0-15

I don't talk about football much because, well, there generally ain't much to talk about. But not today! Oh no, today, we got us some delicious news.

0-15.

First. Time. Ever.

Now, I know there will be a ton of piling on about just how bad they are. In fact, tomorrow I'm on vacation and I'm getting up to listen to 101 Mike in the Morning just to hear "Killer" Kowalski sping the Lions latest, historic loss. And they are so very, very, very bad, don't get me wrong.

But, Detroiters (and, aren't we all Detroiters when the Lions are playing), let's lift that chin, swell that chest, and cock a corner of our mouths in a smile. We are historic. When the seasons of every other team, save the champion, are forgotten, who will still be on the tips of every fan's lips? The Lions. Who will be a trivia question on Jeopardy in 2010? The mo-fo'ing Lions! When some the 3rd place Browns fans look back on the 2008 season, what will they remember? Nothing, that's what! They were in third. Who the hell cares about third?

But last... oh yes, last. And not just last, but Dead Effin' Last. Historically Last. That's us. That's forever. Sure, it's not a proud moment in Lions' history, but then what season has been? But, for once, it is something we haven't had in a very, very long time.

Notability.

And that's something to wear on a T-shirt.

Go Lions.

And Get Off My Lawn!

I'll let this one introduce itself.

The Brighton City Council on Thursday approved an ordinance allowing police in the Livingston County community to ticket and fine anyone who is annoying in public "by word of mouth, sign or motions."

Welcome to West Michigan-style legislation. As J-- called it, this is a bunch of fuddy-duddies grumping over "those damned kids", but moving their crotchetiness into civics.

A city attorney says there could be situations where the measure would violate freedom of speech...

Yah think? I can't wait for some well-funded smart-ass to walk around Brighton screaming Blessings From God at passerbys, just to get cited, and then sue the friggen pants off the city. What a bunch of dumb-ass, over-bearing, holier-than-thou bull this is.

Feels just like my hometown.

Detnews.com story

links for 2008-12-19

My First Digital Movie

With the release of The Dark Knight and my complete nerdiness over the movie, I purchased the 2-Disc edition when it was released yesterday. To my surprise, it included a free digital copy (ala iTunes) along with the DVD version. This is my first digital movie as, frankly, I didn't see the point in buying digital-only movies. I hate watching movies on my computer, I don't have a personal laptop that can play them, and I can't watch them on my television (at least not if I buy from Apple). Yes, I lose geek points for not having that ability, but I'm not going to buy a movie through Microsoft that I can't play on any other device, or substitute iTunes for Microsoft and have the same problem. (DRM is stupid.)

But, with The Dark Knight, I plopped in the disc, iTunes saw it and prompted me for the included code and, a couple minutes later, I happily have 1.7 GB of movie to transfer to my iTunes compatible devices. I wouldn't have purchased the digital-only version, but it's a cool incentive to get a up-sale version of a DVD I was going to buy anyway. I'll keep my eyes peeled for stuff like this in the future.

Wow. Metallica's "All Nightmare Long" video

I fell out of Metallica's sway a while ago, giving up around Garage, Inc. But, as I09 said in their post today, "I am officially in love with Metallica again." Well, at least for today.

This video is fantastic. Listening to the song without the video, it's still a pretty decent song, but the video brings it to a entirely different, and better, level. It's an alternate history, zombie, Cold War, sci-fi tour de force.

As with most Metallica, crank it up.


Official Metallica site for the video

links for 2008-12-05

GM CEO Drives a Chevy Volt to Washington...Sort Of

*Facepalm* Apparently, they didn't learn nearly as much as they could have last time.
The fact that Wagoner didn't drive one from Detroit, but apparently had it shipped to Washington in order to drive the last few miles, may be an indication that the Volt program has a long was to go to keep its promises. [emphasis mine]

I understand it can't make the trip, but isn't that sort of the point as to why the US auto makers can't compete? Seriously, GM (and Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler), how many times can you miss the point?

GM CEO Drives a Chevy Volt to Washington...Sort Of - U.S. News Rankings and Reviews.

iPhone!

