Monday, February 28, 2011

Back from Hawai'i

And glad to be back to the mainland, honestly. The Hawai'ian islands are very beautiful, but life there seems complicated, and even vacationing there is sort of complicated. I'll write more on this a bit later, but I'll be post-dating the entries and photos...so if you are interested...check back!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

We Have to Pay for the America We Want

Just a few comments about recent events, comments from conservative about 'entitlement' programs, 'government run healthcare', and the budget. It shocks me that people are so tremendously disengaged that they don't realize the complexity of the economic system at play in the United States, and how interdependent everything in our society is. Take from one place, and it will be paid for in another...whether that is in social disparity or another program having to pick up the slack.

Usually, it is a more expensive deal with a consequence after and issue, rather than just paying for it up front. Perhaps people should keep a 'credit card' sort of metaphor in their mind. If you repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), then insurance companies will drop high-risk clients, then they won't be contributing anything in premiums and will likely have to receive emergency care (which is always more expensive) at a later time, which will be paid for by the Emergency Medical Treatment Act (signed into law by Ronald Reagan)...but it will cost more than it would under the ACA. But this example is indicative to a number of cuts that are being considered.

I think that ultimately Americans need to decide what kind of society they want to be. Do we want one where people's needs (medical and otherwise) are accounted for? Where the arts are held up as a achievement of society? Where we educate our young better than anywhere else? Where someone can actually rise above circumstance and take a path of their own choosing? Well, we still have to pay for it...which is fine, but the society has to be willing to pay.

It seems that presently many Americans are only interested in their own gains and life, and really couldn't care less about the rest of society or their neighbors. In this kind of selfish perspective about the economy, government, jobs, and life in general...I fear that those with circumstance (and money) will just continue to power-grab and consume everything they possibly can. Once everything is privatized, as conservatives seem to want it, and the wealthy control how life plays out as the average person just struggles to keep afloat...why would that be a more freeing? If most have no real breaks, and can only be in a constant (even though willful) struggle against circumstances...how does one better anything in life or society?

I think that this is more about kingdoms and power. The powerful have built their kingdom on the opportunities given to them by a country with great protections of personal freedom, but ALSO programs and entitlement that enabled them to have their empires grow. Now that they have their kingdom, they would like to take away those things so that none can topple their castles.

So, now you are free to work in their kingdoms (those economic robber-barons), but don't expect more than that 1% of the population to ever actually be financially powerful. If you want a better America, don't buy that everyone can be rich, and don't buy that taxation paying for needed programs for society is a bad thing.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Friday, February 04, 2011

Bing Steals Results from Google

If you haven't heard about this yet, it may be so consistent of a practice for Microsoft that it is immediately blown off. But Microsoft is doing it again. But they are not just duplicating ideas from other companies and calling it their own. This time Microsoft is just flat-out ripping off search results that would appear in Google's Search engine.

Of course Microsoft has denied such an allegation. But Google one-up'd this time. Google planted fallacious, marked search results in their systems...things that are not real and thus would never actually be searched for, much less return specific, planted results. But a few weeks after Google planted these search results in their system...they appear on Microsoft Bing verbatim.

Here is what Google did to prove Microsoft was copying their results:
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/microsofts-bing-uses-google-search.html

Microsoft is, of course, STILL denying that it copied those results. But it is clear that one of their technologies, whether it be the Bing toolbar for IE, or Windows or IE themselves, are harvesting search results from other engines, like Google's.

Stephen Colbert has a humorous bit on this:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Bing Gets Served
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>Video Archive

President Obama Shares About His Christian Faith and Prayer

This speech was given at the National Prayer Breakfast. I appreciate that the President was open about his prayers.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Good Anti-Sugar Campaign from NYC





Not as much snow as you think...but still bad enough

The Ozarks really just aren't prepared for snow. So, as much as the macho truck owners are confident about their 4-wheel-drive and super-human driving abilities....there are crazy tons of accidents and people stuck all over Springfield and the surrounding areas.

Snow out in the front of the house

The snow was coming down pretty fast for a few hours, but at the moment it stopped and just blowing around. NOAA has downgraded their estimates yet again to 7-10 inches of total accumulation. Presently there is only about 4 inches of snow in my back yard, though in the front-yard snow is blowing everywhere and drifting pretty badly.

Only 4 inches of accumulation as of yet

Also it appears that I44 from James River Freeway in Springfield, MO all the way to Oklahoma is closed.