Leaving Las Vegas; On Hiatus
Friday, July 31, 2009
UPDATE (07/31/09): This page continues to get hits, even though it was posted almost two years ago. Since then, I've upgraded from Windows XP to Windows Vista, and then to Windows 7. I'm now using (yes, still using) AOL 9.5, and--amazingly enough--a version of McAfee Anti-Virus. After my six-month-old computer's free virus protection ran out, I installed the Cox Cable version of McAfee for free, and so far: no problems.
I should point out that AOL still has "timeout" periods of frustration, and that I often times will CTRL+ALT+DEL it into oblivion and start over. How AOL is able to monopolize both processors in my Core2Duo, I have no idea. And it should also be noted that when I tried to install the Cox McAfee software on The Other Half's computer (which still has Windows XP), I had the EXACT same problems that are related in the original post below. That still seems to be a potent recipe for disaster.
ORIGINAL POST (8/25/07):
Ah yes, you get what you pay for. AOL has been free for quite a while now, and amazingly, they offer full safety software for free too, from McAfee. Which you'd think would be a great thing.
There have been several versions of this "helpful" software. The first was great, and was pretty much like the ordinary McAfee program. The second one was modified to look like an AOL program, with spiffy new icons. . .and was fraught with problems. On three different computers, I had to revert to the older program just to retain my sanity.
The AOL version had a tendency to try to look for updates. . .over and over and over. . .and each time with a pop-up window that you couldn't ignore or make go away. AOL techs always talked to me like a kindergartner, always starting with basic questions (not quite "is your computer plugged in?" but close). I finally got one to admit to me that it was a McAfee problem that they didn't want publicized. She's the one that gave me a link to the older version of the program.
That version worked fine, but recently, I was told it was expiring, and to be replaced with a new version. So, I downloaded the program, never thinking it would conflict with AOL. After all, the top of the program even says "McAfee SecurityCenter Special Edition for AOL." I've installed the program at home, and at work, and guess what? The firewall software won't let the AOL program connect! Priceless!
Curiously, the newest version of AOL allows you to see their "splash" page before you log in, and that somehow works. The title bar actually said "AOL 9.1 - Connected, Not Signed On." You want to talk infuriating?
But, I have the solution, if you have found this page looking for one. Uninstall the McAfee software, reboot, go to http://safety.aol.com/, only this time pick the custom install instead of automatic, and DO NOT CHECK THE BOX FOR McAFEE FIREWALL! Let Windows manage that, it does a fine job anyway, and you won't get this headache!
UPDATE: It occurred to me that I may be having this trouble because I'm beta-testing the new version of AOL software. It's possible, but previous history with McAfee/AOL make me think probably not. It's also worth pointing out that since AOL became free, perfomance has suffered. Often internet pages that load in seconds in Internet Explorer can take much longer, or not open at all.
"Not Responding" is a very common thing to see popping up in the title bar, sometimes for seconds, sometimes minutes, sometimes requiring a restart. I'm just about done with the service, I think.
One of the blasts from the past is Torture, the only hit truly from The Jacksons from 1984's Victory. I had the original cassette, and played it a lot when I was in college. But since 1985 or so, I don't believe I'd heard Torture. The song itself is hopelessly stuck in the 80s, but not unlistenable, so it is curious that it doesn't pop up anymore, especially after the Michaelpalooza we've gone through as a nation. But the video really lives up to the title. Take the worst parts of Patty Smythe/Scandal's The Warrior video, mix it with The Village People, Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart, throw in a little kinky sex imagery along with A Nightmare on Elm Street, and you have Torture. Oh, and did I mention that Michael Jackson--despite providing vocal tracks--is nowhere to be found?
Obama administration officials warned congressional leaders Thursday it planned to suspend the program at midnight. But the White House released a statement late Thursday saying that completed deals would be honored and the program is still under review. . .
WARNING: The following video is in bad taste, and shouldn't be viewed by anyone with delicate sensibilities. For everybody else, it's pretty danged funny.
The birther "movement" is ludicrous. Crazy. But it is also taking place in the exact same segment of the poplation that still thought George W. Bush was doing a heck of a job. It's the very same group that is enraptured by every utterance from Sarah Palin. They may be "fringe" but they have captured the heart and soul of today's Republican Party. So it is incumbant upon we liberal bloggers, and liberal pundits like Rachel to point out how crazy and stupid this all is. Because crazy or stupid may be evident to some of us. But others may see actual Congressmen backing this crap, and think it has some credence. It doesn't.
To see some debunking that lays waste to every birther theory, go here.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Meanwhile, enjoy this funny/creepy candy commercial. . .
