Sunday, December 31, 2006

Death By Government

A Review..

Professor Rummel's work, Death By Government, is a product of eight years of research into the roots and causes of Democide - defined as the intentional killing by governments through genocide, politicide, and arbitrary mass murder of its people. The cornerstones of current U.S foreign policy - centered around fostering democratic freedom - are based upon Professor Rummel's correct observation, that liberal democracies promote the greater peace and they are essential to eliminating Democide and ending wars between nations. Through empirical research the evident truths become exposed and the reader is left with the overall understanding that absolute power corrupts and leads to the murder of a governments' people and that only through restricting and checking power can these horrors be restrained. Democracies virtually never make war on each other and the more democratic two governments, the less the likelihood of violence between them. So not only is democracy a solution to domestic democide, but globalizing democracy is also a solution to war. The existence and spread of liberal democracies (not just electoral democracies, but liberal democracies in terms of civil and political rights and liberties) provides the long run hope for the elimination of democide and war. Professor Rummel astutely notes that power's relationship to democide is on a continuum - the more absolute the power, the more democide. The problem is Power. The solution is democracy. The course of action is to foster freedom.

That America actively supports dictatorships is well-known. I wonder if this book includes genocide of Native Indians.

Aid to Dependent Dictators

Capitalism is the most powerful economic force ever developed. The exponential economic growth made possible by private property rights and free trade is the basis for the existence of the modern world. This is no secret; even the Communist Party of China includes "businessmen," i.e. capitalists, as one of the four pillars of the Party.

So why are so few nations even nominally capitalist? Largely because of America's biggest welfare program: Aid to Dependent Dictators. Since World War II, US foreign aid has systematically subsidized parasitic governing "elites," from the nomenclatura of the Warsaw Pact to the kleptocrats of Africa; even the rulers of the "Axis of Evil."

The Roman Empire extracted tribute from its subject provinces, leaving Roman citizens with a lighter tax burden (at first, anyway). The US Empire instead taxes its own citizens to pay tribute to foreign ruling classes. This may be counterintuitive, but it is a highly effective Imperial stratagem. By subsidizing socialist regimes, Rome-On-The-Potomac prevents the development of competing capitalist centers elsewhere. A tiny expenditure each year to prop up a dictator can prevent the emergence of a multitrillion-dollar economy. What if every poor nation in the world had taken the route of 20th century Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan… or for that matter, the 19th century United States? How much power would State Department proconsuls have if every nation on Earth were rich?

Manifest Technology

This Manifest Technology Web site is designed to help you make sense of computer and consumer electronics technology. It's for people who are interested in actually using some of this cool new stuff, but would like help figuring it out.

Instead of providing product reviews or exhaustive feature comparisons of specific versions, the focus here is on providing the overall context and information you need to help make sense of what's available, and to understand whether it might be of use to you. Read the articles, check out the links, and enjoy!

This site contains over 200 articles, presentations, and references, all freely available for personal use.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Holocaust denial

Let me clarify my position: I'm in no way a Holocaust denier. I'm part Jewish, and my family was crippled by the Holocaust.

However, I also know quite a number of survivors. And their accounts amounted to about the same thing - yes, the conditions in the camps were horrifying. Yes, people were dying like flies. Yes, there were crematoriums (what else can you do with dead bodies?) Yes, there were frequent mass executions, and daily individual ones. However, the majority still died of natural causes (hunger and disease). The camps simply did not have the logistics to keep these numbers of people alive, especially towards the end of the war, when the German population itself was hungry.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Religious support for slavery

If you were really a Rabi, you would know that God, Himself, told the Jews it was OK to own slaves as long as the slaves were not the children of Israel. Heathens and foreigners may be kept as slaves and their children bought and sold as property. God also allows you to beat your slaves as long as they don't die from the injuries. The book of Exodus commands slaves to submit to their masters regardless of their treatment.

