Tuesday, April 29, 2014

If the word fits

Secretary of State John Kerry made a recent comment about Israel and the two-state solution and used the word apartheid, and almost as fast as the recording went public, the backlash and outrage begin, and all it about the use of the word and Secretary Kerry. As for the word, well, here's a thought.

If the word apartheid fits the situation, then call it for what it is, apartheid. It is a word not exclusive to South Africa and to discrimination by race. It has broader application, and can be used to raise a point about a situation, such as the Middle East between Israel and the Palenstinians as Kerry made.

If you don't believe Israel can't create an apartheid state, then you need to consider Gaza, which has self-determination and self-governance, but their access to the world is almost entirely controlled by Israel on three sides, and only the southern border with Egypt is not controlled by Israel.

Israel controls their utilities (water and electricity), energy, telecommunications, and the flow of goods and people through checkpoints. If that's not control of a people, then I don't know what is, and while it's not complete apartheid, and the word doesn't entirely fit, it does fit to enclose Palenstinians.

And lets consider Kerry wasn't the first person to call the future of the Middle East as possibility being apartheid, many Israelis have used it, and he wasn't the first senior American official to use it, Jimmy Carter used to in his book about the Israeli-Palenstinian situation.

Let's not jump on Kerry for raising the issue with a word. We should be focused on the solution for the future of the Palenstinians, who need it more than any people in the Middle East. They need their independence, control of their borders, especially with the Mediterrean Sea, and they need Israel to agree to help them build their economy.

That's what Kerry is trying to do, so let's focus on what he's trying to do than him over a word.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Can't Win for Losing

After the recent Oso mudslide which killed tens of people and destroyed a whole neighborhood and while the cleanup and search continues the lawsuits are already being filed by homeowners against the county and other agencies who apparently knew of the hazard risk and "didn't do anything" about it.

Well, this is one of those situation between the role of government and the rights of private property owners. They know some in local, state and federal government agencies knew after the the 2006 mudslide another is not just possible but likely.

The question is when and how severe. That no one knew other than the river at the foot of the hillside was slowly creating the environment for another one with every flooding carving into the hillside undercutting the stability of the slope.

Well, this is one of those the government can't win for losing. It doesn't matter what people in the goverment agencies knew, becuase they were doomed no matter what they did and because there was no way to alleviate the damage.

If the government had acted to restrict development in the neighborhood, property owners and especially developers would sue for violating their rights. If the government didn't act, as what happened, they'll be, as they are being, sued for not acting.

If they told property owners about the risk, they'd be criticized as chicken little after the 2006 mudslide. If they didn't tell, they'd be criticized for not telling property owners, and then, you guessed it, be cricitized.

It's the circular arguement against government, blame them for not saying and then blame them when they say. Blame them if they act and then blame them if they don't act. No matter what the government agencies, they lose.

They lose because property owners will always argue their rights for their property over or against anything the government says, proposes or does. This is the standard argument against flood insurance but then against the government when floods happens, blaming the government for over reacting and the asking the government to bail them out of their stupidity.

And these are often the same people who argue their independence against government intervention in their lives and rights, until of course, nature or events prove them wrong, then argue the failure of government and the responsibility to be compensated for their own failure.

Maybe the government officials flipped the proverbial coin after the 2006 mudslide about saying anything and acting, tails the property owners win and heads the government loses. Just be ready when it happens and people want someone else to blame than themselves.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Majority Rule

For the last few years white republicans, especially tea party activists, have been arguing and winning court judgements discriminating against minorities, citing the right of the majority to rule, forgetting the laws also state the majority also rules for the protection of the minorities. They have ignored and even dismissed this notion.

So what will those same people and their children say when in about a generation, and in some states in half that time, whites will be the minority, and the new majority can say and do the same thing to whites? How will whites feel when they becme what they've long thought and expressed about minorities as second class citizens?

What will they do when the new majority redistricts states to reduce the chances of whites to win elections, to reduce the advantages in treatment for schools, jobs, etc. for whites? What will they do when the House of Representatives and the Senate has more minority members than white members?

What will whites do when Florida, Texas, California and other states have a solid majority of non-white citizens with an growing population to increase their majority. What will they do when the new majority decides to enact laws calling crimes by whites against them hate crimes?