Or rather, these billboards go together in unintentionally hilarious ways. I work for a sign company, and I can guarantee, they noticed when they installed these things. Hell, they probably took the pictures!
Source: Buzzfeed (via Joe.My.God.)
Bananarama: Love Comes
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Clearly, I'm not the only one who finds great humor in the "birther" conspiracy theorist movement. Stephen Colbert has a masterful take down of them, by ostensibly agreeing with them of course. The "leader" of the birther movement, Orly Taitz--a dentist/lawyer/real estate agent/taekwondo champion/professional nutball--doesn't seem to recognize that Colbert the performer is razzing her as Colbert the character. But that just makes it more fun.
By the way, Colbert did miss the most obvious joke, that of Ms. Taitz's first name. As I'm sure I'm not the first to notice, her name is LOLCat-speak for "oh, really?"
(ORLYCat picture may be used by anybody who wants it by the way. She's actually Jinx, my alarm cat).
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Womb Raiders - The Fight for the Truth Behind Obama's Birth|
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Womb Raiders - Orly Taitz|
Even funnier was the prim, put-upon response by the Tea Baggers themselves, and other conservatives. How dare this woman make such off-color fun of these stand-up people? Heh. Since the tea has stopped steeping, Rachel has of course moved on. I've particularly enjoyed her take on C Street, and the creepy conflagration of religion and politics in "The Family," the religious cult that runs this halfway house for wayward Senators. Rachel has also been featuring pieces on the "birther" movement, and skewering them with her usual aplomb.
This has rubbed cranky old CNN talking head, Lou Dobbs the wrong way. Even so, I think him calling Rachel a "tea bagging queen" was a classless--and kind of bizarre--move. Don't worry though. She took it in stride, while snarkily smacking the old poop upside the head.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Bill Kristol Extended Interview|
I haven't gotten sucked into the "President Obama isn't a citizen" conspiracy theory. Far from it, the more that I read, the more that I'm convinced that it is a ridiculous--not to mention racist--belief. But I haven't shaken off the 9/11 truthers. Well, I should explain. I don't believe some of the nuttier stuff. And I wouldn't want to extrapolate, and posit my own conclusions, because, I simply don't know enough. But I'm still convinced that the story as we've been told it is not the whole and complete truth.
The hardest part to believe, from the official story, is that Washington D.C. and New York City--arguably our most important defensive targets--were completely defenseless from a few hijackers. More than that, it is difficult to believe that the Pentagon was dive-bombed inches from the ground by an inexperienced pilot, and the only images we have are from a still-motion video camera at (what?) a gas station or something? I may be fuzzy on the details, but I'm not fuzzy on the evidence that has been presented: a blurry, inconclusive series of still shots.
Now before you think I'm a total nut, I don't subscribe to the "there were no planes!" crowd. I think disposing of perfectly good planes full of citizens, while faking the rest seems massively over-complicated. But somebody, please tell me why, at the US Pentagon we don't have video footage from every angle, conclusively showing that plane hitting the building? For all the ridiculous "just show us the birth certificate, and it'll all go away" comments from the "birther" movement, why haven't we seen a clear, obvious video of the Pentagon attack? Just wonderin'. . .
And here is the comment that led to this pondering, from Raw Story's comments:
. . .look at the facts. Building 7 fell without being hit by a plane, and the most videotaped airspace in the world (D.C.) failed to present one video that showed definitive proof the the pentagon was hit by a plane.
Me, I just assumed both sides overreacted, and that the President--who knows Gates personally--used a few ill chosen words describing the incident. I was frankly surprised the story had enough legs to stomp around as much as it has. But the story keeps chugging, egged on by both sides. I personally tend to try and give the benefit of the doubt in stories where I have no personal knowledge
In my mind, it goes something like this: The cop checks out the situation, hears from the witness, and goes up to the house. Gates, taken aback by the appearance of the cop, flies off the handle (having just travelled from China, probably already irritable). Gates--who has likely been in racially charged confrontations before--rightly or wrongly assumes his race has something to do with it, adding to his irritation. The cop--who I won't assume was racially motivated--is now irritable too. "Hey, I'm just doing my job, and this guy's busting my balls" he might think. So, when Gates steps outside, the cop sees a way to "win" this particular argument, and does. He probably shouldn't have done that, arresting somebody for being annoying. And Gates probably shouldn't have flown into a rage on the assumption that the cop was a racist.
