Thursday, March 29, 2007

A quote

New for me - a quote:

Knowledge is not knowledge until someone else knows that one knows. - Lucilius 1st century BC

Does this mean I should brag about what I know???

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

8 more classes

I'm not usually one to count down, but I only have 8 more classes and then I'm through with school. For good!

Well, never say never. 26 years ago, I never thought I would go back. And this doesn't seem as dramatic as that time did. The goal this time was not a piece of paper, not some letters after my name. The goal was to learn, to see different parts of business. To gain knowledge that I couldn't gain through "regular" means.

But it feels good to be this close to the "end" of it all.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Best Government Money Can Buy

So last night we watched a movie about politicians and corruption. It was actually a 60 minutes style documentary. The list of politicians gone astray was amazing.

Wilbur Mills (Ark) - alcohol abuse and picking up strippers - This was the beginning of the end for newspapers looking the other way in these type events. In one of his speeches, he actually sounded conciliatory, a departure from most.

Wayne Hays (Oh) - Hired a mistress with government money. She was supposedly a secretary, but had no typing skills (ok, a long time ago before word processors)

Gary Hart (Co) - Along with Donna Rice (from Columbia SC) took a boat ride to Bimini. Rice was a model. They had to stay in the harbor overnight. Trouble was, he had tempted fate and dared newspapers to follow him. They did. He never admitted the event was anything but above board (sorry for the pun). Neither did Rice. But his career was destroyed. Oh, the name of the boat - "Monkey Business".

Spiro Agnew (Md) - Accussed of taking bribes while Governor of Maryland. Payments continued while he was VP. Hey, if he has a good job, would you expect him to quit when he gets to be VP? At one time, he was 3rd most respected man in America behind Richard Nixon and Billy Graham. All charges except tax evasion dropped. He introduced the term nolo contendre to the general public. Technically it means "I don't plead guilty, but I know you can convict me." Still denied his guilt. (there's a pattern here)

Abscam brought in several:
Named after a ficticious company, Abdul Enterprises, Ltd.
- Harrison Williams (NJ) - "I did nothing wrong" - blamed government misconduct
- Richard Kelly (Fl) - Claimed he was conducting his own investigation - blamed the government of crimes
- My home state's (SC) John Jenerette - FBI released video of him stuffing money in his pants while he was running for reelection. He almost won. His wife posed nude for Playboy and gave an interview. He was quoted as saying he hoped she didn't tell them about the time they had sex on the steps of the state capital. She didn't tell, but he did.

Other non-elected officials:
Dwight Eisenhower's cheif of staff Sherman Adams - Influence peddling. Saw nothing wrong with taking expensive gifts

LBJ Secretary of Defense Bobby Baker - He resigned, but the investigation continued years. A continuing embarrassment to LBJ.

This was the sad one - Raymond Donovan, Regan aid. Allegations came because of events BEFORE his appointment. Resigned under pressure. Two years later, the trial found him and all co-defendants NOT GUILTY. "Where do I go to get my reputation back?"

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Elizabeth Edwards

By now, you've probably seen the news about Elizabeth Edwards. My heart goes out to her and her family.

(Prediction) There will be those who say this is God's punishment for something or another.

Shame on them.

No human and certainly no American should point fingers at the Edwards family. For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

show and tell

I don't often post news links. Too many other people are willing to do that and the pay's no good. But this one was too tempting. A first grader took a rock of crack cocaine to school for show and tell. Seems that he knew what it was, and lots of details.

Amazing. Read the story at:,2933,259582,00.html

Ever had one of those days?

Have you ever deleted a file, only to realize that you needed it? Once I was shredding documents (always makes me feel like Oliver North when I do that) and I shredded somethings I needed to send to an insurance company. I ended up losing $30 or $40 because of that mistake.

Well this case was a little worse. This guy ended up deleting a file that contained details on $38 BILLION. That's right. $38 BILLION. With a "B".

Now even folks like Ross Perot and Bill Gates would miss that kind of money. To make matters worse, the guy was very thorough. He deleted the backup too! Plan B down the tubes.

Plan C would have been the backup tapes. Remember those tapes that everyone says aren't needed anymore and are too cumbersom and too expensive? Plan C.

Trouble is, they weren't usable. No idea why, the article says they were unreadable. I've seen that happen when they were stored to close to a magnet. Wiped the data right off those suckers.

