(the blog formerly known as Je ne sais quoi)

Entropy Pile might - or might not - return.

However, its spirit lives on at Truth For Dummies

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Anyone We Know?


When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, you are looking at a post turtle. You know that
  • he didn't get there by himself
  • he doesn't belong there
  • he can't get anything done while he's up there
and you just want to help the poor thing get down before he hurts himself.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

When Words Come Back To Bite

In wartime, anyone who doesn't support the president is giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and is therefore a traitor. Here's a perfect example:

"Never has so much military and economic and diplomatic power been used so ineffectively, and if after all of this time, and all of this sacrifice, and all of this support, there is still no end in sight, then I say the time has come for the American people to turn to new leadership not tied to the mistakes and policies of the past."

This was clearly written by someone traitorous, someone who refused to support the President in a time of war. No doubt he was hoping for a defeat to the USA and a victory for the enemy.

The quote is from 1968 presidential candidate, Republican Richard Nixon.

It turns out that he got his chance and didn't do any better. He was too busy being a criminal in the government, and eventually became our one-and-only cut-and-run president.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Let's Say Thanks

The mission of Let's Say Thanks is to provide a way for individuals across the country to recognize U.S. troops stationed overseas. By submitting a message through this site you will send a free personalized postcard greeting to deployed servicemen and women.

The postcards, depicting patriotic scenes and hometown images, were selected from a pool of entries from children across the country.

All you have to do is click on your favorite design and either select the message that best expresses your sentiment or draft a personal note.

Surely we could all find 5 minutes to do something for our troops - most of whom had no idea what they were called upon to do. While those fine folks are risking all, MOST of we statesiders are not sacrificing anything.

The postcards are then printed on the Xerox iGen3® Digital Production Press and mailed in care packages by military support organization Give2TheTroops®.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Scary Stuff

If this doesn't scare you, perhaps you are already dead and just don't realize.

There are 5 major trends that are reshaping the world economy.

Historically the regulated capitalist system has been flexible enough to keep those of us in the US fairly safe in economic upheavals. As these reshaping trends stare us in the face, consider: will our previously successful system be resilient enough in the future? Or have we already devolved too far?

The following is from Bill Bonner's article in MoneyWeek. Read it, or regret it.
  • The rising cost of Energy

    Is the world running out of oil? No. There is plenty of the stuff. At today’s oil prices, every producer in the world is busy adding capacity. Non-importers are busy trying to reclaim old wells; squeeze oil of sand, or tar or rock; or find substitutes. In the U.S. ethanol is becoming a major swindle. It takes more energy to produce a gallon than you can get from it. And it costs more to make a gallon than a gallon is actually worth. But it’s the kind of boondoggle that Congress likes, since it gives a way to spread other people’s money around under cover of national emergency.

  • The Experimental monetary system

    It bears on the price of energy, of course, and on everything else. It is quite possible for the price of gasoline to go up, for example, even with no change in the supply/demand equation for energy itself. This is because the price is measured with a tape that stretches. As demand rises for energy resources, producers begin to see their oil and gas as precious assets. Sellers begin to ask what they are getting in return.

    Worldwide, oil is calibrated in dollars. But what is the dollar calibrated in? More and more oil producers are beginning to ask. And the answer is that the dollar floats in the air like a willow leaf. If the winds are favorable, it stays up. If it gets caught in a downdraft, it falls.

  • Where are we in the Economic cycle?

    Here we are talking about the normal ebb and flow of prices, as well as the big epochs in economic history. Temperature changes from day to night and from winter to summer, for example. There are also extraordinary periods that can last decades…or thousands of years….like Ice Ages and times when the ice melts. Nicholai Kondratief described economic patterns of as waves of growth and decline that lasted about as long as a human life. His work was mostly bogus, but the patterns are real.

    We know that from boom to bust in the stock market is usually a period of about 18 years. The bull market began in 1982 or 1975 depending on how you look at it. It ended in 2000, as much as a quarter of a century later.

    The bear market that began in 2000 was held off – but not reversed -- by the biggest flood of liquidity in human history. But that bear market is still waiting to fully express itself. And it will probably carry stocks down to about 5,000 on the Dow…or lower…before it is over. And it probably won’t be over until 2015 or so.