You can read it for yourself in any Torah or Bible. It's in the book of Leviticus--the same book where God sets the Kosher laws, denounces homosexuality, severely limits who is worthy of entering His temple, and demands you sacrifice sheep to atone for your sins. Our Founding Fathers used those passages to justify writing slavery into the Constitution.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

VMWare AMD Dual-Core issues

VMWare complains...

"Your host's BIOS does not have valid NUMA information. Please update the host's BIOS or associate the virtual machine with the processors in a single NUMA code (CEC). Please read VMWare Knowledge Base articles 928 and 1236."

Motherboard is ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe.

Installed AMD Dual-Core Optimizer and AMD Athlon™ 64/FX Processor Driver for Windows XP. Will disable Cool n Quiet in BIOS now as suggested by xilog.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Dilbert Principle

The Dilbert Principle refers to a 1990s satirical observation stating that companies tend to systematically promote their least-competent employees to management, in order to limit the amount of damage that they're capable of doing.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

MySQL Backup strategies

Mini Rant: I never gave much thought to backing up my database, and I suspect you haven’t given much thought to it, either. You think it won’t happen to you, but believe me, when something does happen it can do more than ruin your day. If you don’t have a backup, you can lose days, months, or even years of hard work. You can’t trust your host, no matter how good they are. And you can’t ignore the possibility of “pilot error.” Just yesterday, I was making some corrections and in my haste clicked the wrong button, erasing two days of work since my last manual backup and losing several new entries. Now that I’ve figured out how to automate my backups, all I can say is: Have a backup plan!

How to Find a Web Host That Doesn’t Suck

Google I’d start by searching Google for comments about your potential host. Also, try “[your potential host] sucks” (don’t forget the quotes). Consider these results for example:

Upstart Blogger is currently hosted by AN Hosting, so let’s start with them. Google search for “AN Hosting Sucks”: No results.

Since AN Hosting is owned by Midphase , let’s do a search for Midphase. Google search for “Midphase Sucks”: About 38 results.

Before AN Hosting, I was with Hosting ZOOM. Google search for “Hosting Zoom Sucks”: Two results, both because of me.

Before Hosting Zoom, I was with DreamHost. Google search for “DreamHost Sucks”: About 24,200 results (I contributed a few).

Now, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, as Carl Sagan said. The lack of Google results for your potential host may not be an indication of anything. But a multitude of “[your host] sucks” results should be a red flag.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Picture of the year

Thanks to Venkat.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lal Bihari - considerable posthumous activities

Lal Bihari (or Lal Bihari Mritak) (born 1961) is a farmer from Uttar Pradesh, India who was officially dead from 1976 to 1994. He founded Mritak Sangh or the Association of the Dead in Uttar Pradesh, India. He fought Indian government bureaucracy for 18 years to prove that he is alive.

When Lal Bihari tried to apply for a bank loan in 1976, he found out that he was officially dead. His uncle had bribed a government official to register him as dead so he would get the ownership of Bihari's land.

Bihari discovered at least 100 other people in a similar situation, being officially dead. He formed Mritak Sangh in the Azamgarh district. He and many other members were in danger of being killed by those who had appropriated their property. Nowadays the association has over 20,000 members all over India. By 2004 they had managed to declare four of their members alive.

Over the years Bihari tried to attract attention to his situation by various means. He organized his own funeral and demanded widow's compensation for his wife. In 1980 he added the word "mritak" ("dead") to his name and signed his letters "late Lal Bihari". He stood for election against Rajiv Gandhi in 1989 and lost, to prove that he is alive. In 1994 he managed to have his official death annulled after a long legal struggle.

In 2004 he ran for a seat in the parliament of Lal Ganj.

Bihari continues to support other people in similar situations. In 2004 he sponsored fellow Mritak Sangh member Shivdutt Yadav when he contested election against Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Film-maker Satish Kaushik will be making a movie about his life, death, and life. Bihari was awarded the Ig Nobel Peace Award in 2003 for his considerable "posthumous" activities.

