September 2007 Archives

The UN Is Fascist

| | Comments (0)

Well, the world has changed since the old world of voluntary commitments. ... the voluntary approach doesn't work. ... We're in a world where people are emitting all over the globe. It's sort of like a speeding problem. You know, we're emitting much too much carbon. We're going much too fast. And you don't set a speed limit through voluntary limits.

-- Timothy Wirth, president of the U.N. Foundation and Better World Fund slashdot.org

Lines and Squares / Stephen Colbert

| | Comments (0)
I've added my song "Lines and Squares" as a video in the Longest Concert Evar.

It is dedicated to Stephen Colbert for all he's done for bear and wrist awareness.

Now that I have a beefy MacBook Pro I can record audio into Logic while doing video, so for this song, I did just that, and the music in the video is mixed in Logic, and then dropped into iMovie and mixed with the video. slashdot.org

LCE019 Lines and Squares / Colbert

| | Comments (0)

This is a song dedicated to the great champion of bear and wrist awareness, Stephen Colbert. The verses are by A. A. Milne.

Here's my own wrist injury, postop: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pudge/1440769501

The original MP3 of this song is available http://pudge.net/tunes/tracks/Lines%20and%20Squares.mp3

And no, I am not lip synching. I recorded the guitar and vocal into Logic while I recorded the video with QT Player, then mixed the audio and exported it out and brought it into iMovie. The spoken parts are the builtin laptop mic, and then I mixed the song, with the good mic recordings, in over that.

This is the Longest Concert Evar, starring Pudge. Send requests to concertrequest@pudge.net, or post them here.

Faction

| | Comments (0)
Sam Waterston was on Colbert tonight saying why he supports the Unity 08 ticket. He says, "what we have now is faction, which was the thing that scared the Founders more than anything else, where you have people very much on the right and very much on the left and every time they come together you get a volcano."

Well, no. In fact, Madison defined "faction" fairly precisely in Federalist 10:

By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.


At risk of repeating Madison, "faction" -- which was one of the greatest concerns of the Founders -- was not defined by the relative extremity of the position or how much conflict was caused when two opposing positions came together, but by whether that position was "adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community."

You could argue that our current state of government at the federal level is so adversed, but not that this effect is caused by extremeness or conflict. Indeed, conflict is what helps prevent the negative effects of factiousness, but preventing the factions from acting.

Maybe that's why he is just a legal expert on TV, and not in real life. :-) slashdot.org

Iran's "Right" to Nukes

| | Comments (0)
An Iranian viewer writing (from San Francisco) to CNN says "if America has a right to own nuclear reactors and bombs so does each and every country in the world, and not just the countries that the U.S. finds desirable for its own welfare."

There's two errors of logic here. First, as a UN member nation, the UN Security Council does get to tell Iran it can't have nuclear bombs. Sorry. Don't like it, pull out of the UN. This isn't just the U.S. we're talking about here, and framing it that way is dishonest. The Security Council says you must stop uranium enrichment, so you must, if you respect your own word to the UN.

Maybe you don't, and I couldn't blame you. The UN sucks, although I agree with it in this case. But you said you would abide by the UN Security Council resolutions when you joined the UN.

Second, and more importantly, I don't see the U.S. saying that Iran doesn't have a right to nukes. If it is saying that, I agree, that's wrong. However, just because Iran has a right to nukes doesn't mean the U.S. or anyone else doesn't have a right to prevent you from having nukes. You have a right to build nuclear facilities, and we have a right to blow them up.

How about them apples? slashdot.org

Responses to My Letter

| | Comments (0)
I had a letter about HillaryCare published in the Seattle P-I:

The less you use it, the more you pay for others

Hillary Clinton wants to force everyone to pay for health care insurance, especially those who need it the least. The less you use it, the more you help pay for everyone else.

You have a tax on your property, on your sales, on your income, but this is worse. Those other taxes are based on things you do; this is a tax on just existing, on breathing. The government forces you to pay money for that.

Clinton and the Democrats want to tax you for being alive, tax you when you die and use that money to kill you before you're even born.


Two people responded. The first:

Money expended on health care is not wasted

Sorry to point this out, but the GOP has no ground to stand on when it comes to taxes. Simply looking at the president's spending habits and the massive debt accrued in the past six or so years, I find it laughable that people still think of the GOP as fiscally conservative. But, of course, some just have to launch a hyperbolic attack on a hypothetical presidential tax plan (Chris Nandor's Friday letter). It seems to me that if you're going to "waste" taxpayers' money, it might as well go to helping make Americans healthier.

