Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Turn off the tube

John Scalzi is asking if a writer should write about politics.  Unsurprisingly, the answer is 'yes'.  And so should every other person, regardless of their occupation.

And yes, it means that some people won’t buy my books. So what. I live
in a place where it will never come to this, but if I had to make the
choice between selling fiction and speaking my mind about politics, I
would speak my mind and not once regret the choice.

Which is okay - because John Scalzi is one literate mother-humper [1].  I may not agree with his politics but he lays them out in a rational, reasoned matter.  I buy - and will continue to buy - John Scalzi's fiction because his stories are pretty darn good.

And then we come to Steven Weber.  Who is, to be polite, a dipstick.

He's a crusty but benign, crafty but loquacious Washington vet who's
seen his share of triumph and tragedy; she's the spunky Alaskan spark
plug who's ignited the belch and buckshot crowd with her folksy,
no-muss approach to runnin' things and her belief that Adam walked with
Tyrannosaurus Rex. Something for everybody!

Belch and buckshot crowd?  That's not being literate, that's condesending.  It ain't funny.  Rational or reasoned?  Phht.

I'll buy Scalzi's work because he's good and, frankly, there aren't a whole lot of people producing literate SF like he does.

Steven Weber is an actor who can't write.  He really ought to remember that guys who can take direction and mouth other people's words are a dime-a-dozen.  It's hard to put down a John Scalzi novel, easy to turn off the TV.

[1] Sorry about the swears.

Sing for Change Obama - a creepy idea whose time has passed

A half-assed - but still valid - reason to vote for McCain .. because stuff like this is creepy and verging on evil.

The idea of a bunch of tots singing praises of the Dear Leader needs to be mocked until the adults in the room sheepisly admit that, yes, it's really dumb to idolize a politician and program your children.

It's like the 20th century didn't even happen. What in the fuck are you people thinking?

The first link is gone - but the song lives on!

And lyrics!

We’re gonna spread happiness
We’re gonna spread freedom
Obama’s gonna change it
Obama’s gonna lead ‘em

We’re gonna change it
And rearrange it
We’re gonna change the world.

Man v Kzin

Man v. Kzin by you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The People Has Spoke

Your representatives heard you when you demanded affordable housing, they heard you when you insisted that the programs were fine, and they have heard you when you insisted that Wall Street pay for it all by melting into a puddle of slag.

bailout_2 by you.

Yes, I know: simplistic. Also not everyone demanded all of that. Still, this is Democracy and we get to live with our folly. That includes your neighbor's folly as well as your own.

If this gets real bad and fifty years from now historians look back and say 'you know, if they'd voted 'aye' they could have saved themselves a whole lotta misery', I hope the guys up on the barricade have the grace to feel like retards.

Gas, gas gas

What the heck is this crap, my country 'tis of thee?
Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was
sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire
and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.
Gassing 300 people at prayer? 

Find the the puss-wad pud-pulling mouse-brained cowards and throw the book at 'em, then publish their names far and wide.

Walked right through that restraining order

'Goodbye Earl' with slightly different lyrics ..

Well she finally got the nerve to file for divorce
She let the law take it from there

But Earl walked right through that restraining order . . .
And found himself looking at the wrong end of a gun

Except that his name was Terry, it's not clear they were married, he's on a slab at the morgue.  I really dunno but he probably won't be missed at all.

Same diff: if you think temper, testosterone and muscle are a match for a women with a gun

new gun by still "painted lady"

have another think, bucko.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bng Bng - Oprtn Mndfck

Disemvoweling is a less than honest method for controlling comments; you're not refuting the poster, just hashing up what he had to say.  Which is a sucky way to stimulate conversation.  If you're not into having a conversation with readers, why have comments?  If it's trash, get rid of it.

I speculate that randomly self-disemvoweling your own comments - the more innocus the better - is a great way to have some fun and mock the practice.

I thnk tht yr pst s rlly slly nd chldsh nd ths i hrrbl thng t d.

smmr gl

Hail Eris, baby.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Seth Godin is not dumb

But I think he's missing an obvious answer here ...

If it’s so dangerous to have your ipod on during takeoff and landing, how come you’re allowed to have it with you on the plane at all? Does all the scolding actually increase safety? How?

You turn off your ipod so if the plane breaks on takeoff you can hear the instructions from the flight crew telling you how to get out before you burn up.  Accidents near the ground happen really, really fast: there may not be time for the pilot to say "welp, we're going to crash" twice.

I've Got a Bracelet, Too

Real life provides better lines than fiction ever will.

Senator McCain: Long ramble about service, sacrifice, the suckitude of defeat.
Senator Obama: "Jim, let me just make a point. I've got a bracelet too. From, Sergeant, uh, uh, from the mother of, uh, Sergeant, Ryan David Jopek."

He certainly does appear to be looking at his wrist for Sergeant Jopek's name, doesn't he?

Why is this a big deal?

The point of those bracelets is to remember the individual. If you gotta look at the thing to recall the name, it sorta brings home the point that it's there for political reasons, hunh?

People in the military - and their families - are not blind to the reality that we're an instrument of national policy [1]. But we prefer not to have that fact shoved into our faces by people who want to be the boss.

When President Obama pulls the trigger to invade Pakistan [2] we'd like to think he's giving at least a passing thought to Joe Snuffy.

Not remembering the name of the guy you've said you would honor as an individual makes it hard to do that.

[1] War is a continuation of politics by other means - Clausewitz.

[2] Or any of the other eleventy-dozen countries where Al-Queda is operating. If the world thought an ill-defined Bush Doctrine was a big deal just wait until we see the Obama Doctrine in action: Invade whomever we want whenever we want because a few dozen gomers are recruiting for an amorphous network of terrorists.[3]

[3] Add to this Representative Steve Kagen's promise to interfere with free markets outside the jurisdiction of the United States, Senator Obama's plan to draft high school kids into national service and we might be forgiven for asking people: You won't vote Republican because Bush was a war monger, an idiot, and a guy who is reviled by right-thinking people everywhere .. but compuslory service, a promise to roll panzers across recognized national borders 'just because' and plans to keep people from making money in their own country .. this is somehow better?

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Clearing Barrel

We woke up this morning to hear ..

"Washington Mutual in particular did a lot of mortgage lending in California and Florida — which are both states that have had a lot of foreclosures. The Office of Thrift Supervision, which regulates the banks, said Washington Mutual had lost more than $6 billion in the last three quarters," he says.

Well shit-oh-dear: WAMU fell to a good old-fashioned bank run.  Everyone panic!  But before you do ...

I think I've seen this before, on a small scale . . .

Lance Corporal P., against orders, inserted a magazine in his M1911 on guard duty.  When he was relieved, he hauled back on the slide, looked into the chamber, saw nothing, let go of the slide, poked the muzzle into the clearing barrel, pulled the trigger, and ignited a firestorm.

