‘ Politics & Opinion ’ category archive

Tragic Errors by President Bush in Iraq

January 12, 07 by kenrich

As Iraq is quickly sliding deeper and deeper into chaos, President Bush has made no substantial effort to listen to his military advisers, congress or the American people. Iraq has already shown a reluctance to fulfill its obligations in policing itself. It barely polices its capitol city, Baghdad, much less the entire country. It’s as if Iraq is milking the United States for everything its got, much like the terrorists are trying to bring our great country to economic ruin. It’s the same tactic the Taliban used in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. As the war nears the 4 year mark it is time to reflect and take stock of the situation. Over 3000 U.S. soldiers killed, plus many more wounded. More than 25,000 innocent Iraqi civilians killed. The escalation of troops proposed by President Bush has already been tried twice before. It’s a flawed policy that is doomed to fail. The Bush Administration needs to heed the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and begin the real task of healing Iraq. His misguided notion of bringing democracy and freedom to the Middle East are largely meaningless in the Arab world. You might as well ask them to change their religion.

I’ve submitted my opinion to my local newspaper. It is imperative that the American people take action. Please take the time to convey your opinion to your local media, your local congressmen and all of your friends and family. I don’t want to see my children grow up in world bogged down in World War III. Our country has long been a moral standard for the rest of the world to follow. Thanks to our current administration, it has become the laughing stock of the entire world.

Nintendo Wii and PS3 Bundles Suck Eggs

December 19, 06 by kenrich

I’ve been following the craziness surrounding the sales of the two new video game consoles (the and the .) I know have other made this same comment but I want to stress how unfair the situation has become. I had been considering buying a console, but now I think I’ll wait another year.

Long gone are the days when you could pick up a console for $125 bucks and get a free game bundled. Actually, this is not entirely true because the Wii does come for $250 and it includes a bundled game. The one difference being that they bumped up the price to pay for the game instead of just selling it for $200. In light of the shortages, I guess this is a good business decision.

I’m sick of all of these Customer’s Choice or Gamer’s Choice bundles that everyone seems to be offering. The only way to get a console is to shell out $800 for a Wii or $1100 for a PS3. I doubt that either of these would be chosen by the average customer or a gamer. It is just another way greedy corporations are trying to take advantage of the consumer. If you really want a game system for the holidays, why not buy yourself a Nintendo DS or a playstation 2 to hold yourself over until supplies are plentiful and these ridiculous bundles are shunned into non-existance.

I’ve become so frustrated with the situation, I’ve decided to wait another 6 months. By then, at least we’ll know which system is really going to dominate the marketplace. By then we should see a major price drop in current generation systems (especially true for the XBox 360). Also, it will benefit the consumer greatly to know which system is going to serve their customers better and provide the most compelling features. So far, the odds look to be in favor of the Nintendo Wii (very few hardware issues and the most bang for the dollar).

American Values are Under Attack

November 06, 06 by kenrich

The mid-term are just one more day away. I want to encourage everyone to get out and vote. It is your civic duty and responsibility. We as a country can not progress unless we participate in our democracy and make positive changes in our federal government.

I personally feel we are getting bogged down in a . This is much less a war than an occupation. The enemy only exists because of our occupation. If we didn’t maintain a presence in Iraq, then there wouldn’t be any “war” to speak of. It’s time to get the train back on track and make positive strides in Iraq.

George Bush’s idea of taking the war to the enemy is a false one. This war was fabricated and manufactured by the Republican administration. It was started to help out the people who helped get Bush into power. The first goal was to ensure a stable supply of oil to the oil industries in the United States. An added benefit was the defense and civil engineering contracts which were doled out to Bush’s friends.

Lastly, I think this war was designed to distract from major changes the Bush administration has made to income taxes, health care (medicare) and social security, student loans and immigration. By sowing fear into the hearts of our citizens, Bush has attempted to energize this country into shifting more power to the executive and shift fortunes from the middle class to the super rich (ie: large corporations and big government).

