Why does it take a Canadian to so eloquently remind us ignorant Americans of our own history? One of my favorite online writers, Charles Moore, expounds on the recent 9th Circuit decision that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional because of "under God."
Noteworthy: "Separationists have achieved a highly successful propaganda coup in convincing most Americans, including, apparently, circuit court judges, that the 'wall of separation' is enshrined in the Constitution, but in fact, the so-called 'Establishment Clause' of the First Amendment makes no reference, explicit or implicit, to 'separation of church and state,' and only inhibits government from establishing a particular denomination as the official state religion.
"The 'wall of separation' phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, or, indeed, in any other official American document. One of the first acts of the first Congress of the United States was an act to establish chaplains for the U.S. House and the Senate."
Charles also nails one of my pet peeves on the whole separation issue: "Separationists love to quote the 'Establishment Clause': 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...' but usually neglect to complete the sentence: '...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.' That's it. No 'wall of separation.' Nothing about eliminating Christian expression from the public square."
The self-conversion of many staffers at O'Reilly continues as web producer Terrie Miller moves from Windows to an iBook running OS X. Terrie provides a good intro for Windows users who have switched, or are contemplating switching.
Unless you were under a rock yesterday, no doubt you heard that a panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional in a 2-1 decision.
Now this is likely to be overturned by the full 9th Circuit, and if not, then by the Supreme Court. Stranger things, however, have happened.
Like how misguided and misinformed people are to file lawsuits like this in the first place. Perhaps when teachers are giving kids in school their first lessons in civics and U.S. history, they should begin with: "Repeat after me, class. 'There is no separation of church and state in the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or any other official document establishing the government of the United States of America.'"
Sitting in the incredibly massive waste of time that is our weekly staff meeting, I was lucky enough to secure a seat around the conference table that looked out the window, and was inspired:
still pond water
green grass growing
"Let every man honor and love the land of his birth and the race from which he springs and keep their memory green. It is a pious and honorable duty. But let us have done with British-Americans and Irish-Americans and German-Americans, and so on, and all be Americans." --Henry Cabot Lodge [and African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans. . . -c]
Well, it has been long-rumored that Gates owns several Macs. . . (Flash required)
In an attempt to cut out the middle man, Microsoft is now shipping virii already in its software. . .
"As much as the 9/11 attacks showed our vulnerability to well-planned suicide hijackings, the other Big Story is that the moral responsibility of our leaders -- both in government and in business -- has been hijacked by greed and career-preservation. Lying to save one's job and to hide ill-gotten gains is now commonplace. ...The two elections of Bill Clinton only solidified in our culture the acceptance of lying as a way of doing business.
"...Until we reverse this culture of lying we are going to be a society in decline. We cannot be Ronald Reagan's Shining City on a Hill until we clean out this rotten immorality and replace it with the old stalwarts: (1) pride in a job well-done, regardless of consequences; (2) shame for lying; (3) placing standing up for what is right over short-term consequences; (4) caring less about yourself and more for those you are responsible for; (5) your word is your 'bond.' Old-fashioned stuff? You bet." --John LeBoutillier
The Gartner Group used their TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) methodology for a study in Australia that reveals that Macintosh systems are 36 percent cheaper to run than Windows PCs.
Once again, it is shown that in the life of the computer system, the Macintosh, despite slightly higher up-front costs, gives the user more value.
Business 2.0 has a cool article on Bill Wiecking and friends bringing broadband Internet service to the island of Hawai'i through 802.11b wireless antennas.
I am so looking forward to our next trip there. . .
"History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster." --General Douglas MacArthur
Taking the fair use fight to the Hollyduds, several ReplayTV users have filed a lawsuit against the largest Hollywood studios.
Several studios have sued Sonicblue, the maker of ReplayTV models, over the unit's ability to skip commercials and trade pay-TV shows. Gee, don't we do those same things now with our VCRs? FYI: Hollywood freaked out in a similar manner when the VCR came out, yet more people go to the movies and watch television now than ever before.
Once again, with regard to television: we the people own the airwaves, and they are administered for us by the federal government. The networks do not own them, contrary to what they would have you believe. Skipping over a commercial is not copyright infringement, and is not "stealing" from the network. . .
