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Journal: Updates from Chez Timex 5

Journal by Timex

Things are going fairly well, I think.

I gave up playing WoW. I started playing SW:TOR, but found I didn't have time to play.

The only game I've been keeping up with lately is Second Life.

I've also been getting into Ingress lately. Does anyone else play? I like it because it gets me out of the house (even in these cold northeastern winter days) and I occasionally meet new people.

Facebook

Journal: Social media: B-O-R-I-N-G 5

Journal by Timex

Twitter? Yawn.
Facebook? Try screaming through the night, yawning.
Google+? Pft. Yawn.
Diaspora? BIG, disappointing yawn

That pretty-well leaves the Slashdot Journal. It almost feels like home.

User Journal

Journal: Time machines? 1

Journal by Timex

Sigh. I am looking for a particular post I made, probably around 2005-2008... I don't know the exact date, but I know it was short and full of links. :) Some of you may have an idea which comment I'm thinking about.

At the risk of sounding like a newb, is there an easy way to scan through my comments in a given timespan? Starting at the most-recent and working backwards is horribly inefficient.

Facebook

Journal: Where in the world is this Timex guy? 10

Journal by Timex

I don't know if there are many in Teh Circle that still monitor JEs here, but on the off-chance there was and any of you are interested, I thought I would post a list of places I'm more inclined to be found:

My Blog - http://notyourinter.net/blog/

Google+ - https://plus.google.com/ (Look for smithadmin)

Diaspora - https://joindiaspora.com/u/smithadmin

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/smithadmin

My blog is there, but I only post on it when I have time to kill, which hasn't happened a lot lately. G+ is probably your best bet if you need or care to reach me with any level of expediency.

Facebook

Journal: Fate of Slashdot 12

Journal by Timex

I have to admit that I don't really bother with Slashdot much anymore. If I'm on Facebook, I read the front page stories from there and if I have anything to say about it, I comment on it there. What Slashdot was thinking when they decided to make that move is beyond me, but I don't see how it was anything remotely close to "beneficial".

I haven't had a lot of time to read Teh Circle. Sorry guys.

I have had time to fiddle around with Google Plus. :) If you need an invite, let me know. There seems to be an issue where if your email is configured to be hosted by Google Apps, you're SOL, but almost anyone else seems to be in business.

Democrats

Journal: Well, this is a twist... 10

Journal by Timex

VP Joe Biden, known for sticking his foot in his mouth, must know a thing or two about how the knee tastes.

Speaking at a fundraiser in Philadelphia, Biden likened Republicans in Congress to people who excused rapists by blaming their victims.

I guess this makes the Democrats in Congress (and the current presidential administration) the rapists.

I know a lot of people had things to say about how stupid Dubya sounded much of the time, but even Dubyah's critics have to admit that he didn't make it this easy.

User Journal

Journal: A Joke and Commentary

Journal by Timex

"A group of sociologists did a poll in Arizona about the new immigration law. Sixty percent said they were in favor, and 40 percent said, 'No hablo English.'"

An article at WND explains that "[t]hat joke in class has Robert Engler, a 12-year sociology professor at Roosevelt University, fighting for his career.

It elicited two written complaints in the spring of 2010 as ethnically offensive, and what followed was a protracted argument that eventually included the termination of his employment from the fall semester."

I think the bigger joke is the administration of Roosevelt University for taking complaints of being offended by this gag seriously. Statistically, English is still the predominant language in this country. If someone doesn't like it, they are welcome to leave.

User Journal

Journal: Niceties 8

Journal by Timex
There are a few things happening around Chez Timex:
  • I have IPv6 at home now. It's mostly limited to one system and it's encapsulated over IPv4[1], but it's there and it works.
  • I'm playing with Blogs again, though I'm not sure where it's going to go. As you may have noticed, I don't seem to have a lot to say lately. (It doesn't help that for much of last year and this, as far as I know or care, the "Comments disabled" bit seems to be b0rken. I set it to disabled, and people were still able to post.)
  • The plague (well, not literally) is making its rounds. It's mostly in the form of nasty colds that don't want to let go.
  • Computers in the house are aging and the better ones are threatening to go on strike, if they don't quit outright.
  • My employer is in the process of being bought, pending regulatory approval. So far, it sounds like a Good Thing(tm), though anyone with experience in these things can tell you that this can change at the drop of a hat.

It's turning out to be quite the year, and it's barely started. Yay.

--
[1]My ISP doesn't support IPv6 yet and even if they did, my firewall doesn't.

User Journal

Journal: Interesting turn of events 54

Journal by Timex

WikiLeaks has dumped a lot of information that was considered classified.

What I found interesting is that some chemical weapons were actually found in Iraq. Why the Bush administration chose to keep this information to itself, I don't know. I don't have to guess at why Obama would want to bury the information: to release it would only justify Bush's action(s), even in part, which Obama himself ran against.