Yes, I'm years behind the curve, but I finally got an iPhone. I am, of course, completely geeking out, transferring apps and music like mad. Surprisingly, we bought our new phones at Best Buy and had an excellent experience. The sales person there (sorry man, forgot your name) was great: friendly, tolerated a lot of stupid questions and us churning through all of our options on Verizon before deciding to go with AT&T.

J-- got a new Blackberry Pearl (in red) and is grooving on that, too. Note to Verizon: we had no issues with your service, no issues with billing. Your customer service, however, from the beginning of our experience (since resolved) left a bad taste in our mouth. So much so that you lost two customers today who went from basic voice services to (at least one) voice + data plan. And you Blackberry policy is stupid. J-- wasn't sure she wanted a data plan, but we couldn't buy or upgrade to a Blackberry without one. But AT&T was happy to let us purchase one with only a texting plan.

But, enough of that. I actually went in intially to get a Blackberry Storm. I'm a sucker for the full touch screens, what can I say? But, when I got to use an activated phone, I just couldn't get over the screen moving as I typed. Bias in the open, I had a huge start on using an iPhone's keyboard from having had an iPod Touch already. But the odd feel and sluggish accelerometer drifted me back to an Pearl. When we found we couldn't get a Pearl without data for one of us, the deal was sealed and to AT&T we went a'porting.

So, I'm in geek nirvana for a while, until the first bill arrives anyway (*shakes fist at activation fees*). Fingers crossed on the service.

Adventures in online shopping

I think we often discount the effect of the Poached-Egg Conservative. When will someone cater to this forgotten line of voters?

amazon_wtf
Click to enlarge


Wonder how much Paul Simon/Paul Simon confusion led to Graceland showing up here as well?

Ain't data mining entertaining?

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey

Inspired by the Turbaconducken, my first attempt at a bacon-wrapped turkey.

Bacon-wrapped turky, ready to bake

Ready to bake

Bacon-wrapped turkey out of the oven

The cooked bird

Bacon-wrapped turkey, hero shot number two

Another hero shot

Lessons learned: thicker bacon, lower temp (baked this at 325), better covering of the bird to preserve moisture (or add liquid to oven). Overall, not a bad first attempt; even J-- liked it (or so she says).

links for 2008-11-24

Obama's Technology Policy

This policy is so full on win, it warms my little electronic heart another 20 C. A partial bullet-point list; click through to see the whole thing with more statements.

  • Protect the Openness of the Internet (Net Neutrality!)

  • Safeguard our Right to Privacy

  • Open Up Government to its Citizens

  • Invest in the Sciences

  • Invest in University-Based Research

  • Make the R&D Tax Credit Permanent

  • Reform the Patent System

  • Make Math and Science Education a National Priority


Is there a bold-bold option on this keyboard?

Technology | Change.gov

A Song for Wednesday

The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow

This time tomorrow where will we be
On a spaceship somewhere sailing across an empty sea
This time tomorrow what will we know
Will we still be here watching an in-flight movie show
I'll leave the sun behind me and watch the clouds as they sadly pass me by
Seven miles below me I can see the world and it ain't so big at all
This time tomorrow what will we see
Fields full of houses, endless rows of crowded streets
I don't where I'm going, I don't want to see
I feel the world below me looking up at me
Leave the sun behind me, and I watch the clouds as they sadly pass me by
And I'm in perpetual motion and the world below doesn't matter much to me
This time tomorrow where will we be
On a spaceship somewhere sailing across an empty sea
This time tomorrow where will we be
This time tomorrow what will we see

The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow

(Buy it at iTunes, Amazon MP3)

links for 2008-11-03

links for 2008-10-28



  • This course is an introduction to game theory and strategic thinking. Ideas such as dominance, backward induction, Nash equilibrium, evolutionary stability, commitment, credibility, asymmetric information, adverse selection, and signaling are discussed and applied to games played in class and to examples drawn from economics, politics, the movies, and elsewhere.


