Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ron Paul Blasts TSA and Homeland Security

Representative Ron Paul makes an impassioned case on the floor of the House of Representatives here against the use of the TSA's naked body scanners and the "enhanced patdown" which many are calling sexual assault. He makes a good point also in his bill that the government shouldn't be allowed to do to us what we cannot do to other people, namely touching people inappropriately, and taking nude photos of people and children. A great short speech. Please watch it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't Be Shy If You Want to Fly

John Tyner, to my mind, is a hero defending liberty and decency. He is the young man who refused to be screened by TSA airport scanners which can peer through clothes at someone’s naked body. Then after hearing how he would be felt-up and groped by the “enhanced pat-down” instead, he refused to do that also, saying famously “But if you touch my junk, I’m gonna have you arrested.” After long discussions with TSA officials, he then was escorted from the airport because they wouldn’t allow him to board his flight without the personal intrusion first. (Video of encounter)

And for his refusal to submit to these invasions he is now threatened with an investigation and a $11,000 fine! You must be kidding. For what? Did he break a law? Hey Ms. Napolitano, how about a moratorium on enhanced stupidity? And I hear you’re considering a waver for Muslim women. WHAAAAT?? Good idea. Pretty much the ONLY female suicide bombers that have ever existed have been Islamic extremist women. That would sort of leave a gaping hole in airline safety if you ask me. How about we exempt everyone from personally intrusive searches, unless through investigatory means we find them to be suspicious or to fit an FBI-style profile of a potential bad guy? Let’s look at how a country successful at counter-terrorism does it, ie., Israel. They are more targeted in their screening process, and have been pretty successful in keeping bombers off of their airplanes. Or how about using more bomb-sniffing dogs?

I think we are going to see a lot of bipartisan furor over this policy in the coming days and rightly so. A consumer protest has been suggested for next Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving where people will refuse the scan, opting for the “enhanced patdown” which will have the effect of slowing down passenger screening and gumming up an already slow travel day. Something needs to be done, but accepting the patdown is accepting the equal of two bad equals. Everyone who flies on that day should refuse both screening techniques. If 2,000,000 travelers did that, no planes would fly. Would Janet Napolitano and the TSA be happy then? We the citizen need to be heard again. These are outrageous policies which need to be replaced .

"Those who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Marry Your Instant Messaging, It's Easy!

The Internet has helped to bring people together from all over the world. E-mail was the first way that this was accomplished. But although e-mail is fast, it isn’t INSTANT. (Man, we have gotten pretty impatient, LOL.) Instant Messaging (IM) is ubiquitous on the Internet. And it is INSTANT. Usually. Today, everyone uses IM. Okay, many people use it.

You can IM someone 12,500 miles away from you instantly from a laptop computer, a desktop computer, a netbook, an iPad, and just about any cell (mobile) phone on Earth. Yahoo Messenger, AOL's AIM, and MSN Messenger are a few big names in instant messaging. And now MySpace and Facebook have instant messaging that you can use when you're on their websites. There are many others to boot.
One of the problems with instant messaging is that one friend might have AIM, and another might have Yahoo IM, while your girlfriend might use ICQ, and your office uses Google Talk. Having more than one chat program open on your computer isn’t going to hurt it, but it isn’t going to speed it up. There is an answer to this age-old conundrum and its name is Pidgin.
What is Pidgin? Pidgin is an open source Instant Messaging client that can help you tie together into one program all your various instant messaging accounts. Download the free software, which is constantly updated by user/programmers from all over the world, add your instant messaging accounts and you’re a multilingual chatting machine. You can chat with any of your friends or family members in one of at least 15 different instant messaging services, including Facebook and Skype which require a simple plugin download.
Following are some advantages to using Pidgin:
  •   It consolidates all your IM programs into one interface.
  •  You don't need a web browser open to use it as you do with MySpace, Yahoo InBox IM, and Facebook.
  • It doesn't have annoying advertisements like Yahoo, and MySpace and AIM.
  •  The interface is simpler than most IM programs.
  • It’s free.
There are some disadvantages too:
  •  Doesn't support video or audio chat/calling (though that feature is said to be on deck in the future)
  • Doesn't support animated smileys, winks, Flirts, pokes, or buzzes
If you want to simplify your online chat life, Pidgin is the program that does it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Layoffs at Work

Yesterday we had another round of layoffs at work (a cyclical occurrence at the company I work for). I feel bad for those who were cut. (I was laid off by the same company three or four years ago and hired back six months later.) But people laid off today have ninety-nine weeks of unemployment to fall back on, so if you're going to lose your job, then now is the time to do it.

I do hope my former co-workers find work quickly however, because I know that it's easy to start feeling down and like you're not contributing to society if you don't have a job for a long period of time. I have a few pointers gained from my experience with being laid off.

