Saturday, December 29, 2007

Jim Crow - Pakistan-style

I didn't know about the background of the some of the opposition to Musharraf. This was found at Sigmund, Carl and Alfred.
The current hatred of Gen. Musharraf has little to do with the nature of his government. His real "crime" is that he is a Muhajir, the son of one of millions of Indian Muslims who fled to Pakistan during partition in 1947. Although it was Muhajirs who agitated for the creation of Pakistan in the first place, many native Pakistanis view them with contempt and treat them as third-class citizens.

Ms. Bhutto herself, as prime minister in the summer of 1995, referred to Pakistan's Muhajirs as "rats" and said they had "bad blood." In an interview with India Today, a Muhajir spokesman responded that "we have bad blood; it was this blood that built this country."

Even for Western-educated Pakistanis like Ms. Bhutto (the scion of an elite Sindhi family), the sight of a common Muhajir like Gen. Musharraf as Pakistan's supreme power holder is intolerable. Pushing for his fall has little to do with "a return to democracy." It is far more a matter of restoring Pakistan's equivalent of Jim Crow.
I'm kind of annoyed about the adulation that was being shown to Bhutto before her assassination. The massive looting of Pakistan's assets during her term in power is being glossed over. Just because she was a woman, corruption of her and her people (including her husband) is being Whitewatered whitewashed.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Voter ID Challenge to Go to Supreme Court

I'm waiting to see how this turns out. I'm strongly in favor of IDs; I've posted about it in the past.

Nah, That Can't Be Right!

Enforcement works! Who'd thunk it?

Biodefense Program Shut Down

I initially was surprised that I hadn't heard more about the problems at the Texas A & M lab, but, on reflection, decided that it's probably more important to spend news time on the Spears sisters .

Lack of Cohesion is NOT Necessarily a Negative

This story, from United Press, looks at the current Republican presidential pack as a negative. I suppose that if there were a clear-cut winner, they would criticize the unity as "stultifying". I rather like the division of support - it allows Republicans to debate and decide the future of their party. I hope the Democrats do the same.

New Jersey Imprimatur

Now, THIS is downrigt quirky.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Facebook Apps

I'm not terribly interested in playful, interactive games - I truly don't have the time right now. So, the applications/widgets on Facebook have been largely ignored by me.

BlogFriends is the exception. I see it as a way to promote your blog to a new audience - and one that is growing exponentially.

Bloggers don't post in a vacuum. We try to gain a larger readership, and do so for varying reasons.

  • Some, like myself, have a passionate interest in particular topics. We like to think that what we write may have some influence, and may nudge the discussion towards a particular conclusion.
  • Some just enjoy writing, and enjoy knowing that what they've written has reached a wider audience.
  • Some sell ads, and want to increase revenue.
  • It can be an addictive thrill to realize that we are not alone in our thoughts, opinions, and interests. The ability to reach out and touch like-minded people is like water to the parched plant - it is life-sustaining.

If you haven't tried the app, do so - you can, in the app, adjust a slider to indicate your interest in reading more by particular writers. Over time, you can calibrate your list of BlogFriends.

Monday, December 24, 2007

BlogFriends on Facebook

I've been playing around with the Facebook apps lately. Some of them are kind of silly, the type of little gizmos that are intended to pass time when bored. Others have a real potential, and one of them is BlogFriends. The ability to link your posts to a larger audience may be the killer app of Facebook.

I've joined, and will be checking out my stats to see whether it adds readership.

Email me if you want to be added to my friends network.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Apple Has Been Rescued!

I have the most wonderful SIL (son-in-law) on the planet - maybe even the Universe! A drink was spilled on my MacBook, and, when I called Apple, I was told that any repairs would NOT be covered under AppleCare. And, that the repairs would void my warranty. The cost of repairs was estimated at $600-$800.

I was seriously heartsick. I didn't have the time to send in the notebook for repairs, let alone having the money to pay for it.

My SIL offered to try to fix it. I had nothing to lose, so I OK'd it.

I'm back. He took the entire notebook (and the optical drive) completely apart, cleaned everything, and it works like a charm. He really doesn't work on MAC products. He's a PC person. But, also an absolute genius.

Send me an email at this link if you have a repair problem, and want David to take a look at it. I've seen him bring seemingly dead PCs back to life better than a TV MD.

Christmas Round-up

I have to be honest - although the motives of the songwriters/singers may be less-than holy, I love Christmas songs.

This next story would have been impossible in my younger days, as the Soviet Union was officially atheist.

I'm guessing this next item falls under the "Naughty" provision of the season.

Strange science:

Have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Who Says College Students Aren't Learning Enough?

This is sickening.

