Month: March 2008

Troppe informazioni mar numero cento e venti nove (TMI #129)

1. How are your March Madness picks doing? or What is your favorite event?

March Madness? I never follow it since I’m not a sports junkie. I can get into the odd Super Bowl or the like but to me it’s a waste of time watching guys move a ball across a court or field.

2. What is the best April Fool’s joke – EVER?

April Fools jokes are for amateurs. The rest of us know how to prank on a regular basis.

3. Valentine’s Day – bogus holiday or romantic holiday?

It can be romantic but quite honestly not so much for me but for Keyron, he gets his annual box of chocolates, Godiva of course. Funny how spoiled you get.

4. If you made any New Year’s Resolutions have you broken them yet? or What have you done lately to make yourself a better person?

As I’ve stated in the past, resolutions are for the amateurs. We professionals don’t make promises that we know we can’t keep.

5. If you believe in ‘regret’, what is your biggest regret? If you don’t believe in ‘regret’, what do you call ‘errors in judgment’ or ‘missed opportunities’ in your philosophy of life?

My biggest regret is not having moved the hell out of RI a few years back. Things are going to hell in a hand basket here. Our legislature thinks expanding taxes is the answer, how about repealing the fucking breaks you gave to the movie pukes, and those making over $200K a year, etc.

Bonus (as in optional): Tell us about four things about yourself, one of which isn’t true.

I’m a serious computer geek
I know my way around plumbing and electrical
I’m also a repressed musician
I hold a PhD in Information Science

Figure out which is the one that isn’t true.

Interesting Open Apps Site

I found this on a list of web sites to have, it’s called Zoho.

Features include word processing, spreadsheets, invoices, databases and much much more. The database creator is so simple to use. I put this contact form together in about 2 minutes but unfortunately WordPress won’t let me post it here. But it’s really sweet.

So check out the site. I really like projects like this because ultimately this is what will kill Microsoft.

Free Press Net Neutrality

I’m sharing this around because I’m a strong advocate of net neautrality. I’ve watched the gamed played by Comcast with some amusement, Cox has done no such thing, nor has Verizon. I use both, Cox at home and Verizon at a friends house. Neither blocks or delays bittorent traffic.

But since Comcast has, it won’t be long before the other dominoes fall. I predict first it’ll be Verizon, then Cox. Cox seems to be very even handed on net management which I appreciate as a customer. I even refer lots of people to Cox net services. Even at my former place of employment I set them up with Cox VAN (Virtual Area Network) service.

Anyhow this quote in the article struck me as odd, they’re completely discounting we tech geeks in our 40’s.

Members of Free Press “are people in their 20s and 30s who are active in politics, who have grown up on the Net, who have come to learn and appreciate the value of the Net and want to preserve it,” said Richard Whitt, the Washington telecom and media counsel for Google.

We older geeks laid it down, we ran BBS’s with email and chat capabilities as well as file transfers using things like Xmodem and Zmodem, and even UUCP which I ran on my Waffle BBS. We believed in open networks, and had some of the first including FidoNet.

We want net neutrality, we already see the nickel and diming taking place in the industry and want it to stop. I will not pay more to access a site because an ISP thinks it can make a little extra money.

The arguments being put forth by Comcast in their network blocking was that they were ‘managing’ their network traffic. Instead of collecting fees and not upgrading the network they should have beefed up their network to implement IPv6 and maybe some real QOS. I find it interesting that a freebie router for my Vonage service does QOS for voice traffic. I set it for 90kbps service which delivers high quality sound. I’m a big VoIP envangelist, I use Vonage, Skype and MagicJack. I’m a Vonage fan and also a fan of MagicJack since I found a PERL script with which I can spoof the Caller-ID info. I use it for my business 800 service, that way when I dial out the 800 number pops up. You need to have three things, the MagicJack device, a PERL interpreter for your computer, and this script:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# Warning: this software may be unstable. Before using it, be sure that you have
# a reliable alternate means of making an emergency call.
use IO::Socket;

