Monday, March 31, 2008

Why is everybody so down on Dear Leader?!

Some borrowed snark from YouTube:

Such ungrateful people. Just because there are more Americans on Food Stamps than ever before. Just because millions of American Families are being evicted. Just because what few American jobs that are not going to China, are being filled by H1-B foreigners. Just because gas, food, everything is shooting up in cost. Just because Pensions are shrinking or disappearing. Just because Bush's FAKE "war" on terror leaves the Mexican border wide open. You all talk like he is doing a bad job!

Couldn't have snarked it better myself!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thought for the day

There has never been a police state in human history that had a problem recruiting enough thugs to enforce its will upon the people.

-- Badtux the "What does that say about humanity?" Penguin

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm outta here

For the next week, The Mighty Fang and Mencken are in charge.

-- Badtux the Desert Penguin

The Republican strategy for the fall

Republicans are hoping this will be voter's reaction to Obama after they're finished painting him as the new... uhm, just watch the video, okay?

Friday, March 21, 2008

EMAIL I wish I had sent

To: Staff, Silicon Valley facility
Re: That rubber-cup-and-stick thingy

This is for the men who use the men's room on the first floor near the executive suite. If that is not you, please disregard this message.

Okay. So you may have noticed this rubber-cup-and-stick thingy that's sitting by each toilet. This thingy is called a TOILET PLUNGER. Now, some of you may wonder why this device is located by each toilet. Well, that's because we have low-flow toilets (duh, we're in a desert, of course we have low-flow toilets) and they clog easily, and these devices can be used to unclog said toilets after they become reeking ponds of feces and toilet paper.

Now, it has become increasingly clear over the past month that the last sentence might as well be written in Urdu for all the good it does. Every time I go to use the toilet, I end up needing to unclog someone else's clog. Obviously some people need instructions on how to use that rubber-cup-and-stick thingy. There's no shame in that. Not all of us can be engineers. Some of us manage to escape childhood under the notion that a wrench is a woman in a red light district, and a screwdriver is a drink. So I will give you directions now on how to use that rubber-cup-and-stick thingy.

First, grasp the top of the stick with both hands. Don't worry, it's not poisonous. It won't bite. It won't sear unhealable scars in your hands if you pick up a tool for once in your lifetime.

Next, lift the stick, and the rubber cup attached to it, and hold it above the toilet. Put the rubber cup into the toilet, and fit it lightly over the hole at the bottom of the toilet.

Next, push down on the stick with a rapid motion, and, just as rapidly, pull back up until the rubber cup is just lightly over the hole again. Repeat. Then lift the rubber cup away from the hole and see what happens.

If the water level goes down to a normal level, or the toilet even flushes (gasp!), then attempt flushing again. If the next flush works, congratulations, you've performed your first successful use of a tool! If not, repeat the cup-over-hole push pull process again.

Finally, if there is any question about the above directions, please feel free to grab a member of engineering or operations to show you how to use that rubber-cup-and-stick thingy. We won't laugh at you. Not much, anyhow. You will be a better person for finally learning how to use one tool. Why, a few more decades, and you may even learn how to change a flat tire! Okay, so maybe not, but a man can dream, right?

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

The state of the U.S. economy

The roof has collapsed... the walls are full of holes... and ole' Johnny Mac is saying, "no no, it's fundamentally sound! We just need to put a few patches here and there, that's all!".

If you want to know what all the rate reductions by the Fed are doing: The core thing they do is drive down the yield from bonds and savings (since there is now a flood of money, thus no need to pay for much money), while driving up the yields from stocks (since if you can't make money on bonds, might as well buy some stocks with it). In short, it's a give-away to the stockholding class. Or at least that's how it's supposed to work. The problem is that lenders aren't lending because everybody is tapped out to their credit limits and can't repay any more loans no matter how cheap the money, while people look at the stock market and see potential collapse and loss of principal... so they're keeping their money in very low-yield investments, while waiting to see what happens.

My personal investment advice: Shotgun shells and seeds.

-- Badtux the Economics Penguin

I think the fur is for decoration

The Mighty Fang seems to enjoy: Sunning himself on hot pavement. Lurking under the covers of my bed. Sitting in front of the space heater in the bathroom while I'm taking a shower.

I think it's clear -- the fur is just for decoration.

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin
PS to Bryan - no, he's not a Korat-blend of any sort, he has a nice brown undercoat as you can see.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

And then what?

Some people know what they want to do early in life. I was not one of them, I pretty much wandered aimlessly through life until accidentally encountering a computer as a senior in high school and realizing, hmm, I could be good at that computer stuff. But you hear of such people all the time. People who had an Olympic gold medal by age 16. National swim champion at age 17. Millionaire child star by age 13. World-record-holding pilot by age 12. And then... then what?

Of course, many young elite athletes run into this problem. But usually not until they're in their twenties and more able to handle it. But to be a 17 year old gymnast and know you're washed up, that you'll never be the best in the world again... to be a 12 year old child star who suddenly grows up and gets zits and turns out ugly... what is it like, to know that your best is behind you at such a young age? To know that never again will you have your day in the sun, to be recognized and adulated and worshipped by your peers? And then you're just ordinary Joe or ordinary Jill plugging away through life. But once upon a time, once upon... you were someone.

I can't imagine that any child really has the emotional capacity to handle that. Vicki Van Meter, who just committed suicide at age 26 after making headlines at ages 11 and 12, is just one of the many youngsters who came to a bad end after peaking early. The kids who make it tend to be the ones who are almost scary smart like Jodie Foster, or have a well-grounded home life far from the bright lights that lets them laugh about their past as they move into a more sedate and less famous future. I guess, in the end, my plea is a simple one: Let kids be kids. This business of parents using their children to make up for the failings of their own lives by pushing their kids... it's like beating them with hot pokers and horse whipping them, in the end. The scars may heal over, but they'll never go away.

-- Badtux the Observer Penguin

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Five years ago today...

