For example, just because you can build a motorcycle powered by 24 chainsaw engines doesn’t mean you should.
The CIA is sitting on their 9/11 responsibilty analysis until after the election. Gee, I wonder why?
“The agency directorate is basically sitting on the report until after the election,” the official continued. “No previous director of CIA has ever tried to stop the inspector general from releasing a report to the Congress, in this case a report requested by Congress.” None of this should surprise us given the Bush administration’s great determination since 9/11 to resist any serious investigation into how the security of this nation was so easily breached. In Bush’s much ballyhooed war on terror, ignorance has been bliss. The president fought against the creation of the Sept. 11 commission, for example, agreeing only after enormous political pressure was applied by a grass-roots movement led by the families of those slain. And then Bush refused to testify to the commission under oath, or on the record. Instead he deigned only to chat with the commission members, with Vice President Dick Cheney present, in a White House meeting in which commission members were not allowed to take notes. All in all, strange behavior for a man who seeks reelection to the top office in the land based on his handling of the so-called war on terror.
We’re almost certain we enjoyed reading the interview more than we’ll ultimately enjoy the conclusion to his long-winded trilogy, but we’re gonna read it anyway.
- That this guy’s bank accepted a fake promotional check for $95,000 and very nearly had to live with its mistake; or
- That this story has been online since 1995 and we’re just now finding it.
A cannonical and growing list of all the keyboard shortcuts available in OS X. Cool.
SplashPower purports to offer a sort of “charging pad” on which you may place a variety of devices for charging, in lieu of having wallwarts and adapters for each of your Palm, Phone, iPod, Bluetooth headset, etc.
- A toilet seat that lights up
- A mechanical drum machine named after Rush’s percussionist
Some time ago, some of us went to a certain US city to perform a certain pre-nuptual ritual for a friend of ours. In what can only be described as a stunning lack of discretion, said trip was well-documented with photographs, which (in a further lapse!) found their way to the Internets at CarlsGoneWild.com.
We here at Heathen Central have received word, however, that this domain will expire in a little over two weeks. The pictures are safe, but the domain itself will vanish sometime before Thanksgiving. Go back and enjoy the pictures again — if you know the password. And then, once you’ve done it, go congratulate Carl for surviving the weekend, and for actually (finally!) marrying that girl.
Like most geeks, I have a favorite editor. Unlike some, though, it’s not a religion for me. On my Mac, for years I’ve used and love BBEdit, which has been the King Hell editor in the Apple world for a long time. The advent of OS X allowed things like Emacs and Vim to make some inroads as some folks converted from Planet Unix, but BBEdit remained the “hometown” favorite for most the Mac hackers I know.
Well, comes now TextMate which, while perhaps not as fully featured or mature as BBEdit, does include some tempting tricks — like folding sections of a file, not to mention what is probably better integrated project management, plus bone-simple invocation of system commands from within the editor and some rather elegant and not at all “Clippyesque” smart-typing features. It’s cheaper, too, so I’m giving it a whirl.
Of course, the lack of a Perl syntax highlighting mode is off-putting (though I could roll my own pretty easily, it appears), and I’m vexed by the lack of a “normal” application preferences menu, so it’s not without its drawbacks. It’s also short on docs (outside of their site; nothing comes in the downloaded bundle), which is almost criminal, and its “project” construct isn’t as flexible as BBEdit’s new drawer feature (though in being less flexible, it actually offers features BB doesn’t, so it (like everything else [HDANCN?]) is a tradeoff). More subtly, I note (via this review) that it lacks a Print option, which somewhat puzzling, but presumably they’ll address this at some point.
Salon’s coverage of Ohio’s gay marriage fight makes me ashamed to share a God with some people.
Eisenhower endorses Kerry.
…but if the Invisible Hand of the Market gives you something like this, maybe it’s time to consider integrated cooling solutions at the factory.
BoingBoing theorizes that the online audience for Crossfire’s Stewart appearance exceeds the actual TV audience. Heh.a
Joey DeVilla — a.k.a. Accordian Guy — created the graphic at right to celebrate his membership in the group famously snubbed by some Bush aide in the aforementioned New York Times story. We’re glad to join him.
How about a tiny key-fob universal remote that will turn off almost any TV?
Single vendor development environments are bad news, and pretty much always have been. Here’s a great example of why.
They’re trying to move polling places in Philly — out of African American neighborhoods. We’re sure this about “safety” and not at all about reducing the turnout in historically democratic areas. We’re also sure monkeys are going to fly out of our butt any minute now.
The Feds want to know every bit of travel data the airlines have from June of 2004 as a pilot (heh) for a new program called “secure flight.” Think of it as Son of CAPPS II. While the government may even believe this is to fight terrorism, it goes without saying that eventually, it’ll get abused and warped into something else.