First of all, shine up that resume. Make sure it's up to date and everything is spelled properly. Have it proofread or edited by someone else. But seriously, it's a very good idea. We can read something a hundred times and miss something someone else will see after reading it just once. A resume must be perfect.

Next, sign up for LinkedIn, a professional networking website and connect with all your former co-workers and friends. The more contacts you have on there the better the chance you will have of finding work. Get some referrals from them while you're still fresh in their minds. Sign up on and search Careerbuilder.com, Monster.com, and Hotjobs.com. And don't fall for the "make 1000 dollars a week on your computer" scam postings. Also use craigslist.org to search for jobs. There are plenty of legitimate job listings on the site along with the scams. You'll just have to learn to discern between the two. And if you're serious about finding work, put in your status on Facebook that you're looking for work. It can't hurt.

What I also suggest to my former office mates and what I will do myself next time I find myself in that position is to, yes, spend time looking for work every day, but not eight hours a day. You need to spend time advancing any entrepreneurial or freelance projects you may have been thinking of. This is the perfect time to nurture those ideas you may have had to be your own boss.

In my case, I would have spent more time writing and getting things sent out to publishers. But you may want to start a business, and so should put aside some time each day toward reaching that goal. Write a business plan, create some artwork for your portfolio, sell some Avon, take a course in Real Estate. Anything, as long as it is helping you advance your career goals and dreams in some way. It doesn't have to be Careerbuilder, Monster, and resumes all day long.

And after eight hours on the job hunt and the personal career development hunt, "Go home", as usual and do your normal after work routine. Exercise, cook, help your kids with their homework, go bowling. Operating in this way will help to keep you sane and calm in a distressing time.

Good luck on your future my friends. I hope it is full of success and happiness. It was a pleasure working with you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Elections in U.S. a Boon for Liberty

This is a good week with plenty of political sun shining in the USA. Tuesday's mid-term election has been called a "historical win", "a wave election", "a tsunami", "an earthquake", "a drubbing", “a repudiation”, and "a shellacking". While we don't have a new Captain for our ship, we do have a fine new crew, and they were put there by the restless people of this great land to keep the ship from hitting any more icebergs. Or, to use President Obama's (wrong) overused analogy, "to get us out of the ditch", that he and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have driven us into.

Republicans won 240 seats in the House of Representatives, gaining 60+ seats and taking the majority in that body. The GOP also gained 6 or more seats in the Senate, improving their number there to 46+ and leaving Democrats with a slimmer majority in that body. What this historical shift in power means is that there won't be one party rule any longer and there will be an actual check in the system of "checks and balances".

Some of the bright spots of the day include: Marco Rubio winning a U.S. senate seat from Florida against political chameleon Governor Charlie Crist. Pat Toomey grabbing a senate seat in blue Pennsylvania was also great. Michele Bachmann winning re-election to the House was excellent since she is a big Tea Party booster, and Nikki Haley winning the governorship of South Carolina is good news for that state. State legislatures were also greatly affected with Republicans gaining 680+ seats in all statehouses.

Being originally from Michigan I should also express happiness that the Democrat chokehold there has been relieved somewhat, which I hope will bring some fiscal economic relief to that downtrodden state. They have a new Republican governor, senator, and a state legislature firmly in Republican hands.

Unfortunately, in my district in New Jersey, the Tea Party backed candidate for the U.S. House, Anna Little, did not beat the entrenched Democrat Frank Pallone, who brags that the Health Care bill was "his bill". However, she did put up a hell of a fight. He is a hard-core liberal this Pallone and I am sad to see he won, but happy to know that now he will be in the minority party.

Christine O'Donnell of Delaware and Sharon Angle of Nevada were two high profile Tea Party backed Senate candidates who put up good fights but lost mostly due to voluminous slander by their opponents and the mainstream press.

And in the greatest puzzle of the day, I will never understand how someone (Jerry Brown) who wrecked the economy of California in his previous eight years as governor there could be elected to do it all over again (at this critical time!), over a candidate (Meg Whitman) who ran many companies successfully and made billions of dollars doing it. But it’s not like she'd have the financial chops to run California compared to someone who already failed at the job, right? One has to question what the voters, even Democrats, were thinking in CA.

There were two other big winners in this election: The Tea Party movement and Sarah Palin. Mrs. Palin was a big winner because she took her star power, her political capital,  and conservative ideals into every nook and cranny of this country in support of conservative Republicans, many of whom were running for the first time in their lives for office. And in most every case it helped the candidate greatly. This increased Palin's visibility as well as her political savoir faire.

The Tea Party movement, which is basically the voice of the quiet majority, showed that it has the clout to get people elected, the ideals to attract a large membership, and the power to sway law makers. This despite slander from the media and politicians. But the Tea Party movement is just a frame for a large number of Americans who are dissatisfied with an out-of-control government.

In the end, it was just the American people who came out on Tuesday and demanded change with their votes. A fine example for a democratic republic like the United States of America.