The Conquest of the United States by Spain

There is not a civilized nation which does not talk about its civilizing mission just as grandly as we do. The English, who really have more to boast of in this respect than anybody else, talk least about it, but the Phariseeism with which they correct and instruct other people has made them hated all over the globe. The French believe themselves the guardians of the highest and purest culture, and that the eyes of all mankind are fixed on Paris, whence they expect oracles of thought and taste. The Germans regard themselves as charged with a mission, especially to us Americans, to save us from egoism and materialism. The Russians, in their books and newspapers, talk about the civilizing mission of Russia in language that might be translated from some of the finest paragraphs in our imperialistic newspapers. The first principle of Mohammedanism is that we Christians are dogs and infidels, fit only to be enslaved or butchered by Moslems. It is a corollary that wherever Mohammedanism extends it carries, in the belief of its votaries, the highest blessings, and that the whole human race would be enormously elevated if Mohammedanism should supplant Christianity everywhere. To come, last, to Spain, the Spaniards have, for centuries, considered themselves the most zealous and self-sacrificing Christians, especially charged by the Almighty, on this account, to spread true religion and civilization over the globe. They think themselves free and noble, leaders in refinement and the sentiments of personal honor, and they despise us as sordid money-grabbers and heretics. I could bring you passages from peninsular authors of the first rank about the grand rule of Spain and Portugal in spreading freedom and truth.

We assume that what we like and practice, and what we think better, must come as a welcome blessing to Spanish-Americans and Filipinos. This is grossly and obviously untrue. They hate our ways. They are hostile to our ideas. Our religion, language, institutions, and manners offend them. They like their own ways, and if we appear amongst them as rulers, there will be social discord in all the great departments of social interest. The most important thing which we shall inherit from the Spaniards will be the task of suppressing rebellions. If the United States takes out of the hands of Spain her mission, on the ground that Spain is not executing it well, and if this nation in its turn attempts to be school-mistress to others, it will shrivel up into the same vanity and self-conceit of which Spain now presents an example.


79% of Indians below Poverty Line

New Delhi, Feb 22: Terming the Indian official poverty line outdated, a think tank here has called for "realistic" figures and said it should be pegged at a per capita expenditure of Rs.840 ($19) a month.

"The realistic poverty line that we propose along with these access parameters will provide a real, more inclusive and clear picture of poverty in India," said the Centre for Policy Alternatives in a study titled "Redefining Poverty".

According to the study's authors, Mohan Guruswamy and Ronald Joseph Abrahama, the existing poverty line based on intake of calories is not the right way to go about defining how poor people are.

As of December 2005, the poverty lines after adjusting for inflation were Rs.368 and Rs.559 per person respectively for rural and urban areas.

"These official poverty lines in India are, however, woefully unsatisfactory and should be renamed 'starvation lines'.

"This is because apart from factoring around 650 grams of foodgrains every day, this line makes very little provision for the other essentials of life."

Saying a true definition of poverty should include all the basic needs of human life with a modest modicum of quality, it said a person should be deemed poor in India if he or she has a monthly per capita expenditure less than Rs.840 or does not have access to drinking water, proper shelter, sanitation, quality secondary education or an all-weather road with public transport.

The Rs.840 is made up of minimum costs for nutrition (Rs.573), health (Rs.30), clothing (Rs.17), energy consumption (Rs.55) and miscellaneous expenditure (Rs.164).

"The Indian state needs to revisit its concept of poverty," the study said.

"The present unrealistically low poverty line only serves the purpose of making the government and its development efforts - or the lack of it - look good.

"If the state is as committed to the task of ridding the country from the ills of poverty as it claims, it should start by redefining the current poverty line. This will ensure that the government gets its priorities straight and is able to target policy effectively.

"This calls for a paradigm shift in the sphere of development policy in this country," the study said. "A shift that is imperative if we truly wish for a New India."

The study warned that even the poverty line of Rs.840 a month "only partially reveals the true state of poverty in India.

