Month: September 2010

O’Donnell’s stance on things

This reads like the screed of an insane Christian Fundamentalist.

Some of her more egregious statements:

O’Donnell led a campaign against masturbation, claiming it is a form of adultery. In a 90s era discussion on MTV, O’Donnell said, “The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can’t masturbate without lust.” [Huffington Post, 9/2/10]

Let me begin. Lust is a product of the mind, not the heart. Bronze age writers had no idea what the brain actually did so they figured they’d use the heart. It’s a thought crime in the eyes of Christians.

But she ties it up with:

O’Donnell claimed abstinence-only education has been an ‘incredible success.’ “Overwhelmingly, programs that teach abstinence only have an incredible success rate because you’re not giving them a confused message.” [Hannity & Colmes, 6/6/00]

A confused message? So why do areas that teach abstinence only sex education have the highest rates of teen pregnancy and the highest STD transmission rates?

These are just two of many in the Think Progress expose on O’Donnell that is linked at the beginning of the article.

Now on to the screeds against homosexuality:

O’Donnell excused gay bashing as ‘kids being kids.’ Asked about disparaging comments children had made about a gay peer, O’Donnell dismissed it, saying, “It’s kids being kids, that’s it.” [Hannity & Colmes, 7/19/00]

Yeah but they learned it somewhere. Either from family or their church, they learned it. It’s not ingrained in kids. So O’Donnell has some explaining to do here.

Not surprisingly, the rest of what O’Donnell says about gay people are the old standards, or about why we get offended when she calls us deviants. She’s technically correct but politically stupid. I hope she’s called out on this crap during the campaign.

Another hot button for me is the attacks on science. If I see one more YouTube video about irreducible complexity I might just become apoplectic.

O’Donnell believes there is ‘just as much, if not more, evidence’ supporting creationism than evolution. “Now too many people are blindly accepting evolution as fact. But when you get down to the hard evidence, it’s merely a theory. … Well, creationism, in essence, is believing that the world began as the Bible in Genesis says, that God created the Earth in six days, six 24-hour periods. And there is just as much, if not more, evidence supporting that.” [New York Magazine, 9/15/10]

Where shall I begin. Merely a theory??? So gravity is merely a theory too yet it holds our feet the earth.

As far as the Genesis view of things, we know that it took MUCH longer than that for all the various matter to coalesce into the rocky form of earth in the early days. And from Stephen Hawking, we now know that the laws of the physical world made the forming of the sun, stars and planets, and yes there are now HUNDREDS of detected planets orbiting other stars, but it made their formation inevitable. Or do people like O’Donnell know nothing about nuclear physics and critical masses, etc. ?

My favorite under the heading of “On Modern Culture”

O’Donnell thinks ‘The Sopranos’ are a model family. “The thing that attracts people to “The Sopranos” is the family element. It shows that America still has a longing for that traditional upbringing.” [Hardball, 6/20/03]

Um, ok I too saw some elements of my family in the show but it was more comedic to me than something to take away as a life lesson. The Soprano’s were a very dysfunctional family if there ever was one. If that is the model for O’Donnell’s version of family then we are in for a delightful show.

The whole thing reads not as extremely Christian fundamentalist, but as right wing, whack job, insane Christian fundamentalist. How could I forget that it is intellectual laziness of the highest order at work in a person like O’Donnell. She should NEVER hold elected office.

Maybe I have a dirty mind but…

So I noted Halloween Cap’n Crunch at the Super Wally World in West Greenwich this evening. I took a snap shot with my cell phone just to see if you all think the way I do:

Halloween Capn' Crunch

Looks like a cock and balls doesn’t it?

Beware GNC in West Greenwich, RI

So we were down in West Greenwich, RI this evening and stopped at a GNC store. Keyron wanted to get some Acai juice. They had one at the store with a sale price tag of $17.49. Except when the cashier Ken rang it up, it came to over $25.

It took me a second but after I got the receipt I turned around and had Keyron pull the item out of the bag. Sure enough, $17.49. I confronted the cashier and he adjusted it down to the correct price and issued a credit on my card.

Also shorted our friend out of $5 too. Something tells me Kenny boy is a little thief.

Mozilla Updates In the Wild

So today I spent a frustrating fifteen to twenty minutes going through the upgrade process for Mozilla Thunderbird (3.1.4) and Firefox (3.6.10).

The Thunderbird upgrade wasn’t too bad, except for the nasty scare when it came up and I didn’t see any of mail accounts. Killing it and restarting it solved that problem.

But Firefox was a different story. First, it completely locked up my browser when it went out to check for updates. Hmmm. Finally I killed Firefox and restarted it. Same issues, slow, etc. and the update process kept failing.

I know why. Their download server is having issues. I manually downloaded the 3.6.10 install package. On my first attempt 1.9mb had downloaded and thought it finished. Second try netter 3mb. Fourth try get the entire 8.6mb package.

Started the install process and then was presented with a message akin to “We have to reboot your computer!” What? I know why, they updated the Java platform and that requires a system reboot.

Performance is still a memory pig at 86MB. But it appears to be working a bit smoother.

Providence Mayoral Race all sewn up

So here’s the stats as of 10:38PM:

Angel TAVERAS 1,657 61.9%
John Joseph LOMBARDI 500 18.7%
Steven M. COSTANTINO 474 17.7%
Christopher YOUNG 44 1.6%

I’m surprised Lombardi is trailing so badly. But then, I’m more astounded that the perennial crank, Chris Young got 44 votes. Who are those people?

