Texas

Took him long enough...

So, President Obama finally released his birth certificate. Now we can put the matter to rest.

Personally, I've always thought that whether he was born in Hawaii or not - and I had no real opinion on the subject - it would never be allowed to interfere with his holding the office. Too much chaos would result if he were proven to be ineligible. Worse, the Vice Plagiarist would then be the Plagiarist-in-Chief.

Still...why did he wait two and a half years to do something he could have easily done when he was running for President? By stonewalling, all he did was fan the flames. It's far too late for him to complain that it's soaked up too much of our national energy now, since it's his own fault for not releasing it sooner.
  • Current Music
    So Into You - Atlanta Rhythm Section
Texas

Quote of the day

"I'm not one who questions the existence of the president's birth certificate, but when you listen to his policies, don't you at least wonder what planet he's from?" -- Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
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    giggly giggly
Splut

The Left isn't always wrong

I read the Power Line blog regularly. They generally have their head screwed on straight, unlike the Left. They do occasionally get it wrong, though, as in their posting on the FCC's push to adopt net neutrality regulations.

They don't allow comments on their site, but they do occasionally read and respond to email. I sent them this reply, in the hope that they'd do that, but so far, nothing...

Sorry, guys. I have to disagree with Scott's posting slamming the FCC on net neutrality. I'm normally a free-market conservative, but in this case I see a problem with no other solution.

Put simply, the problem is that the backbone carriers (AT&T, Comcast, Level 3, Verizon - in short, those who make money from carrying others' traffic) want the ability to pick and choose who gets good net service and those who do not, based on fees paid directly to them by those who provide content on the net. They claim this is only to help compensate them for the load placed on them by such providers as Google and YouTube. There's absolutely nothing, however, that would prevent them from simply dropping performance on any content provider they wished, for any reason they wished.

Let me bring this home to you: Let's say that Comcast is heavily influenced by the liberals that manage NBC after they succeed in buying them out. Never mind about discriminating against other sources of broadcast entertainment on the net. What would stop them from discriminating against Power Line? From deciding that you are a force for evil and should be silenced? That people should not have the right to read your words just as they do those of, say, The Daily Kos?

Nothing, that's what.

Normally, I would agree with those who say that market pressure would keep them in line. The problem is that there's no lever for a market to push on. Consumers don't get to choose which backbone carrier their net traffic goes over. The routing is all done automatically, at levels we never even see, let along get to inspect and influence. If I don't like Comcast's network management policies, there's nothing I can do about them because I'm not the one they're getting money from, even though they are affecting me.

This is a personal issue for me. My fame as the Tron Guy came entirely from my pictures, and later my videos, being spread across the net. In the kind of world that AT&T and Comcast want to create, that would not be possible, because I would have had no reason to know that, by paying their Danegeld, I would have gotten fame in return.

I firmly believe that governments have the Midas Muffler touch: Everything they touch turns into a muffler. Nevertheless, I simply see no alternative. Either we have mandated net neutrality, where everyone's content is equally treated as it travels across the net in a content-neutral manner, or else we will have an Internet controlled by the same kinds of people who give us the leftist MSM. I find the latter unacceptable, even at the cost of the alternative.


I'm still mildly nervous about being in bed with the Left on this issue, but console myself by noting that nobody's perfect, not even perfectly wrong.
  • Current Mood
    awake awake
Splut

Roadtrippus contiunus

Got the ignition switch replaced yesterday morning, finally. I'd disassembled the under-dash panels and the steering column covers, only to discover that the switch itself is held in by two E4 Torx screws. Not T4, E4.

The normal Torx screw has a recess that accepts the tip of a Torx driver. An E-series Torx screw has the gender reversed: the screw has the male part, and you need a socket to fit it. They're damned rare; I'd never heard of such a thing, let alone seen one, until I started on this job.

I thought I was going to have to spend $51 for a set of them, but I got lucky. The local NAPA auto parts store had just the E4 socket I needed for $5.

I got the switch done and the truck back together too late to get where I was going yesterday, so I stayed here one more night, and am about to hit the road.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
Splut

Roadtrippus interruptus

I got antsy, so I went on the road.

A week ago, I left to visit my friends Eric and Cathy Raymond. First, I spent a couple of days with Mad Mike Williamson in Indianapolis, making things that go BLAM and learning a lot while helping him set up at a gun show. I left there last Friday and drove down to Chattanooga to help a Second Life friend move to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Got that done Saturday, continued on the short distance to Eric and Cathy's place, and have spent the time since gaming, hacking, and enjoying their fine company.

I was going to go back to Chattanooga today to spend a day or two with another friend. Unfortunately, my truck had other ideas. Last night, on the way back from seeing the preview of TRON: Legacy (about which I'll write in a bit), I stopped for gas - and the truck refused to start again.

Twisting the key with the transmission in either Park or Neutral produced no reaction at all. The lights didn't dim, the engine didn't crank, the starter solenoid didn't go "clunk". This points to a common problem on Blazers of that vintage: the ignition switch. I called a tow truck. When he arrived, he went through the diagnosis with me, and right as I said "Nope, tried it in Neutral, too, see?" and twisted the key, it cranked and started.

I'll take that. It got us back to Malvern. Now, all I need to do is get another ignition switch and replace it. It's a 2-hour job or so. I'll have to buy some tools, too, since mine are in Fairmont and Eric isn't the car mechanic type.

Dunno what that means in terms of money yet. Prices for the part are all over the place; AutoZone has it for $75, Pep Boys at $152, and NAPA at $240. Guess who I'm calling first? While I'm there, I'll replace the ignition lock cylinder too, since it's worn enough that I can remove the key in any position.
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    annoyed annoyed