My (Relative) Love For Microsoft

I love Microsoft!

Actually, I don’t, but that is neither here nor there – what I ABSOLUTELY LOVE is their announcement that they will charge DOUBLE for Windows 7 to buyers in European Union nations!

When faced with adversity between two groups I don’t like, I often hope both parties lose, but in this case I dislike the EU so much that my minor problems with Microsoft are inconsequential.

The EU has sued the pants off Microsoft for things that are normal business practices, like bundling an internet browser with their operating system, as if that is some sort of crime. The Internet Explorer browser came with my operating system also, and it is the only browser that my Multiple listing System will recognize – but that is all I use it for.

It took me no time, and no money to download Mozilla Firefox to use as a browser. It would take a European the same no time and no money to do the same, but the EU loves to fine American corporations for billions of dollars.

I guess Microsoft figures that if the European Union wants income, it will get income that came from the European buyers of the product.

I hope they stick it to the EU!

There is some suggestion that the double price is to atone for the Value Added Tax in EU countries, but I doubt it. Almost everything costs so much more in Europe because of the VAT, I guess we will find out soon enough.

Are we France, yet?

How About A Little Leadership?

Is Anthropological Global Warming (AGW) a threat to the universe?

Beats me!

But I’ll believe that it is when I see those who believe it is, act as if it is.

When: The President replaces his fleet of Suburbans with hybrids, and his Boeing 747 with a Gulfstream 5.

The White House is fully solar powered.

Al Gore reduces his carbon footprint to, say, 5 X  my carbon footprint.

Our “Green” Governor lives in the Sacramento Governor’s Mansion instead of flying a Gulfstream 5 to and from LA to Sacramento several times a week.

The Royal Family in England, so concerned with the environment, spend less than $66 million a year in travel, and solarizes the Royal Palace.

The President, who said we could no longer have our homes at 72 degrees, kept his winter White House a LOT warmer than that…let’s see some leadership from the top.

If AGW is a threat, I wonder if the special jet used by House Speaker Pelosi could make a few less cross-country jaunts?

I was mentioning my Moscow trip on a previous Blog entry, and that reminds me of what I saw there…the nomenclatura, high government officials who had special shops where only they and tourists like me could shop. I had a pretty 21-year old woman in St. Petersburg offer to spend the weekend with me if I would take HER money and buy her a mink coat! She could not shop in stores where I could shop.

Soviet citizens were not permitted into tourist hotels. I had a friend who married a beautiful and highly educated (Ph.D.) Soviet woman, but the woman was forbidden to attend HER OWN wedding reception because it was held in a tourist hotel! Even the attending US Ambassador, Jack Matlack could not get her entry! She was finally permitted when it was made clear to the authorities that future tourist activity could be severely harmed by that activity.

The Green movement has it own nomenclature, the ultimate of “do as a say, not as I do” group.

“Free” Enterprise

Back in 1986 I was in Moscow for the Perestroika speech, and I was at the University of Moscow that week to talk to students about computers.

Their interest in computers was vastly overshadowed by interest in my home, my cars…and “free enterprise” in general.

I tried to explain that the coming “free enterprise” meant that they would have to give up their subsidized subway tickets, their subsidized food, their subsidized medical, their subsidized rent…

“No!  No!” they replied! “We want to keep all of that, but we want free enterprise – you know…more money!”

With the Obama administration, perhaps the Moscow students were closer to reality than was I.

The Coming Airline “Tax”

The airline industry has read the bill Cap and Trade Bill that the House of Representatives failed to read – and they have estimated that the bill will add $5 billion in cost in 2012, and $10 billion in 2020.

Of course you know that is a lie. The airline industry will pay zero. Those are costs that will be transfer to the buying public.

The youth that put Obama in power, will pay the price.

Are YOU a Terrorist?

Karen Bass, the Democratic Speaker of the California Assembly, called everyone who has protested the Sacramento rush to tax a “terrorist” and anyone who promoted such protests as practicing “terrorism.’

Since every County in the State voted against that tax raid by the Democrats, this State has a LOT of terrorists.

Obviously, Madam Speaker is seeking cover. Chris Reed, an editorial writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune has a Blog he calls America’s Best Blog. He writes:

“How obnoxious can you get? Karen Bass calls her biggest critics ‘terrorists’

This is from a Saturday Q&A with the Assembly speaker in the L.A. Times:

Q: How do you think conservative talk radio has affected the Legislature’s work?

A: The Republicans were essentially threatened and terrorized against voting for revenue. Now [some] are facing recalls. They operate under a terrorist threat: “You vote for revenue and your career is over.” I don’t know why we allow that kind of terrorism to exist. I guess it’s about free speech, but it’s extremely unfair.

This is mindboggling for many reasons. The short list:

1. It is anti-democratic to liken criticism of elected officials and organized, peaceful attempts to hold them accountable for their decisions to “terrorism.” Bass would prefer a state full of sheep who just dutifully accept tax hikes and union payoffs. Earth to Karen: This is a democracy. If you want an obedient public, move to Pyongyang.

2. The “terrorism” remark makes the utterly idiotic presumption that conservative talk-radio hosts are the only reason there is anti-tax sentiment in California. Earth to Karen Bass: Voters of all parties don’t like tax hikes. Measure 1A failed in San Francisco, for God’s sakes. Talk about being in a bubble. Karen Bass and George W. Bush: peas in a pod.

