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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

Trees Trump Al Gore

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ex Greenpeacer Patrick Moore lays the smackdown on the libtards and general anti-science morons in Hollywood. If that isn't a double positive.

Key paragraphs:
As a lifelong environmentalist, I say trees can solve many of the world's sustainability challenges. Forestry is the most sustainable of all the primary industries that provide us with energy and materials. Rather than cutting fewer trees and using less wood, DiCaprio and Berman ought to promote the growth of more trees and the use of more wood.

Trees are the most powerful concentrators of carbon on Earth. Through photosynthesis, they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store it in their wood, which is nearly 50 per cent carbon by weight. Trees contain about 250 kilograms of carbon per cubic metre.
He also makes the excellent point that 500 year old furniture is still, get this, binding the carbon. Like Jane Fonda's thighs, only firmer.

But 250KG of carbon/m3. Like Al Gore's stomach or Silky Pony Edward's Carolina manse. Amazing, really.

And while I think man-made climate change is as enduring a notion as zoom pants on straight men, this paragraph makes a lot of sense:
To address climate change, we must use more wood, not less. Using wood sends a signal to the marketplace to grow more trees and to produce more wood. That means we can then use less concrete, steel and plastic -- heavy carbon emitters through their production. Trees are the only abundant, biodegradable and renewable global resource.
The reason I think it makes sense is because even very poor countries can grow trees successfully and learn from this free market solution for producing construction materials.


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Fascinating Article in Jury Nullification

Was browsing Insta today and he suggested an article of his on Jury Nullification.

It has the great leadin:

They tried to kill my brother. After beating a man whom they had picked at random and leaving him in a parking lot, my brother's attackers were fleeing the scene. They piled into a Honda Accord and started the engine. My brother, along with several of his friends, saw them and gave chase. More brave than sensible, my brother placed himself in front of the car to block their escape. "Run the motherfucker down," one of the car's occupants reportedly said. And that's what they did, though miraculously my brother escaped without serious injury.
And it ends with some good thoughts on fixing some of the issues with today's judge/prosecutor/plea system:

Given that the current criminal justice system is failing both at convicting the guilty and at protecting the innocent, perhaps it is time for a significant change. Reempowering the jury, through both appropriately couched nullification instructions and other structural mechanisms, is likely to improve the situation considerably. Considering the truly miserable record of the criminal justice system in recent years, the burden should be on its defenders to explain why such a change is not in order. Perhaps Conrad's book, which sets out the arguments for jury power in eloquent and meticulously documented form, will finally bring about serious discussion of the jury's proper role.


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Tom Gets It Right

People like to say "If women ran the world there would be no more war...." We'll I've always thought that you could only say that if you'd never lived with, around, or near women. Especially if you've ever seen sisters and moms together.

Tom puts it less personally.....

Attorney General Scorecard

But he still nails it.


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Operation Sauce Drop

Monday, August 27, 2007

Operation Sauce DropI received an email about Operation Sauce Drop, an excellent program for supporting the troops.

There are lots of "Support The Troops" websites out there, but this one is pretty unique. They're sending gift boxes of hot sauces and snacks to active duty troops stationed abroad. When you're in a far away land, a little taste of home can go a long way. From the Carolina Sauce blog:
My inspiration for Operation Sauce Drop were my brother-in-law, who is in the Army and has served 3 tours in Iraq, and the military personnel stationed abroad who have ordered products from Carolina Sauce Company for themselves and their fellow troops. The mission of Operation Sauce Drop is to send great-tasting sauces - and perhaps a little taste of home - to US servicemen and women stationed abroad, free of charge. Why are we doing this? Because we would like to thank our brave troops for their sacrifices with a small token of our appreciation, and hopefully make their meals a bit more enjoyable. We have selected four different themed gift boxes of sauces, from mild but zesty to fiery-hot, from which any member of the US military stationed at an APO or FPO address may choose, and we'll ship their choice of gift box to their APO or FPO address at absolutely no charge whatsoever. In order to be able to send gift boxes to as many troops as possible, we are seeking contributions from anyone who would like to support this effort. One hundred percent of the contributions received will be used solely for the costs of purchasing and shipping the gift boxes. If you would like to be a part of Operation Sauce Drop, please consider making a contribution, and/or spreading the word. Thank you very much for your consideration!
So we're doing our part. We've already made a donation, and here's a blog post in support of this program.

