Thursday, January 31, 2008

More Bad Government in MD

Hey, it is just not MA and VA that I pick on. Really I haven't even opened up on my current state, AL, either. But this story from The Washington Post indicates why reasonable people are sick of politics. The state has had one, ONE, Republican governor in the last 25 years or so. He lost last year to a Democrat. The state head of education was appointed by the last Democratic governor in 1991. She is identified with Republicans. Her term is set by law, and will not be up for a few more years, but the new Democratic governor wants his own person there. The Democratic controlled Senate and House are planning on passing a law that would end her term early, so that the Dems can pick a Democratic hack for the job. By-the-way, MD schools were just ranked third in the nation? Petty politics at its worst.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

CINRAM Case Gets More Curious

Channel 19 in Huntsville is now reporting that 150 Nepalese H2B workers from CINRAM are "missing". They did not explain if they returned to Nepal before the expiration of their visa, or they just disappeared into America. See the story here. If they did become illegal immigrants then the worst views of CINRAM's program have just been realized. If they went back to Nepal, then some people will be happy about that. The article, also broadcast on their 6:00 PM news shows, also says that they are being looked for related to stealing all of the furniture from the apartment houses they were living in. This is really strange?

Guiliani and Edwards are Done

It looks like it is down to two big candidates for each party now. There is a chance that Nader and Paul will run as third parties. I am not counting the Green Party out yet either. Guiliani wimped out and endorsed McCain, while Edwards is keeping his options open. He is angling for the VP, I am sure from either Hillary or Senator Obama.

Arsenal Beats Newcastle Again

Arsenal beat Newcastle 3-0 yesterday. That is twice in 4 days by 6 goals to nil. Arsenal now has eliminated Newcastle from the Carling Cup, the FA Cup, and beaten them in the Premiership. Arsenal are in top spot as Man U plays Portsmouth today. Root for Pompey. See this for more.

H2B Workers Not Liking CINRAM

According to this article in The Huntsville Times; many of the H2B workers that CINRAM has hired are quitting and going home. The biggest reason cited to the paper is that they are not getting enough hours to pay their costs and send money home. Perhaps, due to the end of the Holiday Season, CINRAM has cut back on production. But as the more in-depth article last Fall showed the costs of the workers are significant. I would have thought there would have been more effort by some activist to intervene in that situation.

So just when it get quiet, the story picks up again.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Arsenal to Play Newcastle Again

Fresh off of beating them 3-0 in the FA Cup, Arsenal will play Newcastle again in the Premiership. A good win will put them back into first place. Of course, the team is looking past his game to the next FA Cup match with Manchester United. See The Daily Telegraph here for more.

Bush to Ban Earmarks in Future Legislation

It looks like President Bush will go ahead and issue is executive order on earmarks. Unfortunately, only for future appropriation bills. Not the ones for 2008. It won't do much good as he will have little effect on the 2009 ones. See this article for the negative view of this. If it actually implemented in the future it will be a good thing for the Federal Budget.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The New York Times is like The Washington Post

Earlier I had written about how the Washington Post had written a story about the desire in MD to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates. Arizona recently changed their law too. I made fun of the Post for referring to them as "students without a visa". Now the New York Times joins in by calling them "Nonresident Students". See the article here.

Arsenal Back On Track

Arsenal easily defeated Newcastle 3-0 in the FA Cup. They get to play them again on Tuesday in the Premiership. The emotion that Keegan had brought to Newcastle did not carry them. They even had an own goal. See this article in The Daily Telegraph for more. Lehman got to play and got a clean sheet. There continue to be rumors of his returning to Germany at the end of the season.