Fortunately, the ultimate backup (paper) still existed. Plan D. In 300 boxes. These had to be re-scanned. Quality Control had to review (I guess the scanners aren't perfect). And then someone had to manually link the scanned images to the individuals named on the documents.

Overtime, weekends, temp help, etc. Total cost - $220,700.

When you think about it, $220,700 is cheap. That's slightly over 2/100 of 1%. That's like losing $100 and paying 2cents to get it back. But I bet it will be a long time before that guy formats another hard drive. The article says they've already done extra testing on their backup techniques.

Note the names of the companies involved. Now if they had only used a mainframe computer.....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Am I a part of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy"?

I don't often comment on politics. I've always felt it was useless. Robert Heinlein write "Never try to teach a pig to sing. You waste your time and you annoy the pig." (Time Enough for Love, 1973). But this time, I think someone was talking about me.

Sen. Hillary Clinton has returned to her comments of the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" (VRWC). In fact, she says that the New Hampshire courts have proven that it does exist. In order to reference this, I pulled a random report from I have no idea if the Bloomington Pantagraph is right wing, left wing or no wing. I chose the first entry from a Google Search (well, the third actually, the first one didn't work, the second was Rush Limbaugh and I figured quoting Rush would ruin any credibility I might have).

The phrase came about just before the Monica Lewinsky incident came to the surface. After the incident, her comments were ridiculed. Now, she's using the same words.

First, let me say that this is a SMART move. I've always thought Sen. Clinton was a smart lady. By using these words she 1) fans the flames of anti-republican fires - motivates her people, 2) fans the left-wing fires - helps redeem her in their eyes after her early vote to support the Iraq war and 3) successfully brings up the Monica Lewinsky issue and puts it to bed (pardon the pun). No one can bring the issue up again.

As to the validity of the VRWC, I have to borrow a page from former President Bill Clinton's playbook: define "vast". One definition says it is "huge: unusually great in size or amount or degree or especially extent or scope". Well, I think that this definitely qualifies. The scope of this conspiracy (if there is one) is definitely unusually great in size (although one might argue that since this happens often, it isn't unusual - "is" means "is").

So the next question is, is this a conspiracy. Again my trusty Google search for a defintion says that a conspiracy is "a secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act." Well the legal NH case was definitely a secret agreement, there were numerous people involved and they were performing an unlawful act. While the court decision is being appealed, by definition, the court has decided (unless overturned) that the acts were illegal.

So, I think I must agree with the Honorable Senator that there is a VRWC. And illegal acts by those involved should not be tolerated.

Now (not but), the question is, is there also a Vast Left Wing Conspiracy (VLWC)? Well, there are numerous examples that would say yes. One that comes to mind is Dan Rather using forged papers to prove his points. His points may have been right or they may have been wrong, but using forged papers blew any chance for him to be seen as unbiased. Using the points above, Mr. Rather's incident was indeed vast and indeed a conspiracy. There are other more recent examples, but this will suffice.

So, if there is a VRWC and VLWC what's the point? The point is this: illegal acts should not be tolerated. As a part of the VRWC (I confess), I can not condone or tolerate the actions of the NH branch of this group. Neither can affiliates of the VLWC condone or tolerate actions of the CBS branch of their group. I can't use actions of the VLWC to excuse the actions of the VRWC. We both need to keep each other accountable.

So, I guess in a way, I'm agreeing with Sen. Clinton. Excuse me while I go wash my hands.....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Censorship has such negative connotations. However, I practice it regularly. I choose what TV I allow in my house. Certain channels are blocked, because I don't want them shown. I choose which magazines are allowed. If a magazine shows up in my mail box that I think doesn't belong in my house (yes it has happened), it goes straight to the trash.

I choose when and how my teenage son can access the web. I am hoping that he will learn to censor for himself.

So what if someone censors me? What if I choose to post something that someone finds offensive? Well, first, they have the right to censor me. Maybe they don't like my blogs, or my posts onto their blogs. They don't have to read my blog, and they can delete my comments from their blog. And I have the right to stop reading their blog.

However, we both lose.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Crime and punishment

This class I'm taking is making me super-paranoid. It's called White Collar Crime, but it looks at lots of other crimes too. Tonight, we saw a film about someone in a Florida jail for murder. He was stealing credit card numbers and buying stuff. He would have it shipped to a drop location outside the jail. Someone would take the stuff and sell it, he and the outside assistant would split the money.