Can you help? If you can't afford a $5 contribution (and we both know you can....), then how about helping to get the word out?


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Democrats Win the War in Iraq

The Daily Blogster has a great post on Progreas being made with Maliki's deal with top Shiite, Sunni, and Kurdish leaders.

My first reaction was that the Democrats couldn't have been more foolish with their talk of surrender. They've staked out a position where they needed us to lose in Iraq in order to win in the elections. Now it appears that things are going to be going well for the big September 15th deadline. As the article says:
Democrats and war opponents have been screaming for months that the fight in Iraq is not winnable solely through military force. They’ve been beating on Iraq’s leaders for not making progress on the political front. So, now the question is, what excuse will they use to pull our troops out now that there has been progress on the political front?

The Democrats have dug themselves a hole that won’t be easy to get out of. They’ve constantly fought to portray the war in Iraq as unwinnable. I think that this has had more to do with delivering a defeat to President Bush and the Republicans than any real thought that the war was actually unwinnable.
I think he's forgetting one thing: The Democrats have no shame. This is the party of flip-floppers.

It won't take very long for the Democrats to start claiming credit for the progress in Iraq. They'll claim that no progress was made until they started calling for a pull out. The Iraqi leaders were spurred into action by their threats of pulling out support. In a very short time, Hillary will be taking credit for our victory in Iraq.

And there will be plenty of Democrat voters that will be stupid enough to buy that line of bs.


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Hockey Player Fired for not Supporting the Troops

From the frozen white north comes the story of a Hockey player fired for not signing flag for troops

My coach was a real hard case, but come on. But I appreciate the sentiment. If you can't support the guys out in the field, then who are you? Not someone I would want on my team.


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Blogspot Down

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

All of Blogspot was just down for the last hour. That's quite a hiccup!

No word anywhere on what happened.


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Voyager is Far Away

Monday, August 20, 2007

Space.com has this one:
Voyager 1 currently is the farthest human-made object at a distance from the sun of about 9.7 billion miles (15.6 billion kilometers). Voyager 2 is about 7.8 billion miles (12.6 billion kilometers).
9.7 billion miles is a long, long way.

Think about it. If you had 9.7 billion miles on American Airlines, you would almost be guaranteed a first class upgrade from DFW to SFO on a Monday!


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IT for the Next Generation

Tech Republic has an interesting article titled » Sanity Check: Is IT still a profession worth recommending to the next generation? Jason Hiner makes the argument that there are still plenty of opportunities in the IT field if people just know where to look:L
1. Software engineer — While there are lots of low-level coding jobs that are being commoditized and more code being modulized and reused, there will be an increasing number of software engineering jobs that will involve conceptualizing, planning, and developing software to power increasing numbers of things, from your oven to your wristwatch to your sneakers.

2. Systems architect — As internal IT departments focus more on overall direction and strategy, they will need highly capable systems architects to take business goals and strategies and design the specific technical infrastructure to meet those goals. The systems architects will need to be able to collaborate and communicate well with the IT operations group and/or any managed services providers.

3. NOC engineer — As more applications and systems (via virtualization) are moved to the data center, there will be a much greater need for NOC engineers to run more and larger data centers and command centers. Some of this will come at the expense of decreasing numbers of local network administrators, especially in small and medium businesses. NOC engineering will become a very competitive field and will demand cutting edge skills and continual education.

4. Project manager — Most IT organizations are realizing that projects dominate their workload and having good people who know how to organize and run projects — and communicate about them — is critical to IT’s success. My hope is that in the future, IT projects will become smaller and more frequent to help companies stay nimble. Nevertheless, good project managers will still be critical in an environment with fewer and more frequent projects, because they will need to be the ones to keep track of everything. And there will still be a few giant projects that make PMs indispensable.

5. Information security specialist — This is not a job title but an umbrella term to cover IT security professionals. More and more data is moving online. More and more organizations are developing a fluid, borderless IT infrastructure. More and more hackers are going professional and joining with organized crime to steal data and extort and launder money from their victims. Those factors are leading to a crisis in information security that will demand new solutions from the security specialists. And as the world increasingly goes digital, information security professionals will be the digital security guards of the future.
There's only one problem with his rosy outlook. You can't get there from here.

