The Difference Two Years Made – NYT

I am Boggled beyond all imagination where we are today as a country. For the first time in my life I am voting against EVERY incumbent Republican that is up for re-election. The Constitution is MORE than just a piece of paper. I hope you do the same.

The Difference Two Years Made – New York Times:
On Tuesday, when this page runs the list of people it has endorsed for election, we will include no Republican Congressional candidates for the first time in our memory. Although Times editorials tend to agree with Democrats on national policy, we have proudly and consistently endorsed a long line of moderate Republicans, particularly for the House. Our only political loyalty is to making the two-party system as vital and responsible as possible.

That is why things are different this year.

Continue reading

Declaration of Independence

When was the last time you read The Declaration of Independence?

Declaration of Independence from the National Archives

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States: For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The History of the Declaration of Independence

The End of The Netflix I Loved

**Update December 22, 2005**

***I am being ignored by Netflix***

I am Boggled by the changes to my Netflix Rental History. Recently Netflix changed the way they offered up my rental history. In the past they would send you your entire history in an email with all of your account information. It was a great service to customers and enabled programs like Netflix Freak to build on the Netflix experience by integrating all your rental histroy and ratings into the program. It made it easy to see if you were renting a movie you had already watched or to find out that you had forgotten to rent the 2nd disc in the Second season of Six Feet Under. It allowed you to rate all the movies you had viewed and sort them by your ratings or Genre. Being a movie freak I loved that. Being the kind of guy that believes I shouldn’t have to lower my expectations of service I had to speak my mind and sent the following letter to NetFlix Customer Service. I will let you know what happens, if anything, as we go along.

Hi Folks,
I first became a Netflix member back in 1997 when you had the prepaid value packs. Later on you went to a monthly subscription service. I left for a little while in 2003 because I got busy with a newborn and an 18 month old Son. I came back after 5 months and rejoined and was thrilled that you kept my rental history and I was able to to see all the movies I had rented were still tied to my previous and current email address. That’s catering to customers!

Over the years I have turned dozens and dozens of people on to Netflix. I really love it and the people that I have sent to Netflix do also. I love to share my favorite movies and I love to be able to talk about a movie and see my entire rental history.

I know that I am just one customer and with most companies they just don’t care about one customers business. I have felt that Netflix was different and that you “Got it” and did care.

The recent change to the Rental History availability and the full rental history email saddens me. I believe that it is Netflix’s first move towards being a company that doesn’t care. In this day and age where conversation with your customers are important, I find it difficult to believe that this new process was implemented to benefit anyone other than your Attorneys. Please bring back my full rental history. I love to play with it, manipulate it, and I love the sense of history I have when sharing it with friends. I take pride in how long I have been a member. I love the way I can use it with the program Netflix Freak to interface with the Netflix website and manage all aspects of my experience and history with Netflix.

I don’t expect that anyone will actually read this, nor do I expect that I will get any kind of personal response other than the auto generated propaganda email response. That saddens me as well because the Netflix I joined in those early days created an Evangelist in me. I felt that everyone should move to your service and that Netflix was going to change the face of movie rentals which you have. In a recent interview with Reed Hastinds he commented that the best customer Netflix can have is the one that forgets to rent a movie. That will never happen for long, for why should a customer pay if they don’t rent. I can live with my account being throttled because of the quantity of movies I rent. Heck, I just changed my subscription to the 6 at a time plan to actually get more at home. I understand that business is about averages, some custumers rent a lot, others just a few, in the end you hope your averages work out and your profitable. The most important thing you can have though are happy customers that evangelize your company.

Please bring back the sense of customer and underdog attitude that made your company great. Give us back the full email rental history and let us do with it as we please.


A Former Evangelist for Netflix who is now just a customer.

Rick Cummings

Please call me if you want to talk about it. Although I don’t expect that to happen.

Of course as soon as I sent it I received the first automatic response email. I have yet to figure out why companies bother with these types of emails. I would prefer one the just said “Thanks! We got your email! Here is the auto response from Netflix:

Dear Netflix User,

We appreciate your recent feedback about the Netflix service. Due to

the overwhelming number of great ideas we get from customers such as

yourself, we cannot reply to every customer individually. However,

all comments and suggestions are forwarded to the appropriate

departments for review and consideration.

If you have a question you need answered right away, please visit

our online Help Center at It covers a

wide variety of commonly asked questions.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Netflix makes every effort to

maintain its site and strives to give its customers the best DVD

experience possible.


Your Friends at Netflix

Great, I wonder who came up with the great idea to change my rental history. How many companies ever listen to and implement the great ideas their customers give them? I am so done with companies that don’t care. If I’m daring I can always reply to it. Do you think anybody reads the email that goes to the reply address Sure gives me a warm fuzzy that they appreciate my business! I will post more later.

LibraryThing | Catalog your books online

Last week I wished that I had kept a list of all the books I have read in my lifetime. This week I find a great website that let’s you catalog the books you have read or want to read in an online catalog. I have used it all of 15 minutes and love it. LibraryThing let’s you create your own library of up to 200 books for free, or for $10 during the Beta you can add all you want forever. They pull from the Library of Congress and Amazon to give you access to everything. The best trick is that they use Tags like Flickr and do so you can organize and share your books. What makes this so brilliant is that they let you browse the Zeitgest by either Tag Cloud or Author Cloud, also by Genre, Top 25 books, and the 25 largest user libraries, etc. See something you have read in another users library? Want to add it to yours? Click on their Graphical Shelf and then click on the book to add it to your catalog. It’s easier than typing in every one of your books one at a time. You can also add books by using the ISBN number. Since they already pull from Amazon, I wish it had a category for music and movies and let me add those to my catalog using the ASIN numbers also. Let’s all send them an email to see if that can be done in a future update. I foresee a long future with LibraryThing.

Take it for a spin…


Browse the Tag Clouds…

LibraryThing Zeitgeist:

New Orleans and Outpost Crystal

I have been following the LiveJounal Blog of Michael Barnett and his WebCam Feed since Monday. Michael Barnett and the staff of Intercosmos Media Group and directNIC are a web company holed up in their 10th floor Data Center in a 27 story skyscraper since Sunday Morning. They are located in the Central Business District in Downtown New Orleans and are fighting to keep their Data Center live and the 800,000 customer web sites that would go down if they surrendered the position. They are surviving on food that the company brought in for employee lunches before the storm and a diesel generator. You can subscribe to the feed or click on any of the links I added under “Interdictor” in the right column of Boggled. Digital Pictures can be found here and here. It is absolutely amazing to see and read what is going on live in New Orleans. Michael has added more recent picture links here

That being said, please give to the Red Cross or any of the other charities listed here. You can also click on the Red Cross Banner in the sidebar to go to the Red Cross donation pages.

You can also see complete coverage by The Times-Picayune who for the first time in their history are publishing exclusively on the web.

Here are photos being uploaded by people to Flickr and tagged hurricanekatrina and katrina, some are beyond my imagination.

Remember also that the most important thing in life is the health and safety of our loved ones. My heart goes out to all the people of the Gulf Coast that are living, and dying, through this catastrophe as I type this. It’s sobering. Please donate. I did.