  • The Exodus of money from West to East

    Let’s go on to another of our Big E’s – The grand Exodus of money and power, from West to East. One of the biggest trends in economic history was the rise of the West – centered roughly in Manchester, England, and Manchester, New Hampshire – beginning in the 18th century. Then, in the 19th century, all of Europe and European outposts in the New World spurted ahead of the rest of the world.. By the end of the 20th century, the average worker in Western Europe or America earned about 20 times a much per hour as a similar worker in China or India.

    But the averages masked the new trend. Wages in India and China are rising sharply. Those in America and Europe are stagnant. Yesterday’s Financial Times tells us that real hourly incomes in America are lower today than they were 5 years ago. In India, they have almost doubled.

    Meanwhile, China is growing faster than at any time in the last 10 years – with a GDP growth rate over 11%. India is not far behind. Both economies are graduating hundreds of thousands of new chemists and civil engineers, whereas American universities turn out young people trained in sports therapy and theatre design. And while both economies are plagued by the usual assortment of bullies and bureaucrats, their parasites are much cheaper than ours…which, along with low wages, gives them a tremendous advantage.

  • The decline of the American Empire

    And finally, we come to the last of the Big E trends, the one for which this conference was conceived – the Empire. We Americans don’t like to think of our country as an Empire. Instead, we imagine it as a kind of proto-democracy…with people coming together in local schoolhouses in town meetings where important issues are discussed. We are too modest for empire, we say to ourselves. Besides, empires need emperors, and we don’t have an emperor, we have an elected president, and a society that believes in individual liberty, not collective glory. And empires need people in funny hats. And we Americans don’t wear hats…except maybe baseball caps that advertise where we went on our summer vacations. What’s more, America is a democracy…where the people decide what kind of government they want. And no one ever ran for high office on an Empire platform. So, we couldn’t have an empire.

    But it is a strange and wonderful world we live in. And sometimes we get what we did not intend and what no one in particular ever wanted. If you look at the next presidential press conference you will find the American eagle on the lectern. The eagle is, of course, a symbol of empire – it comes from the Roman era, when the eagle was on all the Roman standards. And if you listen to the president’s remarks you will find he spends a lot of time talking about war in exactly the same places where the Romans did their fighting – the edge of the empire, Mesopotamia, where Roman soldiers died by the thousands taking and retaking ancient Babylon. And there, too, where the soldiers of the British Empire washed up again, on the same river banks…done to death by the same desert tribes.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Unusual Candor From a Bushevik

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson:

"Amid this country's strong economic expansion, many Americans simply aren't feeling the benefits. Their increases in wages are being eaten up by high energy prices and rising healthcare costs, among others."

His comments are "a sign that the income inequality may rise higher on the US policy agenda in the years ahead."

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson now has to watch his backside. Former Busheviks who spoke truth were usually fired shortly after committing such a heresy: Colin Powell, Richard Clark, Larry Lindsey, Paul O'Neill, General Shinseki, General Zinni... and on and on and on...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

R.T.F.M.

RTFM1

Whenever I need a product manual for just about anything, I can't find the right manual. Fortunately, most manufacturers make manuals available online. So when the dead tree version is hiding, I go a web site.

My first stop used to be the manufacturer's web site.

Nowadays, however, I first check out UsersManualGuide.com. It has hundreds of product manuals, so it's frequently one-stop shopping. Besides, when I'm at that site, I often see other manuals that I should download.

My next stop is the manufacturer's web site.

If both of those come up empty, then it's Google Time.

1From the beginning of the computer era, RTFM is the first answer one gets when asking for help. It means "Read The Manual"

Friday, August 04, 2006

Biggest Threat To Our National Security

The following is taken from Buzzflash. If you enjoy pumping up your blood pressure AND reading the rarely reported news (all well-documented), you should spend some time at Buzzflash. It's a Treasure Trove of information that is floating around, but largely unreported by the mainstream media.

"For BuzzFlash, the most fundamental 'in your face, no further proof needed' evidence of Bush Administration negligence and malfeasance in relation to 9/11 occurred in August of 2001.

In August of 2001, Bush was given a briefing by a CIA official that Condi Rice testified was headlined, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S." It included the strong possibility that Osama bin Laden's group would carry out hijackings.