What's the point in being safe from terrorists when you're too ill to enjoy that safety? I personally prefer my taxes helping my fellow citizens, not injuring and/or killing our troops or the Iraqi people, whose collective trauma is too much for anyone to comprehend. Why are some people completely fine with using our tax money to destroy a place they'll never visit rather than assist and support their neighbors? Please, someone explain this.

Cody Morris
Seattle


Sure, I can explain it. The federal government has no authority to make sure you are not ill, unless it is because of some sort of national emergency, like a biological attack. But it does have authority, and obligation, to protect our national security.

Beyond the constitutional error of federal involvement in health care (read the Tenth Amendment), it is, as my original letter stated, violative of my liberty to force me to pay "taxes" JUST FOR BEING ALIVE. All other taxes are based on some sort of activity: earning money, spending money, owning property. I can choose to not participate in those things, though it is hard. I cannot choose to not live. So it is therefore wrong. Saying "if you're going tp spend money on something, might as well be something I want" makes no sense if the thing you want violates my liberty and the Constitution.

The biggest problem, however, is that even if it did not force everyone to buy health insurance, and even if it did not violate the Tenth Amendment, it would STILL be very wrong, because the biggest problem with health care in this country is not that people don't have it, but that it is too expensive, and this sort of plan does nothing to reduce costs. It reduces incentives for competition, since everyone is going to buy one plan or another anyway.

There may be some modest competition for the least care (to get the people who are just buying it to fulfill the unconstitutional obligation), but it won't do anything for lowering the cost of the rest of it. If anything, costs will go up, because incentives are less, since now it is being subsidized more and people no longer have the option of "no care," and the government is paying for the people who can't afford it.

Saying "this is about health or war" is nonsense. It's about an illegal plan that at best won't make things better, versus a plan that is legal and will improve health care for everyone.

I won't even address the ad hominem/red herring about the GOP except to say that yes, the GOP has spent too much money, against the will of me, and pretty much every other Republican I know. It sucks, and we are ashamed of them, but it doesn't mean that therefore anything I, or any other Republican, says about taxes is therefore invalid.

The other response wasn't much better:

What do naysayers think supports this country?

Letter-writer Chris Nandor, in his rant regarding Hillary Clinton's proposed health care plan, presents the opportunity to attempt to broaden the willfully narrow conservative perspective regarding taxes (Friday letter).

I don't know the details of Clinton's plan, so I don't know whether I would support it. But I do recognize that I live in a privileged society only because my grandparents were allowed to immigrate. I pay for that privilege through taxes and I give back to my community through charity. I have no children, but I pay taxes for others' kids to attend school. My property and car taxes support infrastructure, including roads damaged by other people's vehicles, although I bike to work. I recognize that the taxes I pay benefit society as a whole.

I hope that Nandor and like-minded anti-tax zealots will one day realize what it takes to support a country like ours and will contribute their share without whining about it.

Suzanne Tomassi
Seattle


This is basically saying "because some taxes are necessary, therefore you can't complain about any taxes." I really have no response other than "that's a stupid thing to say." I never said or implied we should have no taxes.

This letter-writer got it:

This is in reply to all the letter-writers advocating national health care, paid for by U.S. citizens. As a divorced, lower-income woman, I have no health insurance. Do I expect the government (taxpayers) of this country to pay for my health care? No. The other citizens of this country didn't put me in this situation and they shouldn't be responsible for paying for my health care.

Nor do I want my taxes going to support other people. Health care is not a guaranteed right. It's a privilege for those who can afford it. Those of us who can't afford health insurance will just have to deal with whatever comes our way. I don't know what I'll do if a medical calamity ever strikes me, but I do know that I won't expect the other taxpayers to take care of me. I also strongly object to my taxes going toward paying for health care for illegal immigrants; in most cases, because they are "underground," they wouldn't be paying taxes to help with this national health care policy, but they would reap all the benefits (as many of them already currently do).

As for Sen. Hillary Clinton wanting to require all citizens to have health insurance, she has no right to do that. She has no right to force me to buy something that I can't afford.

Some people liken that requirement to having to purchase a driver's license to operate a car. There's a big difference -- if I can't afford a driver's license, then I don't buy a car.

