Saturday, October 30, 2004

Oh, those haters of freedom!

For those who get their news from Fox or CNN, here's the transcript of the latest al-Qaeda tape, where bin Laden says that those who say the Muslims are attacking the US out of their hatred of freedom are complete fools.

This whole war is completely pointless and can be stopped relatively quickly. The Bush doctrine will only exacerbate it, prolong it, and bring about our eventual defeat. The US empire, either way, will come to a fall.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

PLJ sucks! And other news

When I first moved to New York back in 2000, I was instantly taken to WPLJ, 95.5 on the FM dial for all of you who aren't in the know. They play the stereotypical "80's, 90's, and today!" mix, but they have sunken further and further into suckitude.

What's happened with modern music? I liked modern music so much more before that music started being called oldies.

My wife and I turn on PLJ now and we wait for a song that doesn't stink.

Anyone with me here?

Anyhoo, I'm writing this as I take a break from supercharging my resume so that employers will be begging me to let them pay me for my services.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I just might be marketable

Two nights ago, Sammy the Kid called me, informing me that his father, a programmer, had installed the new version of XP (XP: The Next Generation? XP Reloaded? XP: Windows with improved virus capability?) on their machine, and now Windows was denying access to the Administrator's My Documents folder. Administrator is supposed to have root access, meaning that nothing should stop administrator from touching anything on the system. "Access denied" shouldn't be happening.

Fear not, though, for Yid had a plan.

I came over to his house yesterday with a spare hard drive and PCLinuxOS, a very polished Linux live-cd.

I booted his machine to PCLOS, and, as I expected, I was able to access the documents folder which Windows had denied my friend. Under normal circumstances, I would have simply copied the contents of that folder into a different folder and all would have been done. There were two problems with this solution: 1) No room on the hard drive, since we were talking about 12.9 GIGABYTES of data, and 2) Linux doesn't support writing on an NTFS partition.

I formatted my spare 20 gb hard drive with a Windows FAT32 partition, and moved the My Documents folder from the computer's drive onto my drive.

Gawd, it took bloody forever! It took over an hour and a half to move the 13 gig.

But, it was worth it, because once we had achieved this, we simply booted back into Windows and moved the data safely back on the computer's hard drive in a different folder, and all data was saved.

Sammy the Kid's father said that this was definitely something marketable, and that I could make $500-$600 a pop doing something like that.

Doing five or six of those a month, I'd be made for the time being, and I could focus on the internet business I keep telling people I'm starting.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Yeah, this I really needed

So, I showed up at work today to find that our office had experienced an unfortunate encounter with water -- the office had flooded overight, reportedly due to a clogged toilet.

So, none of us were able to do any work, because our computers all had to be unplugged.

Then, the spirit of fear and dismay filled the office, as rumors of a mass layoff haunted the building. Then, women in the office started crying as they packed their belongings. Just about everyone in the entire office was fired.

Around noon, I spoke with my boss, who informed me that their financial situation had taken a sudden turn downwards and that I was let go because they could no longer afford anything more than a skeleton crew.

So, tomorrow, I am back to pounding the pavement, and looking for a loan to pay my rent next week, because my boss doesn't know if he'll have the liquidity to deliver everyone's pay on time.


Sunday, October 24, 2004

Newsflash: Iran Endorses Bush for Reelection

It seemed too funny to be true, but Iran has endorsed our beloved Emperor for reelection next month.

Insert joke that will irritate CH and IM here. :)

Monday, October 18, 2004

Sure he's my friend, but he doesn't get it!

My friend, the Chainik Hocker, just did a review of the third party candidates on his blog. In true CH style, I found the whole thing quite humorous to read.

First off, we are going to have to call them something other than "third party candidates". "Third, fourth, fifth, and sixth candidates" would take too long to say, and besides, who gets to rank 'em? "Candidates with no chance of winning and only a tiny outside chance of getting the five percent of the vote required for matching federal funds" is too mean. "Alternative candidates" doesn't have any pizzazz, but will have to do for now.

Actually, it would be better to call them "candidates who have a nearly impossible task of getting onto the ballots in the first place because the Republicans and Democrats have protected their rear ends from true debate through the use of ballot access and campaign finance laws..

And Badnarik wouldn't take federal matching funds if he was offered them, considering that he'd end the practice as soon as he stepped foot in the White House.