As we have noted ad nauseum, Bush and Rice (who knew too of the briefing) did nothing - absolutely nothing - in response to this intelligence warning about al-Qaeda planning strikes in the U.S., particularly hijackings.

The most fundamental fact remains as clear as can be: if Bush or Rice had issued a special alert to airports about potential hijackings and put special airlines security procedures in place, 9/11 might never had happened.

Bush and Rice, and others in the Bush Administration are - at a minimum - guilty of gross negligence.

The most tragic irony is that out of the ashes of 9/11, Karl Rove was able to build a myth that we need Bush for our national security - when he did nothing to prevent 9/11 even when directly warned of such a likelihood.

In fact, as we recently twice noted, journalist Robert Parry wrote of Bush's juvenile, irresponsible and perhaps criminally negligent response to the infamous August, 2001, briefing:

"The CIA tried to warn Bush about the threat on Aug. 6, 2001, with the hope that presidential action could energize government agencies and head off the attack. The CIA sent analysts to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, to brief him and deliver a report entitled 'Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.'

"Bush was not pleased by the intrusion. He glared at the CIA briefer and snapped, 'All right, you?ve covered your ass,' according to [Ron] Suskind's book

"Then, putting the CIA's warning in the back of his mind and ordering no special response, Bush returned to a vacation of fishing, clearing brush and working on a speech about stem-cell research."

On August 2, 2006, the Washington Post reports, belatedly, that the 9/11 Commission almost considered criminal charges against Pentagon officials for perjury in regards to their testimony about 9/11. This is no small revelation.
[ 9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon. "It was just so far from the truth. . . . It's one of those loose ends that never got tied." Criminal Charges Were Considered." ] Washington Post, 8-01-2006.

There are many people who have been trying to get to the bottom of how 9/11 happened - given America's tremendous security apparatus - and why no orders to implement special anti-hijacking measures were given. In the case of the Pentagon, the lack of any effective response to the hijackings - and the Pentagon's lying about what happened - opens a Pandora's box of new questions.

One doesn't have to believe every aspect of every "conspiracy theory" about 9/11 to know one basic truth: At a minimum, the Bush Administration is guilty of gross negligence in
  1. not taking any efforts to prevent 9/11, despite CIA warnings
  2. mishandling the hijackings once they occurred
  3. Bush's passive response to the event, as he sat in a 1st grade classroon while 3,000 people were dying.
How can anyone believe that this man should be responsible for America's national security? He has been so irresponsible in protecting us. Yet, there is the myth that Rove, the media, and the timid Democrats have created around the Bush Administration.

In and of itself, the Bush Administration is a threat to our national security. You need look no further than 9/11.

We don't know everything that they didn't or did do, but already we know enough to know that they were, perhaps, criminally negligent.

Whether or not they were just incompetent and lazy or were willfully allowing it to happen to create the "Pearl Harbor" event that the PNAC felt was necessary to galvanize Americans into a wartime footing remains to be uncovered.
[ note: PNAC - Project for a New American Century - was the now-disbanded and discredited offical organization of leading neo-cons ]

But, already, we know enough."

Our national security and our lives are at risk as long as the Busheviks are in power.

The above article was taken from a daily briefing offered by Buzzflash

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

If Abe Lincoln Used Powerpoint...

The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation
11/19/1863

"And now please welcome President Abraham Lincoln."

"Good morning. Just a second while I get this connection to work."

"Do I press this button here? Function-F7? No, that's not right. Hmmm. Maybe I'll have to reboot. Hold on a minute."

"Um, my name is Abe Lincoln and I'm your president. While we're waiting, I want to thank Judge David Wills, chairman of the committee supervising the dedication of the Gettysburg cemetery. It's great to be here, Dave, and you and the committee are doing a great job."

"Gee, sometimes this new technology does have glitches, but we couldn't live without it, could we?"

"Oh - is it ready? OK, here we go:"
The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Age Health Nuttery

... the living body is the best pharmacy ever devised. It produces diuretics, pain killers, tranquillizers, sleeping pills, antibiotics, and indeed everything manufactured by the drug companies, but it makes them much, much better. The dosage is always right and given on time; the directions for using the drug are included in the drug itself, as part of its built-in intelligence.

mind-energy.net

Nice try, but I'm here to tell you that sometimes the mind and body mess up. On the other hand, we could all stand to live a bit better, to eat better, to exercise better.

