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Friday, June 29, 2007

What is Next for President Bush?

Yesterday, talk radio, voters and a bi-partisan group of Senators saved George Bush from himself. Bush has always had a blind spot when it comes to illegals from Mexico. He was ready to push for this type of amnesty legislation when he was first elected in 2000 but his plans were thwarted by the terror attacks on 9/11.

Unfortunately, President Bush is incapable of seeing border security as an integral part of the War on Terror. The evidence is plain for any unbiased person to see but it just doesn’t register in his view of the world. To say that his time as governor of Texas was formative for his views is an understatement. When it comes to Mexican illegals, he is trying to turn the whole country into a Texas type paradigm. He keeps looking at the issue with the same impotence that many state officials do. It is a Federal problem. He just doesn’t get the concept that he is on the other side of the looking glass now and he not only has the opportunity to fix it but the obligation.

Bush lacks the vision and the desire to solve the broken immigration system. His managerial skills have compounded the problem. Instead of appointing good people to be strong in areas where he is weak, he has appointed longtime friends and people of like mind, often with disastrous results. Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court and Alberto Gonzalez as Attorney General are two examples.

Either we are at war or we become ostriches to the threat of radical Islam. President Bush seems to oscillate between both beliefs. I wish he would return to the path of stopping terrorists and act accordingly. His neglect of most domestic issues at the expense of winning the war is not the best alternative but understandable. If he wants to do something constructive domestically, he should help get Republicans elected in 2008, especially, in the White House. Committing political suicide and destroying our national sovereignty is not a constructive or rational policy.

Hopefully, the President will take a cold shower and go to Crawford for a week of barbequing and reflection and return to Washington ready to work for the American people. We need his help and leadership not more backstabbing of the folks who voted for him. Secure the borders, win the war, confirm the judges.

Posted by william on 06/29 at 12:18 PM
Global War on TerrorNews & PoliticsPermalink

Thursday, June 28, 2007

NVIDIA plus RAID yields Chaos

The US Senate is not the only thing running amuck this week. If you are running Windows Vista with any flavor of NVIDIA RAID then this could be a challenging time for you. The NVIDIA drivers that were just released via both their website and Microsoft Update are causing major issues for many folks that rely on RAID controllers in their computers.

The drivers from the Windows Update and those from NVIDIA totally kill my RAID 5 array. I get the legendary “blue screen of death” and the system reboots into the boot window where you can choose Last Known Good Startup. This will get your computer back up but then a window asking to install the new RAID drivers greets you. If you say NO the system tries to install the driver anyways.

My immediate concern is that I need to kill the automatic update from prompting me to install the RAID drivers each time I boot my computer. Sounds like a registry tweak or I need to delete a downloaded update program on my hard drive.

The support boards at NVIDIA’s website are full of stories by other hearty souls dealing with the same type of issues.  The drivers are part of the 158.18 update. The manufacturer considers these drivers a Beta for Windows Vista. Half of this driver package can be installed automatically; the Ethernet, SMBus & SMU, however, the RAID portion cannot. Don’t install the RAIDtool application. If you want to try this part of the driver package then create system restore point and give it a try. Oh, and good luck.

I went on the website for my motherboard and their driver site had an additional nugget of information missing from both the NVIDIA and Microsoft websites that I had already deduced from reading the support forums on the NVIDIA site, these RAID drivers must be installed by booting your system with the original Vista DVD and pressing F6 to install additional drivers.

For those of you that are not familiar with the significance of this fact, it is important. First, it means that the driver that Windows Update is trying to force feed me will never install correctly. Since my bootable driver is my RAID array, the driver that Windows is trying to replace is currently in use whenever my system is running. In fact my system cannot run without it.

Second, I need to create a floppy disk with the updated drivers in order to update the RAID drivers. There are actually two drivers that need to be updated. Once the NVIDIA update is downloaded and expanded, the necessary drivers can be found at the following location: C:\NVIDIA\nForceWinVista64\15.00\IDE\WinVista64\sataraid. Copy all files in this directory to your freshly formatted floppy drive. (Before trying this update, it would be good to locate your original 64-bit drivers and have that floppy available just in case you need to undo this experiment.)