Want A Laugh? The Ann Arbor News' Non-Endorsement

I would to introduce you to one of my favorite Dutch phrases: plaatsvervangende schaamte. Here's how to pronounce it (no, that's not me).

So, what does plaatsvervangende schaamte mean (if you haven't clicked that link above)? It means "place exchanging shame", or, the shame I feel because you aren't ashamed of what you're doing. You know, like when you're friend is singing terribly but thinks they sound like a pop star?

Or, say, when you're the biggest newspaper in the most liberal town in the state, and you can't even find your dignity to choose a candidate to endorse for one of the more important Presenidential races in history. Yet that's what I feel today for the editorial board at the Ann Arbor News.

Granted, this is the paper that twice endorsed George W. Bush. But, today less than 2 weeks before the election, the AA News endorsed... no one. In 816 words they managed spit out every Republican talking point, most of the Democratic points, a smear or two, and still say absolutely nothing.

As one commenter put it, this is the "coward's way out", which indeed it is. We haven't subscribed to the News in many years and I see there's no reason to give them another look. What a waste of an opportunity and potential.

Plaatsvervangende schaamte.

For president: flawed candidates, no endorsement

The McCain Campaign Enters the Self-Parody Stage

You just can't make this stuff up:

Madam President, the amendment before the Senate is a very simple one. It restricts the use of campaign funds for inherently personal purposes. The amendment would restrict individuals from using campaign funds for such things as home mortgage payments, clothing purchases … and vacations or other trips that are noncampaign in nature. […]

The use of campaign funds for items which most Americans would consider to be strictly personal reasons, in my view, erodes public confidence and erodes it significantly.

Who said that? John McCain. In 1993. You know, when he was still standing up for the American people. Not when his party was footing the bill for his VP's wardrobe to the tune of $150,000.

Now, a certain regular here will say something like "they're both so bad". Which is true to a degree. But this is just patently wrong. This crap defense that the clothes will be donated to charity is bull. Really? All the clothes purchased for the Palin kids and Todd Palin are going to be taken back from them and given to... who, exactly? And if that was always the intent, how stupid does your campaign staff have to be not to use that as a selling point? Seriously, how hard is it to say "Gov. Palin's clothes for tonight's debate were purchased at a union shop and will be donated to the Salvation Army after the event." Bam! You got union points and a photo-op the next day.

Face it, you got caught; suck it up, apologize and move on. Don't bullshit us with some idiotic story about charities and donations? Nevermind that the purchase of those clothes may actually be illegal under US Tax Code. Oh, and the best part? Guess who pushed that section of the tax code into law?

John McCain. (See Section 313, para (b), sub-section (B)) [see also: original Senate bill, overview of S.27, bill's complete history]

Idiots. I don't want McCain to win, but this is pathetic. At least stand for something. At least have the balls to tell your party when they're wrong, not repeat the same stupid excuse and defend an apparent violation of a bill you sponsored.

Senator McCain, I wanted you to be the nominee in 2004. I wanted to vote for you so badly then. I even watched you this season, hoping you really weren't the stooge for the Bush administration that you appeared to be in the years following, hoping I could vote for you this time. But I can't, and I'm getting close to giving up on Republicans in general.

I really believe that you think you're doing the best thing for the country. But by allowing the political players to game the public in an attempt for votes, you're sacrificing every shred of integrity and, dare I say it, status as a maverick you've built over the last 20+ years as a Senator.

As Christopher Buckley said, "I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me."

A Few Steps Closer to Blu-Ray and Netflix

We have yet to make the leap to Blu-Ray. Frankly, I haven't seen the point yet. Yes, I'd love to see what the quality would be on our TV, but I'm not willing to shell out $300+ for a new player and then $30-60 for movies that I likely already have. We did buy an up-convert DVD player when we got the TV and, so far, movies have looked pretty damned good.

But, today was yet another step closer to our purchase of a Blu-Ray player with the announcement of Samsung adding Netflix streaming capability to a new model of their Blu-Ray players. We've been using the Blockbuster service for a while now. It started at Blockbuster because we could exchange mailed movies at the store for in-store movies, and we got a coupon every month for a free game rental. It was a sweet deal until Blockbuster jacked up the price. We downgraded, still getting movies via mail, but no in-store exhange and no monthly game rental.