One does not do something dumb in front of the battalion C.O. and all his staff without consequences.  L/CPL P. was very soon a private, his COG and SOG lost their jobs, and everyone else got a stern talking-to and tedious lectures on not Doing Dumb Things with Firearms.

As the shit-storm was gathering force, Sergeant T. - himself out of the chain of command of the goat-rope - observed that everyone seemed to be overlooking something: the clearing barrel worked.

WAMU going under is, sure a big deal.  But the FDIC is in place, assets are protected.  Y'all can stop acting like this is the end of the world and the perfect time to either a) revamp the government or b) declare capitalism a done tom turkey.

The clearing barrel works.

Windows is the suck

Although, not really.

The problem lies not with Windows but the lame applications that are written for it. And not, I suppose, with the applications but the retards who call themselves software developers and unleash their steaming piles of mediocrity on the world.

I've got this program, and I suppose that at some point it all made sense but the bits I'm working with are a confusing mess of VB, SQL, Data Junction maps and batch files and nothing really hangs together well so I've got to run about eleventy-dozen applications just to see what is going on.

Following the flow of this circus [1] as it makes it way through our ERP environment makes me want to clap a grenade to the side of my head [2]: I'm about to break out a flowchart template so I can draft at document so I can understand it all, that's how icky it all is.

[1] As an example, McNasty Enterprise Application Integration server creates log files. Oh boy, does it create log files. But are they in the same directory? Oh, hell no.

[2] Yesterday the process that reads the Data Junction maps pegged the processor at 100% for nearly two hours.  While the app was busy doing this it could not - since the application is single-threaded - do anything else.  The Oracle server had a lock on the table, waiting breathlessly for the EAI server to finish sending it .. what .. gigabits of data?  The recipe for Colonel Sander's chicken? We waited ...

At the end 44 records were updated.

What in the ring-tailed rambling heck?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Palin the Death Monger

We warned him: The Palin-Rove machine will not tolerate dissent

He stepped up with courage and love for his country.  And now ... the moose is gone but the message will live on.

Bullwinkle - assasinated by you.


Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boys will be boys

What are you guys up to?

Younger Monkey: Playing Star Wars Legos.

So .. who is the guy with the blaster and who is the fellow with the light saber?

Older Monkey: I've got the light saber, he has the blaster.

I observe the cooperative play for a minute.

Can you guys shoot each other?

YM: Sure! (blam pow)

OM: Hey! I'll get you ...

Several minutes of hilarity ensue as Obi Wan beats Young Skywalker like a kettle drum.

YM: Ha, hee hah haw heee ....

OM: Are we done? Can we finish playing now?

YM: Hee-hee haw haw yes snigger.

Economy Snark

Economy Snark from y/t:

Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use the government."  Now they have two problems.

Tip 'o the hat to JWZ.

Clearing out the tabs

Orson Scott Card is voting for McCain.

Goodness is back.

Black Swans and the economy.  I like his turkey analogy.

Democracy is obsolete.  No, we're not going to regress, but progress beyond it.  Perhaps in a hundred years we'll retain a republic the same way that the English have a monarchy.

America is a success machine

Living on Tulsa Time

The Army tasks a brigade with a Homeland Security Mission. Paul Watson - and 190 commentors- promptly freak the f*** out and get their panties in a collective twist:

Ominously, the report states that, “The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.”

The unit would also be deployed to deal with hostile crowds of Americans in the aftermath of a massive economic depression, potential food riots and race riots, if one defines the term “crowd control” to match its reasonably applicable scenarios.

Calm down before you hurt yourself, please.

Stuff like this happens all the time - you just never notice. Units get assignments like this like my Aunt Masie loads up on desert. It's only news because of the novel command and control arrangement.

When you read about a battalion of Marines flying up to Yellowstone to help fight forest fires? Secondary tasking. The jarheads who deployed to support the National Guard in LA last time they had a riot? Secondary tasking. Those guys were already on call for that stuff and had a modest amount of training for the task. Sometimes very modest but there you go.

And .. seriously. So 'they' are planning an October Surprise. What in the world is a brigade combat team going to do? It's a battalion of infantry, with guns and air support. Call if 5,000 guys at the most.

It's a big country. If the entire place goes up in flame and smoke, a BCT is going to be a drop of water on a hot grill.

So the Army could send a brigade to take over ... Tulsa. And if they want Tulsa they can have it.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Her or someone like her

Charley James - bless his heart [1] - has more evidence that Sarah Palin is a racist.

A guy, in 1990, tried to pick up a girl named Sarah Heath. At a fast food restaurant. In Anchorage. She shot him down saying 'I don't do black guys'.

I know. You're thinking why isn't this on the front page of the Washington Post? The lead item on CNN?

It's because the media is deep, deep in the GOP's pocket. Clearly.

[1] 'Bless his heart' is what they say back home instead of 'he's f'in crazy'.

Pass the popcorn

Professor Larry Sabato on what happens if the electoral college is tied, throwing the contest to the House.

Summary: it's going to be a rannygazoo bigger than a three-ring circus featuring Siamese elephants joined at the trunk and a three-legged ringmaster. And an international embarrassment.

I don't get that last. What in the world is embarrassing about a representative democracy operating according to the rules? Okay, yes, turmoil, dreaded turmoil. But that's part of the fun and a result of the system being what it is.

Loosen up, Prof, get the popcorn out and enjoy the show.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Coal - it's awesome. Except when it's not so awesome.

Senator Obama: We're for clean coal - it rocks.
Senator Biden: We sure are and it does!  What's that sweetie? Oh wait, you're a Green?  Aw man. Coal is the E-vil.  It's bad.  Seriously.

You just know the guys running the war room at Obama for President's Global Headquarters cringe when they watch ol' Loose Lips on the news.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Autumn

Happy autumn!

I came home and found my neighbor's trees - overnight, no kidding - had burst into a real pretty shade of orange and started dropping leaves.

Autumn in Wisconsin by bermudafan8
No!  Not yet!

Time to get out the snow-blower and make sure it works.

Weapons Recognition

At the NYT.

Ted Boucher: Can anyone tell me what this is?

shotgun by you.

Reporter: I believe the precise technical term would be a .357 Magnum, more commonly  a zip gun, or a derringer.

Boucher: No, it isn't.

Reporter: Really.

Boucher: It's a shotgun.

Reporter: I'm not all together certain that's correct.

International Borders

I listened to a few minutes on the radio from a Pakistani journalist: 'The people are getting tired of these cross-border excursions by Americans from Afghanistan.'

A complaint the Afghans are familiar with.

(Lt. Colonel Chris) Nash said his embedded training team, ETT 2-5, and their allies from the Afghan Border Police's 1st Brigade fought "a significant fight" in late June 2007 in the Agam Tengay and Wazir Tengay valleys in the Tora Bora mountains of southern Nangarhar - the same region in which al-Qaida forces fought a retreat into Pakistan from prepared defenses in the winter of 2001-2002.

