The Rabid Conservative

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Archive for November 2008

In Short – Hillary’s Appointment as SecState may Violate Constitution

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Hey folks –

Here’s something to chew on while you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving turkey.

I quote Article 1 Section 6 of the US Constitution:

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office … which shall have … the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time;

Emolument – The product of employment, namely salary and/or fees

According to 5 USC Section 5303, the salary of government employees is automatically increased each year unless the President deems it’s inappropriate to do so. This includes the pay for the Secretary of State. Since salary (emolument) is automatically increased during the term of Senator Clinton, she could not serve until the end of the 112th congress.

Now the Founders wanted a provision to prevent legislators from voting cushy pay increases in the executive branch should a friendly president get voted into office that might select them for that post.

However, we’re also dealing with an automatic pay increase – something that Senator Clinton didn’t specifically vote for. The constitution doesn’t read that way, but rather, says, if salaries go up for a civil while a senator is in office, that senator cannot be appointed to that position.

There were other instances where this came into play. At first, William B. Saxbe was to be appointed by Nixon to be Attorney General. Instead, the fix, called the Saxbe fix, was to decrease the salary to the level that it was before Saxbe became a Senator. Interestingly, this came into play during the Taft Administration. Later, it came into play under Carter and Bush 41.

In order for Clinton to be eligible, the Saxbe Fix would have to be applied and more than likely to pre-2006 levels, even though there’s precedent that fix would go back to pre-2000 levels when Clinton first came into office.

However, the Saxbe fix itself has one key problem: such a reparation is that an increase and offsetting decrease is still unconstitutional, even though the common interpretation that has traditionally carried the majority is that the legislative intent was that net increases are what’s important.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Have a great Thanksgiving!


Written by The Rabid Conservative

November 26, 2008 at 5:35 pm

In Short – Failure is not an Option

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Hello everyone –

Victor Davis Hansen wrote a brilliant article over an National Review. He’s captured something that has been plaguing our society for quite a while – this insistence that no one need fail anymore.

Read: Failure is Not an Option

We have this belief today that, if people fail, that it’s bad. We stopped keeping score with kids games so they can all feel like winners – rather than teaching them the principles of Vince Lombardi’s speech What it Takes to be Number One. In short, we are emasculating ourselves because we can no longer stand to feel the pain of losing, even if it encourages us to do better next time.

The other day, my kid got her very first “F”. She was distraught over it, but she came to understand that failure is not something bad – it’s something that teaches you of what NOT to do or what doesn’t work. We need success to validate and reward, but we need failure to teach.

I teach classes where students can fail if they don’t do their homework. I am easy in some regards, but if they don’t try, they fail.  Today, though, I’m in the minority of instructors, who want that positive rating, rather than really teach students.

Well, I’m keeping this short. Read and shoot me a comment or reply (remember, be respectful).


Written by The Rabid Conservative

November 22, 2008 at 10:20 pm

The Conservative Underground – Day 16

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…deep within the super-secret bunker, codenamed Zion…

During the campaigns, Barack Obama made the statements that you can’t do the same things and get the same results. Yet he’s picked back up the old Democrat playbook from the ’90’s in hopes of reversing the Bush years.

I would have been a little more optimistic had Obama gone outside of the Washington Democrat inner circle (or just Washington in general) to find people for his cabinet and key advisor cadre. Yet his current trend of selections shows that aspiration of change may be in as sharp of a decline as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (which today closed 444.99 points lower to 7552.29, the lowest it’s been since March 2003 – interestingly but unrelatedly the month the US invaded Iraq).

Here’s a quick look at the first round draft picks for Team Obama:

Rahm Emanuel – White House Chief of Staff – Emanuel was part of the Clinton White House and is not really known for being a nice guy. In fact, this guy has got a reputation for being a nasty customer. One time, he got upset at a Democrat pollster and mailed him a big dead fish. Then, during a dinner party, he started in on what he called ‘disloyal’ Democrats and started stabbing the table with his dinner knife, shouting, “Dead!”.

Emanuel got demoted during Clinton’s second term from political director to policy adviser. One time, he blasted a reporter in his office, red-faced, finger-wagging. As he let the reporter out, he said, loudly, “And, dear sir, the horse you rode in on.”