Robin Sims Fisher
Fife


I actually disagree with Ms. Fisher a bit (though I very much admire her for her principles): I think for those who truly cannot afford health care, we should have basic (for the sake of preserving public health) and some catastrophic care available. I don't have a problem with a true safety net: the problem is when the safety net is a. funded or controlled federally, and b. takes the place of comprehensive care.

slashdot.org
Hillary Clinton's MoveOn talking point is that "people shouldn't have attacked the patriotism and service of John Kerry or Max Cleland."

No one ever attacked Cleland's patriotism or service. It never happened. It's a myth. A lie. All that happened is that Cleland's judgment was questioned. Watch the video for yourself. The original leftist line was that Cleland was compared/linked to Hussein and Bin Laden just because images of them appeared in the ad; but that was blatantly false, so now they just say his "patriotism" and "service" was questioned. It's a more vague claim, but it's false too.

As to Kerry, the people who were prominently questioning him served with him. I won't tell them what they should or shouldn't say about a man they served with.

Besides, both Cleland and Kerry were politicians running for office, which is far different from an active general. The comparison is insulting. slashdot.org

S-Chip

| | Comments (0)
Nancy Pelosi says a Bush veto of the S-Chip program (health care for children) would haunt him, because he is saying children shouldn't get health care.

I wish the GOP had the cajones to say, "if you think there is something wrong with vetoing a clearly unconstitutional law should 'haunt' me, then so be it."

There's nothing in the Constitution authorizing the federal government to do this program. It is therefore unconstitutional, as per the Tenth Amendment. slashdot.org

Jenni Carlson Is An Idiot

| | Comments (0)
So Jenni Carlson wrote a story about a college QB. The coach of that QB ripped her and her editor to shreds in a press conference, yelling about how terrible the story was. He criticized it for two basic reasons: it was inaccurate, and it was excessively negative, since this is just a college kid she was writing about.

As to whether it was excessively negative, I have no comment, except to say that Carlson's claim that the player's mother feeding him chicken "said so much" about him is pretty retarded: her interpretation of his relationship with his mother, of inappropriately laughing on the sidelines, of whether he has "the fire in the belly" or whether he's proven he's "the toughest" QB is just uninteresting and dumb.

As to whether it was inaccurate: how could any of us know? The story sucked. It was poorly written, by definition, because we as readers cannot know if the story is accurate. She did not give any sources for anything. She says "I firmly believe that my reporting is solid, my sources are solid, my observations are solid; so I stand firmly on the facts of the column."

No. Your sources are not solid unless you tell us who they are. What do they teach in journalism school these days? Almost the entire story was unattributed.

"If you believe the rumors and the rumblings, Reid has been pushing coaches that way for quite some time."

"Word is that Reid has considered transferring a couple different times ..."

"... Reid considered leaving OSU just because he had to compete for the spot."

"... Reid has been nicked in games and sat it out instead of gutting it out."

"Reid's injury against Florida Atlantic -- whatever it was -- appeared minor but just might have been the thing that pushed Cowboy coaches over the edge."

"... insiders say that the coaches decided to bench Reid early in the week. The bottom line: The switch is less about Robinson's play and more about Reid's attitude."

"If you listen to the rumblings and the rumors, Cowboy coaches simply grew weary of it."

It's just terrible writing, and even if everything she said is true, she opened herself up to getting slapped around by writing so poorly. But she probably learned how to report the same place most journalists do, which is at a school that doesn't teach how to be responsible, and respectful of both interview subjects and audience. slashdot.org

Tasered Dude

| | Comments (0)
I shouldn't have been, but I was really surprised when I heard lots of people complaining about this dude who got tasered at the Kerry event. Dude was told to leave, he resisted, so he was arrested, and he resisted that too. He kept resisting. So they used force.

I don't know whether he should have been tasered. I don't care, either: that's a mere procedural matter. He broke the law at several points, and they subdued him. That's their job. Don't break the law, and don't resist arrest when they decide to arrest you for breaking the law, and you won't run into this sort of problem. slashdot.org

Newsflash: Naomi Wolf is a Moron

| | Comments (0)
Apparently America is headed for a fascist dictatorship because when you make up an arbitrary list of items that all such dictatorships have always done (even when they haven't) and apply it to Bush (even when it doesn't apply), it proves that OMG America is in trouble!!!! slashdot.org

Uhhhh

| | Comments (0)
So I am watching the news today, and some barely-adult kid who founded the "Northwest Progressive Institute" is complaining about I-960, a bill that would make it a little harder to raise taxes and fees in Washington: it would require the legislature to pass fee increases (instead of bureaucrats doing it), it would require notification on hearings, more straightforward language about tax increases, and so on.

