Ken's Project Blog

December 31, 2010

Presidential Priorities

Filed under: Politics — Ken @ 8:17 pm

President Bush reached out personally to every family of a fallen soldier, President Obama not so much:

“He was told that Obama did not regularly make phone calls to the families of fallen soldiers.”

But, he had time to call Eagle’s owner to thank him for giving Vick a second chance…

Remember how President Obama wouldn’t go to Edwards AFB to pay respects to fallen soldiers as they were taken off planes until he could bring press photographers with him…

There is a stark contrast between Bush & Obama…

December 27, 2010

Read spouse’s emails, face jail time?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken @ 12:03 pm

A Michigan man is facing “hacking charges” for reading his wife’s emails, in a case many are calling “unprecedented,” according to an article in The Detroit Free Press.

The very shortest way through this story is this: Clara Walker has been married three times. She had a child with her first husband. Her second husband beat her in front of her child. While married to her third husband, Leon Walker, she had an affair with her second husband (the one that beat her). Her third husband used her password, which she kept in a notebook next to her laptop to read her private emails and alerted the first husband that his child might be exposed to violence, since the mother was back with the abusive ex-husband #2. The first husband filed an emergency order for custody hearing, and it came to light that husband #3 had invaded his wife’s privacy. Now, ex-husband #3 is facing criminal charges.

As noted in the article, it is fairly commonplace for spouses to “spy” on their partner to confirm suspicions (an estimated 45%), but this case is unusual for the criminal prosecution involved.

Clara Walker may not have a reasonable “expectation of privacy,” since her husband routinely worked on the computer, and that may undermine her case (along with her habit of leaving her passwords next to the computer)…

From the article, the statue Leon Walker is being prosecuted under:

Michigan statute 752.795, which reads, in part:

“A person shall not intentionally and without authorization or by exceeding valid authorization do any of the following:

“Access or cause access to be made to a computer program, computer, computer system or computer network to acquire, alter, damage delete or destroy property or otherwise use the service of a computer program, computer, computer system or computer network.”

December 26, 2010

Falsifiable

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken @ 6:38 pm

The following two paragraphs nicely expresses my frustrations with the man-made global warming crusade – they are from an article at investors.com called “The Abiding Faith Of Warm-ongers“:

Karl Popper, the late, great philosopher of science, noted that for something to be called scientific, it must be, as he put it, “falsifiable.” That is, for something to be scientifically true, you must be able to test it to see if it’s false. That’s what scientific experimentation and observation do. That’s the essence of the scientific method.

Unfortunately, the prophets of climate doom violate this idea. No matter what happens, it always confirms their basic premise that the world is getting hotter. The weather turns cold and wet? It’s global warming, they say. Weather turns hot? Global warming. No change? Global warming. More hurricanes? Global warming. No hurricanes? You guessed it.

Topsey-Turvy FCC Regulation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken @ 11:39 am

A dystopian counter-history if Gov’t had regulated internet from the start – an interesting piece in Slate magazine…

It is interesting to note FCC regulates broadcast TV, Radio and other services that use public airwaves, but not cable TV. With this latest ruling, they are supporting network bias on wireless ISPs (broadcasters) and regulating wired ISPs (like cable)… Rut Roh…

Here’s a link that helps explain the twisted logic the FCC employed to throw mobile users under the bus – the take-away? Because the Android OS is open, the mobile market is workig towards transparency… Read the full story here.

Don’t believe me, here’s the quote from the FCC’s Press Release:

Further, we recognize that there have been meaningful recent moves toward openness, including the introduction of open operating systems like Android. In addition, we anticipate soon seeing the effects on the market of the openness conditions we imposed on mobile providers that operate on upper 700 MHz C-Block spectrum, which includes Verizon Wireless, one of the largest mobile wireless carriers in the U.S.

In light of these considerations, we conclude it is appropriate to take measured steps at this time to
protect the openness of the Internet when accessed through mobile broadband

Source: FCC December 21st Press Release

Ruling & Order from FCC: Preserving the Free and Open Internet

December 25, 2010

Tax Bill Gifts for 2011

Filed under: Politics,Taxation — Ken @ 5:16 pm

The tax reform bill that President Obama signed into law has a conucopia of gifts for the American taxpayers, as outlined in this recent AP story, including an estimated $9.3BN in savings for large banks, insurance companies, and investment houses to shield them from paying US taxes on foreign profits, an estimated $101M in tax savings for TV show and movie production companies, an estimated $262M in increased tax rebates to Rum manufacturers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and continuation of a $13.3BN tax credit for corporate research & development, benefiting a panoply of industries.

Oh, and if you don’t itemize your deductions on your personal income taxes, you won’t be able to deduct your local property taxes in 2011… But don’t worry, your cardiologist will be able to immediately deduct the price of their new race horse.

Merry Christmas, everybody else!