Needless to say, we feel this is a very, very bad idea. We continue to fear creeping government intrusion into private life far more than we fear random terrorist attacks, particularly when 9/11 itself may well have been prevented if so many folks hadn’t been asleep at the switch or too partisan to pay attention to warnings from the prior administration.
Pirates and Emperors is a short film done in perfect homage to the old Schoolhouse Rock animations, except instead of being about our nation’s origins, it’s about our bad behavior for the last 30 years or so. Required viewing.
A week or so ago, John Kerry mentioned that Dick Cheney’s daughter was a lesbian. As we and others have noted, this is in no way news; Mary Cheney has been very open about her sexuality for years, even serving in official and unofficial gay & lesbian outreach roles. Kerry, for his part, said nothing negative at all about this; he merely noted that the VP’s daughter was gay, and that he didn’t think she had any choice in the matter:
We’re all God’s children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney’s daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she’s being who she was, she’s being who she was born as.
Well, you’d never know the context from the shitstorm the right side of the press has stirred up; they’ve spent an awful lot of ink describing this as somehow akin to pointing out that someone was unfaithful, or had an abortion, with all the assumed moral equivalency that implies. Clearly, the reasoning goes, Kerry was hitting below the belt here.
Er, what? How’s that again? Kerry notes Mary’s orientation — in a pretty fair and basic statement, with no value judgements attached — and in doing so calls attention, subtly, to the GOP’s position on All Things Gay. The GOP, in response, goes into a frenzy of weird accusations, and in doing so say (or imply) all sorts of nasty things about gay people. And yet somehow Kerry mentioning Mary’s orientation is the problem. Wow.
Another scary passage from Suskind’s faith-based presidency article:
In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency. The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
Cartoons like this one, about Gary Busey, George Bush, and two ferrets. Using their real voices. Just click.
And in that spirit, we direct you to what may or may not be Nick Nolte’s diary.
Mohney points us at the worst Halloween costumes ever, from the plastic-mask-and-vinyl-tunic era.
The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart went on Crossfire (big-ass file) to spank Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. The audience was with him; the hacks were a bit taken aback. The best part may be this exchange (transcript here):
STEWART: But the thing is that this — you’re doing theater, when you should be doing debate, which would be great. BEGALA: We do, do… (CROSSTALK) STEWART: It’s not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it. CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you’re accusing us of partisan hackery? STEWART: Absolutely. CARLSON: You’ve got to be kidding me. He comes on and you… (CROSSTALK) STEWART: You’re on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls. (LAUGHTER) STEWART: What is wrong with you? (APPLAUSE) CARLSON: Well, I’m just saying, there’s no reason for you — when you have this marvelous opportunity not to be the guy’s butt boy, to go ahead and be his butt boy. Come on. It’s embarrassing. STEWART: I was absolutely his butt boy. I was so far — you would not believe what he ate two weeks ago. (LAUGHTER) (CROSSTALK) STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably. CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think. STEWART: You need to go to one.
As it happens, ol’ Tucker didn’t quite like getting called on the bullshit state of TV news, eh?
A Knight Ridder review of the administration’s Iraq policy and decisions has found that it invaded Iraq without a comprehensive plan in place to secure and rebuild the country. The administration also failed to provide some 100,000 additional U.S. troops that American military commanders originally wanted to help restore order and reconstruct a country shattered by war, a brutal dictatorship and economic sanctions. cite
“Mission Accomplished” indeed.
Not content to be totally out of the running when it comes to portable music technology, Sony has now bullied the RetroPod right off the net.
Go, Sony! Make sure we all know how irrelevant you’ve become!
Fafblog, on the Yankees and Sox:
“Well Giblets does not want to live in a world without laws of objective truth!” says Giblets. “A world where the Yankees don’t suck is a world of celestial anarchy!”
Indeed, Giblets. Indeed.
A NYT article about the faith-based presidency Bush has given us includes the following passage:
[an introducing supporter] said he ”looked to God” and said what was in his heart. ”The United States is the greatest country in the world,” he told the rally. ”President Bush is the greatest president I have ever known. I love my president. I love my country. And more important, I love Jesus Christ.” The crowd went wild, and they went wild again when the president finally arrived and gave his stump speech. There were Bush’s periodic stumbles and gaffes, but for the followers of the faith-based president, that was just fine. They got it — and ”it” was the faith. And for those who don’t get it? That was explained to me in late 2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush, who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He started by challenging me. ”You think he’s an idiot, don’t you?” I said, no, I didn’t. ”No, you do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don’t care. You see, you’re outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don’t read The New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence. They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it’s good for us. Because you know what those folks don’t like? They don’t like you!” In this instance, the final ”you,” of course, meant the entire reality-based community.
It’s a long article, but it’s worth reading.
We’re so fucking doomed. People are idiots.
