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"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." --C.S. Lewis
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:: Thursday, June 30, 2005 ::

Conservative Talk Radio Talent Wanted

Conservative talk radio hits Canada - in Podcast form: Apply within.

:: Max 9:16 PM [+] ::
Knocking Over the Monopoly Board: The Kelo Decision

Main Entry: im mi nent

Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin imminent-, imminens, present participle of imminEre to project, threaten, from in- + -minEre (akin to Latin mont-, mons mountain) -- more at MOUNT

: ready to take place; especially : hanging threateningly over one's head {was in imminent danger of having his home and business confiscated by the freakin' government}
- im mi nent ly adverb

Mrs. Max and I own a rehabed loft/storefront surrounded on all four sides by multi-million dollar commercial loft developments. Aided and abbetted by our psuedo-public/private "Economic Development Corporation", many of the local developers have used these "economic development tools", including condemnation or imminent domain to grease the rails of progress. So far, they haven't targeted our little property [to our knowledge anyway] but it's probably just a matter of time. The Kelo Decision makes us lay awake at night, I can assure you.


:: Max 6:28 PM [+] ::
"Black by popular demand"

Walter E. Williams on the Kelo decision:

"The Court's decision helps explain the vicious attacks on any judicial nominees who might use framer-intent to interpret the U.S. Constitution. America's socialists want more control over our lives, property and our pocketbooks. They cannot always get their way in the legislature, and the courts represent their only chance. There is nothing complex about those 12 words the framers wrote to protect us from governmental property confiscation. You need a magician to reach the conclusion reached by the Court's majority. I think the socialist attack on judicial nominees who'd use framer-intent in their interpretation of the Constitution might also explain their attack on our Second Amendment "right of the people to keep and bear Arms." Why? Because when they come to take our property, they don't want to risk buckshot in their butts."

The wealthy and influential have little to fear from imminent domain while those with few resources risk losing everything just trying to defend themselves from condemnation. This is the very definition of tyranny. The Supreme Court has just given your local municipality a power never intended by - explicitly forbidden by - the founders; don't look for them to relinquish it anytime soon.


:: Max 1:10 PM [+] ::
Reverse Moonbat

SondraK has just ruined my whole freakin' day. Don't click on this link if you're prone to throwing lamps and punching holes in your sheetrock [I literally just bit my tongue - ouch].


:: Max 12:29 PM [+] ::

"Some people insist on seeing the glass half-full, some half-empty, but I see only a dry broken glass and, in a momentary incredulity, I cut myself on the sharp edges. I cannot feel myself bleed and remain willfully blind."



:: Max 12:11 PM [+] ::
Uh Oh; The Manolo he is officially weary...

"Go away Tom Cruise! The Manolo he is now officially weary of your hyperactive-chimpanzee-on-meth antics."

[a little devine wisdom from the Church of Manolology?]

:: Max 11:53 AM [+] ::
Naked heads meet male sex bombs; The Big Pharaoh elucidates....

:: Max 2:07 AM [+] ::
Bulldozers Head to Checkpoint Charlie

Davids Medienkritik has a discouraging update on the bulldozing of the Checkpoint Charlie monument in Berlin. I'm tellin'you they just want to forget the whole damn thing - like it never even happened...


:: Max 1:51 AM [+] ::
Americans not so bad after all?

"43 percent of the French, 41 percent of Germans, 42 percent of Chinese and 42 percent of Lebanese--are pro-American..."

...and if everybody supposedly hates us so much, why are they storming the gates to get in?

Update: Well, and then there's this...

:: Max 1:22 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 ::
11:50pm June 30th update: We shaved Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, enhanced his eyebrows a little and Shazaam, he bears a striking resemblance to the other guy in the 1979 hostage photo. We Photoshop you decide:

Its the other guy

This is interesting; LGF and Gateway Pundit a couple of guys in their pajamas reported yesterday that the new president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was one of the original hostage-takers in the 1979 hostage crisis in which Iranian students seized the US Embassy and held 52 Americans captive for 444 days. Today, an AP story on the Fox News website is also reporting the story - albeit with a few caveats regarding the identity of the man in the photos below [with no reference to LGF or GP I might add]. No doubt this question would have probably never been asked were it not for the blogs. Sadly, the "professional journalists" working the MSM beat seem far more concerned with their hair than they are in sleuthing a potentially major scoop like this [and they wonder why circulation stats and TV ratings are plummeting?]

I don't know if this story is true or false but, given the video and photographic record of the story, it shouldn't be difficult to verify or refute. It'll be interesting to see who comes up with the goods first; the blogs or MSM. My bet is - either way it goes - the blogs will get it first.

For the record, I'm not convinced Mr. Ahmadinejad is the guy in the hostage photo. Here's my Photoshop comparison with the only decent JPGs I could find - you decide:

Update: Think it's been confirmed; the hostage taker apparently is the new President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. So what we got here is Arafat incarnate with nukes and loads of cash - beautiful:

Update 2: Ooops, not so fast. Looks like the jury's still out on this one....


Update: Just made this composite for your consideration [actually, I think he looks more like the Brillcreamed guy in the background - blue arrow]:

MahmoudAhmadinejad_Compare 2

More: Go here for a local perspective of the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [>]


:: Max 11:09 PM [+] ::
Speaking of "compare and contrast"...


:: Max 11:07 PM [+] ::
Kyoto Protocol's Negative Economic Consequences Emerge

Apparently, tiny New Zealand is waking up with a nasty Kyoto Protocol hangover. Tim Blair has an amusing update on how the Europeans are coping with their onorous Kyoto commitments as well.

Unless some time traveler from the future appears with the recipe for cold fusion - a highly unlikely if not entirely illogical proposition - Nuclear power is the only answer. If the Screaming Greenies had taken a Physics course instead of Environmental Sociology or Marxist Theory, they'd have a much better grasp of the global energy situation. With both the Chinese and Indian economies in overdrive, increasing use of fossil fuels for power generation is inevitable - and unfortunately, China and India are currently two of the least ecofriendly nations on Earth. If Al Gore and the Global Greens would get out of the way, safe, clean nuclear power would eliminate one of the biggest producers of pollution on the planet: Coal burning power plants.

Related: "over 700 local pressure groups" are blocking France's massive ITER nuclear fusion project. It can take decades to realize an important project like this; having a mob of ill-informed luddites standing in the way of a technological marvel such as ITER retards the evolution of the species and endangers every human on Earth. ITER must go forward.

Update: Bush/Blair comment on Kyoto [>]


:: Max 4:29 PM [+] ::
Released kidnap victim vows to hunt down and kill his captors:

"Sweden's Ulf Hjertstrom, who was held captive for several weeks in Baghdad before his release on May 30, is channeling the spirit of Charles Bronson. Apparently, Hjerstrom has "hired bounty hunters to track down his former captors, promising to eliminate them one by one." "I have now put some people to work to find these bastards," he told the Ten Network today. "I invested about $50,000 so far and we will get them one by one."

