Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jailed white supremacist murderer asks for better accommodations, is given them

OR:

Jailed white supremacist murderer makes mockery of California death penalty

AP: Jury complies with lifer's death sentence request

White supremacist asked for the death penalty while serving 45 to life because the amenities are nicer on death row than in the general population. He figures that by the time he's done with the California death penalty appeals process, he won't care about living anyways, and will have enjoyed his time in prison more than if he were in the general population!

He is literally asking to be made more comfortable.

The jury approved his request.

What a fucking joke.

Elementary school trend reveals sad social state



The mob mentality has no humanity.

It is a dangerous thing, and it's easy to slip into it.

Be careful, and be an individual.


Via Makezine Blog

The Philosopher Raptor sez:

Play stupid games...

... win stupid prizes.

My Workspace

I've gotten a few comments on how I run my work computers, so I think I'll go over my work setup. Normally people like to talk about their hardware setup, but I think I've found a seriously productive and versatile software setup.

Two boxes, one Windows, one Linux.

The Windows box has a dual monitor setup, and all inputs (mouse, keyboard) connected to it. The task bar is set vertically to increase the amount of windows it can display while showing title title text. Horizontally the similar programs either clump into one item, or shrink until only the icon is visible. The vertical bar lets me see everything. Windows taskbar lets you set your own shortcuts, and in the vertical position, I have some width to fit shortcuts to all the programs I use easily. I very rarely have to use the start menu.

The Linux box is a Red Hat flavor that runs headless (has no monitor/mouse/keyboard, only network connection and power), and runs GNOME for simplicity. It runs a VNC server that I connect to from my Windows box, and full screen on the entire left monitor.

VNC is a remote connection software that gets a bad rap from people who use it on windows (I was one of them) because on windows it's slow and annoying. Using it on anything other than a LAN connection meant "painting" the screen with your cursor every time you click on something and other annoyances. VNC servers on linux, however, are more like RDP. Seriously, you can watch youtube videos with it. The VNC fullscreen is a true fullscreen, and catches all keypresses and combinations with no latency on a LAN. (But make sure you match your duplex settings. On auto I experience lag)

At first, my GNOME desktop ran four virtual desktops (four separate screens you can flip through on your one monitor) that I rarely used. But after I assigned a keyboard shortcut to switching left and right through virtual desktops it became much easier to flip between different programs on different desktops.

My resolution is actually rather low. Because the LCDs I work with max out at 1280x1024, I had to make the most of the limited space by using multiple desktops on my Linux box, and the vertical taskbar on my windows box.

The amount of desktops I had on my linux session gradually grew. As it became easier to move between them, it just made more sense to put different windows on different desktops to keep different types of work separate. Compared to alt-tabbing or finding and clicking on the taskbar, finding the windows I want is much easier when I know what desktop they're on.

I currently run with 10 virtual desktops.


I do most of my work on my linux box, so my windows box rarely has to be rebooted, but my linux box does have one problem... Firefox.

Since I tend to run my PCs hard, it's very common that I'll have many windows of firefox with many tabs open on each, that I'll leave running for days at a time. The reason I don't leave them open for weeks at a time, is because Firefox will eventually crash, peg my CPU, hog my memory, or just lag intolerably. I've hit every update they've released, and tried every fix I've read. Same issue. I've come to the conclusion that Firefox just wasn't meant to be run like this.

Firefox aside, the linux box has been exceedingly stable at continuous running of mysql servers, terminal server connections, security scans, various scripts I run, and pretty much anything else I can throw at it. It's only a 1.2ghz box with 1gb of ram, but it runs like a champ. Every few months, I do get the occasional nautilus crash which is easily recovered from, and once or twice a year, I get a kswap0 freak-out that can only be resolved by restarting my X server, but those problems are nothing compared the stability I get on this configuration.

The windows box runs only the programs that won't run on linux or need to run locally. Most of my interface with the ticketting and database resources are done through the terminal server connection on the linux box. But the windows box is the only one with a soundcard, so the only browsing it does is online radio, media player, and the odd youtube video. This has kept the windows box running pretty strong. It will still get the occasional program run amok, but I'm quick on the draw with the end task button on the task manager.

I think it's a strong, productive, stable workspace that I've found perfect for processing work orders, engaging with customers, keeping research data available, writing and testing code, and pretty much any other odd job that gets sent my way.

