jacob's blog

Insane killer escapes at a fair

MyNorthwest.com is reporting that Phillip Arnold Paul has escaped during a field trip to a county fair that he was on with other inmates from the mental hospital he was committed to.

Unfortunately, this is not a setup to a bad horror movie. Paul, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 1987 after he strangled an elderly woman, doused her body with gasoline, and buried her in her own flower garden.


HR 3311: another tax and GPS units for all

US Representative Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, introduced H.R. 3311 for research and study into a transition into a per-mile vehicle tax system. The proposed study will cost taxpayers 154,500,000.00. Yes, that's 154 million dollars.

The concern, and the reason for the proposed vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee is, with the growing popularity of fuel efficient vehicles, less gas is purchased which results in fewer tax dollars available for a variety of government endeavors.


top - 10:51:06 up 733 days, 18:37, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
Tasks: 59 total, 1 running, 58 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
Cpu(s): 0.0% us, 0.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 100.0% id, 0.0% wa, 0.0% hi, 0.0% si
Mem: 1020096k total, 963936k used, 56160k free, 234152k buffers
Swap: 2104504k total, 10536k used, 2093968k free, 598820k cached


It is all too often these days to experience bad customer service. It is seemingly inescapable. It makes it even more important to highlight those companies that truly deliver great customer service.

Government control of private networks

A bill introduced in the Senate on April 1, 2009, the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, seems to expand the federal governments control and power over the private sector, if that entity is deemed part of the nations critical information infrastructure.

CNet and others are reporting this bill would give authority to the President, or the President's designees, to classify and control private business.

My new laptop and the frustration of Windows

I'm typing this on the second laptop I've ever owned, and the first one that actually shows the color red on the screen. I purchased an IBM Thinkpad R51e on craigslist for $150.00. There's nothing really special about it. It's a very solid machine, has a 2.6 GHZ Pentium M with over a gig of RAM, a CDRW drive, and a 15" screen. It does have a 4200 RPM, 40 GB hard drive, but I can buy a 5400 RMB, 120 GB hard drive for less than $70.00 new.

Graduate sues college because she can't find a job

From MSNBC's weird news

Trina Thompson filed a lawsuit last week against Monroe College in Bronx Supreme Court. The 27-year-old is seeking the $70,000 she spent on tuition.

Thompson says she's been unable to find gainful employment since she received her information technology degree in April.

I would support her getting her money back, *if* she relinquishes the degree. Please, take some responsibility for your life and stop whining.


A few ideas regarding affordable health insurance

I don't want to be one of those opposed to health care..insurance..evil company..whatever reform without bringing something to the table, and I think few argue that we should keep the system the way it is. Here are just a few ideas, from my perspective and limited experience, on improving our health care system without nationalizing the system.

1. Tort reform

Capitalism is not evil

I saw this comment on this blog and it's bothered me ever since.

It KILLS me when people say "If we cap. salaries, or give away health care, etc., people won't have any motivation to innovate, to take risks, work hard, no new things will be invented, or discovered, companies will fail, and we'll become a third world country...", etc., etc..

As if the opportunity to make billions is the only reason people strive to succeed, or realize dreams, and the drive to see ideas to fruition doesn't, itself, transcend money, in the minds of the truly creative. As if belief in an idea isn't what really pushes true visionaries to innovate. As if, absent the possibility of someday living opulently, no one would see anything as worth doing.

Maybe that's true for the greedy folks fighting so hard to see that we don't change the status quo, but, not most people.

If health care were free, if salaries were capped, the greedy types would innovate, risk take, work hard, strive to succeed, fight, and claw...for every PENNY, just as they now do for their million dollar bonuses, even though they wouldn't need to pay for health care. The rest would do as we've always done, and do things to earn a living as best we can, whether we earn just a somewhat comfortable living for ourselves and our families, or become uber-wealthy.

Taking away the ability to be uber-wealthy, or the need to be able to afford health care, would NOT curb ingenuity. Period.