Whites don't seem to realize the fight to ensure the "majority rule" won't last when they become the minority and everything they did will be undone and they have to argue for rights to be protected for the same reasons they took them away when they were the majority.

What will whites do when the term caucasian refers to a minority race?


There are days I wonder what the folks at Adobe are doing. They moved their business model from selling applications through Creative Suite 6 (CS6) to subscriptions with Creative Cloud (CC) while continuing updates to CS6 applications.

Ok, I bought into it because I was using Adobe Muse which was a good Web design application last year and wanted to get away from Dreamweaver (DW) CS6 with sucks compared to DW CS5/5.5,  because it can't remember the user's window setting and preferences.

Anyway, since they converted to the subscription model, and especially after the introduction of OS-X 10.9 and the subsequent updates, they haven't updated either Muse or Dreamweaver even after knowing both have issues and problems with OS-X 10.9 versions.

They have updated some of the CC applications, even Photoshop CC, Camera Raw and DNG Converter, in part because they have to keep up with all the new camera brands and models. They've updated other applications, including the updater application more than any application.

So why not Dreamweaver and Muse? I have a response from them about DW stating they're aware of the problems and are on the list of fixes. Ok, like when can we expect an update because for now it's effectively unusable since it fills the console logs with endless messsages.

Even DW CS6 has problems with the endless message they admit they know and plan to fix. As for Muse, it won't open where you left when you closed it. You can't hide it because the window won't hide but the menu bar options do.

Anyway, my point is that my introduction subscription converting last year for the Muse subscription (it was only available by subscription) to the full CC package for a reduced rate ends July 1st. Right now I only really use, or did use, DW CC and Muse. All the other apps are only slight upgrades from CS6 versions.

And this is the point, or more the question, what good is the subcription with the promise of on-going updates and upgrades if they don't offer them? No one can argue the subcription isn't better than buying the apps, at least financially, but Adobe was better updating them when they sold them than they do with the subscription.

And maybe that was their goal, to get the regular revenue from the subscription, especially people just getting into their application than longtime users like me who has all the version from CS2. Really. I would prefer keeping CS6 with real updates and then buy CS7 after it's introduced and updated a time or two than what Adobe is doing now.

But that's not the choice users have anymore. You either subscribe to use applications which will eventually not work as users found with OS-X 10.9 which broke all of the apps up through CS5, and only CS5.5 and a few CS5 apps which weren't upgraded to CS5.5 along with CS6 applications.

Yeah, Adobe used to design their apps to be backward compatible with Apple OS-X until Apple introduced OS-X 10.8 which broke some old CS package apps and more so with OS-X 10.9. Who do you blame if you have and want to continue those old apps, Adobe for not doing what they used to do or Apple for initially making changes forcing Adobe to decide?

And that's likely one reason why Adobe switched to the subcription, to be able to upgrade apps for users as Apple updated and upgraded OS-X, but Adobe doesn't seem to be doing even that while getting our money every month.

Makes you wonder if it's worth it, at least until OS-X 10.10 breaks all CS apps forcing you to Adobe CC apps and the subscription. After all isn't it really about money than products?

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Apparently the pundits on Fox News have defined a patriot, such as Cliven Bundy, as someone who grazes cattle on federal land without a lease and in violation of two court orders, refuses to pay grazing fees for 20+ years owing $1 million, and has vowed to refuse to pay income taxes.

They argue a patriot can be a taker of the government resources and money, the same as anyone on federal social and health benefits while defining who is or isn't a patriot by distinguishing between the legality and type of government benefits they receive.

Obviously taking government benefits illegally is a patriot but working and earning legal benefits is a taker. Illegally taking and profitting from grazing privileges on federal land is a patriot. Taking legally earned benefits for food stamps, housing subsidies, Medicaid, childcare benefits, education benefits, etc. is a taker.

And now they have added to the definition that the person can be a devout racist against black people, suggesting they would be better as slaves. They issued statements criticizing his racism but they haven't distanced him as a patriot even after the racist comments.

To them he's still a patriot because he's white and fighting the federal government. Everything else is something to overlook, even violating federal laws and court orders, and being a devout racist. That's  Fox News.

And you can bet when the BLM does finally remove Bundy's cattle from the federal lands which have been set aside for the Desert Tortiose, file liens against the sale of any cattle for his overdue grazing fees, and file liens against his property for back taxes, Fox News will still call him a patriot.

