June 29, 2004

I Used To Have a Blog

Blog? What's a blog?
Three weeks ago tonight I got knocked off-line and haven't been able to get on since. I finally got hold of a Windows 98 set-up disk (yay!) complete with updates (yay!) and popped it into my CD-ROM (yay!) and got the message:
D:\ is inaccessible... drive is not ready.


About a year ago I took out the CD-ROM that was in the computer and replaced it with an older on because the newer one couldn't read my audio CDs. Perhaps my old CD-ROM can't read a new-fangled CD...?

I'll try fiddling around in safe mode tonight and see if I don't explode the thing. If that doesn't solve the problem then I'll have to either reinstall the old (newer) CD-ROM. And if THAT doesn't work then I'll just have to re-format the entire harddrive (assuming that the newer CD-ROM can read the Windows disk).

Man oh man oh man oh man oh MAN!!!

If anybody has any clue they can give me feel free to chime in right here. If I can't get back on-line in the next few days I'll try to come back and read any comments that might be here. I'm at work and my access to the internet is whenever I can sneak on for a few minutes.

I miss y'all. Hope to be back real soonly. (Yeah, I know, I've said that before...)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:51 PM | Comments (2)

June 21, 2004

Just an update...

Whelp, I've been exploring the inermost guts of my computer in an effort to fix/restore whatever's been made f'koktah, and everything I've tried so far has progressively made matters even worse.

I even installed AOL -- which comes with IE 6.0 already on the CD -- and it STILL can't fix it.

Looks like I'm gonna hafta reinstall Windows 98 all over again... as soon as Lawruh can figure out which version of 98 she installed in the first place. Looks like I may finally be back online by about Thursday or Friday evening. YAY!!!

(And I've so-o-o-o many stories to tell about the past three weeks!)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:55 PM | Comments (5)

June 14, 2004

My Bloggin' Blackout Continues

Whelp, I still can't get online from home. I'm not sure if it's a Juno problem or a Windows/IE problem.

The browser error message tells me to go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Settings, etc, but when I click on Internet Options I get the message: "This action cancelled due to restrictions on your computer. Contact your system administrator..."

I tried to make adjustments using my original boot disk, but all I get is "A:\ is inaccessible. Device is not ready." WTF?!!!

I'll keep working on it. Hopefully I'll be back online sometime this week. I can't even get my email and I hate to think of all those nifty Nigerian offers of riches and uranium going undeleted.
I miss all you guys and gals and blogs!!

This sux.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2004

Evil Adware

The Drudge Report had a link last night to an item about some photoshopped photos of Stepford Wives versions of Hillary Clinton and Condi Rice that showed up in the TV ad for the new movie. But it was a very small photo and I couldn't be sure if the faces were really Condi and Hillary, so I downloaded the image into my documents.

Big mistake.

Suddenly everything was crawling at a snail's pace and I was eventually knocked off-line. I checked the task manager and there were about ten programs dumped onto my hard drive. I ended them and tried to get on-line again, but my Juno icon didn't work. After a bit of clean-up of the C drive I was able to get on-line again and get the spywareguide X-Cleaner to remove a bunch of adware/spyware programs.

Then it recommended that I reboot, so I did. But I couldn't get back on-line again! Perhaps one of the adware programs had latched onto something in Juno and when it was removed it took a part of Juno with it...?

Anywho, My friend Lawruh is going to download the Juno software for me, but I'm off-line until I can re-install Juno - hopefully tomorrow night. (I'm posting this from work.)

I suppose it's no biggie that I wont have a post up for a few days 'cause that ain't so unusual. I just hate that I wont be able to surf around and read and leave comments on everybody else's blogs. :(

Oh, well. So long, for now. I'll be makin' the rounds again soonly! :)

Posted by Tuning Spork at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2004

Some thoughts on the Old Man (A day late but hopefully not a dollar short)

(I wrote this over in the Comments at Rae's and copy/pasted it over t' hyar - and cleaned up some o' the typos in the process, mheh.)

I remember it well.

In the '70s there was massive inflation and, by '78, it was all anyone talked about. The price of everything from gasoline to milk to bread to utilities, everything, were going up at rates of 8%, 10%, 12% per year!

The idealism of the '60s / early '70s had given way to an unfocused, bland society trying to dance to disco all night while just hoping that, if we ignore them, the Soviet Union would just go away.

Detente was a sham. In late '79 the USSR invaded Afghanistan and President Carter realised that he had to make foreign policy a focus. He threatened military force - while reinstituting registration for Selective Service (the draft) - in an effort to keep the Soviets from moving into Pakistan and to the Arabian Sea.

