Chas' Compilation

A compilation of information and links regarding assorted subjects: politics, religion, science, computers, health, movies, music... essentially whatever I'm reading about, working on or experiencing in life.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Have you tried Firefox version 2?

I've recently begun using the newest upgrade of Firefox, version 2.0.0.1. I like it a lot!

When it first came out, I decided to keep using verion 1.5, and see what happened with other people before using version 2 myself. Now it's been out for a while, it's had a minor upgrade, and it's getting good reviews, so I'm giving it a whirl.

It's been a nice suprise, as it has many small but useful features. Here is a link to a review that goes over some of those features:

PRODUCT REVIEW
Firefox 2.0: Subtle Changes, Big Difference
Most of the new features in Mozilla's Firefox 2.0 aren't readily apparent, even to a seasoned Firefox aficionado. Once a user digs a little deeper, however, the new tools and capabilities become more obvious. Phishing protection automatically investigates suspect e-mail, an enhanced search tool suggests additional terms and Session Restore can save the user after a crash. [...]

As a blogger, I've really gotten into using tabbing. Tabs are so much easier than having multiple windows open, it's been a real time saver. This latest version of Firefox has even managed to make the use of tabs even better!


It used to be that there was one "X" button at the right of the tabs, and you had to use it to close whichever tab was active (or in the forefront). Now each tab has it's own "X" button, and you can close it without having it in the forefront.

If you accidentally close a tab, you can easily bring it back by finding and selecting it under "history".

There are many more useful features. You can download Firefox 2 here:

Firefox 2 - Rediscover the web.

The page this link goes to also has three links on it, labeled "Enjoy a Better Web Experience", "Enjoy a Better Web Experience" and "Personalize Your Browser". Each will tell you a lot more about the features version 2 offers.

Firefox 2 is free to download and use, and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Check it out, I think you'll be glad you did.
     

Monday, January 29, 2007

Worse than a bungee cord jump?

The Human Slingshot

I'd never do that. You would think she'd get some kind of whiplash or something. Or her brain bouncing around on the inside of her skull.

When they pulled her back to let it go, she HAD to be thinking:
"I wonder if this is such a good idea?"

Hat tip to Nealz Nuze for the link.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Funnies 01/28/07


The Main Stream Media is wielding so much power these days, they are almost like a fourth branch in our government... but unelected, of course.

No one was suprised about Hillary:



Comparison's have been made with Margaret Thatcher, but please...


She could hardly fill Maggie's shoes. The only thing they have in common is being female.



Hillary brings a lot of baggage with her (including Bill), but that won't necessarily stop her. People vote the way they do for lots of reasons. She's a lawyer, and clever in many ways; smarter than John Kerry. The worse thing the Republican's could do is under-estimate her.

There was a funny video on YouTube of a satire done by SNL, of an interview of Hillary on "Hardball" with Christopher Matthews. I see it's been pulled; I couldn't find a copy anywhere on YouTube. But there is still a working copy of it somewhere, I found a site with a functioning YouTube link HERE. I suppose it's a matter of time before they purge this copy, too.

Why was this video pulled off-line? YouTube is full of clips from SNL (in fact, there is a rather funny one about Nancy Pelosi HERE), so it wasn't a copyright issue. Did the Clinton's find it so threatening that they had it removed? Did Democrats complain? SNL makes fun of both parties, I don't see why any clips had to be removed.





I find such resolutions disgusting in the extreme. It's just posturing, that encourages the enemy with renewed resolve to kill our soldiers. I've come to expect that from many Democrats, but any Republican signing onto such a resolution should pay a price for it. If you are a Republican, consider signing The NRSC Pledge. I have, and I also emailed our Republican Senator here in Oregon, Gordon Smith.








You can read Cox & Forkum's commentary and links on the controversy HERE.




Jimmy Carter, in drag. Doesn't he look a lot like...

See Here

     

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Jimmy Carter and his Jewish Problem


Fifteen Carter Center Board Members have resigned over Jimmy Carter's new book. It's being claimed that he's abandoned his traditional position of honest broker and mediator, and become an advocate for the Palestinians. One former board member, Steve Berman, maintains that the Carter Center recieves a great deal of it's funding from Saudi Arabia, and that Carter needs to disclose where the funding for the Carter Center is comming from.

