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2006 October — Why Now?
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Posts from — October 2006

Give Joe Roberts A Chance

The Pensacola Beach Blog has a piece on the Pensacola News Journal article comparing the two candidates for the First District Congressional race.

As I said in comments: Jeff Miller is running as a “Republican” because that’s his total claim on the office.

He hasn’t done anything on his own; he hasn’t pushed anything; he’s not an expert on anything.

He’s wrong on Veterans’ issues; wrong on oil drilling; wrong on disaster preparedness.

Where was he after Katrina, because that sucker could have swung into the Florida Panhandle and we could look like the Mississippi coast?

He is a Republican vote, not a vote for the First District of Florida.

Joe Roberts would be new to Congress, but it looks like he would be in the majority caucus and might get a chance to do something. It’s about time we had a Congresscritter that represented us, not the Republican Party.

October 31, 2006   4 Comments

What Is In A Name?

The BBC notes that the Pentagon gears up for new media war:

The Pentagon’s new effort to influence media coverage of the war in Iraq is an example of how governments react when a war is not going too well.

They begin to think it is not the war that is the problem, but the presentation of it.

The media, being the messengers, get the blame, not the message itself.

While probably not the most egregious error the Shrubbery and Company make, yesterday NPR had a nice piece on one of the “media problems”:The War on the Word ‘Jihad’.

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October 31, 2006   Comments Off on What Is In A Name?

They Wouldn’t Do That

CNN reports: Critical congresswoman lands on no-fly list.

TSA wouldn’t put Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D CA-47) on the no-fly list just because she is one of the most vocal Congressional opponents of the list and has been complaining to TSA about the appearance of the names of some of her constituents on the list. This was just a little confusion because “Loretta Sanchez” is such a common name among Islamic extremists.

That was the same reason Edward Kennedy appeared on the list.

It was interesting that her Congressional identity card wasn’t good enough to prove she wasn’t the person on the list.

October 31, 2006   4 Comments

Fair is Fair

I was down for a while because of a kernal panic on the primary MySQL server at my hosting site. They say nothing has been lost, and it won’t be much because I backed up two days ago and can resurrect anything that is missing.

October 31, 2006   11 Comments

All Hallowed Evening

Jack o' lantern

These are my remembrances of Halloween.

In the Celtic/Anglo-Saxon tradition there was a ritual placation on the evening before All Saints Day. People made offerings to evil spirits, Soul Cakes, to quiet them before the celebration of the Holy Day. It was a kind of insurance. The priests said there were no spirits, but it couldn’t hurt to make a little offering just in case the priests were wrong and the folk lore was right. This changed into an excuse for games. If some expected mischief, others were more than willing to provide it, often exacting small revenges for perceived injuries.

In its continuing evolution in the United States we ended up with Halloween, which I personally preferred to Christmas as a child. There were too many adult things involved with Christmas, and while the toys were nice, the food was better, from a child’s point of view, at Halloween.

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October 31, 2006   4 Comments

The UK and Other Fantasies

Avedon Carol of Sideshow highlights an excerpt from the novel Thud by Terry Pratchett. Like a lot of Pratchett’s novels about the fantasy Discworld, it might seem to ring true of problems that exist in this world.

It is fantasy, so you have to remember that Small Gods is not about religious fundamentalism and Jingo isn’t about neocon nutcases. They are humorous fantasy novels not satiric social commentary.

As long as we are taking about fantasy in the UK you might want read the interview with General the Lord Guthrie, who was Chief of the Defence Staff [US = Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] five years ago, that is in the Guardian: Afghanistan war is ‘cuckoo’, says Blair’s favourite general

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October 30, 2006   2 Comments

More Display Noise

Update: Mea culpa. I forgot the link to Lisa English at Ruminate This who brought up the investigation into Smartmatic’s Venezuelan ties.

As Anya mentioned in comments, we are having early voting in Florida and things are not running smoothly according to the Miami Herald: Glitches cited in early voting.