If you're of the mind that the quantity of the weapons found makes this whole "revelation" a non-issue, let me remind you that one doesn't need a whole lot of this stuff to hit a target, if the target is well-chosen and the plan well executed. al Qaida has demonstrated their ability to execute plans against US forces, so it isn't hard to imagine that this would be enough to become a problem. It wouldn't be difficult to imagine this stuff being used even as a distraction in an attempt to get more useful weaponry or parts, at the very least.

The last line of the second article quoted above is interesting:

And the irony, of course, is that it was the invasion that gave insurgents and Islamists access to these remnants.

I think that the author is making an assumption-- members of Iraq's pre-invasion government had been meeting with representatives of al Qaida which, to make an assumption of my own, implies the possibility (however slight) that Saddam might have been willing to share his arsenal with terrorist groups, if it suited his purpose. The "Islamists" part is utterly ridiculous. The majority of people living in that part of the world are muslim. Saddam himself, as I understand it, ran a government that was more secular than not, which was a bit out of the ordinary for that region.

User Journal

Journal: Book Burning 17

Journal by Timex
Admit it. You knew I was going to write about it eventually.

If you didn't know it, then you don't know me. You must be new here.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you've heard about that preacher in Florida that planned to burn copies of the Koran. You heard about it because the adherents of this so-called "religion of peace" around the world have been threatening violence against Americans. It's bad enough that an American general felt the need to speak out against the plan, for fear of the reprisals against men and women in uniform.[1]

To be honest, I am at a lurch on where to stand on this. I don't think that Jones is (was?) thinking straight when he decided to burn the Koran. He is well within his rights to do so as an expression of free speech, but his motives are wrong. As a Christian preacher, he should be aware that in the book of Acts, those that burnt heretical work were not doing so to spite those that practiced those things, but were in fact doing so as an act of seperating themselves from that which they themselves practiced in their past. For Jones to be Biblically justified[2] in burning the Korans, he would have had to have been a muslim in his past. If Jones would stop and think first, he might recall James 3:17 and act accordingly. Inciting riots around the world is hardly "peaceable".

Then there are the muslims in New York City who want to build a mosque near Ground Zero. They too are well within their rights to do so, but as with Jones, to exercise their right in this particular place would be as crass. Forging ahead with these plans demonstrates a complete lack of compassion for the people that live in that area, most of whom were there when the disasterous events unfurled nine years ago. These residents remember the horror they felt as they witnessed aircraft doing what they were never intended to do, ramming into the Twin Towers, killing more than three thousand people. The dust and smoke that filled the air for days afterward, the screams of people jumping to their deaths from the collapsing buildings, the fear of what might happen next, all haunt their dreams still. Rightfully or not, many still associate the terrorist actions of September 11, 2001 with Islam, and for muslims to ignore this fact may be construed to be an act of pride in those horrible actions, a "planting of the flag", if you will.

Of course, there are those that argue that Christians wouldn't understand, because they don't have people burning their Bible. To those people I say, "Crawl out of your ignorance and look." In different parts of the world, there have been occasions where Christian Bibles are burned or destroyed[3][4][5][6], and who says anything about it? Certainly not the Mainstream Press, who seem to be predominantly anti-Christian, whatever they may say.

Islam and the Koran should be respected, but that doesn't mean one has to agree with them. There are severe doctrinal differences between Christianity and Islam. Only a fool can think that they are both "right". There is no middle ground here.

It is complicated, from both sides. I won't pretend it is anything less. The "simple" answer is that both sides need to stop whatever they're doing and examine themselves and their faith. They need to make their action match their faith, not the other way around.

"We didn't boot out King George to settle for Rodney King..."

----
  1. I think Obama had something to say about it too, but he's really a non-factor. He apparently can't string a coherent paragraph together without a teleprompter, and I'm not convinced he's the one that forged the words he's reading on them.
  2. I use the term "Biblically justified" to mean that one is justified in doing something (or refraining from doing something) because one is following the precedent set in the Bible. This requires understanding the passage in question, in meaning and in scope.
  3. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/muslim-boys-urinated-on-bible/story-e6frg6nf-1111112640400
    In this case, the East Preston Islamic College acted to quell an uprising by bringing in a senior imam to tell the student body that the Christian Bible and Christianity must be respected. Similarly, there are many Christian leaders on record saying the same thing regarding Jones and people that agree with him.
  4. http://www.speroforum.com/a/17283/Muslims-burn-Bible-in-Pakistan
    Here, the law in Pakistan condemns to death those who offend the Koran. However, nothing is done against blasphemous acts toward the books of other religions. Many of the predominantly muslim villagers attempted to make a statement against the sacriledge by going to the church with the Christians, which I find interesting. Before you start to think that Pakistan's stand is an isolated incident, remember that almost all of the Middle-Eastern nations have something in their laws, either in their nation's constitutions or in the actual laws, making Islam the State Religion at the exclusion of all else. Attempting to convert someone away from Islam to another religion is often punishable by death. Practicing another religion is barely tolerated, if at all.
  5. http://mobile.associatedcontent.com/article/285123/christians_in_gaza_fear_for_their_lives.html
    Christians living in Gaza are dealing with persecution at the hand of the likes of Hamas. One doesn't "accidentally" use rocket-propelled grenades to break into buildings. It was an intentional act.
  6. http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2010/s10060047.htm
    The Iranian government is burning Bibles. This is hardly a surprise.
User Journal

Journal: New meaning for "GMT"? 11

Journal by Timex
Construction is underway for a huge clock in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is expected (according to the article) to enter a trial period the first week of Ramadan, on (or about?) August 12. That's tomorrow, for those of you keeping track.

