Monday, March 30, 2009

Book Club

Visit the Voice of the Martyrs' Blog For those interested I am partisapating in a book club hosted by the great folks at econ talk.

Also I had to post this on Hubris.

Ayn Rand

Really enjoyed a couple of articles- What Capitalists Need to Know

Extremely timely and important call to join the battle to defend capitalism.

Is Rand Relvelent a question I respond to with a loud YES! Although I disagree strongly with her views on religion I think her commentary on big government and capitalism is superb.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Vampires and Libertarians

The vampire is my favorite type of monster, which is why I found this review of the Twilight series extremely interesting and valid. The revising of historical works to suit our sex crazed culture is unfortunate in the extreme. Part of my love for Stoker's Dracula is the very fact that the monster is the monster, not some misunderstood outsider with an axe to grind. The whole point of tale and story in my mind is to put forward some truth while entertaining. Stoker does this excellently, as does the Sword of Truth series- particularly because such stories recognize absolute truth and good and evil. I think Liberals hate the concept of true evil existing in the world, and believe that if only we all communicated clearly the world would be perfect. They seemingly cannot grasp that the message they might hear when all the barriers to communication have been removed and everyone knows where everyone else stands is, "Death to America!"

I am also extremely please to read this on the increasing popularity of Ayn Rand and the possible merger of Libertarians and conservatives. As I look at the insanity of the Dems "dig ourselves out of this economic hole" philosophy I genuinely believe that a solid fiscally free market stance is needed, and all its defenders and champions need to be joint together in the battle. Lassez-Faire!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Braille Coin

Tomorrow the long awaited Louis Braille Coin goes on sale. Planning to buy two or three myself, as it combines two of my favorite things- coins and Braille.

Below is a press release from the NFBCO on the event tomorrow. I am saddened I will not be able to make the festivities, but trust they will be superb anyway.

National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Celebrates
Release of Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar

Denver, Colorado (March 25, 2009): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) of Colorado will On March 26 celebrate the release of the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar. This historic commemorative coin, the first-ever U.S. coin to contain tactile, readable Braille, will be launched at a special ceremony at the headquarters of the National Federation of the Blind, in Baltimore, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT on March 26, 2009.

In Denver, Colorado and under the leadership of Majority Leader, Senator Brendon Shaffer and Representative Joe Rice, the Colorado General Assembly will honor the launch by adopting a Joint Resolution highlighting the release of the coin and emphasizing the Braille literacy program partially funded by the sale of this commemorative coin.

Immediately preceding the assembly's passing of the resolution, the NFB of Colorado will hold a press event at 08:30 am in the Press Room; (room 326 on the third floor in the southwest corner of the Capitol). State Senator Brandon Shaffer and other dignitaries will be in attendance.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: "If the blind can read, the blind can achieve. The Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar celebrates the man who gave literacy to the blind and is a unique and beautiful keepsake, but it is also a coin with a mission: to make sure that every blind child and every adult losing vision in our nation has the opportunity to learn Braille. "

Scott LaBarre, president of the Federation's Colorado affiliate said "I am a totally blind attorney operating my own successful law practice. I would not be able to do so without being extremely literate. Braille is fundamental to my level of literacy, without which I

could not practice law. The Louis Braille Coin and its attendant literacy program will bring success and freedom to the generations of tomorrow. We know that the working

age blind face an unemployment rate exceeding seventy percent, yet a substantial majority of the blind who are employed are Braille readers. We salute Senator Shaffer and Representative Rice for demonstrating the leadership to call attention to this literacy crisis and for supporting the program to start fixing the problem."

Senator Shaffer said, "It's unfortunate that we are so quick to forget the invaluable contributions that the sight impaired have made to our society. Helen Keller, Stevie Wonder, Galileo Galilee, Kirby Puckett, Claude Monet, and David Paterson are just a few individuals that have and continue to contribute. Braille is an accessible, efficient mechanism for learning and there is no reason why only 10 percent of blind children are learning it. The sight impaired deserve the same opportunities as all individuals and Colorado is ready to provide that for them."

Regarding the resolution, Representative Rice said, "Literacy is considered by our society to be a fundamental civil right in America today. I applaud the National Federation of the Blind of Colorado as it works through its Braille Readers are Leaders Campaign to provide the right of literacy through Braille to all of America's blind children and adults."

Sales of the Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar, which was authorized by a law passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2006, will support the NFB's "Braille Readers are Leaders" campaign. The campaign is a national initiative created to double the number of blind children learning Braille by 2015.

The National Federation of the Blind is asking the American public, through purchasing this stunning silver dollar, to join its campaign to bring literacy, education, opportunity, and success to the blind of America. The Louis Braille Bicentennial Silver Dollar goes on sale to the general public at noon on March 26. Those interested in ordering a coin should visit or call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). For more information about the National Federation of the Blind and the Braille Readers are Leaders campaign, visit


Friday, March 20, 2009

A quote for the next four years

Bastiat: Selected Essays, Chapter 5, The State:

Oh, pardon me, sublime writers, whom nothing stops, not even contradictions. I am wrong, no doubt, and I retract my error with all my heart. I demand nothing better, you may be sure, than that you should really have discovered outside of us a benevolent and inexhaustible being, calling itself the state, which has bread for all mouths, work for all hands, capital for all enterprises, credit for all projects, ointment for all wounds, balm for all suffering, advice for all perplexities, solutions for all problems, truths for all minds, distractions for all varieties of boredom, milk for children and wine for old age, which provides for all our needs, foresees all our desires, satisfies all our curiosity, corrects all our errors, amends all our faults, and exempts us all henceforth from the need for foresight, prudence, judgment, sagacity, experience, order, economy, temperance, and industry.

