Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Hypocrisy and the Contraception debate

Since apparently we have to decide the future of American politics around this issue of whether insurers should be forced to offer contraceptives and pharmacies be forced to carry them the freedom or religion question again comes to the forefront.

The progressive propaganda machine is out in full force trying to accuse conservatives of forcing their religion on others and or trying to sell us all on the idea that these measures are in some way protecting them from the tyrannical religious views of the minority. The sad part is its working in that public is actually entertaining the idea this has anything to do with religion. It may be to an extent but if is than the conservatives as usual have the more supportable position even if most of those would be ïïSantorum votes and the candidate himself are blind to it.

All of these âoeprogressivesâ who see their boy Obama as a hero pushing common sense over the religious right, are as much the fools they like to make the Santorum supporters out to be or the worst kind of hypocrite. I personally suspect its pretty even mix of both; frequently found in the same individuals. Almost any of them would be willing to argue that âoefreedom of religionâ means freedom from religion and Iâ(TM)d agree. It follows though that âoefreedom of associationâ its in that same amendment, should also mean freedom from association. That means as an individual, or private business, I should have the right to disassociate myself form any person or group of people I chose for any reason, however stupid. This is the view I take as libertarian. Its incumbent upon me to not pick stupid reasons but if I do; well to damn bad right? So if an employer, insurance agency or pharmacy does not want the sort of customer or employee that interested in contraception coverage well that ought to be allowed. So toss out all your civil rights acts, quota laws, and similar non-egalitarian derk.

The Supreme Court of the United States disagrees with me; partially. The have held you can only exclude members from your group if their presence would make it difficult to express you view point. Clearly in the case of Catholic organizations who have the view point that contraception is wrong, would have a problem espousing that viewpoint while having a membership with the expectation they are going to pay for it. So their covered but the pharmacy that does not want to carry Plan B, they are not a religious organization, the are not pushing an agenda other than make buck; so they canâ(TM)t just dissociate themselves from a certain group of customers right? Well I guess you got me there, or do you? I say the the Supreme Court is wrong. I say this because if the the freedom of associate is in fact not freedom from association than its terribly inconsistent to take the view freedom of religion is.

If your not forcing people to violate the tenants of their own faith with say biblical-y inspired laws than those must be okay, as that would be consistent with the Courts rulings on association. Sorry Atheists if the Christians want to hang the Ten Commandments over the door and start the school day with a prayer I guess you must let them. You canâ(TM)t have it both ways, well not and be honest anyway. Lets face it honesty and integrity have never really been part of the progressive agenda though have they?

  hmm some other thoughts on the subject.

What about the basic freedom reserved for the states and the people, you know ALL the ones not enumerated elsewhere in the Constitution. Like say deciding what to stock in your store. If a pharmacy has to carry Plan B, does my auto mechanic have to stock parts for my thirty year old import? Does JC Penny have to have beige pants in a thirty-one inch waste in stock at all times? Where is line? Clearly its totally against the character of this nation for any central governing body to be dictating what a retail operation has on their shelves, at least I hope that is still true!

Finally can we just dispense with the totally ridiculous notion that contraceptive drugs are âoenecessary for womenâ(TM)s health.â Clearly when prescribed for âoecontraceptive useâ they are not. Effective inexpensive contraception for men and women is available at just about every gas station, drug store, and many a public rest room across this country. If you really canâ(TM)t of any of it for whatever reason you could just keep your pants on. Sure it might ruin a Saturday night but it wonâ(TM)t kill you. I would be willing to entertain an argument that these medications might be necessary when prescribed as they frequently are for other health reasons. Doing so than places it on the doctor writing the prescription and their professional integrity when they attest to why they are doing it. Seems like a reasonable compromise. This simply is not an equal protection issue. Its just not.

Lets face it contraception is NOT specifically a womenâ(TM)s issue unless fathers have no obligation or rights to the consequences of not using it. Oh wait nobody is happy with that idea? Thought not.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hi there 10

heh, another friday, another JE for me.

How are you, dear friends?

I was going to tell you all my troubles -but truth tell, they are minor. I am just built to be a happy person, I couldn't even go one night feeling disenfranchised.

Whatever happens, I can't claim to be the victim of it. I am what I make - and I'll be damned if I don't make something awesome.

Hey, I'm on twitter now, guess what my handle is? Would love to chat, please follow me and let me know what's new.



