Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Not a bad day at all

Today, I was riding on the high of my wife's pregnancy, and the fact that she and I are no longer keeping it a secret. Despite the fact that in a few short months, my wife and I will be a couple of sleep deprived wrecks, my heart was buzzing from the thought of holding in my arms another child of my own. It turns out that my wife was a month further along than we thought. My wife had come to that conclusion a few days before the visit to the OB, since she was feeling the baby kick, and that doesn't happen until the fifth month. Why she hadn't been to the doctor before then is a long story that I don't have the energy to write.

In other news, Mises.org got Slashdotted! The Institute published a commentary that had all the answers to a great many questions that have plagued me for many years:

Gilligan's Island is now out on DVD, reawakening the unanswered questions of childhood: why does the Skipper let Gilligan help with anything when he knows he'll just screw it up? Why did the movie star take a day cruise in an evening gown? Why did two of the richest people in the world board a dinky boat with the hoi polloi instead of leasing a private yacht? And why do any of the other stranded castaways treat the millionaire's government money as valuable while stuck on an island where no such government can enforce its value?


The answer to this burning question?

Because it's just a dumb TV show.


Sleep well, I will, because of this answer. :)

PS. I refer to my wife as my spousal unit as a lame reference to the Coneheads, the classic 70's SNL skit. I apologize if the reference was too obscure.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Give them a reason, and they will come

Last week, I mentioned that we're going to have a family occasion this February, where I'll be seeing my brother, who made aliyah in January 2003. The reason he'll be coming is he has never seen his niece.

The other reason he'll be coming is because around that time, my wife is due to deliver child #2.

That's right. You read it here first. She's pregnant.

Stay tuned.

Ode to VNC

I finally figured out how to let my sister in law log into my machine via VNC -- I needed to open port 5900. Armed with this knowledge, I was able to walk my father through the steps of configuring his router to allow my vnc client connection to his machine, and with the help of RFBDrake, Mandrake's VNC server setup utility, I am currently logged into my father's machine in a separate window while I write this little note.

VNC rocks. It's the ideal tool for the lazy IT manager. Why should a guy waste his time walking over to a guy's desk to deal with the guy's machine when he can just emulate the machine with VNC?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I had no idea just how popular he is!

I have enjoyed reading the blog of the venerable Frank J. for a long time (at least since the fall of 2002) and I had no idea just how popular this hilarious neocon really is!

I came upon a blog dedicated to his blog, if you can believe it. Beat that, Glenn Reynolds!

This is so funny that I just had to share it with you, my dear readers.

Maybe someday the Chainik Hocker's blog will be popular that he'll have fans who create a blog dedicated to him, also. Ambition, CH -- that's what it's all about, pal.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Chainik Hocker's Valiant Attempts to Prevent RNC-induced Media Suck-fest Unsuccessful: Report

My buddy, the Chainik Hocker, has been unable to find his way inside the wretched hive of scum and evil, aka the Republican National Convention. I found the whole debacle to be a comedy of errors, based on what he blogged of the matter, and I'm a little disappointed because he has a way of telling a story that can make you split in the gut from laughter.

In other, related news, last night after my wife and finished eating our seudah, I went to my rabbi's house to say hello. He had just come back from the mountains (and interesting topic in itself), and I hadn't greeted him yet. They spent a great deal of time in Israel, and are quite fortunate to be unfamiliar with the political processes of this country. He and his wife asked me what the whole convention was about, and what purpose it served. I explained it as I described in the first paragraph, paraphrasing Obi-Wan Kenobi from the first Star Wars movie, that it is a wretched hive of scum and evil. The rabbi didn't know the reference, but he certainly thought what I said was humorous.

Indeed, a wretched hive of scum and evil. :)

Friday, August 27, 2004

You can never have everything you want

As I'm writing this, I'm sitting at my desk, listening to the song "Until Now," by the band called Stir. One of the great things about my hometown is that it's one of the great music markets in the country, and that new bands get tested on radio there before most of the rest of the country has ever heard of them. For example, I was listening to Matchbox 20 (before they began to suck, mind you -- Long Day was a great song) and Tonic. Around the time that the aforementioned two bands were arriving on the scene, so was Stir, a rock band that I thought was far superior and, as these things go, much underappreciated. Their self-titled debut is one of the gems of my music collection, much better than their second release (although it's worth getting for the song "Velvet Elvis" all by itself).

Why am I getting nostalgic, you ask, dear reader? I'm getting to my point.

As crazy as it sounds, lately, I miss my old life immensely. This is ironic because that life was going nowhere at the speed of light. I had no ambition, no love life to speak of, and I lived with my mother. Sure, our schedules didn't allow us to spend that much time together, and she charged a very reasonable $200/month rent, but, come on, I was living with my mother.

Then I discovered my ancestral religion, and my life began to change rapidly. From the day I first went into the synagogue where I became religious, to the time I left my hometown to go study in yeshiva in Israel, a mere 9 months had barely passed. Don't think I don't regret leaving. Objectively, I had to leave. I had accomplished as much as I could in my own personal spiritual growth there.

It must have devastated my parents, as my brother had already left to go off to college in another town, and after graduating, moved to Israel, as he had also become religious around the same time. This January, it'll have been two years since I've seen my brother (my only sibling), but we hope to see him in February for an upcoming family occasion about which I'll doubtless blog later.

I have no regrets about becoming religious. Being Jewish is very important to me, and I'm not about to throw it in the shredder and going back to the secular life, which, for the most part, I view as predominantly self-destructive.

I think part of the problem is that I hate New York with a passion. My father hates New York with a passion, also. That's why we left New York in the first place. My father was none too happy when his first born son moved to New York City; in fact, he felt like I was rejecting everything he had ever taught me. I was excited to be in a thriving Jewish community, and I was going to be on the prowl searching in earnest for my future spousal unit. If I lived in a place where people
were a bit nicer to each other, maybe things would be different. Growing up, I could go months without hearing a car horn honk. It's just not something you'd do unless there was imminent physical danger. In New York, it's the same, only the imminent physical danger is that you're going to piss your pants unless the guy in front of you slams the gas on the exact, precise moment that the light turns green. And then, there's all these useless, socialist programs that we must endure here, like the Department of Environmental Protection (recycle or we'll bring guns to make sure you recycle!), the Department of Buildings (don't do anything with your property until you have our permission, boy!), and the Department of the Aging (is that where old people go to work?).

