Conceived above a saloon, delivered into this world by a masked man identified by his heavily sedated mother as Captain Video, raised by a kindly West Virginian woman, a mild-mannered former reporter with modest delusions of grandeur and no tolerance of idiots and the intellectually dishonest.
network solutions made me a child pornographer!
The sordid details...
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no. we're not that kgb.
The Carbolic Smoke Ball
Superb satire, and based in Pittsburgh!
"No religious Test shall ever be required as a
Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the
Article VI, U.S. Constitution
Geek of the Week, 7/16/2000
Cruel Site of the Day, 7/15/2000
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Saturday, September 20, 2008
What does it all mean?
The best explanation of the economic craziness of last week can be found here.
Jaw-dropping quote of the day
"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."
Yep. Ol' "Keating Five McCain" will do for health care what he did for banking. What could go wrong?
Friday, September 19, 2008
What? You're going to send them to Gitmo?
What a tool.
George nailed it 212 years ago today
Washington's Farewell Address was the message to the American people published by outgoing President George Washington on September 17, 1796. Washington wrote it during the height of a divisive Presidential campaign. In it he outlined three principles that he believed the new nation should follow in public affairs. First, sectional antagonisms should be put to rest. Second, "the baneful effects of the spirit of party" should be muted because they threatened liberty by subordinating people to demagogic leaders and hampering the ability of the President to promote the national interest. Third, U.S. diplomacy should "steer clear of permanent alliances" and "trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies."
Just as valid was Washington's take on debt and taxes:
"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repeal it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives; but it is necessary that public opinion should cooperate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that toward the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue which the public exigencies may at any time dictate."
I don' b'lieve we're headin' into a recession.
I b'lieve th' fundamentals o' this econ'my be strong
an' I b'lieve they will remain strong,
ya horn swogglin' scurvy dog!
When will this madness end?
Quotes of the day
It is poor judgment to countersign another's note,
to become responsible for his debts.
Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for
debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched
from under you.
Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity
Capitalism without failure is like religion without sin.
-Dr. Allen Meltzer
Thursday, September 18, 2008
(Note: strong language in these clips.)
Network was released in 1976, the same year my son was born, and I remember thinking as I watched it that the brilliant satire was so over-the-top that I really didn't have to worry about my son growing up in such a perverted world.
Now I fear my granddaughter is going to be faced with true Idiocracy:
Why you should never, ever, put your candidate in front of a green screen
Well, he got *that* right...
Heckuva job, Bushie.
Get your arrrgghh on...
Just a friendly reminder: tomorrow is Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Aha! *That* kind of black hole...
My, this is cheerful
Cutting edge technology
Suprised by the crash?
He made my 401K disappear...
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
CNN headline of the day
How the election will be stolen this year
Elections are too important and computer systems too insecure to permit computer voting. Expect another nightmare this time around, and expect the mainstream media to ignore it.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Irony in the news, #231
Kenneth D. Lewis, the chief executive of Bank of America, told CNBC on Monday that virtually every Wall Street giant would be touched by an A.I.G. failure. (In a surprise commingling of financial crises, the landlord of Lehman's London office said the bank's rent payments were insured by A.I.G.)
Wonder Woman on Sarah Palin: Be Very Afraid
Yikes. Lynda Carter speaks:
Don't get me started. She's the anti-Wonder Woman. She's judgmental and dictatorial, telling people how they've got to live their lives. And a superior religious self-righteousness... that's just not what Wonder Woman is about. Hillary Clinton is a lot more like Wonder Woman than Mrs. Palin. She did it all, didn't she?
No one has the right to dictate, particularly in this country, to force your own personal views upon the populace... religious views. I think that is suppressive, oppressive, and anti-American. We are the loyal opposition. That's the whole point of this country: freedom of speech, personal rights, personal freedom. Nor would Wonder Woman be the person to tell people how to live their lives. Worry about your own life! Worry about your own family! Don't be telling me what I want to do with mine.
I like John McCain. But this woman- it's anathema to me what she stands for. I think America should be very afraid. Very afraid. Separation of church and state is the one thing the creators of the Constitution did agree on- that it wasn't to be a religious government. People should feel free to speak their minds about religion but not dictate it or put it into law.
