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Monday May 1, 2006

Illegal Alien Boycott Day

Today is supposed to have a demonstration of how awful life will be if all the illegal aliens take off.

In Southern California, at least, this has been a good day: the freeways were clear, the traffic was low, people were driving rationally. It took us well under 3 hours to get home from San Diego, and the radio reports tell us of freeways the way they were in the 1980's. The Macdonalds in El Toro may have been understaffed, but not greatly so.

I could live this way for a long time. The freeways were not designed to accommodate millions of illegal aliens, just as our hospital system was not designed for that kind of non-paying traffic.

Could they continue this rally for the rest of the summer?


If you didn't get the story about Lisabetta, my TabletPC, and her disk drive problems, as well as other interesting stuff, it's all in the weekend view.


In Southern California, everyone is saying, THE FREEWAYS ARE GREAT!  It's a wonderful day.


Should we be serious about this? A country that has no control of its borders is not a sovereign state.

The answer to the immigration problem is NOT to elect Open Border Democrats. What is needed is turn out for the Republican Primaries, and throw out all those who are not serious on this matter.

Alas neither the Republican nor Democrat leadership allow members to take a real stand on this.

Marius was sent to stop an invasion of the Guals. We are being invaded from the South.


Does anyone know how to make the Microsoft Desktop Search thing look at OUTLOOK ARCHIVES as well as current files???




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Tuesday, May 2, 2006   

 The freeways are crowded again. And what was the impact on the economy without the Gothic invaders?



Not to promote the Art Bell show, or Nostradamus, or Edgar Cacey, but their Nostradamus expert tonight is saying truth: the Goths wanted nothing more than to be part of the Roman Empire and its wealth, they didn't intend to invade and conquer they just wanted in, and they came not in armies and hordes but in tribes a few hundred a day... Eventually Theodoric the Goth deposed the last Roman Emperor of the West.  They were Arian heretics but wanted to control the Church even so. Perhaps there are some lessons in there. Perhaps not.


Lisabetta, the TabletPC, continues to work as if nothing wrong had ever happened. She's docked in her usual manner, and all seems well. She's not overheating (I did blow out all the vents, but I didn't see any dust or lint), the drive isn't chattering, and all works just fine.


Asking again, does anyone know how to search OUTLOOK Archives? I need to look back for a couple of years.




O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bomb bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
'Tis the star-spangled banner - O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footstep's pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation!
Blest with vict'ry and peace may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - "In God is our trust,"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave

  No refuge could save the hireling and slave...

At one time cadets at West Point were required to learn all four verses, with the fourth being the most popular with military officers. I do not know, but I suspect that tradition is no more.


Microsoft set to launch cheaper Windows XP product in Africa

By DULUE MBACHU .c The Associated Press

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Microsoft Corp. is targeting Africa with a lower-priced operating system, a Windows ``Starter Edition'' that will work on cheaper machines and have Africa-themed screensavers and background wallpaper among its features.

Microsoft said Thursday its Windows XP Starter Edition for Africa is scheduled to hit African shelves in July, although it didn't say how many units will be shipped or what the price range will be.

The Microsoft system ``operates on lower-cost personal computing hardware'' and ``is designed for entry-level PC users in Africa - with extended help and assistance functions for first-time users, and locally relevant screensavers and wallpapers,'' the Redmond, Washington-based company said in a statement released in Nigeria.<snip>

Does anyone else see some problems here?


Thanks to several readers for calling my attention to this:


The age of white guilt: and the disappearance of the black individual


By Shelby Steele

Harper's Magazine, November 30, 1999

One day back in the late fifties, when I was ten or eleven years old, there was a moment when I experienced myself as an individual--as a separate consciousness--for the first time. I was walking home from the YMCA, which meant that I was passing out of the white Chicago suburb where the Y was located and crossing Halsted Street back into Phoenix, the tiny black suburb where I grew up. It was a languid summer afternoon, thick with the industrial-scented humidity of south Chicago that I can still smell and feel on my skin, though I sit today only blocks from the cool Pacific and more than forty years removed.<snip>

This is an important essay, and well worth your time. The short comment is, "Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide." Steele gives a good series of examples and consequences. And see below


Subject: Iraqi Oilfield Conditions

Hi Jerry,

See http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,413981,00.html  for an interesting overview of the condition of the Iraqi oil industry,

Best Regards,


I find this fascinating; and of course Phillip's ship is over there in the Gulf and probably goes in and out of that river...