I had spend months arguing that invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein was a bad idea, for the same reasons that President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney had argued in 1993 -- a simple look at the demographics (majority Shiite) showed that the place would become Iran West if we actually invaded and allowed the Iraqis to elect their own government. I could not see how that was in the best interests of America and Americans. In addition, I argued that Iraq was no threat to America -- after ten years of embargo it lacked the industrial infrastructure necessary to produce weapons of mass destruction (Hans Blix's inspection teams had inspected every single industrial installation and found nothing more advanced than circa 1920 United States, and of the nuclear facilities, nothing but ruins either from our bombing campaigns or from simple neglect), and after ten years nothing from before 1993 would be viable anymore. As a manufacturing engineer, I was keenly aware of the enormous industrial infrastructure needed to produce even relatively simple technological goods. Saddam had none of that, and because of the embargo had no access to buy any of that from the outside world.

But none of that mattered. Dear Leader wanted to invade, and invade he did. As the first news reports rolled across my screen, I muttered "well, I guess that's it, then. We are officially an empire now," and hoped that the war was about oil. Because, oddly enough, Ann Coulter was right (even a stopped clock is right twice a day). A war for oil arguably could be in the national interest. The stated reasons -- "liberation", "disarm Saddam", etc. -- were bullshit, and I stated so before the war began.

As American forces advanced towards Baghdad, the first "war bloggers" arose, of which I was one at a long-defunct blog. I remember one war blogger, who went by the name "Kos". When there was an operational pause on the fourth day of the war, anti-war activists cheered and jeered, "Saddam's army has stopped the U.S. Army!". Kos and I sighed and explained to people that our troops had been going for 72 hours straight, were so exhausted that they couldn't see straight, and were stopping to take a nap and wait for the fuel and ammo trucks to catch up, that there was no way in hell that Saddam's army could stop anything -- we had 100% air superiority which meant that any attempt at concentrating forces would end up being smashed to pieces and which immobilized any of Saddam's forces where they were, and unlike the Iranian army during the Iran-Iraq War, the U.S. Army doesn't do trench warfare - it does maneuver warfare in a manner that General William Tecumseh Sherman would have recognized and smiled about, using superior mobility to concentrate, bypass or smash through the lines at one particular place, then roll up the flanks. As our forces approached Baghdad, anti-war activists cheered and jeered, "Saddam's just going to make our troops fight house-to-house in Baghdad! Just see, he's going to win!" Kos and I sighed again and told folks that the U.S. Army doesn't do urban warfare of that sort -- if there is resistance, air strikes are called in to flatten the area, then fuel-air bombs dropped to incinerate anybody hiding in the rubble, and that the only outcome of Saddam trying to do urban warfare of the Stalingrad type attempting to force the U.S. to fight house-to-house would be a flattened city and a lot of dead civilians.

As it turned out, Saddam figured out the same thing, and instead sneaked off to a hidey-hole to organize a guerilla war, a guerilla war which, it seems, he'd actually been organizing for six months or more after it became clear that the U.S. was going to invade. A guerilla war which tossed Saddam over the transom when it became clear he was an operational hinderance, but which is still going on today. A guerilla war which is unwinnable short of exterminating a significant proportion of the population of Iraq and interning the rest in concentration camps -- the only way in which the U.S. has ever won guerilla wars, whether it was the occupation of the Philippines in the period 1899-1912, or the Indian Wars of the 1800's. As I repeated pointed out to the anti-war activists predicting defeat for the U.S., defeating the U.S. Army on the battlefield simply is not going to happen. But the problem is... what then? How do you win the peace? I hoped that, unlike President George H.W. Bush in 1993, the current administration had a plan for that. Alas, we swiftly found out that this was not, and is not, the case...

So America is now an empire, there are now more casualties from the Iraq war as a percentage of our forces than there were during the Vietnam War (note - I count any injury which results in death or disability as a casualty, since for purposes of war-fighting the two are the same -- in both cases, the soldier is not going to be fighting again), and there is no end in sight. And the American empire, like all empires, is showing the stresses of stationing soldiers in far lands fighting continuous wars. This has destroyed the economy of any empire which has ever attempted it, from Alexander the Great's Macedonian empire to the Roman empire to the British empire, and it seems unlikely that the American Empire is going to prove the exception to the rule.

Five years. And for what reason? Not the oil. That notion left me when the U.S. Army razed Fallujah, there is no oil in Fallujah, if it was about the oil our forces would be in the north and south of the country, not in the middle, the only place in Iraq that has no oil. What national interests are served by having U.S. forces actually occupying Iraq, as vs. securing the borders to keep any Iraqi violence from spilling outside its boundaries? All there has been is disaster, disaster for America, disaster for Iraq, and no national interests served. The only people who have profited have been the war profiteers -- the companies of Vice President Halliburton, of Former President George H.W. United Defense Corporation, and so forth. Is that what passes for national interests today? Profits for administration cronies and relatives? Is that what the war has been about all from day one? Because I simply can't figure out any other reason why we're still in Iraq....

-- Badtux the Saddened Penguin

Shall we call them "Bushvilles"?

Shanty towns spring up on outskirts of major U.S. cities...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jeremiah Wright was right

I have been trawling through responses to Obama's brave speech on race, and my eyes and my soul are aching. Reading the hateful, vindictive ignorant comments by many white Americans both Republican and Democrat condemning Obama for, well, being black, I realized something: Jeremiah Wright is right. A significant proportion of white Americans (which is where all the vile, disgusting racist comments have come from) *ARE* hateful, vindictive people who believe all brown people are disgusting and should be exterminated.

Oh sure, they hide it behind the "code words", but look, people. I grew up in the segregation-era South. I know *ALL* the "code words" for, "uppity niggers need to know their place." I remember when the bigoted Italian mafioso who was our police commissioner burst in through the doors of a black church at the head of a mob of horseback-mounted stormtroopers, marched up to the pastor, and pistol-whipped him while shouting "I ain't havin' no memorial service for no goddamn commie nigger like Martin Luther King Junior in my town!". I remember when the cops went through "nigger-town" going "nigger-knocking" (busting in the heads of any black person they saw outside their home) and laugh about "man, did you see those porch monkeys run when they saw us coming?". I've had a cousin of mine talk about how she moved out of the projects to a trailer park because "there's too many niggers in the projects" (and this is a woman who barely graduated 6th grade and is cracker trailer trash all the way -- and this was in 1995, folks, not 1955). I've had my property manager call me in a panic because a black man wanted to move into one of my properties, and when I asked him what the problem was, he wailed "but he has a white girlfriend, it just ain't right!" and this was 2005, people, not 1925. I've seen racism and bigotry and hatred up close and personal, and not yesterday either -- today.

