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User Journal

Journal Journal: The liberal mindset in one easy video 4

Title cribbed from here. A sample that I transcribed...let's call the protagonists Alice and Bob:

Bob: You said the "right-wing media" was becoming too powerful.
Alice: Yes. We need the Fairness Doctrine to return a balance to talk radio.
Bob: How does it work?
Alice: The government makes things fair.
Bob: How?
Alice: I don't know the details, but it ends with Rush Limbaugh being forced off the air.
Bob: What don't you like about him?
Alice: He uses hate speech.
Bob: Like what?
Alice: He criticizes liberals.
Bob: How is that "hate speech?"
Alice: Because I hate it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Holy crap...I have mod points! 4

For the first time in I don't know how many years. They expire on the 10th, so if you have some suggestions on where to use them, let me know.


Journal Journal: What's with the boxes scattered about in /. posts? 2

Notice the boxes that show up around posts...anybody have any idea what they're supposed to be? Is it just a worse case of /. b0rkenness than usual, or are they supposed to do something useful? I think it's been like this for at least a week or two.

(That I'm using a beta version of Firefox isn't the looks the same on Firefox 3.0.x on my other machines, and in Safari on my iPhone.)


Journal Journal: James Hansen Caught in Another Manbearpig Lie 1

The world has never seen such freezing heat

A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming. On Monday, Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), which is run by Al Gore's chief scientific ally, Dr James Hansen, and is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring global temperatures, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was startling. Across the world there were reports of unseasonal snow and plummeting temperatures last month, from the American Great Plains to China, and from the Alps to New Zealand. China's official news agency reported that Tibet had suffered its "worst snowstorm ever". In the US, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month, and ranked it as only the 70th-warmest October in 114 years.

So what explained the anomaly? GISS's computerised temperature maps seemed to show readings across a large part of Russia had been up to 10 degrees higher than normal. But when expert readers of the two leading warming-sceptic blogs, Watts Up With That and Climate Audit, began detailed analysis of the GISS data they made an astonishing discovery. The reason for the freak figures was that scores of temperature records from Russia and elsewhere were not based on October readings at all. Figures from the previous month had simply been carried over and repeated two months running.


Journal Journal: It's official: Barack Hussein Obama is a Communist. 3

(Looks like I need to get up earlier.)

Guess who said the following:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I'd be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way , that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the Federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

If you guessed "B. Hussein Obama," then you, sir, are correct. It's from an interview he gave WBEZ, the Chicago NPR affiliate, in 2001. Go here for the MP3.

"Redistributive change?" "Economic justice?" That's Communism we can believe in.

Do you suppose this would be the new national anthem under an Obummer regime?

Update: (9:15 AM) Sounds like Rush Limbaugh is kicking off the day with this story. John McCain needs to run with this. America won't vote for a Communist.

(Cross-posted at*.)


Journal Journal: Hanky-Panky in the 2008 Nevada Democrat Caucus 4


Linked by AoSHQ...check out how Obummer and his minions attempted to engineer a favorable outcome in an early caucus state (he still failed it). The following is an excerpt from a letter from the Hillary Clinton campaign (via its lawyers) to the head of the Nevada Democrat Party, asking for it to look into several improprieties. As I recall from local news reports at the time, the Clark County Democrat convention was also quite the fiasco:

Systematic Corruption of the Party's Caucus Procedures

The Committee received substantially similar reports of improprieties of such a number as to leave no conclusion but that the Obama campaign and its allies and supporters engaged in a planned effort to subvert the Party's caucus procedures to its advantage. For example:

  • Preference cards were premarked for Obama.
  • Clinton supporters were denied preference cards on the basis that none were left, while Obama supporters at the same caucus sites were given preference cards.
  • Caucus chairs obviously supporting Obama:
    • Deliberately miscounted votes to favor Senator Obama.
    • Deliberately counted unregistered persons as Obama votes.
    • Deliberately counted young children as Obama votes.
    • Refused to accept preference cards from Clinton supporters who were at the caucus site by noon on the ground that the cards were not filled out fast enough.
    • Told Clinton supporters to leave prior to electing delegates.
  • Clinton supporters who arrived late were turned away from the caucus, while late Obama supporters were admitted to the caucus.

