Global Warming uncertainty: game over

02/19/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

From the Times of London

"The debate about whether there is a global warming signal now is over, at least for rational people," said Tim Barnett, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. "The models got it right. If a politician stands up and says the uncertainty is too great to believe these models, that is no longer tenable."

setting up qmqp

02/16/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: Geek

When you want to link in a server to qmqp, here's how.

The synopsis is this:

1) make sure qmqpd is running on server
2) set up some basic qmail stuff on client

3) link qmail-queue to qmail-qmqpc

That's the special sauce that invokes email on the client to use qmqp to talk to the main server

Vonage vt1005 directions

02/09/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: Geek

If you have vonage, and you have a Motorola vt1005, here's the destructions page.

Must-Have firefox extensions

01/30/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Auto Copy
Select text, and it's automagically copied to the clipboard

Context Search

Allows you to hit search engines with highlighted text from the context menu

Stops ads in their tracks

Flash Click to View

Stops Flash in its tracks, until you click on it

Another flash blocker
(you don't need both, although either seems to work ok)

Session saver

Session Saver Home Site
-- computer crash? No prob. This brings back all your pages when you restart. It says it's only compatible to 0.8, but I'm using on 1.0 and it's fantastic.

And some stuff I want to try out:

Mozilla Archive

Saves an entire page in a compressed format (feeds it to zip, or rar, etc)

Scrap Book
Save all or part of a page, not sure if this or the one above is better


Slogger Home Page
Manage your history -- I need this !

If I had a nickel for every minute I've spent looking through my history file for a reference to something I read 3 weeks ago, I'd be rich! This program solves all of that. It makes use of the "save page as" function built into firefox, but it does it automatically on each page load, as well as builds an external history listing, allows keywords, and lets you categorize url's into differing groupings. Along with Google desktop search, I'll never have to hunt through my history files again for something I read, no matter how long ago.

Be sure to go to his website to get the latest version, however. There weren't any instructions on how to get started, and it took me a while to figure it out (use the 'options' button on the 'extensions' window. Once I got to the control panel, the rest was easy.

Download a website to a local directory

-- looks interesting

R.I.P. Pho

01/30/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Pho, the cat died this morning. The poor guy had something wrong in his gizzard that couldn't be fixed. He was 15 and had a good kitty kat life. His real name was Dino. Dino Pho Fino. You get the idea. I miss him.

Jus in Belo

01/25/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

H. Richard Niebuhr once wrote that the first question of ethics is not “What should I do?” but “What is going on?” The Baghdad version of that principle might be, “What the hell is going on?”

An article examining the motivations behind the highly polemical writings of two great conservative theologians in the Catholic Church. Was theirs the viewpoint of defending a just war, or simply a queueing up behind the principals and edicts of the neoconservativsm movement?

If the former, where is the discussion of how things have gone since?

Today's Horoscope

01/20/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Not that I believe in such things...

"Scorpio has proven the ability to hold on. Scorpio's staying power is second to none. Now Scorpio needs to learn to let go. Every day Scorpio needs to find something to sell, give away, throw out or burn. If Scorpio wants to get the most out of life, Scorpio needs to let go of old crap, literally, figuratively, and most of all, psychologically."

In Lieu of Manners

01/20/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

From an article I read years ago. A discussion of how as a democratic society progresses, laws take the place of manners. Laws that we vote into existence ourselves.

In the new Fox series "Boston Public," students have been forced to take

random drug tests, teachers have been fingerprinted because the school board
was worried about child molestation and the parents of the star football

player have sued the principal because their son wasn't allowed to play
after he failed two courses. It is a lot of litigiousness in one hour,

particularly in a show that is not about law. Oddly enough, though, the idea
that teachers and students live in fear of lawsuits doesn't feel like

sensationalism. Instead, it seems that prime time is finally catching up
with the reality of American life. As trust in traditional authorities

declines, we are increasingly turning to law to regulate the kinds of
behavior that used to be governed by manners and mores. In schools, in

workplaces, in churches and in politics, our interactions are increasingly
conducted in the shadow of legalese. We are becoming a nation of separate,

resentful, legalized selves.