Where I, and Obama, disagree with Jeremiah Wright is the notion that it has to be this way. People, give up your hatred, your ignorance, your bigotry. We are all, in the end, human beings. We can do better than this. We can be better than this. Obama laid down the gauntlet: Continue the hatred, continue fighting each other, continue the lies and spitefulness, or join together and make this a better nation. What is your choice? Sadly it seems for most of those who have posted, they choose the path of hatred, lies, and evil. That is sad. That is too, too sad. We can be a better nation. If you choose. If you choose.

If you choose.

What is your choice, America?

-- Badtux the not-so-snarky Penguin

He does give good speech

Watch, and read.

Wow. The youngster is operating on a level that we haven't seen in quite a few years. Not that this will stop World Nut Daily and its ilk from screaming "EEEK! Them uppity niggers is gonna sneak into your bedrooms and KILL YOU ALL if you elect Obama!", but so it goes.

So that is the choice Obama lays down to us. Do we continue the divisiveness, the hatreds, the refusal to confront the imperfections of our nation? Or do we confront the imperfections of our nation and continue together as a people on the voyage towards "a more perfect Union"? That is the gauntlet Obama lays down. Fox News, World Nut Daily, and their ilk apparently prefer the former. As for myself, well, you probably have figured that one out for yourself.

BTW, I was going to write a snarky post about World Nut Daily and the race-baiting it and the rest of the Never Right are engaged in, but somehow after reading/watching the above, my snark dried up. Oh well.

-- Badtux the Not-so-snarky Penguin

Monday, March 17, 2008

Forty years of My Lai

Forty years ago, American soldiers went on a rampage and killed the women, children, and elders of the Vietnamese village of My Lai. The usual "few bad apples" were convicted of the massacre, despite orders from the top to kill everybody found in a "free-fire zone".

Today, forty years afterwards, few Americans remember the My Lai massacre. The neo-cons never believed it happened then, and still don't today. But the Vietnamese remember. And so does most of the rest of the world (note that none of my links are from U.S. based publications). They remember that America's claims of moral superiority are just that -- claims, with no basis in fact. When American soldiers go into battle they are no better -- or worse -- than any other soldiers sent to war.

War is inherently a dehumanizing activity, and the act of killing people does nasty things to people's minds. My Lai's occur whenever soldiers are sent to war. As someone who knew a little bit about war put it, "War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it ... You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable ...". Whenever soldiers go to war, there will be rapes. There will be brutality. There will be, in short, what always happens when you take young men and remove all social inhibitions from them, all taboos about that most taboo subject of all, the taking of human life, then place them into an abnormal environment where they are expected to kill or be killed. Far from being some romantic adventure as the Moron in Chief put it, war is Hell. No more, no less. Remember that, next time some moron tells you we have to go to war because, well, because.

-- Badtux the War Penguin

Preparing for Cascadia?

Rez Dog notes that his state of Washington apparently has purchasing codes for warships and tanks, and wonders what they're up to.

Well, it's clear to this penguin. They're preparing to declare Cascadian independence. Sheesh!

-- Badtux the Irreverent Penguin

How's that mighty SURGE working, Johnny Mac?

Johnny MacSurgie, Geezer(AZ), took another trip to Baghdad last weekend. Guess he musta needed a new rug or something. Sadly, he didn't get to buy one at the Shorja market where he bought one during his last trip to Iraq. Seems that his security advisors said it was "too dangerous" because, well, that market is now controlled by Moqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi army.

So how's that mighty, manly SURGE workin' for ya, Johnny Mac? Sounds like it needs some VIAGRA or somethin'. Maybe ya can borrow some from your best bud and pal, Rush Limpdick. Except, well, Rushie seems to be kinda suspicious of your motives. Maybe he realizes that his Viagra is in danger if you and your mighty surge are nearby... go figger!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

That wonderous Bush economy...

Major Wall Street brokerage collapses, sold off for pennies on the dollar.

Yeah, that Bush economy sure is doing great, yessiree, and that $300 stimulus check is gonna do a lot of good. Heckuva job, Bushie! Boy, Republicans are just so great for the economy, aren't they? Which is why every single "up" time in the economy for the past sixty years has been during a (duh) Democratic presidency. When will the general public notice this? Hmm...

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We're Number Two! We're Number Two!

Once upon the time, the United States was the number one economic power on this planet. That was before the Bushevik Revolution. Now...

Well, we're Number Two, behind the EuroZone. Which, unlike the United States, has not dismantled its industrial infrastructure and shipped it to China.

Expect to hear tighty righties admitting that the U.S. is no longer the world's #1 economic power sometime... well, never. Denial ain't a river in Egypt, sad to say. And as for what that says about the future of the U.S. military... well, history is harsh about the fate of empires which lose economic vitality. Loss of economic vitality is inevitably followed by loss of military supremecy, and, shortly thereafter, by loss of empire. Just ask the Soviet Union. Oh wait, you can't...

Bloggin' from Soviet America,
Badtux the Economics Penguin

Chirping kitteh

The Mighty Fang is out on the patio sunning himself in this beautiful spring weather. Or, rather, he would be if it were not for a fly buzzing around. Instead, he's standing there watching the fly buzz around out of reach, going "chir chir chirup! chir chir chirup!" I guess asking me to fetch the fly down for him. Yeah, he tried doing cat acrobatics to get it, the fly just laughed and buzzed higher.

I don't know why cats always expect me to get the fly, june bug, bird laughing at them from the other side of the window pane, whatever that is out of their reach. I guess it's flattering that they think I"m better at catching stuff than they are, but still...

-- Badtux the Not-great-hunter Penguin
Is my blogging boring lately? Probably because I have two projects that are reaching a stage where I'm spending 150% of my time doing design and code reviews to make sure my guys don't produce garbage... I have great guys working under me, but they're kinda green, and they miss the big picture way too often.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The mother of all idiotic wastes of money

There was a letter from the IRS in the mail today. It said on its outside, "IMPORTANT! DO NOT THROW AWAY!". OMG, what is it? Are they auditing my last year's tax return? Asking me for more money? What could it be? What could it be?!

