The “Wasted Vote” Fallacy

I had a number of political conversations over the weekend with people who, upon hearing that I planned to vote for the Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian 2012 Presidential Nominee, smugly concluded their side of the exchange saying something along the lines of, “Well, if you want to waste your vote…”

Their voices then trail off. I think it’s because even they don’t believe what they’re saying. I think it’s because, deep down, they know that they couldn’t be more wrong.

Continue reading

Pan’s at it again! Updating Pan Newsreader on Ubuntu 11.04 and 11.10

Another upgrade, another glitch with the package maintainer’s version of Pan
Newsreader! As I stated back in my post in 2009, I enjoy browsing Usenet newsgroups in my spare time.  This last week, I upgraded all of my PCs to run Ubuntu 11.10 – Oneiric Ocelot.  In doing so, I started to once again have issues with the way pan displays images!  This time, it was decoding correctly, but was displaying the image twice.  A minor glitch, to be sure, but we like perfection…so…

It’s high time I posted a new set of instructions about how to build Pan Newsreader (for complete n00bz)!!! Continue reading

re: the 11th Circ. Court Decision: Did the Republicans actually win?

On Friday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the “individual mandate” portion of last year’s health care reform law was unconstitutional. Republicans, of course, praised the ruling.

However, the ruling did not strike down the law in its entirety, as did an earlier ruling by Judge Stanley Vinson. Instead, the 11th Circuit Court opinion states that the rest of the law can stand, even if the individual mandate is unconstitutional. How does this make any sense?

The ONLY way that the law might even pay for itself is to expand the pool of insured, which is effectively what the individual mandate clause did. However, what happens when the pool is not expanded, but the tax increases and other stipulations remain in place?

The American taxpayers get screwed.

Now, you’ll not only be paying taxes to support a government run insurance product, but other private insurers will most likely still be forced out of the market, as they are not heavily subsidized by the American taxpayer.  How does a private business compete against the American government?  It can’t – if the government’s system goes into the red, they can just give it more taxpayer dollars to cover the loss.  A private business must make a profit.  Lacking that, they go belly-up.  So, what will the result be?

A single-payer system.  Either you get the government’s insurance, or you’ll get none at all.

Still sound like a Republican victory?

An iPad at last!

Well, we finally did it! Our family is the proud owner of an Apple iPad! Note that I say “our family” and not “I”. That’s because this device really is the family’s, and may even end up as Evan’s.

Most of you reading this blog already know about Evan. He has a condition called Moebius Syndrome. Basically, Moebius paralyzes some of the cranial nerves – specifically the ones that relay movement to the facial muscles and to side-to-side motion of the eyes. That means that Evan will have some extraordinary challenges when it comes to normal talking and communication. Fortunately, Evan is taking very well to sign language, and has learned over 150 signs already! He is also learning to sight-read alll of the words he can sign. Awesome!!

So how does the iPad fit in, you might ask! Well, enter ProLoQuo2Go…an Augmentative Assistive Communication program for the iPad. PLQ2Go acts as a talk board. Our hope is that this will give Evan yet another communication medium to use….after all, not everyone knows Sign Language!

In the coming months, I’ll be using this space to log how things go, as well as to post some pictures, some reviews, and our thoughts and feelings about the entire process.

Stay tuned!

Apple Records, meet Apple Computers

So Apple came out with a big announcement today – they have (finally!) reached an agreement with Apple Records that will allow The Beatles’ music to appear on iTunes.


This MIGHT be an exciting announcement to anyone who isn’t a Beatles fan already, and who didn’t already have most of their albums on vinyl and/or CD. It’s not like iTunes doesn’t already rip at amazing bitrates & sound quality!

Way to go, Apple. I think I’ll go back to sleep now.