Sunday, November 27, 2005

Stopping Theft of Donated Holiday Gifts

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It seems like every year I hear of a theft of toys originally destined for the poorer members of society. My guess is the stuff is stolen to be resold.

If some large sticker company could find it in its heart to make up totally non-removable big stickers that identify the product as a donation, it might slow down the rate at which the stuff gets ripped off. It would also make it easier for the police to bust someone, stopped for other reasons, who has a suspicious amount of toys in their car, should a sticker be visible.

The design of the sticker should be a cross between a holiday star and a police badge, done tastefully. Most police badges do not include red and green as dominant colors. Having a Good Sam put up a $10,000 reward for dealing in stolen donated goods would be nice too.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Global Economy in a Nutshell

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The human cost of one penny less

General, Bangladesh, U.S.A., Weblog

‘Dateline NBC’ investigates the human costs in the developing world behind the bargain shopping trend of the Americans and the competitive deals of the big discount stores.

The investigation goes to the source of the goods these store offers. In Bangladesh, a female worker, Masuma gets more like 17 cents for sewing as much as 80 stripes on pants in an hour, a perfectly legal wage, and more than many Bangladeshis like her earn. But she can barely live with that wages.

MSNBC arranged to bring her to the US, to a store where these pants are sold. She was shocked to find the selling price ($12.84) of one striped pant, more than she could imagine. She said the price of the pants left her feeling taken advantage of. If she was paid 25 cents an hour instead of 17, a 50 percent raise, she could lead what she considers a decent life.

When a US customer on that store was asked in front of Masuma, whether she would by the pant if it was 25 cents more, she declined. She said that she feels for Masuma, but she is counting her pennies as well. It’s the debate over globalization in its simplest form.

One Bangladeshi garments executive claims:

A few years back, I told Wal-Mart, “Give me one cents more a piece, one cent. I will use that money for these poor people.’ Wal-Mart’s reply was, ‘No, give us two cents less.’

So the industry gives in to the competition, shattering millions of workers’ (like Masuma) dreams:

“They make us work so hard, and they cheat us so much and we’re human beings. I’m not an animal. I’m a human being. Of course I’m angry. This is really shocking.”

Will they ever be heard? Will we still be counting our pennies?

Nobles and peasants, welcome to the 21st century, a return to feudalism !

All watched over and supervised by multi-national corporations, not governments, Orwell was very close to having it right. Verizon will fire anyone who doesn't wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, AT THE SAME TIME they declared Thanksgiving to be, "just another peak minute weekday." T-Mobile followed suit according to a friend.

"Duck and cover" has new meaning for me.

"We have seen they enemy and they is us."

- Walt Kelly of Pogo fame

I wonder how long those on the bottom will continue to put up with this ? I wonder how long those on the top can keep those on the bottom (via mindless tv and ads) from seeing how they are situated in the grand scheme of things ? Will I live to see a better world ?

Niel Young beats Bob Dylan and the rest that have sold out music of the 60's boomers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Wingnuts, Right, Left, and Trees + more Adult ADD

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wingnut 10,000 hits on google
"right wingnut" 600 hits on google
"left wingnut" 99 hits on google

wingnut is a tree on wikipedia, + a crackpot, either persuasion, + an air force person in an air force base dominated town.

If you type in "too many nuts" +not +enough +rope on any search engine, you get more great serendipity stuff. BTW, this is my new bumper sticker.

don't boink !

Douglas Keachie

Monday, November 21, 2005

On the Wonderfulness of Blogging

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I just love finding stories like this from :


"Monday, November 14, 2005
What I know about America's greatness I learned from immigrants

Like many places, my city plays host to many different groups of immigrants: primarily Ukrainian, Bosnian, and Hispanic. I appreciate the last group because I'm trying to learn Spanish, and nothing helps to build the vocabulary better than walking through the local Home Depot.There's a smattering of other nationalities here from Eastern Europe, primarily Romanians. Romanians don't get no respect; our local drug stores provide free translation services for Poles, Vietnamese, and Filipinos, but not for Romanians. I think that's unfair. Any nation that has lost virtually every war they've ever fought in, yet thrives as an independent state (another country that comes to mind is Finland) deserves some respect, for resilience if nothing else.
An immigrant once told me, "No one knows exactly what the American Dream is, but what all Americans share is that we all believe that there is such a thing." Just as few defend the faith with the vigor and clarity of enthused converts, new Americans often see our country with the respect that we jaded old-timers lose after just a few generations.