"A person spending more than Rs.840 per month does not necessarily have access to all the fundamental needs of life."

But at the suggested expenditure level, nearly 79 percent of India's current total population would be below the poverty line, the study said.

This "is over two-and-a-half times the present official poverty rate of 26.1 percent. "The situation in rural India is much worse with over 84 percent of the rural populace below this more realistic poverty line."

The study gave some grim reminders about Indian poverty: 37.7 percent of Indian households do not have access to a nearby water source; 49 percent do not have a proper shelter; 69.5 percent do not have access to suitable toilets; 85.2 percent of Indian villages do not have a secondary school; and 43 percent of the villages do not have an all-weather road connecting them.

The study also said that the poverty line should be updated every five years.

"The aim ... is to define poverty in India in a manner that visualizes it in more human and humane terms rather than the animal life levels of the present definition."

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Believers vs Non-believers

What do the data say?

I have seen no evidence that nonbelievers commit crimes or other antisocial acts in greater proportion than believers. Indeed, some studies indicate the opposite. Six of the seven states with the highest crime rates are in the Bible Belt. Fifty percent of the prison population are Catholics. Atheists comprise about 0.2 percent. A child's risk of sexual abuse by a family member increases as the family's religious denomination becomes more conservative, that is, when the teachings of scriptures and other doctrines are taken more literally. Similarly, the probability of wife abuse increases with the rigidity of a church's teachings pertaining to the gender roles and hierarchy.

Do our values stem from god? - V. Stenger

It's all OK if you are a Christian

Our country, with the approval and encouragement of George W. Bush, has been carrying out a program of religious indoctrination and the unconstitutional endorsement of evangelical Christianity. Federal money has been funneled into "faith-based" programs that make religious dogmatists prosper, and have no other actual, real-world value. The clearest examples are the prisons, where con artists like Chuck Colson have been engaged in a kind of ministry that is actually religious extortion and bribery.

Chase card change in terms


This Change in Terms notice contains the details of upcoming changes to your Cardmember Agreement (“agreement”). These changes will be effective the first day of your billing cycle that includes January 1, 2007. They will apply to current and future balances on your account. Please read this notice carefully. If you have questions about it, please contact us at the number on the back of your card.

Summary of Changes:

In calculating finance charges, the date when transactions are added to your daily balances and begin to accrue periodic finance charges will
be as early as the transaction date

The change described in this notice will apply to your account automatically. If you were previously notified of the change described in this notice and it is already in effect on your account, it will continue to apply. Any other terms on your account not described in this notice also continue to apply.

Again, please read the enclosed information, and keep this notice for your records.


Please note that some terms in your agreement or any amendment may appear with initial capital letters or all lower case letters. Such terms have the same meaning. For example, “Account” means the same as “account”.

If you have any questions about these amendments, please call us at the number on the back of your card.

The following changes will apply automatically:

FINANCE CHARGE CALCULATION. The "Periodic Finance Charge Calculation" or "Finance Charge Calculation" section of your Agreement is amended to replace, in the portion that explains how we calculate the daily balance for each transaction category or feature, the sentence(s) that describes when new transactions are added to the daily balances and begin to accrue finance charges. The revised terms are as follows:

We add a new purchase, cash advance, balance transfer or overdraft advance, if applicable, to the daily balance as of the transaction date, or a later date of our choice. We add a new cash advance check or balance transfer check to the daily balance as of the date the cash advance check or balance transfer check is deposited by a payee, or a later date of our choice.

GRACE PERIOD. The "Grace Period" or "Grace Period and Accrual of Finance Charges” section of your Agreement is amended to replace the sentence that describes when periodic finance charges begin to accrue on transactions, fees and other finances charges. The revised sentence is as follows:

We accrue periodic finance charges on a transaction, fee, or finance charge from the date it is added to your daily balance until payment in full is received on your account.