So this kid is complaining about it, and saying it would make it harder to raise taxes and to pass a budget. He said that these fee increases are simple revenue increases.

The odd thing is that he didn't actually give a single reason to vote against the initiative, he just repeated the pro-I-960 talking points!

I know, he thought those were actually points against I-960. I am just not sure why he thought that. slashdot.org

Well, That's the Thing: No

| | Comments (0)
A friend pointed me to a link which then pointed to this DailyKos article, which says that the evangelical Christian right is losing power:

It definitely is a moment of crisis for the Evangelical Right. When you style yourself the GOP's ground army (and they are), yet your presidential forum attracts only Huckabee, Brownback, John Cox (who?), Alan Keyes Ron Paul, Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, you know you're getting the dredges of the GOP field.


Chances are you probably read that and said at least these two things: a. Alan Keyes is running again?, and b. what presidential forum?

They are referring to the Values Voter Forum. It's something I'd never heard of until one day before the Forum took place, and it's run by people who, while they may share my general views (I'm not even sure of that), do not in any way represent me, and I've never even heard of most of them. This is not the mainstream Christian right. You notice there's no Focus on the Family or Family Research Council, no Christian Coalition, no Eagle Forum, not even the Traditional Values Coalition.

So what's really going on here is that it's a bunch of no-name groups and the top candidates -- as they pretty much always do, in both parties -- didn't bother to attend because it was small potatoes, and the left is pretending that it was a really big deal because they really want it to be true that the Christian right is losing power. If this were actually representative of the mainstream Christian right, they might have a point. Maybe. But it's not. So they don't. slashdot.org

Question for the Mike Huckabee, how do your Christian beliefs lead you to support government charity?

Chris Nandor, Arlington, WA

For Paul: President Without a Party

| | Comments (0)

Question for Ron Paul: how could you govern as a virtual President without a Party?

Chris Nandor, Arlington, WA

For Romney: Forced Health Care

| | Comments (0)

Question for Mitt Romney: why did you force people to pay for health insurance?

Chris Nandor, Arlington, WA

Andrew Keen

| | Comments (0)
I saw this Andrew Keen moron on NewsHour tonight. He wrote "The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture." Why is he on? He's just a troll.

He says that "entertainment" is worse online. He said:

The key argument is that the so-called Democritization of the Internet is actually undermining reliable information and high-quality entertainment by replacing mainstream media content -- high-quality radio, television, newspapers, publishing, music -- with user-generated content, we're actually doing away with information, high-quality information, high-quality entertainment, and replacing it with user-generated content which is unreliable, inane, and often rather corrupt.


What Keen doesn't understand is that 90 percent of everything is crap. The Internet is no exception. The Internet has no more crap, as a percentage of the whole, than the mainstream media does: there's just a lot more stuff to sift through to find the 10 percent that isn't crap.

I agree most of the Internet is crap, but so are most movies, most news stories, most music records, and most radio programs. And there's excellent versions of each of those online.

Let's assume that for, whatever reason, mainstream media is better. So what's the solution? He says he does not want government intervention, so they only solution is to encourage people to seek "high quality" information and education, but if you can do that, why does it matter if you encourage them to seek it online or elsewhere?

Then he goes into this thing about how people should not "waste" so much time online writing about what they had for breakfast or thought about a recent TV show. I agree, but that is purely subjective, and who is to say that your silly book, or the TV program you are on, are not also wasted? Why not go and save a whale instead of worrying about silly things like culture, that will take care of themselves one way or another anyway?

Keen is another smart idiot: someone who is generally bright, has an idea, and thinks that he can write and think and talk about it competently. He's wrong about that, too. slashdot.org

"Not Government Run"

| | Comments (0)
Hillary makes a big deal out of how her new plan is not government run.

Frankly, I would prefer it if it were.

If it were government run, at least the costs could be kept down. Clinton's proposal will cause health care costs to continue to increase, because it will pump more money into the system without significantly increasing competitive forces that are what truly keep costs down. She says it increases competition, but it doesn't: there's no significant incentive here to lower prices because you get a tax credit on what you spend anyway, so you have no personal reason to keep your own costs down.