Jean-Francois Revel, RIP.


----- Roland Dobbins

How Democracies Die was an important work. He was always interesting. I regret I never met him.

  And on the subject of How Democracies Die:

Steele's latest: White Guilt and the Western Past.


- Roland Dobbins

These are both important essays. We've looked at most of these issues here, but these are good summaries with examples and good reasoning.

And the summary remains: "Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide."

Do not misunderstand: by suicide, Burnham meant, and I mean, the extinction of what we call "Western Civilization" including liberalism, tolerance, the Enlightenment, the Laws of War, laissez faire, and the notion of private property in the sense of "A man's home is his castle." There are counterparts to all those in civilizations other than Western, but sometimes they are hard to discern. Tolerance and the notion of equal rights and equal protection of the laws, in particular, has little counterpart anywhere outside the West. The fact the the Liberals who are killing the West will be the first to suffer when their work is done is not much consolation.



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Wednesday,  May 3, 2006

Column time. There is lots of mail. I am hard at work on replacing the drive in a laptop, as a preventive measure before I have to do that. Upgrade time as well.


Subject: damninteresting.com

That damninteresting.com web site is a potentially huge time sink! I found several articles I wanted to read, and now I dare not look at it because I have things I need to do.

Here were two really good ones:

* heroic efforts to fix a scary flaw


* Russia's use of dogs to carry mines under German tanks


-- Steve R. Hastings




My last question is, does anyone here know where they put the HP utilities, etc., on the HP 1100 TabletPC? Are these on a separate disk partition, or are they somewhere on the XP partition? I'll test all this out shortly.

HP Tech Support turns out to be relatively useless. I got a chap in Bangalore, who referred me to a telephone number where I could buy the utility disk, but in fact it is not offered there, and there is no way to get a human being. I cannot recommend HP tech support.

My hardware is under warranty, and I may just tell them I want a new hard drive installed, replacement, since I can't get any information from them on how to upgrade it myself, or what to upgrade with. Bangalore doesn't seem to know.


GoDaddy goes to bat:

for us. But what does Department of Commerce do for us?


And here is more legacy of the Egregious Frum:

Subject: "The Great Conservative Crackup" by Jacob Heilbrunn 

Interesting review of what may be a very interesting book.


Cheers! (when will we see more Sable pictures? <grin>)

Doug Hayden


That is: the Iraq War has divided the Conservative movement. That's all right. But National Review allowed the egregious Frum to use NR as a vehicle to read out of the conservative movement all those who didn't support the war. Now even the Founding Headmaster of the National Review Finishing School for Young Apostates has decided the war wasn't a good conservative idea. And where do we go from here?

We need out of that place. There is no way to win in Iraq that would not cost us more that we can bear. I do not want our army to learn how to govern without the consent of the governed. I never did. The occupation of Japan and Germany were a different matter; I should think that obvious.

The legitimacy of the Republic lies in government that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. There are other paths to legitimacy, and other forms of Republic; but this has been the peculiar distinction of ours, and it has worked very well. We should not lightly give it up.

I understand there are places where we are winning, where we are presiding over quiet transformations of a society. I understand there are large issues at stake here. What I don't see is any path toward Iraq as a democratic ally. Actual democracy in Iraq would result in a regime whose first act would be to tell us to get out. How long do we stay before we get democracy?

I suppose the hope is that the Iraqi politicians will come to their senses.

Note, though, that our ally over there was Iran, up to the moment when Jimmy Carter decided to abrogate that alliance. Under the Shah Iran was corrupt: 15% was the cost of corruption, and it applied to almost everything there.

Under the mullahs that cost is about 30%, and in addition the "democracy" is producing 12th Imam enthusiasts. If you think their current president is a bit odd, just wait. Worse will come.

The Middle East was the graveyard of many Roman ambitions, Republican and Imperial. Imperial acquisitions were fatal to the Republic anyway.

And that is enough rambling. I have work to do. But I am not encouraged by the daily news from the Middle East.


Does anyone but me have an HP Tablet PC 1100? I'd like to hear from anyone who has one.