Russian Confirms that Yuri Gagarin Was Not First Man in Space

This has been rumored for years, based on one guy in Italy's research of Russian telemetry. Now, a Russian engineer from their space program, admits that the Russians had tried three times before in '57, '58 and '59 to send someone out of the atmosphere. They all died. That accounted for the long delay until Gagarin did it. If you believe him, here is the article. Gagarin was not the first cosmonaut

Redskins Owner Demonstrates, Again, He Has No Class

Let's see here, Joe Gibbs quits. The guy who has been rumored to be his replacement since being hired 4 years ago doesn't even get a phone call or interview. Then he is fired by media. Gregg Williams is screwed by Dan Snyder. See The Washington Post here for more. On top of all this, Snyder gives a promotion to his useless toady, Vinnie Cerrato. Where is Pepper Rogers?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Stupid Newspaper Story

This is a classic newspaper story of the modern, liberal media. Find one person who has been negatively effected by something, and then spin it out of proportion. This article, State universities fear brain drain is setting in, in The Tampa Tribune seems to indicated that the Florida state higher education system is losing professors because the state bans travel and research in Cuba. Assuming what this professor is doing is valuable, and it doesn't look like rocket science to me, then his move to South Carolina won't be that negative an effect on a system of several colleges and universities. He probably knows someone at the newspaper.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ecological Hobbeson Choice

Two nice neighbors in Sunnyvale, CA are trying to save the world the best they know how. Unfortunately one's trees clash with the other's solar panels. Turns out that there is a law in California governing this. Solar panels trump trees. I blame global warming myself. Anyway, see this article.

Dennis the K Quits

The candidates are falling furiously now. Dennis Kucinich, of the loverly young English wife, just gave up his campaign. He was garnering so much support. I guess he can work full time on that impeachment thing.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fred Quits

The last real Republican with a hope of winning the nomination quit yesterday. So, add Fred Thompson to the lengthening list of those dropping out.

More Bad Maryland Politics

This article in The Washington Post is rich. First term, and probably single term, Governor O'Malley is desperate to raise his approval ratings with voters. He has supposedly gained the support of the Democratic hack politicians who run the House and Senate, but the average Marylander can't stand him. This is also a rather unique story in the Post as it actually blames one of the former Democrat ic Governors for the fiscal problems of the State.

Marlyland has had one Republican Governor in the last 25 years or so.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Arsenal's Backups Embarrassed by Tottanham

Tottanham won 5-1 as Arsenal's second team played horribly. Wenger attempted at the end to try and recover by inserting some of the starting 11, but it still was a horrible game. No Carling Cup this year for Arsenal, and a 21 no-loss streak over. Hopefully, Arsenal will do something in the transfer market now. See The Daily Telegraph here for more.

Arsenal to Play Tottanham in Carling Cup

Arsenal will attempt to continue their dominance of Tottanham in the Carling Cup today.

Lehman Turned Down Transfer for Family

According to this article in The Daily Telegraph here , Lehman turned down a transfer to Germany for family reasons. He is right about England's crime issues. I still think there is more to it than this.

He Is To The Clintons

On the pages of The Washington Post, Mr. Jesse Jackson argues Barack Obama Is Not a Threat. He is to Bill and Hillary's chances at a second go around.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Analysis That You Can Really Use

This article points out that the most productive people are those who use intra-corporate email effectively. Yes, you may be communicating with people two cubes away, but it can be effective and efficient. I agree with this concept. I work in a world where email is the primary means of communication, followed by meetings, and then formal briefings. I prefer email, myself, but the actual reason my job exists is to make charts for formal briefings. Weird world it is. Because of this I save every email I get. Gigs and gigs of them, just in case I actually have to dig one up to prove someone made such decision on said day.

The article by Tim Harford for Wired is here.

Democrats Debate

I watched a few minutes of the Democrats debate tonight and all I saw was Hillary and Barack attacking each other. It allowed John Edwards, who I detest, to jump in and actually talk about things that were relevant. The other two looked pretty bad. As to Hillary's plan to freeze mortgage rates, let me know, and I will buy a bunch of house at teaser rates.

Arsenal are the Class of the Premiership

This analysis of the Fulham game states the obvious, Arsenal plays a style of football that nobody else does in the Premiership. See The Daily Telegraph here for more. It doesn't mean that they will win every game, but when it works it is hard to stop. Combined with a very good defense centered around Gallas and Alumina, the offense makes it hard to stop them.