In my view, there's every possibility that both men were right and wrong in their own way. I'd be irritated if a cop was still acting like I was a suspect after I produced ID. And I'd be irritated if I was accused of being a racist if I wasn't. Both had reason to get upset, and both took it too far. There, all done, right? Especially after the truce being drawn, and an agreed to meeting at the White House. Something tells me, it's not over though. Betcha this just keeps finding new ways to irritate people. For instance, this clip from Countdown with Keith Olbermann, with fill-in host Lawrence O'Donnell. I enjoyed the segment, but I'd wager it will start a new round of grousing. . .
Monday, July 27, 2009
At the series' panel Saturday, MacFarlane continued his show's tradition of jibing its studio and network. . .
House passes resolution that states Obama was born in Hawaii, 378-0.
This evening, the House passed a resolution sponsored by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) that commemorates Hawaii’s 50th anniversary as a U.S. state by a vote of 378-0. The resolution also contains this provision: “Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii,” a measure that some GOP members may have had trouble supporting. . .
Read more at: Think Progress
But Sarah Palin maybe saved the best for last. . .
It was mostly a lot of fun, kind of like going to camp, since you have to live on the peninsula to work there. I was assigned to "The Mill Race" flume ride, which was a classic (read: old) ride that had once been called "The Nestea Plunge." I also worked that summer in the kiddie land, the Midway Carousel and sometimes at the water park, Soak City. But by far the best part of the experience was getting to ride any ride we wanted for free. And this was the year they opened Magnum XL-200, which was the tallest, fastest roller coaster in the world at the time. Rough estimate, I rode every roller coaster at least 25 times. Here are a couple of first-person experiences for you to enjoy.
The Mean Streak
Thanks to my sister for sending me a clip of The Gemini coaster, which is fun, but not the most exciting experience on video. Still, I've probably ridden Gemini more than any of the rest.
It's Monday again, kids. Time to knuckle down and get to work, I suppose. But if you have the time, be sure to check out the new edition of "Top 10 Conservative Idiots" at Democratic Underground. It's a fun way to start the week!
The Top 10 Conservative Idiots, No. 369
July 27, 2009
Bad Medicine Edition
This week The GOP (1,2), along with RNC chairman Michael Steele (3), remind us why they're the "Party of No. . ."
Read more at: Democratic Underground
EDITOR'S NOTE: Greenlee Gazette does not contend that all conservatives are idiots. Merely that many prominent conservatives are idiots, as this column regularly confirms. So, please, no offense is intended to those of my friends and family who are themselves conservative. In other words, present company excluded!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Wherever you fall, you might want to do yourself a favor and read the thing. It looks pretty damned good to me. I can't imagine not wanting this after reading it. Unless I worked for a big insurance company, I suppose. But there even seems to be a little something-something for them in there. I'm on board. Take a look. . .
Benefits and portability
(a) In general.—The health insurance benefits under this Act cover all medically necessary services, including at least the following:
(1) Primary care and prevention.
(2) Inpatient care.
(3) Outpatient care.
(4) Emergency care.
(5) Prescription drugs.
(6) Durable medical equipment.
(7) Long term care.
(8) Mental health services.
(9) The full scope of dental services (other than cosmetic dentistry).
(10) Substance abuse treatment services.
(11) Chiropractic services.
(12) Basic vision care and vision correction (other than laser vision correction for cosmetic purposes).
(13) Hearing services, including coverage of hearing aids.
(b) Portability.—Such benefits are available through any licensed health care clinician anywhere in the United States that is legally qualified to provide the benefits.
(c) No cost-sharing.—No deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or other cost-sharing shall be imposed with respect to covered benefits.
Read it all at: John Conyers for Congress
Saturday, July 25, 2009
But what are the motives behind the adherents to this idiotic theory? For a goodly number of them, I'm convinced that racism--whether unconscious or overt--is at the root of most birthers' reasons for believing it. They simply can't believe that a black guy won. Possibly some of them are more xenophobic than racist, and have a problem with the fact that Obama had a father and a step-father who were both foreign, and had non-Christian beliefs. So, I'd guess that a majority of the birthers are some combination of racists, xenophobes and Christian fundamentalists who can not tolerate any hint of non-Christianity.
But what of those who insist that "all they want" is to see the long-form birth certificate? What is on it that they think they're going to find? Some say they want to see the doctor's signature, and some want to see the hospital of birth. Both of those items would be confirmation that Obama really was born in Honolulu (or not), and would say for sure, one way or another, if Obama was a natural born citizen. But is that all they're really after? I suspect that the reason that they really want to see it is for the potential reasons that Obama has not released it.
