Lottery Post Journal

Middle Name Nonsense

Here's my take on Barack Hussein Obama.  (Eek, I just said his middle name!)

I guess some anti-Obama people (they exist on both the left and the right) are pointing out his middle name because they feel some residual stigma may be attached to Obama when people hear it.

Yesterday, Michelle Obama came out and said that nobody should be saying his middle name, and called it the "ultimate fear bomb."

Does anyone else find this wacky?

Michelle Obama is basically saying that saying "Hussein" is like saying the "N" word.

The really weird thing is that presidents' middle names are spoken all the time.

How many times did the press write and say, "George Herbert Walker Bush".  I mean, they just LOVED saying all four words, as if it made him either seem like a wuss or someone who was handed everything in life — even an extra middle name!

Notice how the press was hoping that some stigma would be attached to "Herbert Walker".  Now the same people (and Michelle Obama) is aghast that people are mentioning "Hussein".

Intelligent people don't need to be told that middle names don't matter.  Only people who already know who they're voting for care about this kind of thing, because they are to the point where they allow themselves to mentally slur a person for having a superficial quality like "Hussein" or "Herbert Walker" as a middle name.

When a candidate's wife equates her husband's middle name with an "ultimate fear bomb", people start to think, "Thou dost protest too much."  And that, not the original stating of the candidate's middle name, is what can change minds about a candidate.

Frozen in Grand Central Station

This is a pretty cool stunt!


Bush tax cuts help all Americans who pay taxes

I got this from another LP member who doesn't blog much.  I found it fascinating, and you may too.

The mainstream media has lied to you about the "Bush tax cuts".  It is not just a big handout to wealthy Americans, as you are being told.

The Bush tax cuts are a huge boost to lower-income Americans, which is why they were so successful in reversing the Clinton recession that Bush inherited when he took office.

What the liberal media does not like is that every American gets a tax break, not just poor and middle-income people.  Liberals of today pretty much have a Socialist agenda, which means rob from the rich and give to the poor — AKA income re-distrubution.  It is a populist agenda, which plays very well to the people who get that money, but it is a false hope for those people, because Capitalism creates a drive to get to the top of the ladder, whil Socialism makes people happy sitting on lower rungs of society.  (i.e., stagnation and a willingness to let the government control your life.)

The USA beat the Soviet Union because capitalism is better than Socialism any day, and in every way.  Socialism can be packaged in a way that make it appealing to society's base instincts, rather than to its collective intellect.

Before I get too far off the track, here's the article I promised...

Based on using the actual tax tables (see link below), here are some examples on what the taxes were/are on various amounts of income for both singles and married couples. So let's see if the Bush tax cuts only helped the rich.

Taxes under Clinton 1999 Taxes under Bush 2008 
Single making 30K - tax $8,400Single making 30K - tax $4,500
13%  decrease
Single making 50K - tax $14,000Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $23,250Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K - tax $16,800Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $21,000Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $38,750Married making 125K - tax $31,250
6%  decrease

If you want to know just how effective the mainstream media is, it is amazing how many people that fall into the categories above think Bush is screwing them and Bill Clinton was the greatest President ever.  If any Democrat is elected, ALL of them say they will repeal the Bush tax cuts and a good portion of the people that fall into the categories above can't wait for it to happen.  This is like the movie The Sting with Paul Newman and Robert Redford; you scam somebody out of some money and they don't even know what happened.

The check is in the mail


Last 2 digits of your SSN

Receive your check by week of


00 - 09

July 23


10 - 19

July 30


20 - 29

August 6


30 - 39

August 13


40 - 49

August 20


50 - 59

August 27


60 - 69

Sept. 3


70 - 79

Sept. 10


80 - 89

Sept. 17


90 - 99

Sept. 24

For married taxpayers who filed a joint return, the first Social Security Number on the return determines the mailing date.
Source: Internal Revenue Service

Hillary's Communist Agenda

I don't really have anything to say about this.  I just wanted to post a headline as ridiculous as the anti-Bush propagandists who are cherry-picking left-wing hate articles from around the Internet and posting them here.

Enjoyed Kentucky

I just spent four days in Kentucky (Louisville area), and I wanted to mention to all the members from that state what a nice place it is.

The people were very friendly, and the weather even cooperated.  (I left just before the snow hit on Monday.)

Seems like a nice place to live.

Clinton Crumbling: Ex-Campaign Manager Backs Obama

From an AP report:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An aide to Barack Obama says the man who led former President Clinton's 1992 bid plans to endorse the Illinois senator.

Obama's campaign plans a 1 p.m. conference call Wednesday to announce the endorsement by David Wilhelm, who later became chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement would be made public later in the day.

Wilhelm plans to tell reporters that Obama can build a coalition of Democrats, independents and Republicans needed to win the general election. He also says Obama can bring the change he promises-improving the economy and ending the war in Iraq.

Wilhelm is a superdelegate from Illinois who was previously uncommitted in the race.

Should McCain choose Romney as his running mate?

My first reaction to this was "no", but now I'm thinking it may not be a bad idea.

The biggest thing the Democrats have on McCain is his relative inexperience with economics, which McCain has admitted in the past.  Since the economy is such a big deal these days, that inexperience may bite him.

(Of course, anyone looking at the situation logically would see that neither Clinton nor Obama have any experience with the economy either, but I would count on the media overlooking that fact.)

