Sunday, December 30, 2007

ABC Slices, Dices, "The Sound of Music"

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We are very fond of "The Sound of Music," as a movie around about Christmas time, as it makes a lot of moral statements we believe in. We know the movie well, and certainly well enough to know that when you get to the awards scene you are treated to a long, drawn out acceptance by the middle aged lady, and then at least 3 or 4 swings of the spot light to the tunnel to reveal the Trapp family coming out to accept the award. This whole sequence was definitely shortened in the name of cramming in a few more ads. Once HiDef comes down and the battle between blueray and whatever tones down, we'll stick to versions of movies that are as the director and producer originally intended them to be.

Megacorps do affect your intellectual and emotional worlds, willy nilly, at the whim of the advertisers. No censorship, please.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Constitutional Amendment, Interest Rate Cap for Consumers

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Stopping interest rates and fees above 18% would do this country a world of good. Most businesses do not expect returns on investments above 10 to 12% per year. Why should banks be allowed to run wild ? It's because they have the money, and are financing 1/5th of the current presidential election. Here's a quote from MotherJones's John Ridgeway from last July.

"None of this means that Americans who've been planning to cut up their cards should put away the scissors and go shopping. If the bill ever makes it to a vote, it will face a nearly insurmountable obstacle: All told, in 2006, financial and credit card companies gave $7 million in campaign contributions, and banks $25 million, to candidates of both parties, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Leading the pack, with $378,000, was Hillary Clinton."

Consumers need to rise up and free up that money so that businesses can borrow it and jump start the economy. My Republicorps friends all tell me that businesses need money to invest, and denying consumers loans at rates above 18% would surely make for a lot of capital for the businesses who want to make America thrive, no?

So, let's get a constitutional amendment going that caps all consumer lending at 18%, INCLUDING all fees and other assessments of any kind. The cost to consumers to borrow money shall not exceed 18%. Simple simple, and maybe the consumers can dig themselves out from the mountain of debt they now owe. Didn't Jesus drive the money lenders with high rates from the temple ? Now look at the mess we're in. John Edwards seems to be the only candidate addressing this issue.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Privacy, The MegaCorps Strike Back!

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I think it was a lot of consumers concerned about privacy that got the laws passed, but maybe not, based on the way it is used by the MegaCorps.

Let's assume you have a very busy daughter, and a very busy wife, and you are retired, and have plenty of time to handle snarls in your collective contacts with the MegaCorp world. In this case it is the Dental Plan of the daughter, Premier Access, and the dental plan of the mother, delta Dental, both of whch are supposed to cover the daughter's $1300 oral surgery. Can I as father call up and find a way to get this stuff paid? No, privacy is used as the excuse. Even if you get power of attorney, get it notarized and published on line, they still will only speak to the person named.

Why ?

If they (Premier Access)say they won't pay, and then Delta says they won't pay either, because the first one won't pay, THEY ARE RUNNING OUT THE CLOCK, STALLING, SITTING ON THE BALL. iN THE END, YOU WIND UP PAYING FOR WHAT YOU'VE ALREADY SUPPOSEDLY PAID FOR VIA "INSURANCE." The more complicated they can make it for you to get all your ducks in a row, the more often they win.

We have a chance to vote for John Edwards, and I'm gonna take it, because MegaCorps are self serving a**&^($s. Oh, BTW, Home Depot has screwed up a second time in two months on correcting a payment for 12 months, no payments, no interest.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Which is More Toxic: Lead Batteries or Nuclear Wastes

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Bush and the Free markets are now doing a very good job of telling you what to drive. Something that doesn't consume too much gas. Had he invested the $1,000,000,000,000 in 2.5 million homes at $40,000 in solar install each, the Arabs would have hung Osama and his followers for us, due to the drop in the price of oil. Many American soldiers and Iraqi civilians would still be alive. This policy could still be implemented.

That kind of money would have touched off a firestorm of research to make even more efficient solar panel, and the world would have applauded. If you believe that the cheapest and most efficient solar panels have already been invented, and no improvements are possible, you are a Flat Earther. The last person to fall off that edge was the Urban Legend Patent Office Head, who, in 1899, declared that the Patent Office should be closed, because, everything that was going to be invented, had been invented.

BTW Dr. Bill Wattenburg, keeper of the nuclear flame, went ballistic on San Francisco radio station KGO last night when I suggested this scheme. His reaction, "oh the horror of all those LEAD acid batteries, toxic, toxic, toxic." This guy is quite happy with spent nuclear fuel, and I wonder what he'll do with all his vehicles once he gets rid of his batteries. Do we bust Reibes (our local auto parts store) for that pallet of toxic, toxic, toxic batteries shrinkwrapped on the pallet for recycling ?

Give me a break ! BTW, he also slidered me down (the control that allows the host to kill any further speech from the caller) to make it appear as though I was just taking a beating without being able to counter his arguments. This man has correctly pointed out that we spill oil all over the place in the form of asphalt (roads) without any obvious ill effects. Does Slithering (Harry Potter) make the Slider controls? Seems likely to me. KVMR has the last honest talk shows, or do they? Slidering should never be allowed on internet broadcasts, and yes, it would be possible to do both at once.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bernie Ward, Can You Frame Someone on the Internet ?

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As a baseline, here is a website with the indictment:

http://abclocal.go.com/three/kgo/bernie_ward_indictment.pdf

On Bernie. He's caught up the same way the Wyoming Senator was, but has a much longer timeline, running from December 23rd, 2004, 1st count, through Jan 1 - Jan 13 2nd and 3rd count. less than four weeks in all. Did he do what he did for the reasons he said? My guess is yes, but I'd really have to wonder and learn more about an area I just don't go to. Nobody has brought up the reason child porn is illegal. It's to protect kids from winding up in the images. Did he actually do it at all, or did someone remotely control his computer and set him up ? Apparently his alibi precludes that possibility. I love a teaser headline.

Now, if you got the software that ages people for later discovery identification in missing children cases, it would seem to me you could wire it backwards, and make all the child porn you wanted from people now adults, or even deceased. What wonders of the digital age! I do not have a clue as to what would make adults interested in child porn, but I guess some people go down that path. Maybe this would provide an outlet, in a virtual world, in 3D, in a real world mental lockup.

I really doubt that Bernie is one of them. Blaming Bush personally is unlikely. Blaming Bush for a climate, in which some underling feels like he's doing God's work to trap a liberal broadcaster any way he can, is quite justified. I say innocent, even if "proven" guilty, unless I agree with the proof.

Of course the silly part here is that we are not allowed to see the porn pictures, they are illegal. I would like to know the number of images, the sizes of images, the description of who (ages noted) in them doing what, before I go judgmental. Apparently a lot of people in the forum feel otherwise. I'd also like to see the IP addies and the cases pending against the characters on the other end of the lines. Surely they bust them them all. If not, why not ?

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Possible Solution to Random Mass Shooters

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After Virginia Tech, I suggested a rather complex system of blunted stinky crossbow arrows, all registered and controlled carefully.

Now I don't really care. This is totally ridiculous. Let's keep it simple. K.I.S.S.

Carry a tire iron.

The kind that come with mid compacts is just about perfect. 9 inches to 14 inches long, 1/2 inch steel shaft. Can be in the bottom of a purse or brief case. If you carry one of these, you can at least throw it at the SOB with the weapon. You might get shot yourself, but that is likely to happen anyway. The first time a guy pulls out gun in a mall and is immediately pelted with 20 tire irons, will probably be the last. You can have fun practicing with it in your big backyard. Don't hit the squirrels.

Merry Christmas everybody, and let's hope this is the last of these nut cases.

Corporations and Illegals with the Right Stuff

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Thanksgiving Day saw an "illegal" save a 9 year boy in a remote USA desert after mom died in a car crash. He did this even though he knew he would be sent back to Mexico for his efforts. He said he thought of his own children.

On the KGO radio show of Gene Burns, hosted by Brian Copeland, last night, a caller suggested that a family should sponsor this obviously outstanding potential citizen. A sponsor is one who will take responsibility for assuring a new potential citizen's success in this country.

I normally am at odds with the concept of corporations having all the rights of humans, especially the right as a 100 million per year human to lobby for yet more laws in that particular corporation's favor. I think such sillynesses may be what historians will record as a prime reason for the fall of the USA.

But, if corporations have such human rights, then why can't a non profit corporation be formed to "sponsor" new potential citizens. Instead of all the responsibility falling on one family, let a bunch of people band together, chip in cash, buy or lease a half way house, take turns teaching English and other skills, and give men and women like this guy a chance?

Oh, he broke the law? Yes. If you ever break a law, do you make a citizen's arrest on yourself? If your boss breaks a law....your nephew.....your mother in law??? See, there are some breakings of law you just ignore or look the other way at. Let common sense temper the law with sanity and compassion.