Western corporations are hyper focused on the quarterly bottom line, and this short term focus has eviscerated the supply of young specialists coming into the field. The jobs he describes are all higher level jobs that require 5-10 years of experience. I'm sorry, but a resume with a degree from the finest technical universities and no experience will not even get you an interview for system architect job. When our generation came up, there were plenty of "entry level" jobs available in the IT business. Companies understood that they needed to grow their own talent. That crop turned into the generation of of IT middle management we have today.

But the entry level jobs in IT are gone. They are filled by "freshers" in India, where a salary of $5/day is living the high life. You might be able to find a job with a small company in a technical field since small companies don't have the infrastructure to easily offshore, but there simply is not a career progression that starts you off as an entry level engineer where you end up as a system architect.

The IT business is in for a heavy squeeze. They've eaten the seed corn. The companies that took this route saw short term gains because they were able to cut expenses, but they have nothing to plant for next spring. The hyper focus on short term expenses has created a future where expenses will skyrocket. Many experienced managers left the business during the last round of cutbacks. There are no new ones coming up through the farm system. Competent people with 20 years of experience are becoming extremely difficult to find. As this generation retires, there won't be one coming up behind them to fill their place. When was the last time you heard of an older IT manager being laid off and replaced with younger talent? Aside from being illegal, it's just not possible because the 30-somethings just aren't there. They went into other fields. But as the article points out, there will be plenty of need for those positions. The few remaining people with those skill sets and experiences will become increasingly expensive.

The answer isn't that we need more H1B visas for people to come to the US to fill technology jobs. They may have technical skills, but they don't have the management and leadership skills we'll need. We can create plenty of our own technical talent, but there have to be jobs there to attract them. Somebody just needs to slap some CEOs around until they stopping feasting on the seed corn.

No matter what we do, we are always living in the long term. Most of the problems we have today stem from decisions we made in the past where we thought the consequences would be long term. This is yet another example of where short term thinking creates havoc in the long term.


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Our Founding Illegals

Friday, August 17, 2007

OMG. This is so close to the truth it hurts.

Super Deluxe - Our Founding Illegals


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Politicians and Raising Money on the Internet

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I just received my weekly email from Fred Thompson asking for money. He's doing a good job of using this newfangled intarweb thing to get his message out, but I wonder when the politicians are really going to figure out the power of the internet.

What if a politician's website ran PPC ads? Their grassroots support would figure out pretty quickly that the best way to support their candidate would be to click on the ads. They get lots of traffic, why don't they monetize it instead of begging for cash?

Why doesn't a politician send me a javascript snippet to put on my blog that generates cash for them? Imagine the income stream if all the bloggers that support Fred Thompson were to put an adsense bar up on their site. Or an Amazon affiliate link? The chances are pretty good that I'll buy something from Amazon in the next 30 days, why doesn't Fred want my cookie? How many political blogs have you seen than don't even attempt to monetize?

Politicians could take a lesson from the "Save Jericho" movement. They actively promoted their message across social networking sites, forums, emails, etc. It was an incredibly powerful and viral campaign. If fans of a TV show can get that fired up, then why can't people get fired up about the decision of who is going to be the next person to lead the free world?

In the past I've described how I support bloggers I like. I click on their PPC ads if I'm remotely interested in what they're selling. It's not much, but if everyone does it then the blogger will be encouraged with a nice little revenue stream. The same principle would apply to political ads. Read a blog article about a candidate you like, then click the ads. You're supporting the candidate.

It has always amused me that some of the popular bloggers that complain that they barely make enough money on their site to cover their bandwidth charges have nothing but affiliate links. If I'm not interested in purchasing what their affiliate is selling, they'll never get any cash out of me. Put up some adsense ads that I can click and send you cash without having to buy anything!

The internet is about huge numbers with small transactions. If a site could generate 1M clicks/day at $0.05/click, that's $50K/day in fund raising. That's $9M in the last six months, enough to put Fred way ahead of where he is. Politicians are in a very unique position in that their visitors are motivated to click their ads -- they can have a conversion rate that is through the roof!

Alas, this is probably news to our current crop of politicians. They talk about the power of the internet, but they have no clue how or why it works.


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Amazon Associates Down?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Just tried to load FTB and it times out waiting for assoc-amazon.com. A ping just times out.

I commented out all the amazon ads in the template to get the site back up. Thanks guys.