Did we forget that Emanuel was Board Director of Freddie Mac during their accounting fraud? Turns out when Freddie Mac was deceiving investors between 2000 and 2002 (SEC complaint), he, with the rest of his board, missed all the red-flags. He bailed on Freddie Mac in 2001 to run for Congress.

The New York Times and the AP *forgot* to tell us all that the guy that Obama picked to be a key part of discussions relating to the failing house and mortgage markets failed to see failures in Freddie Mac, failures that contributed significantly to the market collapse.

Hillary Clinton – Secretary of State – We all know this seasoned lib lady isn’t about changing the attitude in Washington because of what she used as campaign rhetoric during the Primaries. One wonders if this appointment is the consolation prize in exchange for her cooperation after Obama beat her out for the Democrat ticket. How one can say the things she did about Obama, not name her as the Veep candidate, and not give her something for her trouble, well, let’s say to not think so is clearly suspension of disbelief. Hillary clearly would have rained on Obama’s party in ways that only a Clinton could.

I swear, Democrats are apt to eat their own young if they don’t get what they want.

Tom Daschle – Health Secretary – This guy was ousted from his Senate seat in 2004 when John Thune handed him a defeat. He’s been hanging out in South Dakota, working for lobby firm Alston & Bird, whose clients are health care interests like CVS Caremark, the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories, and HealthSouth.

One startling thing that Daschle wrote in a book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis” which is no less scary than his time as Senate Minority Leader, “The next president should act immediately to capitalize on the goodwill that greets any incoming administration. If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it…this issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”

So Daschle is willing to put the brakes on the federal budget if he doesn’t get his health-care plan, which is what we, as conservatives really see as bad news, European-style socialized medicine that puts government bureaucrats in charge of personal health decisions and government forms by the ton to get a physical. I guess this is all part of the unwritten right to health care that the Founding Fathers failed to put in the constitution. It should have been written, Right to Life (only if you aren’t a fetus), Liberty (as long as you do what we want), and pursuit of happiness (so long as it doesn’t involve serving God publically)…and health care too!

Well, perhaps that provision is a good thing – because if the Government can’t pass the budget, it shuts down, which might be good considering the orgy of spending and, now, bailouts, that has been going on.

Eric Holder – Attorney General – Holder was the No. 2 guy during the Clinton administration. Holder is a scary pick because he saw the pardons of Susan Rosenberg and Linda Sue Evans, part of the Weather Underground (the same group that Bill Ayers was a part of). He also oversaw the siezure of Elian Gonzales (remember the kid from Cuba?) and Marc Rich, who was indicted on charges of tax evasion and illegal trading with Iran during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Rich held up in Switzerland and stayed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. Clinton pardoned Rich. Holder made that happen.

So basically, when looking at Eric Holder, we see Janet Reno – with a big mustache. (or a bigger mustache).

So, Change We All Can Believe In begins with old faces, which means their old ideas and old rhetoric. Of course, the people who voted for Obama don’t have a clue about this – or don’t care. They just wanted to keep McCain (read: McSame) out of the center seat.

And we take one failed group of policies and replace it with another.

Hold on to your wallets, people. The libs are back in town.

Written by The Rabid Conservative

November 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Tech Mage – SpiceWorks

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Most of you know that I use this blog to rant about the pains of liberalism, but this blog is about my musings. So today, this entry is a technical post, so I’m calling it and any subsequent posts, “Tech Mage”, just in case you want to go looking for them.

Today, I’m blogging about a relatively new piece of software on the IT management scene called SpiceWorks.

Spiceworks is a utility that you can use to manage a Windows-based computer network. This tool, once installed, will scan your network and enumerate all the machines by type, show you the software that’s loaded on them, allow you to do reports of inventory, as well as do remote control activities. You can set up monitors to keep track of things, such as low hard drive space or if anti-virus gets out of date. And you can even use it to manage non-computer assets such as telephones, office equipment, even non-tech stuff like furniture, if you want. This is a good thing because you can put a dollar figure against your resources, measure depreciation, and perform proper asset management.