I really don't understand how a man convicted of rape can major in "administrative justice", without it raising red flags.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Annual Christmas Cold

I've had a scratchy throat for the last week, as well as all the other icky symptoms that traditionally signal the onset of rhinitis (a simple cold). Today, after coughing for over an hour, I finally got smart.

I hunted down the nebulizer.

For the non-asthmatics, that's a machine that mixes an asthma solution with air, and pumps it into my respiratory system.

That dry, irritating cough? An early warning sign that I'm having an attack - it's dry, because asthmatics can't move the secretions out of their respiratory system. The medication helps me do that. After a treatment, I start to get what doctors call "a productive cough". It's gross, but effective.

I've been lucky for the last year - few problems with attacks, able to manage on daily meds alone. But, one cold can trigger a problem.

The trick is to get it dealt with early, before it escalates.

Which brings me to my topic of today. I read Ron Silver's latest post. It's about fear - what is unreasonable fear, and what is reasonable fear.
Pain, though unpleasant and sometimes debilitating, is at times, necessary. It is our body’s way of warning us.

Fear, though unpleasant and sometimes debilitating, is an equally valuable instrument of preservation. When we are cut, it is natural to cry out in pain; and when those who would cherish our destruction threaten us, we ought to be afraid.

In February of 2004, NYU held a conference about fear. The conference was called “Fear: Its Uses and Abuses.”

Go check out the post, and read the reasoned arguments of a reasonable man. Not a common quality in Hollywood.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm Back, and I'm BAD!

My MacBook is back.

Apple handled the fried cord professionally and in a way that ensured that I will be telling the story to everyone in a way that should capture them devoted new customers.

I've never had such a good experience with anyone in the PC world (with the exception of Laptops for Less, a fine company.

The part arrived quickly, the damaged one can be returned for credit. The support staff was professional, and courteous. And, very understanding about the fact that not having my laptop was REALLY horrible. They were, shall we say, empathetic.

What a nice experience!

How to Send Cards to Troops

Via Debbie Schlussel, I found out how to send cards to US troops, wishing them a Merry Christmas.
To send one through Senator Sessions' office, you must include the notation "Christmas Cards for Our Troops," sending it to:

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions
335 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-0104
Attention: Christmas Cards for Our Troops

Or you can send it through E.D. Hill at FOX News:

E.D. Hill
FOX News
1211 Ave. of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Attention: Christmas Cards for Our Troops

Or, consider sending an electronic greeting.

Other things to do to cheer up the troops

  • Volunteer at a VA hospital. The need to help continues long after the return stateside.

  • Call your local Armed Services base, and volunteer to help with holiday meals, gifts, or delivery. Nothing makes the Armed Forces happier than to hear that those of us at home have treated their families kindly.

  • Be there for returning troops. Some volunteer at airports to greet the returning soldiers, some provide services to families with deceased soldiers. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars put flags on gravesites for holidays - consider giving a few hours to assist.

If you can think of any other ways to show your support, leave a message in the comments.

Fight Back Against Earmarks

I have seen the future, and it is EXCELLENT!

Captain's Quarters deserves the credit for alerting me to this treasuretrove of information. It is fully searchable, and allows you to see which villains snakes-in-the-grass politicians have been picking your pocket.

Also, go read the story about how it all came about, as well as drop in at the nonprofit Sunlight Foundation, who also played a part in making it happen. Feel free to show your gratitude by making a donation.

This may be the tool that finally allows ordinary citizens to grab back the reins of democracy. Before the next debate, fire the site up in your browser. When you hear a candidate make claims about his/her contributions to the electorate, search by state, and find out WHO made the contributions. Probably you.

Why I Didn't Post

I came home with the intent to catch up on events - including The Blogs 4 Borders videoburst (don't miss it)...

However...APPARENTLY I ran over my Mac power adapter, and couldn't juice up the Mac. I didn't realize just how fragile they are - it seems that mashing them with a rolling lab cart (QUITE heavy, about 100 pounds of weight) isn't exactly a good idea.

Who knew?

However, Apple was nice, and covered it under its hardware warranty, so is shipping a new part. It should be here tomorrow - 1 day after I ordered it. Good service.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What a Way to Go!

You'll die from a Heart Attack during Sex.

Your a lover not a fighter but sadly, in the act of making love your heart will stop. But what a way to go.

'How will you die?' at

I didn't see that coming!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Eternally Adolescent

A funny thing happened to me this last Sunday. I ran into my first Eternal Adolescent.

Now, man-children are common. There are the men who, in the presence of women, act helpless about responsibility and seem to be yearning for Mummy.

There are men who refer to themselves and friends as "the boys", and seem to be on a lifelong escapade with the other charter members of the "wimmen-haters club".