Software is the Bane of Programs

My bank has been emailing me for two months informing me that on 16 January there would be a significant upgrade to the web based bill paying system. On the 16th, they said the 18th. On the 18th nothing happened. Now it is "indefinite". Like many of the defense programs I have worked with, software is always the hardest part to do. I guess it extends to banks as well.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Arsenal Easily Beat Fulham 3-0

Arsenal won easily in an attempt to wipe the bitter taste of last week's draw out of their mouths. They still sit in second place on goals as Man U won as well. More details to be found here at The Daily Telegraph.

Report that Duncan Hunter to Quit

Several Democratic candidates have already quit, but the Republicans have held on. Now, CNN is reporting that Duncan Hunter will leave the race. See here.

The Hubris of the West's Ruling Liberal Elite

Mira Kamdar has an opinion column in The Washington Post discussing the new Tato Nano car. This is a modern, effective vehicle that will cost $2500.00. It is evil. You can read her ideas here. The very fact that someone like her, an Indian intellectual working at a think tank in America, can try and dictate to people what they can/cannot purchase and use reeks of liberal do-goodism, and I know what is better for you. Actually, she is not trying to be do what is better for the individual, but what is better for the world.

It is like I always argued about the complaints of growth in Northern Virginia. It would be easy to stop, pass a law. But the politicians did not have the gumption. Perhaps rightly so.

For a related matter see this: Dear Third World Farmer...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Arsenal to Play Fulham

Arsenal will play Fulham tomorrow. The are currently tied for first with Manchester United. After their uninspired play against Birmingham they need a win. They also haven't made any moves in the transfer market either. See here for more information.

Online Golf Game Targets Old Executives

This is just neat. There is a prototype of an online golf game, specially configured to be reachable from work. It will allow you to play with your friends eventually. See this article Online golf game handicaps productivity.


The Huntsville Times says up to EIGHT inches. Unfortunately, weather guy says things have changed over night and now we will see little or none. Birmingham, on-the-other-hand, might get slammed. Another example of newspapers losing out.

The Moral Is Don't Taunt A Tiger While Drunk

Gee, imagine this, it turns out the victims of the tiger attack in San Francisco were drunk and on pot. See the story here. This also goes for Auburn, LSU and Clemson fans. (Only the SEC could have two teams with the same name.)

Good Article on Use of Social Networking by Web Companies

This is an interesting post on using social networking sites to reach customers by more traditional web content sites. See this.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This is Just Sad

According to the AP report here General Franks was paid $100,000.00 to endorse a veteran's charity that has a terrible record of spending the money it raises appropriately. In fact it scored an "F" on the scale used by the American Institute of Philanthropy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Arsenal to Play Newcastle Twice in 4 Days

In one of those weird scheduling things due to the various Cups teams play, Arsenal will play Newcastle in the FA Cup on the 26th and then in the Premiership on the 29th. Newcastle just beat Stoke 4-1 today in the FA Cup and announced the return of former manager Kevin Keegan. It means that Arsenal cannot take anything for granted, especially with their current squad. On top of things rumors are swirling that Diarra is moving to Portsmouth, although there has been no official announcement.

Neat Stuff from NASA

NASA has sent back some of the first pictures from the MESSENGER Probe. See this article here. Some of them are a part of Mercury never before seen.

Time for Platitudes and Saws

You know it had to happen. I heard an analyst on CNBC this morning talking about what a great time it is to buy in the market now. Of course you have the ability to continue to lose lots of money even though some stocks are cheap. AAPL is down 20 from when I bought it, and it is a great company with great products. I don't see it hitting 200 anytime soon.

Andrew Sullivan Asks the Obvious Question?

After exit polling showed Hillary's black vote at historically low levels for a Democratic candidate, Andrew Sullivan asks the obvious question: "I wonder if the Clintons have badly damaged their own party in their attempt to quash the hopes raised by Obama?" See his post here.

Policeman Who Hit Roomate To Resign

Earlier I had written about the weird case where a local policeman was in an accident and just happened to ram into his roommate and the roommate's girlfriend. He is resigning, not because of this fact, but because it is his second accident in a year with a police vehicle. See the story here.