So is Amazon having problems? Or are we seeing an evil Rovian plot to knock the financial underpinning from dailykos?

I'm betting this is Bush's fault.


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Some Dad Paid For College

Saturday, August 04, 2007

For this little pinhead.

Watch the first 15 seconds, then skip to the last 45 seconds.


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Email Blacklist

I was reading my gmail and noticed an adsense ad that asked Are you on an Email Blacklist? So I clicked it and came to a page that offers to check your email address against several lists to see if you've been marked as a spammer.

I can see how this is a useful service. I once worked for a medium sized company where the marketing department sent out a newsletter. It was completely opt-in and only addressed to people under support. But it had mostly government clients on the list, and evidently one of them automatically marked it as spam and put the organization on a black list for spammers. Within a few weeks, the entire company of 200 people were having difficulty getting their email delivered. It was a major hassle to track down and resolve.

So I checked out this service. What information do you think they need in order to check to see if you're on the lists? Email address only, right? Well, they'd also like your name, job title, company, country, and zip code.

Nice try guys. I suspect what they're really looking for is nicely cleansed mailing lists of contacts at companies that are concerned about their marketing communications being sidetracked.

There is no free lunch.


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Quote of the Day

Friday, August 03, 2007

On a somewhat related note, Monica Lewinsky turned 34 last month. Oh Lordy, how time flies. It seems like only yesterday she was crawling around on her knees and putting everything in her mouth. My, they do grow up so fast!

Thank you, Windshield, for ruining another keyboard.


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Dude Score one for SFO Libtards

In a recent "money for guns" program in SFO:
Participants were offered differing sums, corresponding to the desirability of each gun, Anderson said. They received $100 for rifles, $150 for handguns and $200 for assault weapons.

I can buy an 'assault rifle' for $125 from your average eastern bloc importer. Score, a $75 profit from the poor taxpayers in SFO!

Actually, I have no problem, per se, with buybacks of guns, though I do find it amazing that someone can steal a gun from my house and then sell it back to the government, who notifies me that its been destroyed. They do "stings" to catch deadbeat baby-daddies, why not gun theives?


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Reminder of Dr. William Petit Case

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Two multiple conviction losers (Joshua Komisarjevky and Steven Hayes) were out on parole when they broke into Dr&gt; Petit's house around 3am. Said miscreants then proceeded to beat Petit, sexually abuse and kill his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and their two daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela.

But don't worry, the crack corrections team is on the job:
Neither man, however, has been convicted of violent crimes, and both were deemed appropriate candidates for supervised parole, said Brian Garnett, a Correction Department spokesman
Oh, goody. Good call guys. Will that affect your annual pay raise?
Hayes' criminal record dates back to 1980 and includes more than two dozen convictions for burglary, larceny, marijuana possession, theft of a firearm and escape from custody, Harris said. Komisarjevky also has multiple convictions for burglary and larceny.
Should *that* have been a hint?

But you can kind of get the idea of what kind of family Komisarjevky came from:
"This is an absolute tragedy. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Petit family (and all those whose lives they touched). We cannot understand what would have made something like this happen. There is nothing else we can say at this time."
Hint: your son made these things happen. It wasn't a hurricane or an earthquake - your son, with his multiple convictions for serious crimes finally killed someone. Several someones. Why are you surprised? Was it that or band camp this summer?


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Time To Dump Ebay

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ebay has published New Listing Restrictions on Gun Parts. This paragraph is the winner:
After learning that some items purchased on eBay may have been used in the tragedy at Virginia Tech in April 2007, we felt that revisiting our policies was not only necessary, but the right thing to do. After much consideration, the Trust & Safety policy team – along with our executive leaders at eBay Inc. – have made the decision to further restrict more of these items than federal and state regulations require.
Way to go Ebay, you've gotten everything completely backwards. The next time someone like Dr. Petit loses his family because he wasn't armed, you can say you helped out in some small way. You're doing your part to restrict completely legal transactions. You're doing your part to make sure that the good guys aren't armed.

The problem at VT wasn't that Ebay supplied parts, it's that not a single victim was armed. Promoting an attitude that there is something distasteful about law abiding citizens taking the responsibility to arm themselves is just plain dangerous.

Hey Ebay, stick to being a corporation and stay out of politics. You're not very good at it.


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