it at this time. If I get a chance [and think about it], I will update with additional information.

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 8

In other government shutdown news:
and in related Obamacare news, three strikes and you are out!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Obamacare realities

And yet more rubes self identify...

"I was laughing at Boehner -- until the mail came today," Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.

"I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family's pocket each year, that's otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy."

"Of course, I want people to have health care," Vinson said. "I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally."

The law's intent is to cover people who are now uninsured by making insurance accessible to everybody. But that means rates will rise for many because sick and healthy people will now be charged the same premium.

I love that line: I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally. Like the money fairy was going to fart out the billions this mess of a program is going to cost. Well welcome to the real world.

They try to end this article on a high note but the reality is a lot of people that were taking care of themselves responsibly by having insurance will be punished to help others pay for insurance. Also, young people that need insurance the least are now force to have more expensive insurance than what they could have gotten before. The minimum mandates don't help either.

If this beast is so good, why is the government exempt?

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 7

The pettiness of tyrants:

  • “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”
  • “It takes more manpower and costs the government more money to close down an outdoor wall than to let people walk past it and pay their respects.”
  • Police prevent drivers from pulling over and viewing Mt. Rushmore...
  • Amber Alert vs. ‘Let’s Move’: Two screenshots say it all about the vindictive Obama admin [pics]
  • “Just 17 percent of the government is shut down, and Friday the Obama administration allowed union representatives to return to work. So, union members could return to work, but the website to alert Americans to missing children had to be taken down?”
  • National Park Service officials cited the government shutdown as the reason for ordering an elderly Nevada couple out of their home, which sits on federal land. Similarly, the NPS forced privately-operated inns on the Blue Ridge Parkway to close during the shut down.
  • John Ondrasik (of Five For Fighting) shoved out of Jefferson memorial
  • On the other hand, congress and Obama plan to give those furloughed government workers back pay, so they are all just on a free vacation!
I could go along with the back pay if a) it doesn't last too long (i.e. not months) and b) for 80% of the furloughed workers, this was severance pay.

We were told sequester would be a disaster and it was not. We were told the government shutdown would be a disaster and so far other than the President being spiteful about it, it is not too bad. We clearly do not as a country NEED all of these government workers. As part of any funding bill, all departments should undergo a 10% budget cut, year over year until the budget is balanced. I suspect since Harry Reid has not even submitted a budget in over 5 years, we should be able to trim the budget by a good 40% to 50%. Now THAT would be progress.

Obamacare Poster Boy NOT!

Obamacare Poster Boy Chad Henderson and His Dad Didn't Really Buy Insurance

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 3

Well we are into "Day 3" of the 2013 government shutdown. The government has furloughed non-critical employees due to the lack of money. Since they are out of money (have NONE to spend), what have they done to adjust to this new austerity based reality? Here is a small list:

  • So why is the White House closing private operations that require no government money to keep open and actually pay a percentage of their gate revenues back to the Treasury?
  • Democrats Pay Union Members to Protest World War II Vets
  • Park Service intends to block access to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, even though it literally costs them nothing to leave them open
    • While yesterday many of the major trailhead pull-outs were not yet blocked, this evening they all were.
    • The park service ordered state officials to close the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine, Devils Lake, and Interstate state parks and the state-owned portion of the Horicon Marsh, but state authorities rebuffed the request because the lion’s share of the funding came from state, not federal coffers.
  • WWII veterans storm DC memorial closed by government who put barricades around an open-air park that’s normally open 24/7/365
  • National Park Officials closed down the educational Claude Moore Colonial Farm near the CIA in McLean, Va., even though the federal government doesn't fund or staff the park
    •  “What utter crap. We have operated the Farm successfully for 32 years after the NPS cut the Farm from its budget in 1980 and are fully staffed and prepared to open today. But there are barricades at the Pavilions and entrance to the Farm. And if you were to park on the grass and visit on your own, you run the risk of being arrested. Of course, that will cost the NPS staff salaries to police the Farm against intruders while leaving it open will cost them nothing.”
  • Obama to veto NIH funding – will liberals who screamed about kids with cancer call him out?
  • Bus turnaround shut down at Mount Vernon
I could go on...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 2

The big "shutdown" news is that a group of rabble-rousers WWII veterans stormed a government facility the WWII memorial and illegally occupied it for most of the day toured the facility. This appears to be the first of a number of anarchist like moves by this group and they report that not only do they expect to continue but to expand their occupation efforts to other facilities citizen owned memorials and parks.

"Wheelchair-bound elderly veterans pushed aside barricades to tour the World War II Memorial Tuesday morning, in defiance of the government shutdown which closed all of the memorials in the nation’s capital."

