filkertom: (enoughalready)
Breaking news this morning: Five dead in Illinois shooting.


Enough with the goddamn guns.

Enough enough enough.

I haven't even had my fucking Egg McMuffin yet, and a half-dozen people have been shot.

Y'know what, gun-rights-über-alles folks? You're correct. Guns don't kill people. PEOPLE WITH GUNS KILL PEOPLE. A lot more easily than they do with pretty much any other method short of WMD.

When I can't get through my freakin' morning web pages without a bunch of people being shot, that's fuckin' it.
filkertom: (doom)
I have three printers in the house. Two wireless.

For some reason, which I am unable to fathom, my desktop computer will print to none of them.

It will scan from the one.

I got the old (2008, Vista, aiee) laptop to print yesterday. Today... nothing. I got a couple of pages by plugging the wireless printer into the laptop, which kinda defeats the purpose. Couldn't scale the damn PDF properly. Designed something with Avery's site and software, and it couldn't match its own template. After I unplugged the USB and tried it in the main 'puter again (with no printing as the result), I plugged it back into the laptop. Now it won't print.

I have been trying to print some business cards and CD labels, basically, since MillenniCon.

I have spent more than three hours a day every day this week (including Sunday) trying to coax the printers into producing. Nothing useful. No. Thing. Uninstall, reinstall, scour, expunge, download new drivers, find the original CD, doesn't effing matter.

They. Do. Not. Work.

Oh, pardon me, the iPad can print easily. Although I don't have any good app to play with the PDF, so I can't scale the doc properly, and I really don't want to learn another app today, I have shit to do.

I don't know what the fuck to do at this point.

Sorry, I just really had to vent.

How's your day?
filkertom: (jawdrop)
If you're in the market for a web site design and content management suite, one of the biggies is FREE, today only. Image-Line's EZGenerator can be had for the download and registration at Giveaway of the Day. (Yes, Image-Line is the same company that has FL Studio, the former Fruity Loops.)

(Note that when I say "registration", I mean you have to create an account at Image-Line and download a small registry file, which you activate by double-clicking it. A number of the ungrateful children in comments at GAOTD seem to think this is a problem, and I suppose in their own way they are Sticking It To The Man or something. GAOTD comments are nearly as bad as Yahoo comments, honestly -- people complaining about free commercial software is never pretty, especially when it's too complex for them. One guy honestly recommends that, rather than download this web site software, people should learn to code HTML with a text editor. Which is a useful thing, but I can only assume he also likes assembling toothpick Taj Mahals. But I'm not cranky.)

Any other cool freebies we should know about?


Jul. 31st, 2011 05:48 pm
filkertom: (Default)
The current threat to the world's economy, posed by the radical-right nutbars of the G.O.P., has nothing whatever to do with fiscal responsibility. Lest it be forgotten:
  1. The debt ceiling has to be raised so that we have the authorization to pay money we've already borrowed and now must pay back.
  2. We have the money to do that.
  3. The Republicans in the House are holding this, the good credit name of the U.S., hostage so that they can cut spending to government.
  4. They only want to cut spending to the parts of the government they don't like.
  5. The Republican excuse is that we are way in the hole. The reason we're in this hole is primarily because of the Republican party, indeed many of the same people who authorized (among other things) humongous unnecessary tax cuts for rich people, two off-the-books wars, and a Medicare drug plan breathtaking in its stupidity.
  6. There are no increased revenues in any of the deals out there, because everyone knows taxes are bad, right? Except taxes are what pays for civilization. You know, street repair, police & fire protection, pollution control, food and water and drug inspection, that sort of thing. The stuff that's falling apart right now because Republicans in power, both in Washington and in states across the country, are telling everybody we need austerity, when what we need is to get the frickin' money into play.
  7. Not to mention the dissection of the social safety net, which we really need right now because there aren't any jobs.
  8. Jobs! We have to protect the "job creators" -- rich people -- from paying too much in taxes or they won't create jobs. Except their taxes were lowered ten years ago, and they promptly took jobs to cheaper, foreign markets and racked up the profits.
  9. You know what creates jobs? Supply and demand. That is, people -- employed people -- spending money. Workers. Their families. The ones who don't have money, and can't get employed.
  10. This is all Obama's fault. I only say that somewhat facetiously. That is the tone and the phrasing that the rotten Republican thugs who have no concern for anything except Their Side Winning. But a lot of the blame can be laid at the feet of The Only President We've Got, who is such a warm and caring man who wants everybody to play nice together and is so certain that he can appeal to the angels of the G.O.P.'s better natures that he has bargained away half the fucking government to a bunch of insane thugs who have latched onto the fact that, rather than say, Enough Is Enough, he will offer even more, and they will pay no cost whatever, either in demands or in reputation.
The recession "ended" two years ago, for the ruling class. The rest of us are still fucked, still desperate, still waiting for something resembling sanity, still hoping that some of the people in Washington remember that their job is not to Win One For The Team but to take care of the interests of the people they represent.

