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I Hate Linux

Monday, December 25, 2006

A new strategy in the War on Christmas?

Note: Despite being raised a Roman Catholic and even being an alter boy for a number of years, these days I can be best be described as being somewhere in between atheism and agnosticism and despite that, I am still part of the ~96% of the country celebrates Christmas every year... provided someone is willing to give me something.

While driving through south-west Minnesota on the way to the Twin Cities to see family over Christmas, I passed through St. James, Minnesota, a town that seemed to have taken the next step in the war on Christmas.

To a minority, the term "Merry Christmas is offensive. To a greater majority the term "Happy Holidays" is even more so... but then who cares about the will of the majority in this day and age of considering peoples feelings.

Anyway, they had taken it to the next step, no longer trying to be inclusive to all faiths, beliefs, cultures or traditions... instead, you have to pick one:

That's right, according to St. James Minnesota, if you have a Catholic father and a Jewish mother... you have to pick one holiday, you cannot celebrate both.

"But Brendan... couldn't they have... lost the 's'?"

Could be... the before mentioned sign was on the north west part of town... maybe it was just those north-st. Jamesers who were crazy... but no, on the way out of town through the south east side I saw:

Or for those who cannot read from behind:

I suppose there is one upshot to this... perhaps St. James is speaking out against the fabricated holiday that is Kwanzaa, something that is even more manufactured and contrived than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Friday, December 22, 2006

We're #1!

South Dakota has the highest % of residents with concealed weapons permits, a group that I am proud to say that I am a member of.

Sadly it seems though that this state is only #5 when it comes to % of households that have access to firearms.

As a major proponent of self defense and the second amendment... I'm sad to hear that the number is so low, after all, that means that only 60% of South Dakota households would be able to defend themselves in the event that Al-Qaeda attempts a ground war against South Dakota.

Granted... anyone showing up with the stereotypical masked terrorist look like below would might be viewed with suspicion and handled earlier.

One way around this might be for them to adopt a more native look, something that South Dakotans are used to seeing and something I wore off during a recent hunting trip:

Allah Akbar mother-f#@kers!

Perhaps though... it is time to hold a... 'Guns for Families' campaign where households would be encouraged to purchase a firearm or two, learn proper firearm safety, and become proficient in it's use because at the end of the day, it is the individual and family that is responsible for their own safety and defense, not the state or the police.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

More iPod woes

Early last week the hard drive in my old 15 gig iPod gave out again, the fourth time in 3.5 years and was sent off to Best Buy for warranty replacement.

Long story short, I am now the proud owner of an 80 gig iPod and only had to pay $10.

What on earth could the problem with this be? Wasted disk space!

After throwing a couple of videos onto the unit to see how it looked, I went to load up my entire music collection on to it... and barely used up 30 gigs.

I’ve got a few directories that I didn’t include as I have little desire to have their contents in my normal musical rotation

So now I’ve got the choice... stick with the wasted space, buy more music (I haven’t purchased a new CD in ~4 years), or ignore the sticker that was on the unit when I bought it and steal music.

Somehow I don’t think I’ll be DLing anything as the biggest reason I haven’t purchased any new CD’s in quite a while... is because I haven’t heard much that was worth purchasing.

“So Damn Skinny”

At noon today my company had it’s annual Christmas Dinner and while in line to get a bit of ham and mashed potatoes someone turned around slighly and jumped a bit and said “Oh, I didn’t recognize you since you had gotten so damn skinny.”

Always a nice thing to hear when 90lbs down... of course, with the exception of the fit of some clothes and the number on the scale every morning... even now I still really can’t tell when I look in the mirror.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Senator Johnson

By now most have heard the news of South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson and his falling ill yesterday and while the news at the time was seeming to be good and that it was not a stroke or a heart attack I jokingly commented to a friend:

I'd wager... that this whole thing is a ploy... either Senator Johnson caused it himself, or some outside party did. Why? Because they want to keep South Dakota in the lime light for that much longer. A month ago there were prospects of South Dakota staying on the national stage for months or years to come due to the abortion ban, but since that is no longer the case (until the next attempt), the pro-South Dakota-enestas have no choice but to take more drastic means to secure the attention.

Such hope was later quashed by the news of emergency surgery through the night and the screams from numerous people on Digg, crying out about the potential loss of the Senate... and not the potential loss of a great man.

With the exception of numerous Ag issues... I have never really agreed with the senior Senator on the more common issues of taxation, foreign policy, national defense, spending, social policy, economic development, etc... but I've always respected the man and thought him a great voice for this state and can only hope that he is able to make a full recovery and continue to represent us.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Country of Origin Labeling for Fuel?

In the 2002 Farm Bill, President Bush signed into law a bill that among other things, required country of origin labeling for beef, lamb, pork, fish, perishable agricultural commodities and peanuts and was widely heralded by many in the agriculture industry as a way to allow their produce to compete better with that from other countries.

Why not do the same thing for fuel?

This nation has been told (and has known) that it must end its dependence on foreign oil, but especially from that from the middle east and those nations that are rabidly anti-American and/or support those who are.

Already we've seen boycotts of Venezuelan owned Citgo and its gas products due to some of the shenanigans of its President, I can only imagine what would happen if Americans suddenly had the choice between Mexican and Iranian, Canadian vs Saudi gas, Gulf of Mexico vs the Persian Gulf when it came to fueling up their SUVs.

Of course, the ones suffering due to such a thing wouldn't just be those oil producing nations that we aren't all that fond of, instead many American small businesses would suffer as their locally owned gas station would see a decrease in sales because they just happen to be supplied with Saudi gas.

The result? Little Sally can't get her braces this year if daddy can't get fuel from a more favored nation.

I'm one who believes that country of origin labeling (COOL) should not be mandatory on any product but should instead be up to the producers. Even if not all beef packers were to voluntarily label their products, you can bet that when an American consumer is given the choice between a steak that says "slaughtered and packed in the USA" vs one that says nothing, they'd be more likely to buy the labeled American version.

To a grocery store it wouldn't really matter as even if they had both American labeled and non labeled produce, people would always end up buying their steak there, while if they only stock one variety their customers would insist on domestically labeled beef.

Can the same be said for the gas stations?

I must admit a bit of ignorance as to the kind of relationship individual gas stations have with their suppliers so I do know how easy it is for a franchisee of one company to switch to another or otherwise change their fuel supplier.

If some gas stations were to start COOL their gas as being American, I'd wager that a great many others who are supplied from (disliked) foreign oil fields would not be quick to do so and admit the source of their product as doing so would likely only hurt them. While such labeling would be useful in sending a message to the foreign producers who we aren't all that keen on giving our money to, such a policy, even if voluntary would also hurt a great many Americans who could very well be contractually stuck selling Venezuelan, Saudi or Iranian gas for months or years to come as well as all of those others working in the production or transport of this foreign fuel after it reaches our shores.

So long as such a policy was voluntary, I'd support it fully. Even then I may just write my Representative and Senators about. Not to get it made into a law, but to have it be talked about at the high levels in the hopes that others would hear of it and perhaps ask their gas station where their gas came from.