Backward Arguments

After the court has twice struck down new rules they proposed, the FCC announced new rules which will provide for the high volume users, like Disney, Netflix, and any company with a checkbook, to buy into higher speeds with Internet Service Providers (ISP's).

The FCC and others who agree with them have argued this isn't hurting net neutrality because it won't inhibit the use and speed of "normal consumers" of the Internet, and improve the performance for people who buy into the provides of high volume data, such as movies.

They said this will give the ISP's the opportunity to add higher speed lines to the network specifically for these companies. What they didn't say was that there is no guarranttee the ISP's will actually build the lines but simply ramp up existing line they set aside for the new revenue stream.

What the FCC argued is backward logic, citing potentials, possibilities and opportunities, without actually providing rules which ensure it happens. In other words, net neutrality just died and the normal consumers will be the victims at the hands of the FCC and ISP's.

This is because the ISP's will charge less for the high speed lines and shift the real cost of it, if or when the add it, to the rest of the customers, and in the meantime, we'll just have to live with the new speed, or pay for an upgrade to a faster, more accessible lines and speeds.

In other words, while framing the argument it's about the high volume users, the left it open for the ISP's to layer the service where the current access and price will be reduced in access and line for new premium customer speeds and lines.

Yeah, as they say, it's about the money, yours. The companies buying into the fast track lines will pass the cost to their customers, heaven forbid they take it out of their profit, and the ISP's will pass the costs to all the other customers.

What's also hidden in this is what has long been mentioned, that the ISP's will now have the right and power to hinder content they don't like or want more money from those companies delivering the content. Content could easily become negotiatable for a price.

And what this will do is push those Websites, especially social networking Websites, news Websites, communications Website (Twitter), and others to reconsider their business model and what is free now may not be free in the future as these companies get hit for higher access fees for the volume of service.

And those companies will in turn requires an annual subscription to provide the same service they provided for free because ad revenue won't be sufficient to cover their cost and their profit. We can't ever forget it's about profit at our expense.

Heads the companies and ISP's win and tails the customers lose, and they keep your quarter. I hope the FCC doesn't expect thank you cards from all those normal customers. We certainly won't be to afford the price of an electronic stamp.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Congratulations Mariners

Congratulations Mariners, you're in a race in the Western Division and the American League. A race to be in last place with the worst record in the American league. This after losing 8 games in a row, 3 to the Miami Marlins and 5 to their rival the Houston Astros, including some shutouts by the opposing pitchers.

They've had only one winning season in the last 6 years (2009) and for all of those years and several managers they've had the one common factor with their losing season, their General Manager Jack Zduriencik, a former scout who was supposed to rebuild the team for the future.

Like that has happened. And yet, the owners, Intendo, represented by the same CEO. All their recent senior team leaders have all come from inside the team, including the President of Baseball Operations, former Chuck Armstrong and now Kevin Mather.

While the team has collapsed early in the season in the last four years and appears to be doing it again this year, all with different players, nothing has changed with the team management, same people making the same mistakes, promising good results with no success.

The announcers, try as they have been, always talking positive about the team and the games, talking about opportunities, the Mariners have squandered those opportunities over a number of managers. This is where Eric Wedge, when he quit at the end of last season, was right, the management has no interest to improve.

Eric Wedge showed the team management only has the interest to bring the fans to the game, but not field a division contending and even a pennant contending team. The addition of Robinson Cano is an anomaly as they often hire career players past their prime, including this year, to just field a .500 team at best and in reality a losing one.

The reality is that the team owners and management haven't been willing to write the checks to develop a good team. You can't win behind your two best pitchers when the other 3 don't win and the team can't score runs along with blowing leads late in the game.

Losing 8 games to the worst team in the American League and a fifth place team in the National League Eastern Division isn't good when you're expected to beat them easily and contend with the best in your Division.

But that's the Mariners again this year. Congratulations for another year of the same.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I've never been a fan of Apple's iBooks and the iBookstore, but some authors have taken to it to sell books in the .ibook format, easily done with iBooks Author app. I've always been reluctant to buy books there but have if it's the only available ePub format.

One reason for my dislike was that iBooks was only available on the iDevice and not Mac's. That changed with OS-X Mavericks (10.9.x), and while the app is decent, it leaves a lot to be desired and I've learned now, even more to be desired.