The gas lines, the Three Mile Island near-disaster and the failure and destruction of SkyLab all happened within a very short time in the spring of '79.

The Shah of Iran was overthrown by Islamist fundamentalists and, by the fall, 52 Americans were being held hostage.

Everything was a mess and the state of the Union was perfectly described (by Hamilton Jordan, I believe) as a "national malaise".

Then, in the spring of '80, there was a rescue attempt and several service men and two helicopters were lost in the desert of Iran.

We just smacked our collective palm into our forehead shouting "Can't we do anything right anymore?!"
The doubt was palpable, stifling, almost paralyzing when it came to looking for an optimistic outlook on the near future.

You looked to President Carter and all you could see was trouble. He seemed to have aged 15 years in 4. We must be in deep trouble; just look at this man's face.

Then Reagan showed up.

Maybe we didn't hear a lot of specifics; just a bunch of talk about getting government off our backs, standing up to tyrants, getting the economy moving again. But, he exuded confidence, courage and optimism about the near future.
All we had to do was reduce the size and scope of government's influence on our lives and the economy; then just restore our belief in ourselves and our values and, by golly, everything will turn up roses.
As if saying it would make it so.

We'd seen what a Carter presidency looked like and weren't too thrilled at the prospect of more of the same. So, we held our breath and took a chance on Reagan.

The crackdown on the Solidarity labor union movement in Poland, in December '81, showed us again just what the Soviet Union represented. Government control over the people and their productivity.

To believe that offering a man only what he needs will inspire him to produce according to his ability is a fantasy that everyone living under such a system can attest to. Reagan didn't need to live under Communism to understand it because he instinctively knew that freedom is the natural state of man, and government's function is to serve the People.

"That, to secure these Rights, governments are instituted among men deriving their just Powers from the consent of the Governed."
--the Declaration of Independence

It was after the institution of martial law in Poland that Reagan said that the Soviet Union was "the focus of evil in the modern world" and he. was. right.

Reagan then said that "we will not defeat Communism, we will transcend it." By that he meant that, by persistently shining light into the dark nooks and crannies of just what Communism was and what it did to people, it will lose it's mask and even the Soviet leaders will finally have to come to grips with what they've done to the spirit of their people.

He called the USSR "evil" -- several times -- and never backed down from that. He explained what he meant so clearly that, eventually, the leaders of the Kremlin began to understand it themselves.

After making the case for years that economic opportunity and the competition of free markets is the way to prosperity, the rhetorical killer blow came in June, 1987 at Brandenburg Gate.

"There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, OPEN this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

And it was done, and seemingly sooner than anyone thought it could happen. Except for maybe Ronald Reagan.

"The wall cannot withstand the Truth; it cannot withstand Freedom" he said that day. And that's why he repeated himself over and over.

He knew that the Soviet Union could not withstand an arms race. That's why he invited one.

Now millions in Eastern Europe are free because detente, appeasement, appologism, all took a back seat to visionary ideas, bold words and decisive action in the 1980s.

Even when his own advisors and cabinet members tried to get him to tone it down, he pushed it forward anyway.
It was often in their good judgement that if he'd just act more cautiously, more carefully, and speak more diplomaticly, he could do more for the cause of peace and freedom than he could do by challenging, so openly, the very justifications of Communism.

Ronald Reagan's judgement was better.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:09 PM | Comments (5)

June 05, 2004

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

Reagan Red Shirt.jpg

"I ask you not simply to "Trust me," but to trust your values -- our values -- and to hold me responsible for living up to them."

"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."

" Let us beware that while they [Soviet rulers] preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination over all the peoples of the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.... I urge you to beware the temptation ... to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil."

"It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it."

"[N]o arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."

"They tell us they have done the most that humanly could be done. They say that the United States has had its day in the sun; that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems; that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities.
My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view. The American people, the most generous on earth, who created the highest standard of living, are not going to accept the notion that we can only make a better world for others by moving backwards ourselves. Those who believe we can have no business leading the nation."

"We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free."
--Normandy, France June 6th, 1984

[This last quote is not a famous one. I remembered it from his speech at the Republican Convention in 1992 and it took a little while to find]:

"But just as we have led the crusade for democracy beyond our shores, we have a great task to do together in our own home. Now, I would appeal to you to invigorate democracy in your own neighborhoods.

Whether we come from poverty or wealth; whether we are Afro-American or Irish-American; Christian or Jewish, from big cities or small towns, we are all equal in the eyes of God. But as Americans that is not enough. We must be equal in the eyes of each other."

