January 31, 2003

Demos take note

“National defense is one of the cardinal duties of a statesman.” —John Adams

posted by retrophisch at 03:21 PM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

Demo SOTU Response

The volunteer researchers at The Federalist simply rock. Let’s follow along as they break down the Democrat response to President Bush’s State of the Union address, delivered by Gary Locke, Governor of Washington State:

“Osama bin-Laden is still at large. As we rise to the many challenges around the globe, let us never lose sight of who attacked our people here at home.”

  • And what does this really mean? In other words, Demos deny the President’s claim of a connection between Islamic terrorists and Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi regime.

“Today, the economy is limping along. Some say it’s a recovery, but there’s no recovery in our states and cities. There’s no recovery in our rural communities. There’s no recovery for working Americans and for those searching for jobs to feed and clothe their families. … President Bush has a very different [economic recovery] plan. We think it’s upside down economics: it does too little to stimulate the economy now and does too much to weaken our economic future. It will create huge, permanent deficits that will raise interest rates, stifle growth, hinder homeownership and cut off the avenues of opportunity that have let so many work themselves up from poverty.”
  • And what does the President’s tax cut plan actually do? “This tax relief is for everyone who pays income taxes — and it will help our economy immediately. Ninety-two million Americans will keep — this year — an average of almost $1,100 more of their own money. A family of four with an income of $40,000 would see their federal income taxes fall from $1,178 to $45 per year. And our plan will improve the bottom line for more than 23 million small businesses.”

“Last year Congress authorized $2.5 billion in vital new resources to protect our citizens — for equipment for firefighters and police, to protect ports, to guard against bioterrorism, to secure nuclear power plants, and more. It’s hard to believe, but President Bush actually refused to release the money.”
  • And why did the President refuse to release the money? Because Democrats tacked on billions in spending unrelated to homeland security, and at the same time refused to give the President the authority he needs to combat terrorism by insisting on excessive union prerogatives for homeland security employees — union prerogatives that could potentially undermine national security.

“Our parents shouldn’t be forced to give up their doctor or join an HMO to get the medicine they need. … And it would put too many seniors at too much risk — just when they need the security of Medicare.”
  • And what did the President actually say? “These problems will not be solved with a nationalized health care system that dictates coverage and rations care. Instead, we must work toward a system in which all Americans have a good insurance policy…choose their own doctors…and seniors and low-income Americans receive the help they need. Instead of bureaucrats, and trial lawyers, and HMOs, we must put doctors, and nurses, and patients back in charge of American medicine. Health care reform must begin with Medicare, because Medicare is the binding commitment of a caring society. We must renew that commitment by giving seniors access to the preventive medicine and new drugs that are transforming health care in America. Seniors happy with the current Medicare system should be able to keep their coverage just the way it is.”

So there you have it. The Demos still have nothing of substance to offer the American people, and all they can do is attack those who do.

posted by retrophisch at 03:18 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

iLife released

Apple has posted for download iPhoto 2, iMovie 3, and as has been the case, iTunes 3. The full iLife package began shipping earlier this week to those who ordered it to get iDVD 3.

posted by retrophisch at 02:55 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

In The Visegrips

Gibson continues to blow me away.

posted by retrophisch at 02:01 PM in writing
permalink | comments (0)

Notable Quotables

MRC’s latest Notable Quotables is available. They pick out the best biased lines from the news talkingheads to show you how skewed broadcast news coverage really is. You can also download a PDF.

posted by retrophisch at 09:55 AM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

January 30, 2003

Miller on the ACLU

My friends know that in general I detest Dennis Miller, but he made an excellent point regarding the ACLU on the Tonight Show this week:

“The ACLU spent this entire holiday season protesting public displays of the nativity scene. Yeah, that’s the problem with America right now: Public displays of Christ’s birth, that’s the problem. It’s unbelievable to me. The ACLU will no longer fight for your right to put up a nativity scene, but they’ll fight for the right of the local freak who wants to stumble onto the scene and have sex with one of the sheep.”

Hmmm. Maybe I’ve misunderstood Dennis throughout the ‘90s, but I always got the feeling he never took a stand on either side of the political aisle.

posted by retrophisch at 04:41 PM in liberty , quote , rant
permalink | comments (0)

“Balanced” reporting

If a ban on partial-birth abortion, decidedly a conservative issue, is a “sop to the far right,” why isn’t a campaign finance reform bill, decidedly a leftist issue, a “sop to the far left?”

posted by retrophisch at 04:05 PM in rant
permalink | comments (0)

iLife shipping

MacMinute is reporting that iLife is now shipping from Apple. iPhoto 2 and iMovie 3 downloads have yet to be posted online, however.

posted by retrophisch at 03:09 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Microsoft anti-Safari?

A member of the Cube email list reports that he is unable to log in to his Hotmail account with Safari. He does say this “is limited to the browser login check. If you fire up MSN Messenger and click on the Mail icon with Safari set as your default browser, it will take you right in with no problem.”

Another member reports that once he logged in with this roundabout solution, he was able to log in again directly through Safari.

posted by retrophisch at 02:46 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Knowing Who Your Friends Are

I know several folks out there, even some I call acquaintances and friends, believe that the United States, and specifically President Bush, is acting as a bully against Saddam and that world opinion is not with us. Sorry to say, but France, Russia, China, and far-left peace protestors do not constitute world opinon, no matter what their apologists in the mass media would have you think.

My friend Michael reports that on MSNBC just a while ago, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi stated, “When I see the American flag, I don’t just see a symbol of the United States, I see a symbol of freedom and democracy.”

Berlusconi gets it; our fight with Saddam isn’t purely about weapons of mass destruction, though that is the most significant reason. It’s not about controlling Iraqi oil reserves, either, despite what some conspiracy-minded leftists would have you believe. Beyond Saddam’s WMD threat, our fight with Saddam is about the freedom from oppression of the Iraqi people.

And if you think I’m wrong, then you need to check out the open letter sent to The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and other newspapers today, by, respectively, the prime ministers of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Britain, the president of the Czech Republic and the prime ministers of Hungary, Poland and Denmark.

They get it. Each of these countries was touched in some way by oppression in the 20th century, namely Nazism and communism, and they note this. As nations, they speak from experience. As nations, they know what the Iraqi people are suffering; and they are willing to assist in the regime change necessary for Iraqi liberation. They get it. Why do so many Americans not?