$srcnum = ‘1111111111’; # change this to your MJ number
$spoof = ‘1111111111; # change this to number to send as Caller ID
$cidblock = 0; # set to 1 to block ID on all calls
$mjip = ‘’; # change if MJ running on different host from this script
$server = ‘’; # MJ proxy to use

sub outgoing { # handle outgoing call features
return if $ibuf =~ /sip:911/; # don’t mess with 911 calls
if ($cidblock || $ibuf =~ /Anonymous/) { # want to block
$ibuf =~ s/\r\n\r\n/\r\nPrivacy: id\r\nP-Asserted-Identity: \r\n\r\n/;
elsif ($spoof ne $srcnum) { # want to spoof
$ibuf =~ s/\r\n\r\n/\r\nP-Asserted-Identity: \r\n\r\n/;

$lport = 5070; # port to listen on
$dgs = new IO::Socket::INET(LocalPort => $lport, Proto => ‘udp’) or die “Socket: $!\n”;
while (1) {
$rcv = $dgs->recv($ibuf, 2000, 0);
next unless $rcv && length($rcv) >= 8; # ignore errors
$raddr = inet_ntoa((sockaddr_in($rcv))[1]); # get source addr
if ($raddr eq $mjip) { # packet from MJ
if ($ibuf =~ /\nAuthorization:/) { # INVITE packet for outgoing call
$dpaddr = sockaddr_in(5070, inet_aton($server));
$dgs->send($ibuf, 0, $dpaddr); # send to server
elsif ($raddr eq $server) { # packet from server
$dpaddr = sockaddr_in(5060, inet_aton($mjip));
$dgs->send($ibuf, 0, $dpaddr); # send to MJ

Just edit the script and run it. Then plug in your MagicJack and off you go.

AFA Still on the attack

This time it’s against GM for their Cadillac division daring to put ads in gay publications and media. The asshats at the AFA need a serious reality check.

General Motors Supports The Gay Agenda

General Motors has made a decision to help promote the homosexual agenda. The automaker supports the gay agenda with advertising in homosexual publications and on the gay TV cable channel LOGO.

GM’s Cadillac regularly places full-page ads in The Advocate, a magazine dedicated to pushing the homosexual agenda. The LOGO TV network carries programs promoting the lifestyle.

Jon Brancheau, director of media operations for Saturn (a subsidiary of General Motors), left no doubt about General Motors’ support for the homosexual lifestyle. In a letter to someone who complained about GM’s sponsorship of an episode of the LOGO program “Adam and Steve,” Mr. Brancheau wrote.

“Given that this film aired on the LOGO network, which is widely know(n) to offer content oriented for a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender audience, we feel comfortable with our decision to advertise during LOGO’s broadcast of the film.” (Full letter.)

Mr. Brancheau’s comments make it very clear that GM knew the content and nature of the programs on LOGO, and they have no reservations about sponsoring the “Steve and Adam” program and supporting the homosexual network.

Take Action

* GM is blocking our e-mails. They don’t want to receive them. Therefore, we are asking individuals to sign the petition. We will then deliver the petitions to GM. We will provide only your name and state.
* Forward this to family and friends and ask them to send the e-mail.

The homosexual agenda? When do I get my copy? First of all, how do the people at the AFA find out that ads are running? There’s The Advocate which I stopped reading years ago since it was mostly ads and very little gay content, mostly straight people proclaiming their support for the gay community. And LOGO, yeah stale content and all.

You just know that there’s a closet case or twelve in the AFA who’s doing the full homophobe dance. They probably think they pass but everybody they work with knows they’re a big old ‘mo.

But promoting the homosexual agenda is a stretch. I think the real goal of the AFA is to drive off the advertisers for both The Advocate and Logo. I can see The Advocate folding at some point because the net has largely replaced what it had to offer. But LOGO is an MTV property and I note that AFA isn’t attacking MTV yet. I wonder why?

Once again Donald Wildmon and friends think they know best. The main problem is, they don’t and there is no way I want them running my life.

The Republican Fiscal Conservative Myth

I’d first direct your attention to this graph which shows spending under the various presidents. One clear trend is that under George W. Bush we see profligate spending that dwarfs even that of Ronald Reagan which is saying something.

Spending Graph

In that spending is the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan. And tell me, why are we still in Afghanistan if we can’t find Osama Bin Laden? I’d lay odds that Bin Laden is living the good life somewhere. His only requirement is to release an audio tape of his threats to keep things lively.

