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Archive for 2012

NC Denied Victim Compensation to Sterilization Victims

$50K for involuntarily sterilizing people is not a huge sum of victim compensation. To strike it down under partisan politics primarily because it was Gov. Beverly Purdue’s idea shines a new low on the North Carolina GOP.

NC Denies Funds for Sterilization Victims

At the time this happened I realized recall thinking it was pretty low. It made me recognize how blindly partisan the NC Republicans are. Any conservative can post a comment to defend this decision by claiming austerity but it will just make your hubris shine. The whole issue really escalated for me when I found out that a friend, who suffers from mild retardation and cerebral palsy, was one of the 7528 victims of the NC Eugenics Board. So congrats for setting my opinion of the GOP to a brand new low. You have now officially earned the label of inhumane. You may reach your political goals but at what cost to your morality?

From the article:

“The North Carolina Senate rejected a plan to compensate victims of a mass sterilization plan that targeted mostly poor minorities for decades in the 20th century.

On Wednesday, Senate Republicans refused to support the measure put forth by the House to set aside $10 million in the state budget for compensation, which would have given victims $50,000 each. The move would have made North Carolina the first state to compensate eugenics victims.

“I’m sorry that it happened,” Sen. Don East told the Raleigh-based News and Observer. “I just don’t think money fixes it”.

Okay Republican Senator Don East, you inhumane POS, Chris was really in need of the $50K. For this guy who’s lived in a one room apartment his whole life it would have really changed his life. All his friends help him out at some point with money, rides, companionship but the state who involuntarily sterilized him can’t? You “don’t think money fixes it” Don?

Senator Dumbass Don minced words. I won’t. No it won’t reverse the sterilization procedure – DUH. What it does is display some level of remorse and penalty for the state in the form of victim compensation. What Don, Republicans don’t believe in victim compensation? Perhaps Don plans to use the $10 million to continue his misguided fight against coastal recreational fishing in NC. That’s right Republicans… you have a GOP Senator among you who wants to take away many of your recreational fishing places at the coast to reserve for commercial vessels, which are in decline in NC. Fishermen revolt. This out of touch prick deserves it.

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Google’s solution? Hand over your passwords.

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Google’s solution? Hand over your passwords.

For a few months Mac users have been seeing an intrusive message announcing “Google Chrome wants to use your confidential information stored in…your keychain”. Some people click “Yes” or “Always Allow” to each request in the keychain just to get rid of the message. In fact this is Google’s recommendation in the Google Chrome Forum

“when you see these prompts, please select “Always Allow”. Once you have done this for all saved passwords, you should not be prompted again the next time you start up Chrome.”

Thanks for this. One big problem though. Did you know that any time you sign into Chrome and save a user name and password you are actually storing it on a Google server?

“As an added layer of protection, by default your saved passwords are encrypted on your computer and on Google’s servers using a cryptographic key.” – from Why sign in to Chrome

This is how Chrome users are able to log in using the browser on any computer and have their user name and passwords fields auto-populated. The passwords are not stored locally as they are when using a utility like the Password Exporter extension for Firefox. Unless you’ve allowed passwords to be stored using Firefox Sync. Even then Firefox only accesses passwords stored at the browser application level. It doesn’t go after the keychain. I don’t know about you but I have many passwords in my MacBook keychain that I am not interested in sharing with Google. Saying “yes” to this option is not a solution to Google’s invasive attempts, intentional or not, to gather authentication information from my machine.

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Brilliant Political Strategy

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Brilliant Political Strategy

Today the GOP pulled off one of the most brilliant political strategies of modern times virtually insuring them control of Congress and the White House come November. John Robert’s Supreme Court ruling to keep the individual health insurance mandate requiring all breathing US citizens to buy a private market product was a calculated ruling in support of the GOP. They recognized the lack of popularity of the mandate and Republicans need the repeal platform to run on. Otherwise they might be left with nothing but “Don’t Tax the Rich”. Flying like lead. Now they will work hard to insure voters that they will repeal the Affordable Health Care Act to win votes. And it will work. This is a hollow victory for the left and they are in full celebration mode. They haven’t stopped the party long enough to realize what just happened. Update: The “Repeal and Replace” campaign debuted on TV before I finished writing this.