User Journal

Journal Journal: What, no comments allowed Mr. john d the second? 3

Hey! You can't just have a car accident and post something where we can't write in and let you know that we're thinking of you and that we're glad you're alive and not splattered across the side of a Semi Trailer somewhere.... well ok the truth is I'm just damn glad that you could post at all.

Get well and don't go jumping around early, make sure you give yourself a lot of time to recover. And sleep lots. See if you can get yourself hooked on daytime tv :)

Slashdot without you would be a grey place. Please take care of yourself and know that we love you.



Update: um, nevermind. I interpreted the big white space after the JE to mean that there was no more content. I forget that the CSS here ain't exactly Zen Garden...

User Journal

Journal Journal: don't get it 13

You know, I'm trying to be a better wife. I guess I just have to accept the Mars/Venus thing.

My husband is really, really susceptible to stress. His health tanks when he's stressed, he just can't handle it. This winter break, my sled wouldn't start (right after we took the damn thing in for maintenance due to a recall). Hubby spent 2 days doing everything he could think of, and was generally angry and miserable, refused to go snowmobiling himself, and so forth. We took it in, they fixed it -- and the first ride out, the nut came off the A-arm of my right ski. The a-arm is what keeps the ski pointed forward - the only other piece connected to the ski is the main strut, which is on a ball-joint. Had the a-arm separated while I was moving at speed, the ski could have jacknifed, and well - that would have been bad.

Chances are, the snowmobile shop forgot to tighten the nuts after they did the recall work. My hubby is absolutely determined to sue the shop.

Why? Why why why why? Why take on that stress. Why not just be happy that all is well that ends well and move on?

I can't say that though. If I encourage him to drop it, he will accuse me of siding against him, that I don't support him.

Sigh. I'm not very good at remaining silent on things like this. I can only hope that he will tire of this whole plan and give it up. My dog walker thinks that this is about control -- he can't control so many things that happen to him - but dammit, he's going to control this one thing, make these people pay if it kills him...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Chipmunk Face (can I gross you out?) 15

Just had my top two wisdom teeth out.

While talking to the Dentist, he said that from the X-rays this looked like an easy extraction, although sometimes it turns out that there is a root that is facing directly away from the X-ray that can give trouble.

Ya. Well turns out there's one other thing that can cause your dentist to pull and pull and rock and lift and pull and remark in wonder that your tooth could be failing to yield to the pressure exerted by a full-grown man with surgical instruments...

Turns out that the roots of my upper wisdom teeth, which looked so nice and conical on the X-rays, were corkscrew shaped. On one side, the corkscrew had grown around the bone, and couldn't be extracted until that small piece of bone came away...

(grossed out yet?)

On the other side, I have some kind of nerve connection between the front and back nerve in my upper jaw. As a result, the dentist had to basically freeze the entire right side of my face, with more than twice the freezing than was needed on the other side.

The good news is that I'm numb right now. The bad news is, I won't be forever. The fact that they have sent me home with 600mg ibuprofen tablets tells me that life is going to suck for a few days. Scariest of all is that I have to take the tablets with food, and food is not something that I can imagine actually ingesting in the next 2 days....

The worst part is -- the lower wisdom teeth are in much worse shape. I hope they never have to come out.

User Journal

Journal Journal: VI gurus - help? 2

Has anyone out there seen a case where vi inserts ever more tabs into a pasted piece of code in insert mode?

The following two octal dumps were made by pasting the same copied code twice - first into a redirected cat file called shorttest1, and later into vi, saved as shorttest2

Right around line 0000060 in each file, although slashdot takes it out and moves the whole line to the left, there is a place in the pasted content where there are 8 spaces. On line 0000200, there are also 8 spaces - but in the vi file, a tab has been prepended. The next time there are 8 spaces, 2 tabs are prepended. After that, 3 tabs are prepended. And so on... Always the 8 spaces remain.

I have to assume this is a botched attempt at replacing the 8 spaces with a tab.

Anyone been here seen this and can help?

Thanks for your time.


ps - I can't find a fixed-width font that will show the code in columnar form. Sigh. Perhaps if you paste it somewhere fixed width, it will make sense.

