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Posts from — April 2012

Why Pick On Bloggers?

McClatchy noted that a California watchdog wants bloggers to report campaign connections. Why not start with the broadcast and print media reporting their income from individual campaigns before annoying bloggers.

Bloggers with ties to individual campaigns are normally rooted out by other bloggers. A lot of blogs are obviously politically partisan, including this one, but I took the Oath of Poverty back in 2005 and can guarantee that this blog costs me money [but no where near what a boat, or even a bicycle costs.]

As for advertising, on the ‘free’ sites, the money goes to the host, not the blogger. Some bloggers do have advertising as a revenue generator, but almost all of them use one of the ad networks to deal with it, and have limited choice as to what appears in their ad spaces.

If you write something in favor of a candidate, her/his campaign might direct an ad buy on your site. If you think that it will affect someone’s opinion, you haven’t looked at the cost of ads on blogs [hint: they won’t support buying coffee at Starbucks, and maybe not at 7-11].

Some campaigns buy against type, a practice easiest seen at PZ Myer’s place with all of Christian advertising that appears. Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona has been advertising on leftie blogs lately, which is another ad buy against type. I have never seen anything nice said about him at any of these sites [well, nothing that wasn’t obviously dripping with sarcasm].

Blogging by its nature is rooted in opinion, and if someone suddenly starts writing against their established pattern, people notice. If there was as much attention paid to banks as is paid to lowly bloggers, we might not be in the ‘Great Recession’.

April 21, 2012   Comments Off on Why Pick On Bloggers?

Nice Thought, But

CBS reports on a looming problem for some people who use the ‘Net: Hundreds of thousands may lose Internet in July.

When the Feds busted a hacking ring, instead of just cutting off a half-billion Internet users whose machines were infected by the ring’s software, the Feds set up a clean server to allow those people to remain on-line and give them time to remove the infection. Apparently more than half of those infected haven’t done it yet, and funding for the server runs out in July.

DCWG.org is the official location to check to see if your Windows computer is infected, and the site has instructions for killing the sucker.

This was a redirection Trojan that also disables your anti-virus software, so many people are probably totally unaware that they have a problem beyond the fact that the ‘Net seems to be running slower than they remember.

This was a very nice thing for the Feds to do, but I wonder why they didn’t take it one step further, since they were redirecting these people’s machines and send them to a site that notified them that they were infected, before sending them to where they wanted to go.

A simple notice that told them to use an uninfected computer to get instructions to fix the problem from the maker of their anti-virus software, or another reputable site.

Only hacker sites ‘magically’ find a problem with your computer that they just happen to be able to ‘fix’ if you click on the link, so the Feds should not go beyond notification.

April 21, 2012   Comments Off on Nice Thought, But

The Nuns Fire Back

While the US media report on what the Vatican claims, the BBC thought to ask the those accused for a response: Leader of ‘radical’ US nuns rejects Vatican criticism

The leader of a group of US nuns the Vatican accuses of flouting Church teaching has rejected the claims.

“I’ve no idea what they’re talking about,” Sister Simone Campbell, head of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, told the BBC.

“Our role is to live the gospel with those who live on the margins of society. That’s all we do.”

You should watch the video of the interview. At one point Sister Campbell expresses her opinion that the Bishops and Vatican “should grow up”. She backtracked immediately, but that is really her feeling about the matter – that the Catholic ‘good ol’ boy network’ doesn’t know how to talk to women, and hasn’t advanced beyond the ‘girls have cooties’ stage of elementary school.

April 21, 2012   2 Comments

Two Years Ago

Gulf Gusher symbolTonight is the anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 people and dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 5 months.

There is still oil in Gulf, and on our beaches under the sand. The Gulf’s environment is still seriously impacted, with sea life obviously sick and deformed, and I still wouldn’t recommend anyone eat anything caught in the Gulf.

The tourists are coming back, but Gulf fisheries may not.

Despite this reality, we have people starting to talk about opening up the Gulf to more drilling, and some of them are in the Florida legislature. If they keep it up, they may find that the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law has a lot of support among people who depend on a clean Gulf of Mexico for their livelihoods.

