History is Not Boring discussion

History in the making

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message 1: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments Since the "We Just Witnessed History" topic is closed, I thought it might be neat to continue it here. There's a lot happening that we'll have to live with in the future. What do you think will make a big difference?

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments There's an interesting fight going on with Amazon's new Kindle reader. It has a text to speech ability built in & some authors are now saying it shouldn't. They're selling the written word, people need to pay extra for having it read.

There's an article about it here:

What do you think?

message 3: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments I'm in Miami airport waiting for a connection to Costa Rica. I see we have a new thread. Kewl.

If a reader did the reading for a book, they deserve to be compensated for their work. If a machine converts the written words to spoken words, the machine deserves the compensation, which was paid at purchase. I personally wouldn't want my books read by a machine. I've expressed that sentiment to amazon.

There is a tchnology revolution occuring in the publishing world. Authors are getting the short end until the industry settles down. VHS v. Beta? Remember that war? The best product lost.

message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments I hadn't thought about the compensation angle to the reader, Will. It's a good point. An author does get a cut of an audio book, but a reader is paid, directed, produced & marketed. Media is prepared & shipped. No extra is done with a Kindle.

I can't listen to some audio books because I just can't stand the voice reading. I've heard machines read before. It wouldn't be worth listening to unless I was desperate.

message 5: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 990 comments Mod
I can see how it might be most attractive if I were blind or seriously visually impaired.

message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments I can only listen to audio books in the car or I get distracted. I've tried listening to them when cleaning. That's OK sometimes, too.

They are expensive. I wonder if that is because there aren't as many of them? Higher cost of production per unit or are they just soaking us because they can? Are MP3 downloads cheaper than CD's or cassettes? Seems to me they should be.

message 7: by Jenn (new)

Jenn (Jenn_Reed) Most of the books I read, don't have an audio component. However, I have a lot of dead time in the car that can probably be better spent than listening to AT40 type talking heads.

I'm fortunate that if there is a book I want at work, my company either pays for it first or they reimburse me if I order it, just as long as it's work related.

Do readers for books get paid by the hour or by the page or what? If the books have high quality readers and are edited and composed with quality audio equipment in a proper studio it usually translates to higher costs for the final product. Book reading isn't like a amateur pod cast or Youtube video.

I do like audio books. I never would have picked up a Malcolm Gladwell book if I hadn't had access to the CDs. I think that most music MP3s are less expensive, like .99 a song or something. I haven't downloaded and MP3 book, the Kindle price of Sharon Kay Penman's book the Devil's Brood is a few dollars less than the printed version, though it looks like it was nearly half price as the original version was $28. So I don't think as users we have to take it.

message 8: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments Electronic versions of books, like on Kindles, are cheaper because it doesn't require printing. I don't listen to books; I read fast and listen slow.

The sun is coming up over the Costa Rican coast and it's incredibly beautiful here. After the bus ride from San Jose last night, I got to sleep about 1:00 am and rose at 5:00 to not miss this sight. It's worth the effort; it's beautiful. Siesta this afternoon, though.

Talk about HISTORY BEING MADE...Cuba! That's all the buzz here. I remember the blockade well. I've supported normalization with Cuba for years. We're not there, yet, but moving in that direction.

message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments Is anyone attending one of the 'Tax Tea Parties' tomorrow?

message 10: by Jenn (new)

Jenn (Jenn_Reed) Wish I could attend the "parties"; I do have plenty of tabs that I can send. ;)

message 11: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments Interestingly, here, where all the guests of the hotel and yacht club are wealthy, none are supportive of the "Tea Parties", it seems. They dislike high taxes, but think the tea parties are a joke and will have a backlash against conservative interests.

I can't imagine what the "Modern-day Boston Tea Parties" are demonstrating against; higher taxes on the middle class? No, they got a tax refund. Higher taxes on the wealthy? No, not until 2011, and not as high as under Reagan.

Maybe state tax increases? States are usually mandated to balance their budgets and are forced to raise revenue to fullfill their responsibilities or lay off teachers, police, firefighters, etc. Yeah, that must be it. "We want fewer police! We want fewer police!" Not a bad idea, maybe. (shrugs)

Time for a swim.

message 12: by Will (last edited Apr 14, 2009 01:07PM) (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments I spent some time at the yacht club and just returned. We guys were jawin' at the bar. I used a trick I got from Thom Hartman. I tossed out items like, "Break up the banks instead of pouring more tax dollars into them," which is what I think we now need to do, since we avoided total economic destruction recently, and can proceed more responsibly, now.