The government put barricades around the WWII memorial, really! A venue that is typically open 24/7 though it is staffed during normal business hours. This is "shutdown theater" and you can expect more of this in the future. I have read other accounts of citizens taking back their parks and other national areas from the government and occupying them. Good for you! These national treasures are entrusted to the government, not owned by them. They are owned by all of us.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown, 2013 - Day 1

Well the Government shutdown is in affect and the internet still works, the sun still shines, and Cthulhu has not yet returned from the far darkness...

There has been scattered reports of looting and rioting by Congressmen but it is expected that they will tire themselves out fairly quickly and go back to napping shortly.

The mail will still be delivered (at current levels of competence), SSN checks will continue to get printed and congress will continue to appear on TV so for most of us, nothing should change.

“This is an unnecessary blow to America,” Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said. We are not sure if he meant the shutdown, ObamaCare or Congress. Our local reporter was not able to get in a follow on question for clarification.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Improving intersection safety without using red light cameras

If DOT and governments were really serious about improving intersection safety, instead of installing some red light cameras (that actually make intersections less safe), they would instead reconfigure the traffic lights to follow the stop light sequence used in many European countries. Instead of the common "Red, Green, Yellow, back to Red" cycle that is so common in the states, a lot of countries use "Red, Red-Yellow flashing, Green, Yellow, and back to Red". This extra notification (flashing Red and Yellow at the same time) alerts drivers in the red (stopped) cross road that the light is getting ready to change to Green and they will be able to proceed "very soon".

Many times people run the Yellow/Red lights in an intersections because the cross traffic (generally) does not know when their light will go from Red to Green, so the red light runner gains some extra seconds to "scoot the light". If instead, everyone knew in advance that the light was getting ready to change and that the currently stopped traffic was getting set to go "at the light change", people would be less likely to take the risk and run the red.

Instead of "inform everyone of the up-coming light change", governments install red light cameras. It is claimed for safety but studies have shown this actually makes intersections less safe as lead cars stop abruptly causing rear-end collisions with subsequent cars that expected the lead car to not stop. Despite the evidence that these cameras cause more problems than they solve, local governments continue to install them due to their promotion as a revenue source. Put safety first, change the stop light pattern instead of installing red light cameras.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Circle Flies...

From Anonymous...

A cowboy from Texas attends a social function where Barack Obama is trying to gather more support for his Health Plan. Once he discovers the cowboy is from President Bush's home area, he starts to belittle him by talking in a southern drawl and single syllable words.

As he was doing that, he kept swatting at some flies that were buzzing around his head. The cowboy says, "Y'all havin' some problem with them circle flies?"

Obama stopped talking and said, "Well, yes, if that's what they're called, but I've never heard of circle flies."

"Well Sir," the cowboy replies, "circle flies hang around ranches. They're called circle flies because they're almost always found circling around the back end of a horse."

"Oh," Obama replies as he goes back to rambling. But, a moment later he stops and bluntly asks, "Wait a minute, are you calling me a horse's ass?"

"No, Sir," the cowboy replies, "I have too much respect for the citizens of this country to call their President a horse's ass."

"That's a good thing," Obama responds and begins rambling on once more. After a long pause, the cowboy, in his best Texas drawl says, "Hard to fool them flies, though."

Police gone wild

Here is yet another incident of police accidentally shooting unarms, uninvolved civilians. This case is even worst than usual because:
  1. The police were within a dozen feet of the person they were wanting to shoot.
  2. They did not actually see a gun (the man was unarmed), they "thought" he was going for a gun.
  3. They fired three shots and missed the intended target with all three shots.
  4. They managed to hit two uninvolved innocent bystanders.
  5. They then decide to Taser the suspect.
We are constantly told by gun-control proponents that citizens should not be allowed to carry guns because they are not trained "like police are". Well, if you review the statistics on un-intended shootings, you will see that concealed weapons holders are far less likely to accidentally shoot innocent civilians than the police are.

If you or I had done this, intended to shoot someone who was unarmed, in the middle of a crowded intersection, missed and hit others with stray bullets, we would be arrested and brought up on charges. Why are these two not?

Also, whenever a citizen uses a gun in self-defense, the news is more than happy to print their full name and if possible, show a picture. Where are the names of these two officers? Doesn't the public have a right to know the names of these two shooters of innocent people? Why are the names of police officers that make on the job mistakes like this shielded? If I were to do something at work that got into the paper, you can bet they would include my name.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

But voter fraud is just a myth!

Double voting in a federal election is a federal crime. So far, the U.S. Justice Department has been slack in enforcing this federal law which protects federal (as opposed to state) interests. Meloweese Richardson in Ohio still has not been charged with double voting. Neither has Wendy Rosen in Maryland. There are more.

Friday, August 16, 2013

NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.

The documents, provided earlier this summer to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, include a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance.

