Friday, November 27, 2009

Not for geeks only: RSS Feeds

RSS feeds are your best friend.

We all have sites that we like to visit on a regular basis; local news, Facebook, etc. So we sit down at a computer and bring them up one at a time. Wouldn’t it be nice to just be able to go to one website and see all the content you want to see? Of course.

And that’s what RSS feeds do. They mine the sites that you have specified for new content and deliver it to your reader. Sound good? Let’s set it up.

First you have to choose a reader. There are many out there, and your choice is probably going to be based on personal preference. There are two basic types: program based and web based. If you only use one computer and don’t get internet on your mobile phone, then maybe having a program on your computer to read them is fine, but if you use a phone or multiple computers at all, you will want a web based reader. I personally use Google Reader ( If you already have a Gmail account, this is easy: just sign in with your Gmail account information. If not, set up a new account.

Now that you have a reader, we need to find content to have delivered to it. This is as easy as the website makes it, which can be either easy or hard.

Blogger is probably the easiest. At the top of the person’s blog, click the “Follow” button. Other times you will see a symbol that looks something like this:

When you click that button it will usually take you to a page that lets you choose your reader and subscribe.

The third way can be slightly harder and is usually on websites that either are intended for geeks or don’t know what they’re doing. You’ll see the link for the RSS feed and get a page of gibberish that looks something like this:

The first time I saw this, my response was “What the heck am I supposed to do with this?!” It’s actually simple: copy the URL (the thing in the box at the top of the screen) and go back to Google reader, click the "add a subscription button and paste it. Viola.

There is one downside to most web-based readers, such as Google Reader: they do not yet support password based feeds. For example, they don’t naturally let your friends Facebook statuses come thru. The solution to this is easy. Go to and paste the URL of the RSS Feed along with your username and password. It gives you a new rss feed that you paste into the “add a subscription box” in Google Reader. Done.

Most modern websites that are worth their salt have RSS feeds now. I currently follow 24 websites on a daily basis. I couldn’t keep up with this if it weren’t for RSS feeds. All it takes is a second between other activities and I’ll look at whatever has come in. It allows me to keep up with the content I want to keep up with without wasting time hither and yon all over the internet kingdom.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Obamacare: More Government Inefficiency and Waste.

Free men are not equal and equal men are not free.

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama and his cronies don't seem to get this. Or actually, I think they do and they revel in it.

Mr. Obama is socialist. He wants socialized medicine, socialized car companies, and socialized whatever-he-can-get-his-hands-on. Last I checked, GM and Chrysler were still struggling. Oh, they've quit whining to the federal government for a bailout, but they'll be back. What makes us think that socialized insurance will be any more successful?

When we were in China we were talking to some Australians who were there at the same time. They were talking about how people were having to wait 2-3 years to have surgeries such as cataract removal and knee replacement.

I'm not saying our medical insurance system doesn't need an overhaul, because it does. But since when has the government been efficient at running ANYTHING?

I was talking with my brother who is a paramedic. He was telling me about a patient he had who called the ambulance to go to the hospital and get an aspirin because since she was on Medicare the ambulance and the aspirin were free, and if she went to the store she'd have to drive and spend a couple of dollars. According to law, the ambulance cannot decline to take her. Unfortunately, there is a lot of waste that goes on just like this.

Another reason healthcare costs are so high is because people do not see the full cost of their healthcare many times. My daughter's medical care has cost well over half a million in the last two years and Medicaid has picked up most of the tab. Do I like this? Well, when I look at the bill and see them charging $10 for a pair of rubber gloves I have to wonder how much of that is true charges and how much of it is stuffed with down feathers.

As someone has said, I don't have a complete answer, but I admire the problem. What I can say is that capitalistic systems have always been more efficient than socialistic systems. I don't think having the government run our healthcare will cause any costs to go down, just more government waste and longer lines at the doctor's office for simple medical procedures.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Urgent Need For Some Friends of Ours

Dear Friends,

Rosetta and I have some friends by the name of Chad and Autumn Van Cleave. They have three small kids and live in Cameron, TX. Below I'll tell you whats going on with them, but their immediate need is someone who would be willing to trade about 4 hrs a day of work in return for room and board (they can't pay in money). My understanding is that it would involve basic things like dressing the kids, making lunch, and then getting the kids down for a nap.

Now for whats going on with them. Chad recently went to the hospital with what appeared to be a heart attack. After investigation it turned out to be a virus that damaged a significant amount of heart muscle. The doctor has told him he needs to be on complete rest for 6 months. This would be possible except for the fact that around the same time Autumn has been diagnosed with something similar to chronic fatigue, only it effects her body in other ways too. The result is that she can't really work around the house either. I don't pretend to know everything about their conditions, but they're pretty serious.

The result is that Chad is doing all the day to day work around the house. This is not allowing his heart to heal but right now they do not have an alternative. Fortunately, he is self employed so if he can get someone to help around the house, he can direct his energies to working again and get some money coming in for the family. The work he does is rather low energy and low stress so thats not a problem, but he has no time for it at present due to household duties.

First of all, please pray for them. Second of all, please distribute this email to your friends who are local to Central Texas. The sooner they can find someone to help around the house the sooner they can get back on track both health wise and financially.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Two Trillion Tons

I have an idea. I'm going to go out and buy a brand new Lamborghini, a beach house and hire a personal cook. Initial outlay will be roughly 5 million, upkeep 500k/year.

