Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Big Boycotting Battles

Bill O'Reilly and The Daily Kos are going after each other tooth and nail. O'Reilly has never been a friend of bloggers and Web based media.
Bill o'Reilly has expressed concern that Web based reporting is a "threat to American Liberty" because the reports are not subject to the same internal scrutiny that the main stream press does.
While in 2001 at an awards presentation he rants against the Main Stream Media, It becomes obvious that he considers anyone that isn't Fox news the enemy.

Obviously, I'm in the vanguard on television of our search and destroy mission about the elite media. And I'm proud of the fact that we have taken these people down -- not on a personal level -- but on a level that's going to open up communications and information to all Americans.

No longer are you going to have five white guys who live in Westchester having a stranglehold on what Americans see on the network news. (applause) For forty years, forty years, five white guys, okay, have determined every night what you are going to see and hear.

The exclusionary bias is staggering. It has nothing to do with political parties. They don't sit around saying how can we advance this person's campaign. What it has to do with (is) regular working people. They don't want to hear from us. They don't want to address our concerns. And they don't want to do it at the Washington Post or the New York Times or the networks.

Where they do (address our concerns) is on talk radio. That's where the people get their say and they get to interact. That is the town meeting of America.

The problem is that Fox news and O'Reilly has become a part of the Mainstream, if to to the right of some of the longer established venues.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Review Garmen Nuvi 360

I tend to travel quite a bit, in last 6 months I've been to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Austin a couple of times, Jay Florida, Biloxi and all over Texas. Sometimes I fly but even then there is usually driving involved to get to the final destination. There have been a couple of incidents that convinced me I should get a new fangled GPS navigation system. The last straw was circling around in Austin trying to get to my Hotel at midnight.
I decided on the Garmen Nüvi 360 It has a larger screen at 2.8"W x 2.1"H; 3.5" diagonal and it has Bluetooth. This would allow me to retire the Bluetooth earpiece that I've been using.

The screen is bright and easy to see in the brightest daylight. I had intended to mount it on a center platform on my dash. But mounting the suction cup holder proved to be impractical. Fortunately it mounts quite well on both my Dodge Nitro and Equality's Accord. Ive noticed that people tend to mount these things in the middle of the windshield. I mount it on both cars low and on drivers side so that it in effect becomes part of my dashboard instrumentation. The mount for the Nuvi is somewhat ingenious. Navigator pops out pretty easily to remove the temptation for potential thieves. The power from the Cigarette lighter adapter is routed through mount although it could be charged directly into the Nuvi.

I was a bit concerned whether the navigator would be more of a distraction than it would be of help. Once i got used to it being there it was just another console instrument much like the tachometer or speedometer. In fact I often use its speedometer/odometer function because it can be a little more useful. While traveling unfamiliar roads it the 3D maps serve as a look ahead and provides one with that extra bit of useful information. The audible warning to turn off a semi familiar road serves as a nice reminder. And knowing how long until the nest turnoff is only helps ones concentration on driving.

I guess all GPS navigation systems will tell you how to get to where you are going. I paid $450 for my Nuvi 360 because it had some extra features. It works well with my Motorola Razr cell phone. The phone book is downloaded to the Nuvi. I can call up and dial through the Nuvi, talk hands free though bluetooth and never touch the phone. I don't believe I can make voice commands through the phone but its still easier and less distracting to dial out using the bluetooth wireless functions of the Nuvi than it is to use the phones dial-up. The Bluetooth functions are excellent and have allowed me to retire the bluetooth earpiece I was previously using. The Bluetooth functions alone make the 360 worth the extra money.

The Big screen. The screen is a little bigger than most of the units I've seen. It detaches from the mount and slides into a shirt pocket nicely.

I think most new units today come with WAAS accuracy up to 10 feet. The WAAS was disabled by default, to preserve the battery I presume. I turned it on. What surprised me is that the unit had no problem locking on to satellites even inside my home. I don't think I'm gonna have a lot of problems with trees blocking the way.

MP3 player with SD disk is nice concidering the tiny speakers the Nuvi sounds remakably good. I want to get a patch cord though so I can wire it directly into car radio.

