Saturday, May 5, 2007

Linkin Park "Minutes to Midnight" album

UPDATE: My review here


FYI, the Linkin Park new album "Minutes to Midnight" has "dropped", go cop that!

First impression, it's quality. The style of music/beats is different from that of the 1st two albums. I would compare Linkin Park to The Roots, who can switch their subgenre of music & still produce a quality album every time. The songs here are mellower, without many spastic moments as on their prior albums. However, LP still merges both "hard" sounds with "soft" sounds here, which has been their trademark unique approach since their 1st album "Hybrid Theory".

Here's a video for their single "What I've Done"

North American Union?

According to Lou Dobbs, there is a group called the SPP that has government officials from USA, Canada & Mexico working on a process to
1 Increase border security outside of the North American continent
2 Reduce or eliminate border controls within North America, eg the USA-MEX & USA-CAN borders.

Dobbs' claim is that the SPP is part of an effort to try to achieve a North American Union regional structure, similar to the existing European Union. One main thrust would be to replace the 3 countries' existing currencies with the Amero
It's possible that at least part of these efforts in principle could POSSIBLY be good for the American public. I don't know enough to have an opinion.

However in my view any effort by the SPP & others should go through the Congressional approval & oversight process, and documented & debated by the MSM. If this is not occurring, then it's a BIG PROBLEM IMHO.

Some Dobbs clips on the issue:

Friday, May 4, 2007

Quote on ad hominem attacks

Check out this quote on ad hominem attacks. Please read it twice & think about it:

"Serious readers for centuries are alert to recognize that ad hominem attacks generally mask an inability to counter an argument on logical or evidentiary grounds."

It's amazing how many people don't understand this concept or ignore it. Many of these people may have proof of their intelligence, such as having a PhD. Despite this, they don't understand this concept that a smart 6th grader could clearly understand.

Republican Presidential candidate 1st debate

The Republicans had their 1st Presidential debate yesterday, May-3 at Simi Valley, CA.

All 10 declared candidates participated:
Sam Brownback (Senator-KS)
Jim Gilmore (former Governor-VA)
Rudy Giuliani (former Mayor-New York City)
Mike Huckabee (former Gov-AR)
Duncan Hunter (Representative-CA 52nd District San Diego)
John McCain
Mitt Romney (former Gov-MA)
Ron Paul (Rep-TX 14th District Houston)
Tom Tancredo (Rep-CO 6th District Denver)
Tommy Thompson (former Gov-WI)

Truth Hunter's analysis of the debate

Thursday, May 3, 2007

McCain & Giuliani = authoritarian?

Another article on Giuliani, (see 1st article) from a NYC journalist that knows dude for years. Basically Giuliani
1 actually intelligent (unlike W Bush 43), but...

2 maybe as authoritarian as W Bush, based on how he ran NYC dictator-style as mayor

3 extreme loyalty to his crew, like W Bush, meaning as Pres he'll populate the jobs with his career crony NYC hacks, instead of getting experts that he doesn't know personally. The latter approach is what Pres Lincoln did, nominating some cabinet jobs to his main political rivals. The benefit of this approach is the Pres gets real debate & different ideas expressed. OTOH, W Bush 43 gave all the jobs to his & his dad Bush 41's cronies, & then fired those like Colin Powell & Paul O'Neill who actually spoke their mind & didn't d-ride W 100% of the time. It seems that Giuliani will do the same.

GIULIANI CONCLUSION: I am more convinced after reading this 2nd article on Giuliani that he would be a horrible authoritarian President. ABG (Anybody But Giuliani) is in full-effect, tell all your friends, "each one teach one", etc.


There's an article on McCain from the libertarian Reason magazine, claiming that McCain is authoritarian.

There's some bad evidence here, such that McCain was a poor student, & got jobs & promotions due to the influence of his prominent Navy Admiral father, similar to W Bush 43 got similar "rich yet mediocre elite white guy affirmative action" from his daddy Bush 41.