The article discusses the mindset of some that Mecca is the "true" global meridian, that Greenwich time was imposed on the world by Westerners.

Would something like this cause some people to redefine "GMT" to mean "Grand Mosque Time", instead of "Greenwich Mean Time"? Would it be any worse than the interest of others in making Paris, France the prime meridian?

Personally, I think the argument in the first article that "the Greenwich standard was imposed by the west in 1884" is ridiculous. True, the Prime Meridian is purely arbitrary, but it was accepted as the standard at a time when Britain was the world power. Then, as now, the muslim world is (largely) still stuck more than a thousand years in the past. Shy of using force, the muslims haven't had a lot of influence in the world.[1]

UTC (aka GMT[2]) is just fine where it is, thanks.

~~~~~
[1] Islam spread through war since its inception around AD630. The modern world has libraries, Algebra, coffee, and several other things or ideas that originated with the Arabs, true, but whether or not we would have them today were it not for their warring tendencies, we may never know.

[2] As the link to UTC indicates, the difference between UTC and GMT, in a casual use, is virtually non-existent.
User Journal

Journal: Because Grannies are such a threat... 5

Journal by Timex

Local police in El Reno, Oklahoma have managed to get themselves into some hot water, resulting in a case filed in US District Court.

It seems that Lona Vernon, an 86 year-old woman, was bedridden and had somehow gone off her medications. Her grandson, Lonnie Tinsley, called 911 in an effort to get some medical assistance, and ended up getting ten police officers instead. Before the episode was done, he had been taken to the next room and handcuffed, and officers tazed Ms Vernon not once, but twice. The resulting shock nearly killed her, sending her to the hospital for six days.

One is led to wonder how ten police officers would consider themselves sufficiently threatened by one elderly woman to justify even using a tazer. The fact that it was attempted a second time throws the "it was an accident" excuse out the window.

User Journal

Journal: Merging of Social Networks 5

Journal by Timex

Let's see. I don't bother (much) going to to the front page of Slashdot anymore because I can read the stories through Slashdot's very own mirror on Facebook.

I see that there are (working) efforts to combine Twitter and Facebook status updates, as well as any number of other "social sites".

What's the point in going to any of the many, when one only needs to go to the one that has them all? It's almost like Facebook is trying to become the One Ring, worthy of just as much trust.

It's a good thing that I'm just a little guy (figuratively). It may improve my chances somewhat of resisting The 3vil emanating from such a beast.

When Diaspora is released, I'm going to give it a whirl. If it turns out as good as it is hoped, FB and Slash may get dropped like so many hot potatoes.

User Journal

Journal: Not-so-gentle reminder, addendum 6

Journal by Timex
In light of a recent "discussion", I feel the need to remind readers of my JEs of my New Year's resolution for 2010:

I generally try to avoid making any resolutions, but here's a sure-fire one to keep: I hereby resolve to not care in the least what anyone thinks about where I get material I choose to write about, whether it starts out as a visit to Drudge Report, World Net Daily, The Beeb, or even the occasional visit to al Jazeera. I know I'm not going to please everyone here, so if certain people choose to sleep in blissful ignorance because their favorite sources refuse to report on a particular subject, that's not my problem. I refuse to make it my problem, so there. :) I'll write about what I want when I want, and I will give sources when necessary. If someone doesn't like my choice(s) of source material, too d-a-r-n bad.

I'll go so far as to extend this here and now, take a page from one of Rush Limbaugh's books, and add these points:

* What I write in my JE is, so far as I am aware (unless stated otherwise) my opinion based on facts. I write about them here to give you all something to think about.

* If you don't agree with me, fine. We can discuss it in a civil manner, but I will not bend on certain tenets of my belief. Maybe you can change my mind, but you'll have to work at it. :)

* If you cannot refrain from resorting to cussing or name-calling to make your point, then don't waste my time (or yours) here-- just go away. I am not forcing you to come to my JE, and I'm not going to bother you in whatever little world you call your JEs.

In short: if you care to correct my opinion with "facts", then use facts, not your opinions, and certainly not the opinion of someone else.

(Side note: Slashcode is horribly broken in its vain attempt to do whatever the developers are trying to with it to keep up with various social sites. I'm not seeing the bullets when I use <ul> tags, so I'm compensating by adding them manually.)

When all else fails, read the instructions.

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