"I had six [Marine] guys on a hill," Nash said. "They weren't surrounded, but in the traditional sense they might have been."

At a critical point in the battle, the Pakistanis flew several resupply missions to a Taliban base about 15 to 20 kilometers inside Afghanistan, Nash said. None of the Marines witnessed the helicopter flights during the four days they were there, he said in a Sept. 19 email. Rather, the supply flights had been reported to them by Afghan soldiers and local civilians in the village of Tangay Kholl.

Not just supplies ..

"What [the Pakistanis] bring to the fight is not only tactical expertise, but [because of] how they're arrayed along the border, they can easily provide support by fire positions that our enemies are able to maneuver under," Nash said. "We were on the receiving end of Pakistani military D-30."

What's a D-30? A Soviet 122-mm howitzer - tosses 22 kilogram shells up to 15,000 meters. Makes a really big boom.

D30 by you.

' ... target, troops in the open .. '

The Kiss - Judee Sill

She's been gone all weekend. Good news! I got some stuff cleaned up around the house. Bad news - I miss her horribly and so I'm inflicting this on you ...

Judee Sill - 'The Kiss

Nothing says "I love you" like one of those too sensitive to live chick singers.

Love, risin' from the mists
Promise me this and only this
Holy breath touchin' me
Like a wind song
Sweet communion of a kiss

Sun, siftin' thru the grey
Enter in, reach me with a ray
Silently swoopin' down
Just to show me
How to give my heart away

And once a crystal choir
Appeared while I was sleepin' and called my name
And when they came down nearer
Sayin', "Dyin' is done",
Then a new song was sung
Until somewhere we breathed as one

Stars, burstin' in the sky
Hear the sad nova's dyin' cry
Shimmerin' memory
Come and hold me
While you show me how to fly

Sun, siftin' thru the grey
Enter in, reach me with a ray
Silently swoopin' down
Just to show me
How to give my heart away

And lately sparklin' hosts
Come fill my dreams descendin' on firey beams
I've seen 'em come clear down
Where our poor bodies lay
Soothe us gently and say,
"Gonna wipe all your tears away"

Love risin' from the mists
Promise me this and only this
Holy breath touchin' me
Like a wind song
Sweet communion of a kiss.

Two asstards for the price of one

Darkly amusing: a lawyer and teacher respects private property only as long as it pleases his notion of aesthetics.

Cowboys beat Packers like kettle drums

I had no idea that the Cowboys had so many large holes playing for them on the offensive line.

9/22/08 - Felix Jones by you.
'I looked up and .. I saw a hole. And I stopped for a second - I didn't know we had any of those playing for us.'

Good job, Cowboys.  Packers ... well y'all showed up for the game and gosh darn it, you tried hard. Yes, of course we'll stop for dilly bars on the way home.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Democrats and Republicans

When the Republicans come to town, [1] they schedule the event for late afternoon.  You can put in a full day, knock off and go see the show.

When the Democrats come to town, [1] they schedule the event for friggin' noon: you gotta take the day off to go see 'em.

[1] Snark only applicable to North East Wisconsin.  Snark may vary by geography.  See your local political hacks for snark appropriate to your area.

Out Of Pocket

Space Ship One - first flight by you.
SpaceShip One - First Flight

Me, personally, I'll take the spirit, ingenuity and passion that can plant the American flag on the moon over pre-paid health care. I can buy health care. Thirty three years after watching the event as a ten year old boy, I'm still trying to go to the moon. (Some of us in the Mojave desert may still have few tricks up our sleeve on this one. We're still free to build airplanes and  spacecraft from our garages and fly the goddamn things. Try and keep up with a nation that builds working spacecraft in the garage. As a hobby. Out of pocket. For FUN.)

Bill Whittle

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes
What I am incredibly proud of, regardless of what happens in November, is that, so far as I know, this is the first time in history when an oppressed ethnic minority has come so close to being elected leader of a country. Has that happened anywhere? America is an extraordinary country. We really, actually do try to live up to our ideals. "America a racist nation"? Really? As opposed to what country, where? It is human beings who have the tribalism meme (if not gene). The American egalitarianism meme is in conflict with it, and causes cognitive dissonance on a massive social scale. We're working through this stuff. I frankly didn't think we'd get this far in my lifetime. Just need another decade or so for more older white folks to die off...man, that sounds brutal. Truth hurts.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Wander my freaks

We've committed to a re-commitment ceremony. We've settled on a style that fits us, the monkeys are thrilled with the formal wear we've settled on ..

Kilts! And bagpipes!

That's my daughter. She is fifteen.

Oh ... my ... gawd you people are freaks! I'm the only normal person here!

Phht: Kilts are cool. And it's not bagpipes plural - just a recording [1] that I'm mulling over for the set [2] you play when you're getting ready for the show to start.

Nothing set in stone - and we've got a year to nail this sucker down.

Anyway - she's my coolth gauge.  When she goes high and to the right, I know that I'm spot on.

[1] I like this one too.  The opening is a bit .. heavy .. for an intimate gathering, perhaps.

[2] The themes that run through the Battlestar Galactica soundtrack really hit me in the gut.  Redemption, Reunification ... hey it's a re-commitment ceremony, right?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain - Palin in Green Bay

Hey - when the circus comes to town, you go.  If a guy who could be President is in town, same deal.  Except for me: I was trying to wrassle a Terribly Important Problem so the users in Penang can run their conference room test on the new system.  By the time I got it put down there was no way to make it there in time.

But thanks to the intertubes I can watch it in the Press-Gazette's live feed.  Newspapers doing live video - it's pretty cool and so very much The Future.

Left To Right

A long and amusing monograph on how we got here. It's not James Burke but then ... who is?

I found that if you read this with a sort of James Burkian voice in your head it's incredibly funny. Perhaps it's me, but a fellow saying in an educated Irish-Brit accent " ... and decided that really - f*** the French. They were clearly full of it." is just the cat's pajamas.

So we have this whole business rattling around for a while. Theorizing. And then, people decide to put it in practice. As you do.

And that means Revolutions. Everybody loves a good revolution. Benny Franklin and TJ danced, danced their way into your basic plagiarism and, after kicking his countrymen out, decided to build a country on Locke’s blueprint.

French couldn’t really let that pass by, so they started their own party. But the French Revolution was much more fixated on Rousseau (it was embarrassing really. A lot like Harry Potter fandom, only with less goat.se and more chopping of the heads… Actually, strike that. It was exactly like Harry Potter fandom).

Being French these guys got a little too excited and burned down most of Europe while experimenting.

As you do.

Meanwhile back in Britain, a guy named Edmund Burke was completely aghast, because his parents named him Edmund Burke.

I mean seriously – that’s just mean.

He was also slightly Irish, so naturally he was incensed by that whole business in France. (The fact that goats were suddenly so popular, proved a real disaster to Ireland’s lucrative sheep industry.)