I was proud of the unity that our country initially displayed after 9-11. In many ways I hope never to see the most touching scenes ever again: walking by a visitor's lounge at the hospital and seeing a dyed-in-the-wool "redneck", with his long hair braided into a pony-tail, openly weeping as the camera panned over the rubble of the twin towers. I didn't ask him if he were a registered Republican or a registered Democrat. That kind of thing didn't seem very important at the time.

One of the most passionate and outraged Americans I encountered was a Ukrainian who had recently just received her American citizenship and works as our hospital's librarian.

"How can zey do zees to my country!?!" she exclaimed in her heavily accented English. She'd been in this country for ten years, and she was every bit as American as my family that can trace it's descendants to the 1700's. Maybe even more so, given that members of my family couldn't tell you what the three branches of American government are to save their souls.

Back then one of my patients was an 95 year old woman from Poland. She showed up for appointment wearing a beautiful embroidered tiny American flag on the label of her jacket (like most folks her age, she would never have gone to the doctors wearing jeans and a sweater). She had had classic irritable bowel syndrome for sixty years, and nothing I prescribed ever affected her symptoms one way or another. She could remember the exact day her symptoms began.

"My father owned an apartment building in Poland. I remember one night the Nazis came and dragged off all the Jews. I remember the sound of their heavy boots coming up the stairs like it was yesterday. I've been nervous ever since. Then after the war one night the Communists came to my father's apartment building. This time they were looking for my father because he was a land owner. We left very quickly. I've had bad diarrhea ever since."

I've traveled to Romania three times and came away with two things. I'm told I have an excellent Romanian accent, probably because I naturally speak in a monotone and I can roll my "R's". I also have an enduring hatred of totalitarianism, regardless of ideological stripe. Nicolae Ceausescu was a "liberal" of sorts who routinely thumbed his nose at the "conservative" Kremlin hard-liners. He was also a vicious lunatic who damaged the Romanian psyche so deeply that it will take a generation or two for his ugly scar to heal.

Because I at least try to speak a little Romanian, I get to see what few Romanians live in my area. One of my patients is an older woman who was educated as, of all things, a lawyer.

"My education was a total waste of time under the Communists," she said. "The judges didn't care about the law. Most of them didn't even know it. You couldn't bribe them because they were rich compared to the rest of us, who had nothing. All the opposing lawyers could do is to convince the judge which one of them was the biggest Communist. I didn't care for the Communists, so I never won any cases."

I never knew what she thought about our Supreme Court and the conduct of the Senate Judicial Committee. I don't know what she thinks about our political climate in which our first question to any statement of "fact" is not "Is it true?" but "What is the party affiliation of the claimant?" Next time I see her I'll have to ask.

From what I can tell (perhaps there is some irony in this statement), the only just war we have fought since WWII was the Serbian campaign, in which we dislodged a murderous tyrant who, although he was a constant menace to his neighbors, posed no security threat whatsoever to our country. During the campaign our home shower door broke and needed replacement.

Two Bosnians came over to replace our shower door. One was a Muslim, the other an Orthodox. This struck me as a bit curious, given the enmity between the two groups that we were all seeing on CNN.

"Of course we would probably be trying to kill each other if we were back in Bosnia," the Muslim said, "but this is America, and here we all can voice our own views without any threats".

I think that moment was the proudest I've ever been of my American citizenship.

posted by JusPasenThru | 6:27 AM | 0 comments links to this post "


This doctor is brilliant !

On the Demographics of Blogging

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I got into this by way of my older daughter, who jumped into it full bore several years back, as a semi-frustrated writer who couldn't stand newsroom language and banter.

I sort of assumed by now that the Whole World Was Doing It, but a brief conversations over the last several months with many people I interact with, from all age groups, reveals that actually a great many very literate people have still never even heard of it.

I think it is safe to say that those between 21 and 35 are the most active in the area. I think those of right wing and evangelical leaning & persuasion, who have more than 1/2 a brain, have embraced it with a passion. Since they are a minority of the population, they are few and far between in physical reality, and joining electronically gives them a sense of belonging ("belogging?")and strength. Listening to the Drudge Report, I heard him say that the polsters admit that they poll MORE DEMOCRATS than Republicans, how evil of them! Shame! Of course they do. There are more Democrats than Republicans, so, to keep the polls accurate, they have too. D'oh! When doing a poll, this is called, "Intelligent Design." Ever heard of that, Drudge ?