Fortunately this seems to be happening in this case.

I'm having href code troubles, so look for the article at www.examiner.com

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Economy, the Stock Markets, Our Other Iraq/Vietnam

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I have a hard time understanding Paula, on CNBC, other than as a finger pointing, blame anyone but the rich, "B" word.

Who basically owns and controls the banks, credit reporting institutions, and mortgage lending companies ?

Who then set the rules for the current mortgage debacle ?

Who was best in a position to know and understand the terms and consequences of the loans they granted to harried, barely making it folks, desparate for a roof ?

And now who is looking to stick the resulting mess to good old John Q. Taxpayer ? And spend a great deal of time and money, shaping the public thought streams to blame the little guys and gals for the mess?

Look also at the stock market and the brokerage firms connected to it? Would you sit in on and play at a gaming table, with your life savings, when the bigger and often nearly the biggest players are watching your hand, know everything that is in it, have access to your credit scores, and know what you currently are thinking about doing, under conditions X, Y, and Z ?

The larger brokerage firms have the ability to forecast statistically with a high degree of probability what is going to happen, given moves that they may or may not make, and can electronically factor in the moves of the other large players on a second by second basis.

There is an unspoken agreement among them to not tip the boat too much in any given direction, and to remember that they make their money doing trades. Doing trades thus becomes their prime motive. They do not really care which way the underlying economy goes, and can't really control it, as that is affected more by White House, Congressional, and world economy factors than their trading. But they can give the appearance of a get rich card game, and steadily fleece the customers on a regular basis. With the right word here and there, and the right counterbalancing buys and sells on their own part, the boat keeps rocking side to side, settling lower and higher, but always churning out cash for the brokers.

The general disregard for the condition of the boat, on the part of the of rich, the politicians, and frazzled John Q. Public middle and lower classes, and the fact that, $100 million dollars per year gross, corporations can lobby for even more laws in their favor, will lead to the complete destruction of the United States as a world power, and possibly as a country, if people do not wake up from their stupor. Bush might as well be spending his time pulling the lever at a big casino in Las Vegas, for all the leadership he offers.

We need major repairs and changes to the country's infra-structure. Alternative energy and fiber optics everywhere, plus upgrading railroads and other items would be a nice place to start.

Also, all individual contracts ever made should be available on-line, to the parties that made them and their attorneys, and stored in a government or non profit controlled site. The typeface should be setable by the viewer, and any terms unfavorable in any degree to the party that doesn't write it up, should be in red or a color of the viewer's choice. Likewise neutral items should be in green. In addition, a version should be available where all the favorable items, and all the unfavorable items, and all the neutral items, are in three separate piles. The placement shall be made by the writer of the contract, and that placement shall be disputable at a later date, at the option of the non writing party, often described as the consumer.

No more hiding behind 9 point or smaller type sizes!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Popeye Supports Kucinich, NOAA Science Oven

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"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.

I'm Strong for Kucinich,

Ah eats Organic Spinich.

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!"

(A Keachie Ditty)

For the debunkers of the Global Oven Effect, how about 50 years of research, and what's the atmosphere of Venus, surface temp around 700 degrees fahrenheit, made of anyway?

NOAA and 50 Year of Research, starting in Hawaii and the South Pole.


Don't pollute and you might get snow. Google founders supporting alternative energy systems in a big way. See yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Improved Deaf and Blind Vehicle Avoidance

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In another blog I found the following quote and responded:

"This is similar to the recent protest by the blind in front of the MDE. The blind people were protest hybrid cars on th premise that the cars were too quiet while operating on battery power. The group sponsoring the protest wants the EPA & the MDE to require hybrid automotive manufacturers to create a minimum standard for how much noise a car produces. Its ridiculous. Really."

The part that is ridiculous is the technology requested. i.e., noisier cars. If cars had transponders outputing GPS location and velocity and direction, a device used by either the deaf or the blind, with appropriate sensory inputs, could be programmed to give a warning with the direction of the potential threat.

Monday, November 26, 2007

O'Reilly Books Yes ! Spider/Spyware DataBases NO !

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I just had occasion to call O'Reilly' to see if there was some wild chance I could get a replacement CD for one of O'Reilly's books. The service was absolutely out of this world ! A human operator in 3 rings on immediate pickup of the call. A quick transfer to customer service after listening to my need accurately. Another quick transfer to the CD replacement operator. He'll be burning a CD and sending it out this afternoon. No stories like, "you need to buy another book and CD combination." Or stories like, "we can't do that, it violates copyright." Or stories like, "we're out of stock," or like, "that'll be $19.99 please....plus shipping."

On the negative side, not connected in any way to O'Reilly, I did a bunch of research the other day on GPS units for laptops and cell phones, for a client, visiting many sites, and signing up at several vbulletin sites for memberships, always using a throwaway address.

Now I am getting email spam on the topic of buying such devices. The scary part is that the spams are not coming to the throwaway addresses. Instead they are coming to an address that is only posted on the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce. For some reason, the NCCofC insists on putting our emails right out in the open, where they are easy pickings for even the dumbest of spiders.

What seems to have happened is that either by my signups, or my site visits, a database some where has gotten wind of my interest (my client's interest) and has linked to me via an email they never saw during my search. This nicely excludes the parties to whom I gave the throw away addies from any blame, because they can claim they never gave away the email. They didn't, but apparently they did give away (more likely sell) the name, and let the third parties take the hit via my alternative addy.

All the more reason for assuming a totally fake persona, a computer just for web use, with cookie and history claarings after every session, and no true personal info. I think I may become nolo volente or maybe Nick Volentia, just to really screw them up.

Also, you know it is kinda funny. Amazon.com gives excellent service too. Is it perhaps because book readers won't put up with the kind of problems I've had with Best Buy and Hopeless Home Depot ? The America public seems to be headed for Ideocracy, the movie.

I went into a fast gas and food place the other day, and picked out a pound of butter, plainly marked $3.99, to avoid a trip into town. I asked what the price per stick was, and the clerk said, "$ .50" I said, "The pound is $3.99 and the price per stick, 1/4 pound, is $ .50?" He said "yes." Somebody should come up with a software program that runs on a cash register screen that offers clerks a chance to win extra cash for learning and demonstrating skills in division...

At the the other end of the spectrum, check out this "Merry Christmas" from Princess Cruises:

http://consumerist.com/consumer/scams

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Schwarzeneggar Opens Mexican Italian Restaurant

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Do you want to know what it is called ?
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"Pasta La Vista" baby!

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An original, my copyright, my contribution to general funny-ness, since the writer's strike and gas prices are leaving everyone rather cranky, with no comic relief in sight. Yes, I am politically irresponsible. How about that baseball playing, Asian Hip Hop artist with the cello ?

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Yo Yo DiMaggio

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It's a contest. How many groups can you mix it up with in one joke ?

All in good fun, I love everybody who is not trying to kill us or take everything we have.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Teen Suicide due to Hoax on Myspace

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A terrible tragedy in St. Louis, occurred when parents decided to teach a 13 year old, off again, on again, friend of their daughter's, a lesson. In a nutshell, they set up a phony account on MySpace, supposedly hosted by a very attractive young man, who asked to be the teen's friend. Through chats and the like, they become online romantically involved, and then he, out of the blue, dumps her. Distraught, she commits suicide.

Don't Believe Anything in Cyberland that isn't confirmed easily via normal reality. Be sure to engage the "too good to be true," filters, especially where the heart is involved. Adults can and often are, stupider and crueler than kids. Why is it so hard to get the Golden Rule straignt ?

For a much more extensive look at the story, try this link.

More on the Story

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Previewed Aerial Photography for Real Estate


TrabuccoGarfinkelMap, originally uploaded by dkeachie.

To insure that my aerial customers get what they are looking for, I do preview work on Google Earth before the plane ever uses a drop of gas. By creating a series of images like this one, we can discuss the needs in detail, and avoid most needs for reshoots. In fact, some customers are happy with just the Google Earth images, or with images taken from a very tall ladder.


If you have a legal situation, a flight can clarify many things.

Keachie101

The email addy first part above, and second part below, just needs a little human interpretation to reach me. I list it this way to avoid spammer spiders (a form of network scouring robots) from picking up on it.

(at@)andfurthermore.net

530 If you can do the email, you can also do the phone number 277 You just have top put the pieces together in order. 3456 .

Friday, November 09, 2007

Adobe Acrobat, Speed MegaBump of the Internet

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It happened again. I click on an Adobe Acrobat document at a distant website, the website is slow or none existent to respond, I try to escape via the escape key, and then via the CTRL-ALT_Delete, and my entire laptop freezes. To get back to work, I have to unplug both the power supply and remove the battery, and then restart, redial, and login in again. A total and complete waste of my time by Adobe. It happens about once every three days, and this time I vowed I'd write it up.