Apparently it only likes to recognize books, ibook or PDF format, you buy or download from the iBookstore, and while you can import other PDF's it won't open them, using Acrobat on the Mac, and it will upload them to any iDevice but not open them.

Yeah, you upload the book and iBooks on the iPad won't see it so you can open and read it. To that end I removed all the PDF's from iBooks on the iPad, no matter where I bought them, and uploaded them into Acrobat on the iPad where I have over two dozen other books.

So, until Apple loosens their restrictions on iBooks on the iPad to be more useful, my recommendation is simple, that two word phrase that goes, ".... 'em". Yeah, really. I like Apple and the Mac Pro and iDevices, but less so their operating systems anymore, and even less their policy decisions.

I hope this is just a bug in iBooks on iDevices and Apple will fix it to upload and open generic PDF's since iBooks does open PDF's from the Apple bookstore, but I'm not holding my breath anymore with the Apple developers as they seem more interested in adding enchancement than fixing applications.

My point is simple, avoid if you can which is hard anymore as ebook sellers embed their DRM into ePbub books. I feel more so about NOOK books because of the lousy converstion and display, and I don't buy Amazon ebooks.

Monday, April 21, 2014


I saw this image on an interesting Website, here, about some people travelling around the West, one with a rail (studio) large format camera, probably 4x5, above, which brought about a, "Huh?" moment because he's turned the camera 90-degrees with the head on the tripod.

Why huh? Well, he doesn't have to flip the camera on its side. If you want a portrait frame with this and any studio camera and many flatbed (field) camera, you simply rotate the film back. You keep the camera on top of the head above the tripod and just flip the film back.

If the camera is too high for the view he wants, just lower the legs or spread the tripod. You can get a short center column if the regular one is too long to lower the camera. This scene baffles me and I can't find an e-mail address to ask the photographer, so if you know them or their e-mail, let me know to contact them.

The Website is cool with some other images of the photographer with the camera which I respect him for taking a studio camera in the field, but this seems odd.


We are a country which loves guns. We cherish the acts guns have played in the history of this country. But we hate the acts of violence, brutality and terrorism which have been commited by people with guns. The question is about the balance of the reality of guns and the public interest weighed against the idealized rights of everyone to own, and even use, a gun as they see fit.

We haven't learned because we haven't learned to discuss the issue to actually resolve it. This is 1776, it's 2014 and time we realized history is good to know but it's not good for an answer today. It's not just about what we thought the frames of the Constitution meant in the words, it's about human lives damaged or take with guns.

And despite all the violence commited by people with guns, we haven't decided to act reasonably and responsibly and for all the people of this country so everyone is secure in the lives and safe in public from people with guns who intend harm even violence.

What will take take to have the real discussion and action? So far there doesn't seem anything can do this, even with the assination of a president, the attempt on another, and people calling for acts against another. Even as the number of innocent people injured, disabled or killed every day continues every day.

We're acting is if our freedom to own and use a gun is above all else, above our government, our leaders, our community, our family, friends, co-workers, and fellow citizens. Even to some, above the law itself. When does the rights of one outweigh the rights of all?

That's our conundrum. Now and until we resolve it.


Consider there is no good solution to Ukraine as it's clear President Putin doesn't care about what the US or EU says or does, he knows the government and military of Ukraine are no match for the Russian army, and he knows the US and NATO won't come to the aid of the Ukraine soon enough to help.

It's clear President Obama isn't as concerned about Ukraine as he is about Russia, for he knows Ukraine is just a pawn in the larger, global relations with Russia and there he's smarter than Putin. The question is how much pressure and how long Obama will use to make Putin see reality.

That's because Putin lives in fantasy and denial about the world surrounded by yes men, and he'll keep going down the road to destroy Russia's economy and the people until he's ousted. He's just a modern day version in the line of autocratic Soviet and Russian leaders who only see the "glory" of Russia than the country and people of Russia.

And that's the longer term question facing this president and the successors. Putin thinks he can out live anyone in the White House. We have to remember, Ukraine isn't about us or what we say or do, much against all the wingnuts, it's about Russia and Putin.

President Obama sees it and knows it. Let's consider he's playing chess while Putin is playing checkers. Putin may win part of Ukraine for now but not eventually as the EU and US help build it's economy away from Russia to show Putin why he can't win the longterm game nor his tenure as President.