Post high school, I never really went to bars, stayed out to all hours of the night partying, or really did anything of much interest to most people who were my age, despite the fact that nothing at all was stopping me from doing those things.

Now, having become an "adult," married with kid(s), I find that I regret not living life to the fullest in that former life. I have nearly everything I want in life, yet I find that I'm dissatisfied, somehow.

Since the time I was fifteen, I wanted to be married. It took me ten years to make it happen, but I was only working at it, seriously, when I was 24, and I got married at 25. Now, I have the love of my life, the beautiful brunette I always dreamed about. I have a beautiful daughter who I love more than life itself.

I have everything I wanted when I was living the old life. I have a decent job that actually allows me to support other people (when you're able to do that for the first time, it's really quite an accomplishment). I got the girl. G-d has given me just about everything I prayed so hard for.

Yet, lately, I find myself dissatisfied.

Why?

Just to show you I CAN follow through...

Here's the link to the aforementioned article by Professor DiLorenzo about the "Godfather" of the neocon movement.

Just a bunch of merry little totalitarians. Just like their Democrat counterparts, with whom they shared space in the womb.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ode to my Spousal Unit

When I was younger, I had a whole slew of food alergies, and the selection from which I could eat was small. The selection from which I was willing to eat was even smaller.

One thing I did enjoy, and that I could eat, was nachos. Put out some tortilla chips, drop some cheddar all over it, nuke it for a minute, and viola, instant meal.

I got kinda tired of it after a while, and then inspiration hit me with an idea that I never got tired of.

Pizza nachos.

Take some tortilla chips, spread a small amount of tomato sauce, sprinkle some mozzarella, nuke for a minute, and viola, even better instant meal. This was practically the staple of my diet when I was growing up, which surprises anyone who sees me, because it sure as hell didn't stunt my growth.

Fast forward to the present, to a time when your humble correspondent has the most wonderful spousal unit in the whole world, who humored me while I regaled her with tales of my pizza nachos and then, today, despite how fattening they are, made them for me.

I'm still on a high from them, and I ate them nearly an hour ago. I hadn't made them in nearly six years due to kashrus issues in one place or another where I lived. But my wife made them, despite how horribly bad they are for me.

That's true love, my friends. Yes, she'll do your laundry. Yes, she'll clean the bathroom. But will she make your favorite comfort foods?

The bestest President. Ever. I mean it. Really.

So, the great liberator, our emperor, George II, is promising to take legal action to stop certain political ads.

Hey, free speech is overrated, anyway. If we don't limit free speech, who knows what might happen? Them Republicans and Democrats won't be able to keep office!

This is a direct violation of George Bush's oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

I listened to Hannity bitch and moan about this early this afternoon, but do you think this violation of our freedoms will affect his loyalty to the house of Bush? Not likely. After all, we have a man who violates his oath of office yet is "an honest man in the White House."

Feh. A pox on his house.

Funny, you don't look like a neocon...

I went by the Iraq War Was Wrong Blog, because I wanted to read some funny comments by this person who can't seem to find his spell-check function, and is in desperate need of a grammar checking utility.

He put me on his blogroll. I'm flattered. Disturbed, but flattered.

He called me a Libertarian Neo-con.

Can you imagine that? He called me of all people a neo-con. Sure, my friends Chainik Hocker and Ipcha Mistabra are neo-cons to the bone, but I am most certainly not a neoconservative. Someone should send the Proprietor an email explaining the origins of the neocon movement and how it's the bed-buddy of the left. Thomas DiLorenzo wrote an article about this last year. I'll have to find it and link it.

Me? A neocon? Now, I'm pissed.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Email THIS, buddy!

I added the capability to email my blog posts so that you can amaze and annoy your friends with my amazing insights.

This is my way of rewarding you for visiting my humble blog.

If only they understood the meaning of the word

Sigh.

As I have written previously, I am a fan of free software, and a user of Linux in particular. There is a great deal of politics surrounding free software, and since it's in my face so often, I choose to subject my faithful readers to this madness.

In the early 1980's a man named Richard Stallman, a programmer at MIT, decided to embark on a life-long crusade to combat what he perceived as the evil of software licensing. He felt it was immoral to require people not to share software that vendors like Microsoft, Borland, IBM, et. al. sell on the open market.

So, Stallman made a call out to his fellow programmers to start a free (free as in freedom, you see) operating system, which he named GNU, which is a recursive acronym meaning "GNU's Not Unix." Every revolutionary project requires as dumb a name as possible, and Stallman is a stickler for tradition, apparently. He saw the technical advantages of the various flavors of the pre-existing Unix operating systems, and thus wanted the new system to be a free Unix-like system.

Stallman is, to the best of my knowledge, the author of the GNU General Public License. It is a software license that mandates that the user of software under the license have the freedom to do more or less anything they want with it, and must have access to the source code to said program. Any changes that the user then makes that are distributed publically must be accompanied with freely-accessible source code in the same fashion.

In the early 1990's Linus Torvalds began working on a Unix-like operating system kernel, which after quite wisely skipping his first choice for a name, Freex, he named Linux. The GNU system was pretty complete by then, but was missing a kernel. It took some doing, but the GNU system adapted the Linux kernel, and we had what was the first GNU/Linux system.

Unfortunately for Stallman, most people call his baby Linux, when Linux is just the kernel of the system, while the rest is GNU. But, them's the breaks, guy. Give your project a stupid name, and suddenly find out that no one wants to mention it by name.

So, that's my Reader's Digest version of how the Linux operating system came into being. It is quite, quite incomplete, and a reader who really wants more information can find it quite easily on the Internet, or email me personally. Choose Google first. :)

This is all well and good. Now to the problems I have with these people.