Of course, Obama may be withholding it for perfectly logical reasons like a) the original is lost, or b) he knows there is no reason to do so, and that confounding these crazies is more fun. They wouldn't likely believe the document was real if they saw it anyway. But there are all kinds of potentially embarrassing things on the document that Obama doesn't want us to see, if you try to speculate about it. I got out my own birth certificate to see what sorts of things I might not want people to know.
I was born in 1966 to teenagers. Mom was still in high school, and Dad was a college freshman. My birth certificate affirms that they were 18 and 19, that they were married, both white, and Dad was a student, and they didn't even ask if Mom had a job. Mom was asyphilitic. Whew! Mom didn't have syphilis! Other information confirms that we lived in the city limits of Columbus, and that we did not live on a farm. Mom didn't have any miscarriages, terminated pregnancies, stillbirths, or other children living or dead. I was delivered by a doctor, not a midwife, D.O. or "other." I was not part of a twin or triplet birth. And my birth certificate was recorded 27 days after I was born.
Now, there is nothing there that I find embarrassing. But if I was a public figure, and my birth certificate did say something, like that Mom and Dad weren't married, or Mom was under age, or had syphilis, or that Dad was a soviet spy rather than a student, I suppose I might want to suppress my "long form" document. So, when you hear "there's simply no other reason he'd withhold it, unless he's not a citizen!" I'm sure you can think of other explanations.
If you can't, I've got a website for you. It's a "birther" debunking site, and it absolutely demolishes the entire, tangled conspiracy theory. The things that birthers keep barking out, like "his grandmother insists Obama was born in Kenya" are absolutely untrue, and are extensively documented. That's another way you can tell the whole theory is bogus. . .they almost never have anything to back up what they're saying, and when they do, they take it out of context.
So, here you go. Go to Obama Conspiracy Theories: The Light at the End of the Tunnel.
My question isn't just "Why is this woman a popular TV person, when she is so unpleasant?" but "Why does Nancy Grace always look vaguely disgusted?"
But the article excerpted below is a great deal of fun. It parses Palin's "word salad" statements, and fashions them into verse. Is it possible that there is more to Palin's manner of speech than meets the ear? Probably not. After all you could easily blend a beauty pageant answer of--say, that Teen Miss South Carolina contestant--into any of Palin's statements, and not notice a difference. But it's a hoot to read this theory anyway.
Sarah Palin, The Anti-Poet
Watching Sarah Palin resign the other week, I remembered how frustrating it is to listen to her speak. She uses simple words, but combines them into a fog that's hard to penetrate, out of which a few political clichés like "freedom" and "reform" appear. Most politicians, of course, obfuscate to some degree, but Palin is a master, and she does it constantly. Look at how she turns a simple statement into a mind-numbing puzzle. . .
Read more at: Huffington Post
The right-wing media wasted no time in spreading the results of a poll that shows President Barack Obama’s popularity dropping to 49 percent. Some may say that this is just the ammunition that the GOP was looking for to derail Obama’s agenda. . .
I don't expect an answer to this question, given my rather small readership. But I'm asking it anyhow, because I've got to do something with my frustration.
OK. When I'm using my notebook computer, particularly if I've awakened it from a slumber, the computer takes a very long time to fully wake up. And even after it has, it goes through periods of delay, characterized by a brightening of the screen, and a twirling blue icon. My question is: What the hell is my computer actually doing while it has rendered itself inert like this?
Something has to actually be happening while I sit helplessly watching the icon spin, right? Some process, some function, something is going on. Or is my computer deliberately taunting me?
Friday, July 24, 2009
When it comes to the health care issue, I'm not fully versed on the minutiae. But as an adult in America, do I really need to be? Who hasn't had the experience (or known somebody who has) of going through medical/dental procedures, and had to deal with insurance companies? Who hasn't felt like they pay too much for insurance, for too little benefit? Just about everybody has a horror story of their own, or of a close family member or friend.
I've heard several stories about eternal waits in emergency rooms. I've heard several stories about declined coverage for people who thought they were covered. I've had to pay for procedures and medicines I thought I was covered for. I know about the entire divisions of insurance company employees whose only job is to try to deny coverage. Any reason will do. They'll even deny coverage for no good reason, and wait to see if the claim is resubmitted, or if you just pay it out of your pocket. Then of course, most of us know of someone who has fallen into financial ruin due to a medical crisis.
So, how is it that right-wing talk radio, FOX "News" and conservative politicians have been moderately successful in convincing their base that a federal health care plan is a bad idea? Somehow, they're convincing a group of people--which must have a large percentage of people who should know better--that we have "the best health care system in the world!" They demonized European and Canadian health plans, as though nobody here in the states has experienced it while travelling, or knows people from those countries. How are they having any success at selling their "let's leave it the way it is" agenda?