I also said, "Get Walmart out of my neighborhood and save my neighbors' jobs."

These conservative Republicans are supporting my liberal attitudes about how to proceed on many items. "Go back to Reagan's tax rates," I pushed yet further.

"Yeah! He had it right?" they chimed in.

"I voted for Obama and am proud of it," I added.

"Huh??!!!" I should have had my camera ready.

My point was that we all have many common attitudes on many common issues, if we ignore Fox and Rush.

message 13: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments Will,
you are a modern Trojan horse
in the jungles of Costa Rica....

message 14: by Will (last edited Apr 14, 2009 03:01PM) (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments Aren't Trojans purchased in Men's restrooms? Yeah, that's me.

I explained I am writing a book titled, "Consfessions of a Recovering Conservative" in which I try to demonstrate that liberals and progressives have divided up arguments between them and taken opposite positions so long they don't think, they just regergitate their positions. Lower taxes won't fix everything. Government exists for a purpose, let's make it serve its purpose. Conservatives and liberals agree on those.

Oh, and I bought a round of drinks, so everything was fine.

An all-you-can-stand seafood buffet tonight, and all you can drink (standing not required) on the beach. I may miss the sunrise tomorrow morning.

message 15: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments Which coast are you on Will?

Pacific or Caribbean?

message 16: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments Pacific. The beaches aren't as nice as the Caribbean side but it's better developed for tourists like me. It's easier to get to from San Jose, also.

I was gentle to me with the adult beverages last night so I didn't miss the sunrise this morning.

There is an article about the Author's Guild's position on the talking Kindle2 on Goodreads this morning, I see.

More drama on the high seas off the coast of Somalia? Ship carrying relief food was attacked?
This has the capacity to escalate into the next world crisis if we don't stop the criminals and their leaders now. How? I don't know.

message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments The Somalian pirates are indeed a bad mess, especially with the country so divided. Lots of blame to spread around & no one to take control of cleaning the mess up. Individual clean up efforts are hampered by international suspicion. Isn't there a similar situation in south east Asia?

The government in exile of Tibet has been hacked by the Ghost Net, according to the IWM. Scary the way it was done & how cleverly the intrusion continued. One PC infected, spread to others until emails carrying the infection spread it throughout the network. Another situation where there is a lot of blame to spread around but no villain to point a finger to. Lots of suspicion to raise international tempers, though.

I wonder how far away we are from a global government? I'm not sure what the definition of such would be, but more than the UN.

message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments Who said a person would govern the world? A group, maybe? A global republic? What about computers?

message 19: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments As a young man I assumed we were headed toward a Unified World. It was the young era of the U.N. World War II was supposed to end wars. I was naive.

Now, I doubt we will have a world government. I'm not even sure we should, but I would like international law, humanitarian and nuclear agreements and patent protection to be enforced universally around the world; that may be achievable, if imperfect.

Ron Paul's solution is to issue letters of marque and pay bounties for dead Somali pirates. I guess to differentiate dead Somali fishermen from pirates, they'll look for peg legs or eye patches.

message 20: by Will (last edited Apr 15, 2009 07:39AM) (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments Oh! There was a rise of piracy in SE Asia in the late 90's. It seems to have not gone away but the rising frequency of incidents and militant approach seems to have gone down a bit or stabalized, now. Japan and Singapore took the lead in a coordinated effort to deal with the problem, if my memory is correct. They didn't accept increasing calls for fire-power responses as a solution, but concentrated on training crews how to react and respond. My memory is poor, though, even w/o my morning bloody mary. An organization called BARS (sort of like Blackwater) did some guard duty on some high-value cargoes for a while. I only remember the name because it implied drunken sailors in Bars to me, at the time.

message 21: by Andrea (new)

Andrea I was interested by the comment that we could possibly reduce piracy by increasing food aid. First, let me say I am quite politically liberal. Sometimes, govt. is the only legitimate way to approach a problem. But while hunger is a big problem for Somalis, it isn't what causes piracy. Pirates, people who don't give a (chose your own expletive here) about other people's lives or livelihoods cause piracy. If we increased food aid, they would steal more food, to sell at a profit to starving people. I should add that my husband is from Kenya, and I've spent some time in the region. I don't have an answer, but Somalis are pirates because they have no govt., a problem with long,deep historical roots. Their problems, along with those of Sudan, are bringing massive amounts of guns, drugs etc into the East African region, making it into a very scary place for those of us who would like to get on with our lives, including those who feed the hungry.

message 22: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments Apparently I wasn't the only person to find the new bill to allow the President to 'turn off the Internet' ridiculous.