Remember what this administration has done for you. Remember Hurricane Katrina. Remember the inadequate armor and supplies for our troops. Remember privatizing social security. Remember Osama Bin Laden (oh yeah, we didn’t forget about him). Remember Abu Gharaib. Remember Harriet Miers (supreme court nominee). Remember Scott Abramhoff, Robert Frist, Bob Ney, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick (shooting accident) Cheney, Karl Rove and Scott Foley. Remember all of the concessions Republicans have made in the Congress and Senate (there have been NONE). Remember how they manipulated the elections by phone jamming schemes, disenfranchising African-American voters and Katherine Harris forcing a recount in Florida.

Lastly, remember the paltry $500 tax relieve Bush gave us and remember the tax windfall that billionaire CEOs (all Republicans received). Wages have remained flat while inflation has increased our cost-of-living. The national surplus has been turned into a massive national deficit has exploded and is now at 8.6 trillion dollars. Let me write this out to make this clear: $8,604,232,678,606. With the current population of the United States at 300 million, this means that each citizens share of this debt (which will have to be paid back) is a staggering $28,665!

If you disagree with what I’ve said then be all means get out and vote. Even if you agree with what I’ve said, it’s imperative that you get out and vote. In the past two major elections, people have voted for moral values and family security. Sadly, the way the vote turned has been detrimental to both of these essential values. Now is the time for you to correct our country and live up to the ideals of our founding fathers. Protect our constitution and restore dignity to American values.

Firefox 2.0 – The Best Browser Around

October 27, 06 by kenrich

The other day, I just installed Firefox 2.0 to try it out on my machine. I am pretty impressed with the new browser although it isn’t a while lot different from the previous version. I had a problem with installing it the first time because when I tried to close my old Firefox, it appeared to close but it was actually still running when I installed. This caused all sorts of problems with the install such as missing images on the setup dialog and having all of my bookmarks disappear.

So I did the smart thing and uninstalled the application and then re-installed. This fixed all of the problems I was experiencing. I was disappointed that my favorite theme (Qute 3.1) was not supported in the new browser, however, I am able to enjoy the new default theme which matches the new Windows Vista interface quite nicely. My bookmark synchronizer also hasn’t been ported to the new browser. These issues are to be expected since the browser was only just released a couple of days ago.

I would definitely recommend doing some user tweaks to the browser after you first get it installed. I found some good tweaks from the developer site dzone.com. They include disabling the browser pre-fetch which attempts to pre-load pages that are linked to the page you are viewing. You can also tweak the amount of memory that Firefox uses and the behavior of the tab close buttons (which are changed in 2.0).

One of my favorite tweaks is the built-in spell checker which will check any typing you do in web forms. All text fields are checked in real time as you type. If you mis-spell a word, the word will be underlined in red. By right-clicking on the word, you can pick a suggested corrected spelling or you can add the word to the dictionary if you know it’s correct and shouldn’t be flagged as mis-spelled.

I recommend that you give this excellent program a try. Internet Explorer is introducing IE 7 which contains a lot of similar features. The benefits of Firefox is that it is more secure (since hackers don’t target it as much as IE). It has an excellent skinable architecture with it’s themes support and the add-ons and extensions allow you to customize it to do whatever you like. I rate this software 5 out of 5 stars.

Ad Overkill on Blog Sites

August 29, 06 by kenrich

One thing that drives me nuts about blogs is people who put a bunch of advertising at the top of their page. There is no useful content on the top page of the site if you are using a small monitor. At work I use dual 15″ monitors so not a lot of content displays on the screen. But the display is still 1024×768 so you would think at least some content would show up.

As an example take a look at the Smart Capitalist Blog. You will noticed the top of the page just has a list of Google text ads. If you are using a 15″ monitor like mine, then you will see no content whatsoever. I think this use of advertising is a bit of overkill. If you are going to put advertising on the top of your page, at least use a template so I can see some useful content on my screen without scrolling.

I used to read one blog every day and leave comments all of the time. I don’t want to mention the blog here lest I give it anymore publicity. They switched to a syndicated blog network which added a few ads in the middle of the screen. This was perfectly fine with me … for a while. You see, eventually, they modified the layout of the site to put the advertisements right in your face (at the top of the screen). When they did that, I removed all of my one-way links that I had setup (out of courtesy) and stopped reading the blog altogether. This is an example of the backlash people face when they get too aggressive with their advertisements.