Of course our own MSM is silent on this. But Carter himself has hardly been silent, and even made an appearence recently on Middle Eastern TV:


Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar) - 1/14/2007


In his interview on Al-Jazeera TV, Carter made the remarkable statement that he does not consider the missle attacks on Isreal to be terrorism.
[see clip #1355]

Does Jimmy Carter have a Jewish Problem, or a Problem with Jews? It seems Carter once Interceded on Behalf of a Former Nazi Guard and also complained that there were "too many Jews" on the government's Holocaust Memorial Council.

Carter played his part in helping the French and the PLO bring the Ayatollah Khomeini to power, which ultimately led to the global resurgence of Jihad. Now Carter is an apologist for the Islamic Jihad against Israel.

Combine those things with the admiration of Jew-hating Arabs expressed in the Carter family. You have to wonder if there isn't a pattern here. Maybe we should be connecting the dots?




The MSM keeps pushing Jimmy Carter forward as some kind of unbiased saint, yet there seems to be quite a bit of bias.

Carter still thinks there is a "Malaise" affecting America, and that it's source is the American People. If he wants to see a malaise affecting our country, I suggest he look in a mirror.
     

Friday, January 26, 2007

Moneydance; a cross-platform accounting program for Windows, Macintosh and Linux

Moneydance: The way Quicken used to be.

I've used Quicken for years. I'm currently using version 2001. I haven't upgraded, because 1.) I don't even use most of the programs features, and 2.) Each new version seems more obnoxious and pushy than the last. Customer reviews for the newer versions express a lot of dissatisfaction, so I haven't been eager to upgrade. In fact, I've been looking for other options. One interesting option I've discovered is a program called Moneydance.

It's a simple checkbook program that offers the basic funtions that Quicken does, as well as some advanced features as on-line banking. What it doesn't have is the pressure to upgrade every year or the aggressive upselling of more advanced features or extra services. It reminds me of the way Quicken USED to be.


Another interesting aspect of Moneydance is availibility on multiple computer operating systems. You can buy versions for Windows, Macintosh or Linux, so if you ever move to a different operating system, you can continue using Money Dance. The retail price is about $30.00.


If you need a double entry bookeeping programe like Quickbooks, for generating invoices and such, then Moneydance probably won't cut it for you at this time. But if you are looking for a simple way to manage your personal finances, or you have a small business that deals mostly with cash transactions, Moneydance might be right for you.


You can actually download the program for a free trial, with the option to purchase if you like it. If you think it might fulfill your needs, it's worth a try.

The best way to clean your pussy

The Kitty Washing Machine

At least it's a more efficient way; it keeps those sharp claws away from you. But it still looks like quite an ordeal, especially for the cat. You may end up with a cleaner pussy, but it won't be a happy one!

UPDATE: The embedded link won't work, but you can view the video HERE".

Hat tip to Nealz Nuze for the link. I like Neal's comment:

"Good luck ever getting your cat in a carrier again after a visit to the cat spa".
     

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Democrat Posturing = Paralysis


From Neal Boortz:
ANOTHER WORTHLESS RESOLUTION
The Senate is debating another non-binding resolution on the war in Iraq. Really...don't these people actually have something else to do? What about the first 100 hours of Democratic rule? Oh, that only applied to the House. So the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution yesterday saying President Bush's troop surge was not in the national interest.

Actually, it's not correct to say that this resolution is worthless. It is actually quite valuable. Not to us, but to the Islamic fascists. This resolution can be used as a rallying point for their recruitment of new followers. "See! We're winning! We have the unbelievers on the run! Join us in the Jihad! Victory is at hand!" [...]

(bold emphasis mine) Boortz goes on to say how they are going to waste time debating it, filibustering it and holding hearings in committee. All over a non-binding resolution that won't do anything but weaken the moral of our troops and encourage our enemies. Is this what we use our tax dollars to pay them for?

