The Bailout Plan…

Here is the link to the text draft (NY Times).  Not even remotely related to Linux, but unbelievably important to all Americans.  Scared yet?  Stop these clowns – let them know this is nuts.  As one commentator on CNN put it, SecTreas is only asking that you make him king, and go away.

Text of Draft Proposal for Bailout Plan

Some other links that popped up in Google:

Dissecting the Bailout Plan

Paulson Plan a Historic Swindle

Five Dangerous, Disasterous Things about the Proposed Bailout and What You Can Do to Help Stop it

Student, car debt quietly added to bailout plan

700 Billion….

An interesting letter a friend provided me…

If you want to pipe in here are some phone numbers:

John McCain:  Main 202.224.2235, FAX 202.228.2862

Gabrielle Giffords:  Main 202.225.2542, FAX 202.225.0378

Jon Kyl: Main 202.224.4521, FAX 202.224.2207


TO:  My US Senators and US Representative

SUBJECT: $700B Bailout Plan

Dear Members of Congress:

1) I write to you to express my absolute opposition to ANY bailout of these
investment-banking firms, which, in collusion with the Federal Reserve Bank
of New York and its satellite branches, are expecting the American People to
pay for their greed and corruption. Do not give in to the usual blackmail
that characterizes the requests of these bailouts, as seen in all previous
ones: “We caused the problem but right now it is time for action, not finger
pointing; if you don’t do this, dire consequences will follow.”

2) We should not reward the blatant and reckless fraudulent activity we have
seen in the last few years. I would rather see $700B used to extend credit
DIRECTLY from the Government to honest businesses that actually produce
useful items and services (unlike investment bankers dealing on paper
assets), which would avoid the “credit collapse” these opportunists speak

3) Based on what I have read so far, the current proposal has no expenditure
ceiling, but simply a $700B limit per occurrence, giving the Treasury
Secretary (in this case Paulson, a “former” investment banker himself)
virtually unlimited discretionary power over these funds, making his
decisions not subject to review by any court of law or any administrative
agency. This is INSANE!! Going along with this ridiculous plan (i.e.,
legalized fraud proposal) will be worse than ANY possible scenario of not
doing the bailout. The dollar would simply collapse under the weight of a
National Debt that could very well DOUBLE (can you spell ‘runaway

4) We, The People, expect you to uphold your oath of office and look after
the best interests of the nation, not take part on this shameful fleecing of
the American taxpayer and raping of the nation, either by commission or
omission, and demand that the perpetrators be at the very least fired and
investigated in excruciating detail (see my attached page for ideas on where
you could begin looking). How can you even consider such a proposal devised
by the investment bankers themselves, like Secretary Paulson (former CEO of
Goldman Sachs), and the Federal Reserve Bank of NY directors like Dimon (CEO
of JP Morgan) and Fuld (CEO of Lehman Brothers)? Why would you pretend that
these men stand to win nothing from all this?




JP Morgan acquired its rival investment-banking firm Bear Stearns, thanks to
a ‘bailout’ engineered by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, with quick
approval by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York using 55 billion of the
American People’s money to facilitate this ‘purchase’.

Let us look at the background of some of the players:

Jamie Dimon, CEO and President of JP Morgan, also in the Board of Directors
of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, owner of almost 3 million shares of
JP Morgan at the time of the takeover Alan Schwartz, CEO of Bear Stearns,
rival firm to JP Morgan, no membership on any Federal Reserve boards.
Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary, also former CEO of Goldman Sachs

Bear Stearns was not brought down by a liquidity crisis as widely reported
(in fact, JP Morgan was the one having liquidity problems), but by a ‘run on
the bank’ started by rumors from a few analysts and the massive shortselling
of Bear Stearns stock.

To the casual observer it would appear that such blatant conflicts of
interest, as seen in the Bear Stearns bailout (which, in my opinion, should
be more honestly characterized as the Bear Stearns hostile takeover by JP
Morgan) would be the sort of thing found only in the movies; yet it
happened. Bear Stearns is but a minuscule event in the chain reaction that
is about to engulf us, courtesy of the greed and corruption of a few
investment banks. I blame first the Bush administration, for looking the
other way and even supporting the fleecing of the taxpayer. This $700B
bailout, like all others before it, is grossly underestimated and will end
up costing many times more!

I blame Congress second, for paying lip service to the problem but doing
nothing to demand a Department of Justice investigation, and prosecutions
where required, and for looking the other way: YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
take-over should have an army of investigators crawling all over the events
leading up to it, especially given the massive short selling that took place
in the few days prior.

I can almost hear the contempt and the arrogance in the following quote from
Fox News, 23 September 2008, of Treasury Secretary Paulson: “……”You
worry about taxpayers being on the hook?” he replied at one point. “Guess
what – they’re already on the hook.” Paulson suggested that the fallout from
the credit crisis was so dire it would hit people in their pocketbooks
unless forceful action were taken. Moreover, the flawed and outdated
regulatory system, which didn’t catch abuses, needs to be overhauled, he


Sorry, but I do not like the way this “bailout” feels.  I am sending in my letter.  You can do the same, or not, as you like.