From Mark Gibbs, a writer for Computer World:
"...is a great example of how watching political sausage making will cause you to lose all respect for those cranking the handle.

The nascent bill proposes that the president be given what will be, in effect, the power to shut down the Internet. No, I am not kidding. At first I thought this was some kind of elaborate April Fool's joke (a staff working draft of the bill is dated April 1), but then I read John Fontana's article here in Network World and realized these people are serious! "

The rest of his article is here, if you're interested:
The Internet Kill Switch

message 23: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments Marco wrote: "Computers to rule the world *raises eyebrows*

We do not want a repeat of Terminator :P"

Oh, I don't think the Terminator scenario is the only one or even the scariest, in some ways. I think computers will run the world, if only as secretaries to the decision makers. Hmmm.... Maybe they do that now.

I was thinking of the next step where efficiencies are gained by allowing computers to decide where to buy & sell. Let's hope that 'need' is part of the equation. I was raised on stories of how grain was rotting in silos in one area while folks starved in another. A dash of artificial intelligence & a little more autonomous control might alleviate such situations. Sounds good on the surface anyway.

After that, a bit more control is given as we see how logically & rationally the computer handles things. Eventually, the computer(s) are really running it all. It's been a favorite theme in a lot of SF novels. After watching a guy flip out about losing his iPhone today (his life is ruined due to lost info & connectivity) I wonder how much fiction there is left in these stories.

message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Some of my students seem almost literally ruled by facebook and their phone. They can't concentrate on what they are writing, what someone else in the room is saying etc because they need to respond to texts etc. They are less efficient thinkers and actors because they are constantly attending to irrelevant input rather than the real world around them.

On the topic of "turning off the internet" in recent post-election violence in Kenya, the govt. "apparently" shut off electricity to some problem areas, which stopped would be organizers from charging their cell phones. They figured out how to charge them using car and tractor batteries. But hypothetically, a more sophisticated govt. could shut down the cell phone network entirely.

message 25: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments I keep wondering why there isnt more of a coordinated effort to blockade the Somali pirates?

I would think NATO or Indian Ocean Nations would send their navies to patrol the coast of Somalia. These pirates have some sophisticated equipment, but from what Ive heard, their ships are very small. It seems that if our Navy could blockade the Confederacy during the Civil war; modern navies could do the same for Somalia today. Or if not a blockade, then perhaps arrange for a convoy system to protect ships en mass.

A recent Time mag article said that shipping owners find it much cheaper and easier to pay a few million dollars to the pirates than to reroute their ships around the Cape of Good Hope.

message 26: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments I was reading a report (while on the plane) that "too much twittering and facebook-time destroys users' ability to relate to reality and other people."

We give the government the right to shut down banks. We give them the right to launch wars. But, OMG, don't give them the authority to shut down Facebook!

message 27: by Andrea (new)

Andrea I am middle-aged, and think of my electronic communication as a pleasant addition to my real social life; many of my facebook friends are real-life close friends who live far away. And goodreads encourages me to do the reading and thinking that make me more effective in the real world. But for my 18-20 year old students, facebook and twitter seem to be somehow more real, more important than real life. It has a big theatrical component, shades of the 18th century's obsession with "staging" one's social life.

message 28: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments Reminds me of something I read about the
Arch Bishop of Monterrey Mexico.

He was concerned because too many people were on their cells, taking calls and texting, and twittering during mass in the cathedral.

He purchased some devices from the Israeli military to block cell phone reception on church property.

Seems to work like a charm

message 29: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Oh, I want one of those for my classroom! But, for better or worse, I don't have any Israeli military connections.

message 30: by Anthony, Trivial Pursuit Master (new)

Anthony (bluekabuki) | 40 comments Mod
That is random.

message 31: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments It's interesting to note that no one has given or asked to give the power to the President to shut down cell or regular phones, yet they want to give him the power to shut down the Internet. Exactly how one separates phone systems from the Internet is beyond me.

