Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Blogger Day of Silence

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Ace called for today to be a Day of Silence. Given my infrequent postings, I don’t know how anyone could tell whether or not I’m participating.

In any case, the purpose is to highlight the actions of Brett Kimberlin and his associates, and to call on Congress to take action to prevent the suppression of free speech intended by these actions.

Just to make it clear, I’m joining the effort.

May the twenty-fifth

Friday, May 25th, 2012

There are a number of things to note about this day. Some are significant; some aren’t.

As much as I enjoyed reading Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and watching the TV series, the fact that it’s Towel Day isn’t that important to me.

Likewise, the fact that it was 35 years ago that Star Wars was released is interesting, but not important.

What is important is the Brett Kimberlin blogburst.

Who is Brett Kimberlin? He’s a con man and convicted domestic terrorist who’s currently being funded by various individuals and foundations on the left side of the political divide.

What’s he doing? He’s trying to suppress anyone telling the truth about him or his connections. He’s using lawfare, perjury, and threats to harass anyone involved in such efforts. For the most part, such people are conservative bloggers, but there are some liberals who’ve gotten on his bad side, also.

Stacy McCain has taken his family into hiding because of what happened after he started reporting on Kimberlin.

Kimberlin tried to frame Aaron Walker for a felony, and both Aaron and his wife lost their jobs because their bosses and coworkers felt threatened.

Patrick Frey, who blogs under the name “Patterico,” has a very detailed, chilling tale to tell that starts with how someone impersonated him in order to get a SWAT team sent to his house thinking that he was a dangerous killer.

Brett Kimberlin is a scary individual who associates with scary individuals. They’re trying to chill discourse, and I don’t want to be someone who stands by and lets them get away with it without notice.

Miscellany 19

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

I’ve been accumulating a lot of links. Time to clear the tabs out.

A good overview of corruption in Obama’s DOJ here.

Interesting discussion of poverty here.

This must have something to do with truth in advertising: a supermarket chain has been forced to withdraw ads that show happy customers.

Useful knowledge: How to avoid going to jail for violating 18 USC 1001.

Not, perhaps, the best dietary choices.

It’s been a long time – I haven’t read much about spontaneous human combustion since I was in high school.

I’ve seen photos of people with elaborate facial tattoos before, but never in this context.

This is interesting – a section of Idaho where major crimes can’t be prosecuted.

Time for Science and Technology:

Carbon nanotube cables that conduct electricity as efficiently as copper? Bring it on!

This is a bit old, but … we can now measure the magnetic properties of a single proton.

This is also a bit old … a new type of car engine. These come around every so often. I was quite taken with the Wankel rotary engine, but it had problems with manufacturability. Maybe this one will work out better.

Visual cryptography. Interesting, but I’m not sure how easy it would be to extract the information into text form.

A visual reference to computer ports.

Fairly computer-centric, but, then, I am employed in the field of software, and I love the title – Here be dragons: advances in problems you didn’t even know you had.

New and improved wireless technology.

Fossilized feathers found in 80-million-year-old amber.

Here’s a scale model of the solar system. Be prepared to do a lot of scrolling.

On the subject of the solar system, here’s an orrery that I think is pretty damned impressive.

Continuing with science, the Ig Nobel awards are about to be announced.

Scientists are also planning to make an artificial volcano.

Here’s something unusual: placebos are becoming more effective. How’s that work?

Been hearing voices with nobody around? You may not be as insane as you feared – birds are teaching each other to talk.

A Z-machine interpreter and a list of games for it.

Technology keeps on improving our lives – here’s a self-inflating bicycle tire.

The Document Which Used To Be Called The MIT Lockpicking Guide. I downloaded a copy when it was called that. Related: a series of lessons on YouTube.

Some products aren’t well-designed. Here’s one example from a trade-magazine blog on the topic.

Time for a little humor.

Here’s something that’s a staple of Jay Leno’s “headlines” segments: marriage announcements.

Got OCD and like to cook?

Lord of the Strings?

I like some of these modified signs.

Not quite humor, but close … Which Programming Languages Make You Cuss More? More accurately stated: which programming languages have more cussing in comments in the code I looked at?

Miscellany 17

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

There’s not quite an hour left in the 52nd anniversary of Hawaii becoming a state (in this timezone, anyway). Time to clear out the browser tabs.

