Monday, October 31, 2011

Quantum Locking

Free Choice

If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct?

1) 25%

2) 50%

3) 60%

4) 25%

From Posts Secret

Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis

I must say it is interesting to hear the critics in this video. It is as if they are unfamiliar with the concept: medicinal plants. The idea seems to be that only single compounds that come from a factory can be medicine. But what about Marinol?

When I Die

A little Halloween Music Maestro.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Libertarian Ideal

Liberty may be in the heart of all men. But not all men live it. Some are thieves and murderers. And this is especially true in the Foreign Policy realm where most countries live under the authority of thieves and murderers. And you must deal with such people with a strong hand and the willingness from time to time to show them you mean business.

pour encourager les autres

I do understand why Libertarians hate foreign policy and wish to operate as if the world was Libertarian. Because Foreign Policy in far too many cases is an ugly business and violates Libertarian Principles.

The trouble is that playing the game in a restrained way gives thieves and murderers ideas like "they are too weak to resist" or "they won't fight". It is very bad policy to give murderers and thieves that impression. It leads to a LOT of disorder. Libertarians know that in domestic policy but seem to ignore it when it comes to foreign policy.

A strong response to the Rhineland Incident for instance might have caused 1,000 deaths but prevented WW2. But at the time the cost was "too high". The butchers bill for that mistake in policy ran into the tens of millions.

I see Libertarians all too willing to make such mistakes because of Principle. Forgetting that the world is not mathematically calculable (they will leave us alone if we leave them alone). Sadly for thieves and murderers it just encourages them. Well at least enough of them to be very expensive. Much more expensive than slapping down a miscreant occasionally.

Technology And Employment

I came across an article from a while back discussing the impact of technology on employment.

I've been arguing that as machines and software become more capable, they are beginning to match the capabilities of the average worker. In other words, as technology advances, a larger and larger fraction of the population will essentially become unemployable. While I think advancing information technology is the primary force driving this, globalization is certainly also playing a major role. (But keep in mind that aspects of globalization such as service offshoring--moving a job electronically to a low wage country--are also technology driven).

The economists sometimes mention technology, but in general they find other "structural" issues to focus on.
I'm not sure I agree with his thesis. People will eventually do different things than they did in the past. Just as they eventually did after collapse of farm labor in the 1930s. But the change was wrenching and it took 15 or 20 years to complete. More or less a generation.

We are in for rough sledding for quite a while longer if we count the beginning of the reorganization as 2008. We are well under a 1/4 of the way through the change.

In any case the author has made his book available for free (you can pay any amount you like too) at The Lights in the Tunnel.

This post was prompted by the comments to this article: The Technosponge.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Conservatives and liberals are kindred spirits as far as government spending is concerned. First, let's make sure we understand what government spending is. Since government has no resources of its own, and since there's no Tooth Fairy handing Congress the funds for the programs it enacts, we are forced to recognize that government spending is no less than the confiscation of one person's property to give it to another to whom it does not belong -- in effect, legalized theft. Liberals believe government should take people's earnings to give to poor people. Conservatives disagree. They think government should confiscate people's earnings and give them to farmers and insolvent banks. The compelling issue to both conservatives and liberals is not whether it is legitimate for government to confiscate one's property to give to another, the debate is over the disposition of the pillage.

-- Walter Williams

Friday, October 28, 2011

True Conservatives

I detest the label “true conservative” because not many “true conservatives” fit the Reagan definition.

“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.” – Ronald Reagan Reason Magazine July 1975
Most of the “true conservatives” favor a different brand of meddling than the liberals. But what they have in common is that they favor government intervention to “solve” the social problems they care about. Forgetting the one truism about government. It doesn’t solve problems. It perpetuates them in order to keep the cash flowing.

And yet when I bring up the libertarian idea (sensible on foreign policy differentiates them from Libertarians) I get nothing but derision from “true conservatives”. Just ask a “true conservative” about the Constitutional justification for Drug Prohibition and watch what happens. Oh. They may concede on the Constitution part. But that does not make them want to abolish the DEA despite Drug Prohibition’s Progressive origins. You would think that the Constitution and Progressive origins would be enough to change a lot of “true conservative’s” minds. You would be wrong.

I look forward to the day when “true conservatives” become truly conservative.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whatever Happened To The Promises?