Oh sure, they say they will target the credit to try to keep people price conscious. But what will really happen is that insurers will all just price their care to take as much of the credit as possible.

And as to choice, as already pointed out: you are FORCED to participate. That's the antithesis of choice: you can "choose" to pay or "choose" to go to jail. Calling it the "American Health Choices Plan" is textbook Orwellian Newspeak. It is utterly amazing to me that Democrats are framing it as your patriotic duty to buy health care you don't want or need.

The main role of government in health care should be to increase choice and competition. This decreases both.

I also love this little nugget from her proposal:

... the plan would offer tens of millions of Americans a new tax credit to make premiums affordable. Those tax breaks more than offset the increase in revenues derived from not renewing these provisions of the Bush tax cuts and capping the tax exclusion for health care for the highest income Americans ...


"Tax breaks more than offset the increase in revenues" means that the decreased revenue covers the increased revenues, that is, that the increased revenues don't cover the tax breaks. That we will lose money on the deal, even after "soaking the rich."

I don't think that's what she meant (since the next phrase was "making the plan a net tax cut for American taxpayers"), but that's what she is saying in her official proposal.

[Also, she's not factoring in the loss in tax revenue due to lost business that will result from the tax increase. But that's another discussion.] slashdot.org

Clinton: You Have No Freedom

| | Comments (0)
"Clinton would force enrollment of young, healthy people, ages 18 to 30, who often forego insurance because they believe they will never get sick. Clinton said their participation was essential because premiums from healthy patients offset higher costs incurred by older patients."

In fairness, Romeny did the same thing in Massachusetts. And he was wrong too. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say about Clinton's plan. But this is a tax on BEING ALIVE. You are alive? You have to give us money. That's what this is, and it is despicable.

Hillary and the Democrats want to tax you for being alive, tax you when you die, and use that money to kill you before you're even born!

I love how the Democrats like to complain about how Bush uses fear to take away our rights, and then the Democrats turn around and do the same thing they complained about. slashdot.org

Cocoa

| | Comments (0)
I am thinking about learning Cocoa just so I can write a Mac e-mail client that doesn't suck.

Eudora sucks but it is the best of the bunch, but it is buggy on Intel for me. My Inbox keeps losing memory of labels and what's been read (even what I have already filtered out).

Everything else is pretty bad in various ways. Mail is not a serious mail app. Thunderbird isn't a Mac app at ll. Mailsmith doesn't do IMAP and is bloated. Google Mail isn't local.

Sigh.

Maybe I'll just give up e-mail altogether! use.perl.org

Pssssst, Jonathan

| | Comments (0)

"I can't go through the whole season and be perfect," said Papelbon, who has converted 35 of 38 save opportunities. "I can't remember a closer who ever went through a season without blowing a save. If you're a closer that goes through a season and doesn't blow a save, I'd like to meet you."


See that guy sitting next to you on the bench, Eric Gagne? Dodgers, 2003, 55 saves, no blown saves.

So, three things to say. One, you should know your teammates and (recent) history better. Two, you could do it too. Three, considering what's happened to Gagne since, you might not want to ... slashdot.org

More Lies About Science

| | Comments (0)
Think Progress quoted a BBC story about global warming. Think Progress incorrectly stated that Professor John Marburger said it was an "unequivocal" fact that climate change is man-made and that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are to blame.

He didn't.

He said climate change is a fact, and that -- as the IPCC report itself says -- it is more than 90 percent likely that man is a cause of it. He did not say it is a fact that man is to blame. Neither does the IPCC say this.

Reality-based community, my ass. slashdot.org
U.S. 2 is a very dangerous road near me. There's been 2,600 crashes and 47 people have died since 1999. It needs money so it can be fixed. The state has been spending a lot of money on roads. Why not U.S. 2?

"It's really brutal to say, but the people from those districts didn't support anything as far as funding," said Senate Transportation Committee Chairwoman Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island.   Consequently, less revenue went to districts with legislators who didn't support the tax measure, she explained.  "That certainly is a big reason."


Incredible. So because our representatives voted against the gas tax -- which was, of course, not a vote against funding, but a vote against a certain method of funding -- voters are being punished with more and more deaths on the highway.