I try to avoid Acrobat anytime I can, because I know it is such a gamble. When Googling, I always go for the html.

It is very arrogant of Adobe to grab such deep control of my machine, and then not offer a simple way out. They can afford programmers who can write:

1. Something which determines the size of the document, and gives you a chance to opt out of the process.

2. A graceful way to stop a download in progress and return to the last page.

3. A way to preview the document by downloading the document table of contents first for review.

4. A way to pick and choose chapters for downloading.

5. A cheaper way to upgrade the latest version of the full product, instead of going for $100/year as they seem to be doing.

I want to commend Netmeter and Snort, plus ZoneAlarm and Computer Associates, and last but not least, Steve Gibson at Gibson Research Corporation, www.grc.com for all working to keep my machine free of the baddies. I feel like the CIA in the Spy vs Spy World, of who's buggering my computer now? Except that here CIA stand for Computer Information Analysis, a job I used to do for San Francisco Unified School District. Running Snort seems to drive off the pirates fairly well. The combination of all of the above allows me to such down anything suspicious and then redial for a new IP addy, for those critters that get around the normal firewall and antivirus protections.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Algorithms for getting Osama, One of Many...

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(From a comment in our local newspaper, by yours truly.)

As for solutions, again, if you've just got one, it's because you're not thinking creatively enough.

Case in point, the "Osama Problem."

We actually know where he is, we're just trying to make sure we round them all up at once. Look for an attack on USA about next June - Sept, and the "capture of Osama" by early October, to be attributed to the "brilliant Republican strategy," in hopes of retaining the White House.

Back to the problem.

Airdrop $100 USA bills in an area where you suspect him to be. If you drop one thousand of them at a time, each drop will cost $100,000 + delivery. Have a drawing each month for one of the serial numbers out of all the dropped bills ever, and the winner is awarded $1,000,000 cash and the option for he/she and family and friends to all get instant USA citizenship and transportation. 24 hours after the drop, Announce the location to the world. Do this once a month. Talk about reality TV! Do the drop at least once a month, and maybe pick on a poverty stricken area, if you have no clue as to where he might be. In fact, just to vary things, and maybe make it easier for the folks who receive the cash to use it, maybe dropping smaller denominations, but more of them, still adding up to $100,000, would be a good idea. Given the cost of everything else, this is a cheap program.

As for violating other nations' rights, well, that certainly didn't stop us in Iraq. Besides, the most likely spots are Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to what the Bush administration wants us to "know." I'm sure the locals would view this as a big improvement over bombs. Embedded information might just as well be shredded information. Our current government doesn't trust our own reporters to tell the story the way they (in government) want it told.

If the drop is near Osama, his own people will leave him to grab the dollars to discourage others from getting them. IR (infrared) camera equipped drones will pick the excess activity. Each individual Osama supporter will also have mixed feelings about what to do with the bills. They each are worth their face value, which is a ton of value in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and they have their potential at the big prize.

The event would focus media and world attention onto the search. It will attract thrill seeking trust fund babies and bounty hunters equally well. It just might turn the Pakistani Northern tribal types against him. If I read them right, they love their privacy and social structure, and this is going to mess with that like mad. This is called "applied anthropology." Osama would become a pariah, a typhoid Mary, a carrier of cultural destruction.

So what's your idea of how to catch Osama ?

I personally think he is squirreled away in a manmade luxury cave in Switzerland, and travels to and from the Mideast via the modified keel of a very large sail boat.

Those at the Top Perpetuate a Self Serving Myth

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An actor can become governor, can become President, if the right people chose to back him. What experience as an actor even came close to the official set of "job skills," supposedly required for these transitions ? Maybe it would be better to ask who defines these job skills in the first place ? "Oh my, you can't jump out of an airplane with a parachute if you've never done it before."

The reality is that a great many people within an organization probably have the background information, aptitudes and attitudes needed for the top slot. A fair number of those who do, also have the willingness and desire and ability to put in the typically long hours which come with the territory.

So why not select one of these people, who would be happy with a modest salary boost ? Probably because a fair number of them are already identified as being aligned with one clique or another within the organization, or have nerded themselves out of the social pecking order. A second reason, however, is a selection committee too cowardly to take a chance on an "unproven candidate" who might screw up. And then there's the third reason, a mystique promoted by those at the top that only those at the top with experience at being at the top could possibly know how to do the job well. Net result, a ridiculously small pool of "qualified" candidates, a marvelous self fulfilling prophesy that assures a scarcity of "talent" and thus the ridiculous wages.

Hat's off to the CEO class, who know a good thing when they've got it. For the finest example of this, watch the hirings and firings of principals and superintendents in large urban school districts. The rotten ones just keep on bubbling back up elsewhere. You have no idea what a total gem you had in Terry McAteer, and still have with him as a teacher. Step down in salary and status? Unbelievable and most admirable!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Global Warming, Megacorps, and the American Consumer

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Now that Global Warming is so obvious that even Bush (Emperor's New Clothes..."we need more studies") admits it is happening, we are left with, "what to do next?". Now comes the assigning of the blame, that's going to be our first priority Not solutions, but blame, will be considered first, because we've got to find somebody to pay for the solutions. "We have seen the Enemy and They is Us," Walt Kelley's Pogo strip, from way back when. NBC's morning show is covering it this week, from North Pole to South Pole this morning.

"Why it's the fault of the American Consumer, if they didn't demand all that stuff, and burn up all that gas trying to make the money to get it, then there wouldn't be global warming."

Sounds like a plan, you can bet the third and second and the rest of the first world have fun chanting it. In our country too, the chant is carried on by the Sierra Club, the Libertarians, and all the stock holders of advertising and other corporations, and a ton of politicians who need to point fingers anywhere but at themselves.

Bad, bad, American Consumer ! But what is the American consumer ? Stacked up against the MegaCorps, how well armed is he or she ? Let's see, the comsumer is typically born into a family where the members work for others, often megacorps, and is educated in a school system that is directed by people elected by massive advertising campaigns, funded by, you guessed it, more megacorps and special interest groups. The consumer groggily grows up in this environment, being told over and over how inadequate he or she is, and that the only cure is to BUY whatever megacorps are pushing. Megacorps quite often have nearly infinite life spans, or at least the fortunes (Rockefeller family, for example) funded by them do, even if the megacorps the fortunes own, change from time to time.

The time of our representatives in Congress is owned by those who can afford lobbyists. I frankly think that it should be lotteried off to voters chosen at random from those voting in each major elelction. They in turn could sell it on a spot market, so we could really see how much each of our Congresspeople are worth to the MegaCorps. It would be a darn sight more honest than the current haze we have surrounding them. Besides, it would carry the theme of Capitalism nicely, so that kids could easily understand at a much earlier age how the system really works, and what they are up against, growing up in America, starting from the bottom. One eighth of this country makes not more than 20% above minimum wage. That is sad.

The way the system is set up, Anyone can grow up to be rich, Wonderful !

The way the system is set up, there is absolutely No Way that Everybody can even make to what was called the middle class, and it is getting worse.

On one middle class income my dad bought a three bedroom house, and raised three kids, and sent them to college. He did this on $4,000/year, and the house cost $14,000. His same job today pays $70,000. The house is worth $700,000, you do the math. From 1:3 to 1:10, that quite a change in sixty years. Dr. Seuss's "The 500 Hats of Barthollemew Cubbins"got it right, in terms of social structure in America.

Would we have such rotten mass transit and rail systems if the consumer really had a say ?

Would we not have a Manhatten Style project for alternative safe and non polluting power ?
(not to mention, non-terrorist funding power)

The A Bomb was impossible, but American know-how and money made it happen, likewise the Man on the Moon. Why not safe, clean power as a similar national priority ? Maybe lifting 15% of the financial yoke from the "little people" is not in the best interest of the MegaCorps ? If everyone's making their own power, what happens to Con Edison ?

As it is, PG and E punishes the consumer who uses more electricity, but offers a flat rate per kilowatt, all you can eat, to business. GE will gleefully sell everybody nuke plants. Oh Joy!

The oil companies build no new refineries, they know the changeover is coming, if fact, all of MegaCorps have known for years, but they're squeezing out every last dollar before shutting down our antique technologies. In the meantime, they just lied to the consumers about the situation, to gain time to be sure of being at the reins of the new paradyme, and to squeeze out those last dollars. BP is the biggest manufacturer of solar panels. Like I said, is this a fair fight ? You can bet the Spin Machines at very level will do their best to make it all the fault of the American Consumer. And to make the American consumer pay for it, along with the mortgage bankers' bailout via inflation caused by lower interest rates.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Law, in its Majesty......

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....prohibits the well as well as the sick from using pot. It also prohibits Republicans as well as Democrats from using pot. It also prohibits all kinds of other activities, and requires certain behaviors too.