So I opened it and...


See, what the letter was saying, was that I might get a stimulus check if I filed an income tax return and didn't make too much money. Not that I will or will not get a stimulus check. Just that I might get one. (For the record, I won't -- I make too much money, which should give you an idea what income tax bracket I'm in).

Gah. Useless idiotic waste of money. A letter that says nothing, that has no purpose, just to, well, to what? Some Bush campaign contributor must own a print shop that needed business, is all I can figure...

-- Badtux the Stupidity-recognizing Penguin

Blonde Redhead - 23

Blonde Redhead basically started out as a Sonic Youth clone, a late 80's noise indie band. On their latest album, 23, they appear to have gone more "shoe-gazer" on their title track. It works well with Kazu Makino's voice.

Bachelor's Cookbook: Cheesy tuna casserole

This one is a bachelor classic because it dirties only one pot and takes about ten minutes to prepare.


  • One blue box Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (or any good quality Mac'n'cheese)
  • One can tuna
  • One can cream of mushroom soup.
  • Five cups water
Bring the water to a boil in a mid-sized pot big enough for the macaroni and water. Dump the macaroni into it (set the cheesy powder aside!). Cook for 7 minutes, then dump into collander to drain. Dump the cream of mushroom soup into the pot, put it on a very low heat, and stir half the cheesy powder into the cream of mushroom soup. Dump the macaroni back from the collander into the pot on top of the cream of mushroom soup, then the remainder of the cheesy powder, and stir vigorously until well mixed. Dump the (drained) can of tuna on top and stir well until well mixed. Serve with a side salad of fresh greens and veggies.

-- Badtux the Culinary Penguin

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cat Power - Maybe Not

You are free.

Or maybe not.

-- Badtux the Orwellian Penguin

I like pie

I like chocolate pie, I like lemon pie, I like apple pie, I just like pie. Which is why it's great that this is International Pie Day, according to Brian over at Why Now.

Oh wait, it's International PI day. Slightly different day, if equally yummy for those with a mathematical bent. Oops!

Oh well, that's okay. It can be both International Pi Day and International PIE day at the same time, can't it? I like pie!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Ghost in the night

Unless you light him up with the flash of a camera, The Mighty Fang is pretty much invisible at night.

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

Oh the wonders of outsourcing

Digital picture frames and other gadgets from China infected with password-stealing viruses and spambots.

So they're not contented with sending us contaminated foods and lead-contaminated toys, now they gotta send us virus-contaminated electronic goodies? Whose bright idea was it anyhow to unbolt most of the U.S. industrial infrastructure, load it on ships, and re-assemble it in China?

Oh wait, wait, I recall. It was the same geniuses who are "Bush Pioneers" and who fund the Heritage Foundation and so forth. The guys who are busy looting what remains of our nation's wealth, then will laugh at us from their villas in the Bahamas after it all collapses and we're all standing in the ruins looking at each other wondering what happened. You know, the real rulers of our country -- who are not We, the People, but, rather, They, the Multibillionaires.

Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Awright, will we see riots *now*?!

Yet more proof of Bushenomics' failure: Price of beer and pizza skyrocketing.

That's just... UN-AMERICAN! What an astounding success for the Bush Economy -- the staple diet of all bachelor penguins everywhere is skyrocketing in price!

Now, please excuse me, I need to go sob in my herring bowl...

-- Badtux the Pizza-lovin' Penguin

H/T to Gordon @ Alternate Brain).

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'd go broke as a motorcycle mechanic

Two hours to change a tire?!

Now, granted, I don't have a tire machine. But mostly, I'm just slow :-(. Popping the tire on and off the rim took me about 30 minutes of that time. The rest was spent taking wheel off, cleaning up the wheel so I could stick weights to it, checking out the tube and powdering it and inserting it into the new tire (question: How do you fish that $%@! valve stem through that teeny little hole when all you have is a tiny crack between tire and rim to work through?!), carefully positioning the tire so the heavy part was opposite the valve stem, then there's balancing which because a KLR uses ball bearings I can do on its own bearings (as vs. roller bearings or taper bearings) but it's still a fiddly process. And finally put the wheel back on, adjust the chain, put the brakes back on, torque everything down, ...

I'm sure glad I make my living with computers, not fixing motorcycles. 'Cause I'd go broke quick if I had to make my living fixing motorcycles... I can fix most anything, but I'm just slow. And I ain't even got the excuse of bein' an old man like Gordon over at Alternate Brain, sigh...

-- Badtux the Slow Penguin

I wanna be sedated

Seems that Joey Ramone just needed to drink NYC tap water if he was feeling so uptight. Funny, "sedated" and "New Yorker" just don't seem to fall off the tongue in the same sentence.

The disconnect

Fewer people read newspapers today than when John F. Kennedy was President. Why does newspaper circulation continue to decline? Well, free market economics has an answer to that: Newspapers no longer provide a product that citizens want.

What citizens want is the truth. They want to know what's true and what's not true. They want to know who is lying and who is telling the truth. Newspapers are failing utterly at this job. Indeed, they view it as not their job at all. I once got into an argument with a newspaper editor about that -- "you know that Joe Politician is lying out his ass, why do you print his lies?" The newspaper editor responded, "it's not my job to tell whether he's lying or not, it's my job to accurately report what he said."

Yep, you got it. Newspaper editors view their job as transcriptionists to power -- not truth. You see, if they didn't report Joe Politician's lies, someone else would, and we can't have that, can we? And if they reported that in fact Joe Politician was lying, that e.g. Darth Cheney talking up al Qaeda/Saddam connections was utterly nonsense according to all reputable experts, that would be "analysis" and not "news" and thus not their business. But the problem is, truth is what the citizenry seek. And if they don't get it from their newspapers, they will get it from elsewhere -- maybe an elsewhere that doesn't have the resources of newspapers, or that has an agenda other than the truth.