So, Snowden is a traitor and should not be trusted but he exposed government corruption that we "the people" would not have known about any other way as the people that were supposed to be watching the people with this power, were lied to. What a shock! I wonder how soon those that broke the law will be brought to justice. I won't hold my breath.

P.S. I wonder if this still counts as one of those "phony scandals".

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Dick Durbin Debit Card Fiasco

A honest look at the damage caused by the Durbin Amendment by Richard A. Epstein.

Yet another example of politicians making decisions in areas in which they know nothing, doing more damage than the "problem" they are trying to fix...

Friday, August 2, 2013

VirtualBox by Oracle

If you have not heard of VirtualBox by Oracle you are missing out on a "very good" thing. VirtualBox is an Oracle product that allows you to create multiple virtual PCs within your existing system. These can be Windows, Linux, Mac or others. Using this software you can run Windows XP on an Intel Mac. You can run OSX on a Win8 system. You can even run Win95 or 2000 Server on a Win7 system.

I have one Win XP Pro, 2 Win 2000 Server, a OS X 10.8.2 and an Ubuntu all as virtual environments on my Win8 laptop.

The best part is, the software is free. Yep, free!

So, if you like to play with different operating systems but don't want a bunch of hardware or you want to be able to play your old PC games but they won't install on Win8, why not give VirtualBox a try?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Post Turtle...

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old Texas rancher, whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Obama and his bid to be president.

The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Obama is a "post turtle".

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a "post turtle" was. The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a "post turtle".

The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. You know he didn't get up there by himself, he doesn't belong up there, he doesn't know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there in the first place.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

iPhone call blocker

At this time, there do not appear to be any affective call blockers for the iPhone. I have heard various explanations for this situation, most of which revolve around iPhone carriers pressuring Apple into not making them available so that the carriers can charge subscription fees for inadequate alternate services.

I can't say that I do not give these theories some merit.

Until such time as cheap or free iPhone call blockers are available (without jail-breaking your phone), here is an option that though not ideal, does offer some protection.

Step 1) Download one of the many "silent" ring tones that are available on the net (or you could purchase one from the iTunes store).

Step 2) Get your ring tone into iTunes (if you purchase it from iTunes, skip this step) by just dragging the ringtone into iTunes. If it does not appear under your Tones folder, check the file information to see if its "kind" is ringtone, it should be. I had to get out of iTunes and back in once or twice before it appeared for me.

Step 3) Sync your ringtone with your iPhone.

Step 4) Setup a new contact on your iPhone titled "Spam Caller" or any other name you wish.

Step 5) Edit the contact so that the ringtone is your silent tone, vibrate is none, text alert is none and text vibrate is none.

Step 6) Enjoy less spam calls. They will still appear in your call list but at least you will not be bothered by them in real time.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

NBC at it again...

NBC just can't seem to play fair. Is it even remotely possible to call them a news organization at all? Recently they aired their deceptively edited Zimmerman 911 tape to make it look like Zimmerman was a raciest. Well their editors are back! This time they are editing tape from the Sandy Hook hearings to make it look like 2nd amendment supporters are heckling a witness. Follow the link and view NBC's version and then the actual tape.


OK, fine, you do not believe in the individual right to bear arms and you would like stronger, stricter gun laws. OK. I get that. I do not believe you are right but I get it. If you feel that your position is so strong and that you have logic on your side, why lie? Why fabricate "proof" that the other side is not legitimate? Why can't you just present the "facts" and let people make up their own minds? Is it because the majority of the country does not have the same options as you do and if you give them the actual facts, you will never get your way? Is it because your position is not legally or morally justifiable and so you have to resort to emotional dirty tricks to try and sway low information voters to your side? You certainly act that way...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mayor Bloomberg uses bodyguards to bully journalist in DC

Follow the link, read the article and watch the video! Mayor Bloomberg, at the DC US Conference of Mayors on January 18. A reporter dares asks the mayor about his security detail (he has at least 5 armed guards, some of them NYPD) being armed and not only gets rebuffed but followed and questioned by one of the guards who also happens to be NYPD.

Is the "stop" even legal or would that be considered unlawful restraint by the guard? Is the guard working as a police officer or a guard? Is he out of his jurisdiction either way?

So it is OK for Mayor "Big Gulp" to have armed guards (which I have no problem with) but not OK (in his mind) for you or I, the lowly masses to be able to protect ourselves. Nice...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obama takes his first step in "doing something" about gun violence

And his first step is to sign a whole pile of executive orders that have been summarized here for you.

Of course he did forget to do one or two things that would actually help with gun violence but hey, his commission did not have very much time to pull all of this together.

What could he have done that would actually make a difference?

1) Come clean on Fast and Furious and issue an executive order ending any similar programs the government currently has in progress and forbid any more from getting started.

