Friday, November 30, 2007

Ron Paul - Right Message, Wrong Messenger

As a Libertarian (and as someone in the tech field), you'd think I might be supporting Ron Paul for President. I'm not, and it's not because I don't want to "waste my vote" on someone who I feel doesn't have a chance of getting the nomination. I DO think people who vote for Ron Paul could better "invest" their vote elsewhere, but that's not why I am not supporting Ron Paul. I just don't think he'd make a good leader of America.

As a Libertarian, I AM for many of Ron Paul's "ideals," but when you vote for President, you vote for A PERSON, not just their ideals. For me, Ron Paul does not have the leadership skills I look for in a President. He can have all the right ideals, be very passionate about them, and even be an honest and likable person, but if he can't LEAD effectively, and has bad ideas, then his influence will be nominal. (Ron Paul has only successfully had one of his bills passed in all the years he has served in congress.) I appreciate his honest, direct, tell-it-like-it-is approach. I think he's a very ethical and sincere man, but some of his IDEAS for executing on his IDEALS worry me.

Some will argue, "He MUST know how to lead, look at all the support he has! Look at the money he's raised! HE WON A POLL ON THE INTERNET!" The support he does have is for his IDEALS, but that will only take him so far. Ron Paul, the man, and his ideas for executing on those ideals, is what will keep him in single digits.

I may agree with many of the things other Libertarians say, such as Penn Gillette or Tom Leykis, but would I want them for President??? This is one of the big challenges Libertarians face, a lack of good, electable leaders.

Believe me, I LONG for the day I can vote for a Libertarian for President, but it won't be Ron Paul. Until then, I'll vote for the right PERSON who comes CLOSEST to my ideals.


As a youth growing up, when I'd play basketball with my friends, we had a saying, "Scoreboard!" We'd use that anytime we'd win a game, and the other team would complain about why they lost. They'd always have all sorts of excuses, and we'd just reply with, "Scoreboard!" Suggesting, in the end, that's what matters. I'm sorry you had a bad day, I'm sorry your jump shot wasn't dropping, I'm sorry you couldn't find your lucky socks, but all that matters in the end is the score. I know I'm going to want to say that to all my Ron Paul friends, who keep telling me how Ron Paul really IS going to win and that the polls don't show his true support. They have a million reasons why he's the best, and a million more why no one seems to know it yet (rigged straw polls, media bias, conspiracy theories, blah, blah). If Ron Paul has what it takes to lead America, he SHOULD have what it takes to sell his ideas. I look forward to early next year when I can just say one word to my Ron Paul friends...Scoreboard. (I'll go on record here that Ron Paul will not win a single state's Primary or Caucus. OK, the whining polls are now open...I'm sure we'll see them start up below...)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Guess Planting Questions In Their OWN Town Hall Meetings Isn't Enough For the Hillary Camp

To get caught up, if you're not familiar with this story, watch this:

Having this question asked by general Keith Kerr, someone involved with the Hillary campaign, and then having him in the audience and giving him a mic, was a clear ambush of the Republican party. It's a legitimate question that should have been asked, but WHO asked it, and HOW it was done by CNN was improper.

Negative points to Hillary Clinton and CNN.

If you didn't know, here is how the Clinton camp plants questions:


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Are You Ready for "Hillary Health Care?"

I live in a very nice part of San Diego. We have a US Post Office here, just down the street from my home. Their hours of operation are from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday, and closed on Saturday and Sunday. If you get there at 3:25 PM, you'll find a red rope to keep you from getting in line, because at EXACTLY 3:30, the "gate" comes crashing down. If you have a long transaction, such as opening a PO Box, you better get there early, or they will tell you to come back on another day if it's too close to closing. These people are VERY serious about closing not one second after 3:30!

The other day, I visited this post office during their normal operating hours (not an easy task, given how limited their hours are ;-). The "gate" was closed, and there was a sign taped to it, saying their computers were down, so they couldn't remain open. No one could be found, just a closed gate and the notes. I took a photo...

Now, get this...I returned to this post office and it remained closed, with the above sign showing, for at least THREE DAYS! It could have been longer, but I personally noticed it this way for three days.

For those of you looking to the Federal Government to take care of your health and medical needs, be ready for this type of "service." This is what you can expect from Government-run monopolies. There are no free-market competitive forces to keep things in check.

What private retail business is only open from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, and closed all day on Saturday and Sunday? What business would run you and your money out of their store if you get there five minutes before closing? What business would completely shut down for THREE DAYS because their computers were down? None that I know of, and if they exist, they will soon be put out of business by competition.

The average home in the city where I live is over $3 million. If this is the type of postal service we get, I can only imaging what will happen if Hillary Clinton gets her hands on my health and medical care.

If you think health care is costly now, just wait and see how expensive it gets when it's "free."

For a better way, read this.