But mainly it is an enabler, enabling anyone to shout "It's the Law ! We are a nation of Laws ! or We are Nothing ! "

If all laws were enforced by all seeing, all knowing, flying robots that accompanied every person everywhere, this kind of logic might make sense. As it is, all laws are selectively enforced, and so this type of argument is pure cow exhaust.

This imperfect world has many causes, many roots, for the imperfections. It is so wonderfully convenient to pull out the "It's the Law!" whip and start flagellating away, for those who see the inhalation of fumes or some other thing as the root cause to everything that is wrong on the planet.

What's more important, stopping Osama via energy independence, and intercepting heroin, crack and Cocaine via Fair Trade payments to Colombian and Afghani farmers, or wasting resources chasing the green fields of California and freaking out over Hilary ?

I wrote this in the The Union, our local paper, in a debate over a drug bust.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wheeee ! The People, Going Broke ?

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In some respects, not buying anybody a Christmas present, except those created from materials already on hand, might be the most effective political protest in terms of getting Bush and the rest, including the Dems, to do what the people asked for back in November, 2006.

This, in conjunction with the mortgage crisis, just might get the politicians to pay attention and reconsider their actions, or lack thereof. The Dow just slipped 200 points in the last hour.

On the other hand, running the whole country into a depression would not be cool. We'd like to refi again, and see if we can get even lower, but refi's don't happen during depressions. As long as the ruling class stays too greedy, and the middle and lower classes stay too ignorant, this country is in deep trouble. Anyone can be rich in America, Yes, But.......The System is set up so that not everyone can be rich, all at the same time. This is the dirty little secret that is never taught in school or talked about in polite company. No relevant truths in this country about the poor are readily available to those on the bottom. Knowledge of reality might lead to revolt.

Curiously enough, the rich and poor don't trade places often. 1/3 rd of the Forbes 400 start with inherited money. Donald Trump is a fine example, and Bush is a several generations' example. At the other end of the spectrum, the numbers of one racial group in jail, through generations, seems to be an indicator of a semi-permanent tenancy, a cycle which should be broken, the sooner the better.

Someday I will sketch out my ideal school for the inner city. It would not be cheap, bt it's cheaper than 3 million Americans in jail, that's one in 100, that the rest of us have to pay for, and from whom we derive few or no benefits.

Oh the poor oil companies ! Shares down. Could it be that they build no new refineries because they already know that there will have to be a major shift away from oil? BP is one of the biggest producers of solar panels. I think that the corporate Megacorps know darn well, and have known for years, that fossil fuels have got to go. They're just trying to squeeze out as much as they can from their existing plants, with as little new investment as possible, so that they'll be in a position to control alternative energy sources too. Citibank can't find any more suckers either...

PGandE charges home users more money for using more electricity to encourage home owners to conserve. Less stress on the existing generation plants. Business owners pay a flat rate, regardless of what they use, according to Dr. Bill Wattenberg on KGO talk show.

Closing Bell is now at -367 at 13,562, BOOOIIINNNGGG

10.9 Million Worth of, "It's All about ME !

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I am so happy to learn from Albert Synder on Matt Lauer this morning that the Phelps group out of Kansas is going to have to pay 10.9 million for not respecting Mr. Snyder's and his dead son's rights to their choice of religion and privacy.

For me, religion is a very private matter. We are all faced with the obvious, existence appears to cease, when all the molecules of the body decide not to cooperate with one another. It is also obvious that we all hit this state, usually within one hundred years or less. For some reason, the fact gets co-mingled with a whole set of beliefs about how we should behave while here, often with consequences in the afterlife, if there is one.

Of course with 6.6 billion people on the planet, there is no wonder that Yale University records at least 1300 major and different belief systems around these concepts. They can't all be right, can they ? Some belief systems do allow for them all to be right, but most express the notion that they have got the one, and the only, truth about what happens after death. This has led to quite a few wars, and currently fuels the Bush vs Osama situation, at least on the surface.

I frankly feel that extreme cases of religion fanaticism are really cases of "It's all about me!" gone wild. The Phelps case is really an amazing example, as they are very self aware that they are trying to attract attention to themselves, and are breastbeating themselves as a public spectacle, with the goal of "promoting their view of the afterlife and rules for admission to happy places, and unhappy places." (That's paraphrased, this is a family friendly blog.) Others hang themselves from fish hooks for hours to prove their version of God(s) loves them. I do not understand this behavior at all. Do they really need to go to such extremes to "prove" to themselves and the world that God loves them, or do they just want all the rest of us to look at them, and thus re-affirm their insecure grasp on existence ?

I don't know who neglected these people as children, or if that even has anything to do with this affliction, but I do know that it is really annoying to the rest of us, and life threatening (maybe better to say, "life-shortening"?) in some situations. Stem cell research blockage, forcing children to be born into unloving homes, and other "look at me" issues all seem to be nurtured by some basic inner need for security and a fear of death. The power of reason and logic mean nothing to these people.

They are a silly as I was, assuming that other people will follow my lead, if I just show them the path, which is so obvious to me. After my first marriage dissolved and I couldn't convince my parents to invest in real estate in the 60's and 70's, back when a Victorian in downtown Aspen Colorado was going for 30 grand, I grew up a bit and stopped trying to change people, and went on to finding people I agreed with, or vs versa. Yes, I do blog my beliefs, but that stems from a belief that I might acquire of few more like minded friends, and that it is important to make a public statement about one's beliefs, but in a way that does not get in everyone else's face. No one forced you to read this far, you made that choice, as you make all your choices. The Phelps offered the Snyders, and many, many others, no such privacy.

Yes, the Phelps are getting attention here. Let them gnash their teeth, their treasury will soon be dry, and more tolerant people shall prevail. It is not smart to shout "fire" while going up the down escalator. When faster than light drives arrive, and every nut group can get a planet of their own, then maybe there will be peace, at least for a while. The lovely little children on those planets will become teenagers........


During the Sixties, there was a bumper sticker which said, "Those who claim to know the Truth are very irritating to those of us who do."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why Hire a Robot ?

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...when you can make a human behave like one ?

Case in point, the call center operators refuse to admit the concept of marriage and a change of name exist.

"When you open an online savings account they check your credit score. If they don’t like it or cannot find it, they can deny you one. FNBO Direct refused my friend’s request to open an account because they couldn’t match her name to her credit score. She had just married and changed her name… But instead of asking her, they just told her “Your credit score is bad” (actually, it was excellent, but the name mismatch somehow got translated into bad score by their program). She had a similar problem in a brick and mortar bank when she tried to open a CD, but the bank let her show them her marriage certificate. When she called FNBO direct they didn’t care, they just said - your credit is bad."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Killer App 4 Zonetag and Google Earth, Fight Big Oil!


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Raise the Cell Tower High ! The Flag of the new Consumer Revolution !

This is a Keachie Koncept again, as an add-on to the previous post. I notice the younger generation at Yahoo Berkeley Research Labs, (or is it Berkeley Yahoo Research Labs?) has come up with a vaguely useful device which basically takes the cell tower you happen to be using to make a call, and couples it automatically to an image you take on your cell phone, so that a whole cluster of images from one general area can be posted together. They seem to be doing this for purposes of social identity affirmation.

Google also asks you to post photos and to identify their location to spice up their Google Earth.

What I propose is to take this technology and use it to fight high oil prices. If, every time you pull into a gas station, you take a cell phone picture of the big price sign and the station, and you send the results to a site which sorts them by zip code or better yet, by latitude and longitude, and the results can be retrieved on cells automatically sorted by price, low to high, there will be real pressure to lower oil prices. The most recent pictures would show up with the time noted.

In effect, on your cell phone, the vendors would be lined up right next to one another and compared. A little bit of programming could alert you to the cheapest gas within a given radius of the general direction you seem to be heading. A bit more programming would alert you to the fact that you seem to be heading to an area which is getting noticably more expensive.

I
t may not lower prices, but it will make Americans more aware of the fact that oil prices are something of national concern that needs more attention. As an alumnus, Class of 1969, I double dare the social affirmation folks at Berkeley Yahoo Research to live up to the Berkeley Traditions of Real Social Services. for the Common Man and Woman.

Maybe all corporations should be required to sell off all assets and disband after 125 years have passed. Maybe we need a constitutional amendment that limits the interest and fees of all types on all loans to be limited to 18% or lower. Maybe no corporation netting more than 100 million per year should be allowed to hire any lobbyists. Maybe no corporation period should be allowed to hire any lobbyists. After all, it looks like we have the finest government money can buy, and look who's able to afford it ?


Certainly not John Q. Consumer!

And look what that government gets us:

Global Warming and Yet Another War before We've Even Paid for the Current One !

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bump at the Pump, Boiled in Oil ? Fight Back !


