Ron Paul label

Inspired by the ideas over at (but slightly unimpressed by the implementation–in particular, the pdf wouldn’t print), I decided to take a crack at my own label design for the glabels label designer for linux. By the way, if you’re not using glabels you’re really missing out. Here is a low-res screenshot of it:

who is ron paul label

click here to download the glabels file (for use with Avery 8066 labels)

materialistic addiction

There’s an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called Symbiosis which focuses on a dependent relationship between two neighboring planets. A long time ago, one of the planets (Ornara) became more technologically advanced, while the other (Brekka) languished. Then, a terrific plague struck both planets, and the cure was found in a plant that only grew on Brekka. The Brekkans began manufacturing a cure for the plague, and trading it to the Ornarans in exchange for technology and goods. Then the Brekkans realized that the drug they were making had cured the plague, but that it was addictive and the Ornarans were hooked. They continued to exploit this relationship for 200+ years, all the while becoming rich off the Ornarans’ technology.
Read more

why socialized medicine is wrong, wrong, wrong

5 reasons to reconsider before jumping on the socialized medicine bandwagon.

  1. What if I don’t want traditional health care? Traditional health care as I see it: (1) muddle through life, eating doritos, getting minimal exercise; (2) get sick; (3) go to the doctor; (4) doctor prescribes some drug pushed by big pharma, and that probably causes as many problems as it fixes; (5) repeat. What if this is not how I want my health care to be? Maybe instead, my health care program is eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, doing yoga, and getting good amounts of exercise? Is socialized medicine going to pay for my diet, yoga, or gym membership? Where do you draw the line? The problem is, there is no line between health care and other facets of life, such as diet and exercise.
  2. What if I don’t want health care? This is just a different take on the first point. Maybe I don’t want “health care” (in the traditional sense) at all, because I am skeptical of it’s real healing value. Should I still pay for it? Or maybe I’m truly crazy and buying a new kayak is more valuable to me than getting painkillers for my arthritis. In a free system, the choice is mine, in socialized medicine, it’s not.
  3. Why should I pay for people who aren’t taking care of themselves? I work hard to take good care of myself. I make sacrifices to keep my body in decent shape. If you aren’t making those sacrifices, why should I be forced to make further sacrifices to deal with the consequences of your actions?
  4. Where is the incentive to take care of yourself? Under socialized medicine, there’s no financial incentive for obvious reasons. You may argue that the incentive is that it sucks to be sick, and that’s enough incentive. I’ll concede that it’s some incentive, though with modern pain and consciousness-reducing drug technology, I’m not even sure how much of an incentive remains..
  5. Giving and receiving. Under a free health care system, those with less may need help with health care. When they get help, it is because some person or community has offered it to them out of compassion. A gift was given and received. Forcing the giver (through taxation) eliminates the act of giving/receiving and replaces it with stealing/welfare. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather live in a world with a risk of selfishness and a whole lot more giving and receiving than a world with no giving/receiving and only stealing and welfare.

Ron Paul on health care

pizza dilemma

Every Friday, Jane Street buys pizza and wings. Usually most of the wings are eaten, and the rest are taken home by employees. Recently, however, a lot of the pizza doesn’t get eaten. This week, for example, there were at least 5 whole pies left uneaten when I left.

I would take them home and eat them, except that I don’t eat pizza and A only rarely does. But it bugs me that all that food gets thrown out. So what I want to do is take the leftovers and give it away. But who’s going to take free pizza from a stranger?

It’s a shame, I’m sure there are a lot of hungry college kids who would love the free food.

more warrantless wiretaps

We just got a new law to go alongside everyone’s favorite, the Patriot Act. It’s called the Protect America Act, and it expands the Bush administration’s ability to perform surveillance on, well, pretty much whoever they want. It’s not clear why they need this, as they usually tend to just do whatever they want regardless of legality; perhaps they’re getting afraid of the personal repercussions that could come down on illegal activity now that the democrats have started showing a little spine?

As usual, the lawmakers are way behind the technological curve, and thus their efforts won’t actually be effective against terrorists with half a brain. That’s because there’s now this little thing called VOIP, which makes voice data simple to encrypt. In fact, all you have to do is run this simple app called zfone and all the feds will hear is binary scramble if they try to listen to you. The new law will, however, be effective for spying on most of the naive public, and once the feds figure out that the people they really want to listen to are encrypting their traffic, do you think they’ll want to give up the ability to listen to the rest of us? Not likely.

One glimmer of hope here is the VOIP encryption software itself. It does not require “public key infrastructure” (a way of securely distributing public keys and managing trust relationships that often ends up being quite complicated and burdensome), which has always been a major hurdle for encrypted email. For encrypted VOIP, all you need is for both sides to have the encryption software–easy for those who are moderately technically-inclined, and maybe even easy enough for the VOIP phone vendors to pick up on it.