Sadly for the people of Ukraine, patience is our best ally, something Putin doesn't have and Obama has a lot.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Back to normal

Update Sunday.-- They just got swept by the Miami Marlins of all teams, losing 2 of the 3 in the last two innings and one by a two-hit shutout. That's a 6 game losing streak to make them the second worst team in the American League, only ahead of Houston in their own division, whom they play 3 games starting Monday. 

A normal season again out of the race before the end of April, unless they start winning but the 6 games losing streak showed their weakness, a lot of young pitchers who don't last more than 5 innings and a bullpen of pitchers with records of blowing leads and games.

And while the announcers can keep talking about "opportunities" for players and the team, it rarely materializes in results. They can't keep spinning the negatives as positives when the team keeps finding ways to lose.

Original post.--The Seattle Mariners are back to their normal selves already and just 3 weeks into the season. Yes, after winning the first 3 games and staying above .500 until they blew a game in Texas which Felix Hernandez pitched 7-plus scoreless innings with a stupid throwing error, a wild pitch and a bloop single.

And they just lost to the Miami Marlins on a grandslam by Miami in the bottom of the 9th inning. Really, that's losing 4 games in a row going from 7 and 5 record to 7 and 9 record. Any bets they won't get back over .500 for the rest of the season?

I hoping they begin to play better and some of the underachieving players get going to play up to their career and their potential. I can hope but I'm not expecting it and true to form the announcers are spinning a loss into a positive note.

One problem which is showing is that they're not the type of team to put together any significant winning streak, they don't have the starting pitching after their two star pitchers, and the bullpen has been up and down with much of the same staff who weren't good enough last year to keep any lead or stop the other team.

Enough, be honest and call them for what they are, which is not consistently playing well especially at the times they need to win. There's still time and lots of games to win, so let's see if they can or they'll lose a lot of fans again this year, just like the last few years of really bad records.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Let's not forget when corporations argue for lower taxes, they're not arguing for the cost of their services or products, they're not arguing for the cost of the employees, they're not arguing for the cost of the supplies they get or use, they're arguing for the after tax profit, which is the money they give to the executives, shareholders and investors.

Raising the taxes on that doesn't change anything else, only the amount of their after tax profit. They're whining over the free money they earn above everything else, money they got from their customers, us, and we have every right to ask they share it in the form of taxes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

New York Times

I read the New York Times almost daily with my subsription to the New York Times Reader App. I used to use the stand-alone app which I like better than the Web browser version. That app downloaded the daily paper so you read it off-line without having to reload anything else. I also had addidtional features.

But they dropped it for the Web browser version which is just the newspapers for the same subscription price. Less for the same money, the typical thing companies are doing now, smaller products for the same cost so you don't notice it costs you more to buy the same amount you did before.

And now the New York Times is introducing its Premier plan with any digital or print subscription. Granted it offers some cool stuff, which for me isn't worth the extra price of the subscription, for now anyway. But that's not my gripe here.

My gripe is that they offer the Premier service for $6.25 more per month on top of my $20 (taxes added) digital subscription, and while it comes with 4 weeks free service, it's not the whole suite of products in the service.

It's a few basic products for the trial period after which your subscription reverts to the full service of the full digital package, for $45 per month. Yeah, you can't get the $26 subscription, only the normal $20 subscription service or the $45 premier service.

I can't argue newspapers need to reinvent themselves and several are doing a good job of it to stay in business and even profitable. Our local papers, the Tacoma News Tribune, which I also read weekly with the Seattle Times (Sunday editions), is thriving through other means than creating a lot of pay for services.

I just don't see it with the New York Times Premier service. If you're into the news and want the features they offer, it's likely a good service, but if you're just a daily reader, it's not worth it to be conned into something free, or less than something free, for more than double the price later.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Senator Franken

“We’ve got the biggest cable provider and biggest Internet provider, in Comcast, buying the second-biggest cable provider and third-largest Internet provider, and I’m very worried that will create a company that’s too big,” Mr. Franken said in the interview. “They’re going to use their position to leverage higher cable prices and to dictate a lot of things that will make for fewer choices, and their service will be even worse.”

Senator Al Franken on the proposed merger of Comcast and Time-Warner. Do you need anymore reason to see this merger as, like the banks after the financial collapse, creating companies too big to regulate and too big to rein in corrupt and abuses of customers? This won't create competition or improves choices and prices for customers, quite the opposite.