It ain't happening.

O Lord, if you're really up there as some say you are, I beseech you: Bestow upon me a big honkin' winner in the Mega Millions, so that I may gather mine closest and best loved and a bunch of my friends and move to someplace sane before the shitheads and fucktards passing themselves off as Very Serious People in Washington break this country beyond repair.

Lacking that, please tell President Obama that you can't negotiate with crazy people, and you really shouldn't try.

I know, I know. Too effing late.
filkertom: (Default)
This is the state things have degenerated to in our country:
A 59-year-old man has been jailed in Gastonia, N.C., on charges of larceny after allegedly robbing an RBC Bank for $1 so he could get health care in prison. Richard James Verone handed a female teller a note demanding the money and claiming that he had a gun, according to the police report.

He then sat down and waited for police to arrive. "… I say, 'I'll be sitting right over here, on the chair, waiting for the police,'" Verone told reporters, recalling the June 9 robbery in an interview from Gaston County Jail.

And wait for the police, he did.

"He's sitting on the sofa as you walk in the front door," the bank teller said in a 911 call.

Police arrested Verone where he sat. He was unarmed.
Bankers have obscene profits and golden parachutes.

Members of Congress and their cronies have superb health care, paid for by us.

The insurance companies make money hand over fist.

And the rest of us are just fuckin' hosed.

To the point where it seems like a very reasonable, even responsible, choice to get yourself arrested for armed robbery, if only you can get the care you need.


We need single payer, and we need it NOW. We need the insurance companies, leeching off the country and doing nothing except taking money as middlemen, to go away NOW. We need the motherfuckers who broke our economy in prison, and we need it NOW. We need their too-big-to-fail banks to fuckin' FAIL, because if we can then by FSM they can.

Yeah, I know none of it's practical, and none of it will happen.

Fuck that.

If it doesn't happen eventually, our nation is doomed.
filkertom: (Default)
Goddammit, I know I'm not perfect in this myself, but I try -- really, I swear I try.

Is it too much to ask of fanfic writers to learn how to punctuate?

I mean, yeah, a lot of them are in their teens. I, and most everyone I know or know of, had learned punctuation by that time. Most of us started learning it about the time we started to read. That would be age three or four or five.

I can live with misspellings. (Although the number of times I see "loose" when the writer means "lose" makes me crazy.) But, holy frijoles, if you're going to present your epic AU, the least you can do is to either make it readable or put it in lolspeak so I have no expectations that you might be literate.

Sorry. Rant off.

So. Read any good fanfic lately?
filkertom: (Default)
I have no idea what the hell's happened to my country.
A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Phil Jensen, a committed foe of abortion rights, alters the state’s legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person “while resisting an attempt to harm” that person’s unborn child or the unborn child of that person’s spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman’s father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion—even if she wanted one.
I bet this ratbastard wants smaller government, too.

What the fuck is wrong with these insane assholes who have to control women's bodies and sexuality, force people to alter their lives, save fetuses they don't give a shit about once the kid is born, and stick their noses in everyone else's business? Because their God tells them to? That little First Amendment thing just doesn't mean what it says, after all.