$ vi -h
VIM - Vi IMproved 6.3 (2004 June 7, compiled Aug 29 2007 17:32:14)

$ od -c shorttest1
0000000 f u n c t i o n w f A d d C u
0000020 s t o m V a r i a b l e ( & $ m
0000040 a g i c W o r d s ) { \n
0000060 f o r e a c h ( $ G L
0000100 O B A L S [ ' w g C u s t o m V
0000120 a r i a b l e s ' ] a s $ v
0000140 a r ) $ m a g i c W o r d s [
0000160 ] = " M A G _ $ v a r " ; \n
0000200 r e t u r n t
0000220 r u e ; \n } \n
0000240 \n f u n c t i o n w f A d d C
0000260 u s t o m V a r i a b l e I D (
0000300 & $ v a r i a b l e s ) { \n
0000320 f o r e a c h ( $
0000340 G L O B A L S [ ' w g C u s t o
0000360 m V a r i a b l e s ' ] a s
0000400 $ v a r ) $ v a r i a b l e s
0000420 [ ] = c o n s t a n t ( " M
0000440 A G _ $ v a r " ) ; \n
0000460 r e t u r n t r u e ; \n
0000500 } \n
$ od -c shorttest2
0000000 f u n c t i o n w f A d d C u
0000020 s t o m V a r i a b l e ( & $ m
0000040 a g i c W o r d s ) { \n
0000060 f o r e a c h ( $ G L
0000100 O B A L S [ ' w g C u s t o m V
0000120 a r i a b l e s ' ] a s $ v
0000140 a r ) $ m a g i c W o r d s [
0000160 ] = " M A G _ $ v a r " ; \n
0000200 \t r e t u r n
0000220 t r u e ; \n \t \t
0000240 } \n \t \t \t \n \t \t \t f u n c t
0000260 i o n w f A d d C u s t o m V
0000300 a r i a b l e I D ( & $ v a r i
0000320 a b l e s ) { \n \t \t \t
0000340 f o r e a c h ( $ G L
0000360 O B A L S [ ' w g C u s t o m V
0000400 a r i a b l e s ' ] a s $ v
0000420 a r ) $ v a r i a b l e s [ ]
0000440 = c o n s t a n t ( " M A G
0000460 _ $ v a r " ) ; \n \t \t \t \t
0000500 r e t u r n t r u
0000520 e ; \n \t \t \t \t \t
0000540 } \n \n

User Journal

Journal Journal: knee deep in wiki... 6

Holy MediaWiki crash course!

Namespaces, Categories, Templates, Subpages...

Who knew wikis could be so complicated? It wouldn't be so fricking brutal to learn either, except Amazon has backordered the MediaWiki book I bought, so I have no choice but to read (shudder) a wiki in order to learn to use the wiki...

Bleh. It's a miracle I can find anything. There are probably other useful concepts that I just haven't been lucky enough to know to search for or to stumble across in the game of link roulette that is my attempt to learn enough to properly construct a rather large interconnected page structure...

I think what I'll end up being able to do will be cool, but getting there has been a bit of an exercise in uncertainty. I'm not sure if I'll still be a wiki hater after this, but if I am, at least I'll be a qualified wiki hater...

Update: Wow, now I understand why big wiki sites are so cool while little wiki sites always suck so much... I did not understand just what you can do with this stuff.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Mopping up 4

So I went to get my teeth cleaned yesterday, and I have to go back in the near future to (a) get my top wisdom teeth pulled, and (b) get something called "invisalign" which seems to be a marginally more humane version of braces.


The funniest part of the visit was the part where they scraped and polished and fluorided me. I had a *messy* dental assistant - and I do mean messy. There was stuff flying everywhere, all over my face, running down my neck... I swear she was having a water fight with someone in the next cubicle.... then when it got to the fluoride treatment, she put WAY too much foamy stuff into the trays, and stuffed the whole thing into my face anyways... foam erupted all over the place... and the whole time she's cheerfully regaling me with all sorts of stories in which she seems to want me to participate, despite the fact my mouth is otherwise occupied :)

She was a bit of a yard sale, but I still had fun. Which is saying a lot for a dental visit...

User Journal

Journal Journal: jPod 3

Just watched a new TV show called jPod. I *think* it is a Canadian show, at least it is being broadcast on the CBC, and it's located in Canada - but the snazzy production values and the Executive Producer make me wonder.

The show is produced by and based on the novel of the same name by Douglas Coupland, and revolves around a small group of video game programmers working in a company called "Neotronic Arts" in Vancouver.

It actually looks like an interesting, quirky little show - with lots of geekisms...

Do you guys get it too, or is it truly just for us Canucks for now?


User Journal

Journal Journal: The New Years Redneck Scoop 4

Ah, another New Year, another tale of redneck wonder.

This year, we let the neighbours set up the fireworks display, as we didn't feel like shelling out all the cash.