To be honest, the only reason we didn't switch was a) the price at Netflix at the time was the same and b) we had hundreds of movies queued up and were too lazy to re-do all that work on Netflix. (Hint to Netflix: find a way to import my Blockbuster queue and you might have a deal.)

Of course, in the long run, this announcement may not push us over the purchasing edge at all; the Xbox announcement in July hasn't because of the Xbox Gold requirement (seriously? I have to pay to watch content I already paid for once? Lame.) But, if I own the player and there's no fee to watch the movies I've already paid Netflix to see, that's a pretty tempting deal.

Wonder if these will be out by the time tax season rolls around...

Blu-ray players hooking up with Netflix

links for 2008-10-23

The Right Answer

In his endorsement of Sen. Obama today, Colin Powell said this:

And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian.  He's always been a Christian.  But the really right answer is, what if he is?  Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America.  Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?  Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine.  It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave.  And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone.  And it gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death.  He was 20 years old. And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith.  And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey.  He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life.  Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourself in this way.  And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know.  But I'm troubled about the fact that, within the party, we have these kinds of expressions.

So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president.  But which is the president that we need now?  Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time?  And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities--and we have to take that into account--as well as his substance--he has both style and substance--he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president.  I think he is a transformational figure.  He is a new generation coming into the world--onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama. [transcript]

 kareem_khan

This is the photo essay Powell referenced.

The Chicago Tribune Endorses Obama

Not so surprising for a newspaper to do so, but it is pretty surprising to see this newspaper do so. The Tribune has never before endorsed the Democratic candidate for President. In fact, its history as a staunchly conservative newspaper makes this endorsement even stronger.

The endorsement itself is a litany of how McCain has failed to capture the hearts of anyone but the most obtuse of Republicans, from his shifting policy on taxes to his selfish choice for Vice President. It is also a first-hand view of the experience and abilities of Obama from the paper and staff that have watched his political career from the beginning.

Whatever your leanings, it's a cogent argument and a heavily-weighed endorsement; read it here.

New Red Dwarf!

Oh SMEG yeah! Red Dwarf, the stalwart sci-fi/comedy from the Beeb is coming back (sort of). I'm currently working my way through all the episodes in order (thank goodness for online DVDs) so this news is doubly wonderful for me.

All the original cast has agreed to reprise their roles and will debut in 2009 sometime. Please BBC, don't screw those of us on this side of the pond; give us some option to view them here (streaming, iTunes, whatever).

Smegtastic Red Dwarf returns to small screen with new episodes

Red Dwarf - official site

And, if anyone hits the lottery, the entire series on DVD.

links for 2008-10-15



  • Eyeball centerpoints, bisect an angle, midpoints, and complete shapes. Fun, quick game

    (tags: games)

Speaking of Food Porn...

We made a pilgrimage to the new Whole Foods in Ann Arbor today, as required by our residency contract with Washtenaw county. It always surprises me just how much the marketing of food lends to its appeal. For instance, entering the store, you are assaulted with the scents and sights (lit by the sun from mid-afternoon until sun set, I assume) of fresh, polished fruits and vegetables. The unsightly boxes that these foods came in is visible, all are stacked by hand in neat towers of spheres or columns. It's glorious; food as a vision. You can't help but want all of it because it looks so appealing. It's like the red-light district materialized in a grocery store, but all the hookers became apples, leaks, and.. well, melons.

Now, I will admit there are things available at Whole Foods that simply cannot be found at Kroger or the local grocery store; cheese and fish tend to be on our list when we hit Whole Paycheck. But, for the embarrassing amount we spent today, much of it was splurging: potato latkes and grilled leaks simply don't land on our menu very often.

Don't get me wrong, if I had the means, I'd gorge myself on $20 fruit tarts and $50/pound hand-massaged cheese until I burst. But I always feel slightly guilty partaking in the gastronomical orgy of that place, like I should have just stayed with that steady girlfriend instead of hitting the hookers and blow in The Valley.

