*********It's been some time since I started using Linux on a couple of the Weekend Pundit computers. A new release of the Ubuntu distribution, version 9.04, will be coming out in a couple weeks with some new features that look really neat.
With a few minor exceptions, I have found Linux to be more than adequate for almost 95% of the tasks I need to perform. The 5% of the tasks Linux can't handle are work related, using specialized software with Windows specific security keys. But it's rare I need to bring that kind of work home, so Linux does what I need it to do and does it well.
About the only negative I can report is that what anti-virus software is available for Linux (Clamav and AVG) isn't user friendly. One, Clamav, requires recompiling the kernel in order to enable a graphical user interface rather than using a command line. But viruses that affect Linux are few and far between...so far.
*********Even though the warmer weather has arrived, we're still using the woodstove, though only in the evenings. We'll still have almost 4 cords of firewood left by the end of the heating season, enough to get us through most of next winter, if not the entire winter. We haven't used nearly as much wood as we did last year.
*********President Obama has learned his charisma doesn't have any affect on other heads-of-state, being limited to the suckers that voted him into office back on this side of the pond. His pimping for other members of the G20 to pump trillions of dollars into the world economy as a “stimulus” has been rebuked. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded:
The President is learning his oratory has little effect on those outside the US. Could it be because people elsewhere have a better read on Obama and realize he's a poseur, in over his head?
“I will not let anyone tell me that we must spend more money...We must look at the causes of this crisis. It happened because we were living beyond our means...We cannot repeat this mistake.” Germany has set aside about 4% of GDP for stimulus so far and has resisted increasing that to the extraordinary American level of about 8% of GDP.
(H/T Maggie's Farm)
*********This morning's Good Morning America reported on the killings in Binghamton, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, and Oakland, CA. Part way through their report they made the statement that there are “renewed calls for more gun control.”
How disingenuous is this? Who is calling for more gun control? They haven't told us this. Could it be it's mostly the MSM making these calls? Are they being joined by the usual suspects?
Without a doubt.
I have to ask them this: Why is it that states with very minimal gun laws also have very low crime rates?
That's a question they haven't answered to date, nor do I expect to receive one because it flies in the face of what they've been preaching all these years.
*********More people in the Obama camp are wising up to the sleight-of-hand being pulled by the President and Congress when it comes to the historically large and deficit-ridden $3.5 trillion budget. A number of lies have been told in an effort to get support for the economy busting spending plan of the Socialist-In-Chief.
Congress has agreed to spend $3.5 trillion of American taxpayer money -- 34 percent of it borrowed -- for the purpose of economic recovery. Or so we are told.
Speaking of the President's budget, which both the House and the Senate passed on Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "It's going to take a lot of work to clean up the mess we inherited, and passing this budget is a critical step in the right direction."
That was a deliberate lie, exposed as such by the budget itself. The bulk of its so-called recovery spending occurs years down the road, well after the administration predicts the economy will have begun growing again.
It's smoke and mirrors, folks. The present administration figures it can spend your money better than you can. Never mind the fact that you earned it. They want it, and the money your children and grandchildren will earn for the next few generations or so.
*********To give you a preview of what the future holds should the unions get their way and EFCA passes, Mayor Frank Guinta of Manchester, New Hampshire has been handed an ultimatum by the city's unions, making it very difficult for him to make necessary budget cuts in order to prevent an unaffordable rise in property taxes. Somehow the unions have come to believe they are immune from layoffs and pay cuts, and can dictate to the mayor and aldermen whether or not there will budget cuts or tax increases.
I could have sworn our elected officials were supposed to control spending and taxes, not the unions.
*********Another Obama tax pledge bites the dust.
*********The real reason the government doesn't want banks to repay TARP funds?
They want to control the banks directly.
The government wants to control the banks, just as it now controls GM and Chrysler, and will surely control the health industry in the not-too-distant future. Keeping them TARP-stuffed is the key to control. And for this intensely political president, mere influence is not enough. The White House wants to tell 'em what to do. Control. Direct. Command.
If the banks are forced to keep TARP cash -- which was often forced on them in the first place -- the Obama team can work its will on the financial system to unprecedented degree. That's what's happening right now.
If I didn't know better I'd swear Obama and his advisors are acting more like a Chicago mob crime family, taking control of legitimate businesses and skimming money off the top.
The government is even threatening healthy banks, forcing them to take TARP funds they don't need, don't want, but can't give back, giving it control of those banks. In effect Barack Obama is nationalizing the banks through threats and subterfuge, bypassing the legislative process and oversight by the legislative and judicial branches of the government. It's an extortion racket, plain and simple.
There is simply no authority in the U.S. Constitution for Congress to exercise the level of control it now seeks over private industry. In fact, this level of control will wind up costing the businesses that took TARP (voluntarily or involuntarily) money since they will lose key employees who will go to work elsewhere and because the reporting requirements will take time and time is money. The Constitution basically says that if the government wants to take time or freedom or money from someone or something, it must sue for it. It cannot just give itself the authority to do so via legislation.
I wonder if or when the MSM will wake up to the fact that Obama has fooled them all, made them willing dupes in a campaign to radically make over the US into a socialist hell run by a creation of the Chicago political machine. Hopefully they'll realize it before he actually controls them, too.
Are you scared yet?
*********More on narcissism.
Sound like anyone we know?
*********Here's an indicator of “bipartisanship” in Congress.
Not one Republican in the House, not one, voted in favor of Obama's $3.5 trillion budget. Twenty Democrats also voted nay. Can you blame them? They know this budget is an economy-killer and want nothing to do with it.
Will this be setting up a mid-term election sweep in 2010, removing a large number of spend-and-tax Democrats from the House? I hope so. It may be the American taxpayer's only hope to undo the damage Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are doing to the economy.
*********There's no way we should let Obama control the Internet. He's been seizing too much power that isn't his to begin with. The last thing we need is to give him the ability to shut it down during an ambiguously defined “emergency”. Knowing his proclivities, “emergency” could be defined as too many blog posts criticizing him and his plans to create a socialist America.
*********Sales of Atlas Shrugged now ranks #18 at Amazon.
What do you think that means? (As if we didn't know.)
*********If the government takes control of the health care system, will they withhold treatment for otherwise healthy elderly citizens because it would be cheaper to make sure they die? Glenn Reynolds argues the point that if life-prolonging medical treatment keeps the elderly healthy and active, they are more likely to keep working and paying into the system rather than being paid by the system.
I can see where that would be the case, knowing quite a few retired folks that wish they were still healthy enough to keep working. (No, I'm not kidding. As more than one person put it, being retired is great for the first month or so. After that it can get boring.)
If life expectancy increased by twenty or thirty years, I doubt very much people would still be retiring at 65.