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Thursday, May 4, 2006

You will have to excuse my lapse into depression yesterday. We may be able to muddle through in Iraq. May be able. The invasion was a strategic mistake based on false assumptions (not about WMD but about American interests, the nature of Arab/Mesopotamian culture, and other matters), and I would to God we were not there; but we may be able to pull it off, at enormous cost.

What depresses me is that we are making many of the same miscalculations about Iran. Bombing Iran is not in the interests of the people of these United States of America, nor is it in the interest of the current regime, nor is it in the interest of any conceivable Imperial regime. Iran is possibly the only nation over there that might become a reasonable constitutional nation with ties to the West. The current regime in Iran is not popular with any of the major interest groups there, and our cultural weapons of mass destruction are doing their work there.

Luttwak, who should always be taken seriously (even when he's egregiously wrong he states his reasoning clearly), has an analysis at:


which ought to be read with care.  He says it's not time to bomb Iran "yet". I hope someone pays attention to him.

Left to itself the mullah regime in Iran will self destruct to the benefit of the entire world. US intervention at this time would cause a wave of Iranian patriotism that would set progress back by decades if not centuries. But apparently those advising the White House are not thinking straight. I hope they listen to Luttwak.


A question. I have a good slide show, called "Survival with Style", which I used to give back when A Step Farther Out was a current book. It was pretty good.

It's still pretty good, but it's on slides. I need to have those slides converted to jpeg files or something of the sort. I just thought of this because I've been working on the column and I mention using PowerPoint in my current lectures. As I did, I realized that I could turn Survival With Style into a good current lecture, but I could use some of the charts and a number of the photographic illustrations.

If I dig up that slide show -- it is still in one of those reel things that we kept slide shows in -- and pull out the slides, what's the best way to get them into something I can copy into PowerPoint?

As I recall I have a couple of other slide shows that illustrated lectures I used to give. Alas, alas, most of what I said back then is still current. In those days, though, I was almost the only one on the lecture circuit who thought we would still be here in 2006. Most college faculties were preaching doom and gloom and despair. Small was beautiful, Paul Ehrlich was popular, Stephen Schneider was telling of The Genesis Strategy and the coming ice ages... I need to dig out all my old lectures and convert those slides. I also have slides from Thera and Crete and Athens and Thebes. I need to get those into the computer age.


We have, by permission, a report from Iraq by General Barry McCaffrey. I have a pdf copy, but I haven't taken the time to figure out how to post a .pdf here, so I have converted it to a text file. It's worth the time to read it. This is what's going on, and what the officer cadets are learning.


I caught some kind of sinus problem in Phoenix, and it has lasted since. The symptoms are pains. I find I can relieve them by pumping out the system. It helps a good bit. If you have sinus problems, look into this:





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Friday, May 5, 2006

Cinco de Maya

Viv' l' Emperour

One wonders: would Mexico be better off with the heirs of Maximilian, or was the victory of the Juaristas a benefit? Our neighbors to the South have their own views, of course. One also wonders if the Juaristas would have won absent US invocation of the Monroe Doctrine?


It is column time, and I am under deadlines. I am using Ghost and I will have a good story for the May column on laptop recovery. At least I certainly hope so.

There is mail about General McCaffrey's report, and I'll have that with comments later. It's very busy here...


McCaffrey comments next week.

Lisabetta is completely cured and I have a good story out of it. Rejoice.

Meanwhile, read this review of a history of the Cold War:

      It Could've Been Hotter.


     - Roland Dobbins

To which one may only say, it certainly could have been. With 26,000 nuclear warheads aimed at the US the situation was at best metastable. And prior to nukes there was the Red Army poised to roll to Paris.


If anyone knows young Kennedy (the Congressman from Rhode Island) or knows a way to get email to him, my wife suspects that he has a Celiac condition. If so and that is not known, he will have progressively worse digestive conditions. He needs to be tested for this. The likelihood is certainly non-zero, and there are several factors to suggest this as one cause of his problems.


Roland Dobbins and Julie Woodman both recommend:

http://www.tcsdaily.com/Article.aspx?id=050506I on why socialism is not dead.




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Deadline time.


If you missed this:


The Best of the Worst By KATHERINE MEYER May 3, 2006

What were they thinking?

The Internet spawned so many weird gizmos and bad business ideas that mocking dot-com duds became something of a sport in the post-bubble era. But some ideas still stand out for pure silliness. These are products and services that attracted lots of publicity -- and, in some cases, millions of dollars in funding -- before folding.