McCain does seem authoritarian in that he wants to increase the US military's involvement globally, as a "unitary executive" type President who has negligible "checks & balances" from Congress. This is worrisome. However, I don't see any evidence that he'd be for the egregious Constitution-violating actions of W Bush, like warrantlessy wiretapping & torture. McCain actually has advocated against torture. Also, given that he has worked on many projects in his own Senate career with many Democratic Senators like Russ Feingold & John Kerry, I doubt he would just ignore the Senate as the President.

Also, I disagree with Reason's characterizing McCain's campaign finance reform as authoritarian on the ground that it limits free speech. I guess this is the Libertarian view of this issue, which in my view is completely wrong & ignorant of the current American political reality. I don't consider limiting the extremely rich to give large amounts of money to politicians, in exchange for future benefits such as reduced taxes, to be "violating free speech". It's the opposite, the 99.9% of individuals not rich enough to buy off politicians have their interests ignored in that system.

MCCAIN CONCLUSION: If McCain gets the Repub nomination, I will still party like it's 1999, word to Prince. I feel McCain at worst will be a decent President, ala Bush 41. So if it's McCain or ANY of the Democratic candidates that ends up as the eventual winner, I'll be relieved that we have a decent (or better) President that can mostly adhere to the Constitution and act correctly as an elected public servant, not a W Bush styled authoritarian/dictator/Decider

Calle 13

Calle 13 has a new album Residente o Visitante. Props to the homie Fux for introducing this group to me on his blog with some youtube vids.

The MC from Calle 13, Residente, is a great practitioner of the now neglected steez of lyrical & hilarious punchline rap, in the tradition of Redman, Chino XL & Eminem.

Residente raps mainly in Spanish, with a some English & "Spanglish" slang. There's a lot of Puerto Rico slang there also, I can't understand it all, but it's still enjoyable.

I just heard a few random tracks from the 05 album Calle 13, I should listen to both the 05 & the new 07 albums.

Calle 13 is the 2nd quality reggaeton artist IMHO. The 1st one I discovered is Tego Calderon. The only other one I listened to was Don Omar, but that dude's rappin & womanly-steez singing sucks. Don Omar got the Recycle Bin destination after 1 listen.

Interestingly enough, according to wikipedia, both Calderon & Residente are distancing themselves from reggaeton, which they say is "too commercial & uncreative". I label Calderon & Calle 13 as quality reggaeton to distinguish from the wack dudes like Don Omar.

IMHO "quality reggaeton" is just a rap subgenre with different sounding beats & rapping in spanish. I mean other types of rap have completely diff types of beats, but are still under the rap umbrella. Wu-Tang & A Tribe Called Quest, for instance, have extremely diff beats, but both are still considered rap. Also Calderon & Calle use many type of beats, many are not "reggaeton-type" beats.

BTW Residente's lyrics on "Tengo Hambre" are hilarious:
"Cual es tu pendejismo?
Es que yo soy del verdadero hip-hop, hip-hop, tu sabes Redman, BIG, Nas, Mr...
Tu puedes sacar de la tumba a 2Pac, a 3-pack, a 4-pack, hasta un 6-pack,
y con to' y eso por el culo botas kit-kat,
si tu lo que tienes por cabeza es un tic-tac de menta
eres un monosapiens, cabeza mensa
Para el rock tue eres una ofensa!"

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

CA Democratic Party Passes Resolution Demanding Impeachment of Bush & Cheney

CA Democratic Party Passes Resolution Demanding Impeachment of Bush & Cheney.

There are 6 points listed that are the grounds for impeachment

Shout out to my WestSide heads in beautiful Califa for havin the nuts to make a statement like this. Especially in this Gee Dubbz era, where it's possible that Dubbz could unleash Al Gonzo to execute point #3 on the leaders of this resolution, warrantless wiretaps.

