On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog

Random header image... Refresh for more!

They Really Want A War

Jay Nixon, the Governor of Missouri, has reacted to the failure of his curfew to do anything except anger the people of Ferguson by sending in the National Guard.

What a brilliant move – the trouble really started when the police showed up in their military costumes, so now he’s sending in the real military to further anger people on the same day an independent autopsy showed that Michael Brown was shot 6 times, not the ‘few times, maybe more than two but not many more’ that the Ferguson police chief has publicly claimed after looking at the ‘official autopsy’.

The US Attorney General is on his way to Ferguson, but I don’t think he is going to be able to do much because the Feds cannot simply take over the case of a homicide, the way they can take over other types of crimes.

The only way things can be calmed down is by telling people the truth about the incident, and that doesn’t seem to be on the agenda.

August 18, 2014   7 Comments

Let The Games Begin

Maliki finally got an offer he couldn’t refuse, probably from Iran, and stepped aside making a viable Iraqi government possible. It isn’t a certainty, but nothing would have changed if Maliki refused to leave.

Everyone except the Iraqi government and ISIS is ready to arm the Kurds, and the US is occasionally hitting some actual military targets in their air campaign. The attacks seems to be concentrated on heavy weapons and vehicles, which are major advantages that ISIS has over the Kurds.

The Neocon losers are all claiming that Zero could have prevented the rise of ISIS if he had been more involved in Iraq. This ignores the reality that the Iraqi government that the Neocons created wanted the US out and wasn’t interested in US concerns.

They are also claiming that ISIS could have been stopped if we had armed the ‘good’ insurgents in Syria. This ignores the fact that the people who started the movement against Assad wanted non-violent change, not weapons, and the later groups that took up guns had their weapons caches taken by ISIS. ISIS is and was the most unified and largest armed insurgent group in Syria. The only armed group that could reasonably be expected to win against them is the Syrian Army.

August 17, 2014   No Comments

You Buy Them Books …

… And they eat the covers and put the pages in the privy.

The Missouri State Troopers reduced the heat in Ferguson and had the situation under control and now the police chief and governor are turning up the heat on the situation.

The police chief held a news conference and identified the officer involved in the shooting for the first time. He then showed a surveillance video that showed a man who might have been Michael Brown committing a strong-arm robbery. Afterwards he admitted that the officer involved in the shooting stopped Mr Brown for ‘jaywalking’, walking in traffic, not for suspicion in the robbery. The video served no purpose other than an attempt to show the victim wasn’t a good person.

Then the Governor Nixon of Missouri imposed a curfew on the town of Ferguson, criminalizing normal behavior ‘in support of public order’, and alienating the citizens.

It’s one step forward and two steps back for this blight.

August 16, 2014   No Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Double Teamed

Friday Cat Blogging

Dinner, we want dinner!

[Editor: Ms Underhouse joins Froggy in an attempt to trip me.

Friday Ark

August 15, 2014   4 Comments

Reality Dawns

According to the CBC the Missouri governor has ordered the Missouri State Troopers to take over security in Ferguson under command of a Black Captain who grew up in the town.

He dealt with the protest in his standard uniform by walking with the protestors and will be talking to them to get their side of the story.

Meanwhile, the Ferguson police chief says his response wasn’t military, it was SWAT police tactics. Yo, chief – if it has feathers, web feet, and quacks – it’s a duck. If it’s wearing camo BDUs, desert combat boots, ballistic helmets, and pointing assault rifles at people = it’s military.

August 14, 2014   10 Comments


After spending yesterday upgrading WordPerfect, today was the monthly PMS Day [Patch MicroSoft - what did you think?] on two machines, and then I checked Linux and the new LTS [Long Term Support] version of Ubuntu was available on the Software Update page. I backed-up and pressed the ‘upgrade’ button.

After downloading well in excess of 800MB of compressed data that contained 1963 files I sat around a couple of hours as it went through the process.

There was only one problem – I should have removed some of the old versions of the Linux image from the boot partition to free up space.

There were a couple of errors on re-boot, but the only thing that doesn’t seem to want to work is a game that I use to distract myself when I hit a coding block [writer's block for programmers].

Things went amazingly well given the potential for problems, and I didn’t have to do it by hand, which was a plus.

August 13, 2014   4 Comments

Site Maintenance

I have to update the site software as this site was being used in denial of service attacks on other sites, a problem just corrected by WordPress.

Hopefully I will be back up tonight.

Update: Cheated disaster again, but it will be a couple of days before I hack the file that gives people the ability to include images and such in comments as that is a hack done by hand.

Update: Hack complete. The publicly visible site is back to normal, but the back end is messed up again. If you have a WordPress site you really need to update to version 3.92 because the problem it fixes cost me some money yesterday before my host blocked it.