In the earlier days of the Web, "nobody seemed to care if there was a real business there," said Alan Meckler, chief executive of Jupitermedia Corp. and Internet industry pundit.

If It Seems Too Good to Be True<snip>

it's worth your attention. Of course we said all this back then both here and in the column.


On the subject of He Fell Into A Dark Hole:

May 2, 2006 Black Holes Collide, and Gravity Quivers By KENNETH CHANG


In the most precise effort yet to detect gravitational waves the quiverings of space-time predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity the National Science Foundation in the late 1990's carved two large V's, one in the barren landscape of central Washington State, the other among the pines outside Baton Rouge, La.

The tunnels are part of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, known as LIGO. If something astronomically violent, like a collision of two black holes, shakes the fabric of the universe within 300 million light-years of Earth, an expanse that encompasses several thousand galaxies, LIGO should see the resulting gravitational ripples.

The observatory is sensitive enough to detect a change of less than one ten-quadrillionth of an inch, or about a thousandth of the diameter of a proton, in the length of the 2.5-mile-long tunnels.

After several years of testing and fine-tuning special dampers had to be installed at the Louisiana site to counteract vibrations generated when nearby loggers cut down trees, for instance the observatory began full operation in November. The centers cost nearly $300 million to build and $30 million a year to operate.

The data so far, reported last week at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Dallas, contain nothing of interest. In fact, scientists would not be surprised if the initial run of the experiment over the next year or so found nothing at all.<snip>



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Sunday, May 7, 2006

Does anyone know of a good source of a decent temperature measurement system for about $100? When I was in the human factors business, you simply called Yellow Springs Instrument Company and got one of their thermistor bridges. They could measure to any accuracy you liked, and over a wide range. I can not make sense of their web page now and I don't see the old lab bench instrument and probes I relied on for both physiological measurements (we needed core or internal temperature, and there was only one way to get that) and for the environmental temperatures (we were cooking astronauts at up to 400 F, and note that in those days the canons of the Human Factors Society of America dictated that if you designed the experiment you got to take the first ride). But I ramble. What I want is a decent contact probe I can use to get temperatures of electronics; the particular need is the temperature of laptops at different usage levels, but if I'm going to get something I may as well have a general purpose system. The old YSIC bridges were great because you could plug in a variety of probes of different shapes for different purposes.

EIC of Britain seems to make something I like for about fifty pounds, and that may be what I want to get, but it's a single fixed probe for contact only. Anyway, suggestions welcome.


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a discourse on Iran and what to do. A number of people have read it according to the page statistics.

I have received this in reply:

Subject: Dumb Looks Still Free: Why not containment for Iran?

Dear Jerry - Had to respond to your question on Iran... but my physical and mental state have been very Grey and overlooked sending this to you. My apologies!

My name is private and my works are those of 'A Jacksonian'.

All I have is ideas left to me.

I hope you are well,

Blog: Dumb Looks Still Free Post: Why not containment for Iran? Link: http://ajacksonian.blogspot.com/2006/04/why-not-containment-for-iran.html

"A Jacksonian" does me the courtesy of taking my arguments seriously. He believes containment is not possible, and advances reasons. Another time I will answer.


Regarding the temperature probe: I have a use for a good temperature measurement system for purposes other than getting surface and internal temperatures of laptops. The EIC hand held probe looked pretty good, but I have problems finding out how to buy one: it looks as if they are all in the UK. In the old days in Human Factors, as I said, I'd just get a Yellow Springs Instrument Company laboratory unit and a number of different thermistor probes in different shapes and sizes. YSIC always worked and was always accurate; but that was many years ago, and I have no idea if it's still the same company -- and I can't figure out what to buy from their web site.

http://www.omega.com/ppt/pptsc.asp?ref=OS540&Nav=temj04 is recommended by reader Andrew Bushnell; this is an IR reader, and it has a repeatable accuracy of +- 1 C, which is good enough for most purposes, and of course being IR it doesn't need to make contact with hot (thermal or electrical) surfaces. I may just get one of those, but I'd still like a good contact probe with higher accuracy if I can find one at a reasonable price.

In any event, thanks to all who have sent mail on this. I am considering my options, and I'll have a report one of these days.

Thanks again.





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This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 words, depending.  (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If  you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.

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