April 20, 2012   4 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

No Rest For The Wicked

Friday Cat Blogging

Damn paparazzi!

[Editor: Lucrezia was being her normal, nasty self. It took over a dozen shots before I got one with her face in it, and I had to enlist my neighbor’s help to do it.]

Friday Ark

April 20, 2012   5 Comments

The ‘Crusade’ Against Women

According to the BBC the Vatican orders crackdown on ‘radical’ nuns in the US

The Vatican has ordered a crackdown on a group of American nuns that it considers too radical.

It says the group is undermining Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality and is promoting “feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith”.

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is the largest organisation of Catholic nuns in the US.

Echidne goes to the core of the problem: the nuns are acting uppity.

‘Noz has a problem with the Vatican’s thinking that concentrating on “poverty and economic injustice, while keeping ‘silent’ on abortion and same-sex marriage” is a bad thing for the nuns to be doing.

Charlie Pierce pulls no punches in his view of this latest action by the Clan of the Red Beanie. Charlie notes that the Vatican is upset because the nuns didn’t support the lies of the US Conference of Bishops that Obamacare would provide government funding for abortions.

Charlie also outlines the recent history of the archbishop put in charge of the investigation and his judgement concerning child abusers among the priesthood.

It is beginning to look like the Vatican is conducting a purge.

April 19, 2012   6 Comments

Negotiations – Israeli Style

McClatchy notes that Palestinians boycott meeting with Israel’s Netanyahu that would have been first in 20 months. Essentially the Palestinians said that Netanyahu hasn’t done a single thing to move the peace process forward, and done several things that have made a settlement of their issues less likely.

The Likud concept of negotiations is very similar to that of the House Republican caucus. In both the other side must agree to everything they propose before there will be a meeting, and then they will add new conditions at the meeting. Nothing the other side proposes is to be considered.

Take the negotiations with the Iranians. The Israelis want the new underground complex at Qom dismantled before any negotiations can take place, and having meetings to establish the agenda for a future meeting of the principals just gives the Iranians more time to work on the nuclear weapons that even Israeli intelligence agrees they haven’t been working on since 2003.

The Iranians are expected to prove a negative, just like Saddam Hussein. Since Saddam couldn’t prove he didn’t have WMDs he was attacked. Knowing that Iran can’t prove that it doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program, the Israelis want to attack it.

Dr Cole covers one of the current Israeli talking points in Iran’s Forbidden Nukes and the Taqiya Lie.

If Zero would like to reduce the price of gas, and to at least show that he isn’t going to embarrass the Nobel committee even further with yet another war, he should make a strong statement. This should suffice: “The United States will respond to any unprovoked attack on the nation of Israel.”

Don’t comment on it. Don’t explain it, beyond saying that it is the US policy. Let the Likud worry about what it means. That’s how NATO got involved in Afghanistan, and is the guarantee of the NATO treaty. Israel isn’t even an ally of the US, like the members of NATO, it is just a ‘friend’, like Saudi Arabia.

April 18, 2012   Comments Off on Negotiations – Israeli Style

FYI

The CBC reports that Fracking causes earthquakes, studies confirm.

Wow, who would have expected that injecting fluid into sedimentary rock with sufficient energy to shatter the rock layers might cause earthquakes? [/snark]

The real question is how ignorant to do you have to be not to realize that this would be an obvious outcome of the process? The layers are under stress from the continual movement of the various tectonic plates. If you shatter the rock that makes up one to those plates, the stress will be released. That is pretty much a textbook definition of an earthquake … and the process of fracking.

April 18, 2012   4 Comments

In Today’s News

Amazingly enough Duncan’s tenth blogiversary at Eschaton and the naming of Tom Friedman as the ‘Wanker of Decade’ is not the top story. Nor is the fact that this is the last day to file your Federal income tax return [or request and extension].

It turns out that the top story is a misunderstanding of the meaning of ‘Free Trade Agreement’ in Colombia.

Apparently the Secret Service advance team for the President’s visit, as well as assorted military personnel totally misunderstood what was to be signed, and assumed that their night of drunken debauchery at the Pl#yboy Club was going to be free. Of course when the ladies of negotiable affection and club owners demanded payment, the agents et al. were at a loss and left without making such payment.