This is a rather refreshing development. Bet he gets 'em too.

Update: Dang, this guy doesn't fool around...


:: Max 4:14 PM [+] ::
Don't miss these 50 inside photos of Camp V Delta, AKA GITMO from BradBeckett.com


:: Max 4:05 PM [+] ::
German Hookers Form Chorus; Butcher German National Anthem

Rotweiller Puppy has all the details.

[they really suck]


:: Max 8:53 AM [+] ::
Fisking the Vienna Weenie

Self-fisking NYTs "economist" Paul Krugman AKA "The Vienna Weenie" is a favorite blogosphere whipping boy. Krugman reminds me of the erstwhile, 90lb milqtoast bookkeeper who winds up dropping the soap in a prison shower - over and over and over again.

[Frankly, I think he kinda likes it...]


:: Max 8:37 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 ::
GITMO Interrogation Methods Go Hi-Tech

No, God no - please I beg of you - do not use the "GITMO Terror Gator"...

Via Florida Cracker [>]


:: Max 9:56 PM [+] ::
The Classic Runaround

Jeff Jarvis is having a problem with his Dell computer and their Customer Service department. Coincidentally, our local Fox affiliate is airing and ongoing "Problem Solver" segment on a DOA Dell computer that Dell has been unable to resolve for many months leaving the customer with little more than a hefty credit card bill and disappointed children who can't figure out why daddy can't get the expensive new computer to work. Not long ago - and largely because they reputedly had such terrific service - I purchased a new Dell Inspiron AND the pricey extended warranty package to accompany it, something I rarely do with other electronic items. So far, I've been lucky and the Inspiron remains glitch-free, however, in view of these stories, I'm far less likely to trust them again. Jarvis has far more readers than I do, many of them tech-savy. Hopefully, his "Dell Service Sucks" post will reach someone in management who can fix the freakin' fixers before I need 'em - and I know I will.

[hey, you in the Customer Service department - WAKE UP!]


:: Max 4:52 PM [+] ::

Here's an excellent first-hand account of the actual prisoner conditions found at GITMO. Durban owes the military an apology and if he had any self-respect, he'd resign.

[bet alot of Americans incarcerated in the general prison population would gladly trade places with a GITMO detainee...]

Update: Then there's this...


:: Max 3:58 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, June 27, 2005 ::
"Negro Removal"

Re; The 'Kelo Decision, an excerpt from Justice Clarence Thomas' dissent:

"If ever there were justification for intrusive judicial review of constitutional provisions that protect discrete and insular minorities, surely that principle would apply with great force to the powerless groups and individuals the Public Use Clause protects. The deferential standard this court has adopted for the Public Use Clause is therefore deeply perverse. It encourages those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms to victimize the weak.

"Those incentives have made the legacy of this court's public purpose test an unhappy one. In the 1950s, no doubt emboldened in part by the expansive understanding of public use this court adopted in Berman, cities rushed to draw plans for downtown development. Of all the families displaced by urban renewal from 1949 through 1963, 63 percent of those whose race was known were non-white, and of these families, 56 percent of nonwhites and 38 percent of whites had incomes low enough to qualify for public housing, which, however, was seldom available to them. Public works projects in the 1950s and 1960s destroyed predominantly minority communities in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Baltimore, Maryland. In 1981, urban planners in Detroit, Michigan, uprooted the largely lower-income and elderly Poletown neighborhood for the benefit of the General Motors Corporation. Urban renewal projects have long been associated with the displacement of blacks; in cities across the country, urban renewal came to be known as Negro removal. Over 97 percent of the individuals forcibly removed from their homes by the slum-clearance project upheld by this court in Berman were black. Regrettably, the predictable consequence of the court's decision will be to exacerbate these effects."

Tragically, the liberal sausage machine has ruined forever any possibility that Janet Rogers Brown would be considered to fill the impending Supreme Court vacancy. They'd have made a great team. African Americans will have to do some serious soul searching when they cast their ballots in November '08.

Update: This is encouraging, let's hope it pans out.


:: Max 4:53 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, June 26, 2005 ::
Re; the 'Kelo Decision', here's the Clermont Institute's "The Vanishing Right to Property" via Powerline; an excerpt:

"In one of the most famous Federalist papers, Federalist 10, James Madison wrote that the first object of government was the protection of the diversity of the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate. The right to acquire and protect property was considered to be one of the fundamental, inalienable natural rights of mankind, and it is recognized as such in most of the original state constitutions and nearly all of the subsequent state constitutions. Pennsylvania's Constitution of 1776 is fairly typical, recognizing "That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and inalienable rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."

"Last week, the Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to the fundamental right of property owners to possess and actually use the property for which they had labored in their own pursuit of happiness."

The way things are going in this country, this moronic decision is hardly surprising. The United States Constitution has just been torn to pieces and thrown into our faces folks. The Supreme's have just given the hacks on your local city council the power to take it all for a "higher use". We've been had.

Well, at least our undereducated children won't blame us when their property is confiscated by their Government; because they've no knowlege of the constitution - and could care less about it anyway - they'll simply assume it was like that all along. My dear father is spinning in his grave. [It's not your fault Dad, you warned me].

Update: Here's how you can fight back.


:: Max 4:49 PM [+] ::
Beware the Dangers of 'Mantropy'

Men: Researchers suggest adopting the metro-sexual lifestyle might be dangerous to your health. The cure may include getting a little grease under your fingernails rather than a pedicure - seriously!


:: Max 10:44 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, June 25, 2005 ::
Our hero, Victor Davis Hanson:

"Since September 11, we have had midterm and national elections, both referenda on the so-called war against terror. Those on the left have lost the majority of state legislatures, governorships, the House, the Senate, the presidency and perhaps the Supreme Court. If normal debate somehow didn't rile up the somnolent American people, why not try conjuring up the ghosts of Hitler or Josef Stalin?

"There is also an asymmetry in these slurs. Few mention there really are monsters and mass killers living among us - the North Koreans who have starved 1 million of their own, Saddam's reign of terror that may have killed as many, and, of course, the Islamicist murderers who behead, blow up and torture. "Mein Kampf" still sells well in some Arab capitals, not in Washington or New York.

"So cowards such as officials of the Red Cross and Amnesty International, and, yes, American politicians, prefer to showboat the purported misdemeanors of people who are civilized and will listen to them, rather than to condemn the horrendous felonies of those who are barbaric and will pay them no heed.