If you’ve read this blog you know what I’d like to do. Just take $100 Billion of the military budget and put it into energy research. That’s all.

But we’ve had seven plus years of the neocon agenda and it should be pretty clear to everyone that it wasn’t in our best interest. Sure there are those thick headed individuals like the letter to the editor writer who insists that Bush is doing a good job. I keep wondering how long he’s had his own head up his ass because it’s impossible not to have heard anything about how badly the Iraq war is going.

But in the end, we do better with Democratic leadership than we do with Republican.

Letters to the Editor in the Providence Journal are tacking Right

I always read the Letters to the Editor because sometimes you find a real gem in there that demonstrates the rightward bias of the editorial staff at the Belo owned Providence Journal. I do know that Belo is shopping the Providence Journal around so maybe they’re leaning right to appear attractive to another newspaper group. I don’t know what the motivation is but I can guarantee two things that comes out of the letters I’m posting here.

That they’re written by social conservatives is one thing, the other thing I suspect is that the people writing them are older folks who have been hornswoggled by the news media.

My comments will follow each letter so lets begin:

Joan E. Frattarelli: Broken families end up stocking prisons

01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

“More than 1 in 100 adults are in jail.” That should be a wake up call to our government officials and the voters who put them in office. The only explanation I have heard so far for this travesty is that jail sentences are longer. That may be a small contributing factor but is far from the core of the problem, which is the break-down of the family unit.

More and more children are being brought up in dysfunctional families; the parents (or in most cases, parent) are so drunk or high on drugs that the children are left to fend for themselves at a very young age; there is no guidance. They get indoctrinated by witnessing their parents’ destructive behavior on a daily basis. As a result, they become a product of their environment. Since these mothers generally have multiple children, the social problems will increase with every generation.

The government’s programs created to reform and rehabilitate such behaviors are not working. We taxpayers are spending an enormous amount of money on these failed programs. For example, we have a drug court that requires addicts to sign a contract with the court that lasts for two years. During those two years they have counselors and social workers making decisions for them. They have to abide by the conditions of the court that monitors them closely, and they are rewarded as they proceed through the program.

Once they fulfill the terms and conditions of their contract they are on their own, which means they have to start making their own decisions. In most cases they revert back to their old habits, since it is so difficult to change once you reach adulthood. Most are not capable of making good decisions, and their children are again faced with the same dangerous and destructive environment as before.

Too much emphasis is being placed on keeping children with their parents. It is my belief that, for the sake of these children, this mentality must change. The children should be removed from their destructive environment. These children would be better off in a state home, where they can receive the guidance, structure and lessons in respect and responsibility that they need to become productive adults.

Cut off the welfare checks for the adults who have perpetually abused our welfare system, who spend our tax dollars on cigarette, drugs and alcohol. Our money would be better spent on programs and facilities for their poor children.


North Scituate

Ms. Frattarelli is guitly of believing the FUD spread by the media. First she states that broken homes are responsible for the drug epidemic. No Ms. Fratarelli, a sense of futileness and hopelessness lead to drug use. In some case drug use is purely recreational.

Her attack on welfare is disgraceful. There was nothing wrong with the old system, all they needed to do was add better investigative services and perhaps do child cutoffs. I did see one example of abuse one time but that was just a woman working the system and being a baby machine.

But the best part is where she advocates stripping kids from parents who ‘drink or do drugs’. Oh those wacky swamp yankee conservatives make me laugh. Frattarelli would fit in well with the Calvinisits, or dare I say it the Scientologists.

Here’s the next letter this one is a Bush policy supporter and parrots the line that if we hadn’t brought the fight to Iraq the ‘terrorists’ would have brought the fight here. Someone needs to get out more.

Andrew Lyon: What if in Iraq

01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bob Kerr’s column of March 19, titled “What if,” shows why a liberal point of view is always dangerous to our freedom and what the Founding Fathers wanted America to become.

I would like to pose some “what if” questions to Mr. Kerr. What if we did not have a strong leader like George W. Bush? If we did not take the fight to the enemy, they would have become more emboldened. This is what happened during the long eight years of Bill Clinton, where extreme Islamic fundamentalism flourished and a weak leader did nothing. What if America took marching orders from the United Nations — or worse, Mr. Kerr?

