Archive for Category ‘Mix‘

The Demagogue

Three days ago, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made the following remarks in reference to her attacks on Obama’s charity work with William Ayers.

“We just want to make sure that in this campaign, that we uphold the standards of tolerance and truth-telling,” Sarah Palin said. “There have been things said, of course, that have allowed those standards to be violated on both sides, on both tickets. We want to uphold those standards, and again it’s not mean-spirited, it’s not negative campaigning, when we call someone out on their record.”

via The Huffington Post

Yesterday, the governor made the following comments to reporters about the Alaska trooper probe which concluded that “Her conduct violated AS 39.52.110(a) of the Ethics Act”.

Ms. Palin:

“Well, I’m very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing,” Palin said, “any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that.”

You’ll have to excuse me, I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

The Metrics of the Metric System

I ran across this map that highlights ALL the countries of the world that do not use the metric system of measurement. The winners are: The United States, Myanmar, and Liberia. An exclusive group by any measure.

Portfolio Redesign

Earlier this year, I meticulously cataloged my entire project history in web development from the beginning of time. I created data tables to hold all relevant attributes and composed project descriptions detailing the bits and pieces that I could remember from software authored as long as eight years ago. Then I crossed linked and published all the information on my website.

My considerable efforts left my portfolio website a cluttered mess. The design for the site was rather hastily assembled in 2005 and I had not done much to improve the layout since, just tacking items on as they came to mind. Generally I have been too busy to market myself which is both a blessing and a curse. Last night I worked into the wee hours of the morning in order to create a more accessible layout. When the birds outside my window started to sing, I got some sleep and finished up this morning.

The results are online at


Saudi Arabian Officials Seize Symbols of Love

This is article is admittedly reckless on the part of CNN in the sense that it portrays all muslims in a negative light to the Western world. Typical. Having said that, I find the final sentence of the following snippet hilarious.

Every year, officials with the conservative Muslim kingdom’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice clamp down on shops a few days before February 14, instructing them to remove red roses, red wrapping paper, gift boxes and teddy bears. On the eve of the holiday, they raid stores and seize symbols of love.


Why Israel Bombed Syria

In a new article for the New Yorker magazine, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Seymour Hersh, best known for his work exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the horrific mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, says evidence indicates the bombing was a warning to Syria and its allies, including Iran.

Al Jazeera spoke to him about the bombing, why he feels the media failed on the story, and what it means for the Middle East.


I hate Macs – Charlie Brooker

From The Guardian:

Unless you have been walking around with your eyes closed, and your head encased in a block of concrete, with a blindfold tied round it, in the dark – unless you have been doing that, you surely can’t have failed to notice the current Apple Macintosh campaign starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb, which has taken over magazines, newspapers and the internet in a series of brutal coordinated attacks aimed at causing massive loss of resistance.

When I sit down to use a Mac, the first thing I think is, “I hate Macs”, and then I think, “Why has this rubbish aspirational ornament only got one mouse button?” Losing that second mouse button feels like losing a limb. If the ads were really honest, Webb would be standing there with one arm, struggling to open a packet of peanuts while Mitchell effortlessly tore his apart with both hands.


Origins of “Man”

The English term “Man” (from Proto-Germanic mannaz “man, person”) and words derived therefrom can designate any or even all of the human race regardless of their gender or age. This is indeed the oldest usage of “Man” in English. This derives from a Proto-Indo-European root “man-” meaning hand. A similar cognate is Old Norse “mund”, hand, as well as most Romance words for “hand”, such as French main and Portuguese mão. The distinctive and dexterous hands of humans, compared to those of other animals, are the basis of this term and the similarly derived term, “manual” (from Latin “Manus”, hand), by hand.


The Pakistan Conundrum

Scott Ritter in

The secular nature of Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorship disguises the fact that Pakistan as a nation was birthed in an environment of Islamic national identity. Pakistan from its inception was supposed to bring together the Muslim populations of the former British Indian colony into a viable nation state. While many of those who oversaw the formation of the new governmental structure were moderate, even secular lawyers trained in the British tradition, the overwhelming population of what was to become Pakistan traced their loyalty to a system of local elders and religious figures who more often than not referred to Shar’ia, or Islamic law, when pronouncing decisions of government. This duality is reflected in the resolution passed by Pakistan’s early leaders on the eve of what was to become the country’s constitutional convention. It proclaimed: “Sovereignty under the entire universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone,” and characterized Islamic values as essential in any new government.

But Pakistan is no homogeneous Islamic state. Its roots are deeply seated in tribal, familial and ethnic realities that most non-Pakistani observers are ill-equipped to comprehend. An illustration of this can be found simply by noting that Benazir Bhutto, the martyred symbol of democratic reform, in reality sat at the head of a political party, the PPP, which was born not from Pakistani society in general, but rather from the ranks of the 700,000-strong Bhutto tribe. The Bhuttos, an ethnic Sindhi group, possess an insularity that belies the image of democratic reform embraced by Benazir Bhutto herself. An ongoing rift within the PPP over Bhutto’s successor illustrates this: Benazir’s husband, Zardari, together with her son, Bilawal, have claimed the leadership of the party, citing a controversial and challenged ‘will’ which emerged following Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. Neither Zardari nor Bilawal are considered to be part of the Bhutto tribe, because Zardari is of Baluchi heritage and the son is traditionally linked to the family tree of the father. It is not the history of corruption that surrounds Zardari, or the inexperience of Bilawal (a student in the UK), which the Bhutto tribe finds objectionable, but simply the fact that a political party founded by, and for, the Bhuttos is now in the hands of someone outside the tribe.


Rep. Wexler Calls for Cheney Impeachment


Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) is urging the House Judiciary Committee to begin impeachment hearings against Vice President Dick Cheney, despite opposition from House Democratic leaders.

“In this time, at this moment, Congress must stand for truth,” Wexler said in a speech on the House floor Monday night. “A growing chorus of Americans is calling for accountability. The response from Congress thus far has been silence and denial.”


Killing African Animals May Help Conserve Them


From the Economist:

While Kenya has a number of nature reserves, most of its wildlife lives on privately owned land, and killing or exporting such animals has been banned since 1977. Before that, landowners might have made money through ranching, hunting, tanning, taxidermy, curios and allowing animals on their land to be captured for sale or export. Mr Norton-Griffiths and Mohammed Said of the International Livestock Research Institute estimate that today the industry might be worth some $600m annually.

At present, however, landowners make around $5 per hectare per year from their wildlife—comparable to agricultural returns on only the driest, most marginal land. Where landowners rent an area for wildlife-viewing to a single tour company, they may average $10 per hectare. In the Mara area—which draws much of Kenya’s safari trade—rents can rise to $50 per hectare. However, in 95% of the land where wildlife is found, it nets landowners no money at all.

…despite millions spent to conserve Kenya’s wildlife, stock has declined by 70% since 1977. More than half of the most productive rangelands in Kenya, which used to hold most of the country’s wildlife, have been converted to agricultural production.

The best way of conserving wildlife is to make it worth landlords’ while. Tourism can help up to a point. But most tourists will not travel more than a few hours from their hotel to see animals. Real wildlife tends to flourish far from people, hotels, roads and swimming pools: large-scale tourism and real wildlife are not compatible. New thinking about how to support wildlife conservation is needed in Kenya.

Rich-country conservationists need to be less squeamish about killing animals. They ought to support developing countries’ efforts to create incentives for their landowners to protect wildlife—even if it means sometimes shedding animals’ blood.

Green.view | Point and shoot |