First of all, in case you never noticed, most techies are out of their friggin' minds. They tend to be academics, and that means they've been to college, which means they've been likely indoctrinated (be careful, Jesse!) in left-wing groupthink, and are thus mostly socialists. Not all, but most.

On a recent email list, I observed in silent horror how the members of the list extolled the virtues of unions and using the state to force employers to pay them their "fair wage." I was quickly shouted down when I made a statement of objection. Realizing I had better things to do, I withdrew from the discussion.

The free software movement's arch-enemy is Microsoft, because Microsoft makes their money off of closed-source software, is an evil corporate monopoly, and because Bill Gates put out a hit on Richard Stallman's firstborn. Just kidding. Stallman, thankfully, doesn't have children. They have a whole philosophy section on the GNU website.

Microsoft has done some dastardly things such as violating contracts, but is not a monopoly, and anyone who says otherwise either doesn't know what he's talking about, has a political agenda, or both.

I haven't even mentioned the sister movement to free software, called Open Source, which is based on practical advantages of using free software instead of the so-called "ethical" side of it.

I have nothing but appreciation for the free software movement's technical achievements, as I enjoy the fruits of their labors on a daily basis. I browse the web with Mozilla. I do my email with Kontact. I use OpenOffice.org. The list is quite extensive.

This whole "freedom" thing, however, is pure, unadulterated bunk to be sent to the body's standard output device.

Any movement comprised of hard-core left-wingers isn't going to be favor of freedom. They want only the freedom to do what they want with their software, and nothing more. They still want government mail (whatever would we do with government mail?) and the rest of the assortment of government programs.

These people believe on one hand that the government should punish Microsoft for anti-trust violations but at the same time criticize the same pack of drunken sailors over the DMCA.

At least Eric Raymond, the co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, is a libertarian. At least with him there's some consistency when he says that free software is about preserving freedom. But when a lefty like Stallman opines about freedom, it has a habit of coming off like a hooker lecturing about chastity.

If you look at Stallman's website, and spend time reading what he has to say on various political issues, and then see his picture, you'd be shocked to see that he actually doesn't have a picture of Karl Marx tattooed on his forehead.

And he has to audacity to say he loves freedom. Somehow, to him, people entering into a voluntary contract with Microsoft is antithetical to freedom.

Perhaps if Stallman had as good an understanding of the English language as he does of C, he'd be a little different.

Why Republicans don't live up to their rhetoric

The Republicans speak a good game, but there's a reason they don't follow through and reduce government -- there is no profit from it.

They can, however, make big profit from telling people that they're going to reduce government. They can rouse the masses by telling the people that they'll kill the income tax, but they never will.

Why?

They won't do it because as soon as they do all the things they promise, they'll lose their funding.

For example, gun-rights groups pour millions into the Republicans every election cycle, hoping that the Republicans will fight to uphold the second amendment to the Constitution. But, if they do that, they'll lose all the money that the NRA, Gun Owners of America, etc. are giving them.

They really find themselves in the perfect position. On the one hand, they can vote in a liberal fashion because it will win Democrat voters, and they can speak in a so-called conservative fashion and win Republican/conservative voters. The Democrats are capable of many types of scams, but a scam like this is beyond their ability.

So, spread the word to your Republican friends, and emphasize that the reason the Republicans aren't going to help them is because they have every incentive not to do so.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Maybe the poor Iraqis are better off after all...

I picked this up from the moron in charge of the Iraq War was Wrong blog, which is the ultimate testament to why the government school system must be abolished, becuz the ghai cont spel werth a damm.

Get this, the Iraqi War protestor semi-literate person has this complaint about the continuing occupation:

Saw this Iraq story on some fellow liberal websight (forget where) and he was incensed (IRRC) and well I am too: The US is forbidding Iraq from having a centrallly planned economy and protectionism and FORCING them to have a market economy with low taxes and freer trade!


The irony of this statement is so delicious I must savor it slowly. WWMD (What would Mises do?) The outrage! The Iraqis will be free? We can't have that, dammit!

This leftist....person... is complaining that the US is forcing freedom onto the Iraqi people, and won't allow the government to control the economy?

While some of the complaints in the Common Dreams article are somewhat valid (assuming they're true -- I never trust a leftist news source at its word), the following is of not-insignificant interest:

Order No. 49 drops the tax rate on corporations from a high of 40% to a flat 15%. The income tax rate is also capped at 15%.


If such an order were implemented in the US, these brain surgeons would likely have heart attacks from the dismay that the resulting prosperity would bring, because, as we all know, poverty is the statist's unspoken goal.

Finally, get this quote:

The Bremer orders are immoral and illegal and must be repealed to allow Iraqis to govern their own economic and political future.


The market economy is what would allow the Iraqis to govern their own economic future. Thus we see the twilight zone of the loony left, next door to the loony right.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Did anyone else see this?

The Salma Hayek versus Friedrich Hayek Scorecard.

A man of truth

As mentioned before, I have two neoconservative friends, the Chainik Hocker and Ipcha Mistabra. Other than my beautiful spousal unit, they are the only people who know my secret identity.

Anyhow, they daven in a yeshiva near my residence, where I once also was a regular, until I had a bad experience that left me with a bad taste in my mouth for the whole establishment. There was a gentleman at that particular yeshiva (no more than few years older than I am, I'd imagine) who would wear bowties instead of neckties. I'm very fond of such things, as the gentleman in my hometown who brought me to religious observance also wears bowties. This person at the yeshiva joked with me that only "anshei emes" (men of truth) wear bowties.

Hoping there's something true to that, and hoping my friends CH and IM will listen, I bring up another ish emes, Jeffrey Tucker. :)

The first time I read anything by Mr. Tucker, it was his commentary on LRC entitled, "How to Dress Like a Man," which my wife and I found quite humorous. In the weekend edition of LRC, he has a commentary entitled, "The Violence of Conservatism," which I wish my friends would read.

