December 2007 Archives

LCE039 New Year / Schrammie

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I finally got my Schrammie! For the complete story, see the original song, listen to the studio version, and watch Ken Schram give me my award. Then finally, watch my acceptance speech.

I wrote the song New Year many years ago, and break it around this time every year. You can listen to the studio version. Here's the lyrics:

It's a new year And it's been a long time It's been a long time since last year It's been a whole year

Well, it gets a guy to thinking
About the time that passes by
Lots of time in one year
365 and 1/4 days

And I can't go back
I can't go back to last year
'Coz there's one whole year between us

365 days
Or maybe 366
I can't remember
It's been a long year

12 months
365 days
8,760 hours
525,600 minutes
31,536,000 seconds
It's been a long year

And it's been a long time
It's been a long time
It's been a long time
It's been a long time
It's been a long time since last year
It's been a whole year

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

I have been using a MacBook Pro for several months, and I finally got around to upgrading Perl on it. I figured 5.10's release, and Christmas vacation, was a decent opportunity.

I ran into a lot of problems.

  • First, note that my existing Perl/Apache installs were PPC. And this is an Intel Mac. And because some systems are not very careful about what they use to do things, I had to make sure I basically hid all the PPC things in my path. For example, a PPC perl in my path was used for part of the mod_perl build process, even though I used an Intel perl for the Makefile.PL, which caused some symbols to go missing.

  • Similarly, the Apache config kept picking up a random library I had in /usr/local/lib, and throwing errors. So I finally figured I should just move all of /usr/local/bin and /usr/local/lib out of the way until I got everything built. I selectively brought things back later.

  • But this was not my only problem with Apache. Oh, no. Apparently mod_perl 1.30 and perl 5.10 simply do not get along. I kept getting errors about bad file descriptors every time I tried to start Apache. I finally found discussion from p5p about it, from a few weeks ago, and used Andreas Koenig's patch for mod_perl, taken from Steve Hay's fix slated for mod_perl 1.31. This fixed the problem, apparently.

  • However, apparently this patch only works for fixing non-threaded perl. So I then had to rebuild perl to be non-threaded. I had wanted to keep my perl config as close to the default Mac OS X build as possible, for binary compatiblity reasons, but it's not that important, I suppose, since 5.8 and 5.10 are not binary compatible anyway, and Mac OS X 10.6 (the first likely to use 5.10.x) won't be out for a long time. So, I don't need threads, and therefore, non-threaded it is.

  • And then there was libapreq. I don't know how to properly solve this problem, but I kept getting errors about my_perl being undeclared in two functions, hooks for uploading files. As I don't use that functionality, I simply commented out the body of the functions. It was getting late.

  • Most of the other modules were pretty smooth though. DBD::mysql kept looking for the mysql libraries in /usr/local/mysql/lib/mysql instead of /usr/local/mysql/lib. I couldn't see an obvious reason why, so I just added a symlink. Shrug.

  • Also, Mac::Carbon had some errors in the tests. Those should be fixed, but I have a lot of other fixes to make before uploading a new version. More on that some other time. The broken test was for Mac::AppleEvents, and I even have a comment in there about how the tests were very likely to be broken. I was right!

  • Mac::Glue posed a problem: the glue files are not byte-order independent. Maybe they should be, but that won't help me now. So I needed to rebuild all my glue files, which isn't a big deal.

  • Also not byte-order independent: the "friends" field in the Slash database. Like the glue files, it uses Storable. I know there are ways to make it work, but I did not use those ways previously, so now I am stuck. For Slash, I just wrapped the thaw() call in an eval for now, but I'll pull that later, after I call the rebuild task.

  • Speaking of modules, what got all this started was that I was trying to build XML::LibXML for my MacBook Pro so I could use XML::Atom to make posts from BBEdit to <pudge/*>. But building a PPC binary for an Intel machine ON an Intel machine turned out to be just too much for me. So I figured it was time to just start over.

  • The CPAN autobundle worked pretty well, although after installing Bundle::CPAN and Bundle::Slash, I then took my autobundle and wrote a quick script around it to basically call perl -M$module -e1 and note any errors, and that way I could skip most of the bundle, since I am still using the pure perl version of many modules, that I already had installed, and I don't necessarily want to install every upgrade to every module, since some of them can break (cf. XML::RSS). Then I scanned the uninstalled/broken module results and installed any I wanted by hand.

  • I make note here that Data::JavaScript::Anon is "still broken." Version 0.9 is broken, version 1.00 works, but CPAN still gives me version 0.9 unless I ask for 1.00 specifically, and so when I installed Bundle::Slash, I got the wrong one. But that has nothing to do with this, it's just Something Else.