Any Constitution experts in the house? Poli Sci heads or lawyers? I'm not knowledgeable on the Constitution, but it would seem to me that AT LEAST points #3 & #5 are
1 definitely violating the Constitution
2 easy to prove, as many examples available where Dubbz has done this, documented by the media & blogosphere, with the victims willing to be witnesses on this.

Tell your apolitical homies about this. This isn't political, violating the Constitution is un-American period. If a Democrat President did this, I would want him to be impeached as well.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Helium has user written articles on many real-world issues, a consumer reports type of site.

US Politics websites

Some good sites for 2008 Pres. Election coverage & other political matters

Sordid Politics thorough 2008 election coverage, & many links
What Happened To My Country opinion blog
You Decide 2008 election coverage

Outsource This

Outsource This

Props to this video, it shows the absurdity of offshore outsourcing.

The kids in this video intuitively understand real-world economics better than the "outsourcing is great for America" crowd of Ivory Tower no-think PhD dee dee dee economists, which I refer to here as PhDees

I concede that maybe to a certain extent offshore outsourcing is inevitable, given
1 global trade
2 universal internets
3 labor arbitrage factor: 5X+ USA/ChInd salary gaps between similar person with same occupation & experience
4 2B population in ChInd alone (China & India, or other low-wage countries with many knowledge workers). They can literally make to order (MTO), no Toyota production system, thousands of professionals in any career the MNC "TI" CEOs want

But even if some is inevitable, why does the US Fed Gov ENCOURAGE it, instead of encouraging employment of its own workforce? I believe the US Constitution says the government is responsible to the USA PUBLIC! Not MNCs, not the Asian public.

BTW no other "Western" OECD type of country wantonly screws their pubic like this. Japan, England, Germany, etc put up some type of protection for their workers. Call them "protectionist" if you want, I call that common sense.

Bear with me, this is my brief simplified history of the US economy
1 majority worked in agriculture, that died out with automation, PhDee advise workers to manufacturing industry

2 manufacturing declines due to factory outsourcing to MEX/CHN/etc & automation, PhDee advise workers to go to college to retrain as a "knowledge worker": IT/engineering/medical/etc

3 knowledge workers decline due to offshore outsourcing to ChInd, especially in IT & other engineering, but also in some other fields such as nursing & teaching. PhDee says to retrain to be knowldedge workers in the next wave of new industries: genomics, stem cell research, nanotechnology, etc

OH 1 PROBLEM PhDee, SF Bay Venture Capitalists (VCs) insist that their USA startup companies, from the birth/startup phase of the company, have 1/3 to 2/3 of their workforce in ChInd. So even the new future American MNC in nanotechnology may not really be American, with much of its workforce in ChInd from DAY 1!

BTW, this is 1 thing no outsourcing stan has been able to explain to me, what is the American economy going to do, if all that's left is these few jobs in new industries.

Of course the real answer is that this about LABOR ARBITRAGE, not skills. In other words MNC corporate welfare at the expense of American workers. The engineers, nurses, radiologists, etc laid off already have the skills, they just don't have the ability to work for $15K annual salary like ChInd.

Again, some of this outsourcing might be inevitable, but at least can't our laws put strong INCENTIVES for "American" MNCs to hire American workers, & disincentive for outsourcing, in the tax law? WTF!? Let's marginally improve the situation at least, since even a 10% reduction in future American outsourcing would help.


this site WikiAnswers I stumbled upon seems to be a decent resource for finding about stuff. It seems to be a massive FAQ about stuff

Sunday, April 29, 2007

MV Game, Wk 2007-Apr-29

The MV Game is a fun free fantasy tennis, created & run by the Dutch dude Elikian. The goal is to pick a "team" of players from the ATP Top100 that are playing in the given tournament week. I don't play every week, but I played this wk of 2007-Apr-29, after skipping it for a while

I would advise to NEVER bet on pro tennis for money. I only have done so without money, in this MV Game. The depth is so huge such that even 200th ranked guys can beat Top10ers, so predicting any given match is tough. Pro tennis is single elimination, think of March Madness every tournament week. Now given that each match is tough, try to predict who will win several matches and reach the Semifinal round or better, where the big ranking (& MV Game) points are.