It seems the crackdown the Feds are doing on medical marijuana dispensaries is none too popular among Democrat voters.

Medical marijuana advocates have reacted angrily to reports of the Obama administration threatening dispensaries, including some in the Bay Area. California voters passed a medical marijuana law in 1996, and many people use the drug to help ease pain related to HIV and AIDS and other illnesses.

But in recent weeks, federal prosecutors have announced broad prosecutions against medical marijuana dispensaries across California, reportedly threatening landlords with eviction, property seizures, and imprisonment.
That sort of action in a state where medical marijuana is legal is leading even California politicians to protest.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and state Senator Mark Leno, both out gay Democrats from San Francisco, held a press conference Wednesday, October 19, to call for an end to the federal crackdown.

In a recent statement, Ammiano said the Department of Justice's stance means "a tragic return to failed policies that will cost the state millions in tax revenue and harm countless lives."

He continued, "Whatever happened to the promises [Obama] made on the campaign trail to not prosecute medical marijuana or the 2009 DOJ memo saying that states with medical marijuana laws would not be prosecuted? Change we can believe in? Instead we get more of the same.
It is too bad most Republican politicians are too stupid to capitalize on this discontent. Well not too stupid in their minds. Cracking down on people using the wrong kind of plants for medicine make perfect sense if it keeps even one person from abusing pot. Especially if the pain, suffering, and premature deaths caused by the denial of medicine are not assigned to their actions. It is how politicians traditionally get away with murder.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Six months in the lab can save you an afternoon in the library.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

America Is On The Mend

The job market is bad. The economic scene is worse. And Federal debt is spiraling out of control. How can America be on the mend? Ambrose Evans-Pritchard tells the story.

He mentions shale gas. We now have at least a 50 year supply and maybe 100.

Then there is shale oil.

Total US shale output is "set to expand dramatically" as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009. The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago.
That is a pretty dramatic rise.

Ah. But there is more.
"Made in America, Again" - a report this month by Boston Consulting Group - said Chinese wage inflation running at 16pc a year for a decade has closed much of the cost gap. China is no longer the "default location" for cheap plants supplying the US.

A "tipping point" is near in computers, electrical equipment, machinery, autos and motor parts, plastics and rubber, fabricated metals, and even furniture.

"A surprising amount of work that rushed to China over the past decade could soon start to come back," said BCG's Harold Sirkin.
Feathers in the wind? What about actual companies? What are the people who make corporate decisions doing?
The list of "repatriates" is growing. Farouk Systems is bringing back assembly of hair dryers to Texas after counterfeiting problems; ET Water Systems has switched its irrigation products to California; Master Lock is returning to Milwaukee, and NCR is bringing back its ATM output to Georgia. NatLabs is coming home to Florida.

Boston Consulting expects up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs to return to the US by mid-decade, with a multiplier effect creating 3.2m in total. This would take some sting out of the Long Slump.

As Cleveland Fed chief Sandra Pianalto said last week, US manufacturing is "very competitive" at the current dollar exchange rate. Whether intended or not, the Fed's zero rates and $2.3 trillion printing blitz have brought matters to an abrupt head for China.

Fed actions confronted Beijing with a Morton's Fork of ugly choices: revalue the yuan, or hang onto the mercantilist dollar peg and import a US monetary policy that is far too loose for a red-hot economy at the top of the cycle. Either choice erodes China's wage advantage. The Communist Party chose inflation.
On the inflation front we are working hard but we got beaten by the Chinese. Good for us. Bad for them.

Now for the bad news. Which I alluded to at the start.
The switch in advantage to the US is relative. It does not imply a healthy US recovery. The global depression will grind on as much of the Western world tightens fiscal policy and slowly purges debt, and as China deflates its credit bubble.

Yet America retains a pack of trump cards, and not just in sixteen of the world’s top twenty universities.

It is almost the only economic power with a fertility rate above 2.0 - and therefore the ability to outgrow debt - in sharp contrast to the demographic decay awaiting Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Italy, and Russia.
Our bad policies at the top are temporary. Our natural advantages manifest. And we have something no other country has. The American Spirit.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It Must Produce Revenue

Eric is discussing my post Prevention Methods, and looks at the harms that making things illegal causes. A commenter chimes in with this bit of wisdom.