Via LGF [>]


:: Max 4:51 PM [+] ::
If you use PowerPoint in your line of work, you might want to memorize these five rules for an effective Powerpoint presentation.


:: Max 11:05 AM [+] ::
Wanna ride on the Space Shuttle? 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Liftoff!


:: Max 10:59 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, June 24, 2005 ::
The Bush Doctrine is overhauling the political machinery in the Middle East inspite of the left's efforts to deny it. But no matter how many times Ted Kennedy screams "quagmire" the people of the region grasp the tremendous consequence of what is happening there:

"I believe that after 9/11 the US shifted from supporting these suppressive regimes to supporting reformers, because they (the regimes) are the main source of extremism and so the Iraq war has caused an earthquake in the entire middle east, the Egyptians were in a state of shock seeing the statue of Saddam Hussein getting kicked by shoes of ordinary Iraqis. Alongside high unemployment rates, poverty and generally extremely harsh economic and social conditions. Egyptians are fed up, and suddenly different movements with different ideologies and fields are all working to building a better Egypt...

As I've said before, ironically, Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush are on the same page when it comes to regime change in the middle east; they would just disagree on how to accomplish it. It looks as though modern Arabs prefer Bush's freedom and democracy approach to OBL's primitive and deadly fanaticism.


:: Max 10:11 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, June 23, 2005 ::
Car Keys as Weapons?!

TSA confiscates man's Audi automobile key claiming it was potential 'switchblade'. Replacement cost? $300.00. Maybe we should just all throw in the towel so to speak because this is where airline security seems to be heading.


:: Max 1:00 PM [+] ::
Housing Bubble?

Probably not so much in my neck of the woods but in SF, NYC, Pheonix or Boston? This articulate commenter at The San Francisco Real Estate Blog has some thoughts on 'bubbles':

"Many people throw around the adjective "bubble" to almost anything these days - housing, oil, hedge funds, etc... There is actually an empirical measure - a price level that is 2 standard deviations above the long term trend. GMO (an institutional money manager) has studied this topic and found 27 historical bubbles in stocks, real estate, commodities, currencies, etc. globally. EVERY bubble eventually reverted to the long term average!

"So is housing a bubble? Many of the major cities are - places in CA and Boston and others are actually 3 standard deviations above trend and would have to fall 25%+ in real terms over a 5 year period to get back to the trend. This flies in the face of those who argue that prices won't/can't go down. Other areas of the country are simply expensive and prices are likely to flatline and/or decline slightly.

"The problem with all of this is that bubbles are fairly easy to identify but extremely hard to time. The US stock market reached bubble levels in 1998 yet exploded higher for almost 2 more years! Once behavior becomes detached from economic value, people can get crazy. For anyone who doubts this just read the history of the tulip mania in holland in the 17th century.

"The final days of a bubble are often the most explosive - the nasdaq doubled in the last portion of that bubble. So, markets could get much more nuts before they fall. Finally, the broader risk is that of the impact on consumer spending - which has been hugely dependent on cash out refinancing. Also, Merrill Lynch put out a report recently that estimated that well over 1/2 of all new jobs since 2000 have been real estate related - what happens when that reverses?"



:: Max 7:38 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, June 20, 2005 ::
Blog Alert

Even if you're not in the market for a new car, bookmark Autoblog for future reference. Non bookmarkers need not despair however, Autoblog can always be found right here on the Prairie Fire blogroll under the new 'Automobile' heading.


:: Max 4:37 PM [+] ::
Hat Size Determines IQ

Researchers discover big-brained people likely to be more intelligent [Go-wan, no way!].

[Boy, those scientific researchers must be real smart fellas - bet they hafta wear one of them 10 gallon size hats...]


:: Max 10:39 AM [+] ::
Muslim prisoners denied prayer rugs...

...in French Prisons!

[like the Gulag only with stinky cheese...just wait until Amensty International finds out about this- boy will they be mad!]


:: Max 10:26 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, June 19, 2005 ::
Voice of Reason: The Big Pharoah has his finger on the pulse of the "Arab Street".

[The Big Pharoah is living proof there is indeed a rational faction of Muslims living in the Middle East. TBP sounds like the kind of knowledegable guy who would be very fascinating to have coffee with. Hopefully, in my lifetime, it will be possible for moderate voices of Islam and the West to be heard over the nihilistic BushHitler/NaziJew/MuslimTerrorist rhetoric that now prevents meaningful discussion from occuring. I choose to remain optimistic that positive change is well underway.]


:: Max 4:08 PM [+] ::
Ironic media twist via Iraq the Model:

"Zarqawi's group in an announcement on one of their websites accused Al-Jazeera of siding with the Americans and their allies through its biased coverage of events in Iraq."


:: Max 4:02 PM [+] ::
New improved Tightwads

Screw driver + table saw = baby-wipes.


:: Max 8:56 AM [+] ::
Star Wars or US Military? You decide.

Via the beguiling SondraK


:: Max 8:37 AM [+] ::
Take Back Rally

Take Back the Memorial organizers are holding a rally at ground zero 12:00 Noon, Monday, June 20, 2005. If you're serious about killing the IFC, be there.


:: Max 8:18 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, June 17, 2005 ::
Give me a big enough lever and I'll...

...smack some sense into your pot-addled cerebrum you ignorant hippy. OK, this is the kind of muddled reasoning you get when you subject your brain to a four year diet of gender studies, marxism, psychology and political science - oh, and an art course or two - at the expense of a little science and math. I'd like to think World Jump Day is a hoax* but I suspect it's for real which is as comical as it is downright foolish. Freakin Moonbats.

[*Carl Rove? Bwaahahaha...]

Via No Pasaran [>]


:: Max 5:22 PM [+] ::
Outlawing "Hate Speech" UK Style

UK Lawmakers are reproposing the "incitement to Religious Hatred bill". Rottweiller Puppy has some thoughts on the matter.

Vocabulary Alert: 'Taqqiyaa' is deliberate deception practised by Muslims to further the interests of Islam.


:: Max 3:17 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, June 15, 2005 ::
The author of the EU constitution, Valery Giscard d'Estaing is now scolding Jacques Chirac for making the entire 448 page document available to every French citizen prior to the referendum saying he told Chirac; "Don't do it...It is not possible for anyone to understand the full text".

Ironically, just prior to the election, d'Estaing, in reacting to criticism, pooh-poohed the idea that his constitution was opaque and indecipherable by stating: "The text is easily read and quite well phrased, which I can say all the more easily since I wrote it myself."

I suppose d'Estaing is oddly correct - most people "easily" found the "full text" impossible to understand.