And, there are men who reach mid-life, and jettison wife, children, and hard work for endless pleasure and pitiful striving to keep old age at bay.

All of these, I have met. But the Eternal Adolescent was new to me.

He was sitting in Panera when I arrived. My husband and I sat down, and I happened to be facing him, with his lunchmate. She appeared to be a fashionably tousled, ponytailed divorcee (I don't know how I knew, I just looked at her and said, "divorced". She crinkled her nose at him, and laughed at all his antics.

And antics they were. I watched, astounded, to see him lift his lip in a curl of disdain (picture a Valley Girl saying, "Oh, ... my God!"), and shake his head and roll his eyes, EXACTLY like a typical Saturday Night Live sketch of a kid expressing his disgust with his - like - REALLY out of touch parents. He did this repeatedly, while expressing his opinion on multiple topics - politics, those IDIOTS who were - well - REPUBLICANS, of all things, the stupidity of modern life, WHAT-EVER!

When not "expressing" himself, he sat with a vacant and frankly stupid look on his face. He wasn't listening, just not on stage at present. He sat there until the conversation gave him another opportunity to again be the center of attention.

He looked like a pseudo-sophisticated adolescent. I doubt he ever married, fathered a child, or took on any serious responsibility in his life. Amazingly, although his hair was almost all grey, his face lacked the lines that indicate a certain gravitas.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finally, Some Time to Blog!

First, the campaign:

This project is just like one I did in my senior year.

OK, we know she can sell books, and we know she can promote gifts and movies, but can she deliver a President?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I've been working hard to catch up on work-related and grad-school-related stuff. I was out of town this weekend, and didn't have a chance to get on the web until today.

I just read of the shootings in CO. Frankly, I'm suspicious of any shootings that involve churches, particularly when two occur in a relatively small area in a short time. Too many Christians have been targeted in this world; it seems unlikely that it's just a random crazy.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Machine President

I'm going to make a prediction about the next president - he/she will be the president with the best professional organization.

What do I mean by "professional"?

Not necessarily paid. Interns, committed (and financially secure) volunteers, true believers.

What won't happen is the massive numbers of high school and college students on vacation, teachers on summer break, and other typical volunteers who provide assistance to campaigns.

That's because, long before American schools release their students and teachers, the campaign will be over - all but the actual nomination. The race to have early primaries will drain a lot of the excitement and enthusiasm from campaigns, at least until the conventions, late in the summer.

And that may change the apparatus of campaigns completely. Expect more retirees to work for candidates; that will change the concerns and demographics. This may lead to a reduction in voting. I'm calling it for fewer people voting than ever before - they won't have participated in the process, they won't know the candidates (the candidates will be competing for attention, just before the primaries, with Sweeps Month, rather than summer re-runs), and they won't have a personal interest in the process.

This may be the last election controlled by machines and the MSM.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Kucinich - Not Out Yet

I'm tellin' you, don't be surprised if Kucinich makes a half-way decent showing in Iowa - perhaps even a dizzying 3-4%.

It won't last, however. He will benefit from the fact that Iowa is such a little state. But his brand of populism has a small, but fervent, troop of admirers. And Iowa is a state that likes old-fashioned populism.

Tibetan Culture Continues to See Inroads from China

I would suspect that the mandatory examinations will impose a China world view on Tibet. I'm still waiting for the liberals to protest this cultural imposition as they would an American incursion into the culture. Of course, the difference is that American cultural invasions are voluntary; China's are mandatory, and imposed with the threat of violence.

And US Teachers Think Their Job is Tough!

I know teachers complain about the rules in their schools all the time. Sometimes, the things parents say about the way you do things seems picky, and teachers feel totally misunderstood.

I apologize to all the people I formerly had that thought about. This poor teacher has the situation to top all situations.

CA to Split Electoral Votes?

The following may seem like a good idea at the time, but I have a feeling that it may bite CA in the butt in the future. Last time, the winner-takes-all scenario helped George Bush, but how would backers of this feel when the state can no longer deliver all their votes to the Dems, but only half? Which is the likelier outcome of the initiative.

More Monkey Business

It's not really about monkeys.

But I couldn't resist the pun.

There are a few aspects of science that are universally misunderstood. One of the most misunderstood is what Darwin theorized.

For that's what Darwin's original writings were = a theory. Not a belief. Which is why I have to suppress a sigh every time I read something like this:
Twice as many Americans believe in God and half again as many believe in a literal devil than the scientific theory of evolution, a new survey finds. Indeed, Darwin’s theory barely outpolls UFOs and witches.
Read the rest of the post, from Outside the Beltway. The picture alone is worth it.

Monthly Update

More or less - I didn't check to see the exact date. The Christmas Chaos is over, and both husband and I are back to school (him to fu...