Nader: Rumpled suit. Dresses like a flood victim. Mumbles to himself. Has "crazy eyes". He is the crazy guy who walks up to you in the subway and starts mumbling incoherently about Jesus, space aliens, or the CIA. No. Complained about NAFTA, called for it to be abolished. Apparently, it causes too much industrialization, and industrialization causes, like, pollution and that big capitalist rip-off, man. Didn't actually use those words but that was gist of NAFTA riff. Mumbled rest of answers. No.

Couldn't agree more. The problem with Nader is that there's no reason to vote for him. He's a kook. So are Bush and Kerry, but Nader's a big-time kook. He's against corporate welfare, as everyone should be, but he twists it into a rant against capitalism, and corporations making money off the government is not capitalism, despite the popular misconception thereof.

Peroutka: Seemed pleasant and almost reasonable. Whined about NAFTA, called for it to be abolished. Apparently it restricts industrialization and free trade. Also called for elimination of most taxes, including all income tax. Not bad. When asked how he would fund government, he called for import and export tariffs, which makes perfect sense for an economy that imports (large number) of manufactured goods (note to self: Google this large number before posting). No.

Peroutka would be a definite improvement over the two major candidates running for Emperor, but he's also a wacko. The Constitution Party's website makes it pretty clear that they believe in freedom for all Christians, and for the government to have a Christian influence over all us heathens who read the book of Numbers (23:19, I think -- I don't have a copy on hand) and said, "Gee, I guess G-d's not a man, after all." He wants to raise tariffs to pay for the costs of government. That's all well and good, but it should be remembered that there was an awfully bloody war fought in this country over this sort of thing.

Cobb: Most polished politician of the group. Not a compliment. used the word "justice" a lot, in one case three times in a single sentence. A left wing crackpot using the word "justice" too often in the same speech is like a right wing nutfudge using the word "freedom" too often in a single speech, a code word meaning you aren't going to get any. Bitched about NAFTA. Apparently it causes too much industrialization, and industrialization causes, like, pollution and that big capitalist rip-off, man. Nearly a verbatim quote. Got dinged by mod for nearly saying the name of his campaign website. Had a serial killer like smile. Wants to tax "the rich" and make them pay "their fair share". No.

I found the comment about using the word "freedom" very funny in light of how often our illustrious Emperor uses it. We can sum up Cobb by calling him a watermelon -- green on the outside, pink on the inside.

Badnarik: Personal favorite. Said many things I agreed with. When asked how he would fight war on terror, said he would do the whole domestic security thing, not bombing other countries. Whined about NAFTA, called for it to be abolished. Apparently it restricts industrialization and free trade. Looked up on website later, don't like isolationist foreign policies, (mildly) protectionist trade policies. Like his ideas on Social Security, but not War on Terror stance. No, with reluctance.

Now, I was waiting to get to Badnarik to comment about NAFTA, which is a huge fraud. The FT is supposed to stand for "free trade," which means that people can trade freely. Duh. Obviously, a free trade agreement needs no more than one page to declare this. Compare that idea to the reality of how long NAFTA is, and it becomes rather obvious to anyone with two eyes and half a brain that it isn't a free trade agreement.

Michael Badnarik is not an isolationist. Libertarians in general are not isolationists. We are non-interventionists (is that a word? If we were playing Scrabble, someone would challenge!). If we see a wrong-doing on the other side of the globe, we think we should be free to send our money or send our bodies to go fight that wrong. We don't see government action towards that end as anything other than slavery. We favor trade with all nations, which is the opposite of what an isolationist would favor. Peroutka is more of an isolationist in that regard.

I find the neocons' stance on the war to be quite frustrating. It is a recipe for perpetual war. As long as there are Arabs in the world who feel humiliated by the US, there will be Arabs who are willing to blow themselves up to get to us. And as long as Arabs are going to blow themselves up to get at us, the US the will continue to bomb them, perpetuating the process.

I don't have any easy answers, but anything would be better than this current situation. Bush is playing right into al-Qaeda's hands, because while beforehand, there were plenty of Muslims who hated America but were unmotivated to do anything with that hatred, now there are plenty of Muslims with the hatred of America and the motivation to act on it.