Jordan’s King Hussein has apparently stated the U.S. can use his country as a staging area. At a press conference, Spain announced unconditional support for the United States with regard to handling Saddam. Other nations are rallying to America’s call to end Saddam’s tyrannical and threatening regime. I wonder how Jennings, Rather, and Brokaw will spin these developments in “world opinion.”

posted by retrophisch at 02:18 PM in liberty , rant
permalink | comments (0)

January 29, 2003

Harmony

“Triumphant in their kill of the elephant chew toy, feline and canine shared bedding in front of a warm fire, and there was peace throughout the land…”

posted by retrophisch at 04:28 PM in fun
permalink | comments (0)

January 28, 2003

Sounds like material breech to me

Hans Blix:

“Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance — not even today — of the disarmament which is demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to the confidence of the world and to live in peace.”

From the Washington Post:

Blix sharply criticized Iraq for failing to make scientists available for private interviews; blocking U-2 aerial overflights and refusing to provide a complete declaration of its weapons of mass destruction. “It is not enough to open doors,” Blix told the council. “Inspection is not a game of “catch as catch can,” he said. “It is a process of verification for the purpose of creating confidence. It is not built on the premise of trust. Rather, it is designed to lead to trust.”

Of course, the French and Russians would have us “give the inspectors more time,” so much more time, in fact, that military action against Saddam’s regime would be that much harder than it is now. I wonder what kind of per-barrel deals Hussein is working out with Chirac and Putin.

John D. Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to the U.N. Security Council:

“There is little time left for the council to face its responsibilities. We see no evidence to indicate that Saddam is voluntarily disarming his nations of its biological, chemical weapons, nuclear capabilities and ballistic missiles.”

So ruck up, U.S. servicemen and women. Your CIC will no doubt be calling upon you soon. Kick butt, make us proud, and may God protect you and yours.

posted by retrophisch at 04:10 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

New Apple iron

Apple released new desktops today. Processors ramp up to 1.42 GHz in the high-end model, as well as a new 4x SuperDrive. Like the PowerBooks released at Macworld Expo earlier this month, the new Power Macs either incorporate or are ready for the latest tech: FireWire 800, Bluetooth, and Airport Extreme.

Apple also dropped the price on its 17- and 23-inch LCDs, to $699 and $1,999 respectively, and introduced a new, 20-inch LCD for $1,299.

posted by retrophisch at 02:27 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Good riddance, Opera

Speaking of Mac browsers, Opera’s Jon von Tetzchner whined to CNET about competing with Safari, and losing out on providing the Opera engine to Apple, which chose KHTML to drive Safari instead.

Fellow ATPM staffer Chris Lawson brought the article to our attention, and several interesting comments have been raised, which reflect my own feelings:

Lawson: “…because it sucks and is two versions behind the Windoze version and you keep trying to charge $40 for it. It would be one thing if it were a really fast, slick browser, but it’s not.

“Then again, maybe I’m still bitter about the fact that they announced a Mac browser in 1996 ‘in a few weeks’ and didn’t deliver until late 2001…”

Michael: “I’m more distressed that anyone would print a story like this without checking the facts (like whether Mac Opera is any good). It’s irresponsible of CNet to act as von Tetzchner’s mouthpiece.”

Michael also rightly points out that there is nothing stopping Opera from using open-source alternatives, as Apple chose to do by using KHTML. Michael points to Chuq Von Rospach’s rockin’ analysis, as well as the dead-on commentary from Eric Albert.

So Mr. von Tetzchner, let’s run the down the Mac browser market, shall we?

Quite simply, people do not expect to have to pay for a web browser any more. Just ask Netscape, and thank Microsoft for it. I know there are many people, myself included, who would pay for a wicked fast, slick-looking, web standards-compliant browser. Unfortunately for Opera, their product isn’t any of those things on the Mac. Like Eric says in his post, the Omni Group still believes there’s a market for a commercial browser; why doesn’t Opera?

I’m very happy with Safari, even in its beta form, and I have Camino Chimera to fall back on, and worse case, IE. If Opera wants to plow the same kind of development into their Mac product that they do for Windows, I’ll sit up and take notice. If instead, Opera wants to leave the Mac market, no tears will be shed here.

posted by retrophisch at 02:03 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Safari best Mac browser ever?

Bob Levitus, a.k.a., Dr. Mac, thinks it just may be:

“Safari is wicked fast, with a clean, uncluttered interface and a feature I love — a special field in its toolbar that lets you search the Web via Google without going to the Google Web page first.

“I’ve been using Safari for several weeks, and even though it’s still in beta, it has become my browser of choice. It is much faster than the others, and it may very well be the best browser ever created. Not bad for a program that’s not even done yet.”

posted by retrophisch at 11:47 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 27, 2003

Stars beat Senators

In a possible Stanley Cup Finals preview, the current best team in the West took on the current best team in the East (and the league). The Stars trailed most of the game, scored 2 goals in 41 seconds to tie in the 2d, then watched the Sens’ Martin Havlat notch a hat trick with his 3d of the evening just moments later.

The Stars didn’t knuckle under, however, coming back to tie it at 3 all, and Bill Guerin put Dallas up with 5:24 left in the 3d. With 30-something seconds left, Modano added an empty netter to seal the deal. Dallas is now 11-1-3 in their last 15 as the race for playoff position slowly begins to heat up. The Stars are now within one point of Ottawa in the President’s Trophy race.

Horrendous officiating, especially by the linesmen, on both sides of the puck. What else is new in today’s Mr. Magoo NHL?

Great game, and if both teams survive through the playoffs, what a Stanley Cup series this is going to be.

posted by retrophisch at 09:56 PM in fun , hockey
permalink | comments (1)

What’s fair

Once upon a time, there was a young woman who was about to finish her last year of college. She considered herself a very liberal Democrat, and her father was a rather staunch conservative. One day, she was challenging her father on his beliefs, and his opposition to programs like welfare. He stopped her and asked how she was doing in school.

She answered she had a 4.0 GPA, but it was really tough. She had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party, and often went sleepless because of all of the studying. She didn’t have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many college friends because of all her studying.

He then asked how her friend Mary, who was attending the same college, was doing. She replied that Mary was barely getting by. Mary had a 2.0 GPA, never studied, was very popular on campus, and was at parties all the time. She often wouldn’t show up for classes because she was hung over.

He then asked his daughter why didn’t she go to the Dean’s Office and ask if she could take 1.0 off her 4.0 and give it to her friend that only had a 2.0. That way, they would both have a 3.0 GPA.

She fired back, “That wouldn’t be fair, I worked really hard for mine and my friend has done nothing.” After a moment of silence, she replied, “I guess I will never vote Democrat again.”

(Thanks, FranX!)

posted by retrophisch at 09:29 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

Daily Tales and Punditry

Lee’s blogging! Welcome to the weird and wacky world of the blog, bro. :)

posted by retrophisch at 11:26 AM in web/site
permalink | comments (0)

Apple Store Knox Street Grand Opening

So I decided to drag my butt out of bed at 6 am Saturday morning to join a friend for the opening of the new Apple Store on Knox Street in Dallas. This is the Dallas area’s second Apple Store, the first being in Plano at Willow Bend.