Ever been in a phone/network switching room? The techs can't distinguish which lines are 'Internet' & which are 'phones' by physical features. There is no difference at most points in most lines today. It will be interesting how the two are distinguished legally.

message 32: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments We're running short of most resources, but not human bodies. Unfortunately, we don't do much with them when we're done with them. I have no religious beliefs about my body after I die, rather see it get used, so I donated mine to the Maryland State Anatomy Board, but they don't collect bodies out of state. Since I moved, I looked around for a local place.

I found this site:
which lists most of the anatomy boards around the US. The phone number for our local one was out of date, but it was easy to find once I knew what to look up.

Only about 1% of those that are listed as donors on their driver's licenses actually donate & then the family still has funeral expenses. You have to die a certain way & be disgustingly healthy otherwise. Even a slight fever can disqualify your parts. I've used mine hard & the family gets to decide who gets priority in the event of a conflict.

The average cost of a funeral is $6500 or more. The local anatomy board returns your ashes in 6 months, no charge for cremation. During that time, they get to do what they want with your body. Typically, that means medical students get to learn on you, the cadaver, rather than some poor live sap.

Seems like a good cause to me. My father-in-law did it. Worked great. No fuss or muss for the family. Thought I'd pass it along in case anyone else is interested.

message 33: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments some interesting points Jim

I sae somewhere about a place to let your body decompose naturally.

Your body is buried in a meadow/field without being embalmed. There are no markers; however they do input your location in a GPS system, to prevent another burial on your site.

They pictures showed a natural setting with no obvious man made structures or landscaping. Just trees, grass and wild animals.

message 34: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments I think you can buy cell phone blockers fairly inexpensively for buildings now. I thought I read something about some restraunts putting them in. Google "Cell phone jammer" One of the top hits is:
The page wouldn't load fully on the modem, but it looks like both personal & business jammers are available. Whether they work on all frequencies is another question.

I hope I didn't kill the conversation with the body donation bit. I just try to make sure everything is squared away in case of my untimely demise or crisis. I keep a current will, instructions & all accounts updated in a document. I went through hide & seek with a couple of estates now & it sucks. The family really doesn't need the extra headache. Keep it simple, cheap & up to date. Not that hard with the few assets & heirs we have.

message 35: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments The WSJ did an article on the Tea Parties yesterday.

According to this article, the protesters weren't happy with either political party. Steele asked to speak at one party & was refused.

Did anyone attend one of the Tea Parties? If so, how do you think it went?

message 36: by Andrea (new)

Andrea My husband, the Kenyan, was very happy about the tea parties. He said it might raise the price of tea even higher if people start throwing it around. Here's a weird thought:"tea parties" lead to increased tea shortage, which raises world tea prices. The Kenyan govt. gets big increase in revenues and uses the money to send out their navy to shut down Somali pirates.

message 37: by Will (last edited Apr 16, 2009 08:19AM) (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments Andrea: Great idea. I'd switch from coffee to tea if it would work. One of the reasons the piracy has been ignored is because it's such a small percentage of all shipping. It needed a "crisis" to get noticed. I've disagreed with shipping companies accepting it as "operating costs" and passing it onto insurance companies, because it encourages an increase in piracy.

I've never supported "food donations" to countries except for short-term emergencies. If we want to improve the lives of citizens, they need skills and jobs, markets and decent economies. It's the old "Give a man a fish or teach him to fish" argument. I vote for teaching them to fish and give them a boat and net, not food. You can apply that to Afghanistan, Mexico, Somalia, etc.

From the news we've gotten about the success of the Tea Parties, it was a mild success for someone as a News, PAC and corporate-sponsored "grassroots" event. Who benefitted is questionable. It was a chance for people to vent their frustrations, fears and anger, for sure. They have plenty of reasons for those, currently.

I'm off to Tortuga Island.

message 38: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments I don't have Twitter or any kind of Instant Messaging or RSS feed. Years ago, I had an ICQ account; one of the first IM platforms & I had one of the first accounts. I rarely used it. Email, newsgroups & boards are plenty fast & seem like enough of a distraction. Real time is better used for real stuff.

message 39: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments I thought the Tea Parties would be for people upset with the tax system.

Our local "tea parties" were basically for the FAR right wing of our local Republican Party and their supporters.