It is criminal. She should be voted out of office next year, and the other Democrats should immediately strip her of her chairmanship.

slashdot.org
Witness this. Many in the press knew about this for months, and no one reported on it until now.

She is saying, unequivocally: vote against people who aren't the same color as you are.

And the press has given her a pass.

Just incredible.

Screw her, and screw all other racists, of any color. slashdot.org

"Schrammie" Acceptance Speech

| | Comments (0)
I won the Schrammie today. You can read or watch Ken Schram's opinion of me, and see or hear the object of his outrage, the song I wrote called "Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday."

Tonight I posted my acceptance speech on YouTube.

The speech is primarily in the form of a song I wrote a year or so ago. However, I wrote the second verse today.

So Ken, bend over and take your bow, because the second and last verses are for you. slashdot.org

LCE018 I Am Gonna / Schrammie

| | Comments (0)

I wrote this song about a year or so ago. I added the second verse today, just for Ken Schram.

He took offense at my song "Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday," and this song, "I Am Gonna," constitutes my acceptance speech. See his outrage here: http://www.komotv.com/news/9742937.html

See my song here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLBcjBnIkqU

Listen to the song here: http://pudge.net/tunes/tracks/Birthday.mp3

This is the Longest Concert Evar, starring Pudge. Send requests to concertrequest@pudge.net, or post them here.

I Won a Schrammie

| | Comments (0)
If you are in the Seattle area, check out Channel 4 for the 6 p.m. news. I will be awarded a Schrammie, given out to people Ken Schram doesn't like, over my song that he ripped apart yesterday.

I am honored! slashdot.org

KVI 570 Rips On Me For an Hour

| | Comments (0)
Pretty much the whole first hour and much of the second hour of The Commentators, a talk show on Seattle's biggest talk radio station, was directed at me and my song, Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday.

Feel free to listen to the whole thing. (Link fixed!)

The liberal host, Ken Schram, was exceedingly unkind. The conservative host, John Carlson, was not kind either, but he at least almost got it. Both of them thought the song was serious. That I was actually saying what the protagonist of the song is saying, seriously, for myself.

They had lots of people call in, some saying my song was "disgsting," some saying it was "funny." One insightful guy correctly said it was a parody of other people, not seriously stating what I think myself.

The whole thing was awesome. slashdot.org
Safari 3 has greater scripting abilities. This script will allow a user to use the frontmost window, full of tabs, as a basic slideshow. It will start at the current tab (unless the current tab is the last tab, in which case it will start with the first tab) and pause 7 seconds on each before moving on to the next. If you switch the tabs in between, the script will pick up from where you are now, not where you left off.

Of course, requires updating your glue file to Safari 3, if you've not done so. Just re-run sudo gluemac /Applications/Safari.app.

I put an alias to the script in my Safari scripts folder so I can access it through Script Menu.

#!/usr/bin/perl
use warnings;
use strict;
 
our $sleep_time = 7;
 
use Mac::Glue;
 
my $safari = new Mac::Glue 'Safari';
$safari->activate;
 
my $window    = $safari->obj(window => 1);
my $tab_count = $window->count(each => 'tabs');
 
my $current = $window->prop('current tab');
my $index   = $current->prop('index');
 
sleep $sleep_time;
 
my $i = 0;
until ($i >= $tab_count) {
    $i = $index->get;
    $i = 0 if $i >= $tab_count;
    $current->set(to => $window->obj(tab => ++$i));
    sleep $sleep_time;
}

use.perl.org

I am ripped up and down on talk radio for the better part of two hours for my offensive song, "Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday."

KVI's The Commentators, September 11, 2007

Music for a Happy September 11th

| | Comments (0)
Don't forget to enjoy your September 11th with my smash hit song, "Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday," either in video or audio form! slashdot.org

Meet MoveOn

| | Comments (0)

Bill Moyers Is Lame

| | Comments (0)
I watched Bill Moyers last night. It just happened to be on and I was going to change the channel, but I hit Info and saw he was talking about the link between "evangelical Christians" and "mountaintop mining."

Puzzled, I recorded it. When I watched it, I was shocked, because Bill Moyers was just so bald-facedly hypocritical. He was taking the side of a group of Christians who claimed that mountaintop mining is "sinful."

They were making some extraordinarily outlandish claims that denied our scientific understanding, such as "God didn't destroy the earth. And, he doesn't destroy the earth." Now, it depends on what you mean by "God" and "destroy," but we know that this planet has been "destroyed" many times over without our help, and indeed, the mountains themselves represent a destruction of the earth (since they are formed by the earth essentially tearing itself apart into new forms) moreso than a destruction of those mountains does.