As they used to say, "Don't leave home without it!"

Update: June 6, 2008
My Nuvi started acting up on me a few weeks ago. I contacted Garmen through the phone number provided on ther web site. I reached a customer rep. rather quickly they gave me an RMA and sent me a new unit all in about a week. i couldn't ask for better customer service. I didn't like being without my Nuvi though. Even though I didn't go anywhere new, I like the warning I missed the reminders of when to turn off, and the I also missed not having the Bluetooth speakerphone. At any rate 1 year later the Nuvi still goes with me wherever I go. Even if I have to fly.


Paper Trails

We were promised the paperless office, maybe even a paperless society. Our utopian world would leave the trees for the huggers. It sounds good, but humans like the ability to be able to personally hand off and recieve information. To hold it in our hands to peruse over it is somehow comforting. The most important thing about paper is that it is physical. It can be altered annotated and signed, and it can be stored and examined years later without relying on any equipment more sophisticated than a candle or reading lamp.

It looks like Congress is making a move to require a real paper trail for federal elections. Sounds like a good idea.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tilman Fertitta says "No Problem"

What me worry? Kevin Whited explores Landry's Debt problems. A $100Mil hew $400 mill there and pretty soon we are talking serious debt. It takes a lot of shrimp to pay for new roller coasters and casinos. Tilman Fertitta claims he has it all under control though.

In addition to the notes, which are held in trust by U.S. Bank, Landry's has a $450 million credit agreement with Wachovia Bank with a similar stipulation regarding its filing of financial statements.

Landry's said Wachovia could require immediate payment of the $97 million it owes on the credit agreement, but it hasn't and it doesn't expect the bank to.

"Nothing is wrong with the company," Fertitta said.

As Kevin puts it, "Well, if Fertitta says so, allrighty then!"

Remembering Ma Ferguson

Susan Criss is a sitting Judge at the 212th District Court here in Galveston and has a blog called As the Island Floats she has a small tribute to Ma Ferguson;

Neither Ma nor her husband Jim supported suffrage though. The leaders of the suffrage movement in Texas campaigned against them both as a consequence. This put our suffragists in the position of having to campaign against the first woman to run for governor in Texas.

Might be of worthy note for Hillary supporters.

An Essay on Federalism

Although i really don't know much yet about Fred Thompson, he does seem to stand a foot or two taller than the rest of the Republican hopefuls. Two thing are clear he does a great essay and he understands the big issues.

The Supreme Court sometimes ignores the written Constitution to reflect its view of the times. So does Congress, which routinely forgets that our checks and balances, the separation of powers and our system of federalism are designed to diffuse power and protect the liberties of our people. Before anything else, folks in Washington ought to be asking first and foremost, “Should government be doing this? And if so, then at what level of government?” But they don’t.

The result has been decades of growth in the size, scope and function of national government. Today’s governance of mandates, pre-emptions, regulations, and federal programs bears little resemblance to the balanced system the Framers intended.

This in no way diminishes the important role played by the national government, including ensuring our national security, and regulating interstate commerce to promote free markets. Indeed, a commitment to federalism would help the federal government do a better job in addressing national emergencies and emerging threats, because it could focus on these issues rather than on everything else it is trying to do. A proper regard for constitutional boundaries would also go a long way in avoiding the arguments that follow when Washington acts by decree, disregarding the elected representatives of the fifty states.

You know better than anyone how involvement from Washington affects nearly every policy, program, and aspect of your jobs. But beyond the nuisance of duplicative state and federal requirements, one might wonder if a division of responsibility between the federal government and the states is still important. The answer must be a resounding yes.

Federalism is not an 18th century notion. Or a 19th century notion. It retains its force as a basic principle in the 21st century, because when federalism is ignored, accountability, innovation, and public confidence in government at all levels suffer.

Read the whole thing. Its a good piece whether you're a supporter or not.


