Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Zune 30 GB Freeze: How to Fix

I was told about the story of the 30GB Zune locking up by one of my co-workers that makes funny of me for having a "Brick". I went to turn on my Zune, which I call my baby, and had the same issue. Microsoft is now in an interesting situation, like Tylenol was back in the early 80's when it was discovered that there was poison in some bottles. Instead of trying to dodge the issue, Tylenol claimed responsibility and recalled all of their product. The result was that the consumer was able to have confidence that if they continue to buy or choose to buy this product for the first time, Tylenol will handle itself in a responsible manner. In the end, Tylenol did not suffer any losses.
Unlike Tylenol, Microsoft is not the industry leader in portable media devices, though they would like to be. Microsoft has began to erode away at the IPOD faithful. Their devices have many function the I-Pod does not, such as radio and social functions. Microsoft must do the right thing here. If they cannot fix the issue, they must replace defective devices, no questions asked. What would happen if they choose not to. If I am a current 30GB owner, I will not choose to remain with Microsoft when I now have to replace my device. If I am choosing which device to purchase, I would choose the I-Pod with the knowledge that Microsoft would not make good on defects. Choosing a Zune would be taking a risk. Each Zune owner already takes a risk knowing that they are choosing a product that is not as widely used. Allowing 30GB owners to suffer would further this claim, and I would predict it would be the end of the Zune.
The choice is clear, Microsoft must make good on repairing these devices in some way. They can either be the Tylenol of the media players or used car salesman selling lemons.
According to the support forums with almost 3,000 hits, One person believes it is caused by a leap second this year that will resolve itself after midnight. Others are suggesting that removing their batteries is also working, though it will void the manufactures warrant.

One President At A Time

Recently, Barrak "Dodge the Media Palin Style" Obama said to a question about recent situations that we can only have one President at a time. This is a very troubling response to me. The man has been made President. While he won't be inaugurated until January 21st, he will be the leader of the free world that will have to deal with all of the crisis that are springing up. His stance when asked about anything has been to insulate himself by saying no comment, or his people will be looking into it, or there can only be one President at a time. I find this last statement to be very hypocritical. During the campaign, Obama did everything he could to try to take on the mystique of a President. His plane was Obama Force One, his seal was meant to replace the seal of the President. He traveled overseas, meeting with foreign leaders and looked very presidential. He did everything he could to make himself look like the President while there was already one holding the office. But now, with actual responsibility, he goes on vacation, lifts weights, and releases reports that will clear himself of scandal. Obama is like the sports analyst. He makes it sound like he has all the plays, but put him in a coaching job and he can’t carry the water for the team. He’ll get a pass though by the media.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Obama's 5 Year Plan

Does anyone ever learn history anymore in school. Are we so emotional that we are willing to throw away the lessons of the past because of the passion of the moment. It is a rhetorical question because I know we are. Obama's is working on his plan to maintain employment by spending almost 800 BILLION on government infrastructure projects, including "green" energy. UCLA recently released a study that said Roosevelt’s Depression era programs, which were smaller in scale than Obama’s proposal, actually extended the length of the depression by seven years, contrary to the popular belief that the programs were what helped to end the depression. The ultimate flaw in the design is that while you may create temporary employment, because there are no market forces driving this employment, it will not create permanent employment. Consumer demand is what will drive employment. You will either have to cut the programs or chase them with more and more money. This is why, while I totally disagree with printing money, Bush has chosen to just give the money out and let the consumer say where it should go as opposed to a government agent. A bunch of guys digging a ditch to lay sewer pipe to a town of 30 is noble in design, but just digging the ditch for digging sake is a waste of time and resources.
Another great leader, from which Obama’s is molded from, was Stalin. He took an agrarian nation and modernized its industry through his series of 5 year plans. The cost of the plans was the continued devaluation of the Soviet currency and the loss of millions of lives. Each 5 year plan led to another because the type of employment was not sustainable. Plans turned into pograms as Stalin turned to starvations, mass killings, and slave labor as the way to combat his economic woes. Will Obama’s ditch diggers be turned into grave diggers? Probably not, but we know that it won’t turn out well.
And just so you know what type of quality we can expect from the government run job programs, you need only look to the recent TVA fiasco.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Bush