What blogging does is similar to what friendster, orkut, myspace, and other groupy devices do, which is to allow one to link up with others who embrace similar ideas. Except that it does it with much more depth and control, i.e., before you even let another person know you exist, you get to read a lot about their ways of thinking and feeling. It's a Lurker's Banquet, on the one hand, and on the other, as my wife likes to say, it's Vaudeville becoming Blogville, an intellectual's exhibitionistic playground, "Look at ME!" "See What I Think!" "See what I'm Feeling!" etc.

The Wingnut Bloggers, are so smug about this disparity in representation, that it is downright funny. I wonder if they'll laugh so much when the left really takes up the sport in earnest for organising. Democrats don't need no stinkin blogs to find one another, but eventually they will get around to using them, and perhaps re-balance the country in the process, something we sorely need.


Douglas Keachie

Further thoughts on CHP officer protection:

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Further thoughts on CHP officer protection, the Andy Stevens dilemma:

Dr. Bill Wattenburg at least gave my previous ideas a fair hearing on KGO the other night, but he shot them both down. This is not too discouraging for me, as I know that he makes a a lot wierd calls, along with his good stuff. Oh well, back to the drawing board !

Perhaps a central body shield, with a Lexan 1" thick peephole, similar to what riot police use, will be necessary. Two way voice can be enabled, given the advances in anti feedback technology necessary for 2 way video walls. It would be even cooler if there way a way to design it so that any bullets fired would be likely to bounces back and strike the perp.

I would also build in a nanny sized tv cam that picks up the perps visual as the officer walks up and immediately relays it to a VCR on the cruiser, AND SENDS IT to HQ ASAP. Another possibility is to insist that the windows of the car remained CLOSED. The officer places audio tranducers on the windows to establish communications. Any gunfire will result in an embarrassing and obvious shotup window, and glass on the driver. Drivers license, insurance(don't forget this one, fines can be up to $900 in CA!) and reg can be handed out through a crack no bigger than 1".

still thinking,

Douglas Keachie

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Vermont looks into Sucession, Unions are Bad

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Vermont looks into Succession, Unions are Bad.

Well it seems some folks in Vermont have decided that the US under Bush is just so far out of control and dangerous that they want to succeed from the Union. Apparently this possibilty was allowed for by the founding fathers, or at least talked about, but when the states in the South tried it, those in the North said "no, no, no ! That's not Right!" (apologies to Stan Freberg and the clang,clang,clang jazz, he got it right on)

Part of the arguement is that all the states need to band together for mutual protection against outsiders, "let's all hang together, or we'll all hang separately." This view is pushed still by the Republican Right.

Now what's funny about this is that as long as the Right is talking about states of the union, "hanging together" is the favored mode. The moment you try and invoke the same logic for the workers at a company, the concept is suddenly seen as "bad doggies, no donuts!" What's good for the goose is not good for the gander....?????

Needed: Cheap, Automatic-Reporting Radiation Detectors

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Given the worries these days about a nuke being brought into this country and hidden somewhere, or many of them, it seems we could use many, many, monitors.

If you were to design a radiation detector with a built in cel phone and GPS system that could be mounted in government vehicles, the process could be automated. They could also be planted close together along the entire Mexican and Canadian borders, disguised as rocks or plants native to the areas. Solar powered, of course.

If you could make one small enough with blue tooth technology that transmitted to a cel phone which already had the GPS capabilities, then they could go wherever police officers and others go in the normal line of duty, which is a great many places. The officer would not have to do anything exept turn it on at the beiginning of a shift, and off at the end, and recharge.

I assume that the US already has detection equipment at every seaport. If we don't, we're doomed. I would not put it past the mind of Osama & company to want to have many of them in place, completely shielded by lead walls, and then set them off all at once, after a long period of time, to totally break the American Spirit. Such an attack would probably have that effect. We have to remember, he's playing Chess and Bush plays Checkers. They have entirely different mindsets and Osama is aware of and plays on this fact, and Bush is hopelessly unaware, figuring that God will warn him of eminent danger. "Danger, Will Smith, Danger!" Unfortunately this Pat Robertson approach has proven to be unreliable.

The rest of us have to make sure we cover the holes in Bush's mental state. We should have bought up Russia's stockpiles long ago, and moved them to within 100 miles of the South Pole. It would have beem the wisest investment the West could have made during the 90's....

It might also help to have detectors of large masses of lead.....

Friday, November 18, 2005

Remembering and Honoring CHP Officer Andy Stevens

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Remembering and Honoring CHP Officer Andy Stevens of Roseville, California. An idea which occurred in the afternoon.

How can we discourage such killings of CHP and other officers ?