Thursday, November 15, 2007


When I made Ubuntu my main desktop OS, many were surprised that I would even consider GNOME after having run KDE for so long. I mentioned that I was running BOTH Ubuntu and Kubuntu (dual boot), but that I wanted to ultimately decide on one or the other, and promised to report here on my Blog which I chose.

Surprisingly to some, I'm sure, I have chosen GNOME as my desktop environment.

KDE vs GNOME is more a personal preference than anything else. It's not like there is a right or wrong choice here. For me, however, GNOME just "feels" better for where I'm coming from. Here are four reasons why *I* prefer GNOME over KDE (YMMV):

1. It is the default for Ubuntu.

As I had mentioned in an earlier blog, I have been very impressed with Ubuntu. One reason I believe Ubuntu is so nice, is because of the millions of people using it. From the information I've seen, it looks like Ubuntu is being used ten to one over Kubuntu, which means it gets ten times the testing and attention to details.

Ubuntu, rather than Kubuntu, is also the "official" distribution being backed directly by Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical, and I think it shows. When running Ubuntu, I feel like I'm running a well-thought-out operating system, where everything fits nicely together. When I would run Kubuntu, however, it felt more "pieced together." Ubuntu felt professional and polished, but Kubuntu felt more hobbled together, as if it were more for hobbiests and developers than professionals. There are many examples of this, but one glaring one for me, is how Kubuntu uses Konquerer as the default web browser instead of Firefox. Another example is how each deals with Themes. I never did care for the, again, pieced-together feeling of themes in KDE. GNOME does a much better job here.

2. It seems faster.

I didn't do any time tests, but GNOME just felt more responsive and faster in loading apps, rendering screens, dragging windows, and so on.

3. It seems more stable.

Again, I don't have a lot of quantitative data here, but GNOME just "feels" more rugged, sturdy and stable to me. When running KDE, I saw the "blow up" screen fairly regularly, something I have yet to encounter with GNOME.

4. It's new for me.

Part of my deciding to go with GNOME could just be the simple fact that it's new to me, and I've had fun and enjoyed using it. As you know, moving to "new" software can either be an enjoyable or trying experience. The fact that I've found GNOME easy and fun to run is a testament to what they've achieved. After six years of running KDE, one would assume I'd have found myself frustrated as I stumble about trying to figure out how GNOME does things, but that hasn't at all been the case.

I should mention that KDE does have some applications which I prefer, such at KSnapshot (which allows for a region capture), Kolour Paint (nice, quick and easy program for editing graphics when you don't need all the power of Gimp), and AmaroK (a great music player). The nice thing is, I can run these and other KDE applications nicely in Ubuntu with GNOME.


Both KDE and GNOME are wonderful testaments to what the FOSS world has to offer. Either is a very capable choice, and as I said, mostly a matter of taste than anything else. I can certainly see why neither has pulled out in front of the other, and both share about the same popularity amongst the various distributions. However, for me, at least for now, Ubuntu running GNOME will be my desktop environment of choice.

Kudos to both the GNOME and KDE communities for their wonderful achievements. Thanks for giving Linux TWO great choices!


PS: Look for my "out-of-the-box" report on my new Dell/Ubuntu PC, coming soon.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Blowing the Whistle on Fraud

As most of you know, every year, corrupt organizations cheat the federal government out of billions of taxpayer's dollars. What you may not know, however, is that the US Government has a website where anyone can confidentially report fraud and abuse of the Federal Government.

From this site:

If you suspect any person or company is defrauding the government, don't be afraid to report it. Not only is it is the right thing to do, you may be entitled to a significant reward often totaling millions of dollars. The most common types of fraud include; Medicare & Medicaid Fraud, Pharmaceutical Fraud, Nursing Home Fraud, Defense Contractor Fraud, Contractor Fraud, Customs Fraud, Fraudulent Loans & Grants and IRS Tax Fraud.

Recently, I made use of this form, and reported a company who I believe exercised fraud on a Federally Insured bank, trying to extort money from them under false pretenses. This is, of course, a violation of Federal law. I didn't do this for any type of reward, but to see justice served.

It's not right that your tax dollars should go to compensate dishonest and corrupt individuals. When someone steals from the Federal Government, they're stealing from you and other honest, law-abiding citizens. Blowing the whistle on those who would defraud you and I out of our tax dollars, providing evidence, testifying if needs be, and seeing these criminals brought to justice, is the right thing to do.


Thursday, November 1, 2007 - News Reader for iPhone

I couldn't find a decent News Reader for my iPhone, so I wrote my own. If you have an iPhone, check it out. (It won't look right via a regular web browser, so check it out on your iPhone.)

Ideas and suggestions welcome. I wrote this in a few hours, so of course, it's a little rough, but over time I plan on cleaning it up and adding a lot more feeds.

Thanks to Joe Hewitt for the javascript library I used.

By the way, TIME just named Apple's iPhone the invention of the year.