Continuing on my recent theme of how disappointing Bush has been as a President and how big of a misrepresentation he was as a conservative, I have come to another crystal clear realization. For the longest time, I thought that the true Bush was a man I would like, but he bent over for the Democrats because he didn't want to face the criticism in the press. This last myth was finally torn down recently when Bush, without Congress, allocated money from the TARP to provide for an Auto bailout, the same auto bailout that was pushed so strongly for by the Democrats. Bush went it alone because the Senate Republicans stood firm against him. Now, Barney Frank and the head of the UAW are coming out and blasting Bush for being too tough on labor. If it weren't for Bush, there would be no bailout. The fact that the Democrats criticize Bush for doing what they wanted him to do is funny by itself, but the point is that Bush wanted the bailout and didn't care who was for or against it and what kind of press he would get. This bailout is big government intervention in the private sector and is no way free market or conservative in principle. It took his lame duck term and a lame duck Congress, and Bush has etched his legacy as a liberal in the tradition of Jimmy Carter.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Corleone Report Clears Luca Brasi

You know, I've tried to stay clear of the Blagojevich and its likely connection to Obama until some hard evidence comes in, but these recent stories of Obama's "internal" investigations into the connection are just ridiculous. The media has placed Obama on a footing I have never seen in that he is so magnanimous he is able to do his own investigation into himself and those around him, and we are supposed to believe their findings at face value. I can find no such parallel. Even Clinton didn't get this kind of treatment.

Imagine the Godfather being remade. Michael Corleone is named Senator of New York to replace Hillary Clinton. Now Michael gets to control the strings like his Pop always wanted. But the media begins looking into his family life. They hear a story about some guy named Luca Brasi and how he was sent to make somebody an offer they couldn't refuse. Michael simply comes out and says their own investigations have found no connection to Luca Brasi. The media simply says "Ok", and on to the Senate Michael goes. You would think this was a Zucker brother's farce. I think the same thing about Obama's investigation.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Global Cooling

We've seen the holes coming a mile away. Gore was very silent last winter and his momentum has stalled. Chicago experienced a temperature trend over the last 10 years that was below average. With this unbelievably cold weather settling in over the entire U.S., I am not the only person that will write a post like this. It is clear from the weather trends over the past couple of years that our minor period of warming is over and we will now settle back into the period of cooling that we were previously seeing. My prediction is that over the next 5 years, global warming will become such a joke that the environmentalists will have to figure out ways to blame the cooling on people. We must hold strong as President Obama will have a golden opportunity to legislate this myth into law before the people turn (however slowly as their limbs are too stiff from the cold). I know we can do it. The same American people that forgot 9/11 just a few short years after it happened will be very quick to forget the global warming hoax once they are shoveling their cars out of the snow in early November and late April.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

End of Quarter

It is end of Quarter, End of Year, and End of Month. The perfect storm. Ain't got no time to blog.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Russian Warships in Cuba

Am I the only one concerned about this. After visiting our oil friends in Venezuela, the mighty Russian fleet anchored in Cuba. I know that their ability to project global power is limited, but what does this say about where Russia is when it comes to its relations with the United States. Will Putin make a personal trip to visit Osama Bin Laden next. All of this activity reminds me of the Cold War days, but with its resurgence, it is more like a Tom Clancy novel.
You have to admit though, to put things into perspective, we are helping Poland build a missile shield and pushing for the inclusion of the former soviet block countries into NATO. Maybe this is the only way Russia has to make a statement. Either way, with all Bush’s faults, I feel safer with the Russian fleet just a 100 miles away under Bush’s watch than I do under Obama’s.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Darth Bush: Revenge of the Sith