So anyway, Eddie sits in his room, petting his sheep (that’s a euphemism) and looking at this whole French thingamadoo. And it occurs to him - “…those bastards are out of their goddamn mind! Even for the French…”

And he basically says – “No, seriously. We are way past messing around. Dude, seriously – they are chopping people’s heads off over there. With a machine that’s designed specifically to chop people’s heads off! No joke. Why do you think they are doing that?”

So he decided to ask.

And Robespierre told him that the old society was corrupt and failed and new one had to be built.

“And the head chopping comes into this because…”

“Old society is made of people that needed some killing.” Rob told him. “To much competition, too much mysticism, too much individualism, too much retardation. We have a blueprint for a perfect new system and it will help us create a perfect new citizen.”

“But Locke said that individualism is good. And competition is good…”

“Well that’s nice, but your good, competitive individuals are busy burning their neighbors because they think their invisible friend told them to. So y’know what? Fuck your individualism. Most of your good people are dirty, superstitious savages that have been bamboozled by conmen into believing absolute bullshit. We will lead them out of the darkness.”

“But what if you are wrong? All this ‘darkness’ has been evolved by thousands of generations of trial and error. And it works – that’s why it’s around. It’s been tested. You just totally made your new system up and you used fucking Windows, for Chrissakes! Shouldn’t you beta it first before installing?”

“There’s no time!”

“Why not?”

“Because of China, that’s why!”

Burke wanted to clarify that point, but then Robespierre had to go and chop Danton’s head off, so we’ll never know. But Burke thought about it for a while and decided that really – fuck the French. They were clearly full of it.

Obama and the Lobbyists - Won't Get Fooled Again

Senator Obama: “So one of the things that we’ve got to do is not just change the health-care system, but we’ve also got to change our political system. And that’s why I don’t take PAC money. I don’t take money from federal registered lobbyists, because I want to answer to you when I’m in the White House. I don’t want to answer to all these fat-cat lobbyists!”

The Senator went on to say, I will, however, take money from the spouses of in lobbyists in D.C. And lobbyists in state capitals.  And their spouses.  And partners of law firms that are in the lobbyist business. Also C.E.O.'s, and officers of corporations that engage lobbyists whom I will not take money from.

There's nothing in the street
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parking on the left
Is now the parking on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again
No, no!

Uniforms and Change

Check out this ad from Chesterfield in 1939.  You know what's keen about it?

Smokes ad from 1939 by you.

No, not the look on the guy's face. What is keen is that in the sixty-nine years since 1939 I can only ID two changes in the uniform: The color of the rag on his cover is now white, and the addition of crossed rifles in the chevrons.

In a world of change, it's nice to have that kind of link to the past.

Instead of being in, say, the Army where they change the look of the uniforms every five years.

Voter fraud and J.B. Van Hollen

So .. wait a second.

When the WEAC went after the virtual schools in Wisconsin, it was okay because they were enforcing the law.

When the Attorney General - not some union guys but the actual dude in charge of law enforcement - goes after the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board because they are not in compliance with Federal law, and have not been for going on two election cycles now .. it's has the whiff of partisanship.

I do not understand why the local Democrats are opposed to keeping the ballot lists in good order.  If you think the worse of your Loyal Opposition - and people Left and Right certainly do - then wouldn't you want to do what you can to do away with voter fraud?

A Grand Lunar X-Prize

Cowboy R wants to know ..
What will ultimately make you vote for one of the candidates, or not vote for one of them?

If any one candidate would vow to make this legislation a reality, it would get my vote.

"Be it enacted by the Congress of the United States:

"The Congress has determined that it is in the national interest of the United States to build and operate an American owed permanent base on the Moon.

"The Treasurer is directed to pay the sum of $xx billion to the first American owned corporation or firm to establish a base on the Moon and continuously to keep there in good health at least 31 Americans for a period of not less than three years and a day"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Classy Lady

Hey, Janeane Garofalo ..

JANEANE GAROFALO: Well, you know what? It's because Democrats as people are fundamentally more decent. That's what makes the Democrats…

JOHN FUND: I have a theory that the side that most belittles and most underestimates their opposition in elections generally tends to lose. And I think that you just about stepped into that because saying that one party is fundamentally inherently more decent. Political party is a collection of people seeking power. That's all it is. And for you to characterize people who vote for one party over the other as being more decent…That's not real tolerant. I thought you believed in tolerance and diversity. That's not tolerant.

GAROFALO: First of all there is no evidence to support that the current incarnation of the Republican party, hyphen conservative movement, has any tethering to decency, kindness, tolerance, open-mindedness. What do they stand for? Torture as a policy. They stand for homophobia. They stand for no reproductive justice. They stand for denying global warming.

FUND: So what should we do? Jail them?

GAROFALO: That would be great!

Stay classy, babe.

Her name has such a power as to make a grown woman jump at shadows

You'll pardon me, but I have a hard time believing that a Jesuit would say

"Absolutely. They are everything He or She hates in a Christian."

Perhaps I don't believe this because I don't know a whole lot of Jesuits. I do know a few Catholics, and they don't say 'He or She' when referring to Deity. Maybe the Jesuits running around now-a-days are not cut out of the same cloth as they once were.

Whatever. I also don't ascribe some kind of mystical hoo-doo to the sound of a person's name.

I ... have decided not to even say this woman's name anymore, because she fills me with such existential doubt, such a sense of impending doom and disbelief, that only the Germans could possibly have words for it.

Hey, Anne Lamott: Palin Palin Palin!

Museo de Cera . Freddy Krueger by WakaMouL.



You don't have to yell

I cut/pasted an SR number from my windows client to my browser. It dragged along some win32 trash ...

subtle_oracle by you.

Thanks for being bitchy, Oracle.

The first step

My name is Brian.

I suffer from ACS.

The first step is to acknowledge the problem.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cleaning out the tabs in Firefox

Stack Overflow is up. Whazzat? A collaboratively edited question and answer site for programmers.

The government is bad at record keeping. In this case, medical record keeping. So, yes, let's let the government handle all of our medical needs.

I think this is the perfect job description for the boss of a startup contrasted with the minions

TJIC’s job description is this: we’re all a gang in an alley, and we’re there to mug people and take their money. TJIC finds someone who looks like he might have a few hundred dollar bills in his pocket, and he says “Come on, guys, let’s beat him!”, and we do, and TJIC riffles through his wallet, and pulls out the hundreds, and then you and I are all “Oh, look, there’s a bunch of nickels in here too - Hey, TJIC, come help us pick up the nickels!”, but he’s off saying “Look, another yuppy, let’s beat him!”.


Mingling metrics into your app's database is as bad as putting business logic into your view. Not to mention that the data tends to get big over time, weighing down your main database.

Well, I got sick of that. So I made Rifgraf.