CH is almost there. He just needs to learn that there's more to life than killing Arabs, and that after the momentary feeling of triumph, there's a mess on the floor that he needs to clean up.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Myth of Privacy Laws and their Efficacy

I work in an establishment that is required by law by collect certain confidential information about our clients, not only their birthdates and social security numbers, but in many cases, their W2's and 1040's.

Now, what happens to these things after they're collected? They get stuck in a filing cabinet.

What stands in the way of someone pulling your file and doing something vicious and vindictive with this information? Absolutely nothing.

Sure, there are privacy laws, but there is nothing in practice that stands in the way of me collecting names and numbers while I'm at work and publishing this information on a Usenet group.

If this doesn't concern you, wake up and think again.

I see this time bomb every day from 9 to 5, and it worries the hell out of me.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

She pushed my buttons!

My wife and I had our second Shabbos in our new place. Last night, after we ate, we went into the living room, as Shabbos is now starting earlier, and we were in no rush to go to sleep. My wife let my daughter roam around outside the fence we normally keep her trapped in so she doesn't break anything while we're unpacking boxes.

My daughter roamed over to my computer and began making noise on the keyboard, obviously trying to emulate the noises she hears me make from it. Then she reached over to move the mouse around. My wife and I started laughing as we just let her have her way with the machine.

I said to my wife, "You know, she's really good at finding and pushing buttons. I hope she doesn't turn on the computer."

Then she turned on the computer. Oy vey, it's Shabbos! She's turning on my computer!

Then she turned it off.

Then she turned in on again.

And again she turned it off.

At that point, my wife scooped her up and brought her over to me.

I guess my daughter is trying to mimick what she sees when I'm in front of my machine. Who knows.

Anyhow, I switched to Slackware a couple of weeks ago, and I'm having a lot of fun with it. Who knew I'd have more fun with a distribution where I actually have to configure things by hand. I initially had a great deal of difficulty configuring X to work at my desired resolution. I started the switch based on advice from a friend, and after reading a series of articles over at on the subject.

I have a few things left to work out, like getting my scanner working, and configuring a webcam I just bought but haven't yet opened.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Emperor's War Minister admits Administration is filled with liars from the ground up: Report

The kevlar is really made of cotton candy. Going back on his statements that the administration has "bulletproof" evidence that Iraq had WMD, which was the major justification for last year's dance in the Middle East, Rumsfeld is now recanting on this position.

Well, gee. Imagine that. The French were right after all. I can't believe I just typed that, as I supported the war at the time.

Bush lied, and people died. Kerry also lied, and more people will die regardless of who's elected.

Now, there are those who said the Administration was "deceived." But, that doesn't hold water, as the CIA seemed to disagree with the President on quite a few things while leading up to the war, but of course we, the deceived, never heard about this on Limbaugh, Hannity, or Fox.

Feh. May Hashem forgive me for following them, and may He enlighten my brethren so that they may see that Bush is an evil, evil man, and is not a friend to Israel.

Monday, October 04, 2004

From the godfather's mouth to my ears

I just read Irving Kristol's article in the Weekly Standard published on August 25th of last year, and I must admit it deeply disturbed me. I had first come across it from a DiLorenzo commentary, and then when I went over the Jesse's blog, there was a link to Karen DeCoster's comments on the Lew Rockwell blog, and that's how I found the link.

" can say that the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, (emphasis added) into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.

Can you say, "merry little totalitarian?"

"Its 20th-century heroes tend to be TR, FDR, and Ronald Reagan."

As Thomas Woods pointed out in his lecture at the Mises Institute, Teddy Roosevelt was an absolute head case, who violated his oath of office routinely.

Franklin Roosevelt almost singlehandedly made the Great Depression as painful and long lasting as possible.

And as for Ronald Reagan, Reagan did nothing of substance, which can be borne out by the fact that when he was eulogized, the only thing people really talked about was his warm personality.

"Such Republican and conservative worthies as Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, and Barry Goldwater are politely overlooked."

To call Herbert Hoover a great "conservative" in the old style sense is like calling a prostitute chaste. When he left office, contrary to what we're taught in school, he bragged that he'd used every method of government possible to help end the depression. He was no laissez-faire capitalist.

No comment on Ike. Whatever.

Coolidge was a great president. He did what he could to get the government to leave people alone. Goldwater would have done the same had he been elected. He also might have nuked Vietnam, but no one's perfect.

