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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Republicans: Heat and Light

While there is little hope that the majority of Republicans in Congress will see the light, there are signs that they are at least beginning to feel the heat. Some are at last beginning to act as if Hugh Hewitt’s warning in Painting the Map Red has been heard in the halls of power.

Following the return this week from the Easter Recess, the Senate has started to move several languishing judicial nominees to a vote and allocated more money for border security. Congress is trying to get more energy production under way and once again is looking to end the “Death Tax”.

Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope that the GOP can turn things around. Their best advantage is the incompetence of the Democrats. As long as Democrats are motivated by hatred of President Bush and opposing every Republican idea without offering any of their own they are a doomed party. They have nothing to offer but fear itself. Doom and despair don’t win elections.

Republicans need to give their base an incentive to vote or many will just stay home this year. It looks like this reality is provoking some politicians to take action to energize the base. If Republicans would start acting like the majority party then they would make gains in this off year election.

Unfortunately, senators like McCain and the Northeastern liberal Republicans are the worst enemies of Republican victory in 2006. My hope is that if Republicans can do well enough this year, these Senators will no longer be able to hold the rest of their party hostage to their stupid socialist ideology.

Meanwhile, President Bush is making hopeful changes in the White House. The realities of illegal immigration are being brought to his attention. He seems to be getting closer to making borders more secure before implementing amnesty for illegals that are already here. His personnel changes in the White House seem like good moves.

The most discordant sign has been Republican efforts to try to blame oil companies for the high costs of gasoline instead of the Democrats for their obstructionist policies and idiotic environmental regulations.

Posted by william on 04/27 at 01:31 PM
News & PoliticsPermalink

Bugs in Internet Explorer 7

I downloaded Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 yesterday. Some bugs were encountered quite soon after installation.

First, I am using MSN Messenger to manage a Hotmail account. My computer at work keeps asking me if I want to install Windows Messenger every time I check my e-mail. This never happened until I installed IE 7.

Secondly and more importantly, I can’t get links on some websites to function. I tried to make my son a doctor appointment today but was unable to do it because IE 7 could not navigate on the Kaiser website.

In the first screen shot, you will see ranges of the alphabet that are clickable in previous versions of IE but will not function using IE 7.

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To get to this screen go http://www.kp.org
Click on A Member
Select your Region select Northern California and click continue
From pulldown menu go to Locate our services and select Facility Directory


In the second screen shot, the departments should be links to another page but they also will not work. This example can be reached by selecting Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center.

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When these issued are resolved I will be sure to let my readers know the fix is available.

04-27-2006
Additional Bug
In Hotmail, when I select Print View, the window that it brings-up does not have a print incon on the menu. I found that pressing Control and P key simultaneously will bring-up this print menu.

Posted by william on 04/27 at 02:09 AM
TechnologyPermalink

Monday, April 24, 2006

Microsoft Office Kills Windows XP Professional x64

Just when I though that I had conquered all the pitfalls and perils of my 64-bit Windows XP Professional, I found the mother of all incompatibilities. Microsoft Office will not run on Microsoft’s cutting edge XP Operation System!

Let me explain. My computer is running Office 2003 with the basic office suite of programs and it runs just fine, but on Friday I tried to install my Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Frontpage off of my Office 2000 CDs. This attempt at installation ended in completed disaster. My computer failed to respond properly after the installation went bad. So just like Microsoft has trained me to do, I rebooted my computer. Oops! I got the error that my Registry is corrupt and I needed to repair it.

Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

This message is worse that the dread blue screen of death. Thankfully, I used my wife’s computer and went to work on the Knowledgebase at Microsoft. I found a five page procedure to follow to restore the registry. Basically you need a coordinated attack using the XP installation disk, Microsoft’s handy support article and a floppy drive.

1 Delete Corrupted Registry
First boot to Repair screen using the XP installation disk. Next run batch file created by cutting and pasting text file from Knowledgebase article to floppy disk. Run text as batch file per instructions.

2 Restore Original Registries
Then reboot into Safe Mode. Copy and rename back-up copies of Registry files from Restore Point to temporary location. This puts computer back to condition at original OS installation.

3 Restore Previous Good Restore Point
Run second batch file created on the floppy per instructions. Now computer can see existing Restore Points.

4 Restore Point
Then reboot into safe Mode. Select System Restore to select previous Restore Point.

Then reboot normally. You will probably be prompted to register your copy of Windows prior to successfully booting the computer. 