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I just put 7 gallons of oil in my wife's car so she can make it down to Yuba City where she can get it cheaper. The cost, using credit or debit, is now $3.29 in North San Juan. I think the scheme here is to slowly turn up the price, then reduce it back, and then slowly turn it up even a little bit more. A frog will jump out of boiling water, but will sit in a pan of slowly warming water until it is so hot it dies. The American consumer has to start fighting back.

The only way I can think of to do this effectively is to pay cash and buy the cheapest gas possible. We have already cut way back on non essential trips. We don't do real movies anymore, we get them via satellite and Netflics. The cost of garbage is up, so we recycle everything, mulch what we can, and take the remainder air tight to Sacramento and dump it in a relative's otherwise nearly empty can. Corporate America is cost cutting all over the place. The American consumer needs to do the same. Make your own Christmas wraps from aluminum foil and colored paper. Don't buy soft drinks or candy from vending machines. And, BTW, Long's Drugs was selling outdated, by a full month, very flat stale CocaCola last week. I took it back and got a refund. They said they were "sorry." I asked if they would remove the remaining product from the shelf, while I watched. 'Well, no......" Sorry my sweet bippie ! Alway check the dates on coke and everything else. Coke and Odwalla should be at least two months out.

I anticipate an angry bear or two next year when they discover we are harvesting our walnuts, apples, pears, and blackberries in earnest. We going to do a "pick your own" next year, with a very simple price structure. We get one half of the berries etc. you pick, by weight. We been buying in thrift store for years, as well as building material recyclers, like Urban Ore in Emeryville and Habitat Restore in Grass Valley/Nevada City. Stop the flow of cash to China via Walrusmart ("see how they run" "everybody buy China, buy China") and Home Despots (#1 and #2 retailers in USA), and they'll have less cash to buy polluting automoblies, and our real estate !

I recommend http://consumerist.com . I'll be setting up blogs and sites I like in proper clickable format soon. Too tired to look up codes tonight.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Bridges of Nevada County, Halloween Night


headless horseman, originally uploaded by gravityx9.

Photoshop is quite a tool. I hope to learn to use it well someday, like this artist. I'm assuming that clicking on this will give you the original location, as well as possible make it larger. I got this from the "Blog This". It's by gravityx9 on www.flickr.com My images there are at www.flickr.com/photos/keachie. Great Party Invite Image !

Happy Halloween !

(Below....For your kids. grandkids....)

On October 31st, what did the barbeque say to the hotdogs ?

Hallo ! Weenies !


(from the old gold miner on the North San Juan Ridge)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Grasshoppers Mardi Gras


Papuan grasshoppers, originally uploaded by Mangi Wau.

Papuan grasshoppers.

Grasshoppers at Sua, Keerom district, Papua, Indonesia

This is too pretty to pass up !

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Preventing Spot Fires, A Letter to Arnie the Gov

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"Reducing Fire Spotting

Here's a cheap and effective program that can reduce wildfire damages. This is for people with swimming pools or other 1,000 gallon plus water storage systems on the premises.

Let's do a grant program for buying high powered Honda water pumps ? (I have no financial connection here.) Or maybe we could pass a bill that calls for an insurance policy mandatory price reduction if such a pump is installed on the premise, along with a water reservoir of some sort?

These cost about $750 and many low and middle class home owners have inexpensive but large above ground pools. A grant program would help encourage the purchase of these pumps by these home owners.

If such homeowners were outside spraying the 1,000 to 20,000 gallons of water all over their and their neighbor's properties before they had to evacuate, the reduction in spot fires would be substantial. The manpower is there, the water is there, why not make it usable? The pump will shoot water well over 100 feet.

Just having a grant program would increase awareness of this obvious partial solution to the fire situation.

As for multi million dollar homes with in ground pools, double the sizes above, were they too cheap or too ignorant to buy a pump ? No excuses if they are that rich..."

If you think this is a good idea, you might go to the governor's website and send a similar letter, not to mention Charlie Brown, Annestad, etc.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sneakier and Sneakier, MegaCorps on the March

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We all know that corporate America is doing all it can to off customer service off onto webot pages to handle a lot of situations. For ordinary items, this is a good thing, but when you know you're going to have to speak with a representative, then you should be able to cut to the chase from Menu One.

Now we have a new wrinkle, which I have suddenly realized is a master stroke. If MegaCorp fractionates what each actual human knows about or can do, then each human in turn gets to pass you off to another one, with endless delays to make you go away.

Case in point, me vs my ATT phone bill. My new bill came with a new $5 late fee + 1% of the outstanding balance(used to be less than $1), and it seemed high, so I looked further. I noticed a charge for Vartec which had never been there before, which I've never heard of. I called ATT and waded through endless menus to get to an operator queue where I waited for ATT to hire enough operators to answer the phones in a timely (less than one minute) manner. Then I finally got to a human and asked, "what is Vartec ?" she doesn't know. She is supposed to answer questions about bills, this company name is on my bill. She hasn't a clue, but transfers me to someone who does, supposedly. This person I reached by actually having to call the Vartec number. I asked her what they are doing for me. She doesn't know either. She finally admits that Vartec is part of Clear Choice Communication, my long distance carrier, which charges me $5 a month plus 5 cents a minute, anywhere in the USA. Originally, 1999, there was no $5 fee. Now it seems that they want another $1.70 base fee, so they hide it in a section containing taxes and tariffs. Do they ask or notify ? No.

I tell them to cancel. They are canceling. ATT is also canceling, but they are charging $7.50 a line to cancel.

Bill Cosby calls this "victimization by bureaucracy." I think the good doctor is onto something.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cities, Strange Places Where People Crowd Together..

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where people crowd together for economic benefits, often at the cost of everything else they value, including their sanity.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Improving TSA Bomb Scanning Scores

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I'd like to see one or both of the following implemented.

Have images from scanning devices put on-line in real time (One more reason for fiber optic-ing the whole country ASAP) and allow trained amateurs to look too. Have it set up so that if a given % of viewers see something screwy, a bell goes off at the machine, and the sleepy bored TSA person (how many pairs of underwear will it take to put YOU to sleep, not a fun job) does a double check of the item.

In a large airport with many, many lines and scanners, project the contents of each bag as it goes through on a mega-screen above the waiting passengers. Wait, Wait ! There's More !

Obviously you can't project the images from the bags in this line to the people waiting in this line. Instead the images are randomly assigned to any line but this line. Since you have to leave the double checking open to anyone who wants to push the panic button, the percentage of viewers required to ring the bell at the appropriate line must be higher. Actually, it would be a good idea to have a preregister and ID card to activate the button for pushing, like maybe combine it with the frequent flier TSA bypass card.

If a would be bomber wasn't nervous already, now he's got tons of people checking his stuff, and you can well guess what a cheery reception will await him. Each person, once a day, upon pushing the button, is photographed and their image is stored. If they score a correct ID (find bomb or bomb parts, they get $1,000 and 100,000 free air miles. But they only get to push the button once to be entered in the drawing, to discourage false alarms. Also, their face goes in a database, and as soon as it recognizes them as a compulsive button person, the button speaker chides them, embarrassing them in front of the crowd. This also might stop multiple bombers with multiple suitcases, each with one part of the bomb.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Amazon vs Home Depot and Citibank

If you are having issues with the 12 months, no payments, no interest offers, so have I. I am anxiously awaiting my next bill in the mail to see whether or not they have corrected things. In the meantime, further research into Home Depot reveals these four sites of interest. BTW, Amazon, for the most part, is excellent. They had arecent promo giveaway that was a disaster.

www.planetfeedback.com

See what fun your fellow consumers are having with MegaCorps of all stripes and colors. Excellent sample letters, all quite colorful, too bad corporates never read them.

http://www.nndb.com/

Once you are there, do a search for Home Depot, and see what else these folks have their fingers into. Actually, you'll need to search for a person associated with Home Depot, such as Tom Ridge. Once there, you can begin to look at the corporate structure of the USA, by noting which individuals are on which boards of other companies. This is sort of a current illustrated version of C. Wright Mills classic, "The Power Elite," which came out back in the 50's. Some of this stuff is dated at this site. Nardelli parachuted to his other lives with $220,000,000 or $205,000,000 more than the Homer Fund distributed to all its employees over ten years.

Customers and employees are having a blast at:

www.homedepotsucks.org

And you can see how generous Home depot is with its "little people" and its Homer Fund. A whooping $15,000,000 since 1996 or so. Currently HD takes in $82,000,000,000 a year. So since 1996 they've taken in maybe 5 trillion, $5,000,000,000,000 and they have about 355,000 employees. You can do the math and see how generous they are.

The web address for this is rather long, and I was unable to get there by drilling down from corporate.homedepot.com . That didn't even find a server.

http://corporate.homedepot.com/wps/portal/!ut/p/.cmd/cs/.ce/7_0_A/.s/7_0_129/_s.7_0_A/7_0_129

If that doesn't work, google for home depot corporate vinings

For real corporate generosity, visit the Whirlpool site, www.whirlpool.com . They give a free refrigerator and range to each and every Habitat for Humanity home built in the USA. HD suppports a race car, for maximum advertising exposure, instead.