A choice quote:

Some protest that conservatism once meant resistance to the welfare-warfare state. That is a fascinating piece of historiography, as interesting as the fact that liberalism once meant freedom from the state. Glasses were once called spectacles too, but in our times, language has it own meaning.


One of these days, I'm going to get around to writing a treatment about how libertarianism would benefit the Jews and how the Jews on the right are really just part of the Jews on the left wearing different clothes. Reverence for the state is the same disease regardless of the donkey or elephant label.

What we find in these disgraceful tracts is plain and simple orthodox conservatism: violent, blood-thirsty, and anti-intellectual. All the years that the party of freedom warned about the dangers of the left and what do we find? We find that the real hammer blows to American liberty are being delivered by an unexpected source: the right you might once have thought represented a freedom-minded alternative to Clinton and Carter.

You were lied to.


Indeed, we were all lied to. Yet some are still "proud Republicans."

A rainy Shabbos, and other news

Well, it's past midnight, and I felt like blogging.

Yesterday afternoon, my spousal unit and I took child version 1 to spend Shabbos at the spousal unit's mother's house because a friend of our family was making a bar mitzvah in the area. It was a very nice, catered affair. I don't have cholent that I think is fabulous very often, and this catered cholent was, I must say, pretty damn good. It had enough meat in it to satisfy the most voracious eater, such as your humble correspondent.

Soon, the spousal unit and I will be moving, and then we will have to make our own cholent, instead of mooching off our landlords, like we've done for the last two years, who have been extremely kind to us.

The only drawback to going to my mother in law's place for Shabbos is the old shul where we go to daven. The place is a hundred years old, it's enormous, the congregation is small, and they can't afford air conditioning, even in the heat of August. Needless to say, I soaked through my shirt.

The catering hall was nicely air-conditioned. As we were getting ready to leave, though, the heavens opened up a tremendous rainstorm (thanks, Charley, we appreciate it!) which lasted all of about 20 minutes, after which we walked back to the house, and sedative effect of the cholent hit me, and I fell fast asleep for three hours.

Anyhoo, I realized who Jesse Ogden is. I had first read a commentary he wrote some time ago about how he refuses to vote. I liked his writing, and thought he seemed unusually articulate for a drone churned out by a government school.

So, when Mr. Ogden placed a comment on my blog, I thought to myself, "self, where do you know this name from? It seems awfully familiar." Only a day later did I realize that this kid was a Lew Rockwell columnist.

Then the haughty part of me came into play. My friend, the Chainik Hocker, is striving to achieve dominance in the blogosphere, and is trying to get links on as many sites as possible. Here I am doing nothing of the sort, and Jesse links to me on his blog. Assuming I don't do anything to honk Jesse off, my link will still be there on his blog the next time he writes a piece for LRC, and the byline on his commentary will likely have a link to his blog, which has a link to my blog, and I have the potential for thousands of hits when that happens.

Chainik Hocker called me a bad name when I told him this, but that's okay, because he's my buddy. He should look on the bright side of things, and keep in mind that if I get thousands of hits, he'll likely get a portion because I link to his site.

Caf Z'chus, dude!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Flattery gets you nowhere! ...err....

I'm a sucker for compliments, and after Jesse made such a nice compliment on my blog, I feel obligated to let him know how flattered I am, and link to this post on his (or is it her's -- Jesse is a unisex name) for the benefit perhaps of my friends, the Chainik Hocker and Ipcha Mistabra.

In other news, the email posting function still does not work properly, and I'm going to have to email Blogger about it.

Jesse, thanks for reading my blog. I have no idea how you found it, since I look on the list of blogs that include my interests, and I found everyone else's except for mine.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Jerry Falwell is going to have a field day with this one...

I previously blogged about the whole shebang with Jersey's sorry excuse for a governor. Don't picture me a bigot -- I hated him before he came out of the closet. Believe me, he's got a lot more hidden in his closet than his sexuality.

Today, I found via Google News this commentary by a homosexual writer in California, which I think is, quite simply put, brilliant.

The writer, Steve Yuhas, has the same beef with McGreevey that I have: he was unfaithful to his wife.

As a side-note, this past week at the Shabbos table, there were people who thought that McGreevey was completely ruined. No, I said, he just saved his whole damn career. I explained to the family with whom my wife and I were eating that McGreevey was now going to become the darling of the left, and will go on to become a gay activist, and will likely makes lots of moolah on the speaking circuit. What do you know? I wasn't the only one who figured this: Yuhas thinks the same thing.

Choice quotes from the commentary:

From all that we've learned to this point, including the fact that according to Cipel's attorney negotiations were in the works up until minutes before McGreevey's news conference, it is safe to assume that McGreevey announced his sexuality because he knew Cipel would either go public or file a sexual harassment complaint against him. I'm baffled by gay organizations who describe coming out while staring down the barrel of a gun as a courageous act. There are closeted people serving in all walks of life, but to make heroes out of men and women who lie their way to the top and come out under pressure is akin to praising a thief who admits stealing after seeing that the deed has been caught on film.

Most interesting in all of this is that on the same day gay men and lesbians were glued to their televisions cheering McGreevey as he admitted his homosexuality and adultery, they were simultaneously preparing for an evening of vigils that were organized to protest the California Supreme Court's ruling that San Francisco did not have the right to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and that the licenses already issued were void.


So, they fight for the right to get married, but cheer when someone commits adultery?

It is exactly this type of hypocrisy that fuels the wacky Falwell-types on the right in their crusade to discriminate against homosexuals.

For the record, I am a libertarian. I dislike homosexuality, but I'm not going to be up in arms against homosexuals. The only thing about the homosexual agenda that I find objectional is their drive to get special status under the law. If a person doesn't want to hire a homosexual on account of his sexuality, I have no problem with that.

And, before you ask the question, dear reader, the answer is NO: I do not support the laws that prevent employers from discriminating against me on account of me being openly Jewish. If an employer is an anti-semite, and doesn't want to hire Jews, no one should hold a gun to his head and tell him to do so. He who does not hire me will have to deal with a competitor who will hire me and benefit from my productivity, just the same as an employer who discriminates against homosexuals will have to deal with a competitor who will hire homosexuals and benefit from their productivity.