Kinokofry's Animal Facts

7 interesting facts you probably didn't know about animals!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The only lesson we need learn from Swine Flu

If the government cannot provide enough vaccine to save us from a new influenza, how are they going to save us from something really nasty?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Evil executives refuse to continue working for less pay!

How DARE these people not accept a severe pay cut and continue working in the same capacity!

I mean, what would YOU do if your boss said you had to take a severe pay cut? Well, not YOU, I guess... You're not an evil executive. You're just a regular employee being paid a market wage to provide your services to advance the interests of your employer.

Oh wait...

The danger of taxes on health care benefits

First consider someone without coverage.

A man who does NOT have health insurance is hit by a car while crossing the street. One month later he is released from the hospital with a $400,000 bill. The man cannot afford to pay the bill, and is forced to declare bankruptcy. He suffers a serious credit hit, but begins working again to try to get his life back on track.

Next consider someone with coverage.

A man who DOES have health insurance is hit by a car while crossing the street. His insurance company pays his $400,000 bill. One month later he is released from the hospital. Under the Baucus Health Care bill (and many other bills proposed by Democrats), he would be taxed for the $400,000 worth of health care benefits he received from his insurance. (the limit on this kind of taxation is unspecified) The man cannot pay his tax bill because he doesn't make anywhere near $400,000 a year. The man files for bankruptcy. The man better hope the Democrats tax his health care benefits as income, because if they don't? Bankruptcy will NOT eliminate them.


While we're delving into the bankruptcy and tax implications of these health care bills, lets talk about the fine for not having insurance. If you, for whatever reason, are unaware that you are required by law to get insurance under these bills, and get a letter a year or two into the plan saying you owe one or two years of fees to the government for not having health care coverage, you will probably not be able to bankrupt out of these fines. Because you can't bankrupt out of penalties owed to the government.


SOCIALISM ROCKS!

ATF keeping our streets safe

Just heard an ad on the radio for 1-800-ATF-GUNS, the ATF illegal guns hotline.

The ad asks if you notice gang activity or gang violence in your neighborhood, then asks if you feel like a prisoner in your own home. Then it asks you to be part of the solution to stop violent crime, and report this activity to the ATF.

From someone who wasn't a great fan of the ATF; this is good.

Keep up the good work, ATF!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How do you keep bailout companies from paying back their bailout?

Ensure they can never compete with competitors who pay their executives the market rate.


Of course, this presumes the government does NOT want ownership of these institutions.

You don't need to make the slope slippery when you own the slope

I read a post from Ride Fast about how the police used OnStar to remotely and safely stop a carjacked car involved in a pursuit.

Pretty cool, eh?

No dangerous PIT maneuvers or impacts with innocent bystanders.

Except Ride Fast seems to think this could open the door to other uses, and eventually, abuses.

I didn't quite agree with him as I read his post. Maybe it's just because I have family in law enforcement, and know how dangerous there pursuits can be to the officers involved, but I honestly thought the benefits outweighed the possible abuses.


Then I read the last sentence of his post, and a chill ran up my spine.


I recommend you read it too.

Mainstream media reacts admirably

Is it change? I hope.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Not So Blue - Quantic


direct link

Perfectly matched style of video and music.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm getting pretty fucking tired

Of turning on the radio for news and hearing bullshit about balloon boy, balloon dad, or balloon mom.

NEWS, MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU REPORT IT?!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things you'll never forget

It's been about six months since Boomershoot, but right now I can close my eyes and be back in Orofino, Idaho looking through my scope at JD's target.

My body is cold, but it doesn't matter because I've already entered the final stage of stone-like stillness and single mental focus that comes just before firing a shot. My arms, my hands, my head, and my rifle are a single solid object in this moment.

I interrupt my shallow breathing with a slightly deeper breath, and speak two words. "Send it!"

After a brief pause of complete physical and mental stillness, I hear a muffled shot and I feel pressure against my chest. I do not flinch, and my eye does not waver, because this sensation is almost natural to me now. Through my scope I see bullet trace for the first time.

The high pressure and heat created by the bullet traveling through the air bends the light around it, allowing you to actually watch the bullet move through the air. You can literally watch the tiny projectile moving at 2800 feet per second fly through the air. The ripples of light around the bullet, and the disruption directly behind the bullet take the form of a wavy donut trailing behind the projectile.