August 12, 2014   4 Comments

Back In Iraq

At least people are dropping food and water to the Yazidis who don’t make trouble and stay in their own communities. They have an interesting religion that doesn’t cause any trouble. It seems to be a mixture of Islam, Christianity, Zoroaster, and Hindu beliefs. They don’t have converts – you have to be born a Yazidi. Obviously they must be hated and feared if you are fundamentalist anything. I hope they can be saved from the ethnic cleansing that ISIS intends.

To make the Republican war-mongers happy, Zero is engaged in air strikes against ISIS in Northern Iraq in support of the Kurds. The Kurds are at least willing to put up a fight, but they are going to need the heavy weapons that Maliki refused to provide and then surrendered to ISIS.

The US owes the Kurds for the way George HW Bush left them hanging after the first Gulf War. He encouraged them to revolt and then refused to help them when they were attacked by Saddam.

Meanwhile Maliki is refusing to give up power in Baghdad despite the calls from everyone of importance in Iraq that he leave. Now he is attacking the decision of the President of Iraq not to ask him to form a government, and has sent forces loyal to him into the streets of Baghdad as an implied threat.

We have no problem winning wars, and no success at handling the peace afterward. Given that reality, why do we do it?

August 11, 2014   2 Comments

Excuse Me‽

I was looking for coverage of the hurricane hitting Hawaii and I saw an ad by my ‘Net provider that implied that rival ‘Net providers in the area don’t have telephone support, but my provider does.

Sorry, but the other major provider is The Phone Company, and they definitely provide telephone support to their Internet customers, usually via the landline telephone that you were required to have to get DSL. They have an annoying menu system that you work through, then customer service reps, and if you stay on the line you will get to talk to one of their system engineers who can trace the line back to your specific modem and test it. I’ve had them overnight a new modem because the modem I was originally given couldn’t handle all of the tests that they wanted to run. They had already fixed the issue I called about, but were doing an upgrade that worked better with the new modems.

What was missing from the cable company ad was the fact that the package they were hawking includes telephone service that requires an Internet connection. If the ‘Net connection is down, you don’t have telephone service to call telephone support.

As for the general complaint that most Internet centered businesses depend on the ‘Net to provide support, that is a very valid complaint and something I’ve personally encountered with modem and router companies. I make a point before installing new equipment of going to their support web site and grabbing the docs and software updates before connecting the equipment. These days the only documentation that comes with hardware is the URL of the company’s support site. The days of the linen covered three-ring binders that used to accompany all software and hardware are long since over.

August 10, 2014   7 Comments

Something Completely Different

bullet chalk

That is a picture of a bullet passing through sticks of colored chalk. It is something that Jim Bales, a regular commentator here, does in Real Life™. It confirms something I learned in my course on crime scene investigation as well as being a really neat photograph.

Oh, Iselle has gone post-tropical and Julio is still on track to pass 100+ miles to the Northeast of the Hawaiian Islands.

August 9, 2014   2 Comments

Tropical Storm Iselle – Day 2

Tropical Storm IsellePosition: 20.0N 159.5W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [290°] near 14 mph [22 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 50 mph [ 85 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 80 miles [130 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1009 mb ↓.

Currently about 135 miles [ 220 km] Southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii.

The storm came ashore near Pahala on the Big Island at 8AM CDT and is weakening.

After attaining Category 3 status earlier Hurricane Julio is beginning to weaken and is still forecast to pass to the Northeast of the islands on Sunday as a Category 1/Tropical Storm. The main impact will be increased wave height on the northern coasts.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select "Hurricanes" for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

August 8, 2014   No Comments

Friday Cat Blogging


Friday Cat Blogging


[Editor: After disappearing for weeks, the former 'Kit' is back and being called Hadley by my neighbor.

Friday Ark

August 8, 2014   4 Comments

Belated Birthday Wishes

Yesterday was the birthday of both Steve and NTodd and I was engaged with an extremely annoying old-fogey problem and more issues with government agencies.

Happy Birthday, Y’all!

August 7, 2014   13 Comments

Hurricane Iselle

Hurricane IsellePosition: 19.1N 153.8W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West [280°] near 15 mph [24 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 75 mph [120 kph].
Wind Gusts: 90 mph [145 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 185 miles [295 km].
Hurricane Wind Radius: 35 miles [ 55 km].
Minimum central pressure: 992 mb ↑.

Currently about 95 miles [ 150 km] East-Southeast of Hilo, Hawaii.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Hawaii County.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau.

The storm will probably hit the ‘Big Island’ of Hawaii as a minimal category 1 hurricane as there are signs of its weakening as it approaches. It is forecast to pass to the South of the other islands, but the strongest winds are found in the northern half of the storm.

Category 2 Hurricane Julio is forecast to pass just to the North of the islands on Sunday.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select "Hurricanes" for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

August 7, 2014   No Comments