This procedure to recover the Registry also works with 32-bit versions of XP.

I went looking on Microsoft’s website for an explanation why my computer died. It was then that I discovered
Note Microsoft Office 2000 has not been tested on any 64-bit versions of Windows operating systems.

Posted by william on 04/24 at 02:17 AM
TechnologyPermalink

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bush’s Wasted Meeting with Hu

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Yesterday President Bush apologized to China’s President Hu Jintao for a three-minute outburst from a woman in the photo gallery calling for freedom from the Falun Gong religious sect in China.

Having lived through the shame of the Clinton administration and becoming a father a few years ago, I know that there are several different ways to parse the words “I’m sorry.” They range from “I’m sorry, please forgive me, it was all my fault” to “I’m only sorry that I got caught.”

I think the President meant I’m sorry for this breach of protocol. But I think Bush should have qualified the apology to say something about our nation being stronger for allowing differences of opinion. Suppose he said, “President Hu, we honor freedom of speech even when we might disagree with what is said. Unlike your government we won’t torture and kill this dissenter as a lesson to others.”

I think that President Bush missed a golden opportunity to call for
·  releasing religious and political prisoners
·  ceasing forced sterilization and abortion
·  stopping the harvesting of organs from prisoners for use in transplants
·  ending subsidies of Chinese currency to falsely prop-up their trade balance
·  halting the proliferation of arms to Iran, North Korea and other nations
·  suspending saber rattling and intimidation of Taiwan
·  lifting government restrictions on the Internet

The meeting with Hu seems like a wasted opportunity to reign-in the tyranny of the Chinese government.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Jerry Doyle Show

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I have been indulging myself lately by watching the DVDs of Babylon 5. I have wanted the DVDs for a long time but I was unwilling to pay the $79.95 price per season. Now however, my local Sam’s Club is selling them for $40 per season. This is a much more realistic number for my budget.

So far I have made it through Season Three. I finally have many of the plotline questions resolved that I never understood before. During the original series run, I managed to see about 90 percent of the episodes but missed a few subtle story elements. (For more on Babylon 5 see the Lurker’s Guide.)

One of the main characters in the Babylon 5 series was Michael Garibaldi who was played by Jerry Doyle. Doyle looks similar to Bruce Willis during his Die Hard movie days. Doyle has an amazing resume and is currently a talk show host.

I first heard Doyle’s show as a filler on KFBK when Mark Williams was on vacation. His show format reminds me of Laura Ingraham and is carried by the same network.

I would describe him as less of a hardcore Republican than Hugh Hewitt but worth a listen. I listen to his show noon to 3 pm via the Internet.

Posted by william on 04/19 at 05:07 PM
News & Politics • (0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Musing on Immigration

The hot topic in the news lately has been immigration. Some call them “undocumented” while others prefer “illegal” to describe the wave of invaders coming across the Southern Border of the United States.

This issue is full of more pitfalls for Republicans who have allowed themselves to be defined by those hoping to cultivate political support from these potential voters. Many have let themselves be falsely identified as bigots and racists for wanting to uphold current immigration laws. Other Republicans are so traumatized by this stigma hanging over them that they are running along side of the McCain express to nowhere.

On the other hand, there is a segment of this group that are regular voters for the Democrats. There is much voter fraud in our system especially by illegals; just ask B-1 Bob Dornan. Democrats control the system and have no intention of fixing a rigged system that benefits them both on Election Day and every ten years in the census.

We need a political leader to find a realistic balance between protecting our national interests of security and this mass of humanity that is already here. Unfortunately, President Bush is back to his pre-9/11 position on the issue, while the Senate Republicans and all of the Democrats are playing politics with peoples lives and the security of our nation. The goal of this current round of talk on immigration reform is just an elaborate ruse to stakeout election year territory.

Michael Savage is correct that it is about borders, language and culture but he is not the right messenger to convince the masses. Savage is good at confrontation but persuasion is not his leading attribute.

Both Huge Hewitt and Rush Limbaugh have been bringing out different and insightful comments on this issue.

Hewitt advocates building a real wall along the border and patrolling it to keep illegals out.  It would cut down on the rate of illegal immigration.

Limbaugh says make them all legal but don’t give them the right to vote if they entered illegally. If that is too hot to handle he suggested just barring illegals from voting right now. His point is that the Democrats (and some Republicans) don’t really care about fixing immigration; they are just positioning themselves to get votes from these people.