...many of these “illegal drug” like Marijuana can be produced without a good means of tax revenue – another reason to outlaw them
You can make quite a bit of your own booze (200 gal a year I believe) without paying any taxes (a permit may be required). I wonder if we should be making alcohol illegal to recover that lost revenue. Oh. Wait. If they make alcohol illegal there is zero revenue. Only enforcement costs. Barring the usual theft pardon me "asset forfeiture" by police of anything people own that they cannot account for. Like cash. This is sometimes referred to as highway robbery.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm Deep Into

Poles, Zeros. Tolerancing components and the pitfalls of using "suggested designs". A good engineer ALWAYS runs the numbers.

Politics has for the time being lost my interest.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Top Fuel Blender

Prevention Methods

So I'm having an ongoing discussion with a guy and he has me pegged.

MSimon believes that it is every individual's right to consume whatever drugs in whatever quantities that an individual so chooses.
What is your plan to prevent that? Because that is exactly the nature of current reality. The legality or otherwise makes no difference except for determining the distribution channels. For a lot of people "distributed by criminals" seems to be a very solid preference. I don't know why but there you have it. And quite a few of those claim to be conservative. But since when did conservatives support criminals? It is a paradox. Unless you understand Baptist/bootlegger coalitions. Prevalent everywhere but especially virulent in America. We LOVE our moral panics in the Good 'Ole USA.

I know. Facing reality puts me way out on a limb. It has been a life long curse. I rather enjoy it.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Oscilloscope Arrived Yesterday

The Tektronix 475 Oscilloscope I ordered last Friday arrived yesterday at about 3:30 local time (2030z). I have had it on the bench since then testing it out. It was advertized as used and I must say it is well used. The Digital Voltmeter (the LED readout on top) appears to be defective. No great loss, although I was hoping to use the timing cursor to make time measurements. Oh. Well.

You will note that the trace is fuzzy. That is because the focus control appears welded in position. It is workable for now. It does synchronize with the signal provided by the 'scope (a 1 KHz test wave) as any good Tek should do (they are famous for their stable synchronizing ability).

It is going to need a trip to the tune-up shop (any suggestions for one in the Rockford area?) but for now it will suit my purposes. Thanks to all who donated to make this possible. Any money left over is going into my next project (board currently under design). I hope to be able to announce it in the next week or so.

My plan is to earn enough from that project to get the 'scope tuned up.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Quiet Day

I'm learning more about the GreenArrays chip and I'm beginning the design of a board around it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feds Go On A Diet - Spending Up Only 5%

I guess this is what passes for fiscal restraint these days.

Despite all of the rhetoric coming out of Washington about cutting federal spending and living within our means, the numbers don’t lie. According to the recently released numbers by the Congressional Budget Office, our Federal Government spending was up 5% in 2011 over what we spent in 2010. This marks the largest year of budget expenditures in our nation’s history.

The Federal government spent an alarming $3.6 trillion dollars in 2011, more than the previous year and even more than 2009 when President Obama pushed his failed Stimulus package through an attempt to spend us out of a recession.
Eventually this will end. I predict not well.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Texas Miracle - Dope Smuggling

We now know why Rick Perry thinks making pot legal may not be the best idea for Texas. The Texas economy is dependent on the dope trade.

Before a federal judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison earlier this year, prosecutors established that between 2006 and 2010 Herrera had been a conduit for more than 660 pounds of cocaine flowing from Mexico’s Gulf Cartel into the United States, a key link on a smuggling chain that distributed drugs to Houston, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago and beyond.

For better or worse Herrera pumped a fair amount of money into the Texas economy, which is getting renewed attention because of Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign for the GOP presidential nomination and his proud declaration that his low-tax and low-regulation policies have enabled Texas to weather hard times — the “Texas Miracle.’’

Clearly, drugs were flowing across the Texas border with Mexico long before Perry became governor and will continue long after he’s gone. And drugs do not have the same level of economic impact on Texas as oil and gas, farming and ranching or legitimate trans-border commerce.

But experts who have studied the impact of drug money say it is undeniable that in a tough economy, trafficking has helped boost employment and economic growth in the state’s border regions, from the Rio Grande Valley to Laredo to El Paso.
As William Burroughs is reputed to have said, "Dealing is harder to kick than using".