Spiceworks also comes with a help desk system that is a cinch to configure. Users can send me tickets via a helpdesk e-mail account and can see them worked and tracked like the big corps do it. This makes customer service pretty easy, rather than trying to track everything via e-mail.

Another cool feature is the Comparison function. Let’s say you have two identical computers, running side-by-side. One is running dog slow, the other is normal. You can have SpiceWorks do a side-by-side comparison of both computers to see differences, such as loaded software, hardware, hotfixes, or services. Using a known-good machine to check one having problems is a great way to quickly resolve issues.

I deployed SpiceWorks at my church, a network of about 90 computers and 25 or so users (Christian school as well as church) and it quickly uncovered some issues that I needed to fix, such as some errant entries in my DNS tables, as well as some faults with a few of the computers out there.

There are a couple of things I most appreciate about SpiceWorks. First, the price is right – free. Most applications of this class can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on the number of computers that require managing. For a non-profit organization, this expense can usually not justify itself, which makes SpiceWorks an attractive option to get the same type of management that the bigger corps have. Second, SpiceWorks doesn’t require an agent to be loaded on the workstation/server to be monitored. Many utilites, like Altiris or Systems Management Server from Microsoft require a small client app to properly manage the station. SpiceWorks uses passive monitoring and can manipulate the system using the Windows Management Interface (WMI). This makes it instantly effective. Last, there is a tight integration between the support community and the management console. This is nice because you can click on Ask a Question and post on the Spiceworks boards in the same vein as checking your own inventory.

How does SpiceWorks do this for free? Click-through advertising in the management console. If you are cool with looking at ads from different sponsors, such as Server Beach or HP, while managing your network, you can get the tool for free. If this annoys you, you can always buy into SpiceWorks and have the ads taken out, replaced with your corporate logo. But the SpiceWorks folks want to do what they can to keep the tool free.

SpiceWorks is pretty much positioned for the small to medium IT network. As I said before, it is doing nicely for a network of about 100 stations. I don’t know the largest networks that have been managed by SpiceWorks, but I know there are some who are in the thousands of nodes, so it might be a nice solution for a large network as well.

Have a look at it if you manage a network and see for yourself (or ask your company’s network administrator if they’ve ever heard of it.) I like it and I’m usually a pretty hard sell.

SpiceWorks Website:

Written by The Rabid Conservative

November 17, 2008 at 10:52 am

Posted in Political

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The Conservative Underground: Day 10

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If it’s not terrorism, then what is it?

I’m referring to today’s interview between Chris Cuomo of ABC and William Ayers on Good Morning America. During his interview, Bill Ayers was questioned by Chris Cuomo as to whether his activities as part of the Weather Underground are deemed acts of terrorism. Ayers said, “It’s not terrorism because it didn’t target people”.

In the ’60’s, as a Weatherman, Ayers’ and his associates planted explosive devices at the Pentagon, at the NYPD, and attempted to do so at the Capitol. Ayers is unrepentant of these acts and even on 9/11, wishes his group could have done more. In these acts, two NYPD police officers were killed as well as three Weathermen (because of their inability to use explosives). However, Ayers disagreed with Cuomo’s definition of terrorism because it didn’t involve the specific targeting of people.

So, I did some checking into the actual definitions of terrorism and noted some very interesting argument and debate as to what is terrorism and what is not. In 2005, the UN wrestled with this because of different opinions about whether it was violence directed at just people (as Ayers maintains) or if it involved the destruction of property, whether the motivation was directed at influencing a government or if it included religions or ideological reasoning, and whether the intent was to kill people or merely to frighten.

The etymology of the word, “terrorism” suggests that the intent is to frighten someone into changing behavior, with the first instances showing up in 1793 during the French Revolution. With that definition, we notice that it revolves around whether the use of violence is legitimate and legal (for example, soldiers could not be accused of terrorism if their war has legitimacy – even though that is even subjective, based on who is being tried)

Today, the definition of terrorism, as a matter of governmental policy, is mired on interpretation and reminds me of SCOTUS Justice Stewart’s 1964 opinion about pornography: “I can’t really define it, but I know it when I see it.” I’m afraid the same can be said about terrorism.