If the Democrats really wanted to DO something, they could cut funding for the surge. But they won't do that, because they would then have to take responsibility for the carnage and everything else that would follow.

The Democrats are doing what they do best; posturing. Taking a position against something, without offering any plan or contributing real help to solving the problem. It's precisely that refusal to do anything, that resulted in 9-11. How many more 9-11s will we need to experience, before they stop their paralysing posturing?


It seems that the only enemy the Democrats see are the Republican Party, and Walmart. They don't seem to realise that we dare not turn our backs on what is happening in the Middle East, and go about our business as if it doesn't affect us. We've done that before, and the result was 9-11, with the promise of worse to come.

Here's a good example of "worse to come", from Maynard at Tammy Bruce's blog:
Newt Warns of Iran's Nuclear Holocaust
He quotes a portion of a recent speech by Newt Gingrich:
Three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust," Gingrich declared, adding: "People are greatly underestimating how dangerous the world is becoming. I'll repeat it, three nuclear weapons are a second Holocaust. Our enemies are quite explicit in their desire to destroy us. They say it publicly. We are sleepwalking through this process as though it's only a problem of communication."

"Our enemies are fully as determined as Nazi Germany, and more determined that the Soviets. Our enemies will kill us the first chance they get. There is no rational ability to deny that fact. It's very clear that the problems are larger and more immediate than the political systems in Israel or the US are currently capable of dealing with," said Gingrich.

(bold emphasis mine) Too many Democrats seem to think that Iran has nothing to do with events in Iraq; they fail to see that we are dealing with a trans-national movement, of which Iraq is only one front. If we fail or walk away from this, it will surely follow us, our enemies more resolved than ever.

I'm sick of the Democrats useless posturing and posing. Is it too much to ask for some BI-PARTISAN cooperation in actually DEALING with this?

More from Neal Boortz:
DICK CHENEY UNLOADS ON IRAQ

Dick Cheney blew his stack in an interview with Wolf Blitzer [video] and finally fought back on Iraq... and he was mostly right. Despite the problems in Iraq, there really are some things that have gone right. [...]

[...] It also is somewhat amazing how we have forgotten that the Democrats were solidly for removing Saddam from power. The invasion had widespread Democrat support on Capitol Hill. When things started to get a bit rough, tough, the Democrats turned. They saw a worsening situation in Iraq as an opportunity to demonize their true enemy .. George Bush. [...]

(bold emphasis mine) It's too true. Where is the Bipartisan leadership we need?
     

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The President's SOTU Address


I can't blog much now, as I'm busy pulling stuff together for our accountant. But here are some interesting an informative links about the SOTU address:

From LMC:
President Bush Addresses the Nation
Little Miss Chatterbox gives us a great summary of the event, with some excerpts of some of the high points. Plus links to other blogs covering this subject.

From Neal Boortz:
STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH
I could nit-pick on parts of the President's speech, but I think I'll let Neal do it for me. It's short and to the point. He also has some interesting comments on THE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE. It's right on target.

Democrat Jim Webb, in his rebuttal, complained about how corporate CEO's make 400 times the money regular workers do. Thomas Sowell has a very good article on that subject, "The Fallacy of Greed", that explains why this is so, and why there is nothing "unfair" about it. Don't miss it!

Maynard at the Tammy Bruce blog has a gripe about State of the Union Rebuttal. He looks at when and why it came into being as a regular feature in the media in it's present form.

I thought on the whole the President's speech was pretty good, considering he has a Democrat majority to deal with. It wasn't perfect, and I don't agree with everything that was said, but under these circumstances Republican's are going to have to make compromises; they are in no position not too, if they wish to get anything done.
     

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What do the opinion polls actually say?


When I lived in San Francisco, I knew a lot of people who worked for phone polling companies. They would talk about how the questions they were payed to ask people were very carefully worded, designed to extract a particular response. They often said that with the right wording, you could get poll results that said just about anything you could want it to say.

Neal Boortz has an interesting post today on this very topic:

DAMN THE POLLS
[...] What you have with these polls is the news media covering news that it has created. Usually the questions are phrased in such a way that the media outlet conducting the poll is going to get just the response they're looking for .. a response that will fit neatly within some story that has essentially already been written.

