Saturday, August 31, 2013

No Mr President

We're not buying your war Mr. President. We know a "narrow, limited attack", in your words, would not amount to much more than a slap to President Assad of Syria. He would not care what we do in response to his atttack on the people of Syria, and he'll keep on killing them.

As noted in the news stories, you are asking us to rely on the CIA and other "spy" agencies "proof" the attack was committed by the Syrian military but can't determine if President Assad knew about it and maybe even approved it.

The UN inspectors are only there to determine what chemical was used, if they can, not who used them. So selling us the culprit now reminds us President Bush selling us Saddham Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, sold by the same agencies who lied then.

And even though it's clear chemical weapons were used in Syria, you're still trying to convince us a retaliation is fair and just despite only France being the only ally willing to agree, but not help, with your war.

That's what's not going to work. We've been there before and there is no narrow and limited war in Syria in the midst of a two year civil war. We know your attack would only have a short-term impact on Syria and those in power, and you'll be back again for another attack.

And then what? You promised us no wars of our own choosing, and this is one of those wars of choice. You surround yourself with senior military officials as your advisors and then say you're getting a balanced range of options.

No, not when you only ask the military and your senior military advisors. You're being swayed into an attack that has no guarrantees of success and no promises of avoiding collateral damage, and that's the issue and real question, what if any of those missiles miss their intended targets or hit innocent civilians?

Where will that put this country in the eyes of the world? Right now the best decision is the old adage, "Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor." It's time to wait and see, and only attack when the concensus asks you than you ask them.

Friday, August 30, 2013

No Mr President

President Obama's logic that Syria's chemical weapons is a threat to the national security of the US is the same logic and reasoning Bush sold us the war in Iraq.

Sorry, Mr. President, we're not that stupid this time. Syria's chemical weapons are only a threat to the Syrian people by the Assad government and military, and not a threat to Americans or America.

Don't go down the road to involve us, you know the American people, in another mindless war in the Middle East with no possible exit or solution for us or them.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Century Link

Why in the world does Century Link decide to bring down their Internet connection for users on a weekday at 4:45 pm? I was in the middle of downloading an e-book which buyers have limited downloads in case of problems and which downloads take nearly an hour to finish.

And about 2/3rds into the download Century Link drops the connection, and when it comes back the download starts from the beginning, the nearly hour download all over again, along with all the other work that requires an Internet connection.

Century Link provides good service most of the time, but when they do down, it's almost always at the times users need it the most, from mid-morning to early evening, like how can they inconvenience users the most.

Yeah, it's a vent or rant, but sometimes it's warranted against things like this, to let a download work and come to find it quit because your Internet connection isn't working. And through all of these times Century Link has never credited users' account for the inconvenience.

Like we pay for this? And what's worse, try to find information about downtimes on their Website. Wait, you can't if it's on the Internet you can't use to check them.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

I can't help but notice how many news organizations through their media outlets are calling for Private Manning to receive proper medical care for a transition from male to female, including hormones, while in military prison.

They call it "cruel and unusual punishment" as defined in the Constitution, and rightfully so when it involves the protection of transgender individual from violence, rape and other physical abuse by other prisoners or guards.

Whether it's cruel or unusual punishment to deny non-life threatening medical treatments from a prisoner has been subject to a lot of discussion over the years, and if mandatory treatment should include medical care for transgender prisoners to transition.

Granted the DSM-V stipulates transgender, meaning someone who recognize they gender is differnt than their birth sex, is a condition which is treatable with therapy, drugs and surgery if desired. But whille Manning has received a preliminary diagnosis of being transgender, it hasn't been fully confirmed by other medical professionals.

And that's the question, should Manning get the therapy for that determination, and if so diagnosed, get the treatment of hormones at the government's, meaning the taxpayers', expense. But that's another issue and not the point I want to make here.

While a whole array of organizations and people have asserted the rights of prisoners who are diagnosed as transgender to receive treatment in prison, almost none of these same organizations and people have argued health insurance companies denying the same rights to paying customers is also cruel and unusual punishment.

If it's fair and right for prisoners, why isn't it fair and right for citizens? There are tens of thousands of transgender people being denied coverage under their health insurance for transgender healthcare and treatment, even well after a diagnosis.