I have had dealings with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (mostly before it was taken over by the Department of Homeland Security) and the system is broke. It needs to be reinvented from scratch. It may have been state-of-the-art in the 1930’s but it is based on an unworkable and obsolete paradigm of information processing.

In addition, the artificial quotas mandated by Congress on who can come here only make the problem worse. The numbers of people allowed to enter each year are too low to make it worthwhile for people to follow our rules for getting here. Immigration policy is the only part of the government that mandates quotas on race, religion and national origin. The role of the State Department in the immigration process also adds many layers and delays to this cumbersome process.

My feeling right now is a pox on both parties.

Lastly, the strawman that gets beat-up by both Republicans and Democrats is the cry to go after employers of illegals. Anybody that says this is ignorant and has never signed the front of a paycheck.

If you apply for a job in this country and have the necessary documents required by the Form I-9 then I have to hire you. As a practical matter, it is illegal for me not to hire you ever if I suspect your documents are bogus. There is no government-authorized mechanism to verify if you are really a citizen. In fact you don’t need to show me a Social Security Card to meet the requirements on the Form I-9!

As an employer, I can get very limited information from the Social Security Administration on a pass/fail basis with no explanation why they don’t like a Social Security Number. I get a letter from them ever year telling me one fourth on our employees have bad numbers but the same letter emphasizes that it is illegal to fire someone that you think might have phony papers. Their letter makes it clear that this is a matter directly between the Social Security administration and the employee. The government reserves all power in this area for themselves.

Without the means to verify the legitimacy of potential employees, no enforcement on the hiring practices of employers is warranted. Last year, only three employers in the entire country were prosecuted for hiring illegals!

Posted by william on 04/12 at 07:35 PM
Global War on TerrorNews & PoliticsPermalink

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Apple Sends OS X to Boot Camp

Apple Computer has released a software patch titled “Boot Camp” that will allow an Apple with Intel processor to dual boot to either their OS X or Microsoft Windows XP. Apple won’t support the “Boot Camp” software or the XP installation on their computers.

Why Apple thinks this would encourage PC users to switch to their overpriced computers is unclear. The articles that I read also does not state whether you will need to get proprietary drivers to make Windows XP run on your Apple.

A more detailed article can be found at C-Net.


See Apple Press Release.


It is unclear whether there are architectural differences between the Intel Pentium family of processors and those being utilized by Apple that could affect the performance of Windows XP on the Apple platform.

In previous generations of Microsoft Operating Systems based on Windows NT, Microsoft supported RISC microprocessors such as MIPS,  Alpha and Apple’s Power PC. This was discontinued many years ago.

Last time, Microsoft modified their OS to run on the Apple platform and this time Apple has modified their platform to run Microsoft’s OS.

It is fun to watch the love/hate relationship that Apple has had with Microsoft over the years. If Microsoft hadn’t bailed-out Apple a few years back Apple’s music download and iPod empire would never had been possible and Windows Vista would never have been created.

Posted by william on 04/05 at 05:06 PM
TechnologyPermalink

Lets Wiggle

Having grown up watching kids show like the Banana Splits and a myriad of productions from Sid and Marty Croft, I have my memories of children’s television in a more innocent age. As a father I now get to go through this phase of growing up with my seventeen month old son.

Until recently, all he wanted to do was hit every button on the TV and the assortment of remote controls that he could get his hands on. However, he has become mesmerized by an export from Down Under called The Wiggles.

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The Wiggles is a fast paced show with short segments that is on the Disney Channel at 6 AM. Miraculously, it is presented commercial free. My son will sit in the rocking chair and watch every frame to the exclusion of almost all else. There are five main characters plus a few in costumes that are regulars on the show.

After watching for a few weeks, you will notice segments from various shows being reused. It is a unique mixture of silliness and mayhem with some good messages like drink water and eat vegetable soup.

I went hunting for their website and found it at http://www.thewiggles.com. Amazingly enough, they are doing four shows this month at Arco Arena on April 19 & 20. Ticket prices range from $15 to $30. If your youngster is under six then this is the show for you.

The Wiggles is a welcome upgrade from PeeWee Herman and Barney the Purple Reptilecool smile

 

Posted by william on 04/05 at 02:28 AM
News & PoliticsPermalink
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