:: Max 11:29 PM [+] ::

Driving home from the gym tonight, the wife and I noticed what appeared to be a major roundup of illegal aliens - probably twenty or so - cuffed and sitting in a row along "the boulevard". It's interesting because Kansas City has actually established a sort of safe-house for "day workers" complete with kitchen, bathrooms and telephones; not sure how it's funded. The police even have a little office inside. I'll try to post a picture tomarrow showing the "day workers" waiting to be picked up by contractors.

Note: I personally don't have any problem with Latinos coming to the US to work or live , I just want it to be done in an orderly and lawful fashion. Right now, it's chaos. Given the national security issues involved, a porous border is simply irresponsible.

Side note: I once asked an "undocumented worker" how he managed to get to Kanasas City from the Texas border. He said he hitched a ride on a freight train. I was curious how he did it so I inquired as to where on the box-car he hid while riding on the train. He said that the preferred method of train-travel was to break into an auto-carrier and gain entrance to a new luxury automobile contained therein because the keys are always in the ignition. From that point on, it's a comfy ride with AC/heat, stereo and reclining leather seats. I can't vouch for the veracity of this story but sounds perfectly plausible to me. New cars would have to be shipped unlocked with gas in the tank and a key in the ignition so that they could be unloaded from the carrier when they reached their final destination. I just smiled and shook my head in utter amazement.


:: Max 10:06 PM [+] ::
"Major Editorial Shakeup at 'L.A. Times'" Interesting...


:: Max 7:06 AM [+] ::
Europe as Sideshow

"It was so long since she had been obliged to make a serious military effort that she had lost the will that makes such efforts possible. Peace, the pursuit of pleasure, the love of luxury, the whole spirit of dolce far niente has sapped her strength. She was old and tired; she was also spoilt."

Read the wole thing.


:: Max 6:58 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 ::
Long Overdue

EFF has created a legal resource for bloggers. If your're wondering how your right to free speech keys with established law on such topics as slander and copyright infringement, the EFF Legal Guide For Bloggers is a good place to start.

Via Jeff Jarvis [>]


:: Max 4:59 PM [+] ::
Mark Steyn on China's prospects for the 21st century:

"I said a while back that China was a better bet for the future than Russia or the European Union. Which is damning with faint praise: trapped in a demographic death spiral, Russia and Europe have no future at all. But that doesn't mean China will bestride the scene as a geopolitical colossus. When European analysts coo about a "Chinese century", all they mean is "Oh, God, please, anything other than a second American century". But wishing won't make it so."


:: Max 6:16 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, June 13, 2005 ::
Monday's stupid jet tricks courtesy Florida Cracker...

[could I get a little Stairway to Heaven for effect please...]


:: Max 6:08 PM [+] ::
Feel the Love

"American sentimentality may once have seemed endearing, but now we know it's just another instrument of evil. Every aspect of American culture has begun to stink of the grave. The pizzas and hamburgers: this is how world tyrants fuel themselves. The cars, the drugs, the music, the TV: this is how they distract themselves from their crimes. But how can they still think they're right about anything? Their children are deep-fried, drug-soaked numbskulls, the adults hapless lemmings in their SUVs, heading straight into the back-end of the American dream. Where is the guilt - and where the apology?"

Tim Blair has all the sordid details [>]


:: Max 6:05 PM [+] ::
Euro Losing Favor? News like this must give Chirac & Co. the night-sweats.


:: Max 2:06 PM [+] ::
User Name and Password

Password management a nightmare? LifeHacker has an excellent three part series on choosing, remembering and managing your numerous personal Web IDs.


:: Max 1:42 PM [+] ::
Mozilla Firefox VS MS Explorer

I've been using Firefox for about three months now and the main reason is simple. Firefox loads web pages much faster than Explorer. Couple that with the fact that Firefox allegedly has far fewer security flaws than Explorer and the switch was a no-brainer. Initially, I was reluctant to change browsers fearing the transition would screw up my mail settings and bookmarks but Firefox's installation wizard handled the task seamlessly, preserving all of my Explorer settings. Given Microsoft's legendary trickery regarding its browser competition, I suspected Windows XP would have a fit with the alien sofware but so far, I can detect no conflict whatsoever between Firefox and Explorer and they seem to be coexisting quite nicely on my hard-drive. Other users must like Firefox as well as I do because it just won the PCWorld "Best Product" Award 2005. Oh, and Firefox is a shareware product so it's f-r-e-e - download available here.


:: Max 12:57 PM [+] ::
Most Courageous Woman in the World Update

Booker Rising has a nice assesment of where Ayaan Hirsi Ali stands politically; don't miss it.

Note: Booker Rising is yet another Black Conservative blog that certainly deserves more attention: bookmark it.


:: Max 7:08 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, June 12, 2005 ::
You Heard it Here First

How one man ended all disease with three nine volt batteries...

[Max will do the chemistry and get back to you, assuming Max survives...]


:: Max 11:26 AM [+] ::
Pissing Contest

Google Results for "piss+christ"
Google Results for "piss+koran"


:: Max 11:07 AM [+] ::

The word "Google" isn't listed or defined in the Merriam Webster Online Dictionary.

[I know, get a life Max...]


:: Max 11:01 AM [+] ::
Oh those whacky Arabs

AURORA, Colo. -"A Saudi Arabian couple was in custody Friday, accused of turning a young Indonesian woman into a virtual slave, forcing her to clean, cook and care for their children while she was threatened and sexually assaulted.

"A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted Homaidan Al-Turki, 36, and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, 35, on charges of forced labor, document servitude and harboring an illegal immigrant.

"Al-Turki also faces state charges including kidnapping, false imprisonment and extortion, as well as 12 charges of sexual assault. His wife faces some of the same charges. The two could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted."

Why doesn't this surprise me. I'm betting the House of Saud pulls some strings and will whisk this couple out of the US lickety split. If they do any prison time I'll eat a Koran, Quran, Qur'an. And what the hell is a "virtual slave" anyway? I hope a tenacious Colorado Blogger keeps this one alive.

Via LGF [>]

For more on the sad plight of women suffering under primitive Islamic law see this recent article on Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

[Wait a minute, maybe I'm missing the big picture here. This story would make a great reality show - kinda like Nanny 911 only with Arabs and slaves. How about Harem House 911 - ya, that's the ticket!]


:: Max 9:40 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, June 11, 2005 ::
Microsoft Acrylic

Microsoft is on the verge of launching a new graphics software program called Acrylic that would ostensibly compete with Adobe Photoshop, the penultimate photo editing software used by the pros. The Techgurus review the Beta version and are unimpressed but some commenters take issue suggesting the reviewer doesn't understand the Acrylic program. Whatever the case, I can't imagine anyone - even Bill Gates - seriously competing with Photoshop at this stage of the game.