Not only are they denied, their record, if they reveal it to the health insurance company by themselves or through the healthcare providers, is almost always flagged and other medical care denied or rejected as related to their diagnosis as transgender.

This is a case of legitimate needs of people paying for health insurance being subject to cruel and unusual punishment by corporations for the same condition. Where are the voices for them? Where is the outrage of the injustice?

Nowhere. And that too is cruel and unusual punishment by those voices aruging for prisoners' rights. Maybe they should be held to their own standards before they yell about the standards imposed on prisoners.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


NBC's Sports Channel (NBCSC) sucks. When they bought the rights to air Formula One they promised more live coverage of the races from practice through the race. But then they announced the package to air Barclay's Premier Football league games, and Formula One now is playing second fiddle.

I woke up to watch the live qualifying for the Spa-Francochamps race today (5/24/13) at 5 am PDT and what do I see, European football. Not the live qualifying for the race as they promised. I like football but there will be far more football matches than Formula One race events.

At least they promise to air, according the the TV schedule, the actual race live starting with the pre-race show at 4:30 am. I will be up and expect them to live up to their promise, but from now on I'm not holding my breath about them and their promises.

I can see live listing of lap times for the practice and qualifying on Formula One's official channel, so what does NBCSC know about tape delay broadcasts that isn't already known that they suck? Nothing. They're as bad as ESPN and ABC was with their tape delay broadcasts of qualifying and races.

I hate networks who pull this kind of shit on viewers, promise more then forget the promise to deliver less. It sucks and they now suck, in the first season of broadcasts too. And what worse is the qualifying would be cool to watch live as it was raining and turned it in to an exciting event, one of the best qualifying this season, better than football.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


We have days in our life we remember, some with events over the years which just seem to happen on one day during the year. The events aren't usually birthdays or other days you normally remember and celebrate, but have other significance for you and your life.

Today, August 21st, is one of those days, for two reasons. The first is that on August 21, 1978 I officially joined the US Geological Survey where I spent the next 27 years and 4-plus months retiring with my military service and other additions with 32 years of government service.

The second is that of August 21, 1991. I went to work that day the normal time but took the afternoon off to trade in my 1985 VW GTI for the car I had planned to buy for several years, had read 1991 was the last year of production for the US market and the dealer found one of the last two in the Puget Sound area.

That afternoon after going through the paperwork I drove home in a 1991 VW Vanagon Syncro I still have today and plan to keep as long as I can find parts and afford the work to maintain it. It's a reliable and durable all-weather, all-season, all-road van which carries near 1 ton.

I drove it home that day only to hear a message on the telephone answering machine my (older) brother had died early that afternoon of a massive heart attack, his second, in their home in Olathe, Kansas. The first trip in the van was to the airport the next day to fly to Denver and then Kansas City.

The second trip after driving home from the airport returning from the funeral was to Westport on the Washington coast on the south side of Grays Harbor. My brother always wanted to see and stand on the beach of the Pacific Ocean.

I put a flower from the wreath from the service into the ocean for him. I celebrate this day for his spirit, a person who was deeply flawed by the pressure of the family but a great person beneath all the flaws. He was the only member who understood the family, he stayed close to our parents as I was told to leave when I was 19.

We were polar opposite as individuals and with six years difference in our age and didn't realize until our 30's that we were closer than we thought and even though we rarely spoke, we knew how much we had in common due to our parents.

Neither of us reconciled our feelings with them, his life and demise to the pressures of being the oldest son and child, and my life to the pressures of being first rejected as a child and ostracized by them later to leave and rarely see them.

That to me is today.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Who are the most vocal opponents of anything related to a woman's reproductive healthcare, and especially abortion rights? Big Fat White Guys.

The very people who are the most ignorant with no possibility of ever understanding woman's issues with her reproductive healthcare. It's not about healthcare, it's about power and control, and the bigger, fatter and more vocal they are, the most stupid they become.

They don't mind screwing women, but damn if they'll let a woman make her decisions of the aftermath of sex with these guys or any man. If the situation were reversed, we all know the BFWG would be on the other extreme for their rights.