Exxon Mobil Announces Profit Windfall

July 27, 06 by kenrich

I have been trying to blog more about programming here. But this article from the AP Wire is just begging for attention. The article titled Exxon Mobil 2Q Profit Jumps 36 Percent
announces that the latest profit reports by amount to $10.35 billion. This is the second largest profit reported by a publicly traded company in the history of the United States.

This is outrageous. Americans are hemmed-in at every side. While the cost of living has skyrocketed, only wealthy corporate executives and “fat cat” politicians are receiving a raise. The Federal minimum wage has not been raised in 10 years while congressional salaries have increased 9 times during that same period. Write your representative, your governor and your senator. Let them know that we have a voice and it will be heard.

Let’s Stick it to the Man

February 15, 06 by kenrich

It’s sickening to see how the government spends money like it’s water, and ocean water at that. We see the same thing with big corporations whose entire business revolves around the bottom line. It’s time for Americans to take a stand. As more jobs are moving overseas and incomes are dropping all around our great land, it’s time for us to take a stand.

As part of my contribution, I am working towards a new Internet service that will seek to take the place of a much larger paid service. As you can tell, I don’t want to reveal what exactly this is, but I guarantee, it will be a welcome relief to most Americans. Just another way for me to “stick it to the man!”

It is in our best interest to help each other out during these difficult times. It’s obvious the government has no interest in lending a hand. This is evident when looking at the debacle of hurricane Katrina. We’re more likely to be like the poor attorney who was behind Dick Cheney at their hunting excursion. Many Americans are taught that greed and materialism is good – but we have to temper those ambitions with moderation. Otherwise, we are no better than a pack of wild jackals. Stay tuned to this blog for an announcement about our new free internet service.

Your Personal Time is Just That

February 14, 06 by kenrich

A friend of mine has been instructed by his employer that he could not do any work on the side (moonlighting) that is deemed to be a conflict of interest. The company he worked for, previously, did not have a problem with this. When his company got bought out by a much larger company, the rules of his employment changed.

It seems like this is common problem in American society today. Corporations and big business are trying to maintain too much control over our private lives. Do you remember a time when America was proud of their pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit? America was founded by people who recogized the shortcomings of being ruled by the British empire and sought ways to improve upon their situation. It seems like more and more, we are starting to move away from that.

You can see this everyday as pension benefits disappear and the government is helping to break up labor unions. Companies are gradually trying to take back the power that rightfully belongs to the people. Don’t take your freedoms for granted. Protect your freedoms and rights as citizens of the United States and don’t let big business dictate every aspect of your life.

Take a Tour of the Ninth Ward

December 29, 05 by kenrich

Last night on the evening news they did a piece on tourists who are going to Louisiana to view the devestation and destruction of homes and lives. It’s bad enough that a business would have the audacity to try to make money by running tours through these blighted neighborhoods. But it’s sadder still when tourists themselves spend their money to be entertained by other’s misery and suffering.

I think episodes like this illustrate what is truly wrong with America today. Our priorities are totally out of wack. Don’t spend your money to tour an area of devestation. Instead, give your money to a reputable charity (and I’m not referring to the Red Cross here) or else use your time to help clean up or rebuild the area.

FEMA and our fearless president have shown how ineffectual our government can be. Even three months later, little has been done to find people temporary housing or cleaning of the worst-affected areas. Instead, focus is giving to rebuilding large corporate offices, casinos and the downtown business district. You might not have a bed to sleep on, or a roof over your head, but you can go down to the local House of Blues and get stone-cold drunk if you want.

Crazy Housewives

December 20, 05 by kenrich

Just recently, China began broadcasting Desperate Housewives. But in doing so, they changed the title to “Crazy Housewives” and then censored some of the more risque scenes in the series. And of course, they dubbed all of the dialogue into Mandarin Chinese. Some of the words were changed in the translation to further water down the content.

I think the reason they decided to allow this show is that it portrays American suburbia as mis-guided and immoral which really appeals to Chinese authorities. Either that or this is just an experiment to see if giving it’s citizens shows like these will help to make their society more peaceful and less rebelious.