I love movie parodies. I like to take wild leaps and do unlikely comparisons to a movie, like my last post. For today's post, I would like to draw the comparison between Anakin Skywalker's decline into the dark side as depicted in Star Wars episodes 1 through 3, and Bush's slide into becoming the most liberal President in modern history. We begin in Bush's first term. He was elected and believed to be the chosen one. The one that conservative prophesies said would bring balance to politics. He started off well enough, passing tax cuts and his initial response to the 9/11 attacks. The liberal side, led by Ted Kennedy, began to take Bush under his wing. He supported the Kennedy education plan as his first sign of loyalty. Kennedy already had an apprentice, John McCain, so Bush still tried to stick to the conservative side. When the 04 election came around, Bush reassured the members of the conservative council. The people believed they needed to give this man 4 more years and a bigger majority and the liberal side would be crushed. After the election, the liberal side seemed crush and went into hiding. Kennedy’s apprentice, John McCain, played into the liberal side’s hand by passing the McCain-Feingold bill to curb freedom of speech in politics. Bush willingly went along and signed the bill. Once this was complete, Bush began to question the conservative council. He went rogue and defied conservative principles, while keeping the title. In the 06 elections, Bush’s transformation was complete. Having joined the liberal side, Kennedy issued order 66, in which Bush was to terminate all conservatives. Bush completed the task and the liberal side was ushered into power. The people felt they still had one of theirs in the white house, but because the liberal side has clouded the media, they didn’t realize that full power shifted. Now Bush’s mentor, Emperor Kennedy was ailing. Bush saw his opportunity and decided to become the lead liberal on the liberal side. During the 08 election, Bush had become so transformed by the liberal side that he was not able to make public appearances. His appearance was so gruesome that few could stomach to see him. Now, during the time of this auto-bailout business, we see that he has removed the hood and openly come out as the current leader of the liberal side, going against all Senate republicans. Unlike Annakin, I doubt there is any conservative in him to come back.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stupid Answer to a Question

I provided a stupid answer today to a good question. To set the stage, think of the movie Ghostbusters. When the ghostbusters are assembled on the roof of Dana Barret's apartment building, they are confronted by Gozer the Sumerian. Gozer asks Ray if he is a god, to which Ray replies in the the negative. Gozer then responds by saying "Then....die", as lightning bolts issue from her hands sending the ghostbusters hurtling down the stairs. Recovering from their jolt, Winstone says to Ray, "Ray if someone asks you if you're a god, you say YES." Very good advice that I have always kept in the back of my mind in case I am faced with a similar circumstance.

Well, in very much the same way, I was faced with Steve the dentist who asked me if I want to be numbed up while they put a crown on. I thought about it and also replied in the negative. Steve (we'll call him Stever) said "Then.... suffer", as pain issued forth from Stever's drill. Internally, I assumed the Winstone character and said to myself, "Dude, if a dentist asks you if you want to be numb, you say YES." Some things you learn on TV, and some things you learn in real life.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Mixed Bag of Nuts

Today, I have just a couple of mixed thoughts. Some just come from my random ponderings and some are radio inspired.

1. When considering the auto-bailout, the Congress is leveraging their oversight ability as something that will instill confidence amongst the voters. "Well, I didn’t really think it was a good idea. Then Nancy Pelosi said there would be government oversight to make sure these companies are run in a way that is financially solvent. That just sold me right there.” If government can’t run itself in a financially solvent way, why would we think that they are just the people to make sure the Big 3 turn things around. The only difference between Ford and the Federal government is that Ford can’t print money to cover its debts. Ten trillion dollars in debt and the federal government is the answer.
2. How about the price of gas, which is tied to the price of oil. Oil closed at $42 a barrel yesterday. This is the same level as just over 3 years ago, when oil started its climb. I remember when oil crossed $40 and how big of an increase that was. I want to know how the price of a commodity could increase 350% in three years and then come down to its original price in just 3 months. They say it is because of decreased demand, but nothing drops that fast because of decreased demand. If McDonald’s isn’t selling its Big Mac at $4.00 each, it drops the price down to $3.85 or $3.50. It doesn’t drop the price to $1.31. I think we need to dig into not why the oil price dropped, but why it rose so much.
3. Who didn’t see the Governor Blagojevich situation coming down the road. Illinois and Chicago are the New York of the 1850s and 60s. Anything that comes out of this system is going to be tainted. I remember the movie “Johnny Dangerously” with Michael Keaton. Michael Keaton is the crime boss and his brother is the straight assistant District Attorney. The assistant DA is invited out to the DA’s house, played by Danny Devito. In this scene, Devito asks Keaton’s brother if he wants to play ball. When asking the question, his wall in his parlor is replaced exposing a game show type atmosphere with woman and lights and Devito taking on the role of a game show host for “playing ball”. Keaton’s brother turned him down and wouldn’t play ball. The truth is, if you want to play Chicago politics, you have to play ball. I’m pretty sure Obama didn’t escape this game.
4. Here in Kansas City, a judge that used her bench to money from lawyers looking for a favorable outcome in order to pay for her gambling addiction has been named to state panel for problem gambling. I thought we punish people for this kind of behavior, not reward them. Maybe a murderer should be named to a police task force since their unique experience will help the police.
5. One more thing about the Illinois Governor situation. There has been some outcry from the media, including conservative radio, asking the question , “Why is this guy out on the streets”. I heard one person say he should just be locked up until the trial. While the charges are severe, I doubt he is a flight risk, nor does he pose a danger to the general public, which is what bail is usually based on. Have we forgotten that he is innocent until proven guilty. I do not want our system made into mob justice, where the whim of the people and media determines guilt before a trial.
6. For anyone that though Obama was a man of faith, I heard a recent report that he has not been to a single church service since winning, though he still manages to work out and play hoops.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What an Auto Bailout Will Bring