Makes you wonder where God went wrong with them. I would add arrogant and ignorant to the acronym but it works for the obvious of who they are, the rest I'll leave to the audience.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

FY Fox Sports 1

Update.--Apparently they're not getting rid of some autoracing, just yet, as they know it's their Speed Channel viewer audience, and our money, that counts, not doing good for viewers, just not being stupid with us.

Original Post.--I've been a regular viewer of Speed Channel, mostly because it carried Formula One and other US and world sports cars events, including ALMS, Grand Am and WEC races, but this morning Speed Channel went dark being replaced with Fox Sport 1 or some such crap channel of the Rupper Murdoch media empire.

Well, Formula One is now on NBC Sports which is doing a good job, but I'll have to look elsewhere for the other races, and it won't be on any Fox Sport cable channel if I have to pay more for it, because that's what it's all about to people here, money.

All Fox Sports wants to do is milk viewers for more money for the cable network and themselves. They won't do it from me now, except for one event I love since being there in my youth, the 24-hour LeMans endurance race. The World Endurance Cup I'd pay to watch, and yes, on Fox if they're the only channel, but not if I have to pay for more than that.

So to ya'll at Fox Sports, FY!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Chief Justice

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts voted 5-4 to overturn Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) which allowed the State of North Carolina to pass the most restrictive voting rights laws in the country and the worst since 1965.

Really, to restrict students, blacks and other people from voting in the 2013 and 2014 elections. Why does this make me think Chief Justice is smiling for his discrimination and racism? We now know just exactly how white he really is and how much he hates young people, poor people and minorities.

And he does it now hiding behind his judicial robe and role as Chief Justice, disguised as legal opinion.

Climate Change

To all the climate change deniers, I have only one question. What if you're wrong?

If climate change is wrong but if we not just prepare but work for alleviating it, then nothing is hurt and no one is harmed, and we're ready if or when it does happen. But if we allow the deniers to prevent us from doing anything and they're wrong, it's too late to change without spending far more money in a very short time. In short, we're screwed.

That's why denying climate change has a price and a cost where working toward it is less costly now and in the future. That's the choice, denying and pay more later or accepting it and pay less over time. And if you still want to deny it, it's cost the future generations, is it fair or right to put the penalty of your stupidity on them?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

You Would Think

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  - Albert Einstein

Like the Republicans in the House of Representatives passing a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act 40 times since it became law in 2009? You would think they were smarter than that, but no, they’re republicans. Intelligence is not a requirement of membership in their party, just blind loyalty to insane causes.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


If you haven't listened to Omara "Bombino" Moctar new (third) CD "Bombino, you should, it's terrific, especially if you love driving guitars and rhythm. It's good, toe-tappin', head bobbin' music.

His second album, Agadez, is good but more slower rhythms. The new one just picks up from the start and goes. He's one of a number of guitarists in or from Africa who really play well and produce good listening music.

It's the music you start and enjoy it through feeling good about it and yourself. Like the cover, it's just speed into you with driving guitars and sounds. Go listen.

Boycott Olympics

I think unless the Russian government rescinds the statement they will enforce the anti-LGBT law banning statements of any type by foreigners and athletes during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sophia the International Olympic Committee IOC should officially withdraw from them or designate them as unofficial olympics if any nation decides not to send athletes and staff to the Olympics for fear of arrest or reprisals by the Russian government.

This isn't about sports now, it's about human rights and clearly the Russian government hates people, not just their own but anyone from anywhere else. It's not about just LGBT rights, it's about the freedom of speech and human expression. And the Russian government does not have the right to discriminate and retaliate against people during an international sports event.

I also think if this doesn't happen, the United States and every nation participating at the olympics should wear rainbow ribbons on their clothes and sportswear during the whole period of the olympics, including any event, in quiet protest and test of the Russian government over their hatred of people.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

If As You Say

If in Lauren Green's, of Fox News, interview with Reza Asian's book on Jesus, "Zealot, The life and times of Jesus of Nazareth", she asserts that, Reza, a Muslim, does not have the right to write about Christianity and especially Jesus, then no Christian has the right to express, let alone write, a view on Islam.

It's only fair, if you assert one position is true, that only Christians can write about Christianity, then the corollary is equally true, that only Muslims can write about Islam, and no Christian of any demonination, has the right to express an opinion, view or judgement on Islam and Muslims.