Let's take a look at the latest Washington Post - ABC poll:

Sixty-five percent disapprove of how Bush is handling his job as president. Fine .. now just what does that say. Do they disagree because he has used too much force in Iraq, or not enough? Do they disagree because they think Bush hasn't spent enough on education, or because he spent too much? Do they disapprove because he has blocked government-funded stem cell research, or because he hasn't pushed for a Constitutional amendment banning abortion? What do these polls say? You don't really know, do you?

Seventy-one percent say that our country is on the wrong track. Fine ... but again, what does this mean? I think that our country is on the wrong track because we aren't reducing the size and power of the federal government. Others think that our country is on the wrong track because the federal government isn't doing enough. I think we're on the wrong track because we aren't moving toward comprehensive tax reform. Others think we're on the wrong track because taxes aren't high enough. I think that the country is on the wrong track because we aren't moving toward free market reforms in health care. Others think that we're not on the right track because we're not moving toward socialized medicine? So ... 71% think our country is on the wrong track, but what does that mean? [...]

(bold emphasis mine) Neal goes on with more examples of how polls are used to make stories the media wants you to believe, in contradiction to actual facts.

The questions Neal asks about the poll results can change the entire context, but few people seem to be asking these kinds of questions. In San Francisco I had also worked at a Radio/TV station for a while, where I learned about "spin". The media could take poll results like these and "spin" them to tell any kind of story they wanted, just by omitting anything that contradicted the story they wanted to tell. Whatever happened to real journalism?



Here's a good one from before Christmas...


The Holidays may be over, but the story remains the same.
     

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday Funnies 01/21/07



















Saturday, January 20, 2007

Melting Snow and Winter Sunsets

The snow has melted completely now, here's a few pics before it all disappeared.





Here's some photo's of a rather dramatic winter sunset:









You can see more Here.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Our Plan for Iraq; making it work


Charles Krauthammer has an interesting article today:

A Plausible Plan B for Iraq

He has little faith in the government of Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki and his Shiite coalition, and believes the surge is unlikely to succeed because of them.

But rather than just whine about it, he has a suggestion for a plan B, that could be used both as an insentive to make Nouri al-Maliki keep his promises, and as an option to switch to if the surge fails. The crux of it is thus:

[...] What is missing is a fourth alternative, both as a threat to Maliki and as an actual fallback if the surge fails. The Pentagon should be working on a sustainable Plan B whose major element would be not so much a drawdown of troops as a drawdown of risk to our troops. If we had zero American casualties a day, there would be as little need to withdraw from Iraq as there is to withdraw from the Balkans.

We need to find a redeployment strategy that maintains as much latent American strength as possible, but with minimal exposure. We say to Maliki: you let us down and we dismantle the Green Zone, leave Baghdad and let you fend for yourself; we keep the airport and certain strategic bases in the area; we redeploy most of our forces to Kurdistan; we maintain a significant presence in Anbar province where we are having success in our one-front war against al-Qaeda and the Baathists. Then we watch. You can have your Baghdad civil war without us. We will be around to pick up the pieces as best we can. [...]

(bold emphasis mine) It's worth reading the whole article, it's not very long and displays a good understanding of the forces at work there, the weaknesses in the surge strategy and how they can be averted.


(You can read Cox & Forkum's related commentary and links HERE.)


The Democrats have been repeatedly asked to come up with a plan of their own for Iraq; they have repeatedly failed to do so. Yet they continue at rail against all that we do, which demoralises our troops, undermines our efforts and emboldens our enemies. In the long run, I have to wonder which will be more deadly to our troops; roadside bombs, or our Democrat controled Congress? The latter encourages the former.





Related Links:

From Thomas Sowell: Another Vietnam?
There are similarities with Vietnam, but they aren't the ones the Left wants us to believe:
[...] Only after Congress cut off financial support for South Vietnam, while the North Vietnamese continued to get support from the Communist bloc, did South Vietnam fall.

