The Ministry of Shadows

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It's Not Welfare When You're Rich?

Monday, Nov. 24, 2008 3:58 AM

We're back, and mostly in one piece.

Some computer-based drama this past week, as my old, trusty Dual-1GHz PowerMac went on the fritz. Took it in to the Apple Store, and the diagnosis was that one of the processors had died. Since Apple no longer use the Motorola chipset, it's not possible to repair. We've stripped the drives out so I can hook them up to a drive shoe and transfer the data off of them.

In the meantime, I set up my laptop as a desktop machine - placing it on a monitor stand for the proper height, and using the keyboard from the desktop unit. On Friday night, Apple's Software Update utility informed me there were several updates that needed downloading, and I told it to proceed. After the download, it told me the laptop needed to be restarted, and I told it to proceed.

And it promptly went tits up with a full-blown kernel panic and an inability to recognize any system software on the drive whatsoever.

Now, not being used to the shortcuts on the laptop, I had no idea how to eject the CD-ROM that was in the laptop, nor trigger a boot from a startup CD-ROM. So it's back to the Apple Store bright and early Saturday morning at 10:00 AM.

Only to find out the next appointment for their drop-in tech support is at 4:45 in the afternoon. Much grumbling as I return home, then drive back to Walnut Creek later in the day.

The solution was a straightforward reinstall of the system software. I'm thinking I need to put an emergency copy of the OS on a thumb drive or something.

I'm wondering why, exactly, we're still subscribing to the idea that the banks need an immediate bailout and the automakers aren't worthy, when both situations are rooted in poor management decisions, clueless executives who continue to enjoy lavish bonuses and perks like private jets, and, of course, threaten the economic stability of the nation if they fail. Or why it's a handout/welfare/socialism when money is given to the poor or unemployed, but capitalism when we're saddling the people with trillions in debt to keep a bunch of corrupt executives from taking a pratfall on Wall Street.

What's needed is restructuring and accountability with the bailout. And perhaps a little more deliberation, so we don't watch someone like Henry Paulson piss away $350 billion before admitting that was the wrong thing to do.

Let's hear it for traditional marriage.

I'm not disputing that a man wielding samurai swords and charging at you is a threat, but I am wondering why security guards at the Church of Scientology building carry guns.

I can see armed guards at a bank, or even a movie theater or sports stadium. But the Church of Scientology?

I imagine Anonymous will have an appropriate comment on this one.

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