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Beware the Exploding Frogs .
Apr 30th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Beware the Explod­ing Frogs. Res­i­dents of Ham­burg, Ger­many have an unusu­al prob­lem to deal with: explod­ing frogs. The frogs appear per­fect­ly nor­mal. How­ev­er, at night they swell to three… [SciS­coop — Sci­ence News Forum]

This is from the end of the arti­cle:

bq. Ger­mans are par­tic­u­lar­ly attached to toads and they have become, in some respects, a sym­bol of the Green move­ment. The Gov­ern­ment has allo­cat­ed

MARK BRADY: Iraq Still Isn’t an Election Issue .
Apr 29th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

MARK BRADY: Iraq Still Isn’t an Elec­tion Issue. Bren­dan O’Neill explains why here. Sad but true. [Lib­er­ty & Pow­er: Group Blog]

The arti­cle address­es the hypocrisy of “anti-war” types who are opposed to the con­quest of Iraq, but were per­fect­ly hap­py to sup­port pre­vi­ous wars of aggres­sion such as Koso­vo. The arti­cle is direct­ed at Tony Blair and British politi­cians, but it applies equal­ly to “anti-war unless it’s our war” Amer­i­cans.

AEON J.
Apr 29th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

AEON J. SKOBLE: Know what this is? Guess I didn’t.. This NYT sto­ry is inter­est­ing in lots of ways, but what struck me the most was the rev­e­la­tion that that famous pho­to of the heli­copter evac­u­at­ing peo­ple from the embassy roof in Saigon is actu­al­ly some­thing else. Have a look!

In oth­er news, my pro­mo­tion to Asso­ciate is now offi­cial. Woo-hoo! [Lib­er­ty & Pow­er: Group Blog]

A very inter­est­ing sto­ry by the pho­togra­her who took the pic­ture.

# Old Horseman — Police State in Progress: Less Lethal Weapons… — cops have taken
Apr 29th, 2005 by Ken Hagler


#
Old Horse­man -

Police State in Progress: Less Lethal Weapons…
— cops have tak­en
a lik­ing to the sup­posed non-lethal weapons, e.g. pep­per spray and
tasers. Prob­lem is, they’re not real­ly non-lethal, only less-probably
lethal than their pis­tols. And pep­per spray in the eyes or a taser zap
could rea­son­ably be called tor­ture. So why is it OK for cops to use
them on peo­ple whose only “crime” is dis­obey­ing orders? It’s not OK,
of course. And we should remind the cops in ques­tion that they’re
engag­ing in tor­ture and risk­ing mur­der when they do it.
bq.
Police forces in Amer­i­ca should be stripped of tasers, pep­per spray,
and oth­er instru­ments of tor­ture until they get it through their heads
that you don’t hurt peo­ple who are doing no harm. Cit­i­zens are
not cat­tle to be prod­ded and pun­ished because the guy behind the badge
doesn’t like their atti­tude or is such a chicken-shit cow­ard that he
can’t stand eye to eye with a cit­i­zen and talk to him like a human
being.

If cops keep act­ing like Nazis, treat­ing the cit­i­zens like the Ene­my,
soon­er or lat­er, the cit­i­zens will respond in kind. I per­son­al­ly
con­sid­er pep­per spray and tasers to be lethal weapons, and would
respond to any­one attack­ing me with them in exact­ly the same man­ner as
I would if they were armed with a gun or knife. (Which is to say, with
oppos­ing lethal force.)

The hus­band of the old woman

who was double-zapped
was arrest­ed for “inter­fer­ing with an
offi­cer” when he con­front­ed the jack­boots over their attack on his
wife. In all hon­esty, if he’d shot the cop through the head with a
rifle from his win­dow, he would nev­er have been con­vict­ed with me on
the jury.
[End the War on Free­dom]

It’s not just tasers and pep­per spray, either. the mil­i­tary has been work­ing on new ways to tor­ture large groups of peo­ple from a dis­tance, and you can be sure that the cops will be using them too.

Blogging on multiple machines .
Apr 28th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Blog­ging on mul­ti­ple machines. One of the dis­ad­van­tages of blog­ging appli­ca­tions that sit on a sin­gle machine rather than on a serv­er is that you are tied to that machine when you want to write. Every time I want to shoot some­thing to this place, I have to run over to my lap­top. No blog­ging from work or from the oth­er machines that sit on the home net­work.

If you’re going to be blog­ging from mul­ti­ple machines and loca­tions, it’s some­thing to con­sid­er when you are choos­ing your tools. [code: theWeb­Sock­et;]

I’ve run into this myself, since Radio is one of those apps that sits on a sin­gle machine. For a while, I was run­ning it on my desk­top PC at home, and con­nect­ing to it with my lap­top from whereev­er I hap­pened to be. Unfor­tu­nate­ly the IT depart­ment at work, in its ongo­ing quest to make life dif­fi­cult for work­ers, start­ed block­ing my access. Now I keep Radio on my lap­top, and just car­ry the lap­top around with me.

This isn’t a per­fect solu­tion, though, because of the reli­a­bil­i­ty prob­lems I’ve had with my Mac lap­tops. When one goes down I can move Radio to the oth­er and run it from there, but if both go down at once (which has hap­pened), it’s much hard­er to move to my PC lap­top.