It doesn't even matter that this is as unconstitutional as it gets. It's that the nutbars are so thoroughly in charge of the asylum, the rational is so thoroughly divorced from the actual conversation, that this foul creature feels he can comfortably submit a bill like this, one that would make it legal to kill someone performing, or possibly even getting, a legal medical procedure. Oh, yeah, that's "pro-life".

Jayzus fucking fuck.
filkertom: (Default)
I needed to snarl this morning, on why "health care" is divided up into four classes, three of which are apparently much lesser than the others for no apparent reason. You can check it out on Daily Kos.
filkertom: (Default)
Sarah Palin's phrase that pays. (A different write-up at dKos, with different links.)

The other day, I swore to not get into any violent rhetoric, not that I ever got into much besides wanting to smack a few people in the heads. And I shall continue that. But I think a few choice insults are applicable here.

To wit: Sarah Palin is a grotesque, offensive, attention-grabbing fool with delusions of competence. I would not trust her to handle any more responsibility than that of a diner waitress, and not a senior one. She is shallow and fatuous on her best days, violence-prone and violent-minded on her worst. Yet now that she's being called on her unique contributions to our national discourse she's doing her best to not only scrub the evidence but to make herself out to somehow be a victim.

The victims were the people shot and killed Saturday. The victims are the dead and wounded and their families.

And to invoke "blood libel" in the attempted murder of a Jew is obscene.

Andy Warhol was, unfortunately, wrong. Sarah Palin's fifteen minutes were up long ago. But, as the saying goes, "How can I miss you if you won't go away?"
filkertom: (Default)
There are a lot of 'em this morning, but Athenae and LaFeminista speak for me.
filkertom: (Default)
I don't know if it's the minimal software I've added on, or the XP SP3 which certainly seemed to work before the damn CPU/mobo went belly-up or if I've got the wrong connections on the drives or if USB 2.0 isn't as fast for me or what, but ever since I had to do that full re-install last month, I've had nearly constant system stuttering. As in, every few seconds, the thing will just stop for a moment. Or audio or video will stall.

Doesn't matter what program, doesn't matter how big or small.

Something seems to be constantly polling the drives, but I can't narrow it down.

Needless to say, this is an extreme ass-pain for playing games or listening to music. But when you're trying to create music, it's a deal-breaker.

I ended up getting a new sound card, because the new mobo's onboard sound is crap and Creative's alleged driver update system doesn't effing work and the system keeps saying my X-Fi Xtreme Gamer "cannot start (code 10)". This is, apparently, a fairly common problem, which I'd never heard of because the damn thing worked fine on my previous install.

The biggest difference is that the last computer was an Intel Core 2 Duo, and this is an AMD Phenom II X2 555 (Black Edition). I've never had problems with AMD before, and if I had the money I would go over to Micro Center and get an Intel CPU/mobo and an OEM copy of Windows 7 and just say fuggit.

I have tried real-time monitors. I have tried overclocking. I have tried BIOS settings. I have tried AMD-specific dual-core optimizers. I have tried Raoul Mitgong, but he didn't help much. I have tried defragging, process hunting, service shutdowns, virtual memory rearrangement, and swapping the slots of actual memory chips.

At some point in the next three weeks, I'm likely to redo the whole damn thing again. Not looking forward to it, but there it is. Any other suggestions? Suggesting switching to Mac or Linux will be met with wads of wet toilet paper.
filkertom: (Default)
Some things truly never change. The neoconservative thirst for war, for example:
Here is where Obama is likely to prevail. With strong Republican support in Congress for challenging Iran's ambition to become a nuclear power, he can spend much of 2011 and 2012 orchestrating a showdown with the mullahs. This will help him politically because the opposition party will be urging him on. And as tensions rise and we accelerate preparations for war, the economy will improve.

I am not suggesting, of course, that the president incite a war to get reelected. But the nation will rally around Obama because Iran is the greatest threat to the world in the young century. If he can confront this threat and contain Iran's nuclear ambitions, he will have made the world safer and may be regarded as one of the most successful presidents in history.
Actually, Broder, you evil shit, you certainly are suggesting that the president incite a war to get reeelected. That is precisely what you are suggesting.