My pal Michael, and two of his friends, had already arrived at the store by the time I got out of bed, but were kind enough to save a spot for yours truly, who rolled up at 20 after 8. :)

Though I failed to capture the moment on camera, Michael was the first official customer of the Knox Street store, as he picked up a software title for his wife. I did take lots of other photos.

UPDATE (10:45 am): Michael emailed me links to a gallery that features his first purchase, as well as a shot of yours truly checking out the 12” PowerBook G4. A second gallery shows us waiting out front, though my back’s turned, and an open doorway shot of me, in profile, waiting to look at the 12” PowerBook G4. (Hint, I’m wearing a dark LSU cap and brown jacket.)

posted by retrophisch at 09:57 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

‘9/11 will seem like a picnic’

From Uday Hussein, Saddam’s son, according to a Reuters article: “It is better for the Americans to keep themselves away from us. Because if they come then September 11 - which they are crying over and see as a big thing - will be a real picnic for them, God willing. They will be hurt and pay a price they will never imagine.”

Gee, Uday, give us yet more reasons through your posturing to cap your sorry butt.

And I love how the Husseins run around invoking the name of God, or in their case, Allah. Saddam’s Ba’ath party has always been a secular party, and Saddam is well known for gassing Shi’ite Muslims within Iraq’s borders, not to mention the Muslim Kurds in his nation’s northern territories.

posted by retrophisch at 09:05 AM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

January 26, 2003

Frickin’ Celine Dion?!?!?

Can someone answer me why a French Canadian is singing “God Bless America” during the Super Bowl pre-game show? “My home sweet home?” She’s Canadian! She lives in Canada! Her home is Canada! Is is that hard to find a talented American singer to sing “God Bless America?”

At least American girls sang the national anthem. And quite nicely, I might add, not showboating or over-acting/singing in trying to show off their vocal skills. Hats off to the Dixie Chicks.

posted by retrophisch at 06:26 PM in rant
permalink | comments (0)

January 23, 2003

SIGARMS Academy

One of the reasons why SIG is my favorite firearms manufacturer is the SIGARMS Academy. Located in New Hampshire, the Academy provides all types of firearms training to law enforcement personnel as well as to civilians.

Two upcoming courses I would love to send my wife and myself to:

Women Only Weekend: a Rape Prevention Seminar, Self Defense Keychain Course, and a full day of Handgun Orientation for Women.

Civilian Armorer Course: get the same kind of basic armorer’s course normally reserved only for law enforcement personnel.

The Academy’s ongoing education mission reflects the SIG philosophy of a right to self-defense coupled with personal responsibility.

posted by retrophisch at 09:59 AM in firearms , liberty
permalink | comments (0)

Common sense prevails

A federal judge has thrown out the class-action lawsuit against McDonald’s which claimed the chain’s food was the reason for “obesity, diabetes and other health problems in children.”

I worked at McDonald’s in high school, and there was a regular supply of nutritional information pamphlets stocked at one end of the counter. I recall giving out several. The info is there, it tells you how bad the food is nutrition-wise, and yes, if you eat it every day, you’re going to get huge.

Take a little personal responsibility, people.

posted by retrophisch at 09:06 AM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

January 22, 2003

ClarisWorks History

Michael notes a history of ClarisWorks posted by Bob Hearn, one of the software package’s creators. The quote Michael highlights stands out in my mind as well.

ClarisWorks was partially responsible for my switching to the Mac back in the mid-90s. I began using the Windows version of ClarisWorks while working at CompUSA, and it became my favorite application when I brought home my first Mac. The rebadged AppleWorks that is its successor actually feels more bloated and “heavy,” and I miss the lightweight but powerful ClarisWorks 3 and 4.

These days, I tend to do most of my text editing/word processing in Tex-Edit and BBEdit. Database stuff is done in FileMaker Pro. What little spreadsheet work I have is done in Excel, but that’s just because I have Microsoft Office through my job. Without Excel, I’d likely be in the spreadsheet module of AppleWorks.

Though he hints at it, what Hearn doesn’t come right out and say is how ClarisWorks totally annihilated Microsoft Works on the Mac. It simply ceased to exist. A truly impressive accomplishment, considering Microsoft’s track record both then and now.

posted by retrophisch at 04:44 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 21, 2003

Automatic Flatterer

If you’re having a bad day and need a little pick-me-up, click here. (JavaScript needs to be enabled in your browser.)

(Thanks, Jim!)

posted by retrophisch at 12:02 PM in fun
permalink | comments (0)

Don’t mess with MacTavish

It’s nice to see that Craig MacTavish, who came up during the NHL’s bruiser days, hasn’t lost the hockey-player mentality as a coach.

(Thanks, Brian!)

posted by retrophisch at 10:52 AM in fun , hockey
permalink | comments (0)

New spam filters

Something I know will be of interest to Michael. (SpamSieve uses Bayesian analysis to identify spam.)

(from Lee)

posted by retrophisch at 10:21 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 20, 2003

Frank talk on Apple’s free software

I know why Michael links to Steven Frank’s note on Apple’s free software. I agree with Steven, and I hope that developers like Michael and Panic continue to thrive, even with more and more freebies coming out of Cupertino. The old cliché is true: you get what you pay for.

And if Steven keeps it up, he’s going to have me seriously considering a Sidekick when my current mobile phone contract is up in June….

posted by retrophisch at 05:14 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Where’s Marv?

Ok, so now I’m worried.

A few weeks back, I noticed that Gunnery.Net had dropped off the ‘net. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, as I figured Marv might have been moving hosts, having domain issues, etc.

Last week I started digging around; I noticed all of Marv’s domains (at least the 4 others I knew about) were off-line as well. All email to any address I ever had for him come back as undeliverable.

Now I haven’t spoken to Marv over the phone since before I stopped helping edit Gunnery.Net, but I decided to give him a ring. Disconnected 866 number. Disconnected long-distance business number. Hmmmm. Ok, I can understand killing the 866 number, those things cost major dough. I can even understand killing the biz number if he wasn’t using it any more.

Then today, disconnected unlisted home number (what can I say, he trusted me). Like I said, now I’m worried. Marvin Stenhammar was in the U.S. Special Forces in the 1980s; he was forced to retire due to a severe injury and a degenerative bone disease. Lucky for Marv, he married a Norse goddess of a doctor, who looked after him when she wasn’t at the hospital. Did they move? Or something worse?