It will not take much time before McGreevey is on a speaking tour of college campuses or out signing copies of his autobiography. It is almost certain that he will be invited to be the grand marshal of a gay parade next year. But if gays and lesbians were truly concerned about marriage and truly desired the privilege of entering into the most important of unions, you would think they'd be less enamored by McGreevey. The pressure on McGreevey to leave office before Nov. 15 continues, and if gay activists were wise, they would join the chorus.


I couldn't agree more.

I tried arguing with him, but I got a headache, you see...

Butler Shaffer has a most excellent article on Lew Rockwell today. Go. Read.

A few words about New Jersey's "governor"

The one thing that bothered me the most about Jim McSkeevey's admission about his secret gay life is that he was essentially admitting adultery and then everyone applauded afterwards. It's like the fact that he broke his promise to his wife was completely irrelevant.

I'm just glad he's leaving, and I don't even live in the armpit of America.

I recall him talking to John Gambling a while back about how millionaires and corporations needed to be paying more of their fair share of taxes, blah blah blah, youknowthewholeliberalBSmentalitything.

Praise the Lord, McSkeevey is leaving. May the Lord save us from whoever replaces him.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Them gays is tearin' this country apart, boy!

Robert recently blogged on a subject that I have been wanting to address, which is the "right" wing and their obsession with cultural issues.

The California Supreme Court invalidated a marriage between two homosexuals in some California town.

To this I say, who cares?

When I married my wife, I was tempted not to bother with the legal civil end of the marriage, as the religious aspect of it was all that mattered to me.

When I get a marriage license, what I allowed to do with my wife that I wasn't previously allowed to do?

There is no way to get homosexuals to stop acting on their urges, other than trying to convince them that it's wrong. Using the state to accomplish this end is completely misguided and destined for failure. After all, we can see what rousing successes the war on drugs and the war on poverty have been. A war on immorality would similarly be counterproductive.

I personally find homosexual behavior disgusting and reprehensible. However, I have other issues that require my attention, like making a living and raising a family. They are free to love whomever they want, as long as they don't get that love on me.

Issues like this are the means by which the Republicans rattle their masses to keep voting for them, much in the same way that the Democrats make calls that the opposition is going to take away Grandma's social security check unless you vote Democrat. If you vote Democrat, the gays are going to destroy marriage! Feh. As long as I can still be married to my beautiful spousal unit, let the fageles be fageles and let me be free to disassociate from them.

In summation, when you hear the words "cultural issues," you should usually be on the lookout for a scam.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Chainik Hocker to miss RNC: Shock, confusion, relief

My friend, the Chainik Hocker, is sorry to report that he missed his opportunity to plague the RNC with his presence. I am shocked, shocked, I tell you.

In all honesty, I think a better gig came along and he doesn't want to admit it. I smell conspiracy. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

On the fritz....

I've been trying to post to my blog using the email function and it ain't working. I'm forced to resort to this because Websense is now blocking the blogger.com domain, and I do my posting mostly from work.

Fear not, dear reader. I'll regale you with my opinions still. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

It makes me mighty uncomfortable

I picked up a flyer for the guy running for our district judge, a fellow Yid named Charles Finkelstein.

It does not make me happy when Jews seek to attain political office. Not happy at all.

So, the flyer says that he was a narcotics prosecutor, and that got me steaming.

It's no secret that there's a drug problem among a segment of the Orthodox Jewish youth in NYC. But, I'll bet two to one odds that Finkelstein would go out of his way to cut slack to the Jewish drug users, because if a Jew uses drugs, he needs understanding, but if a goy uses drugs, it requires jail time.

Along a similar vein, isn't it interesting how both Al Gore and George W. Bush admitted to drug use in their youth, but neither one of them volunteered to turn themselves in and serve jail time? Obviously, their characters are so flawless that they wouldn't benefit from such treatment, hmm?

Monday, August 09, 2004

I never thought it would happen!

I think I just discovered my complete opposite number.

It lives and breathes, you see...

I laughed when I came across this last month, and was reminded of it by today's Mises.org daily article.

So, in a nutshell, the Republicans were up in arms back in 2001-2002 over the blatantly unconstitutional anti-free speech McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

Now that Michael Moore (you know, the socialist blowhard) has a successful movie out that is making money, the Republicans are trying to abridge the free speech of that movie.

Like Harry Browne has pointed out in the past, we don't have a living, breathing Constitution, nor do we need to divine "original intent." The document is written in plain English, and the only thing you need to do to understand the Constitution is read it. "Congress shall make no law" means that Congress shall make no law! Imagine that. I'm a constitutional scholar. Wow.


Always Low Principles. Always.

An issue of great interest to many libertarians today is the rampant abuse of emminent domain. Steven Greenhut wrote an excellent article on the subject that's linked on Lew Rockwell today.

There are many forces at work today that are attacking Wal-Mart and Costco and other big name stores for their "business practices." A prime example of this foolishness can be found at the Always Low Prices website. I once read an article linked there written by a botonist (a botonist??) that complained that a cashier working at Wal-Mart couldn't afford to take care of a family of four on what Wal-Mart pays.

Can you imagine? Which is more ridiculous -- that a cashier can't support a family or that a botonist actually thinks that a cashier should earn enough money manning a cashier to support a family?

Most cashiers are high school kids who don't need to support families, and the ones who do are usually in that situation because of their own irresponsible choices. That's not Wal-Mart's fault.

On the other hand, getting back to my original topic, Wal-Mart does have business practices that we libertarians find offensive, and that is their abuse of emminent domain.

Imagine, for a moment, that you have a plot of land on which you've had a family homestead for a hundred years. Wal-Mart or Costco covets that plot, and wants to build a store on it. You refuse to sell, so they send their representatives to whisper in the ears of the local government officials to force the person to sell his property and vamoose. This is called emminent domain, and the scenario I just described is outrageous, and it occurs all to often in today's world, and the media is, for the most part, silent about it.