Meanwhile, all the newspapers are talking about how Admiral Fallon "resigned". Yeah sure, he resigned. He resigned in much the same way that someone standing on the edge of a cliff with a gun held to his back "voluntarily jumped". This is a hatchet job to clear the way for an attack on Iran, an attack that Admiral Fallon opposed mightily. So why don't the newspapers mention this? Well, that'd be "analysis". Not "news". They view their job as accurately transcribing the words of people of power, all of whom are saying that Admiral Fallon voluntarily resigned, rather than viewing their job as being "truth". But truth is what people seek. Is it any wonder that, with newspapers failing to provide what people want, people do what people always do in a free market economy -- go look elsewhere for what they want?

-- Badtux the Free Market Penguin

Who cares?

Eliot Spitzer has apparently resigned as governor of New York. Turns out he was hiring high-priced call girls. Uhm, okay. And what business is that of mine how someone wants to voluntarily spend his money on consensual sexual activities?

But then, that's the Libertarian in this penguin. I don't think it's the State's business to tell folks that they can't engage in the World's Oldest Profession or use the services of the World's Oldest Profession. At best the State has an interest in making sure that there is no health hazard to society as a whole as a result of the activity (i.e., health checkups for STD's and such required). At least unlike Larry Craig he wasn't taking up an airport restroom stall doing, uhm, things said stall was not designed for, at a time when I needed to take a dump and all the stalls were filled with people playing rather than pooping.

But then, I never got the point of harassing Bill Clinton over a blow job either...

- Badtux the Libertarian Penguin

Changing tires. Ugh.

Changing motorcycle tires the old fashioned knuckle busting way (with tire irons, scrap pieces of 2x4, and the occasional boot-heal) is a PITA. Putting my street tires on so I don't wear down my dirt tires on the highway, need to commute more because gas is approaching $4 a gallon here (I spent $20 filling up my *MOTORCYCLE* last night!), it's definitely a knuckle-busting kind of chore...

-- Badtux the Irritated Penguin

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oooh that manly SURGE!

Eight U.S. soldiers killed by roadside bomb, suicide bomber. At least 39 killed in attacks around Iraq. The only surging appears to be in violence.

As I've pointed out before, the only way to pacify a conquered country is the way we pacified Japan and Germany in 1945, and the way we pacified the Philippines in the 1899-1912 timeframe: genocide. Kill all the military-age men (or at least a significant percentage of them), destroy all their homes, raze their infrastructure, put the remainder of people into concentration camps, control the borders with massive military forces (or have the luck to conquer an island nation like Japan or the Philippines where ships can do the job), destroy the crops, make the population entirely dependent upon rations distributed by your occupation forces that barely supply enough calories to sustain life and which certainly won't provide sufficient calories for young men to conduct military operations. *Or*, have the luck to invade a country that is ethnically and linguistically identical to yours, and then use massive police presence to infiltrate all resistance organizations and either subvert them or arrest them.

That's it. Genocide, or secret police. That's the only two ways to pacify a conquered country. We don't have the ability to set up a police state in Iraq -- we don't have enough Arabic speakers to infiltrate the resistance -- leaving genocide. And if you don't have the stomach to do that, you might as well get out, because all you're going to do is bleed, bleed, bleed. I suppose that the American public could be brought around to the notion of exterminating 25% of Iraqis, but thus far (thankfully) the Bush Administration has been reluctant to test that theory. Which is a good thing, because as morally repugnant as invading a foreign nation that has never attacked yours, deposing its government, and killing hundreds of thousands of its citizens is, genocide is far, far worse. But sans genocide, there's just no way to "win" in Iraq for any reasonable definition of "win" (defined as, "a free, calm, and democratic Iraq that supports the U.S. and Israel"). So all this manly surging is doomed to failure, in the end, because it simply ignores basic facts about how to pacify a conquered country. You might as well try to calculate the area of a circle ignoring the basic fact of the constant pi, or try to fly by flapping your arms. Either has about the same chance of success -- i.e., none. You simply cannot violate the laws of nature, which, unlike the laws of men, come with their own enforcement mechanism (as in, step off the top of a building and flap your arms to fly, and you *die*).

-- Badtux the Military Penguin

Hot pink tongue action!

Wherein I capture The Mighty Fang at his custom water fountain (penguin-activated), then, afterwards, licking his whiskers as if saying "boy, that water sure was good!"...

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

PS: It took *NINETY SHOTS* to get two -- TWO -- photos where TMF's tongue was visible, despite the fact that most of those shots I could see his tongue when I hit the trigger. Now you know the secret of cat photography -- keep pressing that #!@#% button until you accidentally get the shot you're aiming for!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Eek! Blond white woman killed by darkie!

The news flaks are all atwitter about a young white blonde woman killed by a black man. Yet for some reason, they seem to be utterly silent about a a middle-aged Hispanic woman shot and killed by a black man. Google News shows me two references to the killing of Aldegunda Alvarez. Meanwhile, Google gives me 1,074 references to the killing of Eve Carson.

But I forget. Aldegunda Alvarez had one of them funny furriner names, and was, like, brown. Remember, a young white blond woman is 537 times more valuable than a middle-aged Hispanic woman. Racism is dead in America -- in some parallel universe Bizarro America, anyhow. Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

I wanna be sedated....

Seems that Joey Ramone just needed to drink NYC tap water if he was feeling so uptight. Hmm, "sedated" and "New Yorker" just don't seem to fall off the tongue in the same sentence...

Of course this is just part of a larger overall problem, which is that we're dumping so many chemicals into our rivers and watersheds that can't be filtered out by water treatment plants that we're basically poisoning ourselves to death. Even San Francisco has a problem, despite their water coming from the supposedly prestine Hetch Hetchy reservoir...

-- Badtux the Chemically-treated Penguin

Uncooperative cat

I keep trying to get a photo for you of The Mighty Fang's cute little pink tongue lapping water out of a small stream of water coming out of the bathroom faucet, but every time I push the button on the camera to take a photo his tongue seems to be in his mouth. He must have the quickest tongue in the west! Grrr... maybe I need to turn off all the sound effects on the camera, he must be cuing off of one of them :-(.

-- Badtux the Photography Penguin

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Why Firefox sucks up memory

I've switched to a program called "Camino" which uses the Firefox rendering engine but uses the native Quartz user interface code rather than XUL (a user interface descriptor language). What I've discovered is that its memory footprint is *much* smaller than Firefox's, and unlike Firefox, it doesn't leak memory. What this implies is that the culprit in Firefox's memory leak is XUL, not its rendering engine.