Setback for Illegal Immigrants in MD

Maryland was one of the seven states that issued drivers licenses to any resident without proof of residency. This is a violation of the Federal REAL ID Act, which will go into effect this year. Originally, the Democratic Governor O'Malley had proposed two types of licenses in the state. One that complied with the law and could be used to enter Federal buildings, airplanes and so on; and one for illegals that could be used in Maryland to drive. Suddenly yesterday he announced that this plan would not go forward and only legal residents can get driver licenses in MD. See The Washington Post here.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wired Leaks Apple Air

Wired has what they think is the new "MacBook Air" ultra thin and light computer. See the article here. It might be true or not, but it seems to continue the theme of using the touch screen from iPod Touch and iPhone.

Turns out that Wired was right. See this article for proof. Now would I rush out and spend $1800 on this? Maybe, if I had it.

The Clintons Violate the First Rule of Holes

Look it is a cliche, but if you are in a hole stop digging. The Clintons, attempting to campaign traditionally, have screwed up. The Right is loving it too. See this article on Fox News here for an example. A much better analysis can be found at American Thinker in this article.

Washington Post Creates A New Euphimism

They are not illegal immigrants, or undocumented immigrants, they are now "Students without a visa." Or something like that, according to the Post's headline writer. See this here for more. Although they are rotating the headline and sometimes say "Filling the Void After High School". Give the article credit, it does refer to "illegal immigrants".

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Higher Pay for Hacks

The Huntsville Times endorses the idea that the Mayor and City Councilors need big raises. In some case up to 50% or so. There argument is that the higher salaries are needed to attract better politicians when the current ones leave. I think it is meant to be a compliment. Since the incumbents are showing no signs of leaving, and seemed happy with their current pay, I am not sure who they are trying to attract. Besides I am sure a higher pay just gets you a higher order of hack running for office.

Hillary Clinton's Twisted Logic

Hillary Clinton now blames here opponent for remarks she made that were supposed to denigrate Barack Obama, but sounded like they were denigrating Martin Luther King Jr. She says that they are ""I think it clearly came from Senator Obama's campaign and I don't think it's the kind of debate we should be having in our campaign," This is Hillary and Bill Clinton not wanting to be divisive. Anyway, see this for more.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Arsenal Draw

The reduced Arsenal squad played terribly today for a 1-1 draw with Birmingham. Actually, they could have lost as the penalty they scored on was kind of chintzy. They played like last year, unable to score a goal through too many passes. With Man U winning 6-0 over reeling Newcastle they are now in second place on goals. For more of the ugly details see this.

Moisant Nagant Rifle

I am trying to decide whether to buy one of these as kind of a historical artifact. A working one, of course, but still I think it would add flavor to the house. The local gun store, Larry's, has them for $130.00. Maybe I will get one.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Identity Politics Ad Absurdum (Or Something)

See here. If you are going to claim benefits due to race/gender/sex, then you cannot claim benefits due to race/gender/sex.

Arsenal Play Birmingham

Arsenal will play Birmingham tomorrow. They have a 2 point lead in the Premiership over Manchester United. They play Newcastle who just fired their manager. In related news, Henry said he can imagine being at Arsenal again in some capacity. See here.

Raiders Need Change, But Don't

According to the San Francisco Chronicle Coach Kiffin wanted to fire the Defensive Coordinator, Rob Ryan, but Al overruled him. They need Kiffin to do what he wants for the team to get better on both sides. The defense was a major disappointment with no change in players from last year's pretty good one. See here for more. Supposedly Kiffin wanted people to come in and run his father's successful system from Tampa Bay.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

IowaHawk Starts Nostalgia Site

IowaHawk of, has started a new group site. This will review nostalgic offerings of middle America, or some sort of crap like that. Anyway, it is hilarious, so see bolus.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

AP Reports that Richardson Quits

According to the AP here; Bill Richardson is going to call it quits. There are denials, but it makes sense. This means three Democrats have quit in the last week. Only one Republican so far.