Adding Romney as a running mate could quell that issue pretty well, since one of Romney's chief strengths is his vast private-sector economic experience.  The guys knows how to turns businesses around, and has done so numerous times.  He's also the person who ran the Olympic committee -- to great success -- so he knows how to manage well.

Now, that's just a strengths/weaknesses thing, and lots of people will come up with that same analysis.

However, I believe there is a strategic reason why McCain may want to pick Romney: to keep him from running against him in 2012.

Romney was not un-popular with the voters.  I believe if Huckabee was not in the picture, things may have turned out a lot differently, and that Romney would be the leading candidate right now.

McCain has 4.8 million votes so far to Romney's 4.1 million.  That's not a big difference, and if many of Huckabee's 2.4 million votes were cast for one or the other, I think that would have closed the gap.

The point is that McCain know that Romney not only has a following of sorts, but that he's probably going to try again one day.  By adding him to the ticket, that keeps Romney from competing with him in 2012.

Lottery Post Web Server Update

Day by day I continue making progress on the Lottery Post Web server, in my attempt to restore things back to normal.

(For those who weren't aware of the issue, I'd suggest reading this post first.)

It's been a very long week since this whole thing started, so I guess I'll just start by giving some insight into the problem, and then talk about where we're at.

Last Monday the primary Lottery Post web server died right before my eyes.  Normally problems happen when I'm off doing something else and I discover it several minutes later, but this time was unique in that I was right in the middle of working on something on the server, and ..... blink ..... it stopped working.

I called the data center and asked them to help me cycle the power on the machine, and when it didn't start back up I knew something was wrong, in a bad way.  Even if the server had blue-screened (crashed) a power cycle would at least bring it back up.

So my first course of action was to bring up the site (and a bunch of other sites that I host on the same server) on a backup server.  Fortunately, I have been keeping a "warm spare" ready ever since the site had some problems a few months ago, so it wasn't quite as daunting as it could have been.

All told, between the time it took at various attempts restarting the primary web server, bringing up fresh code on the backup, and a bunch of tasks required to get it operational, Lottery Post was down for about two hours.  Not too bad, all things considered.  It could have been much worse.

After that, I spent a couple days trying to diagnose exactly what went wrong, forming a plan to get everything fixed and back in original condition, and continuing work with the backup server to get additional sites running and as many parts of Lottery Post operational as possible.  It's at times like this when I realize just how gargantuan and complex this site is.  There are so many working pieces that you can't really consider them all at once — you need to tackle them piece by piece.

By Wednesday I decided that this problem would require a trip to the data center, which is much more involved than some people would think.  Many assume that Lottery Post is run on a computer that I can walk across the room to get to, but in reality Lottery Post is hosted on a series of computers located in a data center in a different part of the country from me.  It's a major trip (and expense) for me to go there, so I avoid it except when it's really necessary.

Also on Wednesday I determined the root cause of the failure: two-thirds of the hard disks in the web server's RAID-5 array went bad.  It's something with minuscule odds of ever happening — having two of three hard drives failing simultaneously — so my guess is that one drive failed and then the other drive failed soon after.  Maybe the subsequent failures happened when the remaining drives were picking up the load from the first failed drive.

RAID-5 arrays are great things to have, because they allow a server to survive without interruption if up to one-third of the hard drives fail.  (For example, in a 9-drive array, up to three drives can fail without causing a problem.)  Hard drives rarely fail anyway, so having the ability for one drive out of three to fail means you can theoretically go without ever having a server die from hard drive failure.

Of course, theory is one thing, and reality is another.

So I caught and early Thursday morning flight, and by the afternoon I was in the data center.  (I'll avoid saying exactly where the data center is located.)  I spent the next 48 hours working with the existing servers, installing another new server, and taking the opportunity to install some new equipment that should help me to remotely diagnose and fix problems in the future much quicker than I can today.

Things went as planned in the data center, and everything is in good shape there.

The one big missing piece in all of this is the RAID-5 array from the primary web server — the disks that failed.  I sent the disks to a data recovery company, which spent several days diagnosing them.  Apparently at least one of the disks actually had something mechanically wrong with it — not just a failed sector or two.  The analysis took longer than expected because they had to remove the platters from the drive and place them in a different housing, and then they do very detailed sector-by-sector analysis on each disk.

By Monday (yesterday) I finally got an answer from them.  They believe they will be able to extract all, or nearly all, of the files on the disks.  I don't expect that any member who uploaded files to the server will lose any of them.  That's the good news.

The bad news (at least for me) is that extraction will take a couple weeks and comes at a very steep price.  So while I'm happy that I'll probably be able to set everything straight within a couple weeks, I could literally buy a few extra servers with the cost of recovering the data.  There's no "company" that pays for it — I do.  To say it is painful is an understatement.

There were some other twists and turns that made things interesting this week — like when I found over the weekend that the network interface cards in the new web server were malfunctioning and causing crashes.  I guess the new server didn't want to get left out of the action.

If you noticed (up until this afternoon) that Lottery Post was freezing up every now and then, that was the network card crashing the server.  I was able to get a new NIC (network interface card) shipped to the data center and installed by this afternoon, and so far everything is running well since then.

So that's my update, for anyone who may be wondering what's going on.  Things should be relatively stable for the next couple weeks, and then I hope to get everyone's uploaded files from the data recovery folks, and re-loaded to the server.

If anyone has questions pertaining to their individual situation, please send me a PM.  Let's keep specific questions like that in private, and off the forums and blogs.  If there are general or larger questions and/or comments, feel free to leave a comment here.