Rifgraf is a fire-and-forget web service for displaying graphs of data collected over time. Post your data points periodically via rest calls. Then view a graph of the data at any time in the future.

7 Accounting tips for Beginning Businesses.

Coyote's Thoughts on the Lehman Bankruptcy.

Presidential answers to the top 14 science questions facing America.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Barack Obama.

Takei - Altman


Takei, 71, and Brad Altman, 54, were pronounced "spouses for life".

The couple wore matching white tuxedo jackets with black trousers and bow ties. Music was provided by a Japanese koto harp and bagpipe procession, and they made their grand entrance to One Singular Sensation from the Broadway musical A Chorus Line.

When you find someone you care that deeply for, hold on to them, cherish them and do what you can to make it work. It's worth it, when you find that special someone.

Congratulations on the wedding. Also .. harp and bagpipes? That blows out the roof with awesome.


Sure, there is a lot to be in the dumps about - the economy, the election where 50% of the county will be irked no matter who wins ...

German Shepherd by villaverde82.
(not my dog - my dog is prettier)

But the world has dogs in it so things will be okay.

I love you mooore ...

Is it the training or do they bring that attitude to the service, fully formed?

Sugary Sweetness (YouTube Video)


Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Monday, September 15, 2008

If You Like Michigan's Economy, You'll Love Obama's

If You Like Michigan's Economy, You'll Love Obama's

Mr. McCain will lower taxes. Mr. Obama will raise
them, especially on small businesses. To understand why, you need to
know something about the "infamous" top 1% of income tax filers: In
order to avoid high corporate tax rates and the double taxation of
dividends, small business owners have increasingly filed as individuals
rather than corporations. When Democrats talk about soaking the rich,
it isn't the Rockefellers they're talking about; it's the companies
where most Americans work. Three out of four individual income tax
filers in the top 1% are, in fact, small businesses.

In the name of taxing the rich, Mr. Obama would raise
the marginal tax rates to over 50% on millions of small businesses that
provide 75% of all new jobs in America. Investors and corporations will
also pay higher taxes under the Obama program, but, as the
Michigan-Ohio-Illinois experience painfully demonstrates, workers
ultimately pay for higher taxes in lower wages and fewer jobs.

Mr. Obama would spend all the savings from walking out
of Iraq to expand the government. Mr. McCain would reserve all the
savings from our success in Iraq to shrink the deficit, as part of a
credible and internally consistent program to balance the budget by the
end of his first term. Mr. Obama's program offers no hope, or even a
promise, of ever achieving a balanced budget.

Mr. Obama would stimulate the economy by increasing
federal spending. Mr. McCain would stimulate the economy by cutting the
corporate tax rate. Mr. Obama would expand unionism by denying workers
the right to a secret ballot on the decision to form a union, and would
dramatically increase the minimum wage. Mr. Obama would also expand the
role of government in the economy, and stop reforms in areas like tort

The states have already tested the McCain and Obama
programs, and the results are clear. We now face a national choice to
determine if everything that has failed the families of Michigan, Ohio
and Illinois will be imposed on a grander scale across the nation. In
an appropriate twist of fate, Michigan and Ohio, the two states that
have suffered the most from the policies that Mr. Obama proposes, have
it within their power not only to reverse their own misfortunes but to
spare the nation from a similar fate.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

They forgot to take it out of the box

I moseyed into the Wal-Mart near Lake Delton.  They're doing a lot of heavy duty remodeling [1] inside and I beheld a temporary pharmacy ..

The box the pharmacy comes in by you.

What with all the plywood it looks like the box the pharmacy comes in.

[1] I thought businesses put off stuff like this during a recession?  Maybe Wal-Mart slipped a gear.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Is anyone doing research at Obama for President Headquarters?

Senator Obama: John McCain doesn't know how to use a computer or send email.  How out of touch can you be?

Mary Leonard: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes.

Senator Obama
: Whoops.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin and Charlie Gibson

One minute on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgMWhrCzbdk

Steve Perry
Gibson asked her about the Bush Doctrine. Look at her face. She had no clue what he was talking about. He fed her enough so she could vamp, and she did, but she still didn't know.

I think she got it. What I see a lot of subtle errors in communication between the two.

You know where the confusion comes from? She's being interviewed by a guy who patronizing her. Which is never fun. And she's got enough steel to return the favor with the contempt it deserves.

Win or loose in November, the Press is in for an interesting time with this lady.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Barack Obama - equal pay for equal work

Senator Barack Obama: "Now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons."

I'm sure they will. As long as they don't work for the staff of ... Senator Barack Obama.
Obama's 28 male staffers divided among themselves total payroll expenditures of $1,523,120. Thus, Obama's average male employee earned $54,397.

Obama's 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.

Stay classy, Senator.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Dear Anglicans

Have you people lost whatever passes for common sense in your teeny-tiny brain housing group?

The Church of St. James the Great in Dursley, Gloucestershire has a new curate. She like lager, the Sex Pistols and wears hot pants and biker boots to church.

Which isn't, really a problem. The Anglican's have so many, many problems that a priest wearing hot pants is like an inch of snow at the North Pole.

The problem is something that was only noted in passing.

Miss Denno moved to the town with her partner Joel and their two young children last month to take up her new role.

An unmarried priest.  With a partner.  And two young children.  For the love o' Pete ..  what?  Oh. She is married, as other articles are at great pains to point out.

Well, that's okay then.  Carry on, Anglicans.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Voting your self interest

Joseph Bottum at First Things ..

Over at the law professors’ blog, the Volokh Conspiracy, they’re discussing the question of why political donations from lawyers are running so strongly in favor of Obama.

One commentator offers this explanation, “Could it be that most highly educated people agree with Obama, are aghast at Bush’s policies, and are afraid that McCain will continue on the same path as Bush?”

Seems obvious enough to me: Senator Obama has promised more taxes, [1] more government. This means a whole bunch of work for lawyers.

It's enlightened self-interest.

[1] But never for me or thee, always someone else.

Army Men Play Test

Army Men Play Test

A plastic bag of Army Men was procured at the Berlin, Wisconsin Wal-Mart. In the bag were:

1) F-117
1) Mil Mi-24 gunship
2) knee-height sand-bag barriers
2) flagpoles, with flags
2) lengths of concertina wire
24) Army Men - Light Green Army (LGA)
24) Army Men - Dark Green Army (DGA)

The LGA army is a two-squad infantry unit. The enlisted soldiers are equipped with a M16A2, the officers with M9 pistols and binoculars.

The DGA forces have a short squad of riflemen, a rocket-launcher section, flame-thrower section, a mortar section a mine-detection team and two radiomen.

1,274 words omitted.

The second exercise featured the entire complement of the LGA, verses a much smaller force of DGA men - the heavy-weapons squad minus the rifle squad, flamethrower section and mine-detection team. An officer army man coordinated the heavy-weapons teams , a DGA radioman crouched behind the sandbag barrier to direct fire.

