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Saturday, January 17, 2004

Interview with David Allen of Plan 9 Publishing, publisher of webcomics and Black Box Voting, by Bev Harris.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 02:05 PM PST [Link]

Everyone Who's Anyone in Adult Trade Publishing

Proof positive that a) I'm not the only nut with a novel and b) confirmation of my suspicion that sending out query letters can cause mental imbalance.

But this guy got his novel published, so I suppose that's the moral of this story.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:16 AM PST [Link]

"So far administration officials have attacked Mr. O'Neill's character but haven't refuted any of his facts. They have, however, already opened an investigation into how a picture of a possibly classified document appeared during Mr. O'Neill's TV interview. This alacrity stands in sharp contrast with their evident lack of concern when a senior administration official, still unknown, blew the cover of a C.I.A. operative because her husband had revealed some politically inconvenient facts.

"Some will say that none of this matters because Saddam is in custody, and the economy is growing. Even in the short run, however, these successes may not be all they're cracked up to be. More Americans were killed and wounded in the four weeks after Saddam's capture than in the four weeks before. The drop in the unemployment rate since its peak last summer doesn't reflect a greater availability of jobs, but rather a decline in the share of the population that is even looking for work."
The Awful Truth, by Paul Krugman, NY Times, January
13, 2004

I adore Dr. Krugman, but the quibble I have with ...a decline in the share of the population that is even looking for work.... is that it doesn't express the fact that once your unemployment insurance runs out, you're not a number anymore. And unemployment insurance is where they get the Unemployment numbers. So, people are still looking for work; they just don't have any more unemployment while they do it. And that's the crazy-making part of this whole bush mess.

Is it November yet?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:16 AM PST [Link]

ESP Experiment (as seen on Bitter Shack of Resentment)

Yikes! It was never wrong the three times I tried it. Spooky.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:15 AM PST [Link]

"A new Trojan horse is making the rounds, pretending to be a critical update to Windows XP from Microsoft. Instead, the new Trojan, known as Xombe, loads a back door which can be used to steal passwords or commandeer systems for use in a massive Denial Of Service attack. Xombe shares a number of characteristics with last year's Swen worm, but is not self-replicating. It shows up in an e-mail from "windowsupdate@microsoft.com" with the subject line "Windows XP Service Pack 1 -- Critical Update" -- and suggests that the attached file is a vital upgrade to Windows XP. The worm also urges users to diable anti-virus software before running the attached file, because it 'may interfere with the installation.'"
Another virus pretends to be Windows service pack, January 12, 2004

"Clearswift, a UK-based provider of software for managing and securing electronic communications, is predicting that 2004 will see a rise in malicious threats and the birth of the 'superworm.' The predictions are the result of the company’s analysis of 2003 incidents as well as what it claims is detection of a private peer-to-peer malware network. The company is advising IT-dependent organizations to review their email and Web security to ensure their PCs are not used to distribute viruses or execute criminal activities on behalf of malicious groups."
Virus Writers Building Network for Rapid Dispersal of New Viruses, January 12, 2004

"To generate an additional level of security at the micro level, Advanced Micro Devices and Intel plan to release a new technology, that will equip processors to counter and stop security attacks right in their tracks."
Intel & AMD Design Smart Virus Combatant Chips, January 12, 2004

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:14 AM PST [Link]

"The governor's measure, which was introduced in both legislative houses just two days after his Nov. 17 inaugural, contains dozens of provisions and is aimed at squeezing $11 billion from the system and bringing the state's workers' comp costs, now the highest in the nation, down to the national average. And to have that great an impact, his bill would attack what most workers' comp insiders consider to be the costly heart of the system: permanent partial disability, or PPD.

"Workers' comp handles only a few totally disabled workers, and by their nature the temporarily disabled are in and out of the system quickly and cheaply. The big bucks are in the many thousands of workers deemed to be partially, but permanently, disabled due to job-related causes. Their payments and treatments go on for years, perhaps decades, and cost the system many billions of dollars.

"Workers' comp lawyers see PPD as their bedrock business, as do medical care and rehabilitation providers, while employers and insurers see it as an expensive game in which too many people are paid for disabilities that are either contrived or exaggerated by those with financial stakes in the outcome. Proposals to sharply tighten up who can claim PPD are the most controversial simply because they involve the most money."
Dan Walters: Another governor, another year, another workers' comp battle, SacBee, January 12, 2004

Having worked for an insurance company that handled Workers Comp cases, which, for example, included claims for flea bites of mysterious origin, I can say in good conscience that much of Workers Comp in California is a scam. A moneymaker, but a scam. So if Schwarzenegger can clean up that mess, I'll be very impressed. I don't think he can because all the Seven Deadly Sins and their lawyers are on the side of more PPD than less.

I dunno, seems to me that if you can't do one job, go get the skills to get another one, but I'm not even the slightest bit partially disabled, so what do I know? I do know that I'd rather work than try to live on the disability check pittance unless I was completely and totally physically fucked up. But by then, I probably wouldn't care what was going on.