What I don't understand, honestly, is how anyone can even begin to say they know the mind of God. Who do they think they are? I think that's ridiculous. I know what God is in my life. Now I am sure that she's not all just that. But it's enough to me. It's enough for me to have a visceral reaction. And it makes me mad.
People need to speak up. Doesn't mean that I'm godless. Doesn't mean that I am a murderer. What I hate is this demonization of everybody but one position. You're un-American because you're against the war. It's such bullshit. Fear. It's really such a finite way of thinking about God to think that your measley little mind can know the mind of God. It's a very little God that way. I think that God's bigger. I don't presume to know his mind. Or her mind.
The real question is...
... not why this house in Gilchrist, TX survived Ike, but why local building codes don't require all homes in the area to be constructed in this way. And before you talk about cost, ask how many times this area's been damaged, and how much money has been spend rebuilding structures just so they can be knocked down again when the next big storm blows through. I have no objection to people living in areas prone to natural disasters, I just object to having to pay for their failure to consider the risks involved and to adequately protect their property at their own expense.
Ah. My life has meaning...
The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection, even though it consist in nothing more than the pounding of an old piano, is what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star.
-Logan Pearsall Smith
Monday, September 15, 2008
Not that you should be concerned or anything...
But the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has only $50 billion on hand to "insure" deposits of $1 trillion. Congress has been too busy bailing out Freddie and Fannie to worry about covering the small fry with a measly $100K or less on deposit.
The FDIC currently has a list of almost 120 banks on its "watch list." But, as the agency says on its web site, "The FDIC never releases its ratings on the safety and soundness of banks and thrift institutions to the public."
Instead, they provide a list of private companies who- for a fee- will tell you if your mattress is a safer depository.
If you're interested, you should check now... while your debit card is still working.
Out of the bottle...
The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and these
instruments will almost certainly multiply in variety and number until
some event makes their toxicity clear. Central banks and governments
have so far found no effective way to control, or even monitor, the
risks posed by these contracts.
-Warren Buffett (in 2003)
Quote of the day
All reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just
as big as they can pay for.
-Logan Pearsall Smith
Extrasolar planet photo!
Astronomers believe they have taken the first amazing photo of a planet around another star like the Sun. The alien world shows up as a tiny orange disk in the image captured by Canadian scientists with a giant telescope in Hawaii. More here...
Stunning planet surface photo here.
This is not going to be a good day for the markets...
In order to understand the stock market we have to realize that, like anything enormous and inert, it's fundamentally stable, and, like anything emotion-driven, it's volatile as hell. Got that? Me neither.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Tshirt of the day
I'm not old. Your music sucks.
Copyright © 1987-2018 by Kevin G. Barkes
All rights reserved.
Violators will be prosecuted.
The email@example.com e-mail address is now something other than firstname.lastname@example.org saga.
kgbreport.com used to be kgb.com until December, 2007 when the domain name broker Trout Zimmer made an offer I couldn't refuse. Giving up kgb.com and adopting kgbreport.com created a significant problem, however. I had acquired the kgb.com domain name in 1993, and had since that time used email@example.com as my sole e-mail address. How to let people know that firstname.lastname@example.org was no longer email@example.com but rather firstname.lastname@example.org which is longer than email@example.com and more letters to type than firstname.lastname@example.org and somehow less aesthetically pleasing than email@example.com but actually just as functional as firstname.lastname@example.org? I sent e-mails from the email@example.com address to just about everybody I knew who had used firstname.lastname@example.org in the past decade and a half but noticed that some people just didn't seem to get the word about the email@example.com change. So it occurred to me that if I were generate some literate, valid text in which firstname.lastname@example.org was repeated numerous times and posted it on a bunch of different pages- say, a blog indexed by Google- that someone looking for email@example.com would notice this paragraph repeated in hundreds of locations, would read it, and figure out that firstname.lastname@example.org no longer is the email@example.com they thought it was. That's the theory, anyway. firstname.lastname@example.org. Ok, I'm done. Move along. Nothing to see here...
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get kgb krap!