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Government Solution

Occupy Wall Street? You might as well send them a check.

The only way to get business out of government is to make government smaller. There is no "government" solution to the government problem.

Update: I see comments here and there around the www about how messed up these kids are. I dunno – Wall Street pretty much owns government. Aside from the part the Drug Cartels control. They got the problem right. They got the answer wrong. What they want is smaller government. Something no faction in America favors. They all have their pet projects for improving moral and social conditions that REQUIRE Big Intrusive Government (that would be BIG. And if this were a movie it would be controlled by Mr. Big or perhaps his brother). Ah. Well. Maybe when the kids grow up they will become libertarians.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, October 15, 2011

They Started A Chip Company

Yep. The above gentlemen have started a computer chip company. GreenArrays. And you thought making chips was a young man's game? It is true the young guys can work harder. But old guys can work smarter. And with enough coffee, on occasion they can work just as hard.

The chip company is more than old news to many of my readers.

What is new is that they have started a blog. It will be chock full of tips and entertainment - if banging bits entertains you. GreenArrays Tech

And in that vein I too have started another blog. GreenArrays and Forth. Which will document my explorations as a beginner. A journey similar to the one I made at IEC Fusion Technology.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Few Mistakes Have Been Made

Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia says the drug laws were a mistake.

"It was a great mistake to put routine drug offenses into the federal courts," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal went on to report Scalia's belief that the laws forced Congress to enlarge the federal court system, and diminished "the elite quality of the federal judiciary."

This isn't a new problem. Chief Justice William Rehnquist complained as far back as 1989 that the war on drugs was overwhelming the federal judiciary. In 1995, Kathleen F. Brickley, an academic, found that "the Federal system is strained to capacity due, in large part, to the government's war on drugs."
There also seems to be a quota system that has been strained beyond the breaking point. Which seems to be the reason some cops were fabricating drug charges.
A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.

The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.

Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as "flaking," on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.
Real investigations take time. And sometimes they don't pay off. Sometimes they do and the cops need to find some other people to keep their numbers up.

It is a difficult job and no one should be doing it.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Need Some Help

We don't do this often around here. But I could use some help with a project I'm working on. Think of this as sort of a kick starter for something that could prove useful in fairly short order.

As you may or may not know I'm working on a very interesting microprocessor. You can see a picture of it on my workbench with USB cables going to the computer I'm typing on. Convenient. Internet and development system all in one. Everything is talking nice and following commands.

But you will note that there is a hole on the left side of the photo where my oscilloscope should go. That is because both of my previous scopes have gone belly up on me. I need a scope to continue my experiments and complete a design I have been working on. And this is what such a 'scope would look like. A Tektronix 475.

Which brings me to my point. I need some help to get such a 'scope. They can cost up to $500 depending on what is available and the reputation of the seller. If you can help:

Make A Donation Today

And for those of you moved by sentiment: 13 Oct is my birthday. I was born on a Friday. My lucky day.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dopers Are Ruining The Country

Glenn Greenwald is having a look at Steve Jobs and how illegal drugs ruined his life.