So, if you want to boycott Wal-Mart, do it for a reason that makes sense.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Ociffer, I'm only slllliightly annibricated

This was probably the nicest Shabbos that I've had in a really long time. The Spousal Unit and I packed our bags and went to friends of ours who live on the other side of the alphabet in Flatbush, and behold! -- it was good.

I've been suffering from a major urge to drink margaritas, and what do you know? Our hosts just happened to have the fixin's for margaritas!

So, while all you plebians were having cholent and some sugar filled carbonated beverage, I was having cholent with margaritas, baby!

I had three with Shabbos lunch, and our host makes a most righteous cholent, and the hostess is quite a cook in their own right, and they're just fabulous people to be around.

I hadn't had a margarita since my Sheva Brachos, which our Shabbos host happened to had made for us then also. I'm not a big drinker anymore (hell, who am I kidding? I never was a big drinker) and I can confidently say that the Cabo Wabo tequila had me pleasantly drunk.

Davening was nice. I hadn't enjoyed davening much lately, but today was pretty nice.

Shabbos margaritas. Life is good. Now if we could just get a soy cheese that tastes like real cheese, and we can have chicken quesadillas with margaritas and not go to hell as a result.

Alas, that Chainik Hocker guy thinks I'm going to hell anyway. Maybe I should spread vicious lies about him like Frank J used to do. More on this later.

An important constitutional dilemma?

I have taken the liberty of sending this message and attachment to anyone with whom I have ever discussed politics, however briefly. Please read through all the mailings until you get to the medical information about 42. My concern is that there are no guidelines for the Congress or the Supreme Court to act in the event that the mental (or physical) condition of the President becomes questionable and there are no standards of mental competency for the President. Staunch dedicated right wingers will say all this is nonsense, lies, etc. so it not worthwhile trying to discuss this with them. I guess the decent thing to do is to inform people so that Bush can leave the White House with some dignity even though defeated.

This quote comes from an email that I received yesterday from a left-wing family member who sends anti-right wing nonsense to me on an almost daily basis. I find it irritating when she makes me want to defend the Republicans, who really are quite inept at the political game in most cases, making you feel sorry for them (unless that was their goal, in which case they're aces).

I emailed her back that I had no way of verifying the information contained in the email, and I find it hard to believe that the left-wing media would ignore yet another opportunity to bash the Emperor of the Holy American Empire.

So, according to this email, we have a constitutional crisis on our hands if the President of the United States becomes mentally unstable.

No, I emailed her back, we don't. I explained that we only have a Constitutional crisis if we have a "living, breathing Constitution." The real Constitution requires no special guidelines in the event of mental incapacitation like this because the President, according to the rules in the Constitution, really can't do that much damage if the Constitution is strictly enforced.

So, in other words, you reap what you sow. You didn't want the follow the rules? Gee, life sucks when it blows up in your face, eh?

Friday, August 06, 2004

Badnarik Nails It

WND (Weapons of National Destruction) is running an article today about the firestorm the Republicans have created with the great unwashed by proposing the abolition of the IRS and the institution of a national sales tax.

Michael Badnarik is seeking the end to the 16th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to tax incomes in the first place, and is quoted as having said something that had already occurred to me:

"If we don't get rid of the authority for the income tax, it won't go away. We'll end up with Hastert's national sales tax or value added tax or whatever ... and the income tax, too," he said.


This is a con game. Okay, so we end up with a national sales tax. I can virtually guarantee you that the income tax will return within ten years' time, and then we'll have a 40% sales tax tacked onto everything we buy, and we'll still have to pay income taxes, and we'll be back to living in Hoovervilles. FDR sure made us feel warm and fuzzy with his fireside chats while his administration did everything in its power to make sure the Depression was as long and dreadful as possible, and we have no hope in 2004 of having an emperor who is as talented an orator as was FDR. And please, dear reader, as a side note, don't spew that nonsense to me how the war brought us out the Depression. It didn't.

This whole thing is nothing more than a Republican con game. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Britney, why do they hate you?

I walked by the Britney Murphy movie poster, and it's been spray painted again.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Religious fanatics? In Brooklyn? Say it isn't so!

There's some movie with that Britney Murphy (how I know her name is beyond me -- I don't think I've ever seen any of her movies) called "Little Black Book" or some such nonsense. There's a poster for this movie at the bus stop outside Cafe Napoli (awesome cafe, btw) and Avenue M. I noticed the poster walking by one day. The next time I saw that bus stop, someone had spray painted over Miss Murphy's face and torso.

Very soon thereafter, the spray paint was removed, and there was that anorexic blonde's face again.

Again, the poster was spray-painted.

Today, I noticed that yet again, the paint had been removed.

There is no point to this story, actually. I cannot assume that it was religious lunatics offended by the poster, as we've seen much worse in Flatbush. Hell, all the non-Jewish women walking through our streets are half-naked in the summer compared to that poster.

It could have been practical jokers.

Or Masons. It's probably the Masons.

Who is this Robert guy, anyway?

I don't know him, but I like his style, and his wit.

He and I have traded comments on each other's blogs, and I'm really enjoying his comments on life and politics.

He brought to my attention the Iraq War Was Wrong Blog, where the world's most inept and illiterate fools try to explain why the war was, like, totally wrong, you know?

I feel I should say that it is partly because of the idiot liberal reaction to the Iraq war that I had a knee-jerk response in favor of it, and became quite uncomfortable agreeing with Lew Rockwell and Harry Browne because here were people who clearly were not liberals, yet were very articulate and made sense why the war was wrong. Yet, the fact that so many liberal bozos were against it that made me feel that surely the war must have been justified.

This blog that Robert brought to my attention on his blog today is a case in point. The people who created this blog need to be subjected to a new form of reality TV based on Monty Python's skit about the fish-slapping dance where all participants must stand on a bridge and be hit so hard by an especially large trout that they fall into the river.