The moment plays in my head in slow motion. The donut enters at 9 o'clock in my scope, follows a parabolic path upward toward 12 o'clock before it begins arcing downward toward the center of my crosshairs where a three inch by three inch white box rests, 380 yards away. I watch the donut drop perfectly into the target, and disappear briefly behind the solid white of the box. A fraction of a millisecond later the square of white disappears into a small cloud of white smoke that instantly expands into a four foot cloud. It hangs for an instant before the wind begins dragging it to the right. A smile involuntarily stretches across my face as I take in a breath and I pull back from the scope. The scent of gunpowder begins to register in my brain, and I turn to speak to JD just as the sound of the explosion hits us. "I saw it! I saw the bullet trace!"

Every time I play that scene over in my head I must smile.

There are some things you'll never forget.

It's Dancing Time - Mr Scruff and Quantic



Something upbeat for your Monday.

Raise you hand if you don't care about a kid who may or may not have been in a balloon

*raises hand*

Obama makes up his mind finally!

Hotair: Feds won't overrule states on marijuana laws

Yes, after bouncing around a bit, the Obama administration seems to have come to a conclusion of some kind.

Obviously he isn't exactly leading the charge up the hill toward total legalization of marijuana and changing the way we fight the War On Ourselves Drugs, but with California making very loud noises about legalization, I think this might be the best he could do on short notice, and without being too divisive.

Hell, this coming fight between the states and feds over legalization might be the only good thing that comes out of California's inescapable downfall.


There's one area in which California's prowess is unquestionable.

That area is the ability to pass more taxes.



Finally we'll be able to use that to an advantage

I dare say I may have more than three things I agree with Obama about!
1. Merit pay for teachers.
2. We can't let illegals "cut in line" toward citizenship.
3. Kanye West is a jackass.
4. Obama kind of supports legalization maybe???

But maybe I'm being too hasty. I mean, he was for legalization before he was against it

I still have HOPE that he will CHANGE the policy he called an "utter failure" back before he had the power to change it.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Capitalist Crow sez:

Perspective

It's friday

Just entered the resolution notes for a ticket in haiku form.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mysterons - Portishead (live, Roseland, NYC)

By far my most favorite performance of the show. (mostly for the ending though) (3:26)


direct link

No sleep makes me giggly and cynical

The Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules.

The Lead Rule: He who has the guns makes the rules.

Impressive in its simplicity.

No matter the time, no matter the place, the ability to deliver death as effectively as possible has been bending others to the will of few since the beginning of time.

The fear of death is so innately ingrained into our species that it is the natural choice for imposing will.

Maybe that's the real reason we believe killing to be part of human nature.

When people stop fearing death the threat will no longer be effective at deterring or encouraging action. At that point the elimination of enemies is more of a practical problem. A true world of violence. Where everyone lives for nothing and dies for nothing.

Removing the fear of death would necessarily remove the will to live. How can you be unafraid of death if you have reasons to live? Ideally, you'd have to promise people some kind of life after death to make them both happy to live and willing to die. Tack on a bonus prize if you do what you say, and people can live happily, under your direction, and be willing to die.

So that's what religion is for. A means of war.

When you look at it that way, what an effective way to recruit! You don't have to pay your soldiers, you need only promise them their wildest dreams. Recruitment is simple since everyone is afraid of death, and you can convince them not to be afraid. Expansion is as simple as procreation! Of course, it would help if you promoted reproduction activities by disallowing pregnancy prevention, and/or encouraging multiple wives. With a physiological bonus you can take advantage of the fact that sex is fun, and people want to have fun.

So now you've got productive, ever-expanding army of followers who do not fear death, and will follow your word. But how do you train them? Time for a holy war! Convince them they are under attack and tell them the only way to continue their way of life (people don't like change) is to destroy or convert them!

So the problem isn't religion, the problem is fear of death.

How do we get people to live and love life but not fear death?

If we could do that it would be the end all but the most wholesale violent coercion.

One of the traits of humans is their ability to survive, and this most definitely stems from the fear of the absence of survival (death). So this hypothetical people who live and love life but are not afraid of death would be rather easy to kill.

Maybe we just need to fear death half as much as we do now.


Seems odd doesn't it? That there is no way around this. Make people who don't fear death, they are unproductive and have no reason to live. Make people who fear death, and they let that fear control them. That control is inescapable. Almost like we were made as tools of will. But does that mean the one controlling is not a tool?