Posted by Tuning Spork at 04:56 PM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2004

Yes, Virginia; There Is A Free Expression Clause

Here's an AP item about some wacky officials at Virginia's Falmouth Waterfront Park telling a Baptist pastor who was performing baptisms in the river to get off our property. Yes, it's a public park.

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) -- The Rev. Todd Pyle thought it was the perfect spot to baptize 12 new members of his church. The river was calm and shallow, and there was a shaded area offshore for people to stand.

"It was a very serene place," he said. "It was special."

But officials at the Falmouth Waterfront Park, a public park just outside Fredericksburg, weren't pleased. They tried to break up the ceremony, claiming it might be offensive to nearby swimmers or other people using the park. Pyle was able to finish the baptism, but then he was asked to leave.

Yes, friends, we thought that the Soviet Union was gone, but it's ever so slowly regenerating right here at home. Any day now someone is going to sue to ban any and all religious expression from public property. I used to say that and it sounded like a joke.
The incident has outraged free-speech advocates.

"These people are being discriminated against because of the content of their speech," said the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, who heads the Christian Defense Coalition. "It's one of the most egregious violations of the First Amendment I have ever seen."

Mahoney's group has threatened to file a lawsuit if the park refuses to allow future gatherings by religious groups, something for which the park admits it has no written policy.

Who needs a written policy when we've got Bolsheviks in charge? But there is a written policy; it's called the Constitution.
Pyle said he chose to hold an outdoor baptism, still common in parts of the South, because his Cornerstone Baptist Church in Stafford lacks an indoor baptismal pool. He said few people seemed to notice the small congregation during the 30-minute ceremony May 23.

But park officials said religious groups seeking to perform a service in the park still need to apply for a permit or else gather under a shelter or inside.

What's the difference between being indoors or outdoors? It's still public property! This is where our Rights are supposed to be protected! It's not that it was a baptismal service, but that it was performed outside?! Pardon me, boys, but yer just makin' this up as you go along without a frickin' CLUE about what your duty is, aren't ya...?

Get this:

"We don't want to tread on anybody's First Amendment or constitutional rights," said Brian Robinson, director of the Fredericksburg-Stafford Park Authority. "What we try to discourage is anything not formally permitted that just sort of occurs spontaneously."

Drat! My head just exploded! Pardon me while I gather the pieces and duct tape them back together...

...Okay, I'm back.

"We try to discourage...anything not formally permitted". These people aren't my countrymen; they're tyrants. Pure and simple.

"It's illegal unless we specifically say it's legal." "There are no Rights, only privileges." "All authority comes from the State." This is the creed of dictators. I'd like to think that Brian Robinson merely chose his words sloppily. But, clearly, he and the Fredericksburg-Stafford Park Authority act on their belief that they alone are the Law.
If that's not clear now, just wait 'til later.
In the meantime:

John Whitehead, director of The Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville, Virginia-based civil liberties organization, said that's a clear violation of the church members' constitutional rights.

"Could a church have a picnic in the park and sing hymns? Of course they could," he said. "Parks have been forums since time immemorial to do these types of things."

And encouragingly:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia also said in a statement: "If the park rules allow people to wade and swim in the river, then they must allow baptisms in the river."

Hooray for the ACLU! Sometimes they actually do something that reminds me of why I became a member.
Robinson said the park's board has formed a special committee to examine its policy and to put it in writing.

I suggest examining Constitutional Law and writing that into your purblind policy...
If the church applies for the proper permit, he said it's "certainly possible" they would be allowed to use the river for another baptism.

Didn't you hear what the ACLU just said you Stalinist barf bag? You're a government employee; a public servant. You do only what we tell you you can do! Stop powwowing with your commie clique, put down the crack pipe and read the damn Law!
Meanwhile, Pyle said he will find another place to hold outdoor baptisms.

"We're disappointed," he said. "Every single person that was baptized thanked me afterward, saying [the river] made their experience more meaningful."

No. N-n-n-n-NO! Reverend Pyle, gather up a few other pastors and priests and have a baptismal bash and dare the Park "Authority" to do something about it! Don't run from this; you have been chosen to fight this fight!

Look at this whole cross-on-the-California-seal business. Pretty soon we'll hear some thalamicly challenged theophobe telling us that Thomas Jefferson needs to be removed from our currency because to picture Jefferson on a Government (public) note is an endorsement of his philosophy of Liberty which is anchored in his religious beliefs and therefore violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Sounds like a joke right now, doe'n't it?

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:20 PM | Comments (8)
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