I understand your point, of course, because war is great for spurring economies. Oh, wait, we're already in two wars, and they're a huge part of the reason our economy utterly sucks right now. Hmmm... maybe it's the opposite of the original Star Trek movie series -- only an odd number of wars is good.

Further, as Dean Baker points out:
If spending on war can provide jobs and lift the economy then so can spending on roads, weatherizing homes, or educating our kids. Yes, that’s right, all the forms of stimulus spending that Broder derided so much because they add to the deficit will increase GDP and generate jobs just like the war that Broder is advocating (which will also add to the deficit).
It really never seems to occur to the pundits and the political leaders that using the power of government spending for the peoples' benefit will help everyone.

More to the point, though, it really never seems to occur to them that wars are bad things. Especially wars of choice. Which we used to call "invasions" when I was younger.
filkertom: (Default)
[Sorry for the length of this, but a few people have said I really should take out the cut-tags so everyone will see this. I appreciate the sentiment, guys.]

It is worth remembering that, no matter how idiotic and clumsy some of our leaders are, how stupid the things they say, how insane the things they do, you can always count on Faux News to up the ante.

They really are a divine little propaganda organ. Their view of the world is perfectly in sync with the oligarchy that's imposed itself upon America. And their fiercely loyal viewers are told, over and over again, that We Report, You Decide.

If only.

Regarding the matter of Park 51, the prospective Islamic community center in a former Burlington Coat Factory store a couple of blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center -- I'm sorry, the mosque near Ground Zero -- Peter J. Johnson of Faux News lets us know in no uncertain terms his standards for citizenship:
"I look for the day when this is no longer about politicians or pain or protest, but about neighbors becoming good neighbors," he said.

"Thank god and our founders for the First Amendment, but God help us if it all comes down to the need to rely upon it," he continued.

"Any American can assert a right. Great Americans give up their rights to help those they share nothing else with but a love of this country," he concluded.
[Emphasis mine.]

As you'll see if you read from the link, the lead-in to this was a swipe at Fred Phelps, the despicable bastard whose extended family calls itself the Westboro Baptist Church, and protests whatever their particular agenda is at various funerals across the country. Johnson conflates both Phelps's tired tirades and the planned Park 51 -- in other words, Phelps's little stunts are the exact same thing as the construction of a community center near the WTC site. Or at least that's what Faux would have you believe.

I loathe Phelps, and have invoked him on my LJ numerous times, and I wish there was a simple public decency law against him disrupting a funeral. But he can say whatever the fuck he wants to say. I disagree with him on every level, but by damn he can say it.

That's what the First Amendment does.

And it does so because governmental stifling of opposing views is the first, most odious, and most effective way to suppress a people.

And I think that if somehow the Founding Fathers and all those who have bled and died over the past 234 years defending our rights could hear Peter J. Johnson's smarmy assertion that "Great Americans" give up their rights, Mr. Johnson would get the biggest historical ectoplasmic bitch-slapping in the history of the world.

But, again, he has the right to say it. I bet he even believes it, on some level. Although he may not apply it to himself.

But he says it, and some people watching Faux will hear it, and take it to heart.

The first intention of it, obviously, is to build public sentiment against the not-a-mosque. And it's another step on the path of the attempt to, at least in public opinion, make Muslims Not As Good As Us. Different. As Stephen King says, Fear Thou The Mutant.

But it works in the same way on the people it tries to rile up against the Muslims.

It says, in essence, "Good citizens -- no, Great Americans -- need to set aside their freedoms when necessary. We'll tell you when it's necessary."

And it becomes that small little bit easier for the oligarchy to control more people, to make the intolerable seem normal, to bludgeon people into shrugging and lowering their heads and not calling attention to themselves.

And the worst thing is, the first instinct for protecting yourself is to not trust anybody. Which also is a great way of making people malleable: divide and conquer, y'know?

You have to trust yourself. You have to trust your friends. You have to cultivate your own information sources, and that can take awhile. The idea is not to mistrust, or even to trust-but-verify, but to get as much truth as you can, and then work out what you can do for yourself, your friends, your community, your country with the truth. No matter what it may be.

And one of my truths is: You do not give up a right.