Maybe if cars had a place on the back, a part of the frame, with a 1/2" diameter hole through 1/2" thick steel, there could be a deterrent.

Officer approaches car, from behind as always. The difference is that he is carrying a latching, locking hook, attached to 1/2" steel cable, attached to a reel in the front of the police cruiser. Before he ever goes near the driver's door, he clips the hook. Any sudden jerks on the hook trigger a sensor which instantly call for backup. The hook hole could also be used by towing services.

The potential perp now nows that his only exit will be on foot. That should be disocuraging to most potential perps.

it's just a thought, but my intuition says it will work.

Douglas Keachie

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Assuming it does get around to snowing in California....

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A New Business Model:

I have just become domain master for and for, as well as a bunch more similarly named sites. If you would like to list with either of these soon to be active sites, please contact me at Keachie (a@t) swland org fill in the missing dot. Or at area 530 prefix 277 suffix 3456.

If you can make the snow go, you can be a SnowGobot (registered trademark). You can be a company with a fleet, or a high school student with a shovel, as long as you can dig it. Some SnowGobots can also run errands, liking picking up pizzas, videos, and other takeouts.

These two sites will list other snow removal and snow blower contractors and equipment suppliers in the Truckee, Donner Lake, Soda Springs, Tahoe-Donner, and Donner Summit areas, that can do snow removal if I am already tied up. As I am a one man operation, I am often tied up. While I don’t go to Squaw Valley, Tahoe City, Alpine Meadows, or Northstar and Kings Beach, others listed here do.

I do work Nevada City and Grass Valley, especially when I am teaching or tutoring students off the slopes. Have blower, will travel. Just look for the blue/purple Toyota Tacoma truck.

Monday, November 14, 2005

More Adult ADD

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Typing in "Well I woke up this morning" into technorati or feedster or the like results in some wonderful serendipity, for those of you who, like me, like jumping out of airplanes into totally unknown territories (with a parachute and supplies, thank-you!).

Rampant Adult ADD

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Yup, the flogging (advertising, editorials, messages from bosses) keep people from realizing that the stuff many would really appreciate could be produced and distributed, if it weren't for all the time wasted listening to pitchmen for schlock.

The constant pitching gets on the way of realizing that maybe a decent house, a well made form of transportation, good healthy food, a good medical situation, access to good education and the arts, and ways of meeting like minded people are really all most of us want out of life. Add in MORE FREE TIME, and the ability to travel without worrying about being blown up.

Well I Woke Up This Morning.....

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Well I Woke Up This Morning.....with a ton of stuff on my mind.

Cadavers and spirits. More later.

Spybots, privacy, security, and pave the way with gold for this addy trying to diddle my machine. You can set the first two to wide open, and sites demanding cookies, supposedly, still announce they can't get through. Post their site name to the edit part of privacy, and BINGO, you're into them like Flynn, and Vs Versa, apparently to a much deeper degree than MS or they admit to. Just a cookie ? yeah, right! Like Sony and their rootkit stuff.

Popups in the middle of my tv shows, plus huge long ad sequences, it is enough to make me ready to disconnect the dish and go back to the antenna. Turner Classic Movies is going to be my fare from now on, + Netflics.

Who gives a darn about anybody, sell more stuff (and BUY MORE STUFF), or we'll all starve, and you are a bad person for not owning MORE STUFF (especially poorly made Chinese stuff, not all, but a lot of it, thanks, Walmart). Of course those giving those directives are ONE HECK OF A LONG WAY FROM STARVING THEMSELVES. It's a flogging thing, to get more work, needlessly, out of the less wealthy folks on the planet. It distracts them from the fact that they ARE being flogged too. It degrades the quality of life for everyone, the rich just don't give a darn.

I don't use swear words here, as I expect that some of my students may stumble into the page, and I don't need the grief of explaining it to parents and adminstrators. Do mental substitutions as needed and appropriate.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rather than have Khatib get lost in the shuffle...

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Rather than have Khatib get lost in the shuffle......I've started up a petition.


The responses so far have encouraged me to set up a petition at:


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

For Man of the Year, let's pick Ismail Khatib

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Hmmmn, so how or other the front of this post got scrambled. Basically I called for nominating the Family or "Family of the Year" and the Nobel Peace Prize. Good grief, did somebody hack my site ?

Slain Palestinian boy's organs donated
Father says child's spirit is alive in 'every Israeli'

Monday, November 7, 2005; Posted: 11:02 p.m. EST (04:02 GMT)

Ahmed Khatib's organs were donated to Jews, Arabs and a Druse girl.