Manipulation of the Voter Registration Process

Numerous reports received by the Committee demonstrate a concerted effort on the part of the Obama campaign and its supporters to prevent eligible voters supporting a candidate other than Senator Obama from caucusing. The Obama supporters complained of were acting in positions of authority at the caucus sites. Some of these reports are as follows:

  • Obama supporters wrongly informed Clinton supporters that they were not allowed to participate in the caucus if their names were not on the voter rolls. However, Obama supporters whose names did not appear on the voter rolls were permitted to register at the caucus site.
  • Obama supporters falsely informed Clinton supporters that no registration forms were available for them to register to vote at the caucus site.
  • Obama supporters wrongly told Clinton supporters who were attempting to caucus at the wrong precinct that they could not caucus at that site, while simultaneously permitting Obama supporters at the wrong precinct to participate.
  • Obama supporters were allowed to move to the front of the registration and sign-in line.

Voter Suppression and Intimidation

The Committee received a substantial number of disturbing reports from voters that they had been subject to harassment, intimidation or efforts to prevent them from voting. Some of the most egregious of these complaints are described below:

  • Voters at at-large caucus sites were informed that those sites were for Obama supporters only.
  • Clinton supporters at at-large caucus sites were told that their managers would be watching them while they caucused.
  • Workers were informed that their supervisors kept lists of Clinton and Obama supporters, and were told that they could not caucus unless their name was on the list of Obama supporters.
  • Many Clinton supporters were threatened with employment termination or other discipline if they caucused for Senator Clinton.
  • Workers were required to sign a pledge card to support Obama if they wanted time off to participate in the caucus.
  • Workers at one casino were offered a lavish lunch and permitted to attend and register to vote only if they agree to support Obama.

The complaints summarized above represent only a small sample of the complaints received by the Committee. With respect to each of these complaints and many more, the Committee has the names and phone numbers of those reporting these incidents and the specific precinct numbers where the incidents occurred. Upon request the Committee will share these with the Party with appropriate safeguards to protect these individuals from reprisal. On the whole, these reports show a troubling effort by the Obama campaign and its allies and supporters to advance their own campaign at the expense of the right of all Nevada Democrats to participate in the democratic process in a free, fair and open manner.

Chicago machine politics you can believe in. If he's willing to treat other Democrats like this, the rest of us don't stand a chance under an Obummer presidency.

(Cross-posted at *.)


Journal Journal: Cleveland Election Officials Launch Probe of ACORN 1

(Crossposted from *.)

That's two jurisdictions where the rabble-rousers are now under investigation.

(For the first, go to Google, punch in "moar please," and click I'm Feeling Lucky. That was a nice what's the syntax for linking an I'm Feeling Lucky result? :-) )

Networking (Apple)

Journal Journal: Dust off your Apple II and run your website on it 4

In a post to comp.sys.apple2, Simon Williams announced that he has a website running on an Apple IIe. It's a 64K machine with a floppy drive, running a Contiki-based webserver. Instead of a serial card and a terminal server, it's directly connected to the network with an Uthernet card (basically, an Apple II slot adapter for an off-the-shelf embeddable Ethernet module). He says it's a bit fussy as to what will connect to it, but Firefox on both Windows and Linux works for me.

Journal Journal: Exhibit #29674 in why Democrats are lying shitweasels

(Cross-posted to /. and *...I should probably do that more often.)

They've been making plenty of noise lately about the "torture" (really just coerced interrogation) methods that the CIA has used in recent years. They've been whining that use of these methods makes us no better than the Bad Guys, that we're supposed to be better than that, yada yada yada...

Turns out that they were briefed in on it way back in 2002. Said briefing even included the San Francisco Liberal Treat herself, Nancy Pelosi. I suspect that even the 11%ers won't like this:

Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002 (h/t: The Jawa Report)

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration's counterterrorism effort. The CIA last week admitted that videotape of an interrogation of one of the waterboarded detainees was destroyed in 2005 against the advice of Justice Department and White House officials, provoking allegations that its actions were illegal and the destruction was a coverup.

Yet long before "waterboarding" entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.

If these techniques are as heinous as you say they are, why didn't you do something about it five years ago? On the contrary, it appears the opposite happened. Once again, the Democrats have been exposed as the lying, opportunistic shitweasels that they are. They're willing to do anything—even endanger national security—that'll help them get and maintain political power.

They bleat that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism." They need to STFU...they are the last people to tell anyone what is or isn't patriotic or good for the country. I for one am sick and tired of their disingenous sanctimony. That the Republicans lately have been nearly as incompetent as the Democrats have been treacherous is the only reason Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the rest of that misbegotten bunch haven't yet ended up downrange of a firing squad.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ok, I get the game 1

So, you upmod me with one of the non-karma affecting mods, then downmod me with a troll or whatever, rinse and repeat, and that's how you take away all the karma without actually changing the numbers.