It’s fascinating to juxtapose America’s reverence for Steve Jobs’ accomplishments and its draconian drug policy with this, from the New York Times‘ obituary of Jobs:
[Jobs] told a reporter that taking LSD was one of the two or three most important things he had done in his life. He said there were things about him that people who had not tried psychedelics — even people who knew him well, including his wife — could never understand.
Unlike many people who have enjoyed success, Jobs is not saying that he was able to succeed despite his illegal drug use; he’s saying his success is in part — in substantial part — because of those illegal drugs (he added that Bill Gates would “be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once”). These quotes (first published by a New York Times reporter) have been around for some time but have been only rarely discussed in the recent hagiographies of Jobs: a notable omission given that he himself praised those experiences as an integral part of his identity and one of the most important things he ever did.
I'd trade all the burnouts and drop outs who couldn't handle their drugs for another Steve Jobs. Maybe we could get 20 more like him.
In short, the deceit at the heart of America’s barbaric drug policy — that these substances are such unadulterated evils that adults should be put in cages for voluntarily using them — is more glaring than ever. In light of his comments about LSD, it’s rather difficult to reconcile America’s adoration for Steve Jobs with its ongoing obsession with prosecuting and imprisoning millions of citizens (mostly poor and minorities) for doing what Jobs, Obama, George W. Bush, Michael Phelps and millions of others have done.
It is all about connections. And Black people for the most part ain't got none. So guess who is going to jail? Clue - not white folks (very much).
Jobs’ praise for his LSD use is what I kept returning to as I read about the Obama DOJ’s heinous new policy to use the full force of criminal prosecutions against medical marijuana dispensaries in California. In October, 2009, I enthusiastically praised Eric Holder and the DOJ for appearing to fulfill Obama’s campaign promise by refraining from prosecuting medical marijuana dispensaries in compliance with state law (a “rare instance of unadulterated good news from Washington,” I gushed). As I wrote:
Criminalizing cancer and AIDS patients for using a substance that is (a) prescribed by their doctors and (b) legal under the laws of their state has always been abominable. The Obama administration deserves major credit not only for ceasing this practice, but for memorializing it formally in writing.
Yet now, U.S. Attorneys in California will expend substantial law enforcement resources to persecute medical marijuana dispensaries that sell to consenting adults even though those transactions have been legalized by the voters of California and 16 other states (to see what a complete reversal this is of everything Obama and Holder previously said on this subject, see here).
The article goes on at length discussing our All American Drug Prohibition. And finishes with this update:
UPDATE: In The Los Angeles Times today, a former Deputy Chief of the L.A.P.D. details how drug prohibition “has cost our country more than $1 trillion in cash and much more in immeasurable social harm”; “the damage that came from the prohibition of alcohol pales in comparison to the harm wrought by drug prohibition“; and “that ending today’s prohibition on drugs — starting with marijuana — would do more to hurt the [drug] cartels than any level of law enforcement skill or dedication ever can.”
Ah but think about all the government functionaries out of a job. And America out of Jobs.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, October 10, 2011

Conservatives Are Really Progressives?

Right wing (without a doubt) magazine Human Events makes the case using the Ken Burns movie "Prohibition" as a springboard that Prohibition was a Progressive project. I think there is no doubt about that.

But I wonder. Since Prohibition is a Progressive Project why do so many "Conservatives" these days support its modern day variant, "Drug Prohibition" ?

Progressivism in America is not a Party. It is a state of mind.


Explanation here. Short version:
The breakthrough came when Mr Murphy aligned a set of faces at eye-level and skimmed through them. After a few seconds, he noticed that some of the faces began to appear deformed and grotesque.
It is called the Flashed Distortion Effect. Just in case you were wondering.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

America Cannot Compete

I got an e-mail today from some political organization complaining about the Solyndra deal in these terms.

Start with labor costs. Thanks to the influence of labor unions, Solyndra paid its employees an average of about $100,000 per year. In China, a salary of $100,000 is unheard of. Most factory workers get paid about $.80 per hour. Rarely do they make more than $200 per month. America cannot compete in the face of this disparity.
Sure we can. We just won't do it by throwing labor at problems. We will have to use our brains. A commodity that is more than evidently in very short supply. Especially among the politicos.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Law Hijacked By Profiteers

I see by this statement that the private pot operations in California are seriously cutting into drug cartel profits. No wonder they needed a Haag to send the message. That is so ironic on so many levels. It is the government that keeps the real profiteers in business. Shouldn't she be inspecting chopped liver or something important?

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

The Government Doesn't Care

She is about 1/2 way there. Government is never going to care. Therefore we have too much government for the most part. "Bail us out too" is such a forlorn call.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

She Boots

At about 1345z on 8 Oct 2011 my GA144 board booted. I'm going to have a beer and a nap and start in on the software after a good rest.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


The small government party is at it again.

The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) -- even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they're carried out. The new law, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) allows prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA, the massive federal law that prohibits drugs like marijuana and strictly regulates prescription medication.

"Under this bill, if a young couple plans a wedding in Amsterdam, and as part of the wedding, they plan to buy the bridal party some marijuana, they would be subject to prosecution," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for reforming the country's drug laws. "The strange thing is that the purchase of and smoking the marijuana while you're there wouldn't be illegal. But this law would make planning the wedding from the U.S. a federal crime."
The comments were especially instructive. This one was my favorite:
More "thought crime" legislatio­n from the party that wants to keep big government out of your personal business by putting itself in your personal business. Extra cup of "Doublethi­nk" anyone?
The Republican Campaign Slogan for 2012: We favor smaller government except for (use your imagination).....

