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User Journal

Journal Journal: Astute Article on the Turkey/Russia Kerfuffle 30

A Necessary Conversation

The clash between the Turkish Air Force and Russia is dangerous because it violates the first rule of proxy warfare which is principals don't fight principals. The whole point of proxy warfare is that only the seconds are allowed to cross swords. The duelists are forbidden from engaging each other directly, a convention intended to limit the scope of war.

Read the whole thing.
We mostly discuss international politics as though it were chess, when it really tends more toward of a mafia-driven, mezcal-drenched poker match with arbitrary players every hand.
The ME isn't really "sides" as much as it's a garbled graph problem. Every node is connected, more or less, to every other.
Thus, the principles chosen as a framework for how to react to the current crisis are the least squishy conversation one can have.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress while listening to Time by ELO 1

Don't know why - but I really like that combination.

I've gotten off my schedule of reading Starship Troopers and TMiaHM every year - but I did just reread The Moon is a Harsh Mistress last week-end. My wife was in Ukraine and I was kind of bored but not motivated enough to do something that took effort.

I've outgrown RAH's politics but I still love the story.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Magnet Links from Chrome in Plasma 5 3

For some reason magnet links that I clicked in Chrome were opening the Transmission client instead of Ktorrent. I remember doing something in the past related to this - though I think the issue then was that chrome didn't know how to handle them at all.

So I started digging and founds all kinds of people who had the issue, different solutions and most of it was pretty old. The lowdown - as far as I can tell is that chrome uses xdg-open and I'm pretty sure that is what I set.

I looked in /usr/share/applications for ktorrent.desktop and it wasn't there. I did a bunch more digging, followed some rabbit trails and then finally got smart. ktorrent.desktop was in /usr/share/applications/kde4 and I copied it a directory up. Then all acted as expected.

I think in the upgrade this got borked.

Plasma 5 is mostly pretty much working for me now. I'd have rather stayed on 4 longer but I guess it is o.k. I really just need a new machine. They keep making stuff take more resources and my little Acer just can't keep up.

User Journal

Journal Journal: F21 - F22 Today 6

Support for Fedora 21 is coming to an end and so I decided to upgrade to Fedora 22.

I don't run the default Fedora install, I use the KDE spin. I realize KDE isn't the primary desktop for Fedora, but until now it's been alright. I use Fedora for a lot of reasons but mostly because it is the distro I know. I know it because it is the first distro I used on a regular basis for more than just messing around. I did that because at my work we got a new server running RedHat.

I've really been putting off this update. It's the move from KDE Plasma 4 to 5.

It's taken me all day but I think I have it working. I'm scared to reboot and the next time I have to run an update will probably suck. I had so many stupid things happen today trying to get this to work. The kicker is my second display. Everything is fine if I use the built-in intel graphics or my Nvidia card with one display. But as soon as I added the second everything went to crap.

There were times I could only log into KDE as root. Then - and I'm not sure how - I got it fixed. I mean there is still some weird stuff happening but it seems to mostly work. Both monitors are on and displaying at the resolution I want.

Maybe I can hang in there long enough for this stuff to get smoothed over. I made it through the jump from 3 to 4.

The kicker is though - if I log into Gnome it works without any issues. It's just that I hate Gnome.

I don't use RHEL any more - maybe I need to jump over to Suse or something.

User Journal

Journal Journal: How Does Cheney Do It? 35

It's important to rephrase all news as a conspiracy theory for the consumption of you-know-who. So, with this Clinton Foundation accounting tidbit, the proper question would be "How did Dick Cheney infiltrate PWC and cook the pristine books to make Her Majesty look bad?" Do I get an "A" for the day, coach?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Teaching Python 4

Well, it looks like I'll be teaching one of my kids how to program.

To an extent, he's already familiar with some programming, as he's figured out how to program a TI calculator (not sure of the model, but it's in the 80s). Whether he understands the instructions he gives his calculator or not, I don't know. He'll know far more when I'm done. :)

I've decided to go with Python instead of any of several other languages available. One thing that I thought was important is that the base installation (in Linux and in Windows) has a module called "turtle". If you're old enough to remember learning Terrapin Logo or Karel (by way of Apple Pascal), then the idea behind turtle should not be foreign to you.

The idea is that you have a "turtle", a cursor that represents where all the action is going to happen. You give it instructions and depending on whether the pen is "up" or "down", it will draw as it goes. Tell it to move left, right, forward, or backward, and off it goes.

turtle is cool because its programs are really Python, whether the student realizes it or not. New functions (methods) can be created. What is drawn by the program is displayed with no hassle.

In all, it's pretty cool. I'm actually looking forward to playing around with it as I teach it to my son. Maybe one or both of the other two will become interested as well? Only one way to find out. :D

User Journal

Journal Journal: Public Service Announcement About Public Service 3

As a serving military member, my political interest pretty much ended at casting a ballot, at least until 2008. Around that time the portion of the oath where we swear to [emphasis mine] ". . .defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic" kicked in.
The argument that some prior sin of omission in failing to criticize the Bush Administration precludes further criticism of #OccupyResoluteDesk is specious. Ignorance is an excuse unless you remain mired in it, and I've striven to overcome the deficiencies of my education since understanding what a job the Commies have done on our public schools.
Snark away. As a veteran, I support and defend your Constitutional right to soil yourselves as required. Please don't get any feces on me.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Your opinion matters... 3 me, at least.

Does anyone else have experience with ?

I was given an invitation to it. I've signed in and set up a couple things, but I haven't had much else to do with it so far.

I'm curious to see what others think of it. Your thoughts?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sen. Ben Sasse could help lead real reform 20

A classically liberal speech worthy of study:

To that end, in the coming months, I plan a series of Floor speeches on the historic growth of the administrative state. This will not be a partisan effort; it will not be a Republican senator criticizing the current administration because it is Democratic. Rather, it will be a constructive attempt to understand how we got to the place where so much legislating now happens inside the executive branchâS--for this kind of executive overreach came about because of a great deal of symbiotic legislative underreach. Republicans and Democrats are both to blame for grabbing more power when they have the presidency; and Republicans and Democrats are both to blame in the legislature as well for not wanting to lead on hard issues and take hard votes, but rather to sit back and let successive presidents gobble up more authorities. We can and we must do better than this. And the century-long look at the growth of executive branch legislating over the next many months will be an attempt to contribute to the efforts of all here, both Democrats and Republicans, who would like to see the Senate recover some of its authorities and some of its trustworthiness.

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills. -- Ambrose Bierce