I can’t head over to the SIG-L email list and poke around; the email list about SIG firearms Marv and I met on no longer exists. Or if it does, it’s on a different email server that I have been unable to google. I’ve googled Marv’s name and domains and have come up with squat, at least as far anything recent is concerned.

If you know of whom I speak, and you have information, please drop me a line at: retrophisch at retrophisch.com (sorry, anti-spam measure). I’d just like to know, you know?

posted by retrophisch at 04:12 PM in web/site
permalink | comments (1)

One million Safari downloads

Apple announced that its beta web browser for Mac OS X, Safari, has been downloaded more than a million times in just over 2 weeks time.

(from Stan)

posted by retrophisch at 03:16 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Jacoby on capital punishment

Speaking of Jeff Jacoby, he offers this point on the recently-revived capital punishment debate:

“This week the Justice Department released ‘Capital Punishment 2001,’ its latest annual survey of death penalty statistics. … It is striking that a controversy so large revolves around numbers so small. The death penalty is available in 38 states and the federal system, yet only 66 convicted killers were executed in the United States last year. That was fewer than the 85 executed in 2000, which in turn was fewer than the 98 executed in 1999.

“… But whatever else might be said about these numbers, they are eclipsed by a far larger and more heartbreaking number, one not mentioned in the Justice Department’s report: the number of murder victims. In 2001, 15,980 Americans lost their lives to murder — a death toll hundreds of times greater than the small body count of executed murderers. Year after year, the number of inmates put to death by the state — usually painlessly and after years of due process — adds up to a minuscule fraction of the number of Americans purposely shot, beaten, strangled, knifed, poisoned, burned, drowned, hanged, and tortured to death by murderers.”

posted by retrophisch at 01:26 PM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

Jacoby’s musings

Jeff Jacoby’s latest column notes a wide array of topics, including the fact that the war between the enlightened West and militant Islam has been raging a lot longer than most of us think.

posted by retrophisch at 01:13 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

Lies my protesting newsperson told me

Now I could lay in to the various news agencies for their highly-skewed slant on the various anti-war protests over the weekend, but the Media Research Center has already done an oustanding analysis of the various stories.

I would like to note that the protestors in Damascus, Syria, that ABC News pointed out in its commentary were anything but peaceful, shouting, “Our beloved Saddam, strike Tel Aviv.”

I would also like to note that the group responsible for organizing the protests this past weekend is a radically leftist organization far more interested in seeing our national security forces dismantled than in seeing a corrupt, homicidal dictator rendered militarily impotent for the safety of the world.

Please do not construe any of this to mean that I am opposed to the protestors or the protesting in general. That is their right in this country, hope they had fun with all of their whining, misguided though a lot of it may be.

What I have a problem with is the irresponsible reporting that cast some sort of legitimacy on these pro-communist hippie throwbacks, purporting a “significant” portion of mainstream America is now beginning to throw its weight behind their antiwar movement. And don’t comment me with, “What about polls?” Polls are about worthless unless you start getting numbers and demographics really representative of the population. (Hint: this generally means a sample size of more than 3,000 people, and you don’t call all 3,000 within the New York or Los Angeles metro areas.)

posted by retrophisch at 11:39 AM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

January 18, 2003

Heaton rocks!

There are reasons why Patricia Heaton continues to be one of my favorite actresses. She’s absolutely fabulous on Everybody Loves Raymond, and she continues to stand up for traditional Judeo-Christian values.

Last Monday, Heaton walked out of the American Music Awards before she was due to intoduce a retrospective montage. Why? Because she was digusted by “an onslaught of lewd jokes and off-color remarks.”

“I’m no prude, but this was such a vulgar and disgusting show,” Heaton said. Heaton summarizes my own thoughts exactly: “The entire evening became about bleeping. It was as if they were trying to become more like the MTV awards. But it’s one thing if this kind of stuff is on MTV at 10 at night. It’s quite another if it’s on ABC at 8 o’clock. I don’t know what Dick Clark was thinking.”

Heaton fired back, when asked if she’s worried about any sort of “you’ll never present again” backlash: “Who cares?”

Major retrophisch kudos to Patricia Heaton for taking a stand against the Hollywonk culture.

posted by retrophisch at 05:57 PM in rant
permalink | comments (0)

January 17, 2003

On affirmative action

Riddle me this: minority blowhards and their liberal cronies are quick to point out when said minority is being discriminated against with cries of “Racism!” Yet when such discrimination favors them in some manner, such as being admitted to college and possibly receiving a scholarship, as in the University of Michigan case, then it becomes “affirmative action.”

This, from today’s Federalist (03-03 Digest), sums up my, and I believe many Americans’, of all colors, feelings:

“Ever the opportunist, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond protested: ‘Coming on the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., this is a sad, sad gift and a poor way to honor his memory.’ And what would any race-card frenzy be without a few words from Je$$e Ja¢k$on, who took a few minutes off the ‘reparations trail’ to blurt, ‘[This is] the most anti-civil rights president in 50 years.’

“And, of course, the Senate race-baiters chummed the waters: ‘Once again today, the administration has said as clearly by their actions as anyone can, they will continue to side with those opposed to civil rights,’ proclaimed Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. ‘The Bush administration continues a disturbing pattern of using the rhetoric of diversity as a substitute for real progress on a civil rights agenda,’ parroted Sen. John Kerry. ‘[President Bush] sided with the right wing of his party, and sent a signal that equal opportunity in higher education is a low priority for his administration,’ parroted Sen. Joseph Lieberman. It is worth noting that all these Demo complainants are White Guys.

“Apparently Bond, Jackson and their Demo yackity-clack all think the University of Michigan is somewhere south of Selma. Haven’t we all been told that racism is a deep-South phenomena? There have never been any slaves in Michigan, or 37 other states for that matter. Could it be that the real post-civil rights culprit holding black folks down is the divisive Great Society cadre led by Bond, Jackson and their Demo-gogues?

“Memo to the CBC, NAACP and the Senate drama club, see if you can grasp this novel concept in time for all the MLK Day celebrations on Monday: ‘I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’ —Martin Luther King, Jr.” [emphasis added]

posted by retrophisch at 01:30 PM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

Addendum to definition of a liberal

“A liberal is one who opposes racial profiling in matters of national security, but believes it is a useful standard in matters of higher education.”

—your humble host

posted by retrophisch at 01:03 PM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

Americans

“Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.” —George Washington


“There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad.

“But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts “native” before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul.

“Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this Republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as any one else.

“The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic.

“…The man who calls himself an American citizen and who yet shows by his actions that he is primarily the citizen of a foreign land, plays a thoroughly mischievous part in the life of our body politic. He has no place here; and the sooner he returns to the land to which he feels his real heart-allegiance, the better it will be for every good American.