But then we know the folks at Fox News don't understand that logic, especially and obviously Lauren Green. Truth and intelligence doesn't seem to be the strong suit, just being intentionally ignorant and blind is their stock in trade.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

About to Give Up

I'm about to give up on the (Seattle) Mariners season. They were 12 games under .500 before they won 8 games in a row, including sweeping two series. Well ok those were against sub .500 teams, but then they won 2 of 3 games with Cleveland, losing the last game of the series.

That left them 5 games under .500 and the prospect of getting close to if not at or above .500, but then they were swept by Boston in two games they should and could have won, a 15 inning game they lost on pitching and the other giving up 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning.

And now last night they lost to Baltimore 11-8 to be back to 9 games under .500 and the likely hood of going back to at or over 10 games below .500 with this games this weekend, effectively back to square one from just a two weeks ago.

The problem is several fold but it starts with the fact they have two excellent picthers and the next three are older journey pitchers who don't have good enough stuff to win consistently. So if Hernandez and Iwakumo lose then the next three games are likely lost too.

Add to the fact their hitting is inconsistent and the lineup of full of players with unfulfilled promise which isn't happening, it's hard for the few good hitters to carry the team let alone win games. Their 8 game winning streak shows their potential and their losing streaks shows the reality of the team.

That said, I'm still a Mariners fan (since I returned to the northwest in 1987) but I'm like many who are tired of hearing lots of promises and "If they could...", because it doesn't happen. They're out of the division race and likely headed for 4th place, only not last because of addition of Houston to balance the divisions.

A solution the owners don't seem to want to do is change the General Manager Jack Zduriencik who has posted 1 winning season of the 6 seasons he's been GM. He's had some good trades but he shown more interest to get older players who are approaching or at the end of their career in hopes they'll have a comeback, but few if any do.

I don't know how the Mariners will end the season. They're capable of being a .500 or even slightly better team, but not they way they've played to date, no consistency from the hitting and pitching. They're fielding is worse than last year but still top ten stuff.

But defense only rarely win games, it really only helps to keep from losing them. Pitching and hitting wins games, something they haven't been good at so far. The question is when the fans stop paying attention. The attendence at the ballpark shows many have.

OS-X 10.8.4 Curiosity

I've discovered OS-X 10.8.4 eats unidentifiable memory, or at least it's not obvious from looking the Activity Monitor. What's the curiosity?

When I reboot the Mac Pro and establish the initial state of processes, here's the summary of the memory:

Wired    - 890 MBytes
Active   - 790 MBytes
Inactive - 20 Mbytes

That leaves 1.7 GBytes used and 14.3 GBytes free.

After a week of normal use I return the Mac to the initial state and after the purge command here's the summary of the memory :

Wird      - 1.29 GBytes
Active   - 2.00 GBytes
Inactive - 100 MBytes

That leaves 3.4 GBytes used and 12.6 GBytes free.

I can understand the wired memory increase, but I can't understand the active memory increase of 1.3 GBytes when there's nothing obvious running. I can only suspect Apple changed how it uses previous used applications and reserves active memory for them so they open sooner and faster than if they were in inactive memory.

I notice this because I can close an application and open it later to see it loads and opens sooner and faster. But what Apple doesn't do is provide the user with a tool or command to recover the unused active memory. The purge command only recovers inactive memory.

I know that if the space was necessary for new applications, files, etc. OS-X would recover the memory and use it. But why not give the user a way to recover it now so it doesn't have to page out or swap memory which only adds to the time to load and open.

Anyway, I'm open to ideas but I don't like the way this works especially since some applications are notoriously memory hogs and keeping them in unused active memory after closing isn't efficient except if you use the application again. Otherwise it's a waste of memory.

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Question

If you follow a sport team, say baseball in this case, here's a question for you.

If the owners and management of the team fail to put together a roster of better than an average team but the players show streaks of alternating between playing over their heads, say winning 8 or so games in a row and then playing horribly, say losing 8 or so games in a row, do you:

a. root for the team because they're playing hard and it's the fate of baseball they'll never be a .500 team because the team as a whole just is just not that good compared to their division or their league, or

b. root for their opponents.