Andy Firth believes that people who code for a living aren’t learning enough about the abstractions they use and what those abstractions are hiding. I happen to agree with that. My list of things that coders should study/know would be somewhat different than his, but that is likely to be just because of our differing backgrounds.

The economy is going to hell in a handbasket. My company isn’t exempt from problems; our customers have taken to using us as a bank that provides no-interest loans – customers on net 30 terms have been taking 90 days or more to pay. Here’s a good roundup of poll results with respect to the economy and the government’s handling of it.

Perhaps this chart explains some of the problem. Pay particular attention to the last two lines.

Accounting rules have, of course, contributed to where we are today with respect to manufacturing.

Oh, for the days when farming was fun!

While we’re on the subject of dynamite, I’d like to suggest this as a problem that can be solved with a suitable application of high explosives.

I don’t agree with Fred all the time, but he’s almost always worth reading. He’s got a sobering take on the London riots.

The closest I can come to matching this customer service story is to note that I used to be a regular-enough customer at a local Mexican restaurant that the staff knew my usual order. Nowhere near the same thing. I’ll have to get to a Morton’s sometime when I feel as though I can afford it; such service deserves reward.

I need to find out more about this. There may be nothing there, but, if there is …

Free online classes in AI. Might be fun. Here’s more information about other online education sources.

I saw an interesting documentary on burlesque a couple of weeks ago. This song was in part of it, but never sung in its entirety. I looked it up because it sounded fun. Note: the page automatically plays a MIDI file of it.

This bothers me

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

It fits right in with other things this administration has done, though, such as the fact that President Obama has never issued an Easter statement, but does offer yearly statements on Ramadan and hosts Iftan dinners.

If you’re an American citizen born in Jerusalem, the State Department won’t let you have “Israel” noted as your place of birth.

And, apparently as a result of the prior article appearing, the White House has removed the information noted in that article that Jerusalem is in Israel from its website.

At what point do you have enough evidence to start wondering if he’s practicing taqqiya?

Disappointingly, this sounds about right

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Recently, there’s been some noise with respect to how President Obama can raise the debt limit unilaterally, without the approval of Congress. It sounds pretty dodgy to me, and it put me in mind of a comment President Lincoln addressed to Democrats in a speech he made in February, 1860, at the Cooper Institute.

The specific line from the speech that it reminded me of was this:

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.

It appears that not much has changed.

Miscellany 12

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Bohemian Rhapsody performed on ukulele by Jake Shimabukuro.

NPR’s feature on Lyle Ritz.

Tchaikovsky did what? (I recently ran across a printout I made of this page some years ago. The page is gone, but has preserved it.

Wallace and Gromit in A Matter of Loaf and Death.

I keep getting mailers suggesting that I sign up for receiving mail ballots for all future elections. Here’s one reason why I haven’t.

A cause of rising ocean levels that is not attributed to “global warming.” I remember reading about the falling levels in the Edwards Aquifer a couple of decades or more ago. I can’t imagine that things have gotten any better in the time since then. Fresh water supplies are going to become more and more important as time goes on and population increases.

Vessels such as this were being proposed way back when I was in the Navy. I’m sure it’s got impressive speed, but there’s not a lot of visible armament. It looks (to my long-out-of-practice-and-behind-the-times eye) like one gun emplacement on the foredeck, and something that looks reminiscent of a Vulcan/Phalanx close-in missile defense system up top. If that’s all there is, it’s a continuation of a trend that dates back to at least the 1970s – I can remember looking at our warships and comparing them with the Russian K-class warships, which bristled with weapons in comparison to ours. Still, the armament necessary for a given ship depends on its mission.

This makes more sense than I like. It might not be a deliberate aim, but it certainly seems to fit the facts.

I’ve been seeing these graphs a lot, lately

Friday, October 1st, 2010

They’re as severe a criticism of the current state of the American educational establishment as the report, A Nation at Risk, was in 1983, when it famously stated (in 1983!), “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.”

The graphs are a lot quicker and easier to understand than the report. It’s instructive to see where we were on the graphs when A Nation at Risk was released, and to see just how effective adding money to the education system has been in improving results.

I’m disappointed and disgusted, but not surprised

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Both of my senators and my representative are sponsors of the DREAM act.

I have a question

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Well, healthcare reform has passed the House, and I find myself reminded of a Clair Wolfe quote:

“America is at that awkward stage. It’s too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards.”

– Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do ‘Til the Revolution

My question? Oh, of course.

Is it still too early?