My thoughts on Adobe Photoshop:

Photoshop is an insanely great piece of graphics software. If you are going to work with digital photographs in any capacity, whether professionally or just as a hobby, you simply must have Photoshop on your computer. Photoshop is to the digital camera what gasoline is to the internal combustion engine - indispensible. Although the learning curve may be a little steeper than is true for many computer programs, once learned, Photoshop gives the photographer tools that can only be considered magical. But don't be intimidated, there are many good quick-start books and community colleges offer introduction courses to Photoshop.

Here are a few quick digital photo tips: A) When purchasing a digital camera, buy as much megapixel as you can afford. The megapixel count on your camera determines the resolution of your photos so the more the merrier; with digital photography, resolution is everything. At this point in the product cycle, I wouldn't buy a camera with less than five megapixels and I'd probably want 6-8 (in the compact camera catagory). B) Shoot your images in the highest resolution possible. Although lower resolution will give you more frames on your memory card, the lower resolutions severely limit Photoshop's capabilities because there is less information for Photoshop to work with. C) New versions of Photoshop are pricey; look for older, unregistered versions on Ebay. Try not to buy any version under Ver. 7 (version seven has the amazing Healing Brush). D) Purchase the largest memory card for your camera that you can afford because high-res digital images require a lot of flash memory. Go for a BIG one-gig card - you'll need it.

Here's another Max photo for Photo-Fun Saturday. It's a little job I quickly manipulated in Photoshop. My original photo (top) was contrasty due to the high angle of the sun so I just used the anomaly to my advantage (bottom):

PS Compare

Try to accomplish that in a darkroom.


:: Max 11:43 AM [+] ::
Here's a little toast to the Huffington Post...


:: Max 10:39 AM [+] ::

Fox's Brian Wilson explores the logical extension of Howard Deans latest offensive remarks. Dean, appearing in a news conference with Harry Reid was asked the following question:

"If people are focused on the other things that you've said about hating Republicans, about Republicans being dishonest and then this latest comment about the Republican Party is full of white Christians. You say you hate Republicans -- does that mean you also hate white Christians?"

Of course, Dean ignored the question...

[and Dean is a white Christian...so, bada-boom bada-bing he must hate himself which makes a lot of sense when you think about it...]


:: Max 10:10 AM [+] ::
Silo Web

Springtime on the Prairie. I love it out here...


:: Max 9:04 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, June 10, 2005 ::
Now Playing

British troops create DV spoof so popular it crashed army's computer servers - here it is: Is this the way to Armadillo?

[Nobody in drag? How positively unBritish...]


:: Max 2:54 PM [+] ::

Cox & Forkum

Fortunately, there is a move afoot to Take Back the Memorial. This is very important. Please take a moment to visit TBM to see how you can help.


:: Max 1:19 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, June 09, 2005 ::
Stage Left

"I was disappointed that Hollywood didn't do enough for John Kerry's campaign, compared to what Hollywood did for Bill Clinton's campaign.

"The democratic Hollywood base, power base and money base, really didn't come out this year, and I was surprised about that.

"It might have been that Hollywood is very interested in charisma and I do not think that Hollywood felt that John Kerry had the kind of charisma that Bill Clinton had and that they didn't come out in force.

"I thought John Kerry would have been a wonderful world leader and an American president."

--Steven Spielberg

The more Hollywierd "comes out" for a Democratic candidate the better it gets for the Republican candidate. Nothing sends the fence sitters running from the Dems faster than a tedious uniformed rant by Barbara Streisand, Meathead or Rosie O'Donnell. Look for all the hypocritical, limo-libs to come out swinging for Hillary if she runs in '08.


:: Max 6:23 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 ::

"ya think the beret is too much?...What about the shades, they look ok?...I know - I'll kinda look off into the sunset, Che-style like this..."

Speaking of treasure troves, I just stumbled upon THE most comprehensive achive of goofy professor Ward Churchill ever assembled. Pirate Ballerina is to Churchill what a proctologist is to your lower colon. If the a**hole is your thing, Pirate Ballerina is your colonoscope.


:: Max 3:02 PM [+] ::
garymckinnon compter hacker
Gary McKinnon

The left on this planet is so utterly consumed by outlandish conspiracy theories regarding the United States that one wonders if drugs aren't involved somehow. Take for instance Gary McKinnon, an otherwise intelligent chap who happens to be a UK computer engineer. Arrested this week in London, Mr. McKinnon spent his off hours hacking into NASA and Pentagon databases. Actually, he was so prolific US authorities suspected the al Queda were somehow involved. By deleting large files and generally causing havoc in the systems he cracked, the lone hacker has caused approximately 1 billion dollars in damage to the US taxpayer. Now, if McKinnon were attacking US information systems for political reasons, it would be somewhat understandable - anarchy and all that - but politics was apparently not his beef. Mr. McKinnon it seems stridently believes the US is covering up UFO landings, X Files style. This kind of idiocy is becoming routine for the leftist hords marching lockstep into tin-foil hat territory, with the likes of George Galloway and Michael Moore at the head of the pack.

McKinnon's talents would have surely yielded darker and more interesting conspiracies had he chosen instead to go after, say, the HUD or HHS databases. Oh, the treasure trove of secrets they must hold.

Update: Mr. McKinnon's friends and supporters have started a "Free Gary McKinnon" blog. For their interpretation of the circumstances surrounding McKinnon's arrest go here [>]


:: Max 12:55 PM [+] ::
I could sense it. You were wondering "WTF is a "biodynamic farm"? Scott Burgess explains.


:: Max 12:50 PM [+] ::
Shockingly Chic Hot Couture

Hey Ladies: It's not prudent to walk down a dark ally in Detroit at 2:30 in the morning but if you absolutely have to...

[and a pistol, don't forget the pistol...]


:: Max 12:23 PM [+] ::
Price Customization or Discrimination?

OK, get this: when you go to some online shopping sites, a sniffer on the other end examines cookies and related technical information stored on your computer and after filtering it through an aglorythm determines how much to charge you for a product or service based on your data profile. This deceptive practice is called "Price Customization". If you have more than one computer in the home, try pricing an item from the same vendor on two unique computers - or, simply dump your cookies prior to shopping online. Also, if you're really into online privacy, install the shareware privacy tool Privoxy on your box. If you do a lot of shopping online, defeating Price Customization bots could save you a bundle over the long haul.


:: Max 11:51 AM [+] ::
If spyware is driving you crazy, LifeHacker has a major roundup of anti-spyware tools. I scanned my computer yesterday and found a total of 74 new problems - most of which were just harmless cookies - but Spybot Search and Destroy also outed and vaporized four serious spys. If you haven't done so already, get an antispy disinfectant for your computer now.


:: Max 11:36 AM [+] ::
Good God almighty this is infuriating. The dream palace of Ward Churchill, Michael Moore and their legions of asshatted moonbats constructed on the very ashes of 9/11 - and guess who's subsidising it: The American Taxpayer.