The US (which really, is whose definition is the only one that really matters since these acts occurred in the US), deems terrorism as any violent or life-threatening act that in violation of criminal law which appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce the civilian population to influence Government policy, affect gov’t conduct by mass destruction assassination or kidnapping (Title 18 USC Section 2331)

The UK and the EU agrees with this position, attempting to advance a political, religious, or ideological cause by intimidation involving serious violence against a person, serious damage to property, endangering life, or creating a serious risk.

However, while western society seems to have arrived at some basic consensus over what terror is, the rest of the world, particularly those in radical Islamic circles, have a different opinion, again, because of the legitimacy question. Radicals don’t see terrorism as such because they believe that the Quran gives them the license to commit violence, because it’s legitimate when attacking infidels.

As for me, I see that Ayers is dancing around the truth and is being intellectually dishonest (which is dubious for an academic as he is). He doesn’t want to admit what many in this country would agree to be terrorism, that, while he wholly disagreed with what was going on Vietnam, with 2,000 soldiers per month getting killed over there, that his actions were, indeed, acts of terror.

People like Bill Ayers disgust me no end. He admits that what the Weathermen did was “over the line in a political and legal sense and even in an commonsensical manner”. Yet, he does not regret anything that he did, because in his distorted view of reality, his acts of terror and demonstration were wholly legitimate.

Tell that to the NYPD officers you killed, Mr. Ayers. You’re as contemptible as they come and I can’t believe you are a citizen of this country. I’m a patriot. You’re far less.

Written by The Rabid Conservative

November 14, 2008 at 5:25 pm

The Conservative Underground: Day 8

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For today’s installment, the topic revolves around our faltering economy. But before we start, I submit this little video to make you smile.

Did you get a good laugh? I hope so! Now, onto business.

The only question I have for today: When does it stop? We’ve thrown $700 billion in unearned revenue to bail out the banking industry. AIG wants $150 billion. American Express wants $3.5 billion. The auto makers are up to, what, $50 billion? Treasury Secretary Paulson says that all but $60 billion of the $700 billion has already been committed. I guess that big ocean of cash is now more like a birdbath.

And we heard this week that Circuit City is bankrupt and closing stores and Starbucks is running into finance trouble. When does it stop? When does the government spigot of cash turn off? When does government stop interfering?

All this economic mess has one central root – government. Here’s an overview, again, of how we got into this mess, so we can see what happens when we use the arm of government to screw up the world’s greatest economy.

The Clinton Administration began with making home ownership more accessible to those who had no business owning a house and by forcing Fannie and Freddie to soften the rules, to help those less advantaged. And then, we found out that they couldn’t pay the bill (duh), but somehow, we were all told that home ownership was a right, rather than a financial privilege, as it always has been. But hey, telling the masses that they can own their own house if they just elect a Democrat to the presidency…well, hey it made for a successful campaign for Bubba.

The torch passed onto the Bush Administration, who had to deal with the dot-com bust and 9/11’s impact on the economy. From there, it took on a policy of soft-landings for every financial problem of the last eight years. Instead of spending tax money, which is the Democrat solution to these things, they borrowed against the national debt. Either way, throwing money at the problem didn’t fix the problem. What’s funny is that’s what we’re still doing!

Fannie/Freddie/Congress – This toxic relationship was one of Fannie and Freddie buying up all these bad mortgages and Congress looking the other way, even though there was warning after warning in 2004 and 2005. Congress didn’t intervene when these GSE’s went hog wild and unchecked. Notwithstanding that Congress was drunk on its own spending frenzy, this triad of “see/hear/say no evil” continued shoveling paper dollars onto a growing fire.

Of course, Wall Street kept plodding along, thinking that an infinite rise in home prices was somehow the way it was supposed to be and listening to the unholy triad of Fannie/Freddie/Congress’ lead. And after learning that they made a grave error, far later than what they should have, they ran back to Uncle Sam to save their jobs and massive bonuses, rather than taking responsibility for their ineptitude and mistakes.

If we don’t get it through our heads that every time the government gets its hands into works, it screws it up, we are in for a long long next couple years. If all of this shows anything, it reinforces what Ronald Reagan said, “Government is not the solution to the problem. Government IS the problem.”