WINE, revisited…

It has been a while since I really looked at WINE.  Quite a while, in fact.  I had dabbled with IES4Linux and hung around Frank’s Corner, checking things out.  Honestly, I haven’t had much need for Windows stuff.  I rarely play games that run on Windows, and usually have no issue finding alternatives to use on Linux.  But I did like playing my old copy of Unreal Tournament, and had last used Cedega 3.x to do so.  I had to run a long, convoluted command line with lots of switches for UT, and it would crash on occasion, but I could play and add maps and stuff.

So I tried a couple weeks ago, and spent a day avoiding WINE, attempting to get some scripts running that would pull out and build Cedega from CVS (my old downloads no longer work for one reason or another).  I didn’t feel like renewing my Transgaming subscription, since I don’t play that much.  I just wanted to see if it would work.  It did not.

So I finally just tried WINE.  Went to the System Settings, Advanced tab, Windows Applications, and installed it.  Let it take the default configs.  Fired up the UT installer.

And it worked.  Just like that.  No command line switches.   No digging through a config file.  Simple.  And this was with the 1.0 version, not the 1.1.4+ version under development.  It seems to have made a lot of progress over the last couple years – although I am not much of a Windows fan, it’s pretty impressive nonetheless how much easier it has gotten.  Now if only I can get KDE4 working on Windows for the desktop….

Nah.  I still wouldn’t be a fan.  Why not just stick with Linux?

Techie updates for the home computers…

No details on this yet, not sure there ever will be, but I got all three computers back up and running.

1.  The old Athlon PC – started life as an Athlon 750 – now it is sporting a $50 Athlon XP 1700+ overclocked to around 2 gig.  Also was able to put in an nvidia 7300 GS AGP video card ($100) with 256 MB RAM (might have the model number wrong, working from memory here).  I needed the CPU upgrade to run newer NVidia drivers, due to the lack of SSE (?) on the older CPU.     The older video card was 5200 nvidia with 128 MB RAM – it just wasn’t cutting it.  The system works very nice now, and is very stable, although it took a while with all the BIOS adjustments I had to make (including updating the BIOS to a beta version that supported the XP chip).

2.  The FX-53 – still works, not really in use.  I need to investigate a problem it has of shutting down without warning from time to time.

3.  The freebie computer – yes, the 4200+ I got off the curb.  I added in some 80 gig SATA drives I had, put in a monsxter nvidia 9800 GTX video card, and kicked the ram up to 3 gig.  Running a software RAID 0 (I will rebuild later), and got a Logitech Orbit webcam (has pan-tilt-zoom).  Works with Skype, but no PTZ.  I can control it with gucview, but not while connected to Skype.  Oh well, no biggie.  THe picture is very good.

Like I said, running off of memory, not too concerned with accuracy here for the little details.  Right now, my mind is racing with ideas on building a virtualized infrastructure at work (might even try some at home), but I did want to update the blog with some of the things I got done around the house before I forget everything.

VMworld2008 – Some personal thoughts…

I just want to add a little more about my impressions of the VMworld2008 conference in Las Vegas.  I have to say, it has been a long time since I have felt real intellectual intimidation and pressure to keep up, but I felt both in refreshingly uncomfortable quantities at this conference.  So much brain-power was actually a little unsettling, and I wondered if I would even fit in.

Luckily, I subscribe to the belief that it is better to be suspected to be a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.  I hope my disguise worked…      ^______^

I had some serious job-envy going on, too, I hafta tell ya.  While I do have a comfortable and secure career, the notion of working at a place that not just allows you to fire on all 12 cylinders, but actually demands and encourages you to spark it up to 16 – well, that definitely tickles something way down deep in the lizard part of my brain.  Salary didn’t even come into consideration…

For the time being, I’ll just have to settle for the eight or so I get to use now – I have had it worse (think two, that’s right, 2!), and I know how to be thankful.  My plan is to know a lot more about virtualization in time for next year, so maybe keeping up will just be a slightly smaller effort on my part.

It could happen…

VMworld 2008…

This was my first real convention (actually, HIMMS in 2004, but I’d rather not count it). First day was horrible. I had not registered, had not a clue what to do, and discovered that after registering, I still needed to register for each session. I didn’t even know where to do that. To add to it, I had forgotten my username and password to the vmworld site – I had tried registering about a month earlier, but the process bombed out and I never went back for a second attempt.

I was ready to go home. Sure glad I gutted it out…

That afternoon, I finally found out my username and password, then went into the Schedule Builder and pieced it together. After that, it was easy, although I had to adjust my schedule several times. I didn’t make any sessions on day one, and barely got into my first the next day, but after that I pretty much got everything I wanted. I was very impressed with most of the sessions I went to, especially the breakout sessions on advanced troubleshooting of one thing or another.

The technical highlight for me was the NAS-NFS session presented by NetApp and Virginia Credit Union. Wow. I am definitely going to give that approach a shot. The morning presentations were just as amazing, though, with the demos of some of the products VMware has in the pipeline.

The real highlight seems to have been the party Wednesday night at the Las Vegas Speedway, however. Free food and booze, fast cars, loud music, and tons of silly games bound to appeal to hordes of drunken geeks – I can’t imagine anyone not having a good time there. I know I did, and I got to meet some very interesting people as well.

The only bummer is the fact that I completely suck at slots. Naturally, this knowledge only came after extensive (expensive) and painful research…

I will definitely try to make this an annual event – it’s just too good a learning session to pass up.

Mata ne!