This is the calibration problem I was talking about. These machines have a grid of sensors around the screen to determine where you are pressing and they can become misaligned over time. They should be calibrated at a minimum, every day, and the more they are used, the more often they are going to need calibration.

Just being moved can cause them to “lose their place.” It’s a great concept that isn’t ready for the real world.

CNN’s Political Ticker reports on the Venezuela connection:

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October 30, 2006   2 Comments

The New Jersey Decision

First off, you should know that communism was the new “great threat to the American way of life” when New Jersey adopted its latest constitution in 1947. To prove that the state of New Jersey has nothing in common with the godless Commies there are more instances of “Almighty G-d” in this constitution than your average Baptist sermon.

New Jersey State Constitution 1947
Article I – Rights And Privileges:

3. No person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; nor under any pretense whatever be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his faith and judgment; nor shall any person be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or other rates for building or repairing any church or churches, place or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right or has deliberately and voluntarily engaged to perform.

4. There shall be no establishment of one religious sect in preference to another; no religious or racial test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust.

5. No person shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil or military right, nor be discriminated against in the exercise of any civil or military right, nor be segregated in the militia or in the public schools, because of religious principles, race, color, ancestry or national origin.

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October 30, 2006   Comments Off on The New Jersey Decision

Still Not Hitting on All Cylinders

Blogger is still having problems. They are the worse kind in computing – intermittent. It’s easy to find outright failures, but when faced with occasional “anomalies,” debugging is an order of magnitude more difficult.

Monday, October 30, 2006

We have been working through a series of publishing issues since Saturday morning. The problems have been transient: for some users they were more frequent than for others. We are still working to resolve this completely and will post updates. Blogger beta has not been affected.

Posted by Pal at 09:25 PDT

October 30, 2006   2 Comments

Ignorance On Display

Time has an article, Can This Machine Be Trusted?, about the introduction of the new voting systems. Their subhead:

The U.S.’s new voting systems are only as good as the people who program and use them. Which is why next week could be interesting.

together with their final paragraph:

In a country of 300 million, it is far preferable for partisans, poll workers, defensive voting-machine manufacturers and voters to adjust to the new technologies, eliminate their weak spots and work to keep human errors to a minimum. In that way, voting by machine may someday be no more mysterious than making a visit to the ATM.

illustrate a basic problem with a lot of people who select equipment and those reporting on it.

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October 29, 2006   11 Comments

You Weren’t Imagining It

Still having problems:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

There are problems with publishing to blogs. We are working on fixing this. Blogs on the beta are not affected.
Update 9:14 AM (PST): Publishing works now, expect some slowness though as we wrap up fixing this issue.

Posted by Pal at 08:08 PDT

Note: I post about this because Blogger Status is on Blogger. If Blogger is having problems, you can’t see the status reports, which is why Google should move it to another system.

October 29, 2006   Comments Off on You Weren’t Imagining It

Passing the Plate

Florida License Plates

Florida Plate Blogging


Standard Florida Plate

A weekend feature of Why Now.

October 29, 2006   2 Comments

Insurance Woes

People are generally unaware of how bad things can get if the insurance companies decide to play games with your life. You buy a house and you automatically buy insurance. You may not even notice that you are required to have insurance if you have a mortgage, just like getting a car loan. If you can’t get insurance, you can’t have a house with a mortgage.

If you have a business you need insurance. Many jurisdictions require proof of insurance to get a business license. Again, if there’s a bank involved, they want insurance.

Even though they have been making record profits, insurance companies are looking at global warming and the probability of another 2005 hurricane season and deciding that they don’t want to be in the home insurance market in coastal zones. Apparently insurance companies are no longer interested in risk.

Florida is caught in a bind, and the politicians are not willing to come to grips with the problem.

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October 28, 2006   4 Comments

Fall Back

It’s that time a year when we all get to relive the exciting time between 1:00AM and 2:00AM Sunday morning twice on the same day — yes, it’s the end of Daylight Saving Time.

While most of the clocks I use do it automatically, for some reason I have to reset the blog manually. Maybe in the next up-grade, although I have already failed to install the last one.

October 28, 2006   4 Comments