It could be worse... oh, who am I kidding.

Larry Correia lays it out for us here:
I’ll say this for Russia. I’ve actually got more respect for Vladamir Putin than I do for Barack Obama. Now don’t get me wrong. Putin is super-villain evil. I’m not saying he’s good in any way, but I can respect ruthless strength. Barack Obama is a flailing pansy in comparison. Putin takes his shirt off to skin bears. Obama holds Paul McCartney concerts. Putin has executed dissidents and kung-fu fought MI-6 agents in a secret volcano base. Obama gets cranky and whines whenever people dare question him. Putin uses his cyborg laser eye to vaporize people who dare question him, and then he goes back to his harem of sexy KGB seductresses with codenames like Iron Maiden and Black Widow. Sadly, Russia’s leader would kick our leader’s ass in a fight, and that’s just sad. They’ve got the final boss fight from a Chuck Norris movie and we’ve got Steve Urkel.

Oh, those EEEEVIL Quakers!

Via God and Country, regarding the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's response to Christian aid workers charged with proselytizing in Afghanistan:
She said they were “dominionists,” despite the fact that neither of the two organizations espouses a “dominionist” theology. Like Weinstein himself, Burton assigns religious beliefs to those whom she sees fit, regardless of what those people or organizations actually believe. This enables her to continue the MRFF contention they are only “at war” with a “specific sect” of Christians; it’s just that the MRFF gets to determine who is actually in that sect.
... the “sect” they are “at war” with includes the Quakers (who, in Burton’s words, are apparently “willing to use force” to achieve “world domination.” Who knew?).
Amusing. The more I hear about the MRFF, the more I'm convinced that they have to be some kind of avant-garde performance art troupe, the religious/political analogue to the Washington Generals. Because the alternative - that there are people running around who seriously think that Quakers are espousing a doctrine of world domination through force - is just too painful to think about.

Arise, OS/2! ARISE!

Linux Journal is reporting a rumor that IBM may be considering resurrecting OS/2.

Why is Linux Journal interested in this?

Well, there's not a whole lot of technology in OS/2 that's relevant today. If IBM were to take the existing OS/2 code base, and try to pull it into the 21st century, it would be a major undertaking. Lots of people, lots of money, and lots of risk.

On the other hand, if IBM were to take an existing OS that is easily customizable and well known - say, Linux - and extend it to support an OS/2-like user space, that would probably be much simpler. Fewer people, less money, less risk.

Hmm. An IBM-branded and supported "Linux" distribution branded as OS/2? That would be interesting. I used OS/2 in a past life (back in 1994 or thereabouts), and really liked it. Linux with an OS/2-like user space would be a wonderful thing. If they can toss in Windows app compatibility using Wine or something similar, it might just make a dent in the marketplace.

President Christie?

The more I see, the more I like.

Addendum: Apparently, I'm a reverse psychic. Christie asserted that he will not run for president in 2012, explaining:
“‘Cause I’m not crazy, that’s why,” he said after touring a warehouse in Paterson... "I will be governor of New Jersey for the next four years. And I have absolutely no interest in running for president of the United States. None. Zero interest. Zero. None. Close the door. No chance. No way. Under no circumstances. I don’t know any other way I could put it. No hope, don’t try to talk me into it, nothing. Forget it. I’m staying here."
Competent, conservative, committed, and actively uninterested in the job. Perfect qualifications for a president.

You want the truth?

You can't handle the truth. Even though it's the same now as it was almost 15 years ago.

New media success in a nutshell:
My page isn't better than yours, my life isn't more interesting. You just don't have my friends, and they'd rather be nice to me than to you.

Right vs. Wrong

It occurs to me that the vast majority of what passes for "debate" on the internet boils down to "I'm right, and you're wrong. Because I'm right." In advanced cases, there may be some gratuitous use of carefully selected facts in an attempt to justify one's position. Ultimately, though, that's all it is - justification. "This is what I believe, and if you don't agree with me, then you're wrong."

I've seen it too often, in too many forums and venues, for it to be coincidence. I've seen it in people arguing about politics, copyright, game design, literature, science, and religion. It's an observation that I think would hold true whether we were discussing classical Greek etymology or the latest Pokemon game for the Nintendo DS.

Sigh. Sometimes, I think everyone in the world just deserves a good kicking, you know? And, well, if you don't agree with me on that... you're wrong.


It's important to share the intimate details of your life - with your spouse, with your family, with your closest friends. Little details of your hope, dreams and past that only they know about you.


Well, for one thing, doing so allows for the development of a closer, more personal bonds. But mostly, it's so that when you have to travel back in time to stop the zombie raptor invasion of 2012, you'll be able to convince them that yeah, it really is you.

What, exactly, is the purpose of government?

From Aretae:

Because the interests of the elite do not match the interests of the whole of society, the natural flow of governance is for elites to aggregate ever more power, and the populace to become ever more immiserated....

The depressingly elegant thing about this is that the game theory is stable. Take the folks who make decisions, build as small a stable coalition as you can, and divide the spoils among the small coalition. It's as inexorable a solution as gravity, given power politics.

This is what governments do when they can. The core challenge of government is how to prevent that.

Synthetic Gemstones

A couple of years ago, I picked up a small treasure-chest like box at a yard sale... my idea was to put together a treasure hunt for my girls and their friends. Since we live on a farm, I was thinking that we could make it a real treasure hunt... put together an "old" map, a story about a revolutionary war treasure hidden in the hills, toss in some clues, and voila! - let the kids go to town searching for the lost treasure.

The chest got shelved, and nothing really came of it. Until this summer, when the Geek Dad blog did a short article on "Treasure Hunting with Secret Codes". Hmmm... I've got the chest, I've got some idea of a story to tell; what else would we need? Well, treasure, of course!

Enter, stage right: Penhec Gems.

So... they're not cheap gems; but they are gems. Chemically speaking, of course. Some snobs would insist that unless you pried them out of the cold, dead earth yourself, they're not real gems. To these troglodytes, I say, "Bah!" If it looks like a ruby, feels like a ruby, and tastes like a ruby, man, it's a ruby. Ahem.

Anyways - I'm thinking that a few large gems (say, one per kid participating), a couple of handfuls of smaller gems, a bunch of loose quarters, and some "gold" Sacajawea dollar coins would make a fine treasure for a bunch of kids to find. It might end up being $100-$200 in "treasure", but if we did it right, it would be the kind of thing that the girls would make for some really wonderful memories.

Quote of the Day

From Moe Lane, over at Red State:

Yes, I know that technically TARP is a Bush-era program. Guess what? Bush. Isn’t. Here.
I think I need to develop a habit of interrupting anyone who mentions Bush with those last five words. "Guess what? Bush. Isn't. Here."

Did I miss the point?

Via Geekdad:
Piracy is illegal! We let you into this review with your cell phones, but if anyone pulls one out, even just to check the time, and I see the screen, I will kick you out of this story! ... Because shaking phone-camera pix of a movie screen will take food out of the mouths of Hollywood movie studio executives.
I'm sure there's a negative aspect to piracy as well, but he never gets around to mentioning it.

A quote from a favorite author...

If I recall correctly, this is one the the basic tents of Kyfho, from F. Paul Wislon's outstanding novel, "An Enemy of the State":
Never initiate force against another. That should be the underlying principle of your life. But should someone do violence to you, retaliate without hesitation, without reservation, without quarter, until you are sure that he will never wish to harm - or never be capable of harming - you or yours again.
Something that, apparently, the Israelis once knew... but have since forgotten.