Insert your Vista DVD in the driver, set BIOS to boot off of this drive and start the system on the DVD. When prompted, press F6 key to install additional drivers. You may now select the first driver from the floppy and install. Next press the S key to install additional drivers and select and install second driver from the floppy. If you mess this up, reboot and do over. You cannot damage your system and have made no changes to the drivers at this point.

Disclaimer: This next step is based on experience and I am relying on memory because I have not done this in a while. Next select Repair. (The goal on this step is to get the drivers on floppy copied to hard drive to replace old drivers.) If floppy is still in the drive this should happen without much user input. Once the system has completed repair, remove floppy disk and DVD and reboot. If system successfully reboots then you are done.

I am leaving for a much-deserved vacation and won’t be trying this before I return. If you run this update, write me and let me know how it went.

Posted by william on 06/28 at 02:15 PM
TechnologyPermalink

Friday, June 01, 2007

My Turn on the Immigration Bill

I have been listening to the debate over the proposed immigration bill for several weeks. The bottom line is that supporters say they must do something about immigration. Their basic argument in support of this law is that the current system is broken. Supporters argue that this bill will fix the problem. They say trust us, we will replace the laws that aren’t enforced now with more laws that have no enforcement mechanisms. We make all illegals legal and then there is no problem.

I have heard members of Congress, administration officials, staff from The Wall Street Journal and others claiming to support the bill try to argue in favor of this legislation but they cannot cite why this bill is better than current law and more importantly how this law will fix the problem of illegal immigration once and for all.

The bill’s supporters are utilizing emotional arguments both in favor of the bill and also to attack its opponents. Anyone that opposes this bill is a racist, bigot, Nazi, xenophobe. Facts are not relevant to this discussion. I have not heard a single person who says that they favor the bill try to argue the merits of the legislation by citing chapter and verse from this wonderful compromise worked out in secret. Ultimately supporters claim that President Bush will sign it so it must be ok.

What a joke! President Bush will sign anything that Congress gives to him no matter how bad, unconstitutional or fiscally irresponsible. He holds the all-time record for the fewest vetoes of any President in history. He has vetoed only one bill and that was after almost six years in office!

I am in favor of immigration by legal means. I wish the numbers allowed were at least doubled if not tripled from what they are now. Let folks in legally; lots of them.

The bill’s approach of granting blanket amnesty to all illegals is a national security nightmare. There is no agency assigned to do background checks, no money to hire manpower for the checks and no responsible agency assigned by the legislation. 24 hours for a background check and then a visa that will be good for the rest of your life is just stupid. What database will be used for the check? If we can’t even stop the Virginia Tech shooter from buying firearms through legal means including a background check, why do we think we will catch some terrorist from Jordan before he is given legitimate papers when twenty million people try simultaneously to get their background checks?

We have had a check-in/check-out law on the books for eleven years for legal visitors and it still does not work. The FBI and Department of Homeland Security have had major computer issues since the 9/11 attacks. Now the same people who created and funded these notable computer failures think we can create a nationwide system from scratch in 18 month that will screen people from every corner of the globe!

There needs to be as much time as necessary to do the background checks. The visas much have expiration dates and renewal requirements.

We need to secure the borders before any regularization program for illegals is adopted.

The cornerstone of making the system work needs to be employer verification. Only one or two forms of identification should be allowed for employment. These identification documents must be verified by the government prior to employment. If employee information is suspect either at hire or due to errors later found by the Internal Revenue or Social Security Administration, the employer needs both the legal right to terminate and the legal protection not to be sued by some ACLU type if they do.

If the borders are secured and the employer is empowered to check-up on new hires, the economic draw for illegal immigration will be drastically reduced.

Posted by william on 06/01 at 05:27 PM
News & PoliticsPermalink
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