The reason behind this is that it will get me out of debt and create prosperity for me. Oh wait, I don't have the money but that doesn't matter because a lot of "brilliant economists" agree that this works.

Of course, the above is silly. We know that to get ourselves out of debt we have to reduce spending, get debt under control, and create a product.

But this is exactly what Obama is doing. His so called stimulus bill has done nothing to stimulate the economy and only put us further into debt. Of couse, privately he's grinning with glee because what his administration is really all about is bringing the American people in complete bondage to government. All he needs is a financial crisis to do it.

Notice something. The things that Obama says will bring health back to our economy are government improvement programs. They are not goods and services and ultimately the citizens end up working for the government. As with most of what Obama has been doing, its brilliant and diabolical.

Someone sent me this song which illustrates what I'm talking about. I'm not sure whether to cry or laugh.

Shades of Old Tennessee

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Bible Should Be Rated "R"

What is "family friendly" supposed to mean? Usually it means some form of media that has a happy go lucky, simplistic message without much content.

Consider this. In movies today, we rate them on a system: G, PG, PG-13, R, NC17. Very few movies end up being NC17, the highest most go is R. And what do they recieve this rating for? Violence, sexual content, thematic material and vulgar language, mainly. With the exception of vulgar language, the Bible is filled with these.

Consider Judges 9. After Gideon's death, his son Abimalech puts together a plot to kill his 70 brothers. Now first of all, the fact that he had 70 brothers implies that Gideon was busy and had lots of wives. Second of all, Abimalech was the product of a concubine that Gideon wasn't married to. But putting all that aside, Abimalech obviously doesn't have a problem with mass fratricide.

Skip over a couple of chapters to Judges 11:29. Jephthah vows that if God defeats Israel's enemies he'll sacrifice the first thing that comes out of his house, which ends up being his daughter. So now we have filicide.

Judges 19 deals with a Levite who lets the men of the city sexually abuse and kill his concubine. Then he chops her up and sends one of her body parts to each of the tribes of Israel. So now the Bible has exhibitionist mayhem.

2 Samuel 11 deals with David and Bathsheba. No commentary necessary. Homicide and adultery.

God ordered Jeremiah to walk around naked and Hosea to marry a harlot who then cheated on him.

Moving to the New Testament, Christ's death did get an R rating for Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. Paul’s life would get at least a PG13 rating for action, and if displayed correctly would get an R rating for all the beatings, floggings and stonings. Last but not least Revelation would get an R rating for all the "stylized action violence".

So what should we be watching as a family? This is up to your conscience, but lets not make the mistake of thinking that just because it has some uncomfortable moments that our kids should not be exposed to it. After all, the Bible should be rated R.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Name Change

Some of you will have noticed that now that I've decided to start using this blog, I changed the name to "A Libertarian in Exile". This is a take off on Sean Hannity's calling himself a conservative in exile.

This is an apt description considering that we're all about to get steamrolled by liberal socialistic policies for the next four years and they won't even ask for our input since they have such control of the government.

Hang on for the ride folks. It's not going to be pleasant.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Loyalty: To Whom?

Who are we supposed to be loyal to? Anyone with a Christian worldview would say God first, and I do not dispute that. However, is there a difference between being loyal to your country and loyal to your government?

I recently watched the movie Valkyrie about the last assassination attempt against Hitler. The point behind what they were doing is that they said they were loyal to Germany and therefore Hitler had to be killed.

Romans 13 states that we are to be subject to our rulers. But the Bible is also clear that God's law is higher than man's law.

It is no secret that I am no fan of President Obama. The policies that he espouses are not ones that encourage life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. He wants more babies to die (abortion), more businesses to die (taxing the foundation of the economy, small business) and he wants everyone on socialistic dependence (welfare and universal health(non)care.)

On the other hand I am grateful to live in the United States where we still have some vestiges of our Judeo Christian heritage. That is something I will always support.

So the question comes, can the two be divorced? I think it depends on what you mean by "not support the government". I don't think anyone would dispute that what the folks in Valkyrie did was a good thing, but its obvious that our country is not anywhere near this point yet.

I respect the office of the President, and I give Mr. Obama the respect that is due him because of that office. But on the other hand it is the duty of all Americans who love their freedom and liberty to do everything they can to oppose the policies he is putting in place. To do this we need to stay abreast of what is happening on both the State and Federal levels and tell our Senators and Congress men and women where we stand. The recent TEA parties were good, but we need more of this kind of thing. Its all out there on your state and Congressional websites. There are organizations like ACLJ and HSLDA that will help you keep abreast of it.

Make your voice heard!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Facebook has been targeting me with ads lately and one of them has been for a conservative T-Shirt site. This one is my favorite. Ronald Reagans words are as true today as they were almost 30 years ago. Too bad Obama and his cronies were not listening. Their vision is so short sighted, and they can't seem to see that they are putting a short term band-aid on a long term problem. My grandchildren are going to pay for this.

I recently got an email from a friend of mine that I think was brilliant and wanted to share it here. Obviously, I'd prefer no government bailouts, but if we have to have them, Mr. Walker's proposal is one of the best I've heard so far:

Patriotic Retirement:

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force;

pay them $1 million a piece severance with stipulations

1.) They leave their jobs. Forty million job openings -
*** Unemployment fixed

2.) They buy NEW American cars. Forty million cars ordered -
***Auto Industry fixed.

3.) They either buy a house or pay off their mortgage - Housing
***Crisis fixed

Oh well, I'm going to need lots of grandkids so they can help pay for all the spending the government is doing now.