Yet, one can troll anonymously all day.

Lame. No wonder the site just steadily declines in quality.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fuck you too, CmdrTaco 1

So, my karma goes from positive to bad overnight, with no new down-mods in my recent posting history.

Whats up with that?

Taco, you may not necessarily like me or my opinions, but your mods don't seem to have such a problem with it.

Why not let the users decide? They made this site, not you. You'd be smart to keep that in mind. Your opinions and commentary are retarded, and you and the other "editors" consistently show yourselves to be technically inept pseudo-activists and astroturfing drones.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why do people support Ron Paul? 14

Ron Paul has been getting a lot of attention as an "outsider" candidate, and in fact, even here at Slashdot I've seen a lot of Ron Paul in sigs.

So I decided to visit his web site and see what he's all about. Uhhhhhh... why is this guy getting so much geek attention? I can only assume that people are focusing on some single issue, and haven't checked what the guy actually *believes*. Much like people who support the Libertarian Party, actually, who have some seriously crackpot stuff in their platform. But I digress.

What's wrong with Ron Paul? Here's a sampling:

"So called free trade deals and world governmental organizations like the International Criminal Court (ICC), NAFTA, GATT, WTO, and CAFTA are a threat to our independence as a nation. They transfer power from our government to unelected foreign elites. [...] And a free America, with limited, constitutional government, would be gone forever." link

Sheesh. Sure, the value of trade deals is debatable, but the rhetoric above is just silly. "Gone FOREVER" OH NOOOOO!! Typical Politician fear-mongering, if not out-and-out crackpottery. So far, I'm not impressed.

I oppose legislation that increases the FDA's legal powers. FDA has consistently failed to protect the public from dangerous drugs, genetically modified foods, dangerous pesticides and other chemicals in the food supply. Meanwhile they waste public funds attacking safe, healthy foods and dietary supplements. link

Oh, geez. The FDA is certainly not perfect, but to say that the FDA "consistently" fails to protect the public from dangerous drugs is just a lie. If it wasn't for the FDA, we would be flooded with quack drugs. The Libertarian would say that the consumer should decide what's good and what's bad, but it's impractical for every citizen to have to review all the studies to know whether the thousands of drugs are effective or not. Again, I'll listen to how the FDA can be improved, but overblown words like the above don't give me confidence that there's any substance to the man.

And then, to top it off, he attacks *all* genetically modified foods broadly, showing that he has an anti-science agenda, and is completely ignorant of the issue.

I am committed to guaranteeing parity for home school diplomas and advancing equal scholarship consideration for students entering college from a home school environment. [...] I will veto any legislation that creates national standards or national testing for home school parents or students. link

I'm a supporter of home schooling, but let me get this straight. He wants home-schooled kids to have equal parity for diplomas, equal consideration for scholarships, yet doesn't think they should be be tested to see if they learned anything?? How is that supposed to work? And is the government going to force universities to accept home schooled kids with no testing?

The framers of the Constitution never in their worst nightmares imagined that the words, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech......." would be used to ban children from praying in school, prohibit courthouses from displaying the Ten Commandments, or prevent citizens from praying before football games. The original meaning of the First amendment was clear on these two points: The federal government cannot enact laws establishing one religious denomination over another, and the federal government cannot forbid mention of religion, including the Ten Commandments and references to God. link

First of all, he's being disingenuous here. Nowhere are children "banned" from praying in school. What is banned is the SCHOOL leading prayer. That he doesn't seem to understand this (or is lying about it) is incredibly worrisome.

And then he doesn't seem to understand that freedom of religion means the government cannot advocate one religion over another, and in fact, should not be advocating religion at all. I don't feel like quoting more, but he then goes on to attack the idea of the separation of church and state. I think it's pretty clear that he's not going to be a big advocate of atheist rights.

This isn't everything I find disturbing. To be fair, I did see a lot I liked about the man (as I can say about any of the candidates, of any party). But as near as I can see, he is not deserving of the reputation that he seems to be building.

Can anyone tell me why they support Ron Paul, especially in light of the above?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why universal health care is a Libertarian ideal 4

Disclaimer: I'm not a Libertarian, though I'm sympathetic to *some* of their ideas. A lot of them are crackpot, though.

Universal health care has been traditionally an idea that Libertarians despise, because it's directly against the Libertarian ideal of personal responsibility, and not "stealing" from others to support oneself. In this small essay, I'm going to argue that Universal Health Care *is* necessary to a free Libertarian-style society.