Comcast is known for requiring customers buy packages of channels instead of individual ones the FCC required and for bleeding customers with higher prices while providing piss-poor service. In almost every area of their service they are the cable monoply leaving customers only one of the two satellite companies for choices, both of which aren't cheaper or better.

He is totally right about this merger but worse for us, almost all the senators favor it, including Democrats because they're bought and sold by the media companies, like Comcast and Time-Warner. They would rathter piss off people, even voters, than their money source. We don't count to them, just Senator Franken and the few who see the folly of this merger.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Update (4/12/14).-- I sit corrected as there is an easy to use, choose your download folder application for iPad and iPhones. That's Image Capture, an Apple app which connects to the devices when they're connected to the Mac. So the other methods aren't necessary if you have this application.

Original Post.--I've never been a fan, let alone a user of Apple's iPhoto, and even though I still use it to download images from my iPad or iPhone (except you can now specify to open Aperature but that's overkill to open an app to just download image files), I still hate it.

The part I hate the most is that the app doesn't let you set the folder to store your images, iPhotos just takes them into a subfolders you can't move them, but you can either export them in iPhoto or copy them in Finder.

The export option is often the preferred if you don't want to make a mistake with iPhoto, again the stupid app's management logic of your imates, is simply select the image in iPhoto and then export a copy from iPhoto to the folder you want.

If you want to use Finder then you have to go to the applications folder and to the iPhoto application. use the right click on the app to show the options. Click "View Package Contents". Go to the Masters folder where you'll see the subset of folder by year, month, date and download date-time.

You can go into those folder to see the image files. DO NOT MOVE THEM, but simply use the option key to either make a copy or move a copy to the folder you want. This leaves the original there and gives you an exact copy of the orginal image.

You can find a host of other ways to do this, but I find these the quickest and easiest. What's funny is the people on the Apple forum who argue two points. One, it's ok for Apple to control the original images from your iPhone or iPad instead of giving you a choice of folders.

The second are the people who defend Apple's stupid logic with this decision to hide your image files only allowing you access through application, preferably theirs with iPhoto or Aperature. I used to almost always agree with Apple, but over the recent years I've disagreed more than I've agreed with them, but that's another issue.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


During a Senate hearing on its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable, Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen admitted that Comcast could do a better job on customer service, "It bothers us we have so much trouble delivering high quality of service to customers on a regular basis," Cohen said. "Sometimes, we need a kick in the butt."

It's why I've always argued the cable companies are monopolies Congress and the FTC allows. It's the only cable company in my area and the alternatives are the satellite companies, Direct TV and Dish TV, which aren't any better for the same price (ignoring all the new customer offers).

Comcast had regularly not provided the technical service or answers to my questions or problem and too often just said, "It's a problem. I'll report it to the engineering folks.", to get nothing back from them or the "engineering folks."

And we think they'll be better if they're allowed to buy Time-Warner? And we think, as they say, it will spur competition, meaning against their competitors but not for the customers? And unfortunately all we can do is decide which of the cable or satellite companies are the lesser of evils to give our money.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


If the US military captured someone and has detained him at Guatanamo Bay (Gitmo) for years, often in solitary confinement for weeks even months, and then announce the person is innocent of any charges but then refuses release him because they now consider him a terrorist threat if he is released, who is to blame if the individual becomes a terrorist when he is released? Has the US military created terrorists who weren't before but just innocent civilians falsely arrested?

Currently have of the 154 prisoners left at Gitmo have been cleared for release, some with countries requesting them or allowing them to go there, and of the rest, most have been cleared of the charges they were initially arrested or captured. Only about 10-15% are considered proven terrorists and can be transferred to any federal maximum security prison in the US.

What does it say about the seriousness of the government interest to close Gitmo, something President Obama promised to close in his 2008 campaign, and blames Congress which has refused to allow it, but hasn't taken any action on the prisioners. The President could easily release those who are innocent and transfer the rest, leaving just an empty, unnecessary prison for Congress to say what they want him to do then.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Two out of three

The wealthy now have achieved two out of three goals to controlling our governement to their interests and against the American people.

The first goal was to buy a political party and through the PAC's and SuperPac's and now with the US Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon vs FEC, they can donate 10's of millions to all the candidates of the Republican Party who will be pushing the agenda of their wealthy donors or lose the money. The Republican party will be bought and owned by the wealthy like the Koch Brothers.