I find it ironic that Mitt Romney, the inventor of health insurance mandates, in all likelihood will become President running on a platform to repeal the same mandate at the federal level. They only question that remains is his sincerity. Is it just an empty campaign promise? I believe the party will hold him to this one. Many, many Americans will swallow hard at the polls this year, cover their noses and mark the ballot. Yes, it stinks to think that a vote for corporatism, over-zealous bible beating, lower taxes for the wealthy, higher taxes for the middle class and a windfall for the banks and Wall St. is the right thing to do but unfortunately it may be true.

The precedence set by requiring every living American to buy a private market product simply for being born and breathing cannot stand. It will not stop at health insurance. Under this interpretation of the constitution if legislators can tell you what you must buy they can tell you what you cannot buy. The federal government will have no limit of commerce authority. Tell you what to buy, tax you if you don’t. I have never denounced government. I reject any absolute authority of government because that is in effect not a free republic. Obama overstepped his bounds and the Supreme Court just let him in a calculated move to remove him and most other Democrats from office.

The truth is repealing the AHCA will not fix the prescedence set by the Roberts Court. They will need to review this ruling and Citizens United if we are ever going to get back to normal. The corporate influences on public government must be dealt with. There should be no cozy relationship of any kind. It’s key.

Congratulations to the GOP in their November victory. The political tactics of the right have proven to be vastly superior to the short term thinking on the left. It is over now except for the endless Repeal Obamacare ads. Sorry, “Repeal and Replace”.

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Moving Blackberry Express Server 5.0 from Exchange 2003 to 2010

Blackberry’s are still around, even in the BYOD world we now operate in.  In fact some of my mobile users are choosing Blackberry’s for whatever reason.  Since there’s less than 10 of them in total we downgraded last year from our BES subscription to Blackberry Express Server which is surprisingly stable.  Now that I’ve migrated the company mail platform to Exchange 2010 from 2003 I had to point the Express Server to the new mail server.  Here’s how…

  1. Make sure the BES version is at least 5.0.3 Express with MR1 for SP3 applied.  No earlier versions are compatible with Exchange 2010.
  2. Stop all the BlackBerry Services on the server hosting the Blackberry Express Server.

Make sure the Exchange 2010 server is ready for Blackberry Express connectivity.

  1. As of Exchange 2007 Microsoft did not include MAPI Client and Collaboration Data Objects 1.2.1 in the base product install.  It is required for BES communications.  Download and install it on the 2010 server: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=1004
  2. Move the BESadmin mailbox to Exchange 2010 in the Exchange Management Console and then delete the move request.  This mailbox can also be moved at the time you are moving all other users mailboxes but must be moved before attempting to connect the BES to the 2010 server.
  3. Make sure the BESAdmin account is not hidden from the Global Address List in any way.
  4. On the Exchange 2010 server open the Exchange Management Shell, then copy and run the following commands:

(Note: You may need to wait about 10-15 minutes for Active Directory replication to take place across all your domain controllers before running the next command, assigning the new throttling policy to the BESAdmin mailbox.  If you receive an error, just wait for replication to complete.)

Now it’s time to make the changes on the BES host:

  1. Run the Registry Editor and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\.
  2. Right click on the Profiles sub key and select “Export”.
  3. Save the exported key in any location you choose.
  4. Right click and “Delete” the entire Profiles sub key.
  5. Close the Registry Editor.
  6. Go to Start > Program Files > BlackBerry Enterprise Server > BlackBerry Server Configuration > Blackberry Server Tab.  Click “Edit MAPI Profile” and put in the local name of the new Exchange 2010 Server to configure it for the Blackberry Service Account (e.g. BESadmin).
  7. Start all of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server services.

At this point you can move your Blackberry users over to the new Exchange Server if you have not already done so.  Then launch the Blackberry Administration Web Console and check the time of the “Last Message Sent” to see if messages are flowing to the user devices.  If the Admin Web Console won’t launch it is typically because the prerequisite MAPI Client and Collaboration Data Objects 1.2.1 version 6.5.8211 or higher is not installed on the Exchange 2010 server.

Hopes this eases the transition pain at least a little bit…

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The Ultimate Invasion of Liberty and Freedom

Anyone who thinks forcing the citizenry to buy a private market product simply for living and breathing hasn’t thought this through very well. Do not equate this to auto or other forms of insurance mandates. Many people do not have a car or insurance on one by CHOICE. Breathing is not a choice. This is evil precedence. Dead core evil.