Can we say the federal government these days? Yes, yes we can.

Enjoying the iced coffee...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

You're Pitiful

I happen to be a fan of Weird Al and loved his You're Pitiful song. It's now downloadable for free at the link above.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Plug and Braille

This development is a very happy thing for me, as I have wondered at the effectivness of the Accessible Anywhere Braille Display petition. This shows me that those of us who love Braille and want it to expand are having an impact. I congratulate Handy Tech on giving tangible evidence that they wish to provide their customers with high quality products that are not limited to their closed platforms, but accessible anywhere.

Plug and Braille with Handy Tech Easy Braille!
On December 11, 2008, Serotek announced via the Serotek blog their endorsement of the Accessibility Anywhere Based Braille Display petition to Braille display manufacturers created and written by George McDermith. This petition urges Braille display manufacturers to do-away with proprietary drivers and instead use standard, mainstream technologies that will drive these devices regardless of the screen reader being used.

As an avid Braille reader myself, I am proud to be a signer of this petition. We at Handy Tech North America support Mr. McDermith's efforts with respect to this matter and in order to demonstrate our commitment to the cause, we are pleased to announce the Handy Tech Plug and Braille initiative with the introduction of Easy Braille with HID support.

HID stands for Human Interface Device and is the open standard for plug and play devices such as keyboards and mice. The HID protocol requires no separate software installations in order for these devices to work. Now Braille readers can simply plug-in their Handy Tech Easy Braille with HID support and gain immediate Braille access regardless of their chosen screen reader.

Although Easy Braille with HID support has been several months in the making prior to Mr. McDermith's petition, his timing is perfect as it affords Handy Tech the opportunity to demonstrate that we are once again on the leading edge when it comes to giving customers the tools they need when they need them.

For over a year now, Handy Tech customers have enjoyed the ability to walk up to one of millions of Apple computers and gain immediate grade two Braille access simply by plugging in their Handy Tech Braille display. Handy Tech is pleased to now offer the same freedom of access on the Microsoft Windows side or on any other platform that supports the HID protocol.

Combine this new Plug and Braille development with the high quality and ergonomic design for which Handy Tech products are known worldwide, and enjoy a flexible and reliable Braille solution for many years to come in the Handy Tech Easy Braille.

"I don't believe that people should be penalized because of the screen reader they use," says Sigi Kipke, Managing Director of Handy Tech GmbH in Horb, Germany, the manufacturers of Handy Tech Braille products. Kipke further stresses the importance of access to portable electronic Braille by stating that Braille products should not be viewed as some obscure technology used by just a few blind people, rather it should be viewed as a progressive and innovative technology that gives Braille readers the same advantages and opportunities as print readers.

Although Easy Braille with HID support is slated for release in May of 2009, Handy Tech representatives from both European and North American offices will be demonstrating this exciting new development at this year's California State University Northridge Center on Disabilities 24th Annual Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, otherwise known as CSUN.

Please join us in the exhibit hall at booth 302 of the Marriott LAX hotel where we will be enthusiastically demonstrating the following products:

Easy Braille with new HID support.
The new Handy Tech Braille driver for Nuance Talks which allows for the input of grade two Braille among other things.
The powerful netbook computer and Braille display options available from Handy Tech North America which does away with the out-dated notion that technology for blind people must be based on a closed and proprietary platform.
Last but not least, the latest developments around the exciting Active Tactile Control (ATC) technologies that actually senses the user's fingers on the Braille display and responds accordingly based on reading behaviors. This ground breaking technology is useful for Braille readers of all skill levels.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Found this to be a good commentary on the Prop 8 debate and the gay activists' reaction to it.

This talks about capitalism verses central banking as part of the cause of our current economic woes. This gives some of the best financial advice I've heard in months- let them fail.

As we continue into these dark days of ignorence being touted as knowledge and falsehood being proclaimed as truth I take great comfort in the fact that the nutters haven't taken over the world in its entirety.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

10 Key Ideas to Opening the Door to Economic Thinking

This is a great resource for learning about Economics and how it works. If you are concerned about our financial situation nationally and wish to understand what's going on, then I suggest beginning here with the basics. Advanced resources are available, including an extremely useful Concise Economic Encyclopedia. This outstanding article on Labor Unions comes from that resource. It is important to note that this is a non partisan academic site. If you are interested in facts and an understanding of Economics as a subject as opposed to an agenda for the right or the left, then this is the site for you.

Global Warming etc.

This shows exactly what I make of global warming and shows that God does indeed have a great sense of humor.

Also this is a video of Rush Limbaugh's speech to the CPAC this past Saturday. If you have an open mind I would suggest listening to it, as I found the points in his speech very valid ones. If you on the other hand have a mind like a steel trap don't waste your time.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Beauty of Collective Community

This is the titled article- an outstanding and very well written article in response to the "What about me?" haters.