The second goal was to get Republicans controlling the legislature and governorship in as many big states they can, and with the 2010 election of Republican legislature and governorship in those states they gerrymandered the Congressional districts to ensure near permanent Republican representatives to Congress and reducing the number of Democratic representatives less than the proportion of the registered democrats in those states.

They accomplished those goals and while the second will be up for grabs again in the 2014 election, they have a good chance to keep some of those states in Republican hands with the deep pockets of the wealthy buying ads to sell their candidate and lie about the democratic candidates.

The third goal is the 2016 White House, but it's less about the Presidency and more about the government itself, to get control of all the government agencies to change how laws and regulations are implemented and how money is spent, and work to shutdown if not eliminate government agencies.

That's what we saw under President Reagan and the second President Bush when they gutted rules and regulations and wrote billions of money to contractors for doing little or nothing in return and profit corporations including  the Vice President Cheney's (Haliburton) and the war profiteers with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

And with the two Supreme Court decision, the wealthy will be spending 100's of millions to buy the White House as well as the Congressional elections and the states' elections. That's their goal and they have two of the three done and checked off and all they need is a Republican President.

Will we let them? That's our choice now in 2014 changing red states to blue and returning the House to the Democrats, and in 2016 to elect a Democratic President. That's our goal to get all three and regain our democracy for the people, by the people and of the people, and not just the  money of the wealthy.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Baseball iPhone Apps

I'm a casual baseball fan, mostly and sadly follow the Seattle Mariners (we're no match for Cub fans on historical frustration) and follow the Boston Red Soxs. The problem is I never remember when games are played unless the TV is on and I remember, so all too often I just check the scores the next day.

To that end I usually go to Major League Baseball's Website. Quick and easy and relatively easy to navigate with lots of basic information which is about all I need to know, which is scores, standing and the season team statistics.

I don't follow other sports too much outside of Formula One, the NFL and World Cup soccer (the every 4 year men's and women's events and yes it's 2014 and 2015, respectively). What I wanted is a simple baseball app for the iPhone. Not the iPad because that's a waste of an iPad for me.

So browsing through the Apple App Store I ended up buying two, B'14 and 2014 Baseball. They each seem to offer some different features and functions while offering the basic stuff I wanted, and I have to say between the two, there's one good app.

Yeah, each has parts of what I wanted but neither offers the three things I want, which is team schedules by day and week and individual team schedules by month, daily scores with the full history to scroll back, mostly to the day before when I forgot or went to bed, and current standings.

Outside of that, it's all just wasted space to me. I like 2014 Baseball for the user interface and display. I don't really need the news. The problem is this app only has today's scores in the order I like early to late games. It stores the of games in the team information by win or loss but no scores.

As for B'14 it doesn't remember where you left the app and always resorts to the standings. It also always resorts to week 1 scores which is spring training into week 3 so you have to scroll to the week and day you want from previous days. Dumb.

It does the same thing with the team scores and schedule, resort to spring training games where you have to remember when the season started (March 30th or 31st, except the LA Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks games in Australia). Also Dumb.

These should be fixed as well as the game listing, it's latest to earliest, which is also Dumb (all with a capitol D for really dumb). This app has in-app purchases, but really save your money and use a real computer to get the same information.

So, that's my take on them. Both decent, especially for the money, $1-2, but could be better. Overall, I like Baseball 2014 and would remove the rest if you could scroll days for scores. It's clean, neat, relatively efficient with one bug.

If you go to the menu you can go back to the same page, you have to click to a different one and then go back to the menu to reselect the one you wanted to go back too. That's the only dumb (little d) with this app.

Republican Plan

This is the Republican plan on any issue.

1. Propose a bill the Democrats like and would support and even give the Democrats concessions to win their support.

2. Announce the bipartisan deal.

3. Let the Democrats offer the bill to the full legislature.

4. Vote against the bill.

5. Denounce the bill as a liberal attack on American family and patriotic values. Blame the problems on the Democrats and the original bill.

6. Propose an extreme version of the bill only the Tea Party and far right Republicans would like and force all Republicans to vote for it or face an opponent in their next primary election.

7. Smile and tell the voters you’ve worked hard to get nothing done.

And the Democrats haven’t learned how to fight this because they keep getting suckered into it.