Bottom line is that now I have Slash running on my Intel Mac with native Apache 1.39, mod_perl 1.30 (with patch), and perl 5.10 (without threads), and the only brokenness -- that I know of -- that remains is missing functionality in Apache::Request that I don't use, and lack of thread-capable perl for mod_perl.

It was a long day making all that work, too. Dang it was long. Lots of futzing around. But I also now apparently have almost no more PPC apps running on a regular basis on my Mac: just Eudora. Which sucks. But not as much as every other mail app. I dunno, maybe I should give Thunderbird another go. I hate that it is not a native Mac UI, but it's not like Eudora has a great UI either. Maybe I'll try again.

Today the Patriots try to become the first-ever team to go 16-0 in the regular season, and win 19 straight regular season games.

It's a very big deal. Even if they don't win the Super Bowl, it will be a very big deal.

But the Super Bowl matters a lot more. So while I want this win a lot, I won't breathe a sigh of relief or anything until they get win number 19 on the year, winning the Super Bowl.

No matter what happens, though, I remember after the Pats' second, and then third, Super Bowl win, people talking about whether this Pats team is one of the best ever. There's no more talk about that. The verdict is in. They are. The only question -- one that may never be answered -- is whether they are the best ever. But they've accomplished all these feats and Brady is just now hitting his prime. If the Pats ring off a lot more wins, including some Super Bowls, I think we may just have to call them the best ever (or at least, best since The Merger).

But that's the future. The Now is one game, and one game only. Today's game.

Go Pats.

Latest New Jersey Insanity

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New Jersey passed a law mandating that all pregnant women are tested for HIV. If the mother refuses, then the infant will be tested upon birth, even if against the mother's will.

Where is NOW and its mantra "keep your laws off my body" when you need them?

PCO Training for Snohomish County

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Because of the upcoming precinct caucus in February, many new PCOs have signed up recently, and so now is a great time for PCO training. Every Republican PCO in Snohomish County -- old and new -- should come to PCO training next Saturday, January 5, at 1 p.m. at the PUD building in Edmonds.

RSVP to the county office at 360-653-1100 by January 3.

Also, there will be caucus training about a month from now for the caucuses on February 9, so stay tuned for an announcement. Sound Politics

Pudge Finally Moves to New Glob

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I've gone and done it and set up my a new site, called <pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob").

I won't be fully retiring my other journal sites -- I'll still post Perl stuff on use Perl, for example -- but in general, I'll be using the new site for everything. When I do post something to my other journals -- or to Flickr, or YouTube -- it'll be mirrored there. I've already prepopulated it with thousands of posts from my other sites over the past 10 years.

At some point I will be more closely integrating PudgeTunes with <pudge/*> -- each song will have its own entry, and I'll generate podcast feeds directly from the new site -- but other than that, it's pretty much set.

This also means my "meta-feed" is going away. If you subscribed to, it now just symlinks to

So now you have one place to go for All Things Pudge. ;-)


Benazir Bhutto R.I.P.

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Benazir Bhutto was a politician. She wasn't perfect. But she wanted to bring more liberty and prosperity to her people, she devoted -- and knowingly sacrificed -- her life to that goal. She knew that her chosen path was quite likely to bring her death, and she walked down that path anyway.

I can only assume she believed her death, if it happened, would help bring about the change she desired, and I hope it does.

Patriots on Saturday

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Huge game coming up: the Patriots, the only regular season 15-0 team in NFL history, is going for a perfect record, 16-0. There's other season records on the line too -- most TD passes by a QB, most TD receptions by a receiver, most points scored by a team, biggest cumulative point differential, longest consecutive winning streak, and so on.

This unprecedented game was scheduled to be seen only by about 40 percent of the normal NFL audience, because it is going to be on the NFL Network, which is only available via some satellite and cable providers. But tonight the NFL announced it would be simulcast on NBC and CBS, getting 100 percent nationwide coverage, and marking the first time since Super Bowl I that a game would be shown simultaneously on more than one U.S. network, and the first time ever to be shown on three.

Tom Brady jokingly said he wants the Giants starters to take the game off, since the game is meaningless for the playoffs. But as a longtime Patriots fan, I say no: sports is about rising to a challenge. That's why no one cared about The Dream Team after it won its first Olympics. The tougher the challenge, the greater the glory. There will be 11 other teams in the playoffs, and the Patriots will have played at least five of them (Cowboys, Colts, Steelers, Chargers, Giants; and maybe seven, if the Redskins win, and the Browns win/Titans lose).

