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I Hate Linux

Friday, March 31, 2006

'La Raza' always makes me laugh

As soon as I remember where I got this site from I will give proper credit, in the mean time...

One of the most entertaining and infuriating aspects of the immigration 'battle' going on right now are the pictures. Many that I have seen have been of how the pro-open border side makes themselves look bad, like the flying of the Mexican flag higher than an American flag that was hung upside down. Quite disgraceful.

Today... I found this hilarious and disturbing site.

While many of the pictures and signs are entertaining and show a great lack of foresight on how to make their case to middle America as well as Washington, they also hurt themselves greatly. One reasonable quote appeared midway down the page:

Great numbers of our people grew eventually to over half a million or more people.
Great numbers of our people grew eventually to over half a million or more people. We should be allowed pride in our heritage by waving the flag that represents the majority Mexican descent people of the Spanish language speakers. Mexican and "Central American" people are one people, along with all Indigenous people of this continent. There were a lot of Salvadorean and Guatemalan flags there too. But the American flags dominated because of the "bad press" from the march against 187.


Seems pretty reasonable, after all, much of the protesting against Prop 187 looked very similar to what we've seen so far and helped to lead to its passing.

Here's the problem though, higher up on the page we see this gem:
One of the more negative parts of the march was when American flags were passed out to make sure the marchers were looked on as part of "America".


So... they want American flags to be seen so as not to make them look bad... but then don't want to appear as part of America? Brilliant!

It gets better though, signs that proclaim that "All Europeans are illegal" and claims of the protestors being "indigenous" to this continent... forget the fact that a great many of them have European blood in them... or have they forgotten that 60% of the population of Mexico and much of the surrounding region are mestizo (mixed native and European)?

I seriously wonder how many of them forgot that little fact. Oh well... let them continue in their blissful ignorance while they alienate the middle and likely cause even harsher immigration reform.

Was Bush wrong about the ports deal?

During the semi recent fuss about the possibility of a Dubi based company running US ports, many accusations were thrown about of racism, protectionism, anti-Americanism, and much more. On one side was President Bush pushing for the deal to go through, and on the other a majority of the congress opposing it.

It seems now that after the fact... President Bush was wrong about his support, but not for why you would think...

Remember Hamas? After their recent victory in the Palestinian elections and their new found legitimate control of the Palestinian Territories, I wondered if they would now be considered a terrorist state given that the group is considered by the United States to be a terrorist organization.

What does this have to do with Hamas? Some countries like the United States and Canada have cut their funding for assistance to the Palestinian Authority because of the election.

One country in particular hasn't... the United Arab Emirates.

The Bush Doctrine which was first stated as: "make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them" and has since been expanded to include pre-emption and it is debatable if providing financial support to terrorists would be considered harboring them... the US State Department is a little more specific when defining the term 'engage in terrorist activity':

to commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material financial benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons (including chemical, biological, or radiological weapons), explosives, or training-

(bb) to any individual who the actor knows, or reasonably should know, has committed or plans to commit a terrorist activity;


Under this definition then... the United Arab Emirates and... really any country that provides material or financial aid to the newly created Hamas government too would be considered to be terrorists themselves.

Do I think there will be military actions because of this? No.

Do I believe that there will be rhetoric and continued bad blood between those involved? Oh yes.

Granted, the outgoing Fatah government was the political arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a group who is considered by the Israeli government to be a terrorist organization, but unlike Hamas, has recognized the right of the State of Israel to exist. In 1993 Yasser Arafat wrote:

The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in Peace and security.


And

the PLO affirms that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel's right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid.


So now the question is... where else might this go? Only time will tell.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Upcoming Immigration Protest Related Lawsuits

I have enjoyed hearing about the protests in southern California with regards to the immigration legislation currently being discussed in Washington. There is just something about people demanding rights in this country while waving the flag of their country of origin that makes me laugh.

Tonight when taking a look at the main page of Fox News I ran into a picture that made me laugh for a moment... until I realized that will likely turn into a lawsuit and possibly result in the two police officers visibly involved getting spanked rather hard.