And the theological claims were shallow and highly questionable. We were told that the question "now which one of these mountains do you think God will come down here and blow up?" is self-evident proof that we shouldn't blow up any mountains, but that is question-begging at its worst.

Another man said "God will destroy those who destroy the earth," referencing Revelation 11:18, but how is this "destruction" to God any different than building massive roadways across the country, and excavating for large buildings and runways and whatever else we happen to be doing? Or his own house, assuming he doesn't live in a tree?

None of this is by itself altogether significant, until you realize that Bill Moyers has been attacking Creationism for a long time now, on the basis that it is religion and therefore should be separate from government, and that it opposes scientific "truth." But now he is using those same views he has scorned in the past -- religious statements that science has proven false, and mandating state action based on religious principles -- to push his agenda against mountaintop removal.

Also odd was that almost the entire piece was about the lack of clean water for these families; surely everyone agrees they should have clean water, and not have to bear the burden for the acts of others. But the piece only offered two choices: bad water, or mountaintop mining. It was not until the end of the piece that we saw they now have clean water piped in from elsewhere (all through the piece I was wondering why they didn't consider that option). Then they said the fight to stop the mining continues, and Moyers still said we should oppose it; but apart from it being a "spiritual issue," he didn't tell us why we should.

I was left with the unmistakable impression that Moyers doesn't mind religious beliefs in the public square, even if they contradict science, as long as those beliefs happen to be on his side of the issue. slashdot.org

Principles

| | Comments (0)
It is very common for people to make alliances based on principle. If you don't agree with me on immigration, abortion, gun rights, then I dub thee Wrong or worse.

However, most of those issues are purely philosophical, and some of the others (like immigration) largely so. You can argue facts all day long, but at the end of the day I believe that we are obliged to follow the rule of law, to protect the unborn, and to allow the populace to be armed.

But Iraq is not that. There is almost nothing philosophical or static about whether progress is being made or the surge is working, and there's very little objective truth to either question. There are facts that can be interpreted.

Yet MoveOn and others treat this like it is a philosophical issue, like you have to hold a certain position, regardless of any facts, in order to be on the Right side. Hence, when Rep. Baird changed his mind due to changes in circumstances, he was dubbed a Tratior to the Cause. He dared say the surge might be working.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: "reality-based" community, my ass.

That's not to say that they are wrong. Maybe the surge isn't working. But what's clearly true is that if it was, they would say it wasn't. slashdot.org

MPIR Live 09-08-2007

| | Comments (0)

"Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday" is played at the beginning of the third hour of the live Mystery Play Internet Radio broadcast.

MPIR Live 09-08-2007

MPIR Live 09-08-2007

| | Comments (0)

"Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday" is played at the beginning of the third hour of the live Mystery Play Internet Radio broadcast.

MPIR Live 09-08-2007

Presidential Authority / Fresh Air

| | Comments (0)
Reporter Charlie Savage was on Fresh Air today, talking about Executive power.

The main point was that Bush is working to expand Executive power. He -- and his interviewer, Terri Gross -- wrong. They started off talking about the "Unitary Executive" theory, which Savage said was "revisionist." He got the definition of the UT theory correct (one of the few who does), which makes it even more puzzling how he could think it is revisionist.

The UT theory says simply that all executive power belongs to the President. Which is precisely what the Constitution says: "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." No one else is granted any part of that executive authority. THE -- which is a synonym for ALL -- executive power is the President's.

And this is not a new "theory." It's been pushed by Presidents at least as far back as Jefferson and Madison. It's what the Constitution says, and means.

And then Savage asserts that the law required Cheney to fork over his Energy Task Force documents. This is, at best, an unsupported claim, and the evidence weighs against it. There's a law called the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which is what this whole case is basically about, and it exempts certain types of meetings from disclosure requirements. In the brief from Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club, suing Cheney to get the documents, they even concede the point:

... FACA does not apply to groups "composed wholly" of federal officials ... that provision clearly exempts any group of federal officials who conduct "episodic meetings" with outside parties. The exception does not, however, allow the government to avoid FACA by assigning a label of "non-member" to a non-federal party who "regularly attends and fully participates in [committee] meetings as if he were a 'member.'"