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Friday, October 07, 2011

Bad Day At The Work Bench

I'm putting together a work bench to do experiments on the GA 144 processor. I dug my oscilloscope out of (warm, dry) storage and powered it up for about an hour. Everything was fine at the beginning and then I hear a crackling and smoke is pouring out of the unit. And you know how those things are. Once the magic smoke escapes they stop working.

If anyone has a spare scope they could part with I'd be mighty obliged. Or if you know where I can get a low cost repair of a Tektronix 2215.... I used to have a Tek 465 too but it seems to have disappeared in all my travels. Bummer.

Update: Here is a picture of the scope with the missing smoke.

Just below the scope are a pair of 100MHz Oscilloscope Probes I bought from Amazon for $17.00 - which is a very good price. And they are well rated too. I didn't even get a chance to try them out. 'Nuther bummer.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs

I am rather fortunate to have grown up in the hacker era. To have heard of Steve and Woz before they became household names. The lights are going out. A lot of us were reaching for the brass ring Steve captured. Way to go guy. And lucky (and very good) you. You will be missed.

Now about that new processor I'm working on.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Palin Not Running In 2012?

Well it says so at this ABC News link.

Nothing up at Conservatives For Palin yet.

National Review has it.

I'm one sad puppy today. About politics. But I do feel rather GA 144.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

It's The Money, Stupid.

The moral I got from watching Part 3 of "Prohibition" a movie by Ken Burns, is that when the influence of the moralists wanes and the government needs money it will scrap prohibition in favor of commerce. Especially if the bodies are piling up in America. Mexican bodies? Not Our Problem.

Where are we with drug prohibition:

Pretty far along. And that doesn't even count the 70% to 80% that support medical marijuana.

So what about the money? The direct costs run about $25 bn a year Federal. And about $45 bn a year State and local. And then there are taxes to be collected.
A San Francisco Bay area medical marijuana dispensary that promotes itself as the world's largest has been hit with a $2.4 million tax bill following an audit by the Internal Revenue Service, the dispensary founder said Tuesday.

The back taxes, penalties and interest levied against Harborside Health Center came after the IRS examined its returns for 2007 and 2008 and determined a 1982 tax code prohibiting cost deductions for businesses that traffic in illegal drugs applies to the dispensary.
Hmmmmmm. If this puts them out of business there will be no future revenue. No sales and other taxes for the locals. No more income taxes for the Fererales from the business and its workers. Are our politicians really that stupid? No need to answer that. It was a rhetorical question.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Will You Have Guns With That?

Yesterday I looked at the lessons of Part One of "Prohibition", a movie by Ken Burns. Today the lessons of Part Two.

We will obey the law because that is what law abiding citizens do. For about 6 months or until supplies run out. Then we will buy from the "nice" guys until their supplies or luck runs out. Then we will buy from who ever we can as long as the supplies keep coming. The moral of the story is:

Put the nice guys out of business
and a rougher crowd takes over.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Monday, October 03, 2011

Alcohol Is The Enemy Of The Family And Civilization

Alcohol Is The Enemy Of The Family And Civilization.

There ought to be a law.

That is my take away from watching the first two hours of Ken Burns "Prohibition".

Update: I said this in an e-mail.

Drug Prohibition. Same old song. New lyrics.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Prohibition Is Not Over

"Prohibition" on PBS - TV schedule

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Moon Tic

“It has long been recognized that America was an asylum, but it is only since Prohibition that it has resembled a lunatic asylum.” -- G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Who Is Linda Green?

Linda Green


The audio is not so hot (it sounds like it was recorded off a playing TV), but the information is excellent.

More here. Watch the above first for background.

H/T Zero Hedge

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Guns And Drugs Don't Mix

Guns and drugs don't mix according to the ATF. If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal you can go to prison for up to two years if you use medical marijuana and own a firearm. A gun rights group and a medical marijuana group are getting together to oppose this measure.

Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, and Kate Cholewa and Chris Lindsey, board members of Montana Cannabis Industry Association, separately blasted the Sept. 21 letter sent by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the U.S. Justice Department to federally licensed firearms dealers.