The LGA forces were not grouped tactically but clustered behind their flag and one knee-height berm in a formation that would charitably be described as a cluster gaggle. Despite the close proximity of the forces - four inches on the table top - the LGA did not press their advantage in numbers by engaging the DGA in close quarters battle.

The engaged LGA forces were cut down like wheat .. at .. the harvest. The DGA utilized their their superior firepower simulated by a child's fist descending on a steep arc (mortars) or a shallow trajectory (rockets) into the midst of the LGA cluster gaggle and then unclenching, scattering troops across the tabletop. Secondary effects were observed from these strikes as army men lurched into their comrades, knocking them down like bowling pins.


The engaged LGA did not use effective tactical measure to counter the DGA's superiority in firepower. It is acknowledged that the terrain left much to be desired in that the lack of cover and concealment was, well, like being on a tabletop. Nevertheless, if the LGA leader had disperesed his forces instead of allowing them to cluster in a tight bunch they would have been more effective than otherwise.

Also worth noting is that by clustering in a large oval only the soldiers at the front of the cluster could engage the opposition, thus negating whatever advantage the LGA forces had in superior rifle marksmanship and numbers.

The DGA leadership does get a pass, either. Had the LGA forces been able to engage in CQB their superior numbers would have told. The DGA leader was lucky, but in the future should ensure that the heavy weapons teams have infantry support.

It was noted with approval that the child, at the tender age of eight, appreciates the benefits of bringing a big gun to the fight.

Army Man II by J.E.F.F.


Duty by you.

Honor by you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Per Diem and the World's Verdict

Jonathan Freedland: The world's verdict will be harsh if the US rejects the man it yearns for.

Well, golly, if the world yearns for Barack Obama they can damn well invite him to run for office there. Although somehow I doubt the son of an African would even be in the running for the top job in, say, England.

Perhaps I'm wrong. But England has plenty o' black people. Have there been any in slots comparable to Secretary of State, let alone in the running for Prime Minister?

But the headline is not the only bit o' nonsense.

She (Governor Palin) even seems to have claimed "per diem" allowances - taxpayers' money meant for out-of-town travel - when she was staying in her own house.

We have this thing called research.  Doing a modest amount of this is revealing.  Her own house is in Wasilla.  The state capitol is in Juneau.  The distance between the two is what is commonly called 'a whole bunch' - call it 600 miles.

Per diem is used to offset additonal expenses incurred living away from home. It's pretty common - I'm surprised Mr. Freedland seems unfamiliar with the concept - which is usually the case when an author wraps something in scare quotes.  Perhaps he needs to talk with his HR rep at the Guardian - I suspect he's earned some during his travels for his employer and might be owed some money.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Banana Junior

Ladies and Gentlemen - the Banana Junior 6000.

Banana Junior by you.

State of the art in 1984. This model appears to have aged well.

Berry Laker

Berry Laker linked to my blog with these words
A good read from a good American from another blog site from Northeastern Wisconsin, (Neenah to be exact).

Brian, keep up the GREAT work.

Please give Brian a read and enjoy his insight.

Haw.  Guess Paul didn't go back in the archives to when I was still doing 'Anti Mopery'.  Insight (laugh).  Oh, man, he has no idea what a krep blog this really is.


Soni coins the best euphemism for orgasm ever.

A few calmer heads noted that, indeed, within the context of long-term game play there could conceivably be instances of sexual congress alluded to (off stage, as it were) as part of the campaign. Say, if two characters get married, or someone has to seduce the demon queen in order to get access to the Fiery Gem of Splody Goodness.

Okay, you have to be somewhat clued into RPG games to really get it.


I sold some stock yesterday [1].

I told myself I would not, would not, would not calculate the diff between yesterday (trading at $24) when I executed the sale and last month (trading at $30).

I couldn't help myself. The diff for the shares sold is $2,233. Well, snot, I feel like a goober for not doing this last month.

And I am certainly not going to repeat the exercise for August 2006 when the stock was trading at a record $40. No, Siree, Bob. A man's gotta be able to sleep at night, and the past is a closed book.

[1] Well, aren't I Mr. Moneybags? Well, no. This comes from the employee stock plan I used to participate in. The company has done quite well for itself over the last year, in spite of employing slackers such as myself.


Pad your time estimate

I tell myself three times:

Add a 30% buffer to my time estimates for jobs that can be loosely categorized as 'looks deceptively easy'.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lockpick Pornography - Joey Comeau

I don't know if the actual book is any good but the 'about the book' on the website has promise ...

I want to make bumper stickers for politicians and gay rights advocates. They'll read "My other pro-tolerance message is also condescending."


Fourteen by you.

He's fourteen today.

Time flies by really terribly fast. I scoffed at this idea years ago but it's true: one minute he's itty-bitty and gumming things and the next he's climbing trees and a few minutes from now he'll be off doing grown-up things and living his own life.

Which is the way it should be.

But grab on to those moments and hold 'em tight. They don't hang around forever.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Someone take back this song

Or take it away. One of those. It's begging to be used.

Ann and Nancy Wilson didn't like the GOP playing Barracuda[1]. Fine - it was a dumb choice and it hasn't aged well.

If the GOP is going to reach back to the 80s for theme music [2] they could do worse than Lou Reed's 'There Is No Time'.

It's got a rockin' beat to get the crowds on their feet and dancing. It's got guitars and drums and frickin' Lou Reed doing that growl-talk-sorta sing thing he does. I've listened to it like six times all the way through - the things I do for you people - and it's still got my toes a tappin'.

And the lyrics are about perfect. If McCain is running the Maverick Express [3] and really is doing the hey we're really sorry about the whole 'we lost our stuff when we got the keys to the treasury in 1994' thing ... you couldn't hardly improve on this:

This is no time for celebration
This is no time for shaking Hands
This is no time for backslapping
this is no time for marching Bands

This is no time for optimism
this is no time for endless Thought
This is no time for my country Right or Wrong
Remember what that brought

There is no time
There is no time
There is no time
There is no time

This is no time for congratulations
This is no time to turn Your Back
This is no time for circumlocution
This is no time for learned speech

This is no time to count Your Blessings
This is no time for private Gain
This is the time to put Up or Shut Up
It won't come back this way again


This is no time to swallow Anger
This is no time to ignore Hate
This is no time to be Acting Frivolous
Because the time is getting late

This is no time for private vendettas
This is no time to not know who you are
Self knowledge is a dangerous thing
The freedom of who you are

This is no time to ignore Warnings
This is no time to clear the Plate
Let's not be sorry after the fact
And let the past become out fate


This is no time to turn away and drink
Or smoke some vials of crack
This is a time to gather force
And take dead aim and attack

This is no time for celebration
This is no time for saluting Flags
This is no time for inner Searchings
The future is at hand

This is no time for phony Rhetoric
This is no time for political Speech
This is a time for action
Because the future's within Reach

This is the time
This is the time
This is the time
Because there is no time


Lou Reed at Web 2.0 by ptufts.
Yes, I'm serious, Lou.