As for why I'm not using Safari, for some reason Safari goes into login loops with Hotmail. I then have to clean out Safari's cookies for Hotmail and re-login. It wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft, being Evil(tm), didn't deliberately break their Javascript in order to send Safari into a tizzy, but the deal is that Camino works right with Hotmail, so... (shrug).

-- Badtux the Geeky Penguin

Fun with Stacks

Yes, I got my Mac back up and going. Found out that a few files either weren't backed up to Time Machine or weren't restored back from Time Machine, but otherwise it went quite well.

One of the problems that I and many other people have had with the Apple dock is that if you put all the programs you use regularly onto the dock, it gets so wide that you have to shrink it teensy-tiny to fit all the programs onto it. You could put your Applications folder on the dock, but when you clicked on it then a new folder window popped up and took up space on your screen. Mac OS X 10.5 ("Leopard") introduces a new feature that helps with dock clutter: Stacks.

To add your Applications folder to your dock, simply open up a Finder window, click on your hard drive name (probably "Macintosh"), and grab the Applications folder that should thence appear. Drag it down to the right side of the dock (on the right side of the little divider), and position it between two other icons at the very bottom of the screen. Then drop it. It'll then stay there as a Stack. Then whenever you want to fire up an application, all you have to do is move down to your dock, click on the icon for the Applications folder, and you'll see a temporary Finder-like menu pop up with all your applications and can choose which one to start without having to open up a Finder window into your Applications folder. Once you choose an application to run, the stack then "closes" -- no Finder window to have to go track down and hit the 'close' button on.

I personally install all the 3rd party applications I can into a "Penguin's Software" folder and plop that onto my dock too, as well as Apple's "Utilities" folder. Then I clean up the dock icons on the left side of the dock to get rid of all but the most-used icons or those which are in sub-directories where it's not worth making them into a Stack. So the right side of my Dock has several Stacks which work somewhat similar to the Windows 'Programs' menu. Except much easier to manage, since it gets automatically updated by installing or deleting an application into a particular directory and because I can split it into multiple "menus" (Stacks) rather than having one big humongous multi-level menu.

There are some things that were introduced with Mac OS 10.5 that are so much glitz and glamour, all sizzle and no steak. Stacks, at first glance, appear to be one of those all-sizzle-no-steak features. But once you realize that you can put your Applications folders onto your Dock as Stacks, suddenly it becomes far, far more useful -- and makes using your Mac even more pleasant than it already was, since now you've solved two problems (Dock clutter and Finder window clutter) with one feature.

-- Badtux the Techie Penguin

Friday, March 07, 2008

Yes, yes, I'm pretty

"... will you take the picture already so I can quit posing, silly penguin?"

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

A has-been nation

The nation that once sent a man to the moon now relies on European and Russian spacecraft to get men and materials to its "International Space Station".

So it goes, as the United States vies to become the new Ottoman Empire, complete with foreign ownership of what few assets haven't already been unbolted and carted off carte blanche to foreign locales and foreign powers dictating who our military enemies can be. The inevitable result of this progress is the impoverishment of the nation and the eventual dissolution of the military power that holds empire together.

It took 250 years for the Ottoman Empire to spin down from its peak in the 1680's to its eventual dissolution in 1922. But today's world seems to be moving much faster. Watch this space... well, as long as you don't need an American rocket to get here, in which case you'll be a long time waitin'.

-- Badtux the Economics Penguin

Upset cat

No sun shine this morning. So The Mighty Fang could not sun himself. So he followed me around whining miserably until I went to brush my teeth and he beat me to the sink, jumping up and putting his front paws down in it and looking quizzically at the faucet. I turned the faucet on a little and gave him water, of course... photo to come (I forgot the memory chip in the camera at home).

Lately I've been drinking Korean green tea rather than Chinese green tea. They put roasted/malted rice in there. Makes it much smoother than the Chinese variety. Too bad I have to go to the Korean grocer to get it, that's way out of my way. Sigh!

I made the mistake of formatting my Macbook's primary OS partition with a case-sensitive filesystem when I installed Leopard on the new 320gb hard drive. Now several programs won't work right. Bummer. So this means that this weekend, I'll need to make sure I have an up-to-date Time Machine backup, then re-format and re-install from scratch and then do a system restore from Time Machine. Bummer :-(. Oh well, while it's doing its hours of work I can change the tires on my motorcycle and do some spring cleaning in the garage and otherwise do something productive rather than wasting time on stupid computer crap...

Okay, time to go change the air filter in my Jeep. 18,000 miles of often-dusty-dirty duty has got it looking bad and banging it out on the fender has quit working. Oh well. $27 for a Purolator air filter? Geep! What are they making these things out of, solid gold?! Oh well, so it goes...

-- Badtux the Diary Penguin

Thought for the day

War is terrorism with a bigger budget.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin
And if you don't believe me, ask the citizens of Dresden.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The "Party of Ideas"

... appears to have only one idea. "Steal, steal, steal, steal!". They're such venal creeps that they even steal from their own. And people who vote for these creeps need to have their heads examined, because electing a thief to office is kinda like putting a strung-out junkie in charge of the heroin locker at the police station -- you just know that it ain't gonna turn out well.

-- Badtux the Helpful Penguin

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

On civility

Civility is the way that sheep convince wolves that they're bad dogs if they eat sheep. Without civility, all that exists is brute force, and brute force is prejudicial to the functioning of a working economy because it punishes innovation and investment (since any of those can be taken from you by brute force). The inevitable result of a society-wide loss of the concept of "civility" is the most venal placing themselves in charge and looting the wealth of the nation for their own benefit.

Unfortunately, it appears that civility cannot coexist with widespread mass communications that can be seized by the venal. The problem is that civility works by taking advantage of a biological quirk of hairless monkeys -- hairless monkeys, like all monkeys, are social animals that are happy only if part of a pack. Civility works to handle the problem of convincing wolves that they're bad dogs if they eat sheep by ostracizing the wolf from the pack if the wolf does indeed eat a sheep. A monkey ostracized from his troop is a very unhappy monkey, generally incapable of functioning, and soon to die.