The litigation explosion in the last decades of the 20th century has been
well chronicled. (In the 1990's, workplace bias suits tripled thanks to a

series of new federal discrimination laws.) But the phenomenon I am
describing is something different: not the explosion of litigation -- most

of us, God willing, will never be parties in an actual case -- but the
explosion of legalisms, which have become a substitute for moral and

political debate.

Ever since I started teaching four years ago, for example, I have lived my
professional life against a backdrop of rules that force teachers and

students to think more legalistically about even the most fleeting
interactions. Not long after I started, a student made a halting pass at me

in my office. This wasn't a big deal, and as gently and firmly as I could, I
rebuffed it. That was the end of the matter, as far as I was concerned, but

I happened to mention the incident to a colleague, who told me I had to
protect myself by informing the dean immediately. So I trooped downstairs to

the dean's office and, to my embarrassment and his, duly reported the
innocuous incident.

Full story »

Metropolis Data

01/12/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Working with George Bush

01/07/05 | by david2 [mail] | Categories: General

Far be it from me to figure out why a country that was seeming to be headed towards calmness and sensibility has suddenly taken a turn towards xenophobia and selfishness, following the Republicans like the pied piper.

If I had to guess, I'd guess fear, which is what xenophobia is all about. Hate the French? Probably not if you've ever BEEN there. Hate Muslims? Not if you were related to one, or had one who was a friend.

It's easy to see, as Goebbels said, how a nation can get whipped up into a nationalistic frenzy, like rooting for their favorite home team. The question is, are we all really a bunch of animals, incapable of more reasonable thought? Is it always just an "I want what's mine, and forget about you" attitude which translates to all these so-called reforms that leave the well-to-do more well off and the rest in the gutter?

My guess is that we're not, but that there are more people who find it easy to think they're putting their own self-interest in the forefront by electing George Bush and his ghoulish advisers. They're afraid and they think George Bush will save them because he's tough on terrorists.

Let's be rough. Let's be tough. Let's give those terrorists hell. Never mind that time has proven so often that rough-and-tough tactics like torture universally provide bad intelligence and backfire by creating more ill will. That nuance is lost in this fearful climate.

And all the while, the Democrats are spinning in circles chasing their tails. They remind me of all the big bands who found their audiences dissipating when Elvis showed up in the 60's. It's almost embarassing to hear the Mills Brothers try and 'spice' up their music in order to compete.

And of course, years later, the spiced up music is gone, and the true gems of the era are truly treasured.

It seems that maybe, just maybe, that the Democrats are realizing that George Bush and his band-o-creeps making hay while the terrorist sun shines and that they support bipartisanship only as long as it furthers their goals.

Over at Washington Monthly, Kevin Drum points out the Democrats need to quit thinking that there's some good man deep in Darth Bush's soul that simply needs to be brought out. This ain't Darth we're dealing with. It's the Emperor.

Yeah, that's the ticket. Luckily, Brownstein also reports that even centrist Democrats are backing off from any cooperation with Bush's privatization plan, and thank God for that. I mean, I'm a centrist Dem myself, and surely my fellow centrists have figured out by now that George Bush is uninterested in compromise of any sort? Nothing good has ever come from any attempt to work with Bush, and nothing good will come of it this time either.

Social Security is in the strongest shape it's been in for two decades, but George Bush nonetheless chose this particular moment to declare that it's in "crisis" and needs to be privatized. That makes it pretty obvious he's not trying to solve a problem, he's just looking for an excuse to wage a partisan, ideological war for something he's always wanted regardless of whether we need it or whether it works.

Bush needs to be sent down to stinging defeat on this, and any Democrat who hasn't figured that out ought to step down and give his seat to someone who does. If congressional Democrats can't manage a united front against an obvious political ploy aimed straight at the heart of the social safety net, they might as well pack up and go home.

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