I also know that most people hate their jobs and even being PPD looks better than being an admin slave for another day. You'd think in a rich state like California, only people who want to work would be working and the rest on vacation until or if they decide they'd like to do some work. What's wrong with that? Why is it necessary to punish each other? I know misery loves company, but our whole society is based on it and how much more unhealthy can it get than that?

I mean, most day jobs suck, if I didn't have other stuff going on in my personal life, I'd probably be PPD myself. Or dead. Or not.

Okay, enough of this subject. It's bringing me down.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 11:14 AM PST [Link]

Friday, January 16, 2004

If you won't listen to me, listen to Julia:

"Jim started political blogging before political blogging was cool, back in the dark days when it was more or less Instapundit and an infinite number of chimps with typewriters hooting about war and throwing feces at you, the reader."
Sisyphus Shrugged, January 16, 2004

And go hit the PayPal button at Rittenhouse Review. He's one of the good guys and would do it for you in a nanosecond, if not less. You'll be glad you did!

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:18 PM PST [Link]

"Instead, the governor is proposing a host of cuts and reforms. General fund spending for Medi-Cal would increase overall in 2004-05 by $1.6 billion for a total expenditure of $31.2 billion, including special and federal funds. But various individual programs would be reduced.

"Children's medical services funded by the Department of Health Services would be cut by $43 million, and recipients of the Genetically Handicapped Persons Program, a subprogram estimated to serve 1,679 clients next year, would be charged co- payments like those paid by carriers of private health insurance. Users of this program and the California Children's Services program, which serves almost 38,000, would cap enrollment.

"California offers more optional Medi-Cal benefits than any other large state, and Schwarzenegger wants to implement an as-yet undetermined co-payment for certain services, create a multitiered system where certain insurance packages are available to recipients depending on need, and eliminate the state's practice of offering services to residents whose income is above poverty level."
Welfare cuts toe GOP line. Slashing services likely to set off partisan budget battle in Capitol, by David M. Drucker, PressTelegram, January 12, 2004

At which point they can get sick and slip below the poverty level. And through the cracks and out of sight, which is exactly what the rabid right wants to happen.

Ahnold, you're being used like the tool you are.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:19 PM PST [Link]

"The winner of the celebrity Bobby, though, can be only one man. For not only was Arnold Schwarzenegger a celebrity fronting for a product, he was also the product, fronting for his own successful candidacy for governor of California. "I am running for governor to lead a movement for change, and give California back its future," he told viewers. And it was a powerful performance, worthy of the most cherished statuette in the entire universe of trade-magazine coverage of TV commercial performance.

"Of course, Californians should remember one thing:

"He was acting."
Arnold Schwarzenegger Wins a Top Bobby, Best Celebrity Performance in a TV Commercial, by Bob Garfield, AdAge.com January 05, 2004

This would be funny if. . . okay, it's not funny.

Can we call Central Casting for a real Governor now?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:18 PM PST [Link]

"SACRAMENTO, Calif (Reuters) - A top California Democrat, whose help new Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger needs to get his budget passed, on Monday strongly criticized the proposal, saying it hurt the poor without solving the state's deep-rooted fiscal problems.

"State Senate President pro Tempore John Burton said on Monday that the former bodybuilder and actor had created the need to slash programs by cutting car taxes known as the Vehicle License Fee upon taking office in November.

"'What we have in this budget is the poorest people in our society -- the elderly, the blind, the disabled, poor women with children, sick children, sick elderly -- being asked to pay for basically the VLF tax cut,' Burton told reporters. 'I see a state that is turning its back on the most vulnerable in our society in order to pay for a tax cut.'"


"Burton, who was first elected to the California legislature in 1964 and who has also served in the U.S. Congress, advocated upping state taxes on the wealthy, with the hikes kicking in for those making $150,000 and then even more at $500,000."
Top Democrat Criticizes New Schwarzenegger Budget, by Adam Tanner, January 12, 2004

Well, yeah, the rich can afford to pay taxes. $150,000.00 a year is a lot of money, even after taxes, compared to, oh, say $24,000.00 a year. Also, you can't get blood out of turnip. Eventually you just crush the turnip and where does that leave you, eh?

Bravo, John Burton, for have the guts to STATE THE OBVIOUS.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:14 PM PST [Link]

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Just when I thought Clark couldn't get any cooler.

(as seen on MWO on Jan 12, 2004)


Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:32 PM PST [Link]

Why Are Japanese Girls’ Comics full of Boys Bonking?, by Mark McLelland

I've wondered about this, too.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:31 PM PST [Link]

"Wesley Clark, the retired Army general from Arkansas who entered the race in September and months after his rivals, will get a $3.7 million payment, the largest amount of federal matching funds. That’s followed by $3.6 million for Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, $3.4 million for North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and $3.1 million for Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt. Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich will get $736,000 and perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche will get $839,000."
FEC approves matching funds, by Liz Sidoti, AP, January 2, 2004 (as seen on Sisyphus Shrugged)

Does it bother anyone else that that perennial jailbird, Lyndon LaRouche, is getting more money than Dennis Kucinich?