Tune in next week when I crank up the hypocracy and go back to Whole Foods for a sushi lunch.

Spicey Porn

There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, for me, garlic is the most deserving.

Leo Buscaglia

I love to cook. Which is to say, I love to make bold, spicey dishes. Garlic is my favorite flavor to play with, much to the chagrin of J--, but I also love the smell of fresh basil, cilantro, and hot peppers.

Which, with winter not far from our windows, is why finding The Spice House is such a wonderfully awful event. For those spices I just can't find around here, I now have a source. And my debit card softly weeps. If anyone *cough* is looking for a Christmas suggestion, I'd point to the Some Like It Hot Gift Box. Or anything from the garlic page.

Judge rules against Michigan over wine shipments

The state prohibits out-of-state retailers from shipping wine straight to Michigan consumers _ unless the retailers have a location in Michigan and are a part of a three-tier regulatory system.

A federal judge in Detroit earlier this week declared Michigan's law unconstitutional for discriminating against out-of-state retailers.

Woo hoo! Wonder if they'll appeal.

WOODTV.com

Once Again, Why Are Comedians the Only Ones Speaking the Truth?



Dave's pretty magnanimous... ball's in your court, Senator.

Dear Amazon.com's MP3 Download Store...

Dear Amazon.com's MP3 Download Store,

Look, I really, really like you. I do; you're great, sweetheart. No DRM. Quick downloads. You're the cat's meow.

But, can we talk about your title naming convention? I know that getting Led Zeppelin IV for $2 is a total steal (aside: it seriously is right now). But why, why baby, do you put that insipid adendum "(Album Version)" on so many damn tracks. I mean, thank god IV is only 8 tracks long, because I have to remove that crap. And I love buying MP3s from you. Which means I have to do that a lot.

Every purchase requires me to fix your damn title naming convention. I'm afraid if you order the lobster, I'll have to remind you not to eat the shells, honey.

Ok, that was cruel. I think I'm In Like with you. But, if you could see through to stop tagging "(Album Version)" onto so many tracks, Sugar, this could be love.

Thanks. How about knocking me a kiss, eh?

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out

Millen is gone. 31-84 over 7 seasons. If only it could change this season. Oh well, as they always say in Michigan, next year will be a re-building year.

FOX Sports on MSN - Jay Glazer - Millen out as Lions president, GM.

Remember Cuil? Yeah, no else does either

According to the latest figures for the end of August the Cuil market share has dropped to, well, just about nothing at all. Net Applications has the market share being a very meagre 0.01 percent. At least it is a very steady 0.01 percent though.

The article points out the obvious problem: their search results suck. Aside from a disasterous rollout in July, the technology was hyped so high didn't even come close to delivering on it's promise.

And in the "huh" factor, reading this article made me say to myself, "Oh yeah, they did spring up not that long ago, didn't they. Oh well." And off I went to Google.

Cuil frozen out: market share drops to next to nothing.

links for 2008-09-20

Hadron Collider forced to halt

Seriously, this is getting a little wierd. First, the LHC has a "glitch", now it's this:
At 1127 (0927 GMT) on Friday, the LHC's online logbook recorded a quench in sector 3-4 of the accelerator, which lies between the Alice and CMS detectors.

The entry stated that helium had been lost to the tunnel and that vacuum conditions had also been lost.

It added that the Cern fire brigade had been called to the scene.

Maybe they've already succeeded in the future or a parallel reality?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Hadron Collider forced to halt.

The Real Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

18 minutes you must watch. Whatever your political leanings, this examination of how the mind works is both fascinating and insightful, especially given the political climate we all find ourselves in.

Remember, every politician plays against the types of predilections Jonathan Haidt talks about here. It's not a partisan issue to know how you're being played.



Link to talk

And check out other TED talks; it's really cool to see what other people are thinking about. TED is also available as a free video podcast on iTunes; highly recommended.

Glitch Shuts Down LHC? Or...