Arsenal Draws With Tottanham 1-1

The Arsenal youth struggled today, especially back-up keeper Fabianski, but at the end Walcott scored the equalizer. There will be another game at Tottanham in two weeks. Tottanham had not won over Arsenal in 9 years. See The Daily Telegraph for more here.

Virginia Governor Tries to Govern

The Democratic governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, has given up on one of his legislative priorities from last year - abusive driver fees. In lieu of raising taxes Virginia tried to make a quick buck by charging those convicted of various moving violations large "fees" as well as fines. Guess what, early indications are it doesn't work. There are also several lawsuits pending against them. See this article here.

Making Your Advocates Job Much Harder

The Supreme Court heard today arguments for and against Indiana's voter identification law. See The Washington Post here. It turns out, though, that one of the poster children for the id law making their life difficult decided to register to vote in two states. This kind of reinforced why voter id is a good thing. See The Evening Star article here.

Arsenal Play Tottanham in the Carling Cup

Fresh off their FA Cup victory, Arsenal will play Tottanham in the Carling today. Wenger often uses the backups for this to get them some work. So maybe Lehman will play again. There are still many rumors about him going to Dortmund. See this.

Hilarious Description of Ron Paul

In the comments at a Reason article a gentleman made the following statement: "In the end, Ron Paul was a cult of personality without the personality." Hilarious. See this.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Mad Dogs and Englishmen Do History

This is neat, but a little manic in some ways. An Englishman has devoted the last several years to uncovering a German fortification from D-Day. He had to settle in Normandy, buy up a lot of land from various farmers, and then dig. It is excellent history, but takes a lot of effort.

Case for CSI/Law & Order

On Sunday night a local policeman was in a car crash. Not that exciting, but it turns out that the car he hit contained his roommate and the guy's girl friend. They are both still in the hospital, the cop is out. Police are investigating as this is a little suspiciously coincidental. See The Huntsville Times here. And, please, HSV Times, put all your stories on line in an easy to find way.

Once Again the SEC Proves Its the Best Conference

Not surprisingly once they shook off the cobwebs LSU trounced Ohio State. Final poll results here. SEC teams finish first and second. I think the SEC has won three of the last seven National Championships.

Monday, January 7, 2008

California Legal AR-15 shows us a perfectly legal AR-15 in California. It is also darn cute, but I wouldn't carry it around manly men. See this post. Also, if you don't get the joke, I am sorry.

When the Main Street Media Get a Meme, They Get a Meme

Just go to or Memeorandum and see how many articles about Hillary tanking there are. It is now the accepted meme that the Clinton era is over. We will have to see what Super Tuesday looks like, but it is just amazing how quickly things reinforce each other. Especially with political press.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

More on Virginia's Ineffective Government

I have written before about Virginia's attempt to raise money without raising taxes. One of the most stupid ideas they came up with is driver abuse fees. These are additional payments, not fines, that persons convicted of various moving violations must pay. There are several court challenges on-going as they apply to only Virginia residents because they are not fines. Here Don Surber explains even more.

Arsenal Win in FA Cup

Arsenal beat Burnley today 2-0 to advance to the next round of the FA Cup. Burnley played well and kept the pressure on the Arsenal backups. Lehman did play, and rumors still swirl about his transfer to the Bundesleague. See The Daily Telegraph for more here.

Jacksonville Advances

I think the AFC playoffs are going to be a dog fight. SD should win today over Tennessee. The four teams left can all beat each other. You have to favor the Patriots, but it won't be an easy two games for them.

Turns Out Bloomberg is Not Really a Republican

It took the New York Times until today to figure out something everybody, at least in the GOP, has known forever. Mayor Bloomberg of New York is not really a Republican. The majority of his positions are in synch with the Democratic Party. Imagine. He only ran as a Republican because the NYC Democratic machine was choosing people whose turn it was. See this article here for more.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Clinton Mind Works in Mysterious Ways

According to Bill Clinton the negative media converage of Hillary will force her campaign to go negative on Senator Obama? This doesn't make much sense to me as the last person complaining about their media coverage should be Bill & Hillary. See Blue Crab Boulevard here for much better discussion and analysis.