Don't believe for a second that the company "may share" your data. If there is a buck to be made by doing so, your privacy vis-a-vis Best Buy is for sale to the highest bidders. As Chris Hoofnagle of EPIC puts it: "This illustrates the fact that privacy policies don't mean anything."
With all of the nonsense currently circulating in Washington and Hollywood as content creators and providers try to stifle your fair use rights, a new site/organization has arisen: Digitalconsumer.org.
The site is full of great info, and includes a Consumer Technology Bill of Rights.
Apple is finally going directly after the Windoze market with its new ad campaign, "Switch." The campaign includes information on compatibility, myth debunking, and how to bring over peripheral equipment you may already have on your PC. The tv ads that Apple has posted and will be running feature real Windows users who have switched, including a Windows LAN admin.
As a former PC guy who switched to the Mac, this type of campaign is long, long overdue. . .
The awesome developers at Unsanity have released Silk, which, when used in conjunction with the new 10.1.5 update to OS X, gives your Carbon applications Quartz text rendering. Now you don't have to wait for your favorite developers to get their apps updated to work with 10.1.5 to get that great antialiased text look! Best of all, Silk has been released as freeware. To tell the truth, having used this all morning, I would pay a small fee for Silk. . .
Apple released the Mac OS X 10.1.5 update last night via Software Update. It has yet to hit the Apple Downloads page yet.
Apple has released a public preview of QuickTime 6, which includes support for the MPEG-4 specification. They do recommend, however, that QT 6 Preview not be used on Production machines, or in conjunction with iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Available for Mac OS X, Mac OS, and yes, Windows.
Hitachi has bought IBM's hard drive division for $2 billion US and will roll it into a new company to be based in San Jose. (At least it's not all moving to Japan....)
What is it with Microsoft and security? A student at M.I.T. has cracked the Xbox's vaunted security system using $50 worth of circuit board and roughly three weeks of effort.
Reason has a good article on the ongoing copyright debate between Hollywood and the rest of the country. Now is the time to contact your Congressperson; how frightening would it be to have a federally-mandated security standard that prevents unlicensed copying? No more making a tape of that CD you just bought to play in your car that doesn't have a CD player. (Yes, they do exist.)
Once again, revisionist historians are trying to make those who lost a war feel better about themselves, this time in my home state. What's next, calling the Boston Tea Party a misunderstanding to placate our English friends?
Alan Keyes (who could be the first African-American POTUS if the Republicans and Libertarians would get their heads out of their collective butts, and a man I would vote for) has launched the Declaration Foundation, with a mission to assess the existing state of American civics education, both in schools and in the citizenry at large, to foster what is good, and to supply what is deficient. Above all else, the foundation's aim is to restore the principles of the Declaration of Independence to their rightful place in the minds and hearts of our fellow Americans, bolstering respect for life, the family, and personal and political self-government. (Thanks to The Federalist!)
Food for thought, fellow citizens:
"Washington politicians have for decades been doing precisely what Enron has been accused of doing -- concealing debt with accounting tricks. Congressmen tell us that our Social Security taxes go into a trust fund to pay for future retirement pensions. That is a boldface lie. The Social Security trust fund has no money in it. What Congress does with Social Security trust fund money is buy government bonds. The purchase of government bonds disguises the deficit by reducing the national debt.
"... How will Congress cope with the forthcoming fallout of its crooked accounting? ... Congress will simply cheat people out of their retirement pension by gradually raising the retirement age. For example, Congress can legislate that 75 years of age, instead of 65, is when you're eligible for Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, they can't legislate that you live 10 years longer. That means you will have been cheated out of 10 years of Social Security checks.
"... But the mystery to me is why Americans are so upset over an isolated case of a private company using devious accounting gimmicks ... while we accept without question the accounting fraud and deception that has become an inherent feature of government. I'd like to think that it's ignorance rather than a preference for government dishonesty." --Walter Williams [emphasis added]
Derrick Story has an article that relates a novice's process of integrating Macs and Airport-based wireless networking set up in a PC-based home.