Somebody get Trump on the phone immediately.

Update: Roger L. Simon is challenging Soros to "double down", Powerline is too hot to comment, Jeff Jarvis is simply outraged and Michelle Malkin talks of "the Desecration of Ground Zero". I think the best route to putting a stop to this offensive plan is twofold: A) the Union construction workers, and the Police and Fire Unions - I can't imagine these guys going along with this and, B) the 9/11 survivors - they've got to be horrified. Anybody got a plan here?

Update: In fact there is a plan. Hop on over to Take Back The Memorial to see how you can help.


:: Max 11:16 AM [+] ::
I would like to take this opportunity to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the Democrat Underground, Moveon.org, George Soros, Michael Moore, and Jimmy Carter for giving us that high-strung little madman Howard Dean. Thanks moonbats, you make Carl Rove look like a rank amateur.

[and this guy makes Howard Dean look like a rank amateur...]


:: Max 7:13 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 ::
Be the first one on your block to own one of these...

...thongs can't be far behind [so to speak]...


:: Max 10:37 PM [+] ::
NRO Launches a media blog - who let the dogs out?


:: Max 9:39 PM [+] ::
"broken jaw, a herniated disc in his back, broken teeth, can barely talk and fades in and out of consciousness..."

Los Alamos blogger Adam Rankin reports a LANL whistle blower was severely beaten. The attackers told him "if he knows what's good for him he'd better keep his mouth shut" regarding financial irregularities at the institution. If this is true, the whole lab complex oughtta be turned upside down and squeezed until the sh*t squirts out. Unfortunately, I suspect that such high level graft will prevent any meaningful investigation from ever taking place - kind of like Volker's Oil For Food coverup. Sheesh, - ain't nothin' sacred? I mean Los Alamos?

For Godsake, we're turning into a third world kleptocracy.

[Oops, better shut up...]

UPDATE: Sante Fe authorities have come to a different conclusion. Looks like maybe the whistle-blower backed his car into a couple of pedestrians who then proceeded to whoop his ass. We'll leave the question open until the guy can clear it up himself. Could be awhile though, if his jaw is wired shut.

UDATE 2: Just checked and the LANL blog has been deleted from Blogger so the above link is now permanently broken. This is hardly surprising, given the nature of the "work" they do at the lab but I haven't seen anything more about this in the blogosphere. Curious. I'll keep looking.


:: Max 1:21 PM [+] ::
Kerry Yale

Eieewww - Dippity Doooo...

[heard he eats raw onions whole, shaves his legs and hangs out on the playground...]


:: Max 11:05 AM [+] ::
Operation Gratitude: Help!

Many US troops are in harms way 24/7. They are our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and friends. Many have given literally everything for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Here's a great way to say thanks and let them know that people back home still care about their courageous sacrifice.


:: Max 10:48 AM [+] ::
In my inbox this morning - have no idea where it originated:

The boss of a Madison Avenue advertising agency called a spontaneous staff meeting in the middle of a particularly stressful week. When everyone gathered, the boss, who understood the benefits of having fun, told the burnt out staff the purpose of the meeting was to have a quick contest.

The theme was Viagra advertising slogans. The only rule was that they had to use past ad slogans, originally written for other products that captured the essence of Viagra. Slight variations were acceptable. About seven minutes later, they turned in their suggestions and created a Top Ten List. With all the laughter and camaraderie, the rest of the week went very well for everyone.

The top ten were:
10. Viagra, Whaazzzz up!
9. Viagra, The quicker pecker upper.
8. Viagra, Like a rock!
7. Viagra, When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.
6. Viagra, Be all that you can be.
5. Viagra, Reach out and touch someone.
4. Viagra, Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman.
3. Viagra, home of the whopper!
2. Viagra, We bring good things to Life!

And the unanimous number one slogan:

1. This is your penis. This is your penis on drugs


:: Max 8:23 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, June 06, 2005 ::
"This is rich. France and Germany bent the eurozone budget rules into a Moebius ring; Italy should never even have been admitted. (By the way: no, you're not getting out of the euro, you bunch of tossers. You'll bloody well stay in and pay us our 10 percent back first before you even get to bring up the subject again. Then you can run with your tail between your legs, because God knows there are no balls to get in the way.) To summarize, I'm beginning to think they were right about that whole Holocaust and World War III prediction. It's what might happen if we don't send this bunch of adolescents who are supposed to be our leaders home pronto."

Arjan Dasselaar covering the fallout from the French and Dutch elections. Looks like things are heating up a bit.


:: Max 5:07 PM [+] ::
I hate it when...

...the bomb disposal guy screws up. Warning, very graphic video. I post this because it's so important to grasp the primitive brutality of radical Islam. Tragic really - and futile.

Via SondraK [>]


:: Max 4:41 PM [+] ::
Lock Down Your Wireless Network

If you haven't done so already, take the time to secure your wireless network. If your network isn't secured, anybody within about 350' of your router can see it. Here are the crucial items:

1. Dissable Service Set Identifier (SSID).
2. Change the password to your access point.
3. Use encryption.
4. Enable Media Access Control (MAC).

More here [>]


:: Max 2:19 PM [+] ::
Not an Ipod but...


...my wife wanted an MP3 player for her birthday so I went shopping. My first stop was the Apple section at my local Micro Center. I looked at the 30 gig, $299.00 Ipod, but in talking to the salesman, I discovered that the batteries in the Ipod were not replaceable (?!). The young salesman was less than enthusiastic so I asked him my favorite question*: "what are the tech guys buying?". He pointed me to the Lexar Jump Gear MP3. Admittedly, the Ipod is a handsome gadget, but I consider the non-replaceable battery an inexcusable design flaw. The Jump Gear MP3 pictured above has no such problem, requiring two, standard triple-A batteries and the media is a slick little removable Lexar Sport Jump drive. My wife has been cataloging her music on different drives to use for different purposes, such as "road trip music", "studio music" or "workout music". Actually, I just commandeered one of the drives to transport the image you see above from my studio desktop to my home computer - less hassle than copying it to disk. But here's the kicker; the Lexar Jump Gear retails for fifty-bucks! Add a $79.00, 512 meg Sport Jump Drive for 12 hours of listening and you're out of pocket an affordable 130 bucks. Because the price of flash memory is free-falling, I'll probably be able to buy a 1 gig sport drive for well under $50.00 long before the Jump Gear conks out. You really gotta wonder what Steve Jobs was thinking when he made this huge public relations blunder.

[like I really need 30 gigs of music anyway...]