"Transformer glitch shuts down biggest atom smasher." Today's headline from Yahoo News. And my first thought was, "Oh really?"
As the LHC supposedly gears up, Harvard physicist Kevin Black, based at CERN, investigates rumors that the particle accelerator may, in fact, soon be shut down—by ripples from the future. [source]

Hmmmmmmm....

links for 2008-09-18

DIY Beer Speaker

Among the list of things I will never be good at is wiring. However, I think this project is well worth the multiple failures that will ensue.



Beer keg speaker. Aw yeah.

DIY Beer Speaker

links for 2008-09-16

ABC News: Match-o-Matic

Too lazy to research candidates for the Presidency on your own? Then let a Flash cartoon from ABC News help you out. In 20 or so questions, a cartoon that lets you choose between quotes from the candidates will animate the way to your deicision for who to vote for as we decide the leader of the free world.

Or, yah know, you could read up on them. Just a thought.

ABC News: Match-o-Matic

9/10/08

Tomorrow is 9/11, Patriot Day. No politics. No partisanship. A day of remembrance. 

Today, however, being 9/10 it's worth noting that Osama Bin Laden still walks this Earth in relative freedom. It's worth noting that, seven years later, 9/11 has become the emotional wedge used for the repression of our freedoms in the name of "security". It's worth noting that 9/11 has become the iron that one side uses to brand the other as cowards or traitors. 

Tomorrow, we will remember those who died in and around the towers, as they deserve. Tomorrow, we should forget our politics, like we did seven years ago. But we won't, because we can't. The scars of that day are still very fresh in the minds of many, but only because we never stop picking at them.

Instead, tomorrow we'll see countless editorials about the importance of various laws, programs, and policies. Tomorrow we'll hear that, somehow, by supporting a certain political party, we're somehow supporting terrorism. Tomorrow we'll see opinions that don't just border on jingoism, but relish in it. Tomorrow, instead of honoring the dead, we'll use them to further the power of the living. 

2 years ago, Keith Olberman sat in front of the hole in the ground at Ground Zero and used that backdrop to highlight the corruption of the goodwill that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center. Today, new buildings may be rising in their place, but the rhetoric and fear-mongering continues unabated. Reading or watching that comment is as relevant today as it was then.

So, tomorrow, I will not post about the election or any of the idiotic or maddening articles I will read. I will not talk about George Bush, John McCain or Barack Obama. I also will not parade myself around in a flag to prove my patriotism or allow anyone to disparage someone who dissents. 

But today, I will unequivocally say that I believe, firmly believe, that this country has lost its way in the last seven years. I will not pretend that my life is more secure than it was on September 10, 2001. I will continue to wish that every soldier were home from Iraq and that no more were being deployed there. And I will continue to be angry at the way a national tragedy has been turned into a cultish denunciation of anyone who dare offer opposing opinions on how we should run one of the most powerful countries on the planet. 

We, none of us, will ever forget 9/11. Some have just forgotten what it was like before.

McCain tax plan rewards the richest of Americans

Taxes. We all pay 'em and we all hate 'em. Both candidate have set forth their tax plans should they be elected. The Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan think tank, crunched both campaigns' numbers. Business Week (hardly a lefty publication), has the details.
Len Burman, a former Treasury tax official who is now a senior fellow at the Urban Institute [ed. part of the Tax Policy Center], says if Obama's proposals—which include plans to rescind the Bush tax cuts on couples making more than $250,000, close corporate tax loopholes, and tax private equity earnings known as "carried interest" as ordinary income—were adopted in 2009, for example, married couples with earnings in the lowest quintile of the population would see their aftertax income rise 5.8%. Those in the next quintile would see an increase of 4%. Those breaks would be paid for by those with high incomes: the top 1% of taxpayers would see aftertax income fall 8.4%.

Under McCain's proposals, by contrast—including an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, a corporate tax cut, and a larger reduction in estate taxes than Obama would support—far more of the benefits would go to the top. If his plans went into effect in 2009, married couples in the bottom fifth of the population would see aftertax income go up just 0.2%, while those in the next quintile would see a 0.7% hike. But those in the top quintile would see a bump up in aftertax income of 2.7%.