That's all well and good, but I still reserve the right to hang on to my attitude.

Happy Birthday, Son

It's been the best 26 years of my life....

Sunday, July 30, 2006

For Those Special Moments

Come on, admit it. You've always wished you had some of these for those special moments. Bumper Stickers.

PS: Check out the white SUV near the bottom of the page. Now THAT is how an idiot parks.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Compare Stuff Network Sites

The Compare Stuff Network has several sites that help you to, um, compare stuff. I used one of the comparison sites for technical stuff. I was very impressed. The one I used listed dozens of competing products. It let me select several and compare features, costs, etc. It also let me list features, costs, etc. and then compare some or all of the competing products.

It was easy to use and amazingly thorough. The first time through I used very "loose" criteria. From the resulting list, I investigated the products selected. Then I went back and narrowed the search criteria. It worked great.

There are several network sites. Below are two that seem to have a broad appeal.

Compare Hangouts
Compare social networks, dating sites, and other interpersonal communication web sites like Classmates.com, e|Harmony, Match.com, MySpace, and more.

Compare Canines
Not all dogs are created equal. Perhaps you need a low activity dog, or a good guard dog, or maybe you need one that's low dander because you have light allergies. Here you can compare Poodles, Terriers, Boxers, Hounds, Bulldogs, and all the rest of mans best friends.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Nostalgia

From the Classic TV Links Page:

"When I was a kid growing up in the 70s, I enjoyed the shows on network television like Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, Love Boat and Charlies' Angels. But what I even enjoyed more were the syndicated shows of: Gilligan's Island, Hogan's Heroes, M*A*S*H, Brady Bunch and McHale's Navy. What I remember the most though is the actual song from those classics. How can anyone forget songs like the Munster's theme or even Edith singing and playing the piano on All In The Family. This website will focus on the classics which I was able to find and put together, but most importantly, the theme song in its an MP3 format. Though these songs generally take anywhere from 45 seconds to 2 minutes to download, this entire site is FREE for everyone. If you know your show, just click on the LETTER that the show begins and you will go to the next index page where all that LETTER's shows are listed."

My comments:
  • Of all the shows listed, the only ones I ever saw (other than being held hostage or walking past a TV when those shows were on) were All in the Family and M.A.S.H.
  • However, I was a character in McHale's Navy once. Read my memiors for the details.
  • When I recognize one of those theme songs, I get a strange kind of nostalgia. F'rinstance, when I hear "Charlie's Angels," I think of my lil' bro, who had a gigantic poster of Farrah Fawcett on the wall in his room. I wonder if he still has a crush on her....


By the way, I have no idea about the status of copyrights on the music offered at the site. I am not encouraging anyone to break any laws. 10-4?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Pandering To The News Junkies

542 front pages from 47 countries presented alphabetically, and updated daily.
Today's Front Pages

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Bible On Immigration and Immigrants

Leviticus 19:33 "When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him."

Leviticus 19:34 "The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt."

That's not from the liberal commie/terrorist-loving Jesus. No, that's straight from the Big Guy - the one who would have you stoned for sneezing wrong.

Did anyone notice that "papers" and "legal status" are not part of the equation?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dazed And Confused, Part 2

(Call) Ahead To The Future

callthefuture.org has an interesting service... interesting FREE service. Using this call the future service, you can
  • Schedule a phone call for a date and time in the future
  • Place That Call
  • Leave a brief message
  • Show a Caller ID
  • Show a Caller ID Name
Imagine the possibilities:
  • Call yourself - at the appropriate time - for a reminder about whatever reminders you need
  • Call your aging aunt every day at 10 a.m., reminding her to take her medications
  • Schedule a call to yourself in case you need an easy way out of the Date From Hell, the Meeting From Hell, etc.
  • "The rabbit died"
  • "Your damn check bounced. Call me right away or I'll tell your wife about us."
  • You know that aspiring writer who lives and dies each day waiting for a phone call from the publishing house.... no, not the one who is bipolar
callthefuture.org

So, has anyone used this service? Check out stories about some of those calls.

Don't make me tell you again:

Do NOT use this for:
Harassing anyone
Illegal activities
Anything that common sense tells you to not do (assuming that you and common sense are acquainted)

All submissions are logged. Illegal activities will be turned over to the authorities.