Get enough people to protect you because their fear, respect, or follow you, and you have less possibility of death to fear, but that doesn't mean you don't fear it. But if the person in power still has a small bit of fear, he can be described as a tool as well. But a tool of whom? A tool of his own fear? A fear that drives him to become as powerful as possible to protect himself from the fear? Seems circular.

If it were possible to make it impossible to harm another, would that be any different? I suppose it's the fear of an untimely death, not just death.

If you remove death completely, give everyone eternal life, then there is no zeal in life. The knowledge that we will someday be dead makes life sweeter. Would eternal life drive us to kill ourselves due to dissatisfaction with life? It still be the same life, it's just our perspective.

Once again, this is all in our head. We think about our demise, we build the fear of the unknown, we live life to the fullest knowing it will someday be gone, but we also allow that fear to make us do things we might not normally do, and we die anyways.

We are simple creatures. We have our wants, our needs, and our fears. Those three things are basically all that drive us through life. Complex social architecture is developed around these three things, but it's still so simple. If you eliminate fear, are our wants enough to drive us to continue living full lives? If you eliminate needs by providing everyone with basic living items (food, water, shelter), will their drive for wants be greater? Would their fear become greater too? Eliminate wants, and we're no better than creatures doing nothing more than surviving. We'd work to find food water and shelter, and we'd flee danger to stay alive.

Maybe the next big thing is the discovery of a fourth thing.

Maybe the fourth thing is perspective. The knowledge that we are particles of dust on a gnat's ass in relation to the vastness of space and time. We live on a tiny planet in a tiny galaxy in a universe in space just like trillions and trillions of others. Even in relation to the planet we live on, we may live a mere 100 years.

We are infinitely insignificant.

Hmm... I guess that didn't really help did it?


But who knows? Maybe just knowing the truth of your position in the universe can help your disposition.


Go smell a flower.

Go eat a steak.

Stare at the stars.

Sleep in.


All we have are the little things.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Open Carry Circle Jerk

Meh.

This pettiness between bloggers really couldn't possibly raise fervent disinterest in me more, but since I've been asked to weigh in (and I'm kind of bored) I will do so.

First I will comment on what Tam accurately calls the "brouhaha" between bloggers;



Now that that's out of the way, let me comment on opposition to open carry;
On one side you have people who are exercising their right.

On the other side you have people trying to tell them to stop.

Is that simple enough?

Quote of the don't do it for them

That woman was sexy...Out of your league? Son. Let women figure out why they won't screw you, don't do it for them.
~Shit My Dad Says

It NEVER rains in SoCAL!!!



GENIUS!


If only there were a way to parody this documentary.

Origamiflies at Kinokofry's



A truly inspired comic over at Kinokofry.

Go see the rest.

Two selections from the Amelie soundtrack

First, the song that was playing in my head this morning. A slow, beautiful composition perfect for today's rainy day.

Video may contain spoilers! Scroll the video off the screen if you plan on seeing the movie!
Le Moulin - Yann Tiersen

direct link

Next, a short jaunty tune to raise your spirits. :)

Pas Si Simple - Yann Tiersen

direct link

I believe these songs represent a good cross section of the entire album. If you enjoy this song I highly recommend the rest of the soundtrack. Naturally, I highly recommend the movie as well.



Aw fuck it. This one is too good not to post.

La Valse D'Amelie [Piano] - Yann Tiersen

direct link

Friday, October 09, 2009

Quote of the shortsighted men with sticks

Diplomacy between two peoples, one with the power of force and one without is not diplomacy. It's a surrender.

The idea that groups of people don't need threats of violence, but only the exchange of powerful ideas to exert will and keep enemies at bay is a lofty one. However, this world of peace loving non-violence comes crashing down as soon as one man realizes that by striking an opponent with a stick he can exert his will with the much more timely threat of painful death.

How would you stop this man? Argue that violence never solves anything? Or simply ignore him as he bashes in the heads of your intellectuals?

Civilized society, intellectual pursuits, and scientific developments requires that men man the battlements with swords and bows to keep the barbarians at bay. Without those men who would do violence to protect civilization, shortsighted men with sticks would rule the world.
~Me!

Not sure if I want to share where that comment was left just yet.

BREAKING NEWS!