Fast forward 20 years and the future of the auto-industry with a bailout is clear. Over the last several days, I have heard congressman like Barney Frank talk about how, with government control, they will be able to make the right cars. Emmanuel Cleaver, congressman from Missouri, said that with government money, the government will get to choose how the industry is run.

Is this what we really want? Did we elect the representatives so that they could run businesses. I hate to say it, but most of them are in the line of work they are in because they couldn't run or work for businesses in the private sector. I have not in my life time, nor in any time past, seen a single example of a government run business that is successful. The current crop in Congress very much want this control. They want to limit the number of models available, green up the cars, and keep the unions in place. They want to eliminate the very market forces needed to save this industry.

We have seen what this kind of government intervention leads to. Look at some of the wonderful automobiles that were produced behind the iron curtain. The soviet era AvtoVAZ, the Volkswagen of the people, minus the dependability. Do we want a nation of Yugos and VAZs. Go ahead and let the government take it over. The only choice you will end up with for domestic cars is what color car you want to have, who's paint will chip off anyway. I'm sure the Japanese are lovin this.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Albuterol Inhalers Falls Victim to Environmental Movement

This one hits close to home. I have been using an albuterol inhaler for most of my life. I would have to say that when my asthma was bad, it was a life saver. Of course it is a life saver everytime I use it, which is only when I get sick or I'm around cats these days. For any asthma sufferer, they know how important this drug is. It offers immediate relief to constricted bronchial tubes, allowing the user to breathe again. One of the good things about this medicine is that it only cost around $5.00 to purchase, making it very affordable. African-Americans and those living in poverty often have a higher occurrence of asthma. Having the frontline drug at an affordable level is key to saving lives.
It is clear that the environmental movement is not concerned with saving lives. It is about control. If control comes at the cost of human life, so be it. You see, albuterol inhalers contain CFC’s to deliver the medicine. CFC’s are allegedly an agent responsible for the thinning of the ozone layer; therefore, it has been mandated that the delivery method of the albuterol inhaler be changed to something that will not affect the environment. The downside to this change is that an inhaler that once cost $5 will now cost $30 to $60 per inhaler. It is unbelievable to think that we would make this drug 12 times more expensive to decrease CFC’s. Are these inhalers really doing that much damage. When do we cross the line. I believe it is here. I believe that it is when DDT was banned, causing millions to die from mosquito born pathogens.
This is environmental madness to the extreme. I wonder if we will ever hear a report about a person having to choose between their $60 inhaler and food, and having to choose food, but only later to be forced to go the hospital because of an asthma attack. Has the cost of increased hospitalization and death been factored into the equation. It has not. I want Al Gore to have to offer a personal apology to the family of the first person that dies because they couldn’t afford their inhaler anymore. Do you think this madness is justified? What are your limits? What should we do without to “save” a planet that lives or dies regardless of our existence?