Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Waxman P2P Reforms Favor Terrorists

Rep. Waxman (D) has publicly announced that he thinks that P2P software is a threat to National Security. He seems to base this on the idea that P2P software, like Limewire, can globally share files stored on a computer and make them available to anyone anywhere in the world.

Interestingly enough, Waxman does not fault government agencies for storing classified documents on computers with shared drives, nor does he blame the problem on government employees who either do not understand security polices or do not follow them. Frankly, Waxman appears to be totally clueless concerning P2P technology.

Terrorists worldwide have nothing to fear as long as men like Waxman stand up and do the useless while completely avoiding the necessary.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Minimum wage increase

I've concluded I like McDonald's breakfast over Burger King. I like eating with a knife and fork rather than only having a sandwich, and I prefer the McDonald's taste. I'd rather have my meal in a regular restaurant, but McDonald's is about half the price. To be blunt, I enjoy riding the backs of those who make minimum wage.

I don't make minimum wage. I haven't for decades. I often interact with this odd group of people. As of late, they seem to look at me strangely as if I am demented. I feel tempted to remind them I am not the one making minimum wage.

Today my breakfast was $4.89 with tax, beverage, and pancakes added on. Having grown up when minimum wage was in the two dollar range, I learned to make change working at McDonald's before the advent of the electronic cash register. I handed the cashier a five dollar bill, a dime, and four pennies which made her look at the change in an odd way, then look at me in an even odder fashion. Obviously she felt I was demented, possibly dropped on my head when I was younger. Entering the cash received into her keyboard the register then spit out two dimes and a nickle which the cashier handed to me saying "It was $4.89". Somehow she felt she had to admonish me for having not known how to give her the correct change in the first place.

I replied saying, "Yes, I know. I was anticipating a quarter in return." Somehow she caught on and took the two dimes and a nickle back and gave me a quarter.

News reports this morning indicate that for many people today's minimum wage hike is the first raise they have had in ten years. I don't have sympathy for them. I don't believe in minimum wage's purpose to be to provide a living wage for people. If they want more money then they should learn to do something more than minimum work and they will move up to more than minimum wage.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Geneva Convention defied

I enjoyed watching Hogan's Heroes, a TV show about a group of prisoners in a Nazi prison camp during WWII. The prisoners lived a hard life in substandard conditions, but the Nazis treated them fairly. They received Red Cross packages, mail, and Colonel Hogan was given respect from Shultz and Klink under the rules of the Geneva convention.

This was not reality TV, it was a comedy on a set. Is the US implementation of the Geneva Convention in current times a reality show, or is it a comedy of errors?

Bush has repeatedly made the claim that the enemy combatants detained are not eligible for the rights of the Geneva Convention. This shows a lack of respect for the soldiers of the US Army. We certainly want our soldiers to be treated well if captured. I'm convinced the American soldiers themselves want to have the Geneva convention applied to them.

If we ignore international law, or for that matter, international ethics, just what freedom are we fighting for?

Today Bush published documents to give US polices a veneer of alignment with prisoner treatment policies the Supreme Court has required. Still human rights groups are not convinced that Bush is in the right place here. And still Bush is saying he will not allow visits by the Red Cross, even sham visits like on Hogan's Heroes. Nor will he allow the detainees to contact their families.

Maybe for an encore Bush can kill off all of the Indians and take their land.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

FEMA on the wrong mission

For years now I have been hearing about problems with FEMA trailers, for the last few months about the formaldehyde problems causing the inhabitants to be sick.

Original reports indicated that the trailers just could not be manufactured fast enough, so the vendor ordered more supplies and bought raw materials that were not fit for the purpose due to formaldehyde content.

Various reports show that FEMA avoided testing. More reports show they did some testing but tried to skew the results by airing out the trailers first. The most alarming is that internally FEMA lawyers suggested to not test because that might increase liability for the problem if it could be shown that FEMA had hard evidence that the problem existed.

That shows an indifference that is amazing, unethical, and criminal. Had this been a large company, say General Motors, we might expect to hear lawyers and actuaries suggesting that it is more profitable to ignore the problem and deal with the lawsuits, if any, later. We might not like it, but we might expect it. But isn't FEMA responsible for helping people out in a disaster? Instead it sounds like they are trying to do a risk assessment to decide how to keep their liability lower, not to help the public with the liabilities they are facing.

If this was a junior attorney who made this comment he should be disciplined. If it was a senior attorney, he should be fired and perhaps disbarred. This is an outrage.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Voters want Bush Impeached

A recent poll of 1,200 likely primary voters shows that 45% want Bush impeached.

This breaks down to 69% of the Democrats, 13% of the Republicans, and 50% of the Independents that were polled.

I view this as bad that the public would like to see two presidents in a row impeached. First Clinton, now Bush. On the other hand, Bush is responsible for remarkable abuses of Constitutional power.

Maybe impeachment would serve Bush right, who would blame the voters? When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government and to provide new guards for their future security.