Obviously this is going to require days of Congressional testimony, rather than arranging to pay the bill, firing those involved, and accepting the resignation of the director of the Secret Service. Despite the fact that ‘pay, fire, resign’ would be much cheaper and more efficient than even a week of Congressional hearings, the perverts in Congress are going to want to hear all of the details. 😈

April 17, 2012   2 Comments

Republicans Protect The 1%

The BBC made an error in their headline: US Senate blocks Obama’s Buffett Rule proposal

Senate Republicans have blocked the Buffett Rule, President Barack Obama’s proposal to raise tax rates for top earners to at least 30%.

Senators largely voted on party lines and failed to win the 60 votes to move the bill forward for a full debate.

The majority of the Senate wanted to talk about the ‘Buffett Rule’, but the Republicans block any attempt to tax the people who benefit the most from the government at the same rate as working people.

April 16, 2012   4 Comments

Standing His Ground

The BBC reports on day one at the trial: Breivik due to take stand in Norway massacre trial

Anders Behring Breivik will read out a prepared statement on Tuesday that will take about 30 minutes, his lawyer said.

He has admitted carrying out a car bombing in the capital before attacking a youth camp organised by the governing Labour party on the island of Utoeya.

However, he has pleaded not guilty to acts of terror and mass murder.

He said he had acted to protect Norway from multi-culturalism and Islam.

The 33-year-old Norwegian was found insane in one examination, while a second assessment made public last week found him mentally competent.

If the court decides he is criminally insane, he will be committed to psychiatric care; if he is judged to be mentally stable, he will be jailed if found guilty.

If jailed, he faces a sentence of 21 years which could be extended to keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.

He was just protecting his ‘community’ from the evils of letting people live as they wished and making their own choices without government interference.

Just like the ‘heroes’ who bomb women’s clinics and shoot doctors. Just someone who decided to stop commenting about the ‘evil liberals’ on rightwing blogs, and go out and do something about them … with a gun and bombs.

Just another warrior for ‘conservative’ causes … like al Qaeda and the Taliban.

April 16, 2012   2 Comments

Lots Of Things Happen Today

Obviously the most important things at my place are the cats’ birthdays. Property and Excise were definitely born on April 15th, and I use it to mark the changes for the other cats just to keep things easy. Property and Income are 5, Ringo is 7, and Sox is 14.

As today is also the day of the month for their flea medicine, none of them are talking to me at the moment.

If it wasn’t on a Sunday it would be Tax Day, but Tax Day has shifted to April 17th as the 16th is Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia, and the transportation system will be on a holiday schedule. Federal offices will be open, but the IRS doesn’t want to deal with excuses, so they extended the deadline.

April 15, 2012   4 Comments

Old Guys Conversation

ring…ring Hey! How’s it going?

Not bad. I need to borrow your truck to go pick up some stuff to do some planting. The dirt and manure will fit fine in the car’s trunk, but I need a new … eh … damn, I’m having a Senior Moment and can’t remember the name of the thing. I’ve been looking and pricing them for a week, and now the word won’t come. It’s a cart with a pan for carrying dirt and stuff.

Well, I just put new tires on my … er … now, I’ve caught it. The metal thing with two wheels that you use to haul stuff.

No, I have one of those, but this is the single-wheeled thing, and the one I want has a plastic pan because the metal ones keep rusting out, especially after you mix concrete in them. My big one has a broken wheel, and the new one costs less than the wheel for my old one.

Sure, no problem with the truck.

HAND TRUCK or DOLLY!

WHEEL BARROW!

I’m glad we figured that out. Be over as soon as I pump up the tires on my bike.

See you then.

April 14, 2012   2 Comments

Paraskavedekatriaphobia

Yes, it’s Friday the 13th again. The 13th falls on a Friday more than any other day of the week, so get over it. It’s only valid in in English and Portuguese speaking countries, so go visit a Spanish-speaking neighborhood for the day.

If you want to blame someone, it’s the calendar of Pope Gregory XIII that created this imbalance. [He obviously didn’t have a problem with the number on any day.]

April 13, 2012   Comments Off on Paraskavedekatriaphobia