First, let me say that for most of my life, I've been adamantly against Universal Health Care, primarily because I don't trust the governmen not to screw it up. I still believe this, but I've come to believe that UHC is necessary anyway.

The reason is because modern UHC is not directly subject to market forces, hence the reason health care costs are completely out of control in the U.S. The underlying reason is health insurance. Once people stopped paying directly for health care, they stopped caring what it cost. In fact, they had an incentive to get the *most expensive* health care. Why not? "The insurance company is paying for it." And the Doctors certainly have no incentive to keep costs down. Might as well order a few extra tests. The result of this are costs spiralling ever upward.

Now, Libertarian think tanks are aware of this, and their solution was the idea of "medical savings accounts", where people (in essence) get a refund for not using health care. This is a really weak incentive. It helps a little, but it still doesn't address the fundamental corruption of market forces. That this is the best the Libertarians can come up with ought to tell you how impossible it is to fix.

So given that market forces can't work, and in fact people are getting bankrupted every day by health costs, the only solution is really for the government to step in, as inefficient as that can be.

So, even if that's the only solution, why do I say this should be a "Libertarian Ideal"? Let me first start with what most Libertarians think the government *should* do. One of the most fundamental functions of government is to provide a legally level playing field, for example, contract law. Most (hopefully all, but you never know) Libertarians wouldn't argue that contract judges should be privatized. There needs to be a relatively fair legal environment for business.

So how does UHC fit into this? One of the fundamental tenants of Libertarianism is the idea of personal responsibility, that in the end, one should take care of oneself through hard work.

And that's the crux: someone *can't* take care of oneself if they are not physically capable of it. It's unreasonable to say to someone, "I realize that your leg is broken, so work harder so you'll have the money to fix your leg." People cannot be productive without being physically healthy, just like people can't be productive without a reasonable legal environment.

Note that health care is different from other items, say, food. If I'm hungry, it's *is* reasonable to say, "go out and work, so you can afford to buy food." Physical health is a very different idea. It can actually *prevent* the Libertarian ideal of working to support oneself.

So, just like a stable legal system is necessary for a healthy capitalistic society, so is a healthy workforce capable of working to support themselves.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The aspartame CONSPIRACY! 6

Well, not really a conspiracy.

Continuing my recent habit of posting a journal entry every two years or so, I thought I'd share my experience with aspartame-induced headaches.

For a few years, I've been having on-and-off chronic headaches. They felt right behind my eyes, and I seemed to also be somewhat sensitive to bright lights. Sometimes it would be a dull throb, but every so often I get real ball-busters that lasted for over a day that meds just didn't make go away. I pretty much attributed it to getting older. It was annoying, but not life threatening.

Now, I'd heard a lot about aspartame conspiracies, and like most conspiracies, I figured it was all a bunch of crap, along the same lines as "multiple chemical sensitivity" and the like (no offense to people with legitimate allergies).

One day, I was reading along, and I saw a post (it may even have been on Slashdot) where someone said they had been having chronic headaches for a long time that went away when they stopped drinking Aspartame. The guy didn't seem like a looney, so I thought it was worth a try. Anything to get rid of them!

I started drinking water every day, rather than my usual diet sodas. Within a week, there was a noticeable drop in the incidence of headaches, and NO occurances of bad headaches. After a month, I had had only a few incidences of headaches, and still NO bad ones, which was pretty much unprecedented. It's been probably six months now, and my headache problem is pretty much gone. I still get headaches occasionally, but it's a much more normal rate, and not nearly the severity. Still haven't had a ball-buster since I stopped drinking it.

Now, I'm still not an Aspartame looney who wants it banned. Some people go into anaphylactic shock with peanuts, that doesn't mean we should ban peanuts. It just happens to have that effect on me, and doesn't for millions of other people. But it should be common knowledge that it CAN happen to certain people.

Oh, and I don't think it was caffeine that was doing it. I drank a couple of diet cokes a day, but mostly I drank diet Sprite specifically because I don't like a lot of caffeine. My caffeine intake is pretty much zero now, but I've been drinking caffeine for a long time (a LOT back in my 20s) and I never got headaches from it.

If you're having chronic headaches and drink a lot of diet soda like I did, it's worth a try to see if you have the same effect. And I used to pretty hate drinking water, but I got used to it, so I'm okay with it now.

Speaking of water, I also don't buy into the silly "water is better for you anyway" nonsense. Liquid is liquid, your body uses it the same way. And by the way, that "Eight 8-oz glasses of water a day" thing is totally wrong as well, but that's another journal entry (there is ZERO evidence that drinking more water leads to more health).

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