The answer is simple: We would be fighting on our soil. Rest assured that this war on terrorism was going to happen even if we just sat there waiting for America to be attacked again. The liberal view (that of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton) is that we should wait for them to attack us and then try to understand. I say let’s protect America first and understand later.

I have an idea for Mr. Kerr: It’s the citizens’ money, not the government’s. Mr. Kerr and liberals would just spend it on more liberal programs. I would rather spend it on keeping us alive! Mr. Bush has protected our country since 9/11. It is the president’s primary responsibility. He gets an A-plus in that department.

Ask Mr. Kerr to look what liberalism has brought to Rhode Island. I will be more than happy to answer: the fourth-highest-taxed state; the 50th friendliest state for business; one of the top welfare states; political corruption on a revolving-door basis; and a failing school system.

Mr. Kerr also took a pot shot at Mr. Bush’s intelligence. Let’s see: Yale graduate, Harvard Business School MBA. Where did you go to school, Mr. Kerr?

What makes America the greatest country is that we always try to do what is right and we have brave men and women who defend us from the evil that exists in the world.



What? What? A liberal point of view is dangerous to democracy? What the hell has Asshat Lyon been doing, even watching Faux he would make the cognitive jump that our civil rights are being trampled on a regular basis in the name of safety. I’m reminded of this quote from Benjamin Franklin, remember him?

Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security.

There it is Mr. Lyon, you deserve neither. Your outright attack shows that you took the neo-con agenda hook, line and sinker.

And when Lyon says “Let’s protect America first and understand later” I cannot fathom the ignorance of this statement. It’s akin to “Shoot first and ask questions later.” which is NOT a good policy principle. It’s the kind of policy principle that gets you into quagmires which is precisely what Iraq has become.

What Lyon doesn’t’ realize is that some point in the very near future we’ll need to pull our troops out of Iraq. But he doesn’t get the fact that there were no terrorists there before we invaded. Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator but he managed to put a Sunni minority in control of a Shia majority. That was quite the balancing act. We broke it.

My guess is if we stay or go, we’re going to see more terrorism on U.S. soil. Put it this way, the U.S. backed creation of citizen groups to stamp out the insurgency and had agreed to pay the groups to do so. But then the U.S. reneged on our promise. So now we have an armed group of 80,000 men in Iraq who’ve now told the U.S. to go pound sand. Lovely policy blunder there. BTW, Real News is an awesome source. Here’s the video:

I think what bothers me more about Lyon’s letter is his charge that Clinton did nothing to stop terrorism while he was in office. Oh peaches, he did more than Bush has done. You do remember the 1991-1992 invasion right? How about the no fly zone? Or a diplomatic core that wasn’t gutted to the core and the laughingstock of the western world. How about defining torture as legally acceptable. Or suspension of Habeas Corpus for those deemed ‘enemy combatants’.

And as far as the echoing of Bush’s Yale and Harvard days, how about we look at the solid C student, or the guy who got a choice spot on the Texas Air National Guard which meant he’d shirk any time in Vietnam. Lyon has yet to realize that power and privilege do nothing for the little guy and everything for those who wield said power and privilege.

Actually instead of impeachment I’d like to see Bush, Cheney, Gates, Gonzalez, Alito, et al dragged from their offices, given standard combat uniforms and then whisk them off to Iraq without USSS protection or even U.S. Army protection. Then let them tell us how well things are going over there.

I wonder if he thinks he’s better off now than he was seven years ago. I can answer that question easily, no we’re not. We’re worse off with runaway inflation, eroding civil rights, and an administration led by a man who once said and I’ll paraphrase here “The Constitution is just a God Damned piece of paper.” Yeah, I feel all safe and comfy.

Wait, wait, let me get out my brush. There, I’ve painted Lyon as a lying neo-con asshat.

The Unlimited Game

Tonight I was talking about the question of why is it that net and phone packages are going full unlimited for a fee, while things like natural gas, electric etc. aren’t. Then it hit me, the utilities we rely on for the most part use fossil fuels.