YouTube the song. There are no music videos there but there are some really lame cartoons done up with the lyrics - including one where the artist oh-so cleverly drew a Hitler mustache on George Bush.

[1] On the other hand, they can hardly complain about the publicity. Heart .. whozat? people under 30 were asking themselves. If Ann and Nancy were savvy they'd cut a quick response song and release it on the internets.

[2] And why not? The 80s featured a lot of kick-ass music. Also really dorky music videos - but they were just learning how mix music and those new-fangled teevees so you can't blame usthem.

[3] Or whatever it is.

Scalzi: A Previous Message Repeated, Slightly More Forcefully

In which John Scalzi dresses down Democrats, liberals and the like and introduces a new phrase I shall take up and use when appropriate.

Please stop acting surprised and resentful about any of this. The GOP will crush you — again — if you keep doing it. For fuck’s sake, they’ve played you exactly the same way since the 2000 election. Will you please exhibit a learning curve. You’ve been here before.

Exhibit a learning curve. I like that in so many ways.

Steve Kagen's Plan for Energy for Americans

Hey, look! Steve Kagen is playing the Populist card! Boy, I'll bet you didn't see that one coming.

I like the way he phrased it in his commercial.

  • Drill for new oil in America. And guarantee that oil is sold only to Americans only.
  • Invest in every single form of renewable energy available.
  • Prevent price manipulation everywhere in the world.

I'd like to see the specifics of how, say, we're supposed to keep a fellow in Kuwait from trading in the energy market. If we thought the world hated us for invading Iraq, just wait till we prevent them from making money.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Someone is gonna get it

I mean, pow.

I spent eight years in the Marines, disassembled my M16A2 I don't know how many times. Call it a bunch.

M16A2 M203

See that ring just aft of the handguards? To remove the handguards, you slide it back, then sort of pry the guards out. The problem is if your rifle is new or new-ish or even middle-aged the spring is super-duper tight and it's a bitch to yank that thing back far enough.

Well science has marched to the rescue. And once I saw this I smacked my forehead: duh.

Handguard removal tool by you.

Insert the bendy bit into the magazine well, clamp the straight bits around the ring and lever that sum'bitch down.

So obvious. And it would have saved my paws wear and tear over the years. I'd like to go back and smack myself for not even thinking about this.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.

Palin Rumors

Oh, look. A Sarah Palin Rumor debunking site. They're up to 69.

Charley James is a Nazi

Charley James wrote an article for the LA Progressive called Alaskans Speak (In A Frightened Whisper): Palin Is “Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean”
“So Sambo beat the bitch!”

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

We know this is true because a anonymous waitress said so. Also a guy says he knows this is true because everyone in Alaska talks that way.

Then he justified the article in Sarah Palin and Me.

Do I wish more people would have spoken to me on the record and for attribution? Absolutely. Do I regret writing a piece that relied upon so many anonymous sources? Not one bit.

I think a commenter on that last article had it right. The comment has been deleted - excellent show of tolerance of diversity, guys - I reproduce it below.

Comment by Mary Moore
2008-09-06 21:45:09

Uh huh.

An old college friend of mine recently contacted me to tell me about a woman he knows. This woman - we’ll call her “Ethel” - is a dog walker who has a client in your neighborhood. In hushed tones, she told me that she has seen you painting racist and ethnic slurs on the homes of some of the people who live in your neighborhood. She also verified that you have a Nazi flag in your garage. I won’t violate her trust by revealing her name; she is terrified of retribution. But I know that the story is true because she says here are other people who have seen the same things! In addition, “Ethel” has been my friend’s dog walker for years - and my friend said that she would no sooner tell a lie than she would fail to scoop the poop!

Do I wish more people would have spoken to me on the record and for attribution? Absolutely. Do I regret writing a piece that relied upon so many anonymous sources? Not one bit.

Remember - you read it here first - Charley James is a Nazi.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Reformers: A Hymn of Hate

Reformers: A Hymn of Hate
Dorothy Parker

I hate Reformers;
They raise my blood pressure.
There are the Prohibitionists;
The Fathers of Bootlegging.
They made us what we are to-day--
I hope they're satisfied.
They can prove that the Johnstown flood,
And the blizzard of 1888,
And the destruction of Pompeii
Were all due to alcohol.
They have it figured out
That anyone who would give a gin daisy a friendly look
Is just wasting time out of jail,
And anyone who would stay under the same roof
With a bottle of Scotch
Is right in line for a cozy seat in the electric chair.
They fixed things all up pretty for us;
Now that they have dried up the country,
You can hardly get a drink unless you go in and order one.
They are in a nasty state over this light wines and beer idea;
They say that lips that touch liquor
Shall never touch wine.
They swear that the Eighteenth Amendment
Shall be improved upon
Over their dead bodies--
Fair enough!

Then there are the Suppressors of Vice;
The Boys Who Made the Name of Cabell a Household Word.
Their aim is to keep art and letters in their place;
If they see a book
Which does not come right out and say
That the doctor brings babies in his little black bag,
Or find a painting of a young lady
Showing her without her rubbers,
They call out the militia.
They have a mean eye for dirt;
They can find it
In a copy of "What Katy Did at School,"
Or a snapshot of Aunt Bessie in bathing at Sandy Creek,
Or a picture postcard of Moonlight in Bryant Park.
They are always running around suppressing things,
Beginning with their desires.
They get a lot of excitement out of life,--
They are constantly discovering
The New Rabelais
Or the Twentieth Century Hogarth.
Their leader is regarded
As the representative of Comstock here on earth.
How does that song of Tosti's go?--
"Good-bye, Sumner, good-bye, good-bye."

There are the Movie Censors,
The motion picture is still in its infancy,--
They are the boys who keep it there.
If the film shows a party of clubmen tossing off ginger ale,
Or a young bride dreaming over tiny garments,
Or Douglas Fairbanks kissing Mary Pickford's hand,
They cut out the scene
And burn it in the public square.
They fix up all the historical events
So that their own mothers wouldn't know them.
They make Du Barry Mrs. Louis Fifteenth,
And show that Anthony and Cleopatra were like brother and sister,
And announce Salome's engagement to John the Baptist,
So that the audiences won't go and get ideas in their heads.
They insist that Sherlock Holmes is made to say,
"Quick, Watson, the crochet needle!"
And the state pays them for it.
They say they are going to take the sin out of cinema
If they perish in the attempt,--
I wish to God they would!