“… For an American citizen to vote as a German-American, an Irish-American, or an English-American, is to be a traitor to American institutions; and those hyphenated Americans who terrorize American politicians by threats of the foreign vote are engaged in treason to the American Republic. ” —Theodore Roosevelt, 1915

So, too, would I include those would refer to themselves as: African-American, Hispanic-American, Arab-American, Asian-American, et al. We are one people of many ethnicities, but one unique culture: American. If you feel you cannot refer to yourself as such without hyphenation, then do as Roosevelt suggested and leave. (Thanks to Rick for the link.)

posted by retrophisch at 12:00 PM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

Open Secrets

Now you may be wondering, “How did the MRC find out those economists were Democrat contributors?” It’s called OpenSecrets.org, and you can search for campaign contributors.

posted by retrophisch at 10:34 AM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

Busted

Gee, what possible agenda could ABC, NBC, and CBS have for trotting out financial experts and accountants who poo-poo on the President’s tax plan, when those experts and accountants are heavy Democrat contributors?

posted by retrophisch at 10:25 AM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

January 16, 2003

What are you lookin’ at?

Isn’t he adorable? Clancy loves tennis balls. . .

posted by retrophisch at 11:25 AM in fun
permalink | comments (0)

January 15, 2003

Gibson blogs

One of my favorite authors, and the coiner of “cyberspace,” is blogging.

He also has a new book coming out, and damn, can this guy write or what? This is how the book freaking opens:

“Five hours’ New York jet lag and Cayce Pollard wakes in Camden Town to the dire and ever-circling wolves of disrupted circadian rhythm.

“It is that flat and spectral non-hour, awash in limbic tides, brainstem stirring fitfully, flashing inappropriate reptilian demands for sex, food, sedation, all of the above, and none really an option now.”

A departure from the body of work most readers are familiar with, Pattern Recognition takes place in the present, instead of the cyberpunk future Gibson helped build.

Now February cannot get here fast enough. . .

posted by retrophisch at 05:24 PM in writing
permalink | comments (0)

Apple Q1 Results

Apple posted its first quarter results; $8 million net loss. Ouch. I’m sure the stock will drop like a stone as “analysts” and stock “experts” tell clientele to sell, sell, sell.

The loss isn’t really bad news when you take the reasons why into consideration. Why is this important? Because the “analysts” won’t, that’s why.

Apple’s revenues for the quarter were $1.47 billion, up 7 percent from the quarter a year ago. Gross margins were 27.6 percent, down from 30.7 percent in the year-ago quarter. So that explains some of it, right? Apple’s not making as much money per unit sold, even though sales were up.

But here’s the doozy: the “quarter’s results included a $17 million after-tax restructuring charge and a $2 million after-tax accounting transition adjustment. Excluding these non-recurring items, the Company’s net profit for the quarter would have been $11 million, or $.03 per share.” [emphasis added]

So, if Apple hadn’t taken the restructuring charge and the adjustment, it would have shown a profit. And its stock would still go down tomorrow, because Apple can’t win at the stock price game, unlike certain monopolistic computer companies.

Anyway, I don’t look at it as bad news. Apple is making the necessary adjustments it needs to make to stay healthy and competitive while the economy sorts itself out, and if I could afford it, I’d be snapping up more stock tomorrow when the morons dump theirs. Thus concludes this edition of the Retrophisch™ Apple Financial Analysis.

posted by retrophisch at 03:51 PM in mac
permalink | comments (1)

Apple on Photoshop

There’s a bevy of Photoshop tips in the Creative section of Apple.com.

posted by retrophisch at 02:51 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

This week’s “Leftmedia Busters” Award

“In the 1979-80 season, 75% of all TV sets that were turned on in the early evening were tuned to the network news programs on CBS, NBC or ABC. By 2001, that share of the audience had dropped to 43%. …Any business that lost nearly a third of its customers would be out of business or close to it. Those running it would seriously restructure their product or the way they provide their service. This has not happened at CBS, NBC and ABC. The arrogance of liberals makes it impossible for them to conceive that they are doing something wrong.” —Alan Caruba, via The Federalist

I know one can make the argument that in 1979-80 many American homes did not have cable, and the CBS/NBC/ABC ratings drop could be attributed to more people tuning in to cable news stations, such as CNN. That’s extremely valid, except within the past few years, CNN’s viewership has been dropping as well. Caruba’s point still stands.

posted by retrophisch at 02:20 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

New PowerBook benchmarks

Bare Feats’ Rob Morgan benchmarked the PowerBook G4 17” from the Macworld Expo show floor, and has posted his results, with comparison to current and former Powerportables.

I have to agree with Rob’s assessment of the 12” PowerBook G4; the more I think about it, I love the size, but I really want the power one finds in its 15” and 17” brethren: 1 GHz proc, L3 cache, and faster graphics with more VRAM. I know a PC Card slot is still out of the question, because of its size, but you add in those things, plus the SuperDrive you can get it with now, and it’s a sure-fire winner.

I’m beginning to think that an updated 15” PowerBook G4 with similar specs to the 17” is what I’ll be looking for in the future.

posted by retrophisch at 01:43 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Macally items

Between the new PowerBooks, Safari, and Keynote, amongst other news out of Macworld Expo SF, I failed to notice some of the latest gadgets from Macally.

Now every peripheral manufacturer and their cousin’s mother’s brother’s aunt’s dog’s sister has produced a 4-port USB hub, with a nuclear-arms-size race to build the smallest one. My Dr. Bott gHub is pretty small, and unobtrusive behind my Apple 15” LCD. Macally tops it though, with this minihub that features a built-in USB cable. Twenty bucks U.S.

It was really nice of Apple to include a FireWire cable with my iPod, but it’s kind of a pain to schlepp that cable around in my bag. Macally comes to the rescue with a 5-foot retractable FireWire cable. Like the minihub, twenty bucks U.S.

posted by retrophisch at 12:29 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

How small is the 12” PowerBook G4?