The interviewer called the man a con artist. He said he guessed that was true. The interviewer called the man a murderer. He said "that's what they say" and "I don't like it when they say that".

Doesn't that just make you feel bad? People call him a murderer.

I hope they throw away the key....

(If I can find details about the man, I'll add them to the comments)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time starts tonight. This year it's earlier than in previous times. I recall that growing up in olden times, the time it started and ended changed every year. Congress took time in 1987 to fix the time it started and ended.

So we save an hour at this time and give it back in the fall. Do we save it or borrow it? Who is the banker for the extra time? And is there interest applied? If we're saving time (as the name applies), then six month's of interest should add up. For example, at a simple 4% interest rate, we should gain about 1.2 minutes. Now that doesn't seem like a lot, but if we save that much each year, it could add up over time. In my lifetime, that would come to almost an hour, if you compound the interest, it would probably be more time.

I think I'm going to use my interest time. Cash it in. Maybe take it off work and tell the boss it's time I've saved for years. If it were more time, I'd take an extra vacation. As it is, I think I'll use the time to reset all the clocks I have....

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I won the lottery!!!

Ok, well, not really, I missed at least one of the numbers. I watched the news talking about the recent lottery, megamillions, powerball or whatever. Funny, right after the news story, they went to a commercial about the lottery. But not one promoting it, it was one suggestion that too much of playing the lottery was bad for you. How ironic.

The lottery really bothers me. This is a reverse robin-hood thing. The people that play the lottery faithfully are the ones who can afford it the least. The ones who benefit are the upper-middle class who send their kids to college on the Life scholarship. The others that benefit are companies that sell lottery tickets and the ones who promote the lottery. Those lottery machines cost money, the company that manages the lottery makes a good living. So we're taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

What bothers me the most about the lottery is the people that support it. Typically, liberals support the lottery. But liberals are supposed to look out for the little man. Help the poor. Feed the hungry. Conservatives on the other hand are supposed to be pro-business, anti-poor, and "let them eat cake." So why do conservatives oppose the lottery? Seems like it's tailor made for conservatives.

Two of my major problems about the lottery:
1) It promotes false hope. The idea is that someone has to win. Actually, everyone has to loose. In order for one person to win $1million, then 2 million people have to lose $1. Simple math, less than 50% of the lottery money is paid out in winnings. So even if you do win, you're cheating 2 million people out of their money.
2) The promise of something for nothing. There's something morally wrong with this. Work should be involved.

But I still wonder, why I've never won the lottery. Never even won one of the scratch & sniff games. I'm sure it's a conspiracy and it's not fair. I think they should give me a prize anyway. I'm sure the fact that I don't buy lottery tickets is not related to the results.....

Monday, March 05, 2007

Need some ideas - what scam

I have to write a paper on which scams I fear the most. I need some help on ideas. Either post your suggestions here or email me.


Is there more to life than just politics?

OK, I've taken to reading a lot of blogs. I'd rather read blogs than do my homework. I'm not sure that it's a viable excuse, but it's a fact.

But why are so many blogs about politics (and "why are there so many songs about rainbows?" asks Mr. Kermit). Seems like there should be more to life than just Pres. Bush fighting Billiary and some conservative commentator taking a jab at one of the other candidates.

And while I'm at it, why do so many bloggers simply quote newsfeeds. Don't they think we can find the news ourselves? Do they have any original thoughts or do they just think their job is to spread the news. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Ann Coulter used a homosexual slur!

Sure politics is important. It affects our everyday lives. It affects our future. But there are other things that are important too. Like Mr. Kermit's rainbows.....

P.S. If you miss the part about Mr. Kermit's rainbows, email me and I'll explain. It's a neat story.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The one that almost was

Back in April of 2006, I blogged about Anthony.

Now it's Manny's turn. Trouble is, Manny never had a chance. Something happened, we don't know what. About two months too early. Now, he will never have the chance to know how much we care.

About Anthony, I said he could teach us a lot. God can use Manny the same way. Manny has the opportunity, even though he never knew us, to teach us. In death, Manny can teach us how to deal with life. He can teach us the how to help other people. And he can teach us how to help ourselves.

Thank you Manny for what you will be doing for us. Maybe somehow, someday we can begin to understand or at least to understand what you have meant to us and will mean to us.