The question, then, is whether those non-officials, such as the VP of Exxon Mobil and Ken Lay, were, in fact, regular attendees who fully participated in meetings as if they were members. And there's no evidence supporting that: indeed, what we do know supports the notion that these people were visitors who came to a meeting once or twice simply to give their input.

There is not only no evidence that the law required Cheney to turn over those documents, but the evidence we do have weighs strongly against it.

Charlie Savage did say some true and interesting things, but he got a lot wrong, too. He views Bush as "expanding" Presidential power when, in fact, Bush has been asserting what the Constitution says, in his opinion, Presidential power is, and always has been, dating back hundreds of years. And most of the time, I agree with Bush on that, because most of the time, he has very clear Constitutional and historical backing for it.

Savage has it backward: Bush isn't trying to expand Presidential authority, but his opponents are trying to reign it in. Savage won a Pulitzer for his work on this subject, but I sure wouldn't have voted to award him. slashdot.org

Dumb

| | Comments (0)
Saying Larry Craig is a hypocrite because he voted to ban gay marriage, or against hate crime laws, is dumb.

There's nothing about being gay -- if he is gay, which seems likely to some degree or another -- that logically requires you to think gay people should be able to marry each other, and far less reasonable is the correlation between being gay and believing gays should have special rights above other people -- especially ones that are constitutionally suspect of themselves -- such as those provided by hate crime laws.

Call Craig creepy or stupid or disgusting, but calling him a hypocrite is just dumb. Even if he did vote or make a statement that was actually hypocritical (his thing about Clinton being a "naughty boy" for example, as Craig was, at best, similarly "naughty"), his supposed hypocrisy is the least of his crimes here. No, it does not make what he did worse. No, it does not make him a worse person or Senator. I don't think someone who picks up men in public bathrooms and is honest about it is better than someone who does the same thing and isn't honest about it.

That's dumb. slashdot.org

Two Types of Programmer

| | Comments (0)
From Brent Simmons:

There are, roughly, two types of programmers. One type was in the computer club at high school and got a computer science degree (or two or three). The other type, well, didn't--they were English majors, college dropouts, busboys, artists, odd-job-doers. (Cue Captain Renault: "That makes Rick a citizen of the world.")

My advice to young people is to get a computer science degree, if for no other reason than you can avoid those odd jobs and get right to the programming. And it also gives you an early chance to find out if you were, in fact, born a programmer.


In my experience, in general, I prefer working with individual programmers who didn't get a CS degrees. That's not universally true: there are some CS-degree holders I love to work with. And it doesn't imply a particular causal relationship: it could be that people I enjoy working with are simply those who are less likely to get a CS degree, rather than my enjoyment stemming from the fact that they didn't. use.perl.org
[Cross-posted at Sound Politics]

John Lovick, Democratic Washington State legislator from the 44th District and candidate for Snohomish County Sheriff, has erroneously claimed endorsements he does not have and has failed to correct his error after being notified weeks ago.

A page on Lovick's official campaign web site listing various endorsements he claims he's been given for his race. One of those names is Rep. Kirk Pearson, Republican legislator from the 39th District, where I am the district chair for the Republican Party.

Late this week I was told Pearson was endorsing Lovick; I thought I'd heard something about this previously, so this afternoon I called Pearson myself to find out. He was surprised his name was still on the web site, for when he was asked about it by Tom Greene -- the other candidate for sheriff -- "several weeks ago," he talked to Lovick and told him that he never endorsed him, to take his name off the page. Lovick said he would.

This is the kind of error that needs to be fixed the same day. The only possible excuse is that they were unable to modify the page for some technical reason, but that isn't the case, because a new endorsement has made it to the page in the meantime (specifically, Rob Beidler, the candidate who lost the primary, who announced his endorsement just this week).

I don't want to cause problems here; my goal here is to set the record straight, because I've had people come up to me saying that Pearson endorses Lovick, which shows that Lovick is not only defaming Pearson, but is committing fraud on the voting public, regardless of intent.

I won't guess as to how this endorsement got on the page in the first place, or why it remains there after weeks of Lovick being told by Pearson that it was wrong, or whether or not it impacted the results of the primary. I only know that Lovick is responsible, that he has been negligent, that he has been defaming Pearson through his negligence, and that he has called into question the trustworthiness of almost all of the other names on that page. slashdot.org
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2007 is the previous archive.

October 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.