And the middle class? Yeah, we all get a 0.7% increase with McCain and a 4% increase under Obama.

And how about that deficit the Bush administration is leaving us?
[Under Obama] those moves would bring an estimated additional $734 billion to the Treasury over 10 years.

...

... McCain's combined proposals would slash tax revenues by an estimated $253 billion over the 10-year period.

Brilliant. An income increase for the richest of the rich and no meaures to increase revenue to the Treasury. Of course, as the article points out, this is all based on their plans being implemented as promised, which rarely happens. So what's the value in this kind of analysis?
"It gives us some sense of their view," says Burman.

Exactly. And that view is pretty telling.

Obama vs. McCain: Taxing and Spending

The Omnivore’s Hundred

I don't usually do whatever list-of-intItemToDoPreDeath, but this was food, a subject at which I excell, so, what the hell. Found at titled: some amusing blog pun.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here atwww.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

1. Venison.
?2. Nettle tea.
?3. Huevos rancheros.?
4. Steak tartare.?
5. Crocodile?
6. Black pudding.? - ug
7. Cheese fondue.?
8. Carp. ?
9. Borscht.?
10. Baba ghanoush. ?
11. Calamari.? - love it
12. Pho. ?- maybe? had something very similar, but it wasn't Vietnamese. 
13. PB&J sandwich.? - serioulsy? 
14. Aloo gobi.?
15. Hot dog from a street cart. ?
16. Epoisses.?
17. Black truffle.?
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes.?
19. Steamed pork buns.?
20. Pistachio ice cream.?
21. Heirloom tomatoes. - There aren't many tomatoes I haven't tried
22. Fresh wild berries.?
23. Foie gras.?
24. Rice and beans.?
25. Brawn, or head cheese.?
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper.?
27. Dulce de leche.?
28. Oysters.?
29. Baklava.
30. Bagna cauda.?
31. Wasabi peas.?
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.?
33. Salted lassi.? - coworker brought this in for a potluck once
34. Sauerkraut.?
35. Root beer float.?
36. Cognac with a fat cigar. - oh, college?
37. Clotted cream tea.? - individually, yes, but together? Huh. 
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O.?
39. Gumbo.?
40. Oxtail.?
41. Curried goat.? - wouldn't bar-b-qued goat count? 
42. Whole insects.? - would lobster count? 
43. Phaal.?
44. Goat’s milk.?
45. Malt whiskey from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more. - far too many times?
46. Fugu.?
47. Chicken tikka masala.?
48. Eel.?
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut.?
50. Sea urchin. - not a chance. when even sushi lovers say this is an aquired taste.. no way.?
51. Prickly pear.?
52. Umeboshi.?
53. Abalone.?
54. Paneer?
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal. ?
56. Spaetzle. ?- Ann Arbor folks, go to Metzer's on Zeeb
57. Dirty gin martini.
58. Beer above 8% ABV.?
59. Poutine.?
60. Carob chips.?
61. S’mores.?
62. Sweetbreads.?
63. Kaolin.?
64. Currywurst.? - where oh where can I try this?!?!
65. Durian.?
66. Frogs’ legs. 
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake.
68. Haggis.?
69. Fried plantain.?
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette.?
71. Gazpacho.
72. Caviar and blini.?
73. Louche absinthe.?
74. Gjetost, or brunost.?
75. Roadkill.? - Deer hit by a car, made into sausage. Wasn't bad, actually. 
76. Baijiu.?
77. Hostess Fruit Pie.?
78. Snail.?
79. Lapsang souchong.?
80. Bellini.?
81. Tom yum.?
82. Eggs Benedict. ?
83. Pocky.?
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.?
85. Kobe beef. ?
86. Hare.?
87. Goulash.?
88. Flowers.?
89. Horse.?
90. Criollo chocolate.?
91. Spam.?
92. Soft shell crab.? - so good on a sandwhich
93. Rose harissa.?
94. Catfish.?
95. Mole poblano.?
96. Bagel and lox.?
97. Lobster Thermidor.?
98. Polenta.?
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. 
100. Snake.

61/100... not too shabby.