A gift of life in the midst of death (1:48)

NABLUS, West Bank (AP) -- The father of a Palestinian boy shot dead by Israeli soldiers said Monday he believes his son's spirit is alive in "every Israeli" after donating the boy's organs to Israelis waiting for transplants.

Ismail Khatib said he was extremely proud of his decision, even if some corners of Palestinian society might be upset with him.

"No one can tell me what to do," he said. "I feel very good that my son's organs are helping six Israelis. ... I feel that my son has entered the heart of every Israeli."

Khatib's son Ahmed, 12, was shot Thursday while Israeli troops conducted a raid in Jenin. The soldiers said the boy was carrying a toy rifle and they mistook him for a militant.

Ahmed died of his wounds late Saturday at an Israeli hospital. On Sunday, his kidneys, liver, lungs and heart were transplanted into recipients ranging in age from a 7-month-old baby to a 58-year-old woman and including Jews, Arabs and a Druse girl.

Khatib said the decision to donate Ahmed's organs was rooted in his memories of his brother, who died at age 24 while waiting for a liver transplant, and in his family's desire to help others regardless of their nationality. He said he hoped the gesture would send a message of peace to Israelis and Palestinians.

"We're talking about young children. Their religion doesn't make a difference," he said.

Some Palestinians privately questioned the donation, especially in light of the circumstances of the boy's death. But Khatib, a car mechanic, said his fellow residents in the Jenin refugee camp offered him only praise.

Israel has a chronic shortage of donor organs that many medical officials attribute to Jewish religious taboos against such donations.

Riad Gadban, whose 12-year-old daughter Samah had been waiting five years for a heart, called the donation a "gesture of love." He said his daughter was weak Monday but had opened her eyes, was alert and speaking to relatives.

Gadban, whose family belongs to Israel's Arabic-speaking Druse community, said he spoke to an uncle of the boy Monday.

"I told him I'm very sorry and thanked the family from the depths of my heart," he said, adding that he invited Ahmed's family to visit him.

Khatib said the many phone calls he received included a conversation Sunday with Israel's acting finance minister, Ehud Olmert, one of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's closest confidants.

He said Olmert apologized for the boy's death and invited him to Jerusalem. Khatib said he had not yet decided whether to accept the offer.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

Surely this man is more deserving of the honor than many of the creeps that have gotten it lately. If not "Man of the Year," then Nobel Peace Prize. I bow to his enormous humanitarian spirit. Send a Christmas card with a picture of him and/or his son, and their story, to tell the true meaning of Christmas.

The story was lifted from the CNN news site, Nov 7, 2005, so sue me.


Ending High Speed Chases and Stopping the Carnage

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Ending High Speed Chases and Stopping the Carnage:

Now here's a simple solution to a deadly problem. I've called this into numerous talk shows, but to no avail. Probably another case of "not invented here."

Police, sheriff, CHP, state troopers are driving along and become aware of a baddie in a nearby car. They "light it up" (turn on the bubble gum or panel of lights on the top of the police vehicle) but the vehicle, instead of stopping, takes off at high speeds. This is very disrespectful of the police, and they take off after the baddies.

If this were done on a closed course, no problem, but it is often done on city streets at highway speeds, and is a totally unpredictable deadly menace to everybody, including the police and the baddie.

My solution:

Install a high powered paintball gun in the cruiser.

The ball contains a tennis ball sized glob of bright florescent paint of a special color reserved for law enforcement.

Have a special 911 style number, which only operates when there is a paintball released in the area.

People who see a vehicle with the large blob of special paint get to call in to the number and report the location of the vehicle.

3 of said callers will win prizes donated by the business community, or outright grants of say, 250 scratcher lottery tickets.

When the baddie hears a big splat on the rear of his or her vehicle, they know that everyone out there will be looking for a piece of the action.

Have a fine established of say $100 per 1/10th of each mile traveled beyond the point of the splat, to be billed to the car owner (assuming it is not stolen) or the baddie. The car is impounded and sold to pay the fine, if the car is not stolen, and the baddie cannot pay.

Hearing about a fellow baddie that just lost his/her new Lincoln Navigator, and still owes the car dealer $30,000, should cause most relatively sane baddies to slam on the brakes immediately.

Saw a great video clip today showing an aerial of a baddie trying to slip inbetween two 18 wheelers, with an empty lane between them. Just as the car gets up to the front of the pair, the one truck steers towards the other, and the car becomes a weggie !

Anyway, hope some day some where, one of my ideas helps one person.