Friday, February 28, 2003

Well, I finished installing DSL and the new network. Hurray, I can now access the net at speeds that exceed the mind numblingly dull 36kpbs I was able to get with the modem.

It is now time to go out into sunshine.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

DSL has finally come to the Cove. I will be doing wiring and networking today to get the parent's house ready for the DSL switchover. Hopefully nothing blows up.

Of course, the install comes at a horrible time. The folks are having a dinner party on March 1st. That means that today and tomorrow get to be hectic.

I have been tempted to take a quick jaunt down to Moab for a photography session next week. But I would miss the first days of DSL.

Gosh, think of how big this blog will be when I get off this stupid modem.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

I am hoping Blogger uses PST; so I can continue this remarkable feat of an entry a day (at least for the first week).

I saw the DVD "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" which has been getting a great deal of praise. The son of a dried up english family marries into a rich greek family. Wow, if this film was made twenty years ago, it would have been derided as sexist to the core. Today it is praised. It is interesting that times change.

I recently finished reading "Bone Hunter" by Sarah Andrews. She has a fun series about a forensic geologist (Em Hansen). She is getting involved with a Mormon family in Utah. I think it is a fun series. I put up a review on the book review section of Price Helper. (This is actually a community directory for Price and Helper, Utah.

Time to press publish. I hope Blogger is on PST.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Karen Shepherd's presentation at United Nations Association of Utah was quite informative. She spoke mainly about her experience with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The EBRD was established specifically to help the former east block countries develop market economies. Karen Shepherd had positive things to say about microloans made in these nations and that the microloans had a less than 1 percent default.

Personally, I think lending to the people in a nation is far more effective than lending to the government. I would think the most positive step that the world community could make would be for the World Bank to stop making loans to governments, and start loaning to small businesses.

Apparently, one of the greatest challenges in the former Soviet Union was that the bankers did not understand basic sound banking principals, and people faltered with the lack of adequate regulations. Gosh, could this be what is holding the Internet back from truly creating wealth.

She noted that economic reforms actually did better in chaotic places like Poland that had frequent changes in government than economies with totalitarian regimes, and hinted strongly that the economic malaise in Utah might have something to do with its single party politics.

It is very interesting, it appears that the Democrats are gradually turning into the party of sound fiscal policy while the Republicans are becoming the party of unsupportable economic fantasies.
Tonight, I will attend a presentation by Karen Shepherd at the United Nations Association of Utah (UNAU). It will be interesting to hear the tales of an excongress woman. I thought she did a great job in Congress, but her campaign manager ran an extremely negative re-election campaign, which cost her her office.

As to, I wanted to write up an article on the ICC (International Criminal Court) and repeat the plea that the US take a role in the court. Unfortunately, the more and more I read about the ICC, the more I realize what a dangerous thing the ICC could be.

The item that tip my opinion against the ICC was that the document sent by the UN for ratification is different from the document agreed upon during the Rome conference. From its inception, the UN has established the precendent that the laws enforced by the ICC will be capricious.

The natural tendency of the ICC will be to increase its scope of influence. There are international forces that would like to expand the ICC to handling environmental laws...especially laws that would muzzle those gas guzzling Americans. American Indians are hoping to appeal the court cases they lost to an international court, etc.. (In my brief search on the issue, I could not find any cases where an American Indian group wanted to appeal a ruling that they won to the ICC, just the ones they lost).

The troubling problem is that the ICC will undoubtably lead to the point of a Constitutional Crisis in the United States. The laws of the United States are all constrained by the Constitution. The Supreme Court is the ultimate court in the land. An International Court, however, would necessarily have jurisdiction over the Supreme Court.

Roe v. Wade provides a prime example of how the ICC could create a Constitutional crisis. There are many people in the world who believe that abortion is akin to murder. Imagine for a moment that a pro-life movement develops in the International community. A pro lifer on the ICC would be horrified by abortion in the US and feel obligated to denouce Roe v. Wade as an act of genocide.

Regardless of your view on abortion, I hope it apparent the problems that this would cause. The ultimate court of the land would be out of sync with the ultimate court of the world.

If there were some way to have an ICC that was actually restricted in its jurisdiction, I would favor the idea. However, I find myself seeing the otherside of the issue, and realize that the US is stuck in a situation where there is no way that it could support the permanently standing International Criminal Court.

Monday, February 24, 2003

So, what's up with y-intercept?

Well, the y-intercept is the point where a curve intersects the x-axis. It is the value of an equation f(x) at 0.

I see the y-intercept as the starting point of a line. I chose the name because it gives (in a pseudo mathematical sense) the notion of beginning an adventure. It is generally easy to find the y-intercept...but where you go from there is unknown. I will expand this idea at length in a later blog.

Anyway, I was planning on expanding the site into a larger literary site. Unfortunately. my ISP hosed the database and I did not have a good back up. So that site sits there on the net like a sore thumb, dropping in google rank each month. It is amazing how recovering from a loss of data takes longer and requires more mental energy that building an idea from scratch.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Adopt a Minefield

With everyone beating the drums of war, I thought I would mention one of the most effective methods for promoting peace: Landmine Removal.

Landmines looked like a good idea a half century ago. People saw them as a way to protect against tanks. Today, dozens of countries have serious problems with landmines which hamper the ability of people to move around and take a disproportionate number of children and civilian casualties. Afghanistan is one of the most affected countries. Most of the landmines in Afghanistan came from the war with Russia and ensuing battles between the Afghani warlords. Afghanistan also suffers from a large number of unexploded ordnance from the US/Afghanistan war.

Anyway, the Gandhi Alliance for Peace is a Utah Non-Profit raising funds for landmine removal. I donated a web site to the organization: [link broken]. Hopefully, it has raised awareness of the issue.

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Second Post

My second entry! Yep, entry two is on the same day as entry one. How boring. But instead of taking about today, I will talk about yesterday. How's that for a compromise?

Yesterday, I stopped in Murray, Utah and snagged a few photos of the city. When I first moved to Salt Lake City in the '70s, Murray was way out in the boondocks. With people zooming along I215 at 80 miles an hour, the town in pretty much in the thick of things now. Since Murray is on tracks, it might even be possible to live there when gas is $5 a gallon after this next war.

Okay, yesterday wasn't that exciting. But the blog lives on.

First Post

Every blog begins with a first post (Well, I guess God or Georg Cantor could begin blogs without a beginning post...but they are special exceptions to the rule.) Anyway, this is my first post to this blog, and I wait with greet anticipation to see what the thing looks like.