PowerBook Central answers that question with this handy chart of small Apple portables. While it’s technically not the smallest when certain individual measurements are compared, the 12” PowerBook G4 is the smallest Mac portable ever by volume. In my technolust over the new ‘Book offerings, I’m still waffling over the 12” PowerBook G4 versus its 17” big brother.

posted by retrophisch at 10:08 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

iConquer

If you love(d) Risk, then you have to get iConquer. Sorry, Mac OS X only.

posted by retrophisch at 09:56 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

40 GB iPod?!?

As crazy as it sounds now, a 40 GB iPod could be a reality later this year, thanks to 40 GB 1.8-inch drives from Hitachi. (from MacRumors)

posted by retrophisch at 09:29 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 14, 2003

More Vindigo city facts

From back at the end of October, when Vindigo added Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and more coverage for Chicago and Washington, DC:

  • During the 1850s and ‘60s many inventors tried to produce a workable typewriter, but none succeeded until 1867, when Milwaukee’s Christopher Latham Sholes and inventors Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soul patented a writing machine. The machine held a sheet of paper between a rubber platen and smaller rubber cylinder, with a carriage that moved from left to right as the keys, each with a separate mark, number or letter, were struck. Their invention didn’t take off until 1873, when the trio contracted with E. Remington & Sons of Ilion, New York, which until then just made rifles and sewing machines, to produce it.
  • Baseball’s First World Series Game occured in Pittsburgh: A 1903 showdown between the Pirates and the Boston Red Sox. The Pirates eventually lost the series in nine games.
  • Chicago-style, or deep dish, pizza was created in 1943 by Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo of Pizzeria Uno.
  • Prince George’s County is the home to the world’s oldest continuously operating airport, College Park Airport. The Wright Brothers taught flying lessons there in 1909.
  • The name for Reston, in Northern Virginia, comes from the initials of Robert E. Simon, who developed the new “town” in the 1960s.

posted by retrophisch at 02:27 PM in fun
permalink | comments (0)

Safari first look

If you’re still waffling over whether or not to try Safari, Wei-Meng Lee has a good overview over on O’Reilly’s MacDevCenter.

posted by retrophisch at 10:06 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

How true

“It is almost pathetic to see the emerging lineup of Democratic presidential hopefuls slobbering all over themselves in search of a defining issue — anything — to justify their pursuit of the land’s highest office. When you watch these guys explaining their decisions to run you can’t help but get the impression they are trying to convince themselves they have a legitimate reason to displace an exceedingly popular president during wartime.

“…Unless things go way south with the war and the economy, Democrats will be in trouble because they have no constructive solutions. So they’ll fall back on their tired strategy of demonizing Republicans and scaring and dividing voters, along economic, race, gender and religious lines. The more bereft they are of ideas, the nastier they will get. Which means it’s not going to be pretty.” —David Limbaugh

posted by retrophisch at 08:38 AM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

Sharing the sacrifice

“The first thing to keep in mind is that it is almost impossible to cut any tax without making the people who pay that tax richer. And, rich people pay a lot more taxes than poor people do.

“According to the Tax Foundation, more than five out of every six dollars collected by the federal government were paid by the top 25 percent of taxpayers. You need a gross adjusted income of $55,225 to qualify as a member of the top quarter. Now, if all these people qualify as ‘rich,’ so be it. If cutting their taxes makes them richer, so be that, too.

“The top 1 percent, by the way, pay 37 percent of the total income taxes collected by the federal government. Democrats keep talking about how little poor people will get from an income tax cut. That’s true — because poor people pay so little in income taxes.

“How about creating a tax system in this country that makes everybody feel like they’re paying their fair share? I don’t want to raise taxes on anybody — I want to cut them for everybody. But having a system where vast segments of the working population are clients of the government and a small number are funders of it is not only institutionalized class warfare, it’s the exact opposite of shared sacrifice.” —Jonah Goldberg [emphasis added]

posted by retrophisch at 08:31 AM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

January 13, 2003

Saving web pages as plain text in Chimera Camino

Like Charles, I hadn’t thought of this remedy.

posted by retrophisch at 12:15 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Bumper Snickers

LEM has some new bumper snickers. The Dell one is my favorite from this batch.

posted by retrophisch at 12:06 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Bulls-eye!

“The central question in this debate is not whether government should decide how much money it will allow us to keep. Rather, it is how much of our money we will allow the government to spend.” —Cal Thomas

A return to the constitutionally-granted powers of the federal government would go a long way toward bringing down the tax burden on all Americans.

posted by retrophisch at 10:43 AM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

Will on stimulus package

“Today’s ‘stimulus package’ is psychotherapy for a nation that very recently has become too fixated on the stock market, which has declined three consecutive years for the first time since 1939-41. But the stock market and the economy are not identical, and indeed they have diverged — the market slump has been more severe than the recent recession, the mildest since 1945.” —George Will

I wholeheartedly agree; we have been way too focused, and continue to be so, on the stock market as our primary economic indicator. It is an important indicator, I’ll grant you, but if we learn anything from the dot-com bust, it is that no matter how hard we would like to become a paperless, information-based economy, real money is still to be made in industrial and service sectors of the economy. This recession that we’ve found ourselves in is merely the economy, and the stock market, correcting itself after the overvaluation and overinflation of the stock market during the dot-com boom.

posted by retrophisch at 10:41 AM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

Tax vernacular

Friday’s Federalist opined on President Bush’s proposed economic policy, and this gem on tax cut vernacular:

“And Sociocrats depend on one tactical tool — control the debate using their army of sycophants in the Leftmedia. Together, the political and chattering tribes conspire to control the debate by manipulating the vernacular: government spending becomes ‘investment,’ tax cuts ‘cost’ the government, letting you keep your money become ‘a rebate,’ and they ask questions like can government ‘afford the tax cuts’ and suggest that reducing taxes causes deficits when anyone with half a wit knows that spending causes deficits.”

posted by retrophisch at 09:41 AM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

January 11, 2003

New Safari beta

Some time yesterday, Apple released a new beta of Safari.

posted by retrophisch at 05:49 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 10, 2003

Achtung! Safari auf Deutsch!

Für die, die Deutsches sprechen, download Safari hier.

(I hope Babelfish got that right.)

posted by retrophisch at 02:59 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

You, too, can hack the RIAA

Eric shared this tidbit with the ATPM staff on the ongoing hacks of the Recording Industry Association of America’s web site.

posted by retrophisch at 02:43 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

Piracy-Free Peek at History

British Pathe is putting old newsreels online, and they’re doing so without any high-tech, high-minded copy protection. Their old newsreel business is booming. Take heed, AOL Time Warner, Fox, MPAA, et al.

(Thanks, Lee)

posted by retrophisch at 02:37 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

January 09, 2003

X11 for Mac OS X

Steve didn’t mention it during the keynote, but it’s been generating lots of buzz: Apple released a public beta of X11 for Mac OS X. X11 is the common name for the X Window System, used by Unix developers to create graphical applications. So if you have a graphic-based Unix app that hasn’t been ported to Mac OS X, and you don’t want to fiddle with Fink and XDarwin, like me, then download this installer and get started.

posted by retrophisch at 04:57 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

The Hacker FAQ

For clueless managers.

posted by retrophisch at 04:41 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

iPod #1

Steve Jobs reported during his keynote that the iPod is the #1 MP3 player in the United States and in the land of consumer electronics, Japan, with a 42% market share in the latter.