“It is egregious that people may be sentenced to years in a federal prison only because they possessed a firearm while using a state-approved medicine,” Marbut said in a statement from the association.

Cholewa said: “In fact, the policy goes so far as to say even being in possession of a medical cannabis card forfeits a citizen’s Second Amendment rights whether or not that person ever followed through and used cannabis for their condition.”

Chris Lindsey, a lawyer specializing in medical marijuana cases, wrote: “With a stroke of a pen, the Department of Justice has suspended the Second Amendment for those who use medical cannabis.”

Rep. Diane Sands, D-Missoula, who headed an interim legislative panel that studied the issue last year, called the letter “further evidence that federal marijuana law trumps any Montana legislation, initiative or court action attempting to create protected medical use for marijuana.”

“The only viable action open to Montana and other states is to change the federal law,” Sands said.
I have been trying for years to get gun groups to recognize the threats to their rights that the Drug War has created by posting things like Guns And Weed - The Road To Freedom, to no avail. The only gun group to get it was Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. Evidently the ATF is bound and determined to help me get my message across by direct action. Thanks ATF!

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

More Police Come Out Against Prohibition

From Moms United To End The War On Drugs

The Colorado Independent tells the story.
Hundreds of law enforcement professionals including Denver’s U.S. District Judge John Kane have come together on a curious quest: Saying the drug war has failed, they want to legalize drugs.

Some are very nuts and bolts, saying the war on drugs has cost trillions of dollars while only making the problem worse. Others like Kane, while agreeing on that point, are more philosophical. “Our national drug policy is inconsistent with the nature of justice, abusive of the nature of authority, and ignorant of the compelling force of forgiveness,” he says on the web site of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
I'm of the opinion that we can't have a Free Country with a prohibition regime that arrests 1.6 million people a year for prohibition violations. Eric pretty much agrees although he is less sanguine than I am that it will end any time soon.

Winston Churchill said Alcohol Prohibition was "an affront to the whole history of mankind." And it seems so is Drug Prohibition.
Tony Ryan, who was a Denver police officer for more than 35 years, told The Colorado Independent that not only has the drug war been utterly ineffective but that it has also been counterproductive in many important ways.

He says the war on drugs is the number one reason cops become corrupt. “It’s the money. These drug cartels don’t care who they kill. Even a good cop, faced with the choice of ‘take this money or we’ll kill you’ will often take the money. And it is getting worse. Drugs are a vicious business,” he said.
The way it is put in the vernacular is Plata O Plomo, Silver Or Lead. An easy choice. Anyone who knows the history of Alcohol Prohibition knows that it was the same for that Prohibition regime. Human nature being what it is.

Officer Ryan goes on:
He says that while the money coming from the sale of drugs causes huge problems on one hand, money coming from the federal government–with virtually every law enforcement organization in the country getting grants of one sort or another to fight the drug war–causes additional problems.

The war on drugs is an addiction because of the money police departments get,” Ryan says.

What the officer is saying is that a significant segment of local law enforcement has been Federalized. I don't believe that is what our Founders had in mind when they designed our governing arrangements some 220 years ago. Thomas Jefferson had something to say about that:
He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.
As usual desperate times call for desperate measure.
Ryan is among those circulating petitions for Colorado’s Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol initiative. He also serves as a public speaker through LEAP.

“We give members of law enforcement, who saw the drug war up close and risked their lives for it, a voice,” Tom Angell, spokesman for the group, told the Colorado Independent. “They will almost universally tell you that the drug war distracted them from the mission of solving crimes and ensuring public safety.”

He says LEAP wants to see all drugs made legal. “There is no drug that is made safer to the public by turning its manufacture and distribution over to cartels and gangs. You don’t want gangs selling drugs on your street corners, but that is what you have,” he said.
About 75 percent of Americans and 69 percent of police chiefs say that Drug Prohibition has failed.

You might also want to support another police organization against Drug Prohibition at Citizens Opposing Prohibition.

You can watch a history of that earlier failure tomorrow evening on PBS. It is called "Prohibition". Check your local listings.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

Can't Find My Way Home

I was dreaming about this song this afternoon while I was taking a short nap. So I thought I ought to post it. The words were a little different in my dream though "I'm naked and can't find my way home".

Cross Posted at Classical Values