ADV2931 11/06

Sharp XR-10X DLP XGA 2000 Lumens Projector

I used to own the (NEC VT47 Digital Video Projector) and this one blows it out of the water. This is the best projector for the price. Our local tweeter store had a display set up for a 6000 dollar projector and friends, mine is just as good. After my other one bit the dust, thanks to Alabama Powers flipping the electricity on and off and not replacing it when I nicely pointed out that they had killed it... still a sore spot... I waited about six months before I got a new one. I have been studying and demo-ing projectors for years: Prices, resolution (the horizontal and vertical lines that make up the detail) and the lumens (The brightness of the bulb... Typically in a dark room 1300-1500 is plenty) all the specs.

Pricegrabber Sharp

Friday, December 08, 2006

D-Link DGL-4300 802.11g Gaming Router

D-Link’s GamerLounge introduces the Wireless Gaming Router. In addition to high-powered wireless performance and Gigabit LAN ports, this router features GameFuel Priority technology specifically designed to provide a seamless user experience for bandwidth-intense applications like online gaming, multimedia streaming, and Voice over IP (VoIP) applications. GameFuel Priority features a custom traffic routing engine, which automatically prioritizes and intelligently manages these bandwidth-sensitive applications. Stay competitive in your game and still have enough available bandwidth to make VoIP calls and enjoy your audio and video streams.

I was looking for Gigabit LAN and wireless in one. Looks like this works. A bit pricey, but it looks sexy.

Uniden TRU9485-2 Expandable Cordless System

This will allow me to talk to a whole lot of people at the same time. The next question I had was, can I use a whole lot of these at once? It looks like I can. Metafilter provided the answer.

Can two separate 5.8GHz cordless phones co-exist in a home?

I've got a Uniden 5.8GHz cordless phone set that I use for business on a VoIP line and I want to get another cordless set (with digital answering machine) for my home land line.

Because I have an 802.11b/g network I don't want it to be 2.4GHz (or 900MHz) so the second phone set would also be 5.8GHz (probably the AT&T 5840).

And the answers ...

Uniden's phones are frequency-hopping spread-spectrum, and two different systems should automatically stay out of each other's way. A FHSS phone 2.4 GHz phone will also stay out of the way of a WiFi network -- I use a Panasonic 2.4 GHz phone and it works fine with my WiFi. But I'm looking to upgrade to a 5.8 GHz system eventually anyway, because that's where all the cool new features are coming out.
Being pedantic, no they don't. They stay out of each other's way by pure chance by constantly changing frequencies at random. They do occasionally collide, but only for a fraction of a second until they next hop to new frequencies.


VMware Server on Debian

VMware has just released version 1.0 of its free VMware Server. With VMware Server you can create and run guest operating systems ("virtual machines") such as Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, etc. under a host operating system. This has the benefit that you can run multiple operating systems on the same hardware which saves a lot of money, and you can move virtual machines from one VMware Server to the next one (or to a system that has the VMware Player which is also free). In this article we use Debian Sarge (3.1) as the host operating system.

Outsourcing ..

Most of us heard about elance. Here are some more:, along similar lines.

And online tutoring sites seem to be booming, take a look at

Expect to see a whole lot along these lines. First boom, then consolidation.

Magic in the Metro

With 8 million people passing through each day, Moscow's metro system is the busiest in the world. It's also one of most of the beautiful.

Built during Stalin's rule, the stations are known as "the people's palaces" for their elegant design and lavish use of marble, mosaics, sculptures, and even chandeliers. The intricate mosaics lining Kievskaya station, the stained-glass panels at the Novoslobodskaya stop, and the gold-trimmed white porcelain caverns at Prospekt Mira are more museum than metro.

We have developed the world's first online community that gets dissatisfied cell phone customers out of their service contract. provides this service through an incentive based system that connects millions of cellular customers nationwide that want to Get Out with those that want to Get In.