Going 16-0 while beating a lot of top teams would be a great accomplishment, but if one of those top teams intentionally didn't play its best game, that would diminish it a bit, for many fans. Granted, it's already slightly diminished in that the combined wins by the rest of the Patriots' division is only 11, four less than the Patriots have won by themselves, and that accounts for six of the Pats' games. So the competitor in me really wants to see the Patriots play all the best teams en route to a perfect season, and, eventually, to another Super Bowl championship.

Bring it on, Coach Tom Coughlin. If the Patriots can't go 16-0 against the best you have to offer, then they don't deserve to get a perfect season.

LCE038 You Gotta Get Up

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This is a great little Christmas song by Rich Mullins.

Sorry my voice is a bit thrashed. I have a cold and it hurts to sing. But the show must go on!

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

LCE037 Christmas Must Be Tonight

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Christmas Must Be Tonight was originally recorded by The Band, though this version is heavily influenced by The Compassion International All-Star Band's version (sung by Randy Stonehill).

Sorry my voice is a bit thrashed. I have a cold and it hurts to sing. But the show must go on!

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

LCE036 Little Drummer Boy

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I figured this was a good opportunity to try out my new Yamaha drum machine thingy.

Sorry my voice is a bit thrashed. I have a cold and it hurts to sing. But the show must go on!

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

The YouTube "community" has let me down.

Granted, there are some "leave jamie lynn alone" videos, but that is not as funny. She should never, ever, in the context of comedy, be called "Jamie Lynn." Her comedy name is "Britney's sister."

Patriots vs. Dolphins: In the bag?

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Let's go back to 2004.

The Patriots won 21 games straight, going back to 2003. That streak ended at the hands of the Steelers, and the then-lossless Ben Roethlisberger. The Patriots would not lose another game -- including handing Big Ben his first-ever loss -- until the 2005 season.

Except for one.

December 20, 2004, the Partriots travel to Miami, and Tom Brady gets intercepted four times (for some perspective, he has only five INTs this season so far) and A.J. Feely threw none, and Sammy Morris scored two TDs, and the Dolphins won 29-28.

The Pats ended the year 17-2, and the Dolphins 4-12.

Of course, Feely is now with the Eagles (where he just missed upsetting the Patriots a few weeks ago), and Sammy Morris now plays for the Patriots. But the Dolphins also beat the Pats in 2005 (granted, that year, the Dolphins actually had a winning record) and 2006.

In 2005, the teams were close in the standings, and the Pats had their worst season in years, and lost at home 28-26. In 2006, the Pats had a 12-4 record, the Dolphins were 6-10, and the Pats went on to just miss going to the Super Bowl. And in Week 14, the Dolphins shut the Patriots out in Miami, 21-0.

Twenty-one to nothing. Just a year ago. The only shutout the Patriots have suffered since the 31-0 shutout the Bills handed them in week 1 of 2003 (which the Patriots avenged in week 17, with a 31-0 shutout over the Bills).

Granted, this is an undefeated New England and almost-winless Miami, the by-far-best against the by-far-worst. On the other hand, the 2007 Dolphins want no win more than this one, and have beaten the Patriots in their second meeting of the season three years in a row, including a shutout last year.

LCE035 Christmas at Ground Zero

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The Weird Al classic, done as a chipmunk lounge singer. Requested by both Joel and hfb.

Get your Christmas requests in!

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

Added to Longest Concert Evar: 12 Songs of Christmas are: Blue Christmas, O Holy Night, Mary's Song (by Petra), The First Toymaker to the King, No More Toymakers to the King.

The latter two are, of course, from Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. I think I really nailed the voices on the last one, especially Burgermeister Meisterburger.

If you know about the Nerdfighter Power "Project for Awesome" meme that sprung up yesterday, I made the first one part of that project, as a setup to the joke that the second one is part of the "Project for Evil." Muahahahaha. No toys for you!

LCE034. From "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," here is the EVIL holiday classic. So destroy all toys and make the kids cry! MUAHAHAHA!


Or something.

I dunno, I kinda question how awesome they really are. Well, not so much how awesome they are I suppose, but how much awesomer they are than anyone else. Everyone is awesome, right?

Except for me, of course.

I'm evil.

Get your Christmas requests in!

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

LCE033. From "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," here is the holiday classic. So ... um ... donate to Toys for Tots, I guess. Cause toys are awesome, and so are tots.