And I just heard that, instead of the Government buying up all the bad mortgages, it’s going to buy stock in banks.

Great. That’s money that my kids will never get back.

Written by The Rabid Conservative

November 12, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Posted in Political, Underground

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The Conservative Underground: Day 7

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Well, it’s been a week since the elections and as I watch the campaign signs disappear from the roadsides, the yards, the trees, I breathe in and try to relax a little. All the stress will drive one stark-raving mad. In any case, here are my notes for today. Happy reading!

1. The anti-Prop 8 folks are still at it, doing whatever they can do to rip down Prop 8, a voter approved amendment to the constitution by saying that because it wasn’t legislature approved first, the voters had no right to vote on it.

Let me restate. Opponents are saying that, because Proposition 8 wasn’t passed by the California Assembly FIRST before going to the voters, the measure is illegal. They say that the California Constitution cannot be amended as it was without the entire legislature involved, because it would require a complete rewrite of the California Constitution.

Problem is, Article 18 of the California Constitution says that the Electors may amend the constitution by initiative. According to California Elections Code, Section 321, an Elector is any person over the age of 18 and a resident of the precinct for 15 days prior to the election.

But yet, the anti-Prop 8 people believe that the voters have no right to amend their constitution in the way that Prop 8 does and say that a half-million votes isn’t enough “majority” to amend the constitution, citing homosexuals as a constitutionally protected minority group.

Now, the definition of a minority group is a class of people that is defined by virtue of being born. For example, blacks are born with dark skin – they cannot choose to change that. Homosexuals on the other hand can choose to be gay or not, for no credible study yet has ever surfaced that traces sexual orientation back to the womb. (and I challenge anyone out there to provide a link to such findings).

As Frank Shubert, manager of the Prop 8 campaign says, “It’s a Hail Mary”.

2. Looks like the Minnesota senatorial race between Coleman and Franken is pretty ripe for election fraud. For those that aren’t watching, the incumbent, Norm Coleman is defending his seat from challenger Al Franken (yes, the same liberal hack that failed as a comedian, failed as a talk show host on Air America, and now is running for a senate seat.) The results as of Thursday are razor thin, around 730 in favor of Coleman.

However, since election day, some 500 votes have mysteriously turned up in the light of typographical errors at polling places (all of which seem to be going for Al Franken), yet, there hasn’t been a single recount yet.

Watch this one carefully, folks, because the Dems are doing everything they can to get as close to 60 seats in the Senate as possible.

3. Obama Derangement Syndrome? – One thing I want to stress is that the left’s treatment of President Bush over the last eight years has been nothing short of disgraceful. From the near disrespectful satire of Comedy Central’s “That’s My Bush” that aired in 2001 before 9/11 hit, to all the “Bush Lied People Died” bumper stickers, and the “He’s not my president” rancor, the left wing should be very ashamed for its treatment of our sitting president.

George Bush didn’t do everything right in my opinion either. The medicare drug thing, the Dubai ports deal…sheesh..those where huge gaffes. But he did do a great work pulling the country through the last eight years and we all, left or right, should honor him for that.

Obama, in January, will be my president too. And I will honor him as my president, with my prayer as well as my support. I will oppose him where I see his policy as wrong and won’t do it with insulting bumper stickers or statements about how much I hate the man. Conservatives need to not validate the left’s treatment of President Bush by mistreating President Obama when he gets into office.

I’ve received some ugly comments from (not surprisingly) liberals who can’t form cogent opinions, but rather, use their freedom of speech to spill out hateful rhetoric, calling me a Bible-thumping homophobe or other insults. It’s amazing that, even when they win, liberals still spout out hate.

Since my blog is moderated by me, comments that insult me, my parentage, my pets, or my God will never see the light of day. You might as well not even waste yours or my time.

Now to those that have a differing opinion, who can disagree without being disagreeable or even a concurring opinion: I’m cool if you want to provide a comment that’s respectful and insightful, that represents clear thinking and respectful engagement of the issues. If you show respect and intellectual honesty in your comments, I’ll approve them.

We don’t have room in the marketplace of ideas for rotten produce, no matter which way it goes.

From deep within the bunker,


Written by The Rabid Conservative

November 11, 2008 at 11:27 am

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