Presidential Election 2016

Last time I voted for president was 1992, Bill Clinton’s first term. If you recall that election, he was the man from Hope who was going to build a bridge to the 21st century. I had spent the previous few years protesting Bush the Elder’s war on Iraq. That war lasted about 3 months and was followed by an extended bombing campaign masquerading as a no-fly zone. I protested Bush and Quail’s local campaign stops and went and listened to Clinton’s hope filled message.  I voted for Bill Clinton without reservation.

Within 3 hours of Clinton’s inauguration, US war planes were dropping bombs on Iraq; a message to the world that while the US regime had changed, its foreign policy had not.

I have not voted for president since. On that day I realized that choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

Since then I have heard many argue that if you don’t vote then you don’t have any right to complain. However, I think that argument has it backwards. If you vote and your candidate wins, you can’t complain as you are getting exactly what you asked for; and if you vote and your candidate loses, well you knew the rules of the game and you should not be a sore loser by complaining about it.

I almost voted for Obama his first term, that whole hope and change thing had me a little giddy, but I resisted, and I am thankful that I did. Obama turned out to be as evil as any other president in my adult life. Habeas corpus has not been restored, our foreign empire has grown and not shrunk, black prison sites still operate, indiscriminate bombings continued and even increased, etc ad nauseum. Obama’s first term might as well have been Bush the Lesser’s third term. Needless to say, I did not consider voting for Obama his second term and am happy that I sat out his first election.

This brings us to 2016–Clinton v Trump. Of course I would not consider voting for Trump, a billionaire “populist” running on racism and tax cuts for the one percent. And I find the thought of a Clinton presidency of little more consolation. Hillary is gaining the support of the neo-cons who led Bush to war and she sits well to the right of Obama on foreign policy. She has not brought up the idea of restoring habeas corpus and has not mentioned wanting to bring any troops home, she has even touted Kissinger (a noted war criminal) as someone to look up to.

Of course the Green Party’s Jill Stein and the Libertarian Gary Johnson will be on most ballots. Sure those are real choices, the first an anti-vaxxer with no political experience while the latter states that the solution to climate change is to colonize other planets; uh huh, real choices.

So after more than a year of hoopla, with election day just more than a month away, our choices are going to be a war monger, a space cadet, and a couple of wackadoos; I’ll leave it to the reader to determine which is which.


Open Letter to Adobe

I am a pretty loyal Adobe customer. I’ve bought 3 versions of Photoshop Elements over the years. I would prefer Photoshop, but it is very expensive. I recently upgraded to PSE 8 (side note: why no upgrade pricing?), appreciating the smoother integration with Windows 7.

So why did I have to waste part of my Sunday morning convincing Adobe that I was not a thief?

Wanting to do a quick photo edit before I headed out to the dog park, I fired up PSE only to be greeted by a notice that I had activated the software on 2 computers and that I need to deactivate it on one before using it on this computer. “But wait,” I futilely protested, “I formatted that drive BEFORE installing it on this computer, how’m I gonna deactivate it?” Only silence in return.

So I am forced to the Adobe support page where I quickly find a link to chat with a support person and, 20 minutes later, I have a working PSE.

I bet that it would not be any more inconvenient to download CS5 Master Collection from a file sharing site and crack the activation as it was to use my bought and paid for PSE. What’s up with that?

Accusing me of thievery, and forcing me to jump through hoops to use the software that I paid for, really makes it difficult to choose your products in the future.

To some extent I understand the draconian activation process, CS5 is a valuable professional package. But Photoshop Elements? This comes free with many cameras, scanners, tablets, etc… I give you almost $100 for it and you treat me like a thief. Once again, Adobe, “What’s up with that?”

10 Things I hate about Vista (RC2)

The caveat being that Vista has not been released, these things may be fixed in the final version.

  1. Aero. The default theme in Vista is garish. While not as clown looking as XP, the default colors and transparencies are uninspired eye candy. I converted to windows standard theme after a couple of days…I like it.
  2. The shutdown/restart commands are hard to get to. MS has opted to make sleep easy to get at and the rest a PITA.
  3. The crippled home versions. Just like in XP, the home versions are going to be lacking features that will drive me crazy. Will I have to reboot in safe mode to change permissions?
  4. Media Center is over complicated, it lost the simple elegance that MCE 2005 had.
  5. Baked in DRM! Protected User Mode Audio, Protected Video Path, Rights Management Services, etc…
  6. Windows Genuine Advantage—caused me nothing but grief on XP—with legal OS! Unacceptable to change the rules as we play the game.
  7. Windows Sidebar. This implementation is even worse than Apple’s.
  8. Windows Indexing crashes about every 10 minutes, search is over rated and under developed.
  9. The MTV Urge service, why the heck can I not disable this? What is the registry hack to get rid of this?
  10. Vista is essentially adware. Ads for MS services are spread throughout. MS is definitely following Apple’s lead in the distribution of adware/crippleware.

Honorable Mentions:

No support for syncing Win Mobile 5 devices to do anything useful.

How do I get back the ftp integration in Windows Explorer?

Why do all the aps and services start with “Windows”? Are they concerned that I might forget which OS I am using?

User Account Controls.

Double Click/Single Click and when to use them.