links for 2009-05-18

links for 2009-05-17

links for 2009-05-16

links for 2009-05-13

  • "With the U.S. disengaging militarily, Iraqi militias, insurgents, etc. have every reason to become emboldened and to begin jockeying for an enhanced military position. And with President Obama taking a soft line on Syria (and, indeed, exploring a 'dialogue' with that terror supporting state), the Syrians no longer have much reason to fear paying a price for promoting instability in Iraq.

    "Against this backdrop, clueless Nancy Pelosi, on a recent visit to Baghdad, promised that the U.S. will play an 'intense' political role in Iraq even as our military role fades away. How political involvement will stem the flow of terrorists into Iraq, or the terrorist activities of those already present, Pelosi did not explain."

The facts of life are conservative

Mark Steyn:

In its boundless ambition, the Left understands that the character of a people can be transformed: British, Canadian and European elections are now about which party can deliver “better services,” as if the nation is a hotel, and the government could use some spritelier bellhops. Socialized health care in particular changes the nature of the relationship between citizen and state into something closer to junkie and pusher. On one of the many Obama Web sites the national impresario feels the need to maintain — “Foundation for Change” — the president is certainly laying the foundation for something. Among the many subjects expressing their gratitude to Good King Barack the Hopeychanger is “Phil from Cathedral City, Ca.”:

“I was laid off in mid-January from a job I had for 12 years. It’s really getting hard to make ends meet, but this month I got some great news. This week I received in the mail official notification that my COBRA monthly payments for medical, dental and vision insurance will decrease from $468 to only $163, all due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This is a $305 in savings a month!

“I can’t tell you how much of a weight off my shoulders this is. I am living proof of how the president’s bold initiatives are beginning to work!”

But just exactly how do these “bold initiatives” work? Well, hey, simple folk like you and I and Phil from Cathedral City don’t need to worry about the details. Once these “bold initiatives” really hit their stride maybe the cost of everything over four hundred bucks can be brought down to $163. Wouldn’t that be great?

The problem in the Western world is that governments are spending money faster than their citizenry or economies can generate it. As Gerald Ford liked to say, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” And that’s true. But there’s an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give Phil from Cathedral City everything he wants isn’t big enough to get Phil to give any of it back. That’s the stage the Europeans are at: Their electorates are hooked on unsustainable levels of “services,” but no longer can conceive of life without them.

ATPM 15.05

The May issue of About This Particular Macintosh is now available for your reading pleasure.
Reading about Mark’s travails in obtaining faster broadband across the Pond, I’m thankful our step up to fiber optic a couple of years ago was relatively painless. I’m also thankful we’ve never had the sort of printer troubles Mark’s run in to, thought he does aptly highlight how inkjet printers are pretty much a commodity now. In some cases, it’s to the point of, “We need more ink? The new ink costs how much?!? How much was that new printer at Costco?”
Ed updates the master GTD app list for May, while Sylvester walks us through Front Row. Linus’ attempt at making it through the Bible of GTD, David Allen’s Getting Things Done, offered at least inspiration for this month’s Qaptain Qwerty.
I’m especially proud of this month’s desktop pictures selection. Not only were they were shot by Jessica, the teenage daughter of my good friend Rob Leitao, but they were done so not with even a low-end digital SLR, but with a run-of-the-mill Canon PowerShot point-and-shoot. We hope you enjoy Jessica’s stunning photos from Yosemite National Park.
Lee works out the combo of Slappa’s PTAC laptop sleeve and shoulder bag, while Chris crisscrosses the country with his iPhone in a Core Case. Rob puts iWeb ’09 through the wringer as he creates from scratch a new web site. Chris puts two non-case iPhone accessories through their paces: the Pogo Sketch stylus, and the “tuned conical deflection chamber” of the SoundClip. Finally, Ed pours some audio through the interesting Transcriva: dump in the audio, out comes text transcripts. I may have to look into that one myself.
As always, ATPM is available in a variety of formats for your enjoyment:
+ Offline Webzine
+ Print-optimized PDF
+ Screen-optimized PDF