The caption under the title reads verbatim as follows:
"A wrong war like during the Iraq war was cannot just be sitted idly by by." --The Proprietor
The grammar in this statement feels like fingernails on a blackboard amplified by a loudspeaker. Obviously, I am one of the few people who escaped government schools and is actually capable of forming a complete sentence relatively free of grammatical error. I'll bet you dinner at Essex on Coney that these dolts went to public school.

It's perfectly safe -- you can trust me

I've been married over two years now (!!!!!) and I can tell you that it's an experience that I highly recommend, and having been to this side of the fence, the grass is definitely greener.

I thought I'd write a sappy ode to my Spousal Unit, celebrating her wonderfulness and such, but decided instead to write an erotic tale.

Just kidding. We frummies don't do such things.

My wife loves me more than anyone other than my parents, and does everything she can to make me a better person. Believe me, that's hard work. And I love her dearly.

And, last night, she made me chicken.

Fried chicken.

And behold, it was goooooood.

Need I say more?

I can only end this post with premarital advice for those looking for a future spouse:

When you're dating a girl, and you're serious about getting married, any issues that come up should *NOT* be put on the back burner. After marriage, tons of things come up, so if there's problems coming up beforehand, it'll only increase geometrically after the wedding. I had a broken engagement prior to meeting my wife, and I must say that if I had followed the advice I'm doling out now, I could have saved both me and my former fiance a world of heartache.

My second piece of advice is the following I heard from the great Rabbi Akiva Tatz of the fading British Empire: when you're born, you are missing your other half. When you get married, your spouse fills that other half. The longer you're single, the more you begin to compensate for that missing half, creating a situation whereby when you actually do get married, your spouse is trying to fill a space in your heart for which you've already compensated, and that adjustment becomes much more difficult.


Michael Badnarik != Ralph Nader

Public Enemy #1 had the audacity to say that Michael Badnarik is copying Ralph Nader. This is ridiculous to the highest degree. Badnarik is copying a far more august group of people -- Harry Browne, David Nolan, and that bunch of bums called the Founding Fathers.

Public Enemy #1 is obviously trying to bait me. I'll wait until I read his reports from the RNC before I do anything about this.

Alas....

This is too funny to miss.


Damn Websense!

Websense caught on quickly and banned Michael Badnarik's website. Therefore, it blocks my shameless political plug from viewing properly at work.

Down with Websense! Websense == evil!

Newsflash! Pentagon Discovers US Constitution has a sixth amendment!

Read this and enjoy.

And the top ten things that make America great are....

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the state.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc.

Think about how far these ten horrible ideals reach into our lives.

Now realize that these ten ideals come from the Communist Manifesto.

Defining myself on the political spectrum

I think the clincher that made me decide that I could never vote for a Democrat ever again was when Dick Gephardt, the distiguished member of the House of Representatives called the people who wanted to end the estate tax "greedy."

Imagine that. We're greedy.

A man's parent dies, and among all the grief-stricken activities to which he must subject himself, writing a check to the government for half his parent's net worth is among them. Gee, you think he might dislike that a bit?

What a greedy man that is!

No Democrat rebuked Dickie-boy on that one.

Don't think I'm kind to Republicans, though. I'd like to know how George Bush divined that the government shouldn't take more than 1/3 of a person's income. George, the American revolution was fought over less than 1% taxation! Are you sure about 33%? Why not 30%? Why not 60? Tell us how you came to this brilliant conclusion.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Shameless Political Plug




I always had a hunch....

...that David Kupelian was a nutcase. Then he had to go and prove it.


Useful if you use Windows

The GNU-Win project is a cd you can download that is chock full of uber-useful free software. Many programs on the cd have versions available for Linux. Some people recommend these programs to Windows users to help encourage them to transition to Linux. Whether you do make the transition or not, these programs are good to have around, especially OpenOffice.org and Mozilla.


POSTSCRIPT: A great related article can be found here.


About the proposed abolition of the IRS, again

Today's WorldNetDaily poll talks about the proposed abolition of the IRS and the income tax. The options in the poll are as follows:

  1. Republicans got my vote again, I'm back in the fold
  2. It's the perfect ace in the hole, and if Bush could guarantee its reality, then he's a sure winner
  3. GOP will use it to get Bush re-elected, but its future is anyone's guess
  4. We've heard the same bogus promise before, and it just won't happen
  5. It shows how desperate Republicans are if the GOP resorts to such a cheap campaign ploy
  6. If the GOP were truly serious about this, it wouldn't have waited 4 years to bring it up
  7. Oh yeah? How's Bush going to pay for his sky-high budget?
  8. Gimme a break! How gullible does the GOP think Americans are?
  9. This proves Bush is a right-wing nutcase
Numbers 3-8 are a tie.

Number 9 is ridiculous (like many things you find on WND, btw). Bush isn't a right-wing nutcase. He's a left-wing nutcase.

Veddy Interesting...

Read here.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Do you know thy enemy?

Frank J posted another brilliant list. Know Thy Enemy: Democrats!

Enjoy.

Hastert plays a good game

I'm listening to Hastert on Hannity as I write this, and he's a smooth talker, but he's full of it. He fails to mention the fact that the people who are pushing the national sales tax in leiu of the income tax realize that the tax would be upwards of 40%.

How do you like them apples? Wouldn't it be just grand to pay an extra 40 cents on the dollar for every thing you buy?

Wouldn't it be just grand to be the business owner who has to file all the mountains of paperwork that the bureaucracy this will create will inevitably require?

It would change nothing. It would move the pieces around the board, but it would change nothing.

I'm damned. I know it.

I'm listening to Sarah McLachlan's latest album right now as I write this, and I know I'm going to hell because if I find out she's playing a concert in NYC, I'm gonna have one helluva halachic mental battle not going, especially having seen her in concert back on my 21st birthday. That was a long time ago. I'm getting old.

I'm listening to her song, "Perfect Girl," and her voice massages my brain like you have no idea.

I'm going to hell.


We don't need no steenkin' root causes!