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 06:29 PM PST [Link]

I needed a cheap laugh today:

George W. Bush or Chimpanzee?

Personally, I'd rather have the chimp.

Posted by Laurel Sutton @ 09:27 AM PST [Link]

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

"Dear Citibank Users,

"This letter was sentt by the Citbiank sevrer to veerify your e-mail addres. You must clmpotee this pceorss by clicking on the link below and enttering in the litle window your Citibank Debit Card Nummber and Card Pin that you use on Atm Machine. This is done for your pcertotion -C- becaurse some of our memmbers no lgenor have access to their email adsredses and we must verify it.

"To veerify your e-mail address and akcess your CitibankOnline account, click on the link below. If nothing hapepns when you clic on the link -r coppy and passte the link into the addres bar of your web browesr."

Nothing annoys me more than scam spam and with typos! It's annoyed squared.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:17 PM PST [Link]

"The strategy, often called privatization, is popular among those who advocate shrinking government and boosting business, and is hated by unions that represent government employees who stand to lose their jobs to private sector workers.

"State Sen. Tom McClintock, who ran unsuccessfully against Schwarzenegger in the gubernatorial recall election, repeatedly has prescribed privatizing government. He said private firms competing for state contracts will lower costs and improve efficiency.

"'It's a Yellow Pages principle of government. If you can find it in the Yellow Pages, the government shouldn't be doing it,' said McClintock, R-Simi Valley.

"He said contracting succeeds 'by restoring to state government the freedom that every family exercises every day, which is to shop around for the best service at the lowest price.'"
Big savings touted in privatizing. Pete Wilson proposed it but got nowhere; now Schwarzenegger's trying, by Alexa H. Bluth, January 11, 2004

Yeah, the State can ... shop around for the best service at the... most jacked up, graft-ridden, over-charged price from the crony capitalists that show up in a privatized government services environment.

Now, if I know this. . .

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:16 PM PST [Link]

"What is the purpose of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger?"
Giving new life to old ideas. Flair, flexibility are all that's new in budget. Only novelty about Schwarzenegger's budget is his style, by Robert Salladay, SF Chronicle, January 11, 2004

That is my question exactly.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:15 PM PST [Link]

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

"The roughly $6 billion in spending cuts proposed by the governor over a period of several years might loom large in the fields of higher education, health care and social services, and would reduce access to those services. Those cutbacks, however, represent just a tiny fraction of the state's $1.4 trillion economy.

"'Those kinds of cuts are not going to derail the economy,' said Michael Bazdarich, an economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast. 'If I'm a 13-year-old kid who is not going to get on the health care rolls, I could say it's devastating. It's hurtful on a micro scale, not a macro scale.'"
Budget cuts unlikely to affect economy. They won't derail recovery, analysts say, by Sam Zuckerman, SF Chronicle Economics Writer, January 11, 2004

If I'm a 13-year-old kid who is not going to get on the health care rolls, I could say it's devastating.

Said like a man who's never known any poor 13-year-old kids. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:21 PM PST [Link]

"(KCBS)--In a dramatic shift from his predecessor's policies, Governor Schwarzenegger is proposing creation of a commission to study closing some California prisons.

"The governor is proposing a cut in the state corrections budget and is predicting the state's prison population will decrease.


"Under previous governors, including Gray Davis, California has long emphasized tough sentencing laws and as a result has expanded its prison population and the construction of prisons."
Schwarzenegger Looks at Reducing CA Prison Population, by Sue McGuire for KCBS-740 AM, January 11, 2004

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:19 PM PST [Link]

Monday, January 12, 2004

"One night, unable to sleep, I made a list of my enemies - no easy task in Hollywood, where the central difference between an enemy and a friend is that when you bump into your enemy he greets you more warmly."
I Was Stalked on Amazon.com, by Allison Burnett, MediaBristo.com, November 19, 2003

Now, here's a man who KNOWS his Hollywood.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 08:00 PM PST [Link]

"SAN JOSE, Calif. - (KRT) - As California nears its first possible execution in two years, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is about to confront an issue with higher stakes than budget cuts - his role in carrying out the death penalty in a state with the largest death row in the nation."


"'A few governors are beginning to find the courage to use the power,' said Dan Kobil, a Columbus, Ohio, law professor and national expert on clemency. 'Maybe somebody like Schwarzenegger, who comes in with a mandate for good government, will be more willing to use it. Certainly Gray Davis wasn't going to use it.'"
Schwarzenegger gets quick introduction to vast clemency powers, by Howard Mintz, Knight Ridder Newspapers, January 11, 2004

Great, now I have cognitive dissonance á la Schwarzenegger.

Posted by Ginger Mayerson @ 07:59 PM PST [Link]

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