Get your Christmas requests in!

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

LCE032 Mary's Song

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Mary's Song is an old tune from Petra. Like, we're talking 70s here, long before YOU ever heard of them. Probably. One of my favoritest Christmas songs.

Get your Christmas requests in!

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

LCE031 O Holy Night

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O Holy Night. This arrangement was recorded a decade or two ago by Steve Camp.

Get your Christmas requests in!

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

LCE030 Blue Christmas

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Blue Christmas, requested by patch.

Get your Christmas requests in!

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

From The McLaughlin Group 12/07/2007.

Pudge's Christmas Concert

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My Longest Concert Evar has reached its first Christmas. What do you want for Christmas? Send in your requests to

The first two songs are in the playlist: Good King Wenceslas and Christmas at Denny's.

LCE029 Christmas at Denny's

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This is a somber tune by Randy Stonehill about a way to celebrate Christmas that nobody wants.

Get your Christmas requests in!

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

LCE028 Good King Wenceslas

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An old favorite. Played by a hologram. On a recorder.

Get your Christmas requests in!

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

Presidential Authority

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Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse is whining about the President's view of his authority.

But every statement of authority he is complaining about is absolutely true.

1. An executive order cannot limit a President. There is no constitutional requirement for a President to issue a new executive order whenever he wishes to depart from the terms of a previous executive order. Rather than violate an executive order, the President has instead modified or waived it.
This is absolutely true. Executive orders, explicitly or otherwise, are not in the Constitution. As far as the Constitution is concerned, an "executive order" is just one of many ways a President can give orders to the rest of the executive branch, and is in no way binding on the President himself. An "executive order" has no more constitutional standing than a verbal order. Heck, or a nonverbal order. A wink, a nod, a finger pointing.

None of them is elevated above any other, and none of them is binding on the President, because executive authority is vested in the President, and the President alone (so sayeth Article II of the Constitution). His orders have any power only because they come from him, and any order, in any form, he gives later has more power than any executive order before it because it comes from the same authority, but is more recent.

This is not only how it works, this is how it must work. To have it work any other way is to say that there is an executive authority above the President.

2. The President, exercising his constitutional authority under Article II, can determine whether an action is a lawful exercise of the President's authority under Article II.
Yep. Absolutely true. What are the alternatives? There's only three: give Congress the new authority to dictate constitutional interpretation to the President, violating separation of powers; give the Court new authority to interpret law without an actionable case in front of them; or give someone in the executive branch power to dictate interpretion of the law to the President, violating the first sentence of Article II of the Constitution.

If you don't like what the President does, you can question him, and use politics to combat him. If it gets bad enough, you can take him to the Supreme Court (which has been done, with Bush usually, but not always, winning), or you can impeach him.

This is not only how it works, this is how it must work. To have it work any other way is to say that there is an executive authority above the President.

3. The Department of Justice is bound by the President's legal determinations.
This was dispensed with above. All executive power is vested in the President, including all of the Department of Justice.

This is not only how it works, this is how it must work. To have it work any other way is to say that there is an executive authority above the President.

The problem here appears to be simply that Democrats don't like executive authority being vested in the President ... at least, not when the President isn't their guy.

You may disagree with the choices the President has made. You may think some of his views, and acts, are unconstitutional. But it is entirely clear that he is not legally bound by any executive order or legal interpretation (other than Supreme Court decisions).

LCE027 Just Getting Started

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"Just Getting Started" is an original song I wrote and recorded a year ago, as a bit of an homage to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

As with my "Lines and Squares" video, despite the relatively professional sound quality, there's no lip synching here: I merely recorded the vocals and guitars (including the guitar solo) live into my music program as I recorded the video, and then mixed the audio all together and synched it up to the video. So what you see me doing is what you're hearing. No pretending!

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

United Bassists of America has come out with its endorsement for President in this campaign ad, and it is not who you might think!


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OK, I just want to get this straight.

The Iraq NIE basically backed the case for war with Iraq. Many antiwar folks dismissed its claims that Iraq had largely rebuilt its missile and biological weapon facilities, and expanded its chemical and biological weapons programs, and so on.

The Iran NIE says that Iran stopped its work on nuclear weapons a few years back. Many antiwar folks simply accept that as true.

Call me crazy, but the only consistency I see here is that the antiwar folks believe whatever happens to be said that is less likely to lead to armed conflict.

They don't care about truth. They care about not having war, regardless of the truth.