Unfortunately, this works only if you have a lone wolf and a lot of sheep. If the wolf can locate other wolves and form a wolfpack, then the sheep can ostracize him all they want and he won't care because he now has his own pack. Modern society with its instant communications and fast transportation methods allows wolves to find each other, join together with each other, and cooperate in order to bring down sheep and eat them joyfully, happily, and with relish (and maybe mustard too).

So civility, alas, is not going to be the answer to the current problem of a lack of civility in American culture, because this lack of civility is a symptom of a greater problem -- mass communications allowing the wolves to form their own troops of hairless monkeys, rendering ostracization for uncivil behavior no longer effective for convincing wolves to not eat sheep. Rush Limbaugh's "ditto-heads" have created their own pack of hairless monkeys, a bunch of deranged sick fucks who believe that hating other people is perfectly fine and that the only reason to not kill sheep is that the sheep might be packing. The invention of radio, in the end, basically ended civility as a method for organizing a society, though it coasted on inertia for a few decades more before finally dying its death with the rise of Rush Limbaugh and his ilk in the early 1980's. With what we replace it, I do not know. But the notion that being polite and civil towards those wolves who would eat sheep simply does not work once they've found a pack of their own thanks to fucktards like Rush Limbaugh, and the end result of attempts at civility with these sick fucks is a lot of fleeced or dead sheep.

So what does that mean for American civilization? To paraphrase Ghandi: "It would be a good idea." Alas.

-- Badtux the Uncivil Penguin

Thought for the Day

Ann Coulter giving marriage advice to Hillary Clinton is like a virgin giving sex advice to a prostitute.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Sleepy in the sun

The Mighty Fang sez, "I can has belly rub?"

-- Badtux the Cat-owned Penguin

Well, well...

So Barack Obama, rather than being a magic Negro, turns out to be human after all and no less succeptible to John McCain's attack ads (as channeled by Hillary Clinton) than any other potential candidate. And we learn that Hillary Clinton is a dirty nasty street fighter who will do any underhanded knife attack needed to obtain victory. Duh. Like we already didn't know that.

I will be SOOO glad when this is over so I can mark my ballot for a Democrat in November. Whether it is Obama the Magic Negro or Hillary the Rhymes-with-witch, wingnut heads are going to explode either way, which will be entertaining in and of itself even if I'm not enamored of either candidate.

-- Badtux the Politics Penguin

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

What if Godzilla attacked New York City?

Here at the Snarky Penguin's iceberg, we address the real issues, the ones that everybody cares about. Look, we know about all that Presidential primary stuff going on today and so on and so forth. Blah blah blah. Bore-ing! Instead, we gotta talk about the important things, like: What if a 500-foot-tall monster attacked New York City?.

Now ya gotta admit, that's a helluva lot more important than some silly primary. Nobody dies as a result of a Presidential primary. While if a monster attacks New York City... what do we do? What do we do?!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

If you like puppies, you hate our troops!

The blogosphere is all abuzz about a video showing a soldier throwing a puppy off a cliff in Iraq. This is more proof that the media, terrorist front groups like the SPCA and the Humane Society, and the liberal blogosphere all hate our troops.

Look, I'm sure this soldier had a perfectly good reason to throw a puppy off a cliff. Similar to how, if President Bush killed kittens with hammers on the White House front lawn, I'm sure he had a perfectly good reason to do so. Maybe it was a terrorist puppy. Gotta catch them young, y'know, and kill'em before they kill you, right? Or maybe the puppy was just pretending to be a puppy, maybe this was actually an al Qaeda soldier in cunning disguise. Why do you want to interfere with our soldiers killing al Qaeda terrorists?!

Now, some folks might say that this is just another symptom of a military in distress, of young men forced to spend 1/4th of their adult life in some fetid sandpit in the most horrendous environment ever created, that of combat, of young men forced to kill or be kill in violation of some fundamental instincts common to most sane people, of a lowering of requirements so that people who otherwise would not qualify to be soldiers such as common criminals are put into uniforms, in short, that this is a symptom of a larger disease. To that, I say nonsense! Even if it proves out that this soldier didn't have a good reason to throw a puppy off a cliff, I'm sure it's just a random bad apple, like those soldiers at Abu Ghraib, and not a symptom of any other deeper ill within the military. And if you think otherwise, you hate our troops and hate America and... and... why, you probably are Osama bin Laden's lover! So there!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Monday, March 03, 2008

Achy breaky penguin

Now, this ornery old penguin is known for being a bit of a stiff-necked bird, but today that was literal. As in, a neck that hurt, and knees that creaked. This old penguin was wondering why. Then he remembered that yesterday he spent a buncha time on his back underneath a Jeep inspecting everything, and a lot of time kneeling down shoving jacks under wheels and spinning handles and wrenches and stuff.

Mystery solved. Damn, a lift would be a nice thing to have. In my dreams, sigh. In my dreams...

Guess this is why mechanics are so stiff-necked, hmm?

-- Badtux the Stiff-necked Penguin

The Iraq war is over...

and Iran won.

Hey, it's that whole flowers and parades things that the neo-con agents for Iran always promised... except for Iran's President, not for the United States' President.

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

How a master rigs elections

Putin rigs his protege' into the Presidency of Russia with 70%+ of the vote.

A master of this election rigging business doesn't shoot for 51% like Bush did in 2004. It's too easy to accidentally undershoot and hit 49% and have to rely on your daddy's hand-picked Supreme Court justices to "elect" you to office, like with the 2000 election, and this might cause some international concerns that, well, your elections aren't fair. Make sure you win with 99% of the vote, like Castro or Saddam did, and folks know your elections aren't fair. But win with 70% of the vote... well, you can pass that off as "hey, I'm just popular".

Which Putin is, right now. The neocon invasion of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union was an utter disaster for the majority of the people of Russia. Russians went from having good health care, good schools, and basic requirements of life met to having no health care, no schools, and trading their shoes for turnips for their daily meals. Now, after eight years of Putin kicking out the neo-con looters and taking back under Russian ownership all those assets which had been looted by whatever goon figured out the least dubious way to take them over, things have gotten back to "normal" insofar as anything has ever been normal in Russia. So Putin can rig an election with 70% and the international community just shrugs. Because, frankly, that's probably close to what he'd win if Russia ever did have free and open elections, so why bother?