I ask this because if you root for the team, then that reinforces management they're doing a good enough job to fill the seats and win fans, and even if they haven't been over .500 for the year in more than a few years, that's all they'll do, field an average but noncompetitive team.

If you root for their opponents, then hope they see the problem isn't the coach and the players, they're doing their best and playing their hearts out and maybe replace the real source of the problem, the general manager and president of the team.

This is because it's those two idiots who put the team together and tell the manager, "This is what you get, make the best of it." And the coaches do, but the problem still remains, the two idiots didn't give the coach, the team and the fans more than an average team.

But if you root for the opponents hoping the owners will fire the two idiots, don't hold your breath. They're on longterm contracts which don't have results based cancellation clauses or incentives to do more than field an average team.

Meaning coaches can and are fired for poor results. Players are cut, traded or bought out if they don't perform on the field. But general managers and presidents don't have those clauses and aren't accountable for their results or salaries.

And this is why many teams are average or worse or fail to perform because of problems with players. And if you root for them, then there is no incentive for owners and management to change. The endless cycle of idiots running a baseball team. You get what you pay for.

Why Computers Fail

Sometimes we forget computers are designed, produced, programmed and used by people, so we assume they're correct if not infallable, but they're neither when they're misprogrammed and misused. A case in point is a recent audit I had by the IRS.

Yeah, we all know how much they're loved and more so hated. When I retired on December 31, 2005, from January 1, 2006 to today I've lived on my federal employee annuity, and as much as they promised, until it became political fodder no thanks to President Obama.

This is because the federal employees trust fund is solvent, even far more than the Social Security trust fund. It's because it's paid by the employees and their respective agencies, and over 30 years, employees contribute a fair share to this fund.

And as such it's not really effected by the annual budget except that of the number of active employees as the agencies and employees contribute to the trust fund which is quite substantial today and will be for decades.

The only thing Congress decides is the annual increase for the cost of living. But in 2009 President Obama for political purposes froze the 2010 and 2011 annuity at the 2009 level so that Congress couldn't make it a political issue.

Well, imagine freezing your income for three years while everything else around you increases. I estimate I've lost $250-300 net monthly income over the years since because when the first increase didn't occur until 2012 it was based on the 2009 level annuities and not what would have been by 2011 if it wasn't frozen.

Anyway, that's not the point here, just one I like to make so people can't blame active and retired federal employees for the deficit and debt. We're not a part of it. My point is that when you retire the government, namely Office of Personnel Management (OPM) pays your annuity.

Your annuity is based on a formula of the last 3 years of your salary and the number of years of service and then only increases at the whim of the President and Congress to agree on the percentage, which is why President stupidily froze it for no reason.

During your retirement your annuity comes from your contribution and the trust fund. This is reported on your W-2 statement and "Gross Income" and "Taxable Income" because you've already paid taxes on the portion of your annuity from your salary contribution, and can't be taxed again.

It's the "Taxable Income" I've reported on my 1040EZ form from 2006 through 2012. The IRS in their infinite computer wisdom does random audit comparing the "Gross Income" on W-2 statement with the reported income on your 1040.

See the obvious? They're different. They're supposed to be different because you only report your "Taxable Income" on the 1040. Well, in early June I got a letter from the IRS saying I owed taxes on the difference for my 2011 income on the 1040, based on their computer audit.

Well, I filed an appeal in mid-June and didn't hear anything from them until a week ago when the letter said I'd hear from them within 60 days. Today I got that letter. Really, it took an auditor about 5 minutes to see the error.

The letter said I owed $0.00 and the matter is considered resolved and the case closed. In short, I won and their computer is too stupid to check two boxes on the database for the two incomes. I wonder how many people have suffered their stupid audit to be stressed about something they didn't cause or do anything wrong.

And the IRS wonders why they're hated so much. A person seeing the audit originally would have seen and stopped this. Why didn't they? They just spit out computer results assuming they're right? Ok, some  people will fudge but I didn't and followed the rules.

And for nearly two months I worried about the IRS and will every year I file now to worry if I'm caught again in the same stupid audit, one easily fixed by computers and people. And it's why computers fail.