I did HORRIBLE this week, coming in LAST PLACE 49th out of 49, LOL! I tried to go with an army of lower-ranked clay court specialist players, and it didn't work.

My team
Name Player Old Value New Value Points Surface In?
Acasuso 820 845 8 25 Clay
Almagro 925 805 3 -120 Clay
Berlocq 442 442 0 0 Clay
Canas 1007 1217 42 210 Clay
Eschauer 450 416 0 -34 Clay
Falla 439 360 0 -79 Clay
Garcia-Lopez 609 609 0 0 Clay
Gaudio 550 550 0 0 Clay
Gicquel 752 807 15 55 Clay
Gulbis 483 481 0 -2 Clay
Hernandez 445 515 15 70 Clay
Massu 695 615 3 -80 Clay
Peya 464 462 0 -2 Clay
Querrey 552 552 0 0 Clay
Russell 552 562 3 10 Clay
Simon 675 615 0 -60 Clay
Spadea 515 524 3 9 Clay
Vassallo Arguello 619 619 0 0 Clay

Tourney Budget: 11000
92 Points

Money Gained: 337
924 Old Total

Amount to Spend: 11337
1016 New Total

Total Spent: 10994 10996

Budget Unused: 343

Money Gained Now:

Gross New Budget:


New Total Money Gained: 293

Tourney Budget Next Week: 11000

To Spend Next Week: 11293

MP3 1GB+ flash players for under $40

If you need an MP3 player, here's some cheap quality options:

1 Creative Zen Nano Plus 1GB Dark Blue MP3 Player $20 Or Less After $30 MIR

2 SanDisk Sansa e200 (2 GB) Digital Media Player $39 without any rebate process needed

Damn, to think I paid like $65 for my Sandisk 256MB in Jan 05. This MP3 player market is still improving fast each year in terms of the functionality/price ratio.

Slick Deals & other consumer IT sites

Here's some great consumer IT sites

Slick Deals has short great deals that often expire within a few days. They usually involve a mail-in rebate. The upside is that they might even beat the lowest price on PriceGrabber. Props to my bro GDP who put me on to this. I bought a computer monitor from a deal discovered here.

TechBargains similar to Slick Deals. PlanetBargains is a sister site which has non-IT products.

Microcenter this is a physical store chain, in the ATL, MSP & other big US cities. Apparently they also do internet retail. I bought a few items here in the store, I've found in general they son the local chain store field (Best Buy, Office Max, Office Depot, etc) on price. I've bought the 50-pack Windata DVD-R 16x speed for $10, a few times now.

Reseller Ratings apparently this is similar to PriceGrabber

Price Grabber

This site Price Grabber compares the landed total cost (purchase cost + tax + S&H, by zip code) of many internet retailers, for many consumer IT & other products.

Props to Jamie that put me up on this a while back. It served me well in buying a 256MB MP3 players back in Jan 05.

Best Deal Magazines

This site Best Deal Magazines has got it for cheap, no Clipse. I might re-up my US News & World Report via these guys, 40 issues for $6 LOL.

'The Constant Gardener': What the Movie Missed

interesting The Nation article on the human cost of new drug development, an issue highlighted by the movie "The Constant Gardener".

National Do Not Call List

I read that even cell phone numbers may be soon targeted by Telemarketers. MF that to the nth degree!

Supposedly the Feds have a way to block this. Contact the "Do Not Call" center will supposedly enable you to legally block tele-douches from spamming your phone for 5 years. Contact

888-382-1222 (call from the phone nbr that you wish to block)

Now, we if we could only set this up for regular snail mail, right?