Showing posts from June, 2013

From Vetted List, Iranians Pick a President

From Vetted List, Iranians Pick a President. That was the headline in the dead-tree version of the Wall Street Journal on June 15, 2013. The sub-head read "Voters in Increasingly Isolated Nation Seek Economic Boost From Slate of Candidates Approved by Clerical Council"

As I read that, I kind of snorted to myself "Yeah, they get to pick the best from the worst", but then it hit me like a two ton heavy thing, that this is virtually the same situation that we have in the United States. 
No, we don't have our prospective President picked by a Council of Elders from an established religion, but we certainly have our choices for President narrowed down by a very small group of activists, on both sides, who subscribe to the religion of the Left or of the Right. Between straw polls and conventions, only a rare few of "the folks" get to be involved in the sausage-making process of picking the party's nominee. Most people who might make great Presidents hav…

Replacing the headlamp in your 2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Having broken through the 100,000 mile barrier several months ago, it was inevitable that things would start needing to be replaced on my 2009 Toyota Highlander. My last state inspection and oil change in May prompted a replacement of the 12v battery (no, not the hybrid battery, that would be disastrous...)

Yesterday, while backing out of the driveway, I noticed in the reflection from the windows in the front of my home, that I had a burned out headlamp. The last time that I had replaced a headlamp (in my Isuzu Trooper), the experience had caused me to question the intelligence of Japanese engineering. So, I headed down to Pep Boys where a helpful parts desk lady showed me which bulb I needed and took me over to the rack where they were displayed.

The proper lamp is the 9003. I purchased a pair of 9003/HB2 lamps which cost me around $25. These lamps are up to 30% brighter than OEM and since one had already burned out, it only made sense to replace both of them at the same time. I was …

What's going on with the NSA?

What a week for a government entity who's initials not that long ago stood for "No Such Agency".

The National Security Agency (NSA) is a part of the Department of Defense, not a part of the Justice Department like the FBI, nor is it an independent agency like the CIA. As such, its purpose is military intelligence gathering, not law enforcement and not explicit spying. Recently it has gotten into hot water because of leaks from former Booz Allen contractor, Edward Snowden. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported Snowden claiming that US intelligence had been hacking Chinese computers since 2009.

Well, I certainly hope they did!

C'mon, folks... spies spy, right? Haven't we been all up in a tizzy about the Chinese hacking everything we Americans do? Well, we should be hacking their stuff, too. The difference is what we do with the intelligence we gather. There is evidence that the Chinese use information gathered by spying on us to further their commercial inter…