Nevertheless, they cannot be blind to the fact that neoconservative policies, reaching out beyond the traditional political and financial base, have helped make the very idea of political conservatism more acceptable to a majority of American voters. Nor has it passed official notice that it is the neoconservative public policies, not the traditional Republican ones, that result in popular Republican presidencies.

Translated into English, the neoconservatives made the Republicans as close to Democrats as they possibly could in order to make them more palatable to the voting public. Sweet!

Kristol then went on about tax cuts to stimulate economic growth, conveniently leaving out how those tax cuts are meaningless if spending isn't cut back also.

The rest of it made me sick to my stomach, so there you go.

They're my friends, but I think they need to do a little more reading on the subject...

Last Shabbos, we went to friends of our's, because we lack both sukkah and eruv, and thus would have been confined to our home and I would have been unable to fulfill the mitzvos of the week. A person walked up to my host and me while we were walking home once Shabbos was over, and he asked me who I was going to vote for. I told him Badnarik, and, unsurprisingly, the guy didn't know who Badnarik is. Oh, well.

My host went on to praise the Emperor, calling him "chasidei umos ha'olam," which, while I understand why he felt that way, is a completely and quite often misused term, as Rabbi Yosef Viener points out.

For some reason, many Jews don't seem to realize what a bad thing for Israel the invasion of Iraq was. It had made Israel further dependent on America of its security, instead of less dependent, and the less dependent Israel is on the kindness of others, the better off she is.

Adem Kupi quite correctly points out that America has a nasty habit of going to war with its allies. The idea that one day Israel could be declared the enemy of the US is entirely possible. Who knows? Perhaps the US is going to be one the major powers mentioned in the prophecy in Zechariah 12. I don't know. For 2,500 years, Judaism has been a non-prophet organization, and as Rabbi Wein says, "the Lord hasn't spoken to me in over two weeks!"

If the fate of Israel depends on the American election, then the Jews had better jump to attention and see what a horrible thing this is for us as a whole.

Many think that if John Kerry wins this election next month, it will be bad for Israel. They are correct. It will be bad for Israel because a foreign power will be interfering with her for political reasons. If George Bush wins reelection, it will be bad for Israel in the long term, because he'll only be in office temporarily, but the hatred which he's managed to accumulate for both Israel and America will last further than 2008.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Chainik Hocker Amazes Yid and Family With Feats of Strength and Valor: Astonishing First-hand Report

So, I finished my move on Monday night. Finally. Due to circumstances beyond the control of myself or my beautiful spousal unit, we had to move piecemeal throughout the month of September. That means (you guessed it!) I had to pay rent on two different apartments this month. Therefore, my wallet is in a recession, but I'm sure FDR's ghost could push it into a huge depression if he was really feeling helpful.

On Sunday, with the help of the Chainik Hocker and a young 18 year old lad I'll call Sammy the Kid, the Yid and co. moved the vast majority of our worldly goods and items to the new apartment, inching us ever closer to Sheepshead Bay, but not quite.

In other news, Yom Kippur went extremely well. I didn't have any problems with the fasting until about 4-5 pm, by which time the fast is almost over anyway, so I told my stomach to shut the hell up and deal with it, and my stomach complied, since it knew I'd feed it bad stuff if it didn't. The chazzan really flew through Nei'lah (last service of Yom Kippur) which really made me respect him a lot, because it was like him saying to the congregation, "I understand, guys! I'm hungry, too!"

In all seriousness, it was a beautiful service all day long, and I even got to take a nap for about an hour between mussaf and minchah. At least then I could understand making a new bracha on my tallis. Why we're supposed to make a new one when we haven't slept escapes me.

Anyhoo, whatever the hurricane of the week is in Florida caused us New Yorkers who have nothing to do with the sins of the old people living down south to suffer horrible, terrible, and most importantly, wet, rains last for most of the day, which caused delays in our cable internet and VOIP lines being installed.

OK, Hurricane of the Week! Now it's personal!

I'm writing this blog post at 9 am on Wednesday, but I'm getting the feeling that I might not be able to post it until after Shabbos.

I still don't understand why I can't email my posts to the blog like the Blogger website says I can. Perhaps after the holiday and Shabbos I'll do something as revolutionary as actually emailing their support staff, assuming they have one.

Peace out.

PS. Read Anthony Gregory's piece on the Presidential Debates that was on LRC on Tuesday. It's a riot!