A Note to All by Anne Kilkenny

I hadn't seen this email yet, but it checks out (surprisingly). I'll put the highlights here, but read the whole thing (especially if the addition of Palin to the McCain ticket made you rethink your vote). This was written by a Wasilla resident and long-time acquaintance of Sarah Palin, Anne Kilkenny. This has also been verified by Snopes.
CLAIM VS FACT
o "Hockey mom": true for a few years

o "PTA mom": true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since

p "NRA supporter": absolutely true

o social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).

o pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.

o "Pro-life": mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation.

o "Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska.

No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.

o political maverick: not at all

o gutsy: absolutely!

o open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.

o has a developed philosophy of public policy: no

o "a Greenie": no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.

o fiscal conservative: not by my definition!

o pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.

o pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents.

o pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history.

o pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn't make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

snopes.com: A Note to All by Anne Kilkenny.

The absolute hypocrisy of the Republicans

This piece speeks for itself.

Mayor: 'I lied under oath'

It's over.
The deal calls for Kilpatrick to plead guilty to two felony counts of obstruction of justice by committing perjury, agreeing to serve four months in jail, pay up to $1 million in restitution, and serve five years' probation. He also agreed not to run for office during that five-year span.

The mayor will turn over his state pension to the City of Detroit, which paid $8.4 million to settle two whistle-blower lawsuits three former cops filed against the city.

...

In a rushed monotone, Kilpatrick told the court: "I lied under oath in the case of Gary Brown and Harold Nelthrope versus the city of Detroit ... I did so with the intent to mislead the court and jury, to impede and obstruct the disposition of justice."

I'm watching him consent to the plea deal as I type this. Now, it's up to City Council to get their act together.

Mayor: 'I lied under oath' | Freep.com

links for 2008-09-03

Did something happen to Itzhak Perlman?

Itzahak Perlman in Amazon's Top 10 MP3s on Sept 2, 2008

If not, why is he the #1MP3 artist on Amazon right now? I mean, I'm sure he's a wonderful artist, but #1 today for no reason? Google News has nothing that stands out. 

Also, if you look at that photo without paying much attention, does it look like he has a puppet? 

Why does it smell like almonds in... ^H^H^H^H^H

Google Chrome

Played with it tonight a bit. It's freakin' fast, especially for Google apps (natch). I like the new car smell it gives off, could do without the comic.

It feels like Firefox 3.0, but I think that was the point. No add-ons (yet, I assume), but it's a beta. A nice, solid beta for a change. I love the fact that each tab has it's own process; very interesting possibilities for developing on a web app with multiple security roles.

But, I can't say it any better than the chief cynic and anti-plug of all things shiny, Alan.
If the Google Chrome concept is Firefox w/o the dev team's intellectual clutter from XUL plus the backing of Google, we have a new platform. [twitter]

Indeed. Go kick the tires.

Petty Annoyance with Gmail

I have no idea if this is something that I'm not configuring properly, but why, when I click on a link to a new email in various desktop notifier's does the email message open in Gmail without the complete interface? For instance, when I click the new mail notification in Digsby, the window/tab that opens looks like this:



Most of the Gmail interface is missing. I'm not picking on Digsby here because I've seen the same behavior from half a dozen Vista/Konfabulator widgets or gadgets or whatever the frak we're calling them this week. In fact, I like Digsby a bit more because if I double-click, I get the main Gmail window. It doesn't open the message in the full interface, but it's better than being stuck with the options in the screen cap above. How do I delete this message? How do I go to the next message? How do I get back to my Inbox?

Is this a Gmail thing? Firefox? Anyone know how to solve this insignificant annoyance in my life?

Palin Requires Loyalty Tests in Wasilla

Just... wow. Really? Didn't we just have Congressional hearings about the crap that comes this sort of thing ala the Department of Justice?

[Thanks to Alan]

Palin Requires Loyalty Tests in Wasilla

Twitter has pushed me too far

Inspired by Matt Haughey's stand against Twitter , I re-logged into Mastodon on all my devices and shelved my Twitter access. I haven&#...