X-Windows Editor - NEdit


As the global data warehouse appliance leader, Netezza is transforming the way customers use business intelligence. For Orange UK, the Netezza Performance Server® data warehouse appliance reduced BI data latency from eight weeks to two days, enabled more effective fraud prevention and cross-carrier billing and reduced the number of cabinets in the data center from 26 to nine.


Storewiz, Inc. is the provider of a unique real time storage compression solution that dramatically boost the available storage space in all customer environments.

Storewiz enables organizations to maximize their current and future investment in their storage infrastructure and at the same time reduce their operations and management costs.

The solution, based on a high performance appliance that requires no network changes to an existing environment, provides transparent, real time compression.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Last of the Mohicans

(to Sachem)
Huron serve no one. The French father
believes he fooled Magua because he is so
proud of his cleverness, he is blind. But it
is the Huron path that Magua walks down,
not the French one ... Now, Les Francais,
also, fear Huron. That is good. When the
Huron is strong from their fear, we will make
the terms of trade with Les Francais. And we
will trade as the white man trades. Take land
from the Abnakes; fur from the Osage, Sauk
& Fox. And make the Huron great. Over
other tribes. No less than the whites, as strong
as the whites.

Hawkeye appears to be losing his debate with Magua.

(to Sachem)
Magua would use the ways of Les Francais
and the Yengeese ...

(to Sachem)
The red man put down the bow, picked up
the fire stick and became the best warrior
in the forest. Yes. It is the only way.

Would the Huron make his Algonquin brothers
foolish with brandy and steal his lands to sell
them for gold to the white man? Would the
Huron have greed for more land than a man
can use? Like Francais Black Robes do?
Would Huron kill tribes with disease? Would
the Huron fool Seneca into taking all the
animals in the forest for beads & brandy? But
sell the fur to the white man for gold? ...
(to Sachem)
Those are the ways of Yengeese and Les
Francais masters. Are they the ways of Huron
men who hunt & work the land? Or of dogs?
... Magua's heart is twisted. He would make
himself into what twisted him. A Dog, become
Master of Dogs. But are Hurons dogs?
... Magua's way is false. It is like the white
sickness. Magua's way will bring only sadness
and shame. Is there another way? I don't know.
I am Nathaniel of the Yengeese; Hawkeye,
adopted son of Chingachgook, of the Mohican
people ... Let the children of the dead Munro go
free ... I speak the truth.

Monday, December 04, 2006


One always gets a feeling that IITians make much noise about nothing. Consider PanIIT 2006. Curious, I visited their website. After a lil bit of poking around, got to the question:

What is the outcome of previous such events?

Some *sonorous* words were used, such as PiFOCI, PiFORT, Knowledge Initiative and such..

Based on the theme selected for each of the event, projects and initiatives are taken up by PanIIT. Currently, PanIIT India is running following programmes:

* Knowledge Initiative

Details of these projects can be seen under the section on PanIIT India.

I was almost happy, that there was something *good* going on behind the narcissistic, incestuous, we-pat-our-own-backs IITians. Alas, that was not to be! I got an ERROR 404 - Server not found. Such is life! Tchah!

Speech of Seattle

Our good father in Washington--for I presume he is now our father as well as yours, since King George has moved his boundaries further north--our great and good father, I say, sends us word that if we do as he desires he will protect us. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of strength, and his wonderful ships of war will fill our harbors, so that our ancient enemies far to the northward -- the Haidas and Tsimshians -- will cease to frighten our women, children, and old men. Then in reality he will be our father and we his children. But can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine! He folds his strong protecting arms lovingly about the paleface and leads him by the hand as a father leads an infant son. But, He has forsaken His Red children, if they really are His. Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us. Your God makes your people wax stronger every day. Soon they will fill all the land. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. The white man's God cannot love our people or He would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help. How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness? If we have a common Heavenly Father He must be partial, for He came to His paleface children. We never saw Him. He gave you laws but had no word for His red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. No; we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in common between us.

To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget. The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors -- the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.