That said, why can’t you just take cost the utilities incur for the entire generating capacity and divide it by the number of consumers. That way you could set a flat fee for all you can eat. It’s said that Westinghouse didn’t like Tesla’s wireless power distribution because they couldn’t put a meter on it. I suspect that much of what we pay for something like electricity and even natural gas is wildly inflated specifically because it IS metered.

But here’s another thing. Most of our oil consumption in the United States, more than 90% in fact goes to motor vehicles. I would love to see one of the candidates for President step forward with a plan to take about $50,000,000,000 (Yes, that’s $50 Billion with a B if you ever watched The Pentagon Wars) from the military budget and plow it into research and development projects to get fossil fuel burning vehicles off the road withing 5 to 10 years.

I don’t think it’s impossible. The United States has when necessary whipped up all the equipment necessary to fight in two theaters of war, why the hell can’t we dedicate some of our tax money to the task of ending our dependence on oil.

There’s an indirect benefit to doing what I’ve suggested above. By reducing or nearly eliminating our need to import oil we would instantly cut off the religious fundamentalists, the dictators, and all the other unsavory characters. Because without money from petro-dollars or petro-euros those of Al Qaeda would have a hard time financing their global terrorist jaunts.

And the Wahabists could have Saudi Arabia and make it a stinking shit hole for all I’m concerned about them. They could literally go and pound sand.

There have been some encouraging developments particularly in the area of hydrogen. They’ve figured out how to achieve 85 to 90 percent efficient conversion of water into it’s Hydrogen and Oxygen components.

Hydrogen is interesting, you can burn it and the combustion byproduct is water, or you can use a method I’d prefer. Use it to power a fuel cell that powers electric motors at each wheel. Talk about power.

Troppe informazioni mar numero cento e ventotto (TMI #128)

1. Stubble… good or bad? How often do you shave?

On some good, on some bad and on me very bad. I have to shave daily.

2. If someone shoves you up against a wall while kissing you, your reaction is?

Instant boner! Seriously. I tend to like it a little rough. So if anyone plans on doing that to me they better be ready.

3. Did you ever own a fake ID?

Nah, didn’t need to own one. You see, as a 15 year old I got a job in a hardware store that was right next door to a liquor store. Would go over there all the time to get a soda, chips, etc. Got to know the kids working there, the management, etc. so that by 16 I could buy a pallet of booze as long as I had the cash.

Then of course when they started raising the drinking age fro 18 to 21 they did it gradually, 19, 20, then 21. But they staggered it between states so that at 18 I was legal in Massachusetts but not in Rhode Island. So for about 3 years I drank in either MA or RI depending on the age limit.

4. Have you ever played a game which may require you or others to disrobe?

No I haven’t. Closest we got to that was a toga party when I was a high school senior. Some of us went sans anything under the toga. Yes, Animal house had just come out three years earlier and it took we geniuses time to think of the concept.

5. Have you ever had sex in the snow? Rain?

Generally I prefer a warm, dry environment but there have been instances where rain was involved. Snow as a rule is NOT a turn on at all.

Bonus (as in optional): Tell us about your last boyfriend/girlfriend?

Do you mean the one I’m still with since he’s the last one. Keyron is a cute black guy. But the best part is that he’s on the same humor wavelength as me. He’s also talented as all hell, I do find the artistic type to be very sexy.

I find it very difficult to explain it. We just click like that. A former co-worker put it very well, she said it’s very obvious that we actually like each other as well as love each other.

Obama illustrates the difference

When Barack Obama appeared in Salem, Oregon one of the people got up and asked him what she should tell friends that were fence sitters in order to get them to support his candidacy.

Here’s the video of the event. I think he was gracious about the answer, as well as very thoughtful. He openly admits that they’re very much the same but then goes on to illustrate the differences.

This is why he should be our president. Instead of someone like George W. Bush whose off the cuff remarks have cost the U.S. dearly, we need someone who is a thinker, someone who can help to repair the damage done by the neo-cons.

And in other encouraging news, it seems people are on to the Republican game. So we could see both the congress and White House flip to the Democrats in 2008. Oh I hope the hell so, a concession would have McCain as President and a solid Democratic majority in Congress.