Anti-Choice, Pro Assault Weapons, Anti Immigration, Pro Oil Drilling, Anti Gay Marriage, English Only, No Universal Health Care, and one idiot supporting "segregation" of the races.

message 40: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (SusannaG) | 990 comments Mod
Yeah, that sounds like the description down here, Manuel.

message 41: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Apr 16, 2009 11:37PM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa I watched Obama's speech a couple of nights ago.
He seemed like the most rational and sane politician I'd heard in a while.
As such I doubt he'll last the term. I imagine a whole bunch of far right groups/business interests will be outraged and plotting his downfall.
Based on what I heard, and assuming he stays true to his vision, I hope he lasts both terms.

message 42: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments The Fox network
keeps stressing the unpatriotic nature of Obama's statements in Europe.
As if he should be defending Bush's agenda of 8 years or
following the bumper sticker mentality ..........
"My country,Love it or Leave it"
"My country, right or wrong!!!"

message 43: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Apr 17, 2009 12:39AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa Manuel wrote: "The Fox network
keeps stressing the unpatriotic nature of Obama's statements in Europe.
As if he should be defending Bush's agenda of 8 years or
following the bumper sticker mentality ............."

I find the idea of patriotism totally debased these days.
As you mentioned Manuel, many think that to be patriotic means to defend your govts. decisions and policies. But in many cases I think it would be more patriotic to challenge them (I do not limit this view to the US, it should include all nations).

message 44: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments I watched "Countdown with Keith Olberman" last night on MSNBC and he took Obama to task for saying we won't prosecute CIA agents involved in torture techniques.

Whatever your views, you have to admit that Keith is liberal, a supporter of Obama, and patriotic in his criticism of his leader. I'm torn on the issue.

I think torture should be prosecuted, but I also think it would tear the nation apart if we did. Those who support prosecution have a legitimate reason--we can't ever let it happen again. I agree. I also think the national psyche would be very damaged as the prosecutions proceed for a few years.

I'm going sailing.

message 45: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments Someone told me the other day that the Republican party is thinking about splitting. I wonder if I'll like one of the splinters any better if it does. I don't like either major party right now. A lot of issues are polarized incorrectly in people's minds, I believe. Dumbed down by the media, too.

The tea parties here were full of extremists, too. I guess I'm a moderate?

I'm pro-choice for abortions, although I don't like the idea of them after 3 months or so. A partial birth abortion just seems nasty.

I'm not for more gun control since I haven't seen any evidence that it works beyond some basic rules already in place. The rest just seem to be ignored or are used to oppress honest citizens.

I am for English only. My grandparents & great-grandparents were proud to learn it. It's the customary language of the land & the most universal. Legal language is tough enough in any one language, so translations are asking for trouble. NY has over 2 dozen 'official' languages, I think. All forms, regs & gov't business must be done in all. Ridiculous, expensive & a waste.

Oil drilling is a good thing. The limits we have on it now are silly. We can't drill in the Gulf, but everyone else can? There's a park here behind a friend's house with a gas well on it. He had to point it out. It can be done right.

I am not sure about the immigration thing. Legalizing 12 million people who REALLY want to be here - if they're working & following the rules - seems like the right thing to do to me. What's the downside?

I'm not for Universal Health Care, but mostly because I haven't seen any evidence that the government can run something like it better than private industry. (Definition of an elephant: a mouse built to government specs. - RAH) I think there are some law changes that we should try first to get costs under control. There certainly is room for a lot of improvement.

I'm against the current tax system, too. It's so complicated now that I hire someone to do mine & that's ridiculous. I do it out of fear I'll screw up & get audited. Too many get away with paying almost nothing, while others get soaked. That's wrong. It's such a complicated mess that I don't really understand what cause & effect of some changes would be, though. I doubt anyone does, so anything is a shot in the dark. I still think we should take some & Obama's got the right & ability.

message 46: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments I watched Keith Olberman on MSNBC last night via sattelite. He took Obama to task for his position of not prosecuting CIA agents involved in torture techniques. Keith is a liberal, a Democrat and a supporter of his president, expressing his dissention with the president's policy. I may disagree with Keith, I'm not sure, but I support his patriotic duty to express his disagreement.

I'm torn on prosecuting the offenders. I see Obama's side, that prosecutions would tear the country apart in a time when we need to come together. I also see the point that to prevent it from reoccuring in the futue, we must make a stand NOW.

I think we need to have a national discussion on "What is the role for, the duties of, and limits on the CIA?" When we reach a decision, we make it law and inviolate in the future.

