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Technomancer and troubleshooter by trade. Programmer by choice. Creator of Deviant Paradigm, somewhat by accident.
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Friday, June 30, 2006
The Coming Battles
For those of you who have been paying attention, do you wonder if the NY Times are going to see a court over the SWIFT surveillance? I'm thinking that they are going to want to push this to the SCOTUS and see exactly how far they can go with "freedom of the press." Who loses? Everyone. If this happens, we all lose. Because the Times have gone too far this time, and pushed into the realm of possible treason. So if they win, "freedom of the press" essentially makes the press omnipotent, with no one checking or balancing them. They just get to do whatever they want. I've always suspected that the Media was playing their own side in the ideological war, so this makes sense to me that they'd try for this. But if the NY Times loses, we're going to have popular discontent, because they'll treat it like we're destroying the Constitution because we think it might be handy if they would keep their mouths shut when they hear about legal, well-regulated counter-terrorism operations that they themselves suggested the US undertake.
And the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is heating up. The Palestinians have kidnapped an Israeli soldier (from inside of Israel) during a raid. Now the Israelis are going in, guns blazing, to get him out. The Palestinians, meanwhile, have abducted and murdered other Israelis and now claim to have fired chemical weapons into an Israeli town. I've heard rumors that the Palestinians are also claiming to have a stockpile of biological weapons that they are threatening to use. Now I have already stated that the Palestinians have, on every possible occaision, demonstrated that they are all-time worst people to give self-governance to, but this reaches an absolutely remarkable new level of sheer stupidity. What they are trying to do is give Israel an indisputable casus belli that the rest of the world can't even debate. A strong enough one for Israel to, as I believe Hamas put it, "wipe the map." Hamas is calling what they've recently done "acts of war." Perhaps they would be wise to remember that Israel tends to win its wars in less than a week. And they do things like win wars in a week and double the size of the country. If it wasn't so risky, the situation would go like this: Palestinians fire biological weapons at Israel causing grevious casulties, including among themselves because, hey, it's not a Palestinian rocket unless it kills at least three of their own. Gaza becomes a shiny strip of glass and the "West Bank" is moved inland a few hundred miles, as what we now call the West Bank is now a sea-filled crater. The longer this goes on, the less I am inclined to feel sympathy for the Palestinians in their endless quest for self-destruction via proxy. And I never was a sympathetic man in the first place.
Should be interesting to see how these things end up.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Perhaps I should talk to my brother about changing majors again. I have to worry about the UNL Psych department when one of their students creates a survey which features a question featuring "Choose A OR B" and (paraphrased slightly):
A. I prefer to have relationships with people who are physically exciting.
I love how that suggests that the only people who agree with you are ugly, and, by implication, you are ugly too. It is evidently too much to ask that someone be good looking and not fight with me over every little thing. Best survey question ever. An awful lot of them were sort of like that. You could tell the student was trying ever so hard, but the questions tended to either broadcast things (if that survey wasn't trying to tie drug use to low self-esteem, I'll eat my keyboard) or were just poorly written. Many of the supposedly diametric "A or B" questions ended up written so hypothetically that they really needed a third option for if you had actually experienced it. Like the "I would like to know homosexuals" one which had no option for "I already know some" and would be very awkward to answer for someone who actually was gay. It was a nice source of some hilarity though (the questions read like they were written by a straight-edger or something, I've never considered drinking liquor to be any way to get high, but it was mentioned as such in the same breath as smoking marijuana).
It was nice to have something to laugh at (especially UNL, since I'm UNO and am bound by school regs to mock UNL, just like being CENG and CSCI requires me to make fun of MIS majors. It's right there in the graduation requirements.) I've been stuck trying to make two things work: multiple master MySQL database replication, which is a bit harder than one would imagine, and a VPN. VPN's are the purest black magic technology I have ever seen. It's not like Flash, which is refined and designed to steal away your soul. A VPN is raw, unfiltered black magic. It began to work inexplicably one night. The next morning, it just quit working, also without any sort of explanation. This has been the most frustrating two and a half weeks I have had at work for a long time. Probably since reforging the tables in the Flash monstrosity into spreadsheet-looking things.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Big Time Drunken Debauchery
My big party is tonight. We'll see if I can manage to throw a decent party and not get the cops called on me. I've got 22 Guinness burgers and who knows how many guests. Most of the office'll be there, and just about everybody from Omaha. I've got so much alcohol now... Tonight, the party will be brought to you by the fine folks at Guinness (like everything I do) and the official beverage of the night will be Jim Beam Bourbon! (I bought a bottle of it, and then remembered that I already had a nearly full bottle.) The party begins soon, so here's hoping it all turns out all right. A full report will be coming.