Which is the smartest thing that a master does in the end: he makes sure he is popular with 70% of the voters so that even if for some reason he does have to hold free and open elections, he'll still get elected. As vs moron cowboys like George W. Bush, who just don't give a shit as long as he gets selectedelected. Which is why Bush's party is going to lose the 2008 elections big-time, while Putin's party gets 70% of the vote. Uniting, not dividing. Ruling for the benefit of the people as well as the benefit of the ruling party. Gosh, what odd concepts those seem, after eight years of Bushevik rule!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Daughter of Christopath cracks, slaughters family

Seems that you can abuse some daughters only so much before they crack. And yes, I classify the way that Christopaths raise their daughters as "child abuse". They continually berate their daughters as inferior to their sons, daughters must be obedient slaves and do all the household chores while the sons are required to do nothing, they micro-control what their daughters wear and make their daughters wear humiliating clothes that are bulky and uncomfortable, they interfere with their daughter's social lives to prevent normal interactions with members of the opposite sex... in short, Christopaths are a bunch of sick sadistic fucks who treat their daughters like shit and it won't surprise me to find out that this guy who is so "respected in the community" was actually sneaking into his daughter's bedroom at night and fucking her senseless.

Which doesn't justify her slaughtering her entire family, needless to say, but the fact that four kids apparently were involved in this means it wasn't just a normal teenage spat. Something *bad* was happening in that family, something so bad, so horrible, that otherwise-normal kids were willing to get involved in what on the surface appears to be sheer craziness. Something that makes what happened to Sylvia Likens look almost normal by comparison.

You won't hear about this from the press, of course. The part of the country where this happened thinks Christopathic behavior is normal and are absolutely horrified that someone might actually object to being treated like a receptacle for semen rather than as an actual living breathing human being. And we don't really have a "national press" anymore, anybody reporting on this story from the area actually lives there and is part of that culture of sickness and hatred of women. But I've lived in that area, and this story has all the hallmarks -- homeschooling (used to isolate their girls from members of the opposite sex or any normal interactions with adults who might report child abuse to the authorities), rabid church-going and involvement in community activities (used to reduce the possibility of being accused of child abuse -- after all, such a "pillar of the community" could hardly be one of those evil venal child abusers!), the interference with the girl's love life after they apparently gave up on home-schooling her (micro-controlling their children's social life is common amongst child abusers, after all, they don't want their children reporting the abuse to people who might actually believe them)... this story has alarm bells ringing all the way if you listen. Not that it matters. Not that it ever matters. Women who kill their abusers almost always get sent to jail for murder, which is just another sort of abuse but to be expected in a patriarchial society. And since in this case the girl and her friends killed people other than her abusers, it won't surprise me to find the State of Texas seeking the death penalty for her. Which makes the State of Texas the biggest child abuser of all, but why doesn't that surprise me?

-- Badtux the Alarm-bell-hearin' Penguin

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Convertible weather

It was 69F and sunny here in the Bay Area of California today. Sadly, I haven't yet switched from the hard top to the convertible top on my Jeep -- before I do that, I want to build a little "trunk" behind the rear seat to keep my earthly goods out of sight of car thieves (since once you put the convertible top on, you have to leave the doors unlocked else they'll just cut in through the top or, if feeling polite, just unzip the rear windows because the zippers for the rear windows are on the outside, duh). So I couldn't put my top down and enjoy the weather. Except...

Duh. You do recall that I own a motorcycle, right? Yeah, your ultimate convertible -- no top *any* of the time! So I took it for a spin just to take it for a spin.

Also did the 18,000 mile service on my Jeep. Not much to it. The most important thing is keeping an eye on the rear diff fluid until its 24,000 changeout, because it's damned hard to get to the rear diff on a Jeep when it's not on a lift (the gas tank is in the way) and I apparently did not get the gasket goop all the way around when I did the 12,000 changeout and it's seeping a little of that Royal Purple 75W140 ($10 a quart and it takes two quarts to change the rear diff, eep!). I took a couple hours longer than some grease monkey because I try to keep myself familiar with everything underneath my Jeep. I've wrenched a fair amount of it over time, between the lifts, shocks, the locker in the front diff, etc., so I'm pretty familiar with how things are put together under there. So I spend time seeing if there's any play in the u-joints, checking *all* the fluid levels including the transfer case and transmission and both differentials, making sure my diff vent hoses aren't kinked and don't seem to be clogged up, giving the radiator hoses a squeeze so I know what they feel like when relatively new so when they get all gooshy later on I know they need replacing, etc... anal? Well, now, if I'm relying on this Jeep to get me out of the outback when I'm 100 miles from anything called "civilization", you might figure that I want to make sure this thing is in the best shape I can!

On oil filters: The first oil change was the "free" one done by the dealer. They put a MOPAR oil filter on it, which is made by the lowest bidder (they've changed suppliers a couple of times over the past few years). No big deal. So anyhow, the next two oil changes I put a $10 Mobil 1 oil filter on the thing. This one, I put a Bosch oil filter. Looking at the construction, it appears identical to the "Mobil 1" filter, but it was $5 rather than $10. All these filters are made by a handful of vendors and, except for Fram (which is junk -- cardboard does *not* belong inside engines), seem to be good quality. So as long as you're buying something that says "Purulator", "Delco", "Bosch", or some other "big name" on it *other* than Fram (which has cardboard inside it), seems you're okay.

Oh -- the Girl Scouts are out in force today. At both Safeway and Walmart I got accosted by the evil expanders of waistbands pushing cookies. Needless to say, I have a few boxes that the evil munchkins got me to buy via the power of cute (eeep!). It's not fair, them taking advantage of a portly old penguin that way! Sigh...

Mencken just vomited his supper in the middle of the hallway, then ran to jump on my lap and start purring. The Mighty Fang is over there licking Mencken's supper up. Sigh. Suddenly my own appetite isn't so good...

-- Badtux the Busy Penguin

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Maybe I'll be able to afford a house soon

More foreclosures than home sales in California in January.

And the wave of rate resets isn't even done until mid-summer...

My advice if you're looking to buy a home in California: Wait. We ain't anywhere near the bottom of this thing yet...

-- Badtux the Finance Penguin