December 24, 2010

Carats or Cookies?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken @ 8:10 pm

About 20 years ago, in an effort to woo a friends friend (Mary), I baked her some Toll House cookies from scratch. Little did I know that when she got the cookies she would declare them “The best cookies she ever had” and then limit her friends to one cookie each to confirm her assessment.

Time goes by, I marry my friend (Kim), and not a year goes by when she doesn’t ask/demand/beg/complain about my never making her a batch of cookies like the ones I baked for Mary…

So, I decided this year I would bake Kim some Toll House cookies from scratch as her Christmas Present. I usually give her something with a power cord, but I stopped doing that a few years ago, and I have no eye for jewelry, and clothing is something I would never buy without specific directions from her…

I think she’ll like the cookies – I didn’t try one, but my mom did, and she said they turned out very well (see the picture above). I’m pretty sure she knows what I did… I washed the dishes after baking, and when she unloaded the dishwasher I’m certain she saw the measuring spoons and cup, and later in the evening when she was setting the table she asked me where our other serving platter was. She simply accepted that I was “using it”.

So, ladies, answer this question – would you prefer Carats or Cookies?

Fellows, the recipie is on the side of Nestle’s Semi-sweet morsels, and on-line. Don’t wuss out and get the ready-to-bake cookies, the slice & bake tube of dough, and don’t get the tub of prepared dough – while all three have the same ingredients listed on the side, the tube & the tub are missing a vital ingredient, and if you don’t know what that ingredient is, well, I’m sure the Jewelry store at the mall still has a nice selection of reasonably-priced items.

Pajama Jeans

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken @ 7:43 pm

Smooth, butt-lifting design… AKA Mom Jeans on steroids?

A Christmas Story

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken @ 7:38 pm

I remember back in college a few friends of mine were very, very interested in the movie “A Christmas Story” – they would, as I recall, keep an eye on the TV schedule and watch the movie as many times as possible around exams. See, back then, VCRs were a relative rarity, and there wasn’t a channel that played the movie continuously before Christmas.

I remember going over to visit Diane Stillman & Patty Krakle (sp) at all hours of the night during the build-up to exams, and they were either in the common area watching “A Christmas Story” or trying to get their studying done before the next time it was on. (I’m certain I’m exagerating, but not that much)

I never heard the movie before I went to college, but when I watched the movie on TV during the break, and I was suprised to know my dad not only knew the story, but he also knew the author Jean Sheperd from his childhood.

At the time, I thought my friends were a bit over-the-top about this movie, but now the obsession with this show has grown to silly proportions. The house used as the set during filming is now open as a tour/museum, with a gift shop across the street (and on-line), and there are on-line games to help occupy those few moments during the holiday when the movie isn’t on the air.

Maybe Diane & Patty were on to something, or maybe more people have gone over-the-top for this movie

Arizona’s Immigration Law

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken @ 5:34 pm

I’m watching an old TV show (old meaning from May, 2010), and they are talking about the Arizona Immigration Law – the following caught my eye:

“Authorities, whether federal, state, or municipal … are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues.”

How could any state in the union ever propose such draconian laws, denying people services simply because they can’t prove their legal status – shame on you Arizona.

Wait, what’s that you say – that isn’t the Arizona law? Let me ‘rewind’ the DVR… You’re right – that’s Mexico’s Immigration law – how weird!

Why look, Arizona has some amazingly harsh immigration policies in comparison to our own here in the United States, why does Mexico’s President say the following:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon denounced as “racial discrimination” an Arizona law giving state and local police the authority to arrest suspected illegal immigrants and vowed to use all means at his disposal to defend Mexican nationals against a law he called a “violation of human rights.”

Source: Washington Times, May 3rd, 2010

In addition, same Washington Times article also mentions:

The law also says Mexico can deport foreigners who are deemed detrimental to “economic or national interests,” violate Mexican law, are not “physically or mentally healthy” or lack the “necessary funds for their sustenance” and for their dependents.

Source: Washington Times, May 3rd, 2010

I don’t recall that narrative dominating the newscycle back in April-May of this past year, how strange – it was widely reported.

Reconsidering President George W. Bush

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ken @ 11:12 am

It was announced this week that President George W. Bush’s book, Decision Points, sold about 2 Million copies, including around 200,000 eBook versions since it’s release less than 2 months ago and before it became available in paperback. As a comparison point, that’s nearly as many books as President Bill Clinton’s memoirs “My Life”, published in 2004, which has sold almost 2.2 Million copies to date (six years of sales).

This raises a couple interesting questions: 1) Does this dispel the misconception that Conservatives (his presumed audience) don’t read books, and 2) What does this say about what many called America’s worst president ever?

Around the same time, President Barak Obama released his latest book “Of Thee I Sing”, a 31-page, $18 children’s book, apparently modeled after President John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles in Courage”, but aimed at the youth market.

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