How long until we are forced to buy a certain toothpaste with specified ingredient, adhere to dietary requirements, and smokers can forget it… All brought to you by proxy through the governments cozy insurance relationship. It is control by legal mandate.

Anyone who thinks this is going to do one damn thing to control indigent health care costs, I’m laughing at you, not with you. It is a revenue and power grab. No more, no less, negotiated in secrecy by Ramm Emanuel at the bidding of Obama to placate the insurance industry.

I am clearly no Obama hater but I hate this legislation and feel it is the dark stain on his Presidency. Same reason I’ve hated Romney since April of 2006 when under his guidance Mass. introduced the mandate.

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There is no reason to place more than one bid on ebay. The snipe bid.

Once you’ve used ebay for awhile it is easy to see there is no reason to bid any more than once for any item you really want to buy.  The snipe bid.  Here’s why: If you use ebay’s proxy bidding service you may only be driving the final price up.  Sure, put in the maximum you want to pay and let the proxy bid for you.  You want a camera and you’re hoping to win it for $200.  The bidding started at $90.  You put in $200 as your max nine hours before the auction’s end.  You’re now winning the auction at $91.50.

Closer to the end of the auction the hawks who have been watching the camera swoop in.  First they’re going to try to out bid you.  They know that this camera is worth $350 retail.  You’re not privy to some secret retail price information they don’t have.  So through a series of bids they drive the price above your $200 maximum.  Now they’re going to start a war.  A bidding war against each other.  $225….$240….$242.50….

Five minutes left in the auction and you still want the camera for $275 or less.  But the bidding has paused at $245.   Hold that mouse!  Do not increase your max bid to $275 yet!  Now with three minutes left the other person who really wants to win this auction has plenty of time to run up your price even if they don’t beat it and win the camera.  Wait until the last three to five seconds. Put in your maximum bid of $275.  You’re the high bidder and the auction has ended.  You won.  But at what cost?

First, your time.  There is no way the time you took to place a low ball bid was ever going to work out.  You didn’t find a secret hidden item on ebay.  Others were watching it and your low entry while you hoped for a miracle.  You also set a high bid for the hawks to run against.  If you had not set the $200 max bid it’s possible the other bidders would have fought their war with smaller incremental bids against each other, tiring each other out until the pause at around $185.  That would have been a much nicer price to be sniping at in the last five seconds of the auction.

Sniping is the only real way to bid and win on ebay.  Watch an item, if it is still within your price point in the last five seconds of the auction, fire away!  This is the only bid you will need to make to win.  Sniping is so effective that there are third party services prepared to snipe for you so that you won’t have to stay up until 1:30 AM to place that last second bid.  Sniping is also a way to really piss off all those people who have spent hours of their time and anxiety watching an item run up in price.  Take them all out with one bid at the end and take home the prize.

This entire post also summarizes why I don’t ever post an item on ebay for longer than three days.  More time may attract more eyeballs but it will also lose you just as many bidders because who really want to bid on an item and wait 4 days 29 minutes and 40 seconds to see if they will win.  Most likely they will look for the same item at a different price that’s ending sooner.

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Which branch of the US government is most powerful?

Which branch of the US Government is the most powerful?

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Angry Americans

Americans are angry at each other. We are a socially divided nation. For every person who hates illegal immigration there is one championing amnesty. For every person you find against tax increases for the wealthy you will find one, albeit not wealthy, against any tax increases. For every group you find championing prayer in school you can find a secular group denouncing all school prayer by any religion or denomination. For every person that champions gay marriage you can find someone against it.

These are not issues that are going away. They encompass our mindsets and ideology. They define some as left or right, liberal or conservative. Many are in the middle as they disagree or agree with positions on both sides. The greater farce presented by the media is the chances for compromise. Neither side sees any room for it.

Don’t like the animosity towards each other? Too bad. Denying reality serves no one. The media now exists to exploit these opinions and opposing view points. There is no longer such a thing as “impartial” news. Every commentators opinion is designed to reinforce network ideology and fuel your hatred towards the opposition. Are we reaching the point where only mutual tragedy can unite us?

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