No doubt the parents of the student pictured will sue the city and the school for allowing this to happen, but also the parents of each and every student on the bus will file suit for the emotional trauma that their child suffered as a result of witnessing this (what will be called) brutality.

If you will excuse me, I need to get back telling my elected officials to support legislation that secures our border with more agents and a bigger fence, punishes employers who hire illegal's and criminalizes being in this country illegally.

In the mean time though, take a read of this wonderful post over on South Dakota Politics which puts all of this in an interesting light I think.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Only pirates use RARrrr

Not long ago I received a RAR file containing some code for a co-worker who wanted me to look at it... unfortunately I did not have a RAR program installed and suggested that he resend it as a ZIP while sarcastically commenting "No one uses RAR."

A moment later, a near by co-worker commented that most of the videos he downloads are in a RAR format, to which I replied "So you are telling me only pirates use RAR," to which another co-worker chimed in in a piratish tone "Rarrrr."

There we have it... only pirates use RAR files!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Spring 2006 Booklist

At last the time has come for my last semester of graduate studies... and with that... the final two books that I need for it:

Friday, March 17, 2006

Why does Northwest want to be hated by the tall?

Before I begin... I need to say that as those who know me can attest... I do not get angry or pissed off very often. In fact, it generally takes quite a bit to move me from indifference, well past dislike and onto hatred or true anger about something... today, I write about one of those rare things.

I don't know about you... but I hate to fly, at least commercially that is.

Like many I suspect, I can handle the turbulence, heights and air pressure changes. I can even handle the attitudes of the airline staff who treat the passengers like crap and toss luggage around with reckless abandon... what I can't handle, is the complete lack of room for sitting.

Let me first say... I stand 6'4" (1.93 meters) tall, and with me having a few extra lbs to me, I am a big guy and one who doesn't fit well in airline seats. When I do fly, I always have to go for the emergency exit row so that I have at least some leg room.

The last time I flew in a non-exit row, I found my knees painfully wedged against the seatback in front of me, and the wire that keeps the seatback pocket closed running right below both of my knee caps.

If that wasn't painful enough, not long after we were airborne, the person in front of me decided to recline... and after pressing the button and realizing that the seat wasn't moving back with the slight lean he put on it... he leaned forward and thrust his upper body hard onto the seat. Not to be deterred by it's still not moving; he did so again, twice more in fact before turning around to see my knees wedged there, then looking up to see me on the verge of bursting out screaming from the pain... and no, I'm afraid this is not an exaggeration.

In response, I got a very insincere "sorry!" out of him.

With the recent news that Northwest has decided to begin charging $15 to passengers who wish to sit in seats with my legroom... it seems then that I will not be flying any more.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I see it as extortion when they go from a system that tries to accommodate those whose legs are just a little too big for regular seating, and instead attempt to extort them for additional money because they cannot adequately run their business and make a profit in the face of lower cost competitors.

Sure I'm just one guy, but to you Douglas Steenland and the rest of Northwest airlines who says: "Nice knee caps you've got there... it'd be a shame if something were to happen to 'em," I say "I will not be flying with you again, or any airline that has such a policy."

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Alan Cooper: Wow!

Yesterday over on Channel 9 we had the pleasure of seeing a video with Alan Cooper after his presentation at the recent Patterns and Practices Summit at Microsoft and gave a rather enlightening discussion on dealing with users.

One of my favorite lines of his was:

The thing is that the users don’t know, you can’t get blood from a stone, users are got a good source of software, you’ve got to have software built by experts, and you’ve got to have software designed by experts. Software is too complicated and too big and too costly and too difficult to let users have anything to do with it.


As it turns out... he’s got a few books, namely:


I will need to pick those bad boys up before too long as I am quite interesting in hearing more of what he’s got to say.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Did the creators of South Park predict the Muslim riots?

Like many since the late 90's I have enjoyed the antics of South Park and their often over the top take on various different issues and in that time, they have been pretty vicious to many different groups and people, but often with a special focus on religion while poking fun at Mormons, Catholics, Christians, Jews, and Scientologists.