Post Scriptum: Actually, I will credit Home Depot for donating batteries to firemen who went door to door double checking smoke detectors in Sacramento, according to KCRA, today, December 7th, 2007.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bush Attacks Like Mars Attacks, Unbreakable Codes using Fotos

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"Hey Man !

Congress has work to do, I get to sit on my rear end and gripe about them. Paint'em Black !"

One more year of this, oh good grief !

This country is always "under construction." I'd wear an American flag pin if it included some sense of a logo like one finds on websites that are "under construction." I think we all need that constant reminder of the true state of affairs. The USA is not Nirvana. With luck it is on the road, but at this point I'd say the President is off the rails and playing in the daisies. As long as all the economic stats are presented from the point of view of of corporations and their lobbyists, and small business people with their need for cheap labor that doesn't complain**, and the true state of affairs of the common employed citizen is never accurately told, we have a long way to go. Our government and our school systems and our Chambers of Commerce and trade organization all fail us in this regard, deliberately, to avoid revolution, I suspect. Don't rock the boat.

A real economic indicator would be the percentage of 30 + hours a week workers who make less than 20% more than the minimum wage. I strongly suspect this number is rising, as is the number of workers holding two or more "part time" minimum wage jobs. Call it the "Bottom Comfort Index." Thanks for all the info on small and large CAPs, but frankly, the impoverished working citizen could give a tinker's dam (a small repair made with lead way back when, not very strong) about where the stock market is. The stock market is the rich folks' score card. For the caddies of the world, it merely represents if the grass is watered or not, they're still walking the course and carrying the load, at least when not out sourced.

The fantasy of the USA is that "everybody can make it big." No they can't. They way the system is set up, only a few can make it big, the rest are needed in the "Bottom Comfort Index," to mow the lawns and fix the cars, etc. The reality is that "anybody can make it big, BUT VERY FEW WILL." If this was engraved in the brains of our middle and high schoolers, daily, they just might be a bit more motivated to study harder, and in particular, find out exactly what skills or background you need to land on the Fortune 400. Hint, most get there (from the bottom) via extreme attention to interpersonal skills, a bit of luck, and well developed specialized knowledge. Accurate self awareness is also near the top of the requirements list, especially when it comes to areas to work on. How many people never make it out of the Bottom Comfort Index during their lifetimes for more than three years ? Now that would be an interesting number to know and teach about.

*******************************************************************************

On privacy and telephones and communications.

While it is more convenient to talk directly with another person, a great deal of information can be transmitted by codes which are just plain unbreakable, and then references can be made to the base information on the phone, without revealing what the base information is. This is much like parents talking in alphabet around pre-school kids.

Unbreakable codes ???

Piece of cake, given the volume of photographs being posted to the web every second. Just using a simple alphabet, where each photo is a letter in a message, and changing the codes with a paragraph marker photo, gives you an unbreakable code. You simply send or post the sequence of photos, and the receiver looks at the images to discover items within each image to derive a letter. You can probably leave the sequence of letters unscrambled, but preset scrambles would give yet another level of security.

Example:

if the picture contains an Apple (fruit or computer or IPod), then the picture is the letter "A."

if the picture contains a Ball (joint, baseball, dance ball), then it is a "B"

and so on. This can be changed in midstream with a picture that contains, say, a bridge (dental, river, computer router device), you see how easy it is to find variants on the same unit of meaning, and when you hit this "change" picture, you go to an entirely different set of codes in a set of pictures. This can be expanded to ever increasing levels of complexity very easily.

Actually you can change the bits in one image just slightly, and then send several different variations on the same image, at different times to different locations, email websites, etc, and still carry meaning. The amount of change in a color or density at a given point gives you a letter. This trick I can recall learning back in the late 1980's. The pictures still look perfectly normal, and a simple piece of programming will give you a tool to extract the information. Terrorists can communicate vast quantities of information very easily, and completely undetectably, using these kinds of techniques.

Domestic surveillance is not going to stop terrorism, less dependence on oil will.

A Complaint Free World ?????*

If you are going to accept your environment as it is, fine. Not me. My complaints are very justifiable, just about all of them.

*wear a purple rubber bracelet, change it to the opposite wrist every time you complain. A minister came up with this, six million sold so far.

** When in college, and just out of it, I loved that business person that would moan to me about how he "wasn't making any money," while his equity in the business built up as he paid off all his loans, and provided for his family. Hey that's one of the best lies that ever came my way, and growing up, it came several times. "Why don't you just close up shop and go get a job elsewhere?" was always met with a shrug of the shoulders, and a "well it may get better, and you need you job, don't you?' as if he was a saint, maintaining a worthless business, just for my benefit. I think I got it figured out by age 30 or so. Like I say, they do not teach economic realities in school, from the standpoint of the best interests of the individual student. "...they keep it all hid..." Bob Dylan.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

"It is My Intent...," Evangelical Hissy-Fit

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Well, the well-known issues of the religious right (rr) are being put to the test. In an effort to dump the nomination of the most likely Republican to be a winner, Giuliani. the rr is trying to railroad the Republican party onto the rr's siding. By threatening to vote 3rd party or not at all, the rr hopes to block his nomination. I'd rather see a fair fight between Hilary and Giuliani, but if the rr wants to commit political suicide, so be it. The Republicans will never trust or depend on the rr again. They will be viewed as a no longer useful tool for advancing the rich over the poor. Given that the bulk of the rr population is on the lower end of the economic scale, it was really quite an accomplishment on the part of Carl Rove to have corralled them for Bush in the first place. Secretly I might hazard a guess that the Christian women are so ticked off at the men of the world for the current state of affairs, that they may vote for Hilary anyway. This could be the biggest landslide ever. I can't wait to see the exit poll demographics next year.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Union, Reader Comments Censored ???

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UPDATE 45 minutes after this (Below and Title) was written:

Now all the comments are back again. Don't know if it was a glitch that required logging completely out of the site, a brief removal for perusal for nasty inappropriate stuff, or what ?
Guess I'll just have to wait and see how this plays out in the future.

I just voted in and took a look at the comments about a poll on "Should Pot Be Legalized?" The votes were running 80 % in favor, and there was an interesting discussion going on about the effects of legalization on the local economy, stuff involving wealthy retirees and MacMansions and prison guards out of work and all those people released from prison likewise.

So I thought I'd chip in with a few thoughts of my own, and did so, results to follow. What is significant is that my thoughts initially seemed to post along with the ten others in the bin. I went back to check twenty minutes later, and all but three of the original posts vanished, including the line of thoughts described above. All that was left was Fascists vs. Communists, Borrrrinnng ! I also tried to find some stuff I posted the night before on the Donner Summit fiasco. That was not only gone, I couldn't hardly even find the comments of the others, without a real dig into the archives.

My ventures into online reading came as all the local (NSJ) copies were gone, due to the shooting story over the weekend up here. You'd think they'd give Brass Rail and SuperStop, and MotherTrucker's extra copies when stuff like that is in the news.

But for me the real story is the missing comments. Why bother posting if it is going to get wiped out to suit somebody's agenda?

Here is a copy of what I wrote this morning on the Pot Poll and the concerns about the economy.

"Actually what the poor and middle class of this country have to fear, more than anything else, will be workers in Mexico and elsewhere in skin tight suits with sensors, controlling Waldobots in the USA, doing all the menial and even skilled jobs. With fiber optics linking the continents, it will be possible to bypass the need for AI based robots, and instead have human judgment elsewhere do the controlling. Fiber optics and the advances in video cam technologies, force feedback, make this possible, and even desirable. Why pay for a dead miner, when you can replace a Bot? It cuts down on theft/other crimes, and eliminates the need for medical care, and leaves lots of empty lots for the retirees.

As for the Reeks and Wrecks (poor and entire former middle class), you need to read "Player Piano," by Kurt Vonnegut if you haven't already. Thanks to Heinlein for the concept of Waldos. Bots don't smoke pot, at least not in this country, under these circumstances....."

If you want to be sure your stuff isn't censored, get a blog and double post, once in the paper, and, if it disappears, once in your blog. Just highlight and control c the posting before you post, and paste it into a document. I save them like this, "LE_2007_10_02_Pot_Poll_WaldoBots.doc," in a Letters to the Editor directory. Very easy to find. After a while, if the censorship is really happening, the Union will get a rep. A well documented rep. If this was just a "mistake" or accident, my apologies.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Can't We All Just get Along ? Case Study #789,234

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Feuding nuns force convent demise
By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Rome

The local bishop had to step in to tackle the problem
A convent in Italy is being shut down after a fight between its last three remaining nuns.