I love my iPod; it goes practically everywhere with me. During the 16-hour round-trip drive of our Christmas vacation, my iPod provided more than enough music for us in the Jeep. Now to get my wife to spring for the 20-gig version for my birthday this year. . .

posted by retrophisch at 04:10 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

“Come on a Safari with me. . .”

Safari is generating quite a bit of buzz:

Former Mozillian and Chimera inventor Dave Hyatt is part of the Safari team and has several interesting posts regarding his new employer’s browser project.

Chris Sorenson blogs on why Safari is yet another reason to switch. Mark Pilgrim is putting Safari to the grindstone. Zeldman offers his initial impression.

There’s a tip on accessing all of Safari’s keyboard commands over on Mac OS X Hints. Mena Trott, half of the force behind Movable Type, offers her impressions, as well as a pro/con breakdown between Safari and Chimera, her current favorite browser. Speaking of Chimera, waferbaby offers a rudimentary way to get your bookmarks from Chimera into Safari. Folders are not currently supported, but it’s better than nothing.

Finally, if you want to get rid of Safari’s brushed metal look (yes please), and don’t want to use a haxie (just say no to haxies), Michael has detailed instructions. Hmmmm. Now to do this with the other Apple brushed-metal apps. . .

Whew! Too many links for a single post?

posted by retrophisch at 03:54 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 08, 2003

Safari breaks download record

MacCentral is reporting that Safari, Apple’s new browser for OS X, has broken Apple’s single day download record.

posted by retrophisch at 02:56 PM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Why the West is best

Western values are superior to all others. Why? The indispensable achievement of the West was the concept of individual rights. It’s the idea that individuals have certain inalienable rights and individuals do not exist to serve government but governments exist to protect these inalienable rights. It took until the 17th century for that idea to arrive on the scene and mostly through the works of English philosophers such as John Locke and David Hume.

“While Western values are superior to all others, one need not be a Westerner to hold Western values. A person can be Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, African or Arab and hold Western values. It’s no accident that Western values of reason and individual rights have produced unprecedented health, life expectancy, wealth and comfort for the ordinary person. There’s an indisputable positive relationship between liberty and standards of living.

“Western values are by no means secure. They’re under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality with entitlement; they want to halt progress in the name of protecting the environment. As such, they pose a much greater threat to our way of life than any terrorist or rogue nation. Multiculturalism and diversity are a cancer on our society, and, ironically, with our tax dollars and charitable donations, we’re feeding it.” —Walter Williams

posted by retrophisch at 01:01 PM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

Freedom without faith?

“It is vitally important that we recognize that there is a law higher than that of the state or the will of the majority. There is a higher law than that which springs from the fallible minds of men. This law, insofar as it has been revealed to us and can be ascertained through reason, is the basis of our natural rights. While many people look at the long and horrific history of religious wars and the lethal violence of religious fanaticism, so woefully evident in our own age, and see religion as a threat to liberty, the Founders of our republic understood that God was the ultimate source of our liberty.

“…By the standards of those who file lawsuits to remove Christmas displays from government buildings — or to remove the phrase ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance — the very people who framed and ratified the First Amendment they appeal to were guilty of creating some kind of theocracy. Of course, the constitutional republic of our Founders was nothing of the sort. A system based on God-given rights does not inherently deny the rights of an unbeliever anymore than we deny the rights of a socialist to own private property or profit from the free-market economy.

“The acknowledgement that human beings and the institutions they create are imperfect acknowledges the imperfections of professing Christians and members of other religious traditions. The idea that government powers should be limited, defined and divided acts as a check against all potential tyrants and offers protection to all potential victims. Forgetting the link between faith and freedom leaves all our liberty less secure.” —W. James Antle III

posted by retrophisch at 12:20 PM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

I couldn’t agree more

“We were hoping for a big and bold tax cut from President Bush and, by George, we got one. Yesterday Mr. Bush drew a bead on the twin shibboleths of bad tax policy — the fear of budget deficits and of benefiting middle- and upper-income workers — and pulled the trigger.”

[…]

“The President deserves credit for ignoring all of the Beltway trimmers and risking the political capital he won in November in pursuit of a large policy ambition. His proposal is one worth fighting for.”

[…]

“Mr. Bush’s proposal would reduce tax revenue over the next decade, though far less if the growth effects are figured in. And the possibility has already brought out the flock of self-styled ‘deficit hawks.’ Pay no attention. Currently the budget deficit is 1.5% of GDP and projections for the next year or so are around 2%. These figures amount to a whole lot of nothing both in historical terms and when compared with the potential growth of the economy.”

[…]

“The notion put forward by the deficit hawks that this will send interest rates to the sky and the economy six feet under is deeply silly. Deficits are the result of weak or negative economic growth, not the other way around. The best way to close a deficit is through strong economic growth.”

[…]

“Mr. Bush is offering, on balance, an excellent program to prevent the economy from weakening amid the short-term uncertainties of war and expensive oil. And by wringing out some of the tax barriers to economic efficiency, he is also creating the conditions for better long-term growth. A bull’s-eye, for sure.” — The Wall Street Journal

posted by retrophisch at 11:45 AM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

Let’s be honest with Saddam

“There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.” —Edmund Burke

posted by retrophisch at 11:35 AM in liberty , quote
permalink | comments (0)

January 07, 2003

Wireless PocketMouse

Kensington has announced the PocketMouse Pro Wireless. US $49, pre-orders being taken now. I’m sure this will eventually find its way into my bag for use with my PowerBook.

posted by retrophisch at 11:11 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

Too cute

Keegan, a seven year-old hockey player from Canada, has his own iMovie-edited film clip, with some help from his dad. (QuickTime required.)

posted by retrophisch at 10:36 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 06, 2003

Copyright Call to Arms

Lawrence Lessig delivered “Free Culture” in July 2002 at the Open Source Convention. If you read nothing else that I post here about copyright and your constitutionally-ordained fair-use rights, read this.

And if you don’t want to actually read this transcript, think on this, from Lessig:

  • Creativity and innovation always builds on the past.
  • The past always tries to control the creativity that builds upon it.
  • Free societies enable the future by limiting this power of the past.
  • Ours is less and less a free society.

posted by retrophisch at 02:47 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

And just like that. . .

. . .Apple releases iCal 1.0.2. Apparently this is a bug-fix for a problem in 1.0.1 that caused some users “living in time zones 10 hours or more from Greenwich Mean Time to have their calendar data displayed incorrectly.”

posted by retrophisch at 09:19 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 04, 2003

ATPM 9.01

About This Particular Macintosh enters its 9th calendar year of publishing with the January issue. Yours truly has a small review in this issue, as does my pal Lee, who reviews the ultracool Earthdesk. Paul examines the keyboard I lust after, and Michael has a great article on archiving email with Mail.app or Eudora.