Soviet Domination of the South Pole

A group of scientists recently traveled to the most inaccessible part of Antarctica. A Soviet party had been there in 1958 or so. Much to their surprise they found a giant bust of Vladimir Lenin standing sentinel. This is just one of the legacies of the cult of personality so common in the Former Soviet Union. See this article for more.

Transfer Rumors Swirl Around Arsenal

It is transfer window time in the UK, and rumors are swirling all around. Supposedly Lehman was all set to go to Dortmund, but that hasn't happened yet. Arsene Wenger said he might play next week in the FA Cup Third Round. Now, Skysports has reported here that Spurs put a bid in for Diarra. Arsenal deny that.

Two More Gone - Biden and Dodd

Continuing to prove that it is hard for a sitting Senator to win the Presidency, the Iowa Caucus results drive two Democratic Senators out of the Race. Senators Biden and Dodd will give up and return to Washington. That leaves 5 Democrats, I think. There is also 8 Republicans left. Hopefully some of them will get the hint from Iowa as well. Hillary, are you listening?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sapp to Retire

35 year old Warren Sapp, defensive tackle for the Raiders these last few years, announced his retirement today. That will save the Raiders some cap space. I would give odds thought that Sapp will play for another team next year. See an article here.

Germans in Huntsville

If you know anything about Germany between 1933-1945, you will know that Nazism permeated the society. That doesn't mean every German supported it, but in many ways it was like Communism in the USSR. At a certain point you had to at least pretend to support the Party to get where you wanted to go. This article talks about the German Rocket Scientists in Huntsville and alludes to their Nazi past. If you want some more information see The Paperclip Conspiracy by Tom Bower which starts thusly "As the giant Saturn V rocket rose majestically through the morning sunlight from Cape Canaveral in July 1969, two groups of German scientists beamed, flushed with pride." It also says "Twenty-five years later, the Americans were reaping the benefit of their youthful genius, however neither von Braun nor Strughold willingly discussed the circumstances in which the scientific origins of their work had materialized...their craft,..had been realized amid the calculated murder and brutal butchery of Nazi atrocities." (p. 1-2).

So, they were not as pure as has been made out to believe. The issues of post-WW II Europe drove the Americans, British and Soviets to recruit these scientists and harness their abilities.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Weird Object Washes Ashore In Scotland

On 29 December a mysterious cylindrical tank washed ashore on an Island off of Scotland. Nobody seemed to know what it was, and the manufacturer didn't respond to questions. So read this article and see if you can figure it out. Provides List of Stock Winners and Losers for 2007 provides here a list of 2007 Winners and Losers. Coming in on top for the year were energy and gold stocks. Apple and Amazon did well for tech stocks. Not surprisingly, the financials did the worst with E*Trade coming in last.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Arsenal Wins Away at Westham

Arsenal easily beat Westham United 2-0 today. Westham were coming off of their biggest win in a long time over Manchester United on Saturday. This puts Arsenal 2 points in the lead of the Premiership. See this article here for more.

Auburn Wins in OT

Auburn wins their bowl game as well, beating Clemson in OT. I didn't watch much of the game so I don't know if their new, fancy offense contributed or not. I guess we will have to wait until the fall to find out how good it is.

This Is Not What I Would Call Governing

Virginia needed money for roads. Virginia politicians were too wimpy to raise taxes, especially the gas tax. Virginia empowered a non-elected body with the ability to set "fees" and adjust property taxes to raise money for roads. So starting today in Northern Virginia you will pay the state 2.5% of the sale price of your house for the privilege of selling it. You will pay more to have your car repaired, or to buy a car. You will pay more to stay in a hotel room, or rent a car. The real estate fee makes the least sense. The market in Northern Virginia has collapsed, with housing prices falling several percent. People cannot find buyers, and you now just made it even harder to sell. See the details in The Washington Post here.