I can tell you this though. I’ll be leaving a lot of blanks on the general election form. I cannot in good conscience vote for Tavares. I know nothing about him.

Nor can I vote for Tarro for state Rep since he has a propensity to start tearing down historical properties, even if there is a court order stopping him , I cannot vote for Merisi for city council. Especially since Merisi owes back taxes on FOUR properties in the city. Four!

My memories of 9/11/2001

At the time I was working as the I.T. Director of the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General.

I recall getting a phone call that web performance was very slow. I took a peek at the proxy server and noted it was all news site requests. The phones in the I.T. unit were ringing off the hook.

I went upstairs to the Admin directors office and she had her TV on. I got there just as the 2nd aircraft had hit the other tower.

It was a day that will forever be etched in my mind. I recall we were all clustered in office with televisions because the net was just absolutely swamped.

And being that it was the states top law enforcement agency, lets just say our interest was slightly higher than most peoples.

And having been there I can tell you that there was one HELL of a cover up surrounding the events of September 11, 2001.

For example – I know the Bush administration IGNORED warnings about the events. The whole system blinked red. And they missed it.

A day or so later I was asked if we could identify all the middle eastern and Arab nationals in the state. I had to work with the folks at then INS but by that afternoon we had the names and locations of what they believed were every single one of them.

So how did the federal government drop the ball on this one? The only thing I’m left with is the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). In the introduction the PNAC document said we’d need another event similar to Pearl Harbor to get America into the middle east.

That’s right – they had a playbook.

But it’s now been 9 years and we still don’t know the real truth.

Net Neutrality and how the FCC dropped the ball

I’ll be pulling quotes from the article but you can read the whole thing at this link.

The following paragraphs set up the whole diatribe I’m about to embark upon and give much needed background information to the whole net neutrality debate. It’s unfortunate that it falls several paragraphs into the article.

The Internet today largely operates under the principle of net neutrality, which most people don’t even notice, so it’s easy to take for granted. But all Web users and companies have equal access to the Internet, in the same way that all Americans have the right to take a road trip anywhere in the 50 states without a passport. Companies and institutions have closed networks, but the main public internet is accessible by all.

Without this open access, net neutrality advocates argue, startups like Google, Twitter and untold thousands of others could never have taken hold. Indeed, innovation online would be grievously stifled. For the last five years, Internet-dependent companies like Google and Skype have been fighting a series of running battles with the giant broadband providers over how net neutrality should be enshrined — if at all — in regulation and law moving forward.

Those “giant broadband providers” are none other than Verizon, at&t, Comcast and Cox. As the article mentions right now those broadband providers are classified as Title I. Title I is classified as an information service. Title II is a communication service aka common carrier.

The FCC has no real domain over Title I. But they have enormous power over Title II entities. And it’s high time that broadband be shifted into that category. It no longer carries just web and email but voice and video. It presents a case that net neutrality MUST be maintained and even enhanced in the area of wireless networks and devices.

But more galling is the ineptitude of the leadership of the FCC in one Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Genchowski did have one immediate option, what some referred to as “the nuclear option.” That was to simply reclassify broadband Internet from a Title I “information” service to a Title II “communications” service, which would give the commission the needed regulatory authority to enforce net neutrality. Of the five FCC commissioners, Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn, were ready to vote for immediate Title II reclassification, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. Genachowski would have been the third and deciding vote, but the chairman chose to hold off.

Decided to hold off? What? Why? In other parts of the article many people lament how difficult Genachowski is to work with. I would imagine the same is true of ‘work for’.

But he could have been a hero. Alas this is what happens when you make the position political rather than technical.

This whole “Burn the Quran” thing…

I see this from several different angles. First Pastor Jones is an attention whore. I’ve had comment run-ins with him on YouTube.

But I say let him burn the book. While he’s at it he could burn a Bible, the Talmud, and maybe the Hadith too. If you burn the bunch you cover all the Abrahamic religions. And there ain’t nuthin’ better than a good old fashioned book burning.

But seriously it’s his first amendment right to burn the book. What really irked me is the FBI paying him a visit. This has NOTHING to do with the FBI’s jurisdiction. I’m also upset with the politicians too, they should know better.

But as an atheist I must suffer these little slings and arrows. Saw this on a bus today, apparently the graffiti and tagging has taken a step in the ‘right’ direction:

Have You Been Saved
On a bus

To which I answer, “Saved from what? Christians, Jews and Muslims who want to impose their beliefs upon me?”

A new find on YouTube: Mock the Dummy

So someone is using marionettes to echo the ridiculousness of the Tea Party/Baggers out there.

My favorite lines from the above:

In reference to the health care debacle “… was snorted off the belly of a hooker on a black pitch pool table!” made me laugh!

But then later there was this: “They’re going to transform America into a socialist, third world country like… France”

The reason it made me laugh is because I have one little data point about France that irritates me every time I pay the bill for my net service. For 30 euros a month they get 100mbps down/50mbps up, 300 channels of HDTV, and phone service with a 100 country LOCAL calling area.

For my crappy 30/10 net service, neflix and VoIP phone I pay nearly $110 a month. And 30 euros translates to about $40 in U.S. dollars.