There are a couple of things I can think of. 1) The Karl Rove reality altering machinery isn't completely broken down yet, and some people just reflexively believe what comes out of it. 2) Every single issue in America has come down to a left-right divide, and since Democrats are for a health care plan, a Republican has to oppose it by default.
That's all I've got. But figuring out what the Republicans are up to is a lot easier than sussing out why their followers believe it. Clearly, the GOP/RNC want to stall, stall, stall on health care, so that President Obama gets either a watered-down, "pleases nobody" plan, or they want it--and him--to fail utterly. And they want this to happen as close to the 2010 political season as possible. They want one or both houses of Congress back, and they see this as their best shot to do it. Which it is. Given the cast of clowns in their all-star roster, all they can do is hope for failure on the other side. It's just amazing to me that they've had any success so far. But we should never underestimate the right-wing base's ability to ignore their own experience, and believe what Rush Limbaugh tells them.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I'm going to try to start posting a few items per week from Las Vegas and/or Nevada, being a Las Vegas blogger and all. Why not? And what better way to start than with a Las Vegan who has been going through an embarrassing and very public scandal?
After Senator John Ensign's affair came to light, he did what he usually does, which is disappear into the background. He was helped by the even more interesting Gov. Mark Sanford story, and then by the death of Michael Jackson. But after that hoopla was mostly over, more things trickled out, piling up in such a way as to start speculation about a resignation. Ensign jumped out in front of that one, and announced his intention to run for re-election. . .in 2012.
So, why is his staff abandoning him? Enquiring minds. . .
Report: Ensign chief of staff to leave
Sen. John Ensign's (Nev.) top aide will depart the embattled Republican's office in the wake of an affair that likely ended Ensign's presidential hopes.
John Lopez, the highly regarded chief of staff, is leaving Ensign's office, according to Nevada political columnist Jon Ralston. . .
Read more at: The Hill
See, there have been birth announcements found from 1961 in two different papers. The article below picks apart the procedures for placement, the manner of writing, and whether or not Obama could have been born outside the country, and then had his announcements appear in the Hawaii papers anyway. While you're noodling that around, ponder why his parents, his family or the papers would have bothered doing such a thing. What impetus would anyone have had in 1961 to fake the origins of a little biracial boy? Every conspiracy has its harder-than-usual-to-believe elements, but this one takes a willful blindness and allegiance to the concept to even ponder.
Hawaiian newspapers don't prove birthplace
Announcements published in 1961 not solid evidence of U.S. location
The announcements of Barack Obama's birth printed by two Hawaii newspapers in 1961 do not provide solid proof of a birth in the Aloha State because of uncertainties over the policies and procedures that apparently were being used at the time. . .
Read all about it at: World
- Maybe Mom & Dad weren't yet officially married
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I haven't read something that made me laugh until my eyes leaked in a long time, but this did it. Click to embiggen if necessary, and then start in the middle and work your way left. Then start over, and work to the right. Hilarious.
I'm sure they'd vigorously deny that. But it's true. Go on over to FreeRepublic.com, and look up any discussion about gays in the military for example. The high profile servicemen who have been dismissed under Don't Ask, Don't Tell get no support from FReepers. Then, there is any veteran or serviceman who has anything critical to say about the Bush Administration. No love for them. And now, with Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl captured in Afghanistan, there's actually some jerk on FOX "News" (the TV version of FReeperland) seemingly rooting for his death. Inconceivable for anybody who really supports the troops. But not for the denizens of right-wing world.
Peters Continues Attack On Captured U.S. Soldier: He’s A Liar And ‘A Deserter’ Who ‘Shamed His Unit’
Late last week, media outlets reported that Taliban forces had captured U.S. Army soldier Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan. While the circumstances of his capture are not entirely known, Bergdahl said in a video released by his captors that he lagged behind a patrol, while other reports say he walked off a base with Afghan soldiers. In an appearance on Fox News earlier this week, retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters suggested that the Taliban should kill Bergdahl because he is an “apparent deserter. . .”
Read more at: Think Progress
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Here's a tip to our nut-burger here. It's OK to follow conspiracy theories, as long as you stick to facts, or holes in evidence. Once you start drawing conclusions, and stating them as fact, that is when you really start looking crazy. By the way, if anybody out there has a handy checklist of debunking points for this conspiracy theory, I'd love a link to it. Thanks.
Found at: Joe.My.God.