Update: I just noticed the price on the Ipod is falling; given the class action lawsuit, dealers probably want to dump all the non-replaceable battery stock as fast as they can. A cheap Ipod might seem like a bargain now but you'll be sending it back to Apple - again and again - for costly battery replacements.

*Note: "my favorite question"; just another version of the question I use at my local wine shop, i.e., "what are you guys drinking". I always get a really fun - but inexpensive - bottle of wine by asking this question. They're eager to show you their latest find and liquor store salesmen generally don't spend big bucks on a bottle of wine. Try it.

Related: Libraries are getting into the digital music act.


:: Max 11:17 AM [+] ::
Very good essay on the conflation of art and politics by WSJ's Terry Teachout in today's Opinion Journal: When Drama Becomes Propaganda


:: Max 7:05 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, June 05, 2005 ::
HTML Markup Guide

If you're not particularly adept at HTML, LifeHacker has posted a link to Dave Shea's markup guide, an excellent quick HTML reference - and a good resource for those less frequently used tags. Bookmark it.


:: Max 10:37 PM [+] ::
"Blogging won't wipe out journalism, for the simple reason that journalism requires skills and resources that bloggers will never have."

John Naughton, The Observer

Umm...blogging is journalism - on steroids - and what it will "wipe out" is all the pretentious, inacurate, agendized bloviating by the likes of - well - Dan Rather. As their circulation numbers free-fall, as viewership disappears, so-called main-stream-media will die with a whimper. A child born today will not suffer the media of my father's generation. American Digest gives 'em five years. I'd say that's pretty optimistic.

[Oops, except for public TV and Radio of course; in five years they'll still be bloviating but we won't be watching or listening - we'll just be paying for it...]

Update: It's happening before their very eyes...


:: Max 11:32 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, June 04, 2005 ::
Photo Fun Saturday

Illinois Sky 1A Web.

Just testing Flickr for photo uploads to the blog. This is a picture I took with my wife's Fuji 6.3 MegaPixel E550 on our last road trip. [I promise - no cat blogging]

Update: Flickr works but the "blog this" bot clogged up the HTML with a bunch of unecessary fomatting tags. I had to do a little editing to get the result I wanted. In any case, it's not a bad little photo service once you figure out how to tweak it. If you're interested, I highly recommend the pocket-size Fuji E550. It is truly an amazing little camera that features the Fuji 6.3 megapixel Super CCD. The Super CCD is honeycombed rather than the standard checker-board configuration found in other digital cameras so there are more variables for the interpolation algorythm. Actually, I can crank up the resolution to 12.3 megapixels for a 30+ meg file. And believe it or not, this little gem has dropped in price to under $300.00! A good thing because you're going to want to spring for the one-gig XD chip as the E550 shoots digital movies with sound too - astonishing. Talk about a bloggers dream camera [and it's cute as a bug when it wakes up]. Here's the DP Review.

As much as I love the E550, I'm certainly not ready to give up my Fuji Finepix S2 Pro SLR but for convenience and high resolution photos that rival prosumer digital SLRs, the E550 is a tremendous value. I'm actually thinking about getting another one - for me - now that the price has dropped. [Mrs. Max: "hey buddy, get your own camera"]

Here's a larger version of the pic:

Illinois Sky 1A Web

Here's one I shot with my Fuji Finepix S2 Pro - manual setting with flash: Carnival!

Avalanche 1A Web

Here's another pic taken with my favorite film camera, an ancient twin lens Yashika Mat G. I nicknamed it the Yashikablad because it uses the same 6 x 6 format that a Hasselblad uses. It was my father's camera. This photo was taken in Sheridan Lake Colorado using Fuji Velvia transparancy film:

Sheridan Lake 3 A Web

Last one: A little shadow protrait of your humble correspondent using the "Yashikablad" somewhere southwest of Durango Colorado:

Shadow Portrait 2A web


:: Max 12:32 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, June 03, 2005 ::
Discover the Networks

David Horowitz, editor and chief of Front Page Magazine has launched a crucial website that depicts graphically the monkeyworks of the vast, left-wing sausage machine. From Soros to ACT, no one has been overlooked in this exhaustive study of the links that connect all your favorite moonbats. Make sure to load the "visual maps" page, it's a technical marvel.


:: Max 3:35 PM [+] ::
"The disaster of the Euro"

It doesn't require a degree in economics to comprehend that you can't tax your way into prosperity. Somebody needs to remind Chirac & Co. of the first rule of holes: Stop Digging.

[Welcome No Pasaran readers! Take a little tour while you're here.]


:: Max 8:24 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, June 02, 2005 ::
Here's an interesting report from freelance writer and journalist Michael Yon in Dohuk, Iraq with lots of pics. Keep an eye on this intrepid reporter.

It's people like this that are making main-stream media look so foolish; I learned more about Iraq in ten minutes with this individual than months with the competition and I use the term competition loosely. Anybody can hang out in the Hotel Palestine bar in the Green Zone and pound the Abu Ghraib drum. Poseurs.


:: Max 10:22 PM [+] ::
The Big Pharaoh tallies Muslims killed by terrorists in the past three days.

[Make sure to hit his home tag too. He's discovered the magic of Flickr and has posted a bunch of great pictures like a 5000 year old mummified dog.]

:: Max 9:56 PM [+] ::
Iraqi Kurds to take legal action against firms that supplied chemical weapons to Saddam's regime.


:: Max 9:07 PM [+] ::
A Handsome Fisking

If it's been a while since you've enjoyed a first rate Fisking, Rottweiler Puppy has a death grip on the BBCs Brian Walden - Just go now, it's a classic: Walden Goes West

["romantic anti-capitalists"!?]

Editorial Note: The tenacious and quick-witted Rottweiller Puppy has been added to the Prairie Fire blogroll under the Master Blogger heading. By simply clicking on the link, you will encourage the author to ravage the ossified BBC even more frequently. So what are you waiting for - click damnit.


:: Max 6:15 PM [+] ::
"A bad constitution that reveals a secret cancer of our democracy"

"First principle of constitutional law: a Constitution is a readable text."

This is the story of Professor Etienne Chouard, a Frenchman who constructed a little blog and then published a clinical deconstruction of the telephone-book size European "Constitution". Mr. Chouard it seems, was possibly the only person in the world [besides maybe the author, Valery Giscard d'Estaing] to have actually slogged through the tediously worded and self contradictory, 485 page document. Upon it's publication, Chouard's critique - or Fisking if you prefer - was immediately seized upon by the French population; at it's high-point, Chouard's blog was getting 25,000 hits per day and the essay was faxed and emailed all over Europe. His blog was getting hammered because it was possibly the first concise and intelligible critique of the EU Constitution available; the French were certainly not getting it from their main-stream media. As Chrouard has posted on his blog:"journalists deprive to us of public debates."

Er, Well said Professor Chouard.