Fafblog, of course, does it better than we could:
Dick and Lynne Cheney are right to be outraged [. . . ]. And this outrage comes not because they feel that homosexuality is shameful or icky or full of cooties. It is because they know that the greatest shame one can bring to a lesbian is to note their existence. Before John Kerry’s terrible words, Mary Cheney only had to be gay to her family, her friends, the Coors Corporation, the staff of Bush/Cheney Re-Elect, and the gay community at large to whom she acted as a liason. But John Kerry made her gay to the entire world, effectively making her more gay than ever before. (Emph. in original)
I can’t seem to find an answer for this, so I may as well post here. I’m probably fucked, since I think I’m very nearly the most technical person who reads this damn thing, but hey, a man can dream.
For the last 6 months or so, I’ve been wholly unable to use the new builds of Firefox or Thunderbird. Either tool launches fine, and works great for its first run — but only that. If I quit and restart, the tool comes up fine, and even shows an appropriate window, but all the menus to the right of the application menu are gone, and keyboard shortcuts that would trigger functions from those menus are similarly impotent. Trashing the profile directory will make it work again, but that’s a bit too much of a PITA for me. I’m running Mac OS X (10.3.5), and I’ve observed no other weirdness.
Our quote-of-the-day mailing list sent us this gem, from the CNN crawl earlier today:
“PUBLIC SPLIT ON WHETHER BUSH IS A DIVIDER”
The Justice Department has intervened to delay the discovery and despositions in a 2002 New Hampshire felony election fraud case until after the election. Said discovery is almost certain to be embarrassing to the GOP, since it’s likely to involve the actions of one Jim Tobin, a so far unindicted co-conspirator in the case (two others have already entered guilty pleas, and their statements name Tobin). Tobin is New England regional chair for BC’04.
If you vote for Bush, remember what you’re voting for.
Presumably, everyone who reads Heathen is just as puzzled as we are about the right-wing response to Kerry mentioning that Mary Cheney is gay. I mean, the woman’s been out for years, and did outreach work into the gay/lesbian community for Coors. Being gay is part of her resume. She’s also got a high-profile job with BC’04, so it’s not like she’s not political.
It occurs to us that perhaps they only reason they’re (pretending to be) pissed off about this is because the GOP thinks being gay is something to be ashamed of.
UNITED NATIONS – The United States has refused to join 85 other heads of state and government in signing a statement that endorsed a 10-year-old U.N. plan to ensure every woman’s right to education, health care, and choice about having children. President Bush (news – web sites)’s administration withheld its signature because the statement included a reference to “sexual rights.” cite
The title quote is Bush, speaking about Osama bin Laden. This is what Kerry was talking about in the debate. Of course, around the same time, Bush was doing his level best to get us to attack someone who hadn’t actually threatened us. Some might call this a lack of focus.
Josh Marshall, of course, has more, as does Atrios, who references a Washington Post story worth noting for its unusual focus on the degree to which Bush has simply ignored bin Laden in favor of his hard-on for Saddam.
A bit more: MediaMatters notes the bizarro-world spin some major media outlets put on the obvious falsehood. What’s that about the “liberal media” again?
Remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? Now you can make your own online, as if vanity sites weren’t doing that already in a more holistic way. Of course, most of those don’t feature an “interactive fiction engine,” which sounds pretty buzzword-compliant to us.
IScrewRepublicans is just plain rude, but damn if we’re not laughint. Where else will you find Ann Coulter’s lady parts are dirty“, not to mention other hits headlines like “Senator Zell Miller turns his back on more than just his party” and “Man-Whore Pony Rides for Ralph Reed“? Heh.
Approximately a jillion people have passed this TinyRevolution post our way in the last day or so. Precis: Sy Hersh spoke in Berkeley last week, and had a very disturbing story to relate passed to him by a soldier in Iraq. Hersh, for those with short memories, also wrote the more authoritative pieces on the Abu Grahib scandal.
Shining City on a Hill? Who, us?
CNet is reporting that the DOJ has requested sweeping new powers to prosecute piracy. Not the “Arrr!” kind, but the kind where you copy a CD or a movie. Heretofore, these pursuits have been the responsibility of the rightsholder; now, that powerful lobby is trying to get the government to stack the deck in their favor even more.
This is a profoundly bad idea, but so was copyright extension, and Congress bent over for the RIAA/MPAA cabal then, too — this time, it’s even more attractive to the Feds, since it means more power for them. Remember, once governments get power, they’re loathe to give it up — which is why laws like RICO, PATRIOT, and provisions like these are such bad ideas.
I noticed my machine was slowing down, so I checked the activity monitor tool. I’d loaded a large (2.5MB) document into Word, but wasn’t using it at the moment — nevertheless, Word was chewing up TWENTY PERCENT of the CPU despite being a background task.
What the hell is wrong with those people in Redmond?