Obama has also won an Emmy, an Academy Award, and the Miss America Pageant!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Research in the internet age: so easy a journalist won't do it

Not long ago I asked;
Perhaps a better question is; how long will a huge percentage of the population continue to believe these lies when the facts are a simple Google search away?

Well, how the hell am I to expect regular people to click once, type words, and click again when professional journalists can't be bothered to click on a link and check a quote?!




But maybe I'm not being fair.

Maybe no one ever taught them how to do basic research on the internet.

Well, instead of just complaining, I'm actually going to do something about it!


Monday, October 05, 2009

5 years of bloggy goodness

Hit my 5 year blogiversary.

Lets celebrate with some Obama posters I made.











CNN "fact checks" Saturday Night Live... Seriously.

Major network news agency defends the president from a late night comedy show?

Sad.

Stay tuned till the 3 minute mark to watch CNN say, "This wasn't funny, but when they made fun of Palin it was totally hilarious."

If you want to REALLY laugh though, stay tuned to the very end of the report where CNN says they asked the White House for comment, and they did what any serious organization would do, and didn't comment on a fucking comedy show.

How sadly revealing.

Hopefully those people who use CNN exclusively as their news source will scratch their heads long enough to begin broadening their news sources.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Senator won't can't read the bill

The candor of this senator should be celebrated.



This is a problem.

It's a problem beyond Republican and Democrat, it's a problem with what our legislative system has become.

It's a problem that must be fixed if we are to maintain rule of law in this country.

Quote of the torment of omnipotent moral busybodies

It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
~C.S. Lewis

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Democrats elevate healthcare debate, but dastardly Republicans keep stopping them! ... somehow...

Shortly after Joe Wilson's disregard for decorum raised the ire of both parties, Nancy Pelosi delivers an emotional message, pleading for civility in this debate, and fearing this kind of irresponsible rhetoric would lead to violence.

But then---!


When Pelosi was reached for comment she said he shouldn't have to apologize, and added that the Republicans want to use this as a distraction because they have no plan.

Ok, I'm getting pretty fucking tired of hearing the Democrats, the party with total control over congress and the presidency, claim that the Republicans are holding them up.

Let me be very clear on a topic reporters are somehow incapable of challenging Democrats on;

Can the Democrats pass healthcare reform without the Republicans?


THE DEMOCRATS HAVE A SUFFICIENT MAJORITY
       TO PASS ANY LEGISLATION THEY WANT


PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE.


They have the majority!

They are filibuster-proof!

They could pass whatever healthcare bill they wanted RIGHT FUCKING NOW!



SO WHY DON'T THEY?!

Because they know their plans benefit trial lawyers, pharmaceutical companies, and the furthering of their socialist agenda more than it actually helps provide healthcare to Americans.

They know that once the American people find out what their plans are truly about, they're going to be angrier than they've ever been in their lives.

They know that unless they have Republicans who voted for the bill, Republicans that they can blame for all the ills of the bill, Republicans to use as scapegoats, Democrats alone will bear the brunt of the anger surrounding what will no doubt be remembered as America's failed attempt at Socialism.

They know that when the stories come out of people dying as they wait weeks treatment they could have gotten in hours before Healthcare "Reform," that those angry people with dead relatives will have no one to blame but the Democrats.

They know that passing this bill without Republican support will be the fiery death of their party.

THAT is why they don't "just pass the bill without Republicans."


NEXT TOPIC!


How on Earth do Democrats, up to, and including the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, state publicly that the Republicans have no plan?


Republicans have no plan?!


Do they not have Google in DC? Do the reporters who do not challenge these --I'm going to say it-- liars not know of any Republican plan?

But most disheartening of all; are the people who watch these news outlets because they presumably want to be informed so trusting as to not see the need to do that same Google search?

You know what? I'll do it for them.

[CLICK THE BELOW LINK TO BECOME INFORMED!]

Do the Republicans have a healthcare plan?

[CLICK THE ABOVE LINK TO BECOME INFORMED!]

There. Can't get much more simple than that. If they still can't move their mouse over the link, and click it, then they refuse to be informed.


This whole fucking debate is upside down.

"Republicans have no plan!"
"Republicans are stopping the legislative process!"
"Republicans are coarsening the debate!"
"Republicans are ignoring the people!"

Just how long can left-leaning reporters, Democrat leaders, and the President of the United States of America keep lying about this debate?

Perhaps a better question is; how long will a huge percentage of the population continue to believe these lies when the facts are a simple Google search away?