Such shenanigans haven't always been enjoyed by all, the latest case of this is Isaac Hayes, the voice of Chef leaving the show because of his offense at an episode from last season named Trapped in the Closet that was pretty harsh towards Scientology... a 'faith' that Isaac Hayes subscribes to.

Given the shows willingness to poke fun at so many different groups I've begun to wonder why they haven't yet gone after Islam.

Sure, in their movie Team America: World Police someone speaking in Arabic would say: "Dirka dirka, jihad jihad, Mohamed Ali, dirka dirka", very similar to what the terrorists in in the episode Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants say... but both were mocking terrorists, not Islam.

Can it be... that Tray Parker and Matt Stone do not fear the legion of lawyers that could be spawned from those they mock, or eternal hellfire and damnation if they mocked the wrong religion... but do fear a possible terrorist attack, suicide bomber or massive Muslim protest outside of their offices?

Monday, March 13, 2006

President Daschle?

It is being reported that former Senator and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is considering a run for president in 2008.

Maybe I’m crazy... but I don’t think he’s got a chance then. While he would likely be a more popular and less hated Democrat candidate when compared with Hillary... I suspect he’s been out of the public eye for too long for people to really take him seriously.

I always was of the opinion that had Daschle run in 2004 he likely would have received the nomination from the Democrats, after all, back then Daschle was quite well known, even if as an obstructionist... now he’s just a man who couldn’t even hold on to his position of power and Senate seat in 2004.

Besides, the last thing South Dakota needs is another McGovern where the candidate from our state not only loses by a wide margin, but also doesn’t even carry their home state.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Which would be worse... an abortion by a doctor... or a non-doctor?

I don't know about you, but I've been having a blast in reading the various different views on the South Dakota abortion ban on both sides.

As I may have said previously, I don't have a particularly strong view either way on the issue as I think there is another issue related to it that needs to be discussed and decided on first (more on that another time).

Aside from the senseless screams of victory on the anti-abortion side as if all of this is over and their victory certain, and the cries of murder, unfairness and boycott on the pro-abortion side, its also been interesting to see some of the misinformation being spread, and one of the keys being the lack of exception for cases stemming from rape or incest from people who seem to not be aware of the concept of the morning after pill (aka Plan B). Heck, even the South Dakota legislature discussed this very issue.

Aside from all of that, one recent and interesting post came from a person who is putting together information for South Dakota woman on how to perform an abortion on the theory that now that South Dakota has made it illegal, pregnant woman may have to have people, other than doctors (or even themselves) perform the abortion.

I could be wrong, but performing an abortion is likely a medial procedure, and in South Dakota it would fall under SL 1984, ch 255, § 4, (Statute 36-29-4):

Practice of medicine not authorized--Licensees exempt. Nothing in this chapter may be construed to authorize the practice of medicine by any person. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to any person licensed pursuant to chapters 36-4 to 36-10, inclusive, while practicing pursuant to that license.


And in doing so, one would be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor according to SL 1984, ch 255, § 28 (36-29-28) which says:

Violation as misdemeanor. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.


Given that the new abortion ban would punish a performing doctor with 5 years under lock and key... I'm forced to wonder (in large part because I have yet to find it), what the punishment would be for a non-doctor who performs an abortion and as a result is practicing medicine without a license and potentially able to be found guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor?

Edit: Thanks to Hot Carl for finding what I couldn’t, namely (Section 22-6-2), which tells us that a Class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by:

(2) Class 2 misdemeanor: thirty days imprisonment in a county jail or five hundred dollars fine, or both.


In addition to the possibility of restitution.

So there we have it... it’s safer (legally at least (excluding any wrongful death suits)) for a non-doctor to perform an abortion in South Dakota. Of course, given the possibility of something going wrong... I think anyone, regardless of what side they are on in the abortion debate would prefer a real doctor doing it if it is going to be done.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Self Defeating Prophesy of the Abortion Debate

Preamble: The following contains a simplified theory of mine based on broad generalizations of human behavior as well as the assumption of no other changes occurring. All mathematics are based on linear extrapolation of current numbers and do not change over time. In reality, social, political and technological changes can and will upset this theory; however the underlying concept remains unchanged.