Texans Save British Economy

After years of a downward spiraling economy the Brits were helped out by a handful of Texans.
With George W. Bush in office, Europeans (including the British) generally use the word "Texan" (along with "cowboy") as a slur. Few of those people know that it was Texans who first rescued the British economy in the last forty years.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

10% of Texans have Warrants out on Them

!0% percent of all Texans have outstanding warrants out on them. Is it that Texans are so prone to criminal behavior. Grits for Breakfast explains how traffic fines that folks can't afford can get some not so bad folks arrested.
That's not just overcriminalized, that's the kind of bizarro figures one expects to hear in true totalitarian states.
I agree.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Automobile Security Systems

I have a Red Nitro and I wish it had this feature. Not so much for protection from dogs, but for seagull protection.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

In for the Long Run

I've been blogging since 2003 or four years and I moved over to this domain 2 years ago. I hate long term commitments but I signed up the domain for another 5 years with Godaddy I've been happy with them so far. They host this and Eye Currents for me. The people are pleasant, service is good ,they are reliable, cheap, and have improved their service without charging more. $213 keeps us online until the year 2012. I think they will give me another domain for free. Maybe I should call them and find out what that really means.

Entitlement Program.

Could it be that that Greg of Rhymes with Right endorses an entitlement program? An entitlement program implemented in Newton, Massachusetts.

Pink Dolphins

There have been reports about a pink dolphin seen off of Boliver Peninsular around the net for a couple of days these pictures have surfaced. Unfortunately Snopes has documented these exact photos taken on Lake Charles. However in a story in the Galveston Daily News which identifys the photos with Lake Charles. A commenter claims there are photos of the real Galveston pink dolphin somewhere.

We do have a "pink" dolphin on the Island. Photos were taken on Saturday of one, in the vicinity of Seawall and the Flagship. It did not look like the one in the photo that your paper ran though. It is a lighter pink, with some very light gray on his fins/tail. He/she was much prettier than the all pink one shown.
— By Mrs Durisseau

Hopefully the photos will show up.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Pesos in America

I must admit I'm a little surprised at the ruckus raised by Pizza Patron and Value Giant accepting the Mexican peso for payment of goods. I was raised about 300 miles from the Canadian Border. and the Canadians near the border would accept American dollars and many stores and American shops would take Canadian money. It was never a big deal. I've traveled a bit over the world, and typically its never been a problem spending American dollars in larger stores in almost any country. The Border towns in Mexico use the American dollar as if it were the local currency. The malls in the border towns, and in Houston itself, are seeing boom times because the Latin American and Mexican affluent shoppers. If its OK, that the American dollar is accepted everywhere, and We accept the Canadian dollar on a routine basis. Could it be that racism is behind the objections to accept the Mexican peso?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Name Change

The Island Nation we know as Taiwan official name is Republic of China. They are concidering changing it to Taiwan. The Peoples Republic object to this as doeas the United States.

President Chen Shui-bian said Taiwan will press ahead with a controversial referendum on whether the self-ruled island should apply for U.N. membership under the name Taiwan, dismissing U.S. objections as appeasement of China.

Chen's defiant stand, outlined in frank language during an interview Friday, raised the prospect of a rocky period in Taiwan's relations with the Bush administration and a rise in tension across the volatile 100-mile strait separating Taiwan from mainland China.

China and the United States have complained that the referendum, which would have little practical effect, in fact is designed to promote a change in the island's official name, from Republic of China to Taiwan. This, both governments charged, could be read as a unilateral change in the island's status, something China's leaders have said they will not tolerate.

The island has been called the Republic of China since Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist forces fled here after being defeated by the Communists of Mao Zedong in 1949. China has said the island must one day reunite with the mainland and has vowed to use force if necessary to prevent a decisive move toward independence -- such as changing the official name to Taiwan.