3. The “terrorism” remark is pathetic on a personal level. Karen Bass’ biggest critics are two talk-radio conservatives in her hometown, John & Ken of KFI-640 in Los Angeles. Instead of just trotting out the usual clichés used to knock such hosts — they just want to create controversy to boost their ratings, etc — she calls them “terrorists.” This is obnoxious. It’s a lot closer to hate speech than what John & Ken are doing to Republican turncoats like Anthony Adams.


Good Old Canadian Healthcare

On June 27, a preemie in the Canadian province of Ontario needed a Hamilton hospital bed but none was available – so they sent the preemie to Buffalo.

From the Hamilton (Ontario) Spectator:  (Quote)  Dr. Peter Fitzgerald, president of McMaster Children’s Hospital, said he’s in discussions with the Ministry of Health about getting more beds for the NICU, which is already the largest and most modern in Ontario.

Fitzgerald is hoping to add around five more beds to the 47-bed NICU and another five beds in the Level 2 nursery where babies go once they’re well enough to leave intensive care. But he doesn’t know when or if it will happen.

“It’s tough on the families,” he acknowledged. “We will get the babies back to the region as soon as we can.”

But that can take anywhere from days to months.

“With the crunch on beds in the province, that may be a challenge,” said Dr. David Higgins, chief of staff at St. Joseph’s, which also has a Level 2 nursery. “We’ll help facilitate the return as soon as possible.” (End Quote)

When the US gets National Health Care, where will we send our Preemies?

A New Project

I am taking on a new challenge — doing a website for a  friend. She has inherited terrific photos/albums from he father and wants them on the web for everyone to see.

Marvin Popkin was a fantastic amateur photographer, who chronicled his way across Europe as a soldier in WWII, and filled four albums with original photos.

The first album is strictly his own. It is currently being scanned professionally onto a DVD in pdf. The book was too large a format (11×17) for my scanner.

The second book, called “Four Soldiers” was collected from his own photos and those of three other soldiers – two fellow US soldiers who joined him at Leisure World in retirement, and a fourth soldier who was a deceased German Ph. D. infantryman whose letters, photos, etc were found in his father’s smashed and burned home in Austria.

That book, shows the European war through four soldier’s eyes.  Real life photos of the massive and individual destruction of war, and man’s inhumanity to fellow man is visible in terms that only photographs can convey.  The piles of human corpses in concentration camps, and the subsequent much smaller piles of corpses of SS Troop Guards killed by the concentration camp inmates upon their liberation tell a story that must never be forgotten.

The next two books, I have not yet seen.

Additionally, Marvin took THOUSANDS of photos as he traveled the world after the war, concentrating primarily on backward and aboriginal lands like New Guinea in the ’50s, and Africa, where he did some absolutely fantastic character faces.

All of this will get on a website I am currently designing. The website is a paean to those who served  in WWII.

They were indeed, “The Greatest Generation.”

Et Tu, EPA? (I Certainly Hope So…)

I recommend everyone reading the Executive Summary of this 96 page EPA report that was politically suppressed, as reported by CBS News last Friday:

It takes a few seconds to download — it is  5 MB PDF. The Executive Summary is only several pages.

To say that it questions the validity of the Global Warming argument, based on measurements since the IPCC Report was promulgated, is a cautious understatement.

The Climate Change of Climate Change

There was an excellent précis on the current status of Global Warming in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago:

Basically, the tide has turned against Global Whatever. In the pantheon of citizen concern, GW ranks right with the social life of horned toads.

As I have expressed previously, the catastrophic events predicted have not come to fruition and there has been no movement toward such a catastrophe.  

That has not slowed the political movement toward solving a non-existent problem, because solving the stated problem is not the goal. The goal is control, and even the “success” of the House vote on Cap and Tax demonstrates this. No one read the bill. No one!

The Senate has the time to read the bill. They are indeed a “deliberative” body, and less impacted by the popular currents of the day. With a quarter of the members, each Senator is a King unto himself, less movable by even presidential pressure.

Nation after nation is getting cold feet about putting their economies into a worst competitive position viv a vis China and India. Initially, European nations were all gung-ho, but then they started cheating among themselves for economic competitive positions. Europe, both individually and collectively, failed to meet their GW goals. New Zealand reversed their GW Cap and Tax bill less than a month after they had passed it.

The GW crowd may have shot its bolt too early. The tide is changing.

Bad News and Good News

The bad news is that the youth of America have provided President Obama with the votes necessary for his victory.

The good news is that the youth of America will have to pay the price for their votes.

The Washington Post June 28 article on the recent results as determined by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

To put it bluntly, the fiscal policy of the United States is unsustainable. Debt is growing faster than gross domestic
product. Under the CBO’s most realistic scenario, the publicly held debt of the U.S. government will reach 82 percent of GDP by 2019 — roughly double what it was in 2008. By 2026, spiraling interest payments would push the debt above its all-time peak (set just after World War II) of 113 percent of GDP. It would reach 200 percent of  GDP in 2038.”

Young people are always susceptible to overspending, having been raised in familial socialism where everything is provided to them for the price of a smile.

It always comes as a shock to individuals when reality bites,

It bites collectively as well. There is a price to be paid, and it will be paid.