Our usual fireworks m.o. is to set up a framework and secure all the fireworks to the framework, connected with sparklers. This has the wonderful advantage that you do all the thinking and planning while still sober, and merely light a match at midnight.

The neighbours opted to put the fireworks into a snowbank and light them one by one. It all worked very well, but of course all the snowbanks are around the edge of the cul-de-sac, and the first thing I noticed when the fireworks started going off, was that they had managed to place the firing location for the fireworks directly underneath power lines....

I observed this to my friends, and their reply was "oh yeah, Andrew (a 7-year-old) pointed that out to the boys this afternoon. They didn't seem to think he was worth listening to..."


User Journal

Journal Journal: So Sick... 11

This may be the most pathetic Christmas ever.

Both my hubby and I are sick. We've both got a terrible stomach flu, and well, it isn't pretty. We've already had to cancel out of festivities tomorrow night, and I don't hold out much hope for Christmas Eve either.

On the bright side, we're catching up on a lot of movies...

We also finally found a counselor we like. She's great, an older lady with an 11-year-old Lhasa Apso, who patiently perches himself on her lap while she rocks and gestures and tells stories about her own life experiences in addition to listening to ours...

I have no idea whether she can help the marriage, but I feel very confident that she can help us - and that makes me feel like things can come out right.

Hope you're all spending a comfy cozy holiday with those you love.


User Journal

Journal Journal: Odd... 8

A strange thing happened to me yesterday. Not sure what to think about it, or even whether to think about it.

I am working in my hometown's downtown core, which is a rare treat. We have a +15 system here, where many buildings are connected by a whole bunch of 2nd story walkways, to keep us from having to go outside. Often, musicians will set up in the walkways, to play for change.

There is one musician that I've gone by several times, I often give him change, as I find his mandolin music very entertaining. He always calls me out of the crowd, to give him a smile, and so on.

Yesterday, he stopped playing, and pulled me out of the crowd to ask me what was wrong. He said he knew my 'soul was crying' and that I needed to talk to somebody about it. He noted that sometimes it helped to tell a complete stranger (I laughed at this when he said it, since I thought of you all immediately). It was disturbing. He looked and acted like he could see right through me. He also called me by name, which isn't exactly a mystery since I wear it around my neck (my little identity in-joke). The whole thing was odd, it was like I was in confession to a priest.

I can't decide whether I just have 'sucker' written on my forehead or what. That seems to be the most likely answer. Maybe this routine gets him laid.

It still really freaked me out though.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Let's try it again, but sober this time 9

I couldn't help it, they had a martini bar and a kickass DJ. Nuf said.

I really was watching the girls, and I really have finally learned to be one - not that I'm Paris Hilton or anything, but I'd say I'm firmly in the fat part of the distribution curve now. Being me, I've applied a ridiculous amount of analysis to the process, and I think I've learned a few interesting things:

1. There is a *big* difference between fashion, and style.

2. People often buy ridiculous things because those things are fashionable, but a very few people have a style that can actually accommodate individually fashionable items. This is why the fashion industry hit the jackpot the day they convinced the world that shoes and handbags no longer have to match outfits. They have convinced an entire generation of women that "who" they are wearing has more meaning than what they are wearing.

3. It takes money. And time. The only way to learn what looks good on you is trial and error. Which means you must watch. And buy. And discard. It isn't just a case of brainwashing by the fashion industry - it is a matter of practice makes perfect - like anything else in life.

4. Eventually though, you hit a stride. You start to accumulate things that suit you, and not only that, they feel really good when you put them on - and not just one nice piece, but a whole ensemble that actually expresses who you are -- in fact, it gets hard not to adhere to your style.

This is the thing that I didn't understand: after a while, it gets easy. Not only does it get easy, but it ceases to be about pleasing others and just ends up being about pleasing yourself. It is another facet of a journey to 'know thyself'.

Lastly, the thing I learned from Ayn Rand is that you can live your life trying to give meaning to the beautiful things about you and never be happy - or you can be the meaning behind the beautiful things. To me, this last thing speaks to our previous conversation on posture - and so very much more.

Anyways, all this blabbering for me is a big deal - because it symbolizes the removal of a crutch that I have long leaned on. I always thought that being smart made up for not being as pretty or as stylish as all the girls that I secretly watched and wished I could emulate. Now I have learned that the physical stuff is just rote learning. I could have had it long ago, but for my own fear of failure.

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?