The Bill of Rights is a pretty cool document. It tries to cover everything, and, given the context of 1775-1789, largely succeeds. (And many of its problems, such as voting rights for minorities and women, have been ironed out over the years.) The most important things is that it does not enshrine spurious things as "rights". It says people should expect a certain amount of goodness in their lives, and these are the rules by which others are not allowed to interfere with that. It sets up very basic rules, largely intended to prevent governmental suppression.

They also work against what has become known as "the tyranny of the majority" -- circumstances where a larger segment of the population approves of something which would oppress or harm a smaller segment.

We see this a lot lately with gay rights, with women's reproductive rights. But it can apply to anything. And lately it's been a backlash against all things Muslim, fostered by talk radio and the Tea Party and Faux News and unfortunately reinforced by such people as Howard Dean who should bloody well know better.

As long as it doesn't violate local codes, as long as the people running it follow the laws, what Park 51 is really doesn't matter. It is the right of the people who want to build it to do so.

And they damn well shouldn't give that up because some xenophobic liars want to scare them into becoming their twisted, docile, head-down, know-your-role-and-shut-your-mouth version of Great Americans.
filkertom: (Default)
As you have doubtless heard, a coal mine in West Virginia blew up yesterday. Twenty-five miners are dead, and four more are still missing. Good thoughts and condolences to the families of those killed or missing.

Of course, the parent company, Massey Energy, seems to have a little problem with violations at that mine. Like, 3,000 of them. Since 1995. In other words, an average of 200 safety violations a year for the past fifteen years.

And what does Massey CEO Don Blankenship have to say about that number?
At the time, when asked about how it was that Massey had chalked up more safety violations in two years than its three biggest rivals, Blankenship said Massey was unfairly targeted by regulators and that,"We don't pay much attention to the violation count."
Mother. Fucker.

If it isn't money in your bank account, you don't notice it, is that it?

This isn't a bill collection notice or advertising insert or plaintive note from your mom saying you never call anymore. This isn't something you just toss on the table behind you, shitwit. This is dangerous stuff in your job environment that can kill people. And now it has. Dozens.

I'm sure you thought you were saving money by ignoring all those violations, not keeping count of 'em. Well, I have a suspicion that you're gonna end up paying out a hell of a lot more to the families of the people who died digging rocks out of the ground for you.

Who knows, maybe you'll even have to close your business. Wouldn't that be a tragedy. Oh, wait. Massey Energy is a big stumbling block on the path to green tech, not to mention you personally have proved yourself irresponsible with other peoples' lives. It wouldn't be a tragedy at all.

I hope coal-darkened faces with wide, sightless eyes haunt your dreams.
filkertom: (Default)
John McCain has built a long political career out of basically nothing. Not even McCain-Feingold, these days. But the biggest nothing of all is how, for years and years and years, he's toed the Republican party line, voting lockstep with the hawks and neocons, and lying out his ass, all while calling himself a "maverick".

And now, he says he never considered himself a maverick.

The first problem, of course, is that there's lots of evidence that he reveled in the "maverick" label. Encouraged it. Used it to describe himself. Repeatedly.

The second problem, of course, is that now he's technically telling the truth.

A maverick would disagree with his party's insane positions now and again. He'd question them, badger them, ask them what the hell's wrong with them for supporting actions and policies that can, and did, do nothing but harm to the country. A maverick would be a maverick for the sake of doing what's right.

By that definition, McCain hasn't been a maverick for a long, long time. He is just another cranky old white guy who's wrong about lots of stuff. The closest he came to a "maverick" move was making Sarah Palin his running mate, but that was heavily encouraged by William "The Bloody" Kristol, one of the great neocon cheerleaders, so actually that was pretty much by their say-so as well.

This is one of the main faces of the Republican party: an old, angry, befuddled liar. A man who demonstrably knows nothing about areas in which he claimed expertise, such as the economy and military matters, and who has reversed his positions to try and garner votes. A man who badly lost the last presidential campaign, yet still has more TV time than pretty much anybody who is not Barack Obama and not on the news shows' payrolls. And still he is respected, even revered. Which leads us to this thought, coming up on the schedule all too soon:

Who in the name of Cthulhu are the Repubs going to nominate in 2012?

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