[To get a some idea as to the level of debate created by Chouard's blog, just Google it.]

Related: Joe Gandelman has an extensive post on the fallout from France's rejection of the EU Constitution.


:: Max 2:48 PM [+] ::
"Or, in English: 'You poor ignorant voters. We understand you must feel confused. Let us explain why we know what's best for you one more time...'

Perception is not the problem. Policy is.

Arjan Dasselaar


:: Max 8:38 AM [+] ::
Live-blogging the Laguna Landslide

"An ironic announcement comes via Elizabeth Pearson-Schneider, the hopelessly vain mayor of Laguna, "An account has been set up for donations." In her usual clueless fashion it has gone out of her mind that just a minute before she set the value of the homes as "Oh, nothing below a million five certainly," with no little local booster pride in her voice. She's sporting the right look as usual: sharp little black baseball cap with the Laguna Beach zip code "92651" embroidered, not stenciled, on the front, carefully formed blonde (of course) pony tail falling just so out of the back, an intense attention to her makeup, and dangling gold errings that set off her carefully chosen black jacket.

"Deep inside she's probably hoping people don't look too close at the town's habit of wantonly handing out building permits for homes on 50 degree slopes. That's been the way it has worked for years in this hamlet that is home to some of the worst art and most expensive real estate in Southern California."

--Gerard Van der Leun

A blogger classic; reserve for catastrophy/live-blog hall of fame.


:: Max 8:10 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 ::
Beware Search Engine Manipulation

In following an Instapundit post on the manipulation of search engine technology I stumbled across this excellent site. The upshot of using search engines - effectively - is that the searcher should be aware of how big, monied interests manipulate search engine rankings, pushing their product or service to the very top of the search results page. By leveraging flaws or weaknesses in the search engine algorythm, sites critical of the product or service are pushed lower and lower into the rankings. So beware. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is very sophisticated - sometimes even invisible - using trickery such as "link farming", "Google Bombing" and "Cloaking". When in doubt, go deeper into a Google search to access competing, lesser ranked - but often more meaningful - results. A good rule of thumb is to be very skeptical of the higher ranked search results; it's easier to manipulate Google, Jeeves and Yahoo search engines than you might suspect.


:: Max 9:22 PM [+] ::
Bigger Faster

8 gigs on a faster flash chip!? - and it ships in June!? If this keeps up - and there is every reason to expect that it will - crash-prone hard-drives will go the way of the rotary dial telephone.


:: Max 4:53 PM [+] ::


It's a blow-out. Exit polls show the Dutch have rejected the EU Constitution 63-37%. Voter turnout was massive. Looks like the Dutch political class has some soul searching to do.

More: "The government is not telling the truth about what is in the treaty"

More: How low can it go?

[hey bartender, another round of Heinekens please...]


:: Max 3:58 PM [+] ::
Bush deal nixes offshore drilling

I can understand why environmentalists and the wealthy don't want oil-rigs situated on the gulf coast of Florida - they're unseamly. But I cannot understand why Jeb Bush wants to extend the ban "to federal waters farther out at sea." I mean, can the naked eye see anything beyond the eleven mile protection border? It also looks like the oil company that held the last of the offshore drilling leases got shafted in the settlement.

So much for reducing our dependence on foreign oil.

Related: May God forbid. This would be about the biggest mistake the Republicans could ever make.


:: Max 3:36 PM [+] ::
Psst..wanna buy a thousand shares of Baghdad Soda?

As the gloomy socialist George Galloway bemoans the rise of global capitalism (previous post) the nascent Iraqi stock exchange is going bonkers.

[Dang, the Iraqi Dinar has appreciated 25%; if you're a player, 195 bucks will get you 250,000 dinars. What're ya waiting for sport, go get em! [>]]

Warning: Here's some rational advice if you're actually considering gambling on the Dinar; and make no mistake - buying Dinars is gambling.

Stock Market link Via Iraq the Model [>]


:: Max 1:44 PM [+] ::
Strange Bedfellows

George Galloway on Muslim/progressive unification (?!):

"Not only do I think it's possible but I think it is vitally necessary and I think it is happening already. It is possible because the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies. Their enemies are the Zionist occupation, American occupation, British occupation of poor countries mainly Muslim countries. They have the same interest in opposing savage capitalist globalization which is intent upon homogenizing the entire world turning us basically into factory chickens which can be forced fed the American diet of everything from food to Coca-Cola to movies and TV culture. And whose only role in life is to consume the things produced endlessly by the multinational corporations. And the progressive organizations & movements agree on that with the Muslims.

"Otherwise we believe that we should all have to speak as Texan and eat McDonalds and be ruled by Bush and Blair. So on the very grave big issues of the day - issues of war, occupation, justice, opposition to globalization - the Muslims and the progressives are on the same side."

The very "progressive" Mr. Galloway just might get his wish as a sleepwalking Europe falls slowly under the spell of Dhimmitude. I don't get it.


:: Max 12:56 PM [+] ::
Your Social Security Number Available Online

In about three minutes and via the World Wide Web, I discovered my SSN published in a Government agency database. To make matters worse, there appears to be no way to cause the municipality in question to redact it from the document it is attached to. As is usually the case with a disinterested bureaucracy, I have no legal recourse whatsoever regarding the availability - to anyone who wants it - of this highly sensitive information. Chances are very probable your social security Number, date of birth and signature are as easily available online as mine is. I urge you to visit the BJ Ostergren's Virginia Watchdog for a report on how Governmental agencies are making your private information available - with a few clicks of the mouse - to anyone in the world who wants it.

[Social Insecurity Number is more like it...sheesh]

:: Max 11:07 AM [+] ::
When Non doesn't necessarily mean Non

With the resounding defeat of the EU Constitution in France, and a similar defeat expected today from the Dutch, indignant Eurocrats from Spain to Germany are implying that the vote of the people doesn't really matter; the European super-state is in place whether the dissenters like it or not:

"Today, the Netherlands votes on the treaty: A no is expected from the Dutch, too, which should in theory finish the constitution off.

"Not so, say some in the EU (and some worried sceptics). Eurocrats warn that just because the bloody-minded French and the awkward Dutch have rejected the treaty, that should not prevent "the will of the people" in the rest of Europe from being followed. In other words, nine nations have already ratified the treaty (all but one through parliamentary, rather than popular votes). It would be undemocratic to allow the minority (France, maybe Holland) to hold up the wishes of the majority."

Ironically, the bickering Iraqis crafted and adopted an intelligible constitution in a fraction of the time the Europeans have taken. But it's not really surprising given the top-heavy bureaucracies and nationalism involved.

Go to Zacht Ei for a blow by blow account of the Dutch election.


:: Max 7:29 AM [+] ::

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