But Chen, an ardent independence advocate who is nearing the end of his second four-year term, said the idea of such a referendum has been endorsed by the main opposition group, the Nationalist Party, as well as his own People's Progressive Party and was supported by 71 percent of Taiwanese citizens

When it comes to choosing up sides, Shouldn't America side with freedom loving Democracys over communist totalirian nations? Greg seems to think we might be on the wrong side of this one.
Frankly, the US should be supporting this referendum, not opposing it. It recognizes a fundamental reality for over a half century -- the separation of Taiwan from China and its existence of an independent, free nation and not a part of the Red Chinese hegemony. Indeed, our failure to support and recognize Taiwanese independence is a betrayal of our own heritage as a nation that broke free of oppressors and grasped independence with both hands.
I simply can't understand how President Bush's State department can justify turning it back on a democracy to support the Comminist in mainland China.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

iPhone Woes

Apple hasn't shown much concern over the consumers maintaining their computers or Ipods. they have been notoriously expensive to repair when their stuff goes bad. The iPhones are expensive to manufacture and they will be expencive to maintain. Unlike every other manufacturer the new Apple iPhone does not have a consumer replaceable battery. The hapless consumer will have to send the phone in and pay Apple $85.95. If they can't do without a phone for a few days Apple will gladly rent a phone for $29. Consumer groups find this unfair.

A consumer group has warned that Apple's battery-replacement policy for the iPhone is inadequate, as sales for the new gadget introduced during the weekend were estimated at topping 500,000 units.

Before the iPhone went on sale Friday evening, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights sent a letter to Apple chief executive Steve Jobs and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, whose company is the exclusive wireless carrier for the iPhone in the U.S. The letters asked the CEOs to implement consumer safeguards for the iPhone batteries, arguing that most buyers would have to pay to have them replaced after the iPhone's one-year warranty, unless users buy an extended warranty. The battery does not appear to be user replaceable, and Apple advises buyers to take the iPhone back to Apple or AT&T for support.


Monday, July 09, 2007


A state Rep. gets himself involved in a shooting. Rep. Borris Miles voted against the Castle Doctrine

A state lawmaker who opposed a bill giving Texans stronger right to defend themselves with deadly force pulled a gun and shot a man he says was trying to steal copper wiring from a construction site, police said Monday.

Rep. Borris Miles told police he was fixing a leak on the second floor of the Houston house he's building Sunday night when he heard a noise downstairs and saw two men trying to steal the copper. After Miles confronted the pair, one of the men threw a pocketknife at him, Houston Police spokesman Victor Senties.

The Castle doctrine doesn't go into affect until Sept 1st. He could get sued. Wouldn't that be fun!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What isn't in the News.

I've been watching the news over th last couple of days. and the coverage of the English bombings or at least the attempts have been nonstop. Like many folks I'm looking to here the latest details. Here is one detail that Fox news didn't see fit to cover:
By Karen Bale

A HERO cabbie who took on the Glasgow Airport terror suspects told yesterday how he booted one of them in the privates.

Alex McIlveen, 45, kicked the man, whose body was in flames, so hard that he tore a tendon in his foot.

But he said last night: "He didn't even flinch. I couldn't believe he didn't go down.

"A doctor told me later I'd damaged a tendon in my foot."

The burned suspect was named last night as Khalid Ahmed, a Lebanese doctor.

He is critically ill with burns at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley, where he is believed to have worked.

I hope that Khalid Ahmed actually survives this. And that those burns cause him much pain while he spends the rest of life in prison. Living in this one case might be the most suitable punishment Khalid. Maybe those who are in charge of giving him his meds will just flush them away. As a doctor he will surely understand what he is in for.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Big Brother finds a Home in Tennessee

Tennessee enacted a new law yesterday. Michael Silence writes:
Comer Wilson hasn't had to show his ID to buy beer in a while. Maybe it's the 66-year-old man's long white beard.

Starting Sunday, gray hair won't be good enough. Wilson and everyone else will be required to show identification before buying beer in Tennessee stores — no matter how old the buyer appears.

"It's the stupidest law I ever heard of," Wilson said. "You can see I'm over 21."

They aren't scanning at restaurants or for wine and liquer sales. Well maybe it makes sense everyone knows that trouble making rednecks always drink beer. Then there is this;

Rollins said scanning licenses has proved beneficial in other ways, such as catching criminals.

When one customer tried to make a purchase using a counterfeit bill, Rollins said police were able to track him down because the receipt from the scanner showed his name and license number — and his address.

So are they going to use this information to track down traffic ticket or parking ticket warrents. I think I'll pass on drinking beer if this ever comes to Texas.