Since then, even the Communist conquerors have admitted that they did not win on the battlefield, but in the American media and in the American political arena, surrounded by an atmosphere created by a defeatist media.

Most of the today's media, led by the New York Times, has been even more blatantly one-sided in their reporting. Everyone I have heard from in person who has actually been in Iraq paints a far different picture from that of the gloom and doom of the media.

Make no mistake about it, we can still lose this war, but it will have to be lost politically. Most of the tragic chaos in Iraq today has its origins in politics. [...]

And he backs that assertion up with concrete examples, that go far in explaining how we have gotten to where we are now. There can be no Democracy without law and order. Thus our choice is clear:

[...] Our choice may become whether we are prepared to sacrifice more American lives in order to prop up the Maliki government or whether we are prepared to sacrifice the Maliki government in order to restore law and order in Iraq. [...]

This is why I think Krauthammer's plan B may be necessary. Law and order WILL have to come first, before real progress can be made. If Maliki is an impediment to that law and order, he should have to fend for himself.




Another Vietnam? Part II
[...] President Bush was right to listen to the military as regards the conduct of the war. But perhaps he should have sought the advice of police chiefs as regards maintaining law and order.

For that we did not have enough troops in Iraq and -- more important -- the troops we did have were under too many politically imposed restrictions. Put bluntly, they needed to tell the many private militias in Iraq to drop their guns or get killed.

Far fewer people would have died if they had. Of course, hand-wringers around the world, beginning with the American media, would have denounced such "brutality" and claimed that "negotiations" could have prevented such bloodshed.

The Iraqi government has negotiated, if not collaborated, with some of these domestic terrorists -- and the net result has been escalating violence and mounting death tolls. [...]

Mistakes are made in every war. Do we learn from them, or just give up? My biggest concern when this started was that the MSM would rail against the war with such force, anything short of instant success -an impossibility- would pronounced as complete and utter failure, and the pressure to withdrawl would intesify.

An old Arab proverb says: "Patience demolishes mountains" Do we have that patience? Do we have ANY patience?

[...] The most fundamental difference between President Bush and his critics has not been in who has made mistakes, because both have. The biggest difference has been that the President has taken a long-run view of the worldwide war on terror, while his critics are seeking a quick fix.

Critics claim that there is no connection between the war on terror and the war in Iraq. They don't seem to notice that the terrorists themselves obviously see a clear connection, which they express in both words and deeds. [...]

We'd all like a quick fix. But when war is declared against you, the only choice you are given is to surrender or fight. And fighting means you fight till you defeat your enemy, however long it takes.




Our enemies think we are a weak and decadent "instant this, instant that" culture; that if we can't have success quickly, we will just give up. If that is the message we send them now... well, our difficulties now will look like nothing compared to what lies ahead.

Thomas wraps it all up with what's at stake. Both articles are short and to the point, and well worth the read.
     

Obama Mania Burn Out

I've got it; I'm already burned out on the hype. Enough already.


From Cal Thomas: Barack Obama: American Idol
That Sen. Barack Hussein Obama Jr. chose the day of "American Idol's" season premiere to launch his presidential exploratory committee is nicely symbolic.

Part of the attraction and seductiveness of Sen. Obama - perhaps the main attraction - is that he is mostly a blank slate on which others can write what they choose. Now that he's announced formation of an exploratory committee to help him decide whether he should run for president (is there any doubt?), the moving fingers will begin writing soon enough.

Much of what Obama says resonates with many people, including me. [...]

Cal does manage to cut through the hype and ask some important questions, ones that Obama needs to address eventually.




The way the media is gushing over Obama, anyone would think there are no other candidates in the Democratic Party. How long will this hype last? When will the MSM stop trying to decide for us who we need to focus on?


Related Links:

Saint Obama
I left a comment here, and got a great answer to my question "Where's the Beef?". It seems that perhaps Obama isn't quite the blank slate he's being presented as.

It's only make believe
I find this weird... and disturbing for someone who wants to be President.

Hillary's team has questions about Obama's Muslim background
I wonder if CAIR will denounce Hillary for this? We'll see!