So badly did relations deteriorate between the sisters of Santa Clara in Bari that the Mother Superior ended up in hospital with scratches to her face.

Now the local archbishop has intervened and asked the Vatican for permission to close the convent.

But Sister Liliana, the only nun still there, says she has no intention of leaving her home of the past 44 years.

The Clarissa nuns are regarded as the most austere order of the Roman Catholic Church, devoted to a life of prayer, penance and quiet contemplation.

But at the Santa Clara convent in Bari, the vow of silence was shattered by an unholy row.

Sisters Annamaria and Gianbattista say they were driven to distraction by the nasty habits of their Mother Superior.

They became so angry that during the summer, they turned on Sister Liliana scratching her face and throwing her to the ground.

The two nuns have now moved into a nearby convent leaving Sister Liliana barricaded inside.

Despite the efforts of the Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri to reconcile the three sisters he has been forced to call on the Vatican for help.

He wrote to the Holy See telling them the sisters had "clearly lost their religious vocation" and with only one nun remaining has asked for permission to close the convent down.

But Sister Liliana is not going without a fight.

She has not once left the nunnery in 44 years and she is not about to be pushed about now.

She has written to the Pope telling him she will only leave when God decides it is time to go.

And since she is devoted to her vow of silence it is not that easy to reason with her.

Friday, September 28, 2007

This Morning I Awoke from a Dream about Heaven



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Heaven is a place much like a giant park containing a university and music venues and art venues and bordered by a bay with white sands and sparkling clear waters. Heaven is a place where eveyone can let their dogs run free and they never get into fights, and the people never get into fights either, they live and let live. The mood is somewhat like the mood of this song by Bob Dylan:

Bob Dylan - If Dogs Run Free Lyrics


If dogs run free, then why not we

Across the swooping plain?

My ears hear a symphony

Of two mules, trains and rain.

The best is always yet to come,

Thats what they explain to me.

Just do your thing, youll be king,

If dogs run free.



If dogs run free, why not me

Across the swamp of time?

My mind weaves a symphony

And tapestry of rhyme.

Oh, winds which rush my tale to thee

So it may flow and be,

To each his own, its all unknown,

If dogs run free.



If dogs run free, then what must be,

Must be, and that is all.

True love can make a blade of grass

Stand up straight and tall.

In harmony with the cosmic sea,

True love needs no company,

It can cure the soul, it can make it whole,

If dogs run free.


More Bob Dylan Lyrics...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

If You Like to Tweak Noses.....

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........stay tuned to Slashdot.com.

The Internet hates censorship. A while back Streisland, Barbara, tried to have an aerial photo that included her house in Malibu, removed from the net. It was part of a coastline aerial photography project, covering the entire California coast. She brought so much attention to it with her lawsuit, that it got millions of views, precisely the opposite of her intentions. She lost the lawsuit.

So here's the latest effort at legal censorship. I will now happily add my blog to the game of "cyber-pigpile" in this case.

"An interesting case in England is pitting the combined power of multiple bloggers against an Uzbek billionaire. The bloggers are supporting the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, who has written a book about what happened there after the fall of Communism. The book is apparently unflattering in the extreme to oligarch Alisher Usmanov, who has engaged the law firm Schillings (which seems to specialize in getting unfavorable Web content removed for rich clients). Their threats have led to the removal of Murray's blog site by his hosting company Fasthosts. But a large number of bloggers have taken up Murray's cause, and the content that caused the original complaint, and links to it, have now sprung up in a very large number of places. The Internet still seems to regard censorship as damage and route around it."

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Projects" and "Retirement"

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One of the cool things about having money show up every month without going into work is that you get to start "projects." This can be anything from backyard garden railroads, to fixing things from tools to structures, (and, on the social side, renewing relationships), to volunteering at the local senior center. The problem with "projects" is that, like people and personalities, you kinda like to try them all, and the next thing you know, you're over-committed, and it feels like you're back at work again. They all have to be balanced in the NOW, and the big ones need to be realistically assessed in terms of do-ability from time to time, and perhaps some of them need to be "retired" themselves, at least temporarily.

I'd love to spend more time studying psych/soc/and anthro, and also time on the Law, to help some people through issues I just don't feel expert enough in. The Internet makes this possible as never before. These were my original interests, back before, well, way, way back when, in the 60's. I went on to be a high school teacher, which used a lot of what I learned, and to which I added a whole technical (computer) line. If I had had normal hearing as a child, I might well have been an engineer like my dad and brother. Now in late life it's funny, my eyes are going but the new digital hearing aides allow me to hear as never before. Anyway, it's fun watching projects evolve, and seeing at least some of them through to completion.

Of course the latest project for all us "Boomers" is wondering if the financial rug is about to get pulled out from under us. According to Allen Greenspan, this is inevitable, as nothing has been done in the last eight years, and the money going to "stop terrorism" in Iraq has been largely wasted, except for some troop to civilian interactions, which could have been done far better with Peace Corp folks, at far less expense. The balance could have bought solar panels which would have dropped the price of oil, but now the drumbeat begins for nuclear power, even in ads on tv. The last thing the MegaCorps want is for the little guy to have his/her own power station. The name of the game for MegaCorps is to keep them frazzled, keep them in debt, and don't let them think about it. Oh, and maintain a MegaCorp Pokerface while doing it. Picture MegaCorps as Bart Simpson mixed with John Giulgood (sp).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

OJ & Co. Scam Entire World

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What was the value of OJ's memoriabia last week ?

What is the value of it today ?

Have we not just added yet one more suit to the pile ?

I'd guess all parties involved, especially the supposed victims, knew exactly what they were doing, and that all will go free after a great deal of miscelleaneous bru hah hah, which serve no other purpose than to boost OJ sales.

Other possible motive:

Maybe he's a secret Bush supporter, distracting from the problems in Iraq ? He's sure doing a heckova job, the whole Presidential race is off the front pages/TV news, as well.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Calling All Global Warming Nay-Sayers

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One of you should know the answer or location of the answers in the energy cost benefit analysis.

You know, I’d love to see the math for either (political) side of these issues. Everything thrown out there, by both sides, are fragmentary pieces, nothing is a complete and total breakdown of all costs and benefits. For example, given that we know what installed solar panels cost, and we know what dumping a barrel of oil into a currently existing fuel plant costs, there should be a point at which we can say “oil at above $X/barrel is more expensive than installing and using solar panels.” but nowhere on the net is such a figure calculated. I’m talking just the generation of electricty for use in a home here, and I realize the totality of energy issues are complicated, but you’d think by now some thinktank, right or left, would have done the homework and we’d all be able to see it in black and white, in downloadable Excel spreadsheets, with live updated numbers tied to current prices visible on the web, for transit as well as stationary use of power.

Until I see it all laid out, I don’t believe any of it, except that it is getting hotter in here, and GE and BP (biggest producer of solar panels) are spending a lot on ads. Locally a group is working on fusion via cavitation, along with 4 other edu’s with $40,000,000 over five years from the feds. Impulse Devices, Nevada City/Grass Valley, CA.

There are other avenues than standard fission nukes, not everything to be invented, has been invented already. Recognizing that standard nukes may be necessary for the short term, I'd propose putting 1/2 of every dollar spent towards nuke energy into research on alternative power. Or would that make standard nukes more expensive than current solar power ? Who knows ? Show me the analysyis websites, oh purveyors of energy Bibles and Korans of varying types!

Personal Flightplans on Your Cell

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This born of reading/viewing the stories about the missing aviator, Steve Fosset, and the young college student missing in Utah, whose bike was just turned in. (Congrats to the thieves who had a change of heart, despite exposing themselves to the risk of prosecution.)

You can leave messages to yourself on your cell phone by simply dialing your number and sending a message to your own number. On Verizon you can set them up for future delivery, so that you can get them later when it is convenient, like Dec 31, 2007.

The information is as secure as your password for accessing messages is. If you keep on doing this, and you make mention of people who might be possible threats, dangerous locations you're traveling to, or just your daily routine, you will be much easier to be find, should you happen to go missing.

Keachie Koncept

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ivey Fire in North San Juan in Sweetland Creek Area

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Photos are up for this event and the crash of the van into Peterson's Corner, life is getting exciting out here. Goto www.flickr.com/photos/keachie

If you have an event/subject you think I'd enjoy covering, please contact me via the information on the flickr page in the right hand column.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wall Street Journal Reads Maps Weirdly


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Now I suppose it is possible that some hanky-panky is going on, but the article does not document nor link to the amounts above $45,000. Given their description of being under the flight path of SFO, miles away, next to a freeway which is really an expressway and not heavily used, and basically a rundown hovel, in a working class neighborhood where the median price is well above $500,000, and where the Pacific Ocean is less than 800 feet away (admittedly 500 feet down). Click on the map to enlarge it.