Me? I care about truth. It's why I didn't believe the claims of WMD on the eve of the Iraq invasion, and it's why I don't believe Iran isn't working on nuclear weapons now. I don't know. I can't know. And neither can you. And when you believe something just because you WANT it to be true, you lose credibility.


LCE026 Long Black Veil

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Long Black Veil, by many artists. My version is sortof a mix between Johnny Cash's version, and The Chieftains' version (with Mick Jagger on lead vocal). Requested by "ab ab."

Send in your Christmas music requests!

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


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Rep. Brian Baird is a Democrat from Washington, who has opposed the Iraq War from the beginning, and who has been to Iraq several times since the war began, a few months ago switched to being in favor of keeping troops in Iraq.

He is still against us having gone in, but now that we are there and he has had a chance to see what is going on firsthand, he thinks moving forward the best course is to remain in Iraq for now.

Of course, this made many Democrats go nuts.

But what struck me was this line in an August article about it:

"We don't care what your convictions are," said Jan Lustig of Vancouver. "You're here to represent us."

Lustig added, "You're not representing us with this stance."

To that, Baird quietly replied, "I understand."

I understand too. I understand his emotion and I understand his view.

However, that's not to say I think it is rational. I think representative democracy cannot work as Mr. Lustig wants it to. It never has worked that way, and there's no way it can, and even if it could, we shouldn't want it to.

How is Baird even to know whether or not he is representing his constituents? Hold an ... election? Yep, we do that, every two years. Other than that, he can't really know for sure.

But more importantly, he shouldn't really care. He should want to know what they think, but at the end of the day, no, a thousand times no, he must follow his own convictions. As Edmund Burke said, "Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion." Burke wasn't trying to say "representatives are smarter or better than you are." He was saying that you voted for him not just because you agreed with him, but because you trusted his judgment, and further, that he has spent a lot more time and thought and study on the issues than the overwhelming majority of his constituents: this is his job, after all. It's why we HAVE representatives.

If you want a representative to just slavishly follow what you think he should do, then run for office yourself. That's not the system we've got going here.

Now Playing: Paul Winter - Triumph

Same thing as the previous video I uploaded, except this one is a little longer and looks better.

Me/CNN/YouTube Debate Wrapup

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Thanks for all the kind words about my song at the debate. In case you missed it, here's a snippet of the debate showing my song, the candidates reaction to it, and me in the audience.

There were front-page (below the fold!) stories in the local Everett Herald and Seattle Times, along with mentions by Rush Limbaugh and others. And I was interviewed by Melissa Long on CNN Live. That video is in my YouTube playlist covering the debate and my trip.

I also have some reaction videos at the end of the playlist, where I talk a bit about my thoughts on the whole thing, especially the reaction to my song, and about General Kerr ("the Gay General").

Speaking of my videos and General Kerr, I think I have the very first video of him after it came out that he was related to the campaign. I asked him in the spin room right after my interview on CNN Live whether he was a "plant" of the Hillary campaign. It's there in the playlist too.

The Golden Compass

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I knew little about The Golden Compass, but then something someone said about it triggered a fading memory, and I grepped my email for "Pullman," the story's author. Here is what I wrote about him two years ago here:

The same guy, Philip Pullman, also noted (in the Washington Post, Feb 19, 2001, "The Last Word"; an article about how his trilogy for young adults ends in God's death) that in his stories "I'm trying to undermine Christian belief."

So cross Philip Pullman of the list of authors my children might read ...

So let's be clear. The author of The Golden Compass is, in his own exact words, "trying to undermine Christian belief." And he slams C.S. Lews and Narnia in this way:

One of the most vile moments in the whole of children's literature, to my mind, occurs at the end of The Last Battle, when Aslan reveals to the children that "The term is over: the holidays have begun" because "There was a real railway accident. Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadowlands - dead." To solve a narrative problem by killing one of your characters is something many authors have done at one time or another. To slaughter the lot of them, and then claim they're better off, is not honest storytelling: it's propaganda in the service of a life-hating ideology.

He believes that believing in heaven as I, and millions of others, do is "hating life."

I will not see The Golden Compass. YMMV.

Debate Thoughts, Part II

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My thoughts about the YouTube debate, wherein I discuss reactions to my song, reactions to the debate, General Kerr, and vitriol.

Debate Thoughts, Part III

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My thoughts about the YouTube debate, wherein I discuss some of the people I met.

Debate Thoughts, Part I

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My thoughts about the YouTube debate, wherein I discuss my song, how it came about, and so on.

Me on CNN, Opening the Debate

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Me on CNN Live Post-Debate

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Melissa Long interviews me for CNN Live.

<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."

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