And then there are the All-American Crabs;
The Brave Little Band that is Against Everything.
They have got up the idea
That things are not what they were when Grandma was a girl.
They say that they don't know what we're coming to,
As if they had just written the line.
They are always running a temperature
Over the modern dances,
Or the new skirts,
Or the goings-on of the younger set.
They can barely hold themselves in
When they think of the menace of the drama;
They seem to be going ahead under the idea
That everything but the Passion Play
Was written by Avery Hopwood.
They will never feel really themselves
Until every theatre in the country is razed.
They are forever signing petitions
Urging that cigarette-smokers should be deported,
And that all places of amusement should be closed on Sunday
And kept closed all week.
They take everything personally;
They go about shaking their heads,
And sighing, "It's all wrong, it's all wrong,"--
They said it.
I hate Reformers;
They raise my blood pressure.

Friday, September 05, 2008

They have met the enemy . . .

I don't know how long they've had the Cedarburg (Wisconsin) visit planned but we heard about it last week. Work obligations kept me close to home but I would have liked to have gone. Over 1,000 people showed up to see Senator McCain and Governor Palin ...

What? Oh. Owen reports the actual headcount was 12,500, registered as they entered the door. The state troops estimated 20 - 30,000 - TMJ4 on Youtube.

Twelve or twenty thousand - not a bad turnout.

I'm sure declining newspaper circulation has nothing to do with sloppy reporting like that. Completely unrelated.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.


Ryan Anderson at First Things quoting Will Saletan . . .
Remember that before you judge or poke fun at Sarah Palin. She’s not the candidate whose daughter messed up. She’s the candidate who didn’t get rid of the mess.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


No one is above the law.

Mr Biden said at an event in Deerfield Beach, Florida: “If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation, they will be pursued, not out of vengeance, not out of retribution, out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no attorney general, no president - no one is above the law."

I said what, yesterday?

"The Obama-Biden administration is not going to start off saying, "God, let's go take a lot at what [happened]." The American people want to know what we're going to do, not what happened."

Someone find Joe Biden's continuity guy and fire him. The guy is not doing his job.

In other news, the Senator called Governor Palin's acceptance speech 'Extremely well-delivered'. He added that Governor Palin was the first mainstream female candidate who is articulate and bright and clean and a damn fine looking woman.

Definition of a Community Oganizer

Sarah Palin - 9/4/2008

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

While a a grand bit of speechifying that doesn't actually say what a community organizer does. South Bend Seven has - I think - the best definition ...

Community organizer is a bullshit job, no matter how many reverse scare quotes he uses. It's essentially municipal-level reverse-lobbying, in which you try to maneuver a couple dozen neighborhood leaders into supporting your cause instead of working on one whale. Community organizers and lobbyists are just power-politic hustlers trying to leverage other people into doing things for them.

'Best' in a Devil's Dictionary way of course.

Power-Politic Hustler is not something I'd want on my resume [1]; I would prefer Community Organizer as well.

[1] For that matter I was once a LAN Administrator. Can't have that on the ol' resume either. This works if people know their recent IT history - it works less well with HR types and pointy-haired bosses. LAN Admin... don't they just work?

Well, yes. Now they do. People used to have to know how to crank-start a car and drive a manual shift, too. Times change, technology advances. Maybe someday we'll advance beyond the need for people to organize communities.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I have too many text editors

Too many text editors? I know - it's like Hugh Hefner saying 'Wow - I've got way too many blonds around here.'

Hugh Hefner and his Girls Next Door @ Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Los Angeles by luv to travel.

But it's true. For a long time I used TextWrangler. Then I tried TextMate. And I like it just fine.[1]

Today I wanted to excise some bits from the first five characters of each line of a file with several thousand lines.

cut -c5-80 foo

Yes, like that. I learned how to do this in TextMate easily enough (Text - Filter Through Command - shove in the cut command and hey presto).

That was last week. Today I was utterly frustrated because I couldn't find that option in TextWrangler. Where in the heck was it? After a long minute of wondering if somehow the menu hadn't morphed on me ... the truth hit. Duh - wrong editor.

Eye Roll by you.

Time to trim things back a bit. Now, which blond do I get rid of?

[1] Yes, I've also got emacs running and it seems like a fine choice buy oh wow the learning curve.

Senator Obama and the deadly 'Uh'

Senator Obama, about that 'uh' thing.
Last night, David Letterman presented the "Barack Obama 'Uh' Count," in
which they parsed his appearance with Olbermann and counted the verbal
pauses of the candidate often praised for his eloquence.

30, in a reasonably short clip.

I have not done a whole lotta public speaking, but I did learn this handy little tip from Grady S., champion salesman - when you have the nearly uncontrollable urge to say 'uh', mentally pause. Don't .. say .. anything.

It might feel like it's taking forever but the people listening will never notice. And if they do you'll get a reputation as a thoughtful speaker. And the rest of us won't have to hear you trip over your 'uh's.

Seriously dude, it's distracting.

Bell Labs - RIP

Bell Labs - Requiescat in pace
On August 28, 2008, Alcatel-Lucent announced it was pulling out of basic science, material physics and semiconductor research and will instead focus on more immediately marketable areas including networking, high-speed electronics, wireless, nanotechnology and software.[3]

So .. what did Bell Labs do for you, anyway?

Radio astronomy. Transistor. Laser. Information theory. UNIX. C. GPS.

And where are we to look for new innovations and fundamental research?

National laboratories and universities. With federal research grants.

That is, the same people that run the DMV and invented the IRS are funding physics research.

Well, that's a big ol bit of Fail.

Fail (19/08/07 137) by The Happy Robot.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Heck with patience, let's go kill something

Ladies and Gentlemen, the U.S. Navy's new submarine hunter: P-8 Poseidon.

P-8 Poseidon by you.

MadRocketScientist: "I think the P-8 kinda looks like the A-10's bigger, more patient cousin."

Yes, yes it does.

Cub Scouts are just little Global Capitalists so they must die

Or as Phil Sheridan supposedly said in an earlier conflict: "Nits breed lice."[1]

A little later, a busload of Cub Scouts were en route to the
convention, where they were to present the colors to open the
convention. A group of protesters--liberals, Obama supporters, or
whatever [2] --blocked the road, surrounded the bus, and attacked it,
rocking the bus back and forth, denting and scratching the sides, and
generally terrifying the children trapped inside. The left-wing
protesters attacked a number of buses in the same way, but there is
something especially despicable about attacking a group of Cub Scouts.

Attacking a busload of children. Stay classy, y'all.

[1] The phrasology changes, but the sentiment stays the same. Nice to see we've come so far since the 1860s.

[2] I suspect Anarchists. Democrats are out protesting but turning over vehicles is what the A crowd is up to this week.

Civil Liberties

When William writes
Massive police raids. Heavy police violence. Attempt to impede RNC delegates mostly failed.
He really means
Dropped sandbags and concrete from overpasses onto the roadway, aiming for charted buses.

Freedom of expression and civil liberties my ass - shenanigans like that can kill people.

I do not know the extent of William's involvement - if any - with trying to kill people on the freeway. I hope it's 'none'.