In general...

  • Democrats and other liberals are for abortion

  • Republicans and other conservatives are against abortion

  • Children grow up to have similar political beliefs as their parents

  • Those who have abortions believe that abortion should remain legal


Based on this... I predict that one day Roe v. Wade will be overturned making abortion illegal in this country, and within 2-3 generations it will likely be made legal again.

Don't follow or believe me? Let's consider South Dakota as an example...

According to the media reports on the recently signed abortion ban here in South Dakota, approximately 800 abortions are carried out here every year in a state of just 754,844 people (according to the 2000 census (which is used for all other population figures)).

Let's assume for a moment that if the law was to go into effect and prevented all abortions in this state, woman seeking to terminate their pregnancy did not go out of state to have such a procedure done, nor would they use other means abort the pregnancy and instead bring the child to term...

Over 25 years, with 800 abortions a year no longer occurring, some 20,000 people would be alive who would not have been otherwise, and of them, approximately 5,600 of which would be of voting age. While a relatively small number in being only ~1% of voting age persons, they would be a growing number.

Fast forward another 25 years, to a time where abortion has been illegal and none have been performed in 50 years. The voting block made up of likely Democrats who would have otherwise been aborted has grown to 25,600, or about 4.5% of the total potential voters, a serious number for such a small state as ours where many elections have been decided by a much smaller margin. For example, in the 2002 senate race incumbent Tom Daschle (D) lost to John Thune (R) by only 4,534 votes.

I have been describing numbers that would happen in South Dakota. What about the 1,370,000 some abortions that occur nationally every year? Over a 50 year timeframe, 43,840,000 new Democrat leaning voters would exist.

I'm sure that at some level Democrats like the idea of having nearly 44 million new voters 50 years from now that alone represents 8% of the US population (based on 2000 figures (where the new block is added to the population)). With such strength in numbers, a side-effect of the banning of abortion would be the eventual re-legalization of it throughout the country.

This would mean that banning abortion would lead to a victory for Democrats and those on the pro-abortion side right? Wrong!

With abortion once again legal, the Democrat numbers would no longer rise at the same rate as they had for the previous 50 years because of the 'free' votes they would receive through the outlawing of abortion. Instead they would effectively (and slowly) kill themselves off while Republicans would continue to maintain their numbers.

Assuming no population change other than that would occur through the legalization or criminalization of abortion and extrapolating such rates linearly... in the end, no matter what side of the abortion debate a person is on, in all likelihood their view will eventually win... for a time; and through this victory will lead to their sides defeat and the temporary victory of the other side… until the situation reverses again, creating an oscillation of the legality of abortion in this country.

Monday, March 06, 2006

South Dakota Abortion Ban Signed

As most expected, South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds today signed a bill that bans abortion in this state except for in the case to save the life of the mother.

While I we haven’t heard anything major from Kate Looby yet, I expect that she and the rest of Planned Parenthood has already filed for an injunction in federal court before the major news outlets were reporting the bill’s signing.

No matter what side you are on in the abortion debate, this will be an interesting fight.

I am a little surprised how quickly he signed it as I had expected him to spend a little more time to make him look more impartial in the issue.

70-552 Taken, results pending

This morning I had the pleasure (and pain) of taking the beta version of Microsoft exam 70-552 (MCAD Skills to MCPD Windows Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework).

For obvious reasons I cannot say much about it, I will say this though, thank god it is over. 4 hours is given for the test and other related activities, with 3 hours actually devoted to answering ~90 questions makes for a painful, and eventually boring test session.

For the last 15 or so questions I found myself caring a lot less as I just wanted it all to be over with. Fortunately on only a couple of those finalquestions did I choose an answer before fully going through all of the possibilities.

I must say this as well... I am not known for my expert grasp of proper grammar and punctuation... but even I found a few typos on the test.

And now the fun part... waiting! According to the test, my results should be mailed out about 8 weeks after the beta closes on March 12th.

Heres hoping I did well, or at least passed. If I didnt, I at least got a feel for the new direction Microsoft programming tests are likely to go, and frankly, I like the change.