I'm off sailing today.

message 47: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Barbarossa, I agree with you completely. A true patriot loves his/her country and wants it to be true to its ideals. That means if I think my govt. is harming my country ( govt. and country arenot the same thing) I disagree with the govt. Basic democratic (small D) ideals aren't they?

message 48: by Will (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments Sorry, I couldn't figure out what had happened...the page had turned; thought it hadn't posted. Oops! Duh...

What do you know about Einstein3, Jim?

I'll get around to Jim's rant later. (Just kidding calling it a rant, Jim. I do it all the time. I like it when people have opinions, even when I disagree--not saying I disagree with all of them)

Gotta go.

message 49: by Will (last edited Apr 18, 2009 02:55AM) (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments The wind came up and postponed our sailing outing for a bit; maybe the rest of the day.

Hre we go!

ABORTION: I destest it. I am against it. I want it controlled and discouraged, especially as a form of birth control. I choose choice since it's not my choice to make, nor the government's. I want couseling on alternatives. BUT, if my sister or daughter decide to have an abortion, I want it to be safe, legal, and no one to be prosecuted and imprisoned for it. BTW, using that philosophy, abortions went down under Clinton and up under Bush. "Freakonomics" has some statistical insight into the issue, I won't go into here.

GUN CONTROL: We've been there. I think Jim does make a good point that enforcing what laws we have is more important than making new laws. I'd still look at better laws. Mexico asked us to ban assault weapons sales and Obama declined.

ENGLISH ONLY: I've advocated we make English our official language for 30 yrs. That said, I want official forms, questionaires, hand bills, and signs in mulitiple languages and children to be encouraged to study, speak, and be exposed to multiple languages. Citizenship should, and does, require basic English speaking skills.

OIL DRILLING: Drill here, drill now? That was my position for many years. In Texas, we used to have bumper stickers, "Let the Yankee B******s freeze in the dark," because it was okay for us to drill off the shores of Texas but not off New York. I now support making the transisition to non-fossil fuels as the future and drlling the past technology that will trap us into oil dependence for another generation.

IMMIGRATION: Tough subject to have a good answer. Every succesful society has depended on a source of renewable lower class laborers. Ours is predominantly Mexico. If we educate all our citizens to qualify for higher paying jobs, who does the lower paying jobs? Who will pick my oranges and spinach? Who will wash my dishes when I eat out? Who will care for my lawn when I'm old and tired and incapable of doing it? Illeagal Mexican immigrants is often the answer to those questions. Is it right? Probably not. Is it our reality? Yes. How should we fix it? I don't know. I do know that thousands of miles of fence is a really dumb idea. I've seen other coutries protect their borders much better than we do.

TAXES: Now, we agree and disagree. The current tax laws are complicated and poorly written and administered, I agree. I don't think they are too complicated for most people;especially with Turbo Tax and such. I've never done my taxes w/o an accountant and never plan to. Trying to save accountant fees is just dumb, in my experience--no matter how the tax laws are written. I approve of progressive taxes as long as they stay within a responsible limit. What that limit is, is a legitimate discussion. I abhor offshore tax sheltering. I would advocate prosecuting offenders instead of changing the laws, much like Jim feels about gun control--punish the offenders but leave the rest of us alone. How to do that? I don't know. I think re-doing the tax code is a worthy discussion, but let's face it; people don't like paying taxes and get emotional on the subject. They do enjoy the services that taxes provide. I consider them the price I pay for my lifestyle. I don't like paying my credit card bill after a vacation, either, but I do it.

message 50: by Jim (new)

Jim (JimMacLachlan) | 851 comments Will wrote: "... What do you know about Einstein3, Jim? I'll get around to Jim's rant later. ..."

I don't know much about it, Will. It's an automated security system & I've seen some of major flaws picked up attributed to it occasionally (they don't normally say how flaws are found) but I've never worked with it. I don't know what it looks for or how it handles various OS's. Probably a moving target anyway. It should be.

I spent the morning getting a Vista PC to work with our VPN. Yup, a whole morning shot to hell because the OS has been secured into un-usability. Did you know the admin & owner of a file can't even make changes to many system files in Vista?

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Books mentioned in this topic

Nineteen Eighty-Four (other topics)
A History of the World in 6 Glasses (other topics)
Seeds of Change: Six Plants That Transformed Mankind (other topics)
Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution (other topics)
Space for Hire (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

William F. Nolan (other topics)