2) Make it clear that "gun free" zones don't work. If armed guards are good enough and safe enough for his kids, how about yours and mine?

3) Push the states for national reciprocity for concealed carry. Having normal law abiding citizens suddenly become criminals because they drove into the wrong state is just plain wrong.

4) Actually enforce our boarders.

5) Violent illegals should be deported as quickly as possible.

6) Push to end "no knock" warrants. Too many innocent people are shot and/or killed when the warrant is served on the wrong address.

I am sure that there are other things that are just as simple that should have been included on the list but these (though they would have a positive affect) don't push his agenda and so are beyond consideration. Too bad.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Paul Krugman and the trillion dollar coin

In this column Paul is asking what all the fuss is over the trillion dollar coin idea. For those not familiar with this, it is basically to get the treasury to mint a coin with a face value of 1 trillion dollars. Once minted, the coin would be deposited with the fed and presto, an extra trillion to spend!

I am no nobel prize winner like Paul so I do not have his keen credentials to lend my opinion the same weight as his but I will present mine anyway.

Paul, you should immediately give back your Nobel prize. The fact that you are even entertaining this idea as an option should disqualify you from your current prize and cause the loss of all of your degrees as well.

A 12 year old knows this is nothing but a gimmick yet you treat it as a serious option.

I understand that this plan (to have an instant trillion dollars created out of nothing but about an ounce of metal) is simply a much shorter and quicker version of what the fed is currently doing (running the printing presses 24/7 and cranking out the green backs) as well as the decades long government raid on the SS fund (where the majority of the money is simply IOUs) . So please explain to me how doing this would that not have inflationary affects, further debasing our currency? Either inflation will rise or this "coin" is really a loan and the money will need to be paid back. You have to pick one or the other. It is not like treasury will, as part of minting this coin crap out 1 trillion in gold to back it up. It is backed by air and nothing more, just like most of our existing currency.

If this is such a great idea, why not go all in? Mint 20 or 30 of them. Bingo, you have not only paid off the current national debt but also given the country a surplus so Obama and congress can carry on with their spending ways!

While you are at it, might as well set the income tax rate to 0. You have just as much of a chance of paying off all of this current and future government debt (which is zero in case you are having trouble keeping up) with income tax rates at current levels, zero or even 100%. So you might as well let the sheep feel grateful before the whole place comes crashing down.

It is amazing that those that hold themselves up as "our" intellectual betters would rather champion ideas such as this instead of being the adults in the room and push for the real spending and entitlement reforms that are needed in order to get our fiscal house in order. We are bankrupting our kids, grandkids and great grandkids and instead of trying to get things under control Paul and others want to just keep the party going for a little longer.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The truth about Ethanol

Ethanol as a fuel source is a bad answer. It takes food out of consumption and turns it into bad fuel. By bad fuel, I mean it takes more energy to produce ethanol from corn than you get from the resulting ethanol. Most recent information on the process states that it takes 1.5 gallons of fuel energy to produce one gallon of ethanol fuel energy.

So, producing ethanol results in:
- higher food prices due to the loss of food corn
- higher energy prices due to the process loss from producing ethanol
- higher vehicle maintenance costs due to the corrosive affects of ethanol on nonmetallic engine parts

All so the ethanol lobby can make lots of money for a product that makes no economic sense and so "greens" can feel better about "doing something" for the planet that actually makes things worse for the planet.

Things will only be getting worse as the ethanol additive rates are set to increase from up to 10% ethanol to the newer up to 15% ethanol standard.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bob Munden, you will be missed

Bob Munden, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “The Fastest Man with a Gun Who Ever Lived” has died at the age of 70. You have to watch the videos of this man in action to appreciate exactly how fast he was. He could shoot two targets so fast that it sounded like a single shot.

Here is a YouTube video of the man in action. He demonstrates his speed about 2:40 in.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fiscal Cliff Reality

As a commenter on another blog posted:

16 months ago, government promised that if we bought them one more bottle of booze they would take a good, hard look at themselves, get some counseling, go into rehab, quit drinking. As a show of their sincerity, they even put out a contract on themselves - if they weren't clean and sober by January 1, 2013, some goons would come around to rough them up and drag them off to dry out. Well, they didn't quit drinking, they didn't sober up, they didn't seriously take a long, hard look at themelves, the counselors threw up their hands and walked away saying it was hopeless - all we had left was the knowledge that come January 1, 2013, the goons were going to show up and force them to quit drinking. But the bastards managed to get the hit called off. And there was much rejoicing.

There is nothing to rejoice about. This was no "good deal". This was no "save". This was breaking a promise and kicking the can down the road again. As Glenn Reynolds is fond of saying "What can't go on forever, won't" and this spending won't and when it does finally stop, it will be all kinds of messy.