I have an old friend in Lafayette, CA. His donations of the max available by him and his wife, to the most liberal of candidates, stand out like a sore thumb at the Huffington Post, in a sea of Republicans. He came from working class roots, but became a tax attorney to compensate, and was wildly successful. Why not investigate him ? Or perhaps invest the energy in investigating the Bush/Cheney/Oil/Arabs/Rove/Halliburton links ?

BTW, the Daly City area is just one of many covered by all of the flight paths in and out of SFO. How did you last leave SFO? If you were headed East, I doubt you went West.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lying, Rush Limbaugh Radio Shows Its Style

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Today Mark Belling , sitting in for Rush, is declaring that a family living under the flight path of SFO gave $2,500 each to Hilary Clinton, and that obviously they couldn't do this because they are "poor." A typical listing for a 1,200 sq foot "bungalo" in Daly City is around $650,000. A family of six living there could quite likely come up with a patriotic $2,500 each without too much trouble. 'The way the media puts this in context" a favorite phrase of the show is quite amusing. Daly City is below the flight path, but so is Hillsborough, like about 3,000 feet under it for both of them. The way Mark tells it, you'd think they were living in a duck blind in a mudflat. Of course, anyone not familiar with the Bay Area will take this to be the case. And then the horror, the horror, a demo fund raiser used to live in the very structure, and so he must be the true source of the money. Right !

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Best Nevada County Based ISP ?

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I find myself dropping out of Lanset, a Sacramento ISP because my email keeps getting blacklisted, and I wanted multi domain hosting. I've settled on HostMonster for the multi domain hosting, but I still need a good dialup ISP that also has free access when I travel to local numbers across the country. I don't need a webspace, I don't need email accounts, I just need a good, reliable, and cheap dialup connection for the 292 (North San Juan) prefix area.

I am aware of nccn and oro.net and theunion , but I do not know how they compare. Any clues ? Any others ? I'd like to keep the money in the county. I've offered Smarter Broadband a free antenna repeater site on our land, but they don't seem interested. I went to the trouble of becoming an installer for WildBlue Satellite system, but am disenchanted with the service and the fact that now they won't give me a dealership, because they're short of equipment. ATT wants me to go paperless, but they don't offer DSL out here. You cannot examine your bill at 56 kbit in a timely manner.

thanks,

Doug

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Making a Cool Statement About Global Warming

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My previous post brought in a request for where and how much I got my roof painted for, and could there be group discounts. Anne pointed out that the roof is a much more elegant visible statement than a bumper sticker. If your car is cooler inside, you used the air conditioner less. With the traditional American car, the air conditioner cuts your gas mileage by between .5 and 1 gallon per mile traveled. I'll let a bean counter go out and do the research for todays' cars. Obviously, it takes energy to cool your car, there ain't no free ICY !

Ron Beatrez at California Completes in Grass Valley up on Loma Rica Drive (477-2506) is the gentleman who did my roof. Sight unseen, he says that the typical cost would be between $350 and $400 per vehicle, but that it would depend on the current condition of the paint and the size of the vehicle. If you can get nine friends together, he can give a 10% discount. Ron does excellent work, and is responsible for many of the fine restored cars in the area.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

White Roof Saves Gas, Is More Comfortable ! dsc07298_std

The temperature inside the cab is much cooler with this $300 paint job. The metal of the roof is at least 30 degrees cooler than the metal on the hood, after an hour sitting in the sun. Do this for yourself, your pets, and the planet. The CHP, the California Highway Patrol, figured this out ages ago. Side benefit, other cars are a bit more cautious around you, they think you might be one....



PS, Please credit Douglas Keachie for this concept and photo. All rights released for photo only, I just might try to patent this :)

Used Worthless CD's ? Send Them to Me ! Solar Rocks !

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If you take enough CD's and line an old Sat dish with them, you have a concentrated solar power device. You can also easily build a dish structure from fence lath (1 1/2" x 1/4" wood by 8 feet long)and pin them to that. In time they will corrode and lose power, but are easily replaced.

Concentrated solar power in the desert areas of the world can be used to generate heat which can be used to make hydrogen gas, which can be liquified and stored and then transported to where energy is needed. If 1 % of the deserts of the world were used this way (at 100% efficiency), the amount of hydrogen generated would have enough power to completely REPLACE all other electric power sources.

Watch Current.TV or go to www.current.tv or Friends of the Earth for more information.

If you want to send me CD's for a prototype, email me for a physical addy. Use comment section if you can figure out how to email.

Where Have Our Kids Gone, Current.TV

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If you haven't found Current.TV on Directv or your cable channel, you should take a look now. This is aimed at the 18 to 34 group, and consisted of content created largely by amateur members the same group, from all over the world, who have professional skills and extreme creativity. The sponsors, Sony, Toyota, General Electric, and L'Oréal are really onto something. This is goodbye to the majors for nightly news, including PBS. This is goodbye to local news, with its weather info coyly hidden and dribbled out piecemeal, and way too much crime and car crashes (try keeping a score card for this, it's so predictable). Current.TV is way more entertaining and informative, or visit it on the web at www.current.tv .

Carl Rove Jumps Ship at a Very Strange Time

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Here we are, on the verge of total success in Iraq, with a booming economy that will not fail, and global warming a minor annoyance that can easily be handled by carbon credits, and Carl Rove decides to go away instead of basking in the sunlight of applause for the final fruitful outcome of all his hard work.

The man is too modest.

Unless of course like this is more "floating like a butterfly" on the part of the Bush administration. It seems that replacing key people just as they are about to be investigated for wrong doing is a favorite tactic. Switch out the generals, over and over again, and let each one, "have some time," to try out his new plan, is a great way to avoid admitting defeat, and for confusing the prosecutors.

Personally I am very worried. Carl Rove is a bright man. He's not jumping ship unless he thinks there is something very, very bad about to happen, something he doesn't want to be associated with. "Sorry George, you're holding the bag on this one." Let's just hope it doesn't turn out to be a nuclear blossom that he's running away and hiding from.

Be it Bush and Iran, or Osama and New York, we just don't need any nuclear bombs going off just now.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

$20,000 for Your Favorite Non-Profit Via Design Contest

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Given Nevada County's many worthy groups, from Hospice to SYRCL, and all of the designers in the area, and our ability to coordinate to get a vote out, I recommend those involved in the above give from Yahoo this a read:

"Starting today, we’re kicking off a call for designs for an icon that best symbolizes “green.” We’re looking for a graphic that will be used to flag simple, eco-friendly things you can do all over our network, so that everyone knows the many green choices and options available on Yahoo!. That could include everything from making green purchases to finding the most fuel-efficient cars. Why make this a communal project? It seemed only fitting since creating a greener environment is a group effort (not to mention that we have the most creative audience on the planet).

You don’t have to be a professional to design an icon. You just have to make a clear, strong visual sign for “green” and send it in. The chosen design will be seen possibly billions of times on Yahoo!’s product pages, by a global audience of more than 500 million people.

And even if you don’t submit an icon you can still participate, because the online community will vote to pick the final design. Submission and voting happens at the same time because we’re doing this on Bix. You’ll see two icons face off and can vote for which is best.

If your design is chosen, not only do you get to brag about it — the environmental nonprofit of your choice will receive a $20,000 grant from Yahoo!. If your design is a runner-up (two will be chosen), your designated nonprofit will receive $5,000.

Get your idea in by September 18 at the latest. Once you submit a design, tell everyone you know to vote for yours. We’ll announce which icon the community chooses by Sept. 26.

So be a Green icon! Or at least create one. Click here to enter or vote.

Ben Clemens
Director, Design Innovation Group"

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Cure for the Blues, or at Least a Visual Cheerup

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First, go to www.flickr.com .

Next, do a search on everyone's photos using some combination of the following terms that suits you.

goofy silly LOL dumb funny dog cat animal

You can obvious add more.

water snow mud rain sand etc.

Give it a try !

Friday, August 03, 2007

Why You Need Defensible Space

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If an insurance company can find a way out, they will. Here's your "You're in Good Hands with Allstate," and their good buddies, "Like a Good neighbor, State Farm is There." I don't know what the slogan is for Travelers. What excuses will they dream up for not covering your burned down dwelling ? Apparently a Hurricane is strictly a matter of wind damage, and not anything that might be driven by the wind. What sort of excuse will they use for fires ?

"A US federal court has ruled that insurers do not have to pay for the flood damage in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Residential property insurance excludes flood damage, which is covered by a federal programme.

New Orleans residents and Xavier University argued that the insurers should pay because the negligent design of a dam caused the flooding.

The court said the insurers were not liable even if there was negligence.

New Orleans flooded after a dam holding back the Mississippi River was breached in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The flooding cost hundreds of lives and caused billions of dollars worth of damage.

The insurers involved in the case were Allstate, Travelers and the mutual insurer State Farm."