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Doing what I can to promote 80's awareness...
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Standing With Israel
Narrative by Gary L. Bauer

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon released a statement that read, in part, "Too many Palestinian civilians have been killed, and any Israeli ground offensive will undoubtedly increase the death toll and exacerbate civilian suffering in the Gaza Strip."

So it's all Israel's fault. The fact that the Palestinians have fired nearly 1,000 rockets at Israel in recent days seems to get lost in the shuffle.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained yesterday on Fox News Sunday:

"I just want your viewers to imagine the United States being bombarded not in one city or two cities, but in every city between New York and Colorado, 80 percent of your citizens would have to be in bomb shelters or ready to go into bomb shelters within a minute to minute-and-a-half, max. No country can accept that, we can't accept it, and we'll take the necessary actions to stop it."

Netanyahu succinctly summed up the current situation when he said, "The difference between us, we are using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they're using their civilians to protect their missiles."

To amplify the double standard that routinely confronts Israel, an anti-Israel mob attempted to storm a Paris synagogue this weekend. At least three Jews defending the synagogue ended up in the hospital, and this attack barely made the news.

Just imagine if a mob of Jews attacked a mosque. That story would make the front pages. It's now routine for Muslims to attack churches on Sunday mornings, and every time there is a collective yawn from the media. But if a mob of Christians attacked a mosque, there would emergency U.N. meetings, demands for sensitivity training and hearings to learn how a faith could so radicalize its followers.

#heartstone   #israel   #gaza  
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It’s time for #RealSurveillanceReform. Join me in asking the Senate to fix the loophole in the USA FREEDOM Act and end bulk data collection once and for all. https://takeaction.withgoogle.com/gg/USAFreedomAct
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I really like this video... It really frames the ISP Internet situation in terms that are logical and easy to understand.
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Glancing at holiday computer prices this year, I'm kind of intrigued... the price difference between Mac and PC is narrowing dramatically.

Last year, if I recall correctly, Macs ran for about 2x the price of a high-end (read overpriced) PC. This year, the pricing isn't so different.

In my comparison, I deliberately chose a high-end PC manufacturer, Sony, and looked at a Windows 8 model with an i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM and a new Macbook Pro with the same specs -- i5 + 4 GB (and for you non-savvy buyers, because Apple's OS X is Unix-based, my rule is that you need get double the RAM for a Windows PC as you would need in a Mac, but I am ignoring that fact right now).

Both computers have a 128 GB solid state hard drive, 13.3-inch displays, similar ports, and similar graphics cards. The PC has a bonus of a touch-screen, and the Mac has a much, much higher display resolution, so I'll call it even. There are a few other unimportant gimmicks on both sides.

So they're pretty much equal.

Non-discounted, brand new prices:
Sony Vaio (Windows PC) - $1,249
Macbook Pro (Mac OS X) - $1,299

Seriously.
(for reference, the Sony model # I used is SVP13213CXB)

Now, in reality, I know that no one in their right mind would actually go for a Sony Vaio with Windows 8, so it's an unrealistic comparison. But that's kind of wild.

For people who are actually looking to buy a new Windows or Mac computer and don't know much, here are some tips:

1. Look at the processor; it's important. The rating in GHz doesn't really matter as much as the actual type of processor.
1a. Don't get a computer with an Intel i3 -- a Core 2 Duo (not to be confused with a Core Duo or Dual Core) is faster, better, and much cheaper.
1b. Don't get a computer with an Intel Celeron, an Intel Pentium, an Intel Atom, or any AMD-brand processor. Some of these lines have unpredictable or mixed quality; just say no.
1c. The best processor types are the Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel i5, and Intel i7, in that order (note that the Core 2 Duo has a limit of 4 GB of RAM, and they're on a fire sale right now)

2. Look at the amount of RAM. Type of RAM kind-of, sort-of matters, maybe, but not as much as the amount of it. Sometimes on computer specs, they'll just run the specs all together, so for RAM, you'll just see 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, or 16 GB. When you've had your computer for a year or 2, RAM is a big factor in whether you computer will get laggy and slow.
2a. If you are getting an i5, never get less than 4GB of RAM; that is a very serious sin. Especially for a Windows machine. I'm talking to you, HP. It's like getting a Ford F-350 Super Duty truck with a 1-gallon gas tank. Stop selling unusable junk, HP.
2b. If you are getting Windows 8, I strongly recommend 8 GB of RAM. If you are getting Windows 7, don't settle for less than 4 GB.
2c. In case you didn't read part 1, don't buy a computer with an i3 processor. No amount of RAM will make it run faster.

3. If you're not going to install Linux, you might want to look into buying an Apple computer to avoid having to install antivirus and anti-malware software and having to take it for repairs every year. My rules for buying a cheap Mac:
3a. If you are getting a refurbished Mac, your best deals probably have 2 GB of RAM, but as a general rule, Apple doesn't sell computers with insufficient RAM or crappy processors, so you don't need to be an expert to get a good computer.
3b. Look for the OS X version called "Snow Leopard" (not to be confused with "Leopard"). This is version 10.6 -- refurbs usually come installed with 10.6.3 or 10.6.8. Anything with that version or higher is OK. If you get Leopard (version 10.5) or lower, you won't be able to install anything because everyone has dropped support for that OS version.
3c. Some old Macbook models are starting to get cheap when refurbished. Even if you're looking at used models, try to find some refurbished ones for comparison -- they may not cost much more.
3d. Look closely at software pre-installed on refurbished Macs as you may be able to score a pre-installed Microsoft Office or something (if you're into that -- there are free office suites that are just as good IMO).

4. When you read reviews, look for "build quality" comments. That's the one important spec that doesn't have a number. This basically determines whether your computer will break easily.
4a. For example, Dell Latitude models with some good numbers will go way cheaper than Dell XPS models with the same specs. That's because the Latitude models have a way worse build quality than the XPS models.
4b. As a general rule (at least as of 2013), the brand Acer generally has low build quality... it's a cheap brand, but it's a trade-off. Don't confuse Acer with Asus. Asus has fine build quality and has a lot of great deals.

Anyway -- happy shopping, all. As always, watch out for scams and deals that are "too good to be true" from sellers with only a handful of ratings.
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A good reminder for us all...
 
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything."
Remember to put the glass down.


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I'm basing my information on the very frequent use by Franklin, Jefferson, and many other prominent figures of his day of the word security.  Looking through his writings, it is very clear what the word meant, and it was very much more closely tied to "Privacy" of the individual than any form of National Security.  

Of course I don't believe he as advocating for fascism.  I just believe this quote is mis-applied to our current situation.  He wasn't talking about this at all.
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Another great day in LA.
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A couple of panoramic shots of scenic Pershing Square taken on my Moto X.
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The dog gimmick near the beginning is priceless... LOL.
Depressing Song on iTunes ► http://bit.ly/DepressingSong Watch the new Podcast ► http://bit.ly/TobyPodcast2 Subscribe on iTunes ► http://bit.ly/SubTobuscast ...
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Oh that's funny...
 
You know, asking for presents just isn't the same these days.

This "letter" comes to you from BuzzFeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/ 
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