Read this story and tell me that the people at Gitmo don't need to have trials to determine their guilt.

Bush knows that these people are "bad guys," so no further discussion of the matter is required.

Dear reader, please take to heart the words of Barry Goldwater, who said quite succinctly, "the government that's powerful enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take it all away."

Everyone needs a local security exploit like this....

One of the neatest things to be churned out of the free software world in recent years is the Linux live cd, the most famous one being Knoppix. Knoppix is a Linux cd that boots and runs entirely from the cd, making it a great demonstration of what a Linux desktop with KDE can do. Knoppix has spawned a whole genre of Linux distributions. There's Gnoppix, which is more or less the same as Knoppix but with GNOME instead of KDE, there's Mepis (nice!), and PCLinuxOS (the best, IMHO).

It is a wonderful idea for Windows users to keep one of these disks around. If your Windows partition is foobar'ed, you can boot a cd like this, burn your data to cd, and then prepare your machine for your monthly Windows reinstall.

I recently instructed my sister in law over the phone how to use the PCLinuxOS disk I gave her so that she could back up her sizable collection of stuff she's downloaded over the last couple of years, because her computer running Windows XP absolutely friggin' refuses to burn any cds for her. With the use of the Linux live-cd, we were able to get her data off the machine, which is another great use for this technology -- if you're having a problem with a piece of hardware, the problem can be with the hardware itself or with the software that drives it. By running two different operating systems on the same hardware, you can determine if a problem is hardware or software based, which, needless to say, is extremely useful. We were able to determine using this disk that my sister in law's cd burner is a-okay, and doesn't need to be scrapped.

Having said this, these disks are an extremely easy to use local security threat. Anyone who has access to your machine can use these disks to access any of your data, as they completely ignore any security protocols that Windows might put in place to guard your data. The only feasible way to block against this (minor) threat is to put a password on your BIOS, so that the machine won't boot without your say-so.

So, get one, even if you don't plan on using one, because if you're a Windows users, it is quite inevitable that you'll end up needing one.


Websense must die!

The IT manager of our company (a most righteous free software guy in his own right -- his favorite OS being FreeBSD) instructed our web filtering software, Websense, to allow me to download MP3 files from the Mises Institute audio archive. Websense does not comply.

Down with Websense! Websense must die!

What's in an oath, anyway?

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."


This is the oath of office that each president takes in January following his election in the previous November. George Bush is a good, honest, religious Christian man, and I'm sure his oaths mean much to him. Not only that, but Sean Hannity has millions of people convinced that we have an honest man in the White House. Let's analyze that, shall we?

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States,..."


A failing government monopoly, Amtrak, was floudering yet again. In 2001, Bush funnelled millions of dollars into this useless program which fills a need that could much better be served in the private sector, forcing people in Alaska to pay for the commutes of people in Delaware. Organizations like Amtrak have no sanction in the Constitution, and are explicitly forbidden in the 9th and 10th amendments. George Bush signed off on it anyway.

Kinda makes you proud to be an American, don't it?

"...and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect..."


Whilst declaring that the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill was a blatant violation of the first amendment to the Constitution, George Bush signed it anyway.

Has George Bush ever vetoed a single bill in his three years in office? Has he moved to abolish the Department of Education, and unconstitutional agency that Ronald Reagan at least paid lip service to abolishing, or has Bush expanded it? You get three guesses.

"...and defend the Constitution of the United States."


But it will be so much worse if John Kerry gets elected! Actually, no, it won't. If Kerry gets elected, the Republicans will go back to opposing the big spending programs instead of initiating them. The examples I noted were just the tip of the iceberg.

Not only that, but we'll have a president whose last name is the Hebrew word for a bodily fluid.

You might think I'm cranky, but I'm actually enjoying this, because I know that no matter who wins this November, not a single damn thing is going to change, and I sorta get a kick out of the people who pretend otherwise.

So, since we have an honest man in the White House, we can be sure he wouldn't lie us into war, or do anything to cause us harm, right?

I ain't cranky!

I'm a realist. There's a difference.

And I get plenty of fiber, Chainik Hocker! My wife has a Vitamix and all I ever get to eat for lunch is liquified fruit.

My mother in law even commented that I look like I've lost weight.

So nyeah!

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Some dare call them gullible

I just came from reading the Chainik Hocker's blog. Sure, I joke that he's Public Enemy #1, but I think he fell for a doozy here.

This a primary reason I get so frustrated with the Republicans. They give their voter base these pipe dreams and they never follow through on them.

So, now, the illustrious, honorable speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, is going to push for the end of the IRS and the end of the personal income tax.

Pardon me for being cynical, but in your dreams, citizens who vote Republican. Not until every Republican starts voting like Ron Paul. Until then, dream on. You have placed your faith in a party that cares only for your votes, not your needs. They are no different than the Democrats. Each election is an advance auction on other people's money, and you vote to continue that dastardly scheme every time you vote Republican.

Reporting on the state of reports....

The world of free software is so rich and diverse, that many things get missed. I was website hopping, and I came across a TeX website, and felt that I should comment on it here, since a couple of my loyal readers write reports for college classes. TeX is a professional grade typesetting system, which is different in concept from a word processor. Say you're writing a report for a class. You would write the report as a plain text file with a special markup language called TeX, just like HTML is a markup language. Then you process the document through the compiler, and with various target outputs, among them being the Adobe PDF format.

A nifty addition to this is that many people who write manuals or other documentation can write a single tex file and run it through different processing engines for different outputs, all from a single source file. For example, say you write a book and want it published as a pdf and have the content formatted for a website. There is no need to reprocess the text, and rewrite the markup. The existing tools do all these things for you.

There's a program called Kile which runs on any system running KDE, which operates on text files the same way a plain text html editor would work.

On Windows, there's MikTeX, which is a sizable download, unless you have broadband. I highly recommend this system to anyone who does a lot of writing and wants highly professional, consistent output.

Also, there's LyX, which aims to be a word-processor like interface which outputs TeX files.