Read it online or download a PDF of your choosing.

posted by retrophisch at 09:22 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 03, 2003

Digitize Fido

Fido’s info, that is. The stamped metal dog tags you buy from a vending machine at the pet store are so 20th century. The Dog-e-Tag is a US $40 battery-operated dog tag that stores up to 40 lines of text, viewable on a scrolling LCD. A standard watch battery will power the tag for about 2 years.

posted by retrophisch at 03:24 PM in fun
permalink | comments (0)

Tax cut lies

Thursday night, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNBC all decided to subtly berate President Bush’s upcoming economic stimulus package, which will include tax cuts. From the Media Research Center:

ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas worried: “President Bush will roll out more tax cuts, but will they benefit everyone?” On CBS, Bill Plante noted how President Bush “brushed aside the debate over whether his tax policy favors the rich” and that Bush’s tax cut package set to be unveiled on Tuesday will “very likely” include “the very top tax rate despite the criticism that that will disproportionately benefit the wealthiest taxpayers.” CNBC anchor Forrest Sawyer intoned that it’s “a package that critics are already saying is not enough and helps the wrong people.” NBC’s David Gregory noted how Bush insists his tax cuts “are not simply a giveaway to the rich.” NBC’s Tom Brokaw stated that President Bush insisted his “plan to fix a struggling economy” will “help all Americans — not just the wealthy.”

To the blowhard talkingheads and other tax-and-spend leftists: it’s very hard to give tax breaks to people who are paying very little, if any, taxes. What the talkingheads fail to mention is that from the IRS’s own records, we learn that in 2000, the bottom 50 percent of wage-earning Americans, those earning less than $27,682 annually, paid under 4 percent of the taxes. They paid 3.91 percent of the federal tax burden, to be exact. These are the people that need a tax break?

Contrast that with the top 5 percent of wage earners ($128,336), which paid 56.47 percent! And the top 50 percent of wage earners in the country paid the 96.09 percent that the bottom 50 didn’t, and still doesn’t, have to come up with.

To the point, half of the wage earners in this country pay nearly all the federal taxes, while the other half pays next to nothing.

So the economic lesson for today, boys and girls, is that if you’re poor in America, you’re paying very little, if any, federal taxes, and any proposed tax cuts are not going to impact you negatively. Therefore, leftist talkingheads need to stop instigating class warfare and shut their traps.

posted by retrophisch at 02:17 PM in liberty
permalink | comments (0)

Debug your iPod

Slashdot has a post on accessing the secret debugging tools inside the iPod.

(with a nod to Ric)

posted by retrophisch at 11:05 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)

January 02, 2003

There are other teams, Dallas sports fans

As a transplanted Texan, one of the things that has bothered me since our move here in ‘98 has been how Cowboys-focused Dallas sports fans are. This year has been no exception; with “America’s Team” winning only 5 games, it has been wisely speculated for the past month if Dave Campo would remain the Cowboys head coach.

This is how sad this town is when it comes to their NFL team: one news station interrupted a tornado warning to announce Campo’s firing earlier this week. A tornado warning! Now we know that Bill Parcels is the new head coach, blah, blah, blah.

Hello, Dallas? The Mavericks are kicking the tail out of every other team in the NBA, sitting alone atop the league. The Stars are trading the #1 spot in the NHL with Detroit and Ottawa on a nightly basis. You have championship-contending teams! They just don’t play in Texas Stadium.

Maybe now that the Cowboys’ season is over, you’ll pull your collective head out of Jerry Jones’ butt and realize that. Go Stars!

posted by retrophisch at 11:25 PM in rant
permalink | comments (2)

Cotton Bowl observations

Longhorn Chris Simms lived down to his reputation and didn’t choke at a big game, closing out his collegiate career with a win. I can’t wait to see Simms and Major Applewhite in the NFL. UT had a solid game, but not what I would call a great or spectacular game. It seemed that to beat LSU, they had to resort to the big play time and time again to get the scores, while the Tigers put together drive after drive after drive. What can you say? The strategy worked for the Longhorns and failed for the Tigers.

To me, the Tigers gave the game to UT, which wasn’t really playing, especially in the first half, like they truly wanted the win. Turnovers and the secondary on both sides were the major factors in this game. UT’s only score of the first quarter was on a recovered fumble run back for a touchdown; their offense contributed nothing. That would change by halftime, when the Tigers were down 21-17, from which they’d never recover. The Texas secondary was fantastic in its coverage, able to fall back against the run very quickly when needed. LSU’s secondary pretty much sucked at covering Roy Williams, who scored one touchdown for the Longhorns. To be honest, with such a high-powered Texas offense, I’m amazed the final score wasn’t more along the lines of 42-20, 49-20, or 56-20.

Neither team really capitalized well on turnovers and penalties on the opposition. Speaking of penalties, what conference did these lame officials come from? We had a couple of pretty nice Texas fans sitting behind us, and we all agreed that there was some major holding and blocking from the back going on on both sides of the ball that wasn’t getting called. And can someone please explain to me why LSU’s Marcus Randall was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct while Texas escaped with no penalties on the play? The play in question was this: LSU hikes the ball, but the play is whistled dead for a false start. Yet the Longhorns continue the attack, Randall getting hit three separate times. Randall is just trying to back away, knowing the play is dead, but keeps getting hit. He throws down the ball in frustration, and takes the penalty. Why didn’t UT get hit with unsportsmanlike conduct or personal fouls? Randall obviously heard the whistle; why couldn’t they? LSU did answer with a 44-yard run by Domanick Davis for a first down. :)

All in all, the Tigers have no one but themselves to blame for the snapping of their five-game bowl-winning streak (an NCAA record, tied with Miami and North Carolina). Hopefully, coach Nick Saban will stick around to shape the Tigers up for another run at the SEC championship and a shot at a national title (rumors of NFL courtship abound). The weather was fantastic, and we had great seats on the LSU 40 (thanks Terry and Wells Fargo!). The Texas fans weren’t overly obnoxious, and the ones around us were pleasant to talk football with. The Tiger band kicked the Longhorn band’s collective butt both in the stands and on the field at halftime. It was the first time we had been to a college bowl of any kind, and it was made all the sweeter by watching our alma mater play, even if they did lose. Photos are forthcoming. We had a great time.

posted by retrophisch at 11:08 AM in fun
permalink | comments (0)

iUpdates

Apple announced iCal 1.0.1 and final release of iSync 1.0 today. Each requires Mac OS X 10.2.2.

posted by retrophisch at 10:31 AM in mac
permalink | comments (0)