From one of the mailing lists I subscribe to: Russell opined: My only quibble is this: as Jeff Cooper has pointed out, in my presence and *pointedly* to a cop who called non-cops “civilians”: cops are _also_ “civilians.”
Apr 27th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

From one of the mail­ing lists I sub­scribe to:

bq.
Rus­sell opined:

bq. My only quib­ble is this: as Jeff Coop­er has point­ed out, in my pres­ence and *point­ed­ly* to a cop who called non-cops “civil­ians”: cops are _also_ “civil­ians.”

Cops are not mil­i­tary, they are “civ­il author­i­ty.” Only the igno­rant
copy use the term civil­ians… the oth­ers call us “lit­tle peo­ple.”

Rus­sell, this is not only com­plete bull­shit, it’s dan­ger­ous bull­shit,
even if Jeff believes it. I once had a dis­agree­ment on this same issue,
with one of those “almost a lib­er­tar­i­ans” you hear about, a police chief
friend of Aaron Zelman’s, who regur­gi­tat­ed the same lame the­o­ry.

Cops are armed when civil­ians can’t be, often with weapons civil­ians
can’t have. I can’t tell you how sick I get of see­ing nota­tions in
cat­a­logs like Bro­gade Quar­ter­mas­ter that cer­tain items are for cops only.

Cops live and oper­ate with­in a strict hier­ar­chy, usu­al­ly with titles like
“sergeant”, “lieu­tenant”, “cap­tain”, and so forth. Most of them wear
military-style uni­forms, and an argu­ment can be made that so-called
“plain­clothes” oper­a­tions ought to be out­lawed. Increas­ing­ly, they wear
mil­i­tary bat­tle­dress and car­ry mil­i­tary weapons.

Cops form a cul­ture all to them­selves, like pro­fes­sion­al sol­diers, and
usu­al­ly have lit­tle to do with those who are not cops. They do call us
“civil­ians”. I nev­er heard this term “lit­tle peo­ple” before. They also
call us “ass­holes” and say that the pub­lic just con­sists of crim­i­nals
who haven’t been caught yet. I know because I was there at one time.

Yeah, I under­stand the the­o­ry that they’re civil­ians, too. I repeat that
it’s bull­shit. What they are, in fact, is an occu­py­ing mil­i­tary force,
with strate­gic bases in every ham­let in the nation — which is why they
and their hangers-on lie to us and pos­si­bly to them­selves about being
civil­ians, too.

They are the very stand­ing army that the Found­ing Fathers were afraid of.

And for good rea­son.

L. Neil Smith

I have the same opin­ion of cops, but I couldn’t say it half as well.

# Manuel Roig-Franzia at The Washington Post — Fla.
Apr 27th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

#
Manuel Roig-Franzia at The Wash­ing­ton Post -

Fla. Gun Law to Expand Lee­way for Self-Defense
BugMeNot — it seems that
Flori­da slipped one under the radar of the Brady Bunch. For some
rea­son they don’t under­stand that if some­body comes at you with a
knife, he has for­feit his right to life, and you are com­plete­ly
jus­ti­fied in shoot­ing him dead, no ques­tions asked. For­tu­nate­ly, the
Flori­da leg­is­la­ture under­stands the real­i­ty of the situ­ta­tion. Bra­vo!
[trt-ny]
bq.
The Flori­da mea­sure says any per­son “has the right to stand his or her
ground and meet force with force, includ­ing dead­ly force if he or she
rea­son­ably believes it is nec­es­sary to do so to pre­vent death or great
bod­i­ly harm.”

Flori­da law already lets res­i­dents defend them­selves against attack­ers
if they can prove they could not have escaped. The new law would allow
them to use dead­ly force even if they could have fled and says that
pros­e­cu­tors must auto­mat­i­cal­ly pre­sume that would-be vic­tims feared
for their lives if attacked.

The over­whelm­ing vote mar­gins and bipar­ti­san sup­port for the Flori­da
gun bill — it passed unan­i­mous­ly in the state Sen­ate and was approved
94 to 20 in the state House, with near­ly a dozen Demo­c­ra­t­ic
co-sponsors — have alarmed some nation­al gun-control advo­cates, who
say a mea­sure that made head­lines in Flori­da slipped beneath their
radar.

[Flori­da lob­by­ist Mar­i­on P.] Ham­mer, a 4-foot-11 dynamo with a
nation­al rep­u­ta­tion for her per­sua­sive pow­ers, dis­missed the papers as
“lib­er­al, anti-gunners” and “Chick­en Lit­tles.” The cur­rent law
unfair­ly forces Florid­i­ans to make split-second deci­sions about a
criminal’s intent, she said, and NRA lob­by­ists like to note that was
deemed impos­si­ble gen­er­a­tions ago by leg­endary Supreme Court Jus­tice
Oliv­er Wen­dell Holmes. “Detached reflec­tion,” Holmes said in one of
his most oft-quoted pro­nounce­ments, “can­not be demand­ed in the
pres­ence of an uplift­ed knife.”
[End the War on Free­dom]

I’m pleased to see this devel­op­ment. It’s strange that Flori­da actu­al­ly had worse self-defense laws than Cal­i­for­nia, and I’m hap­py to see that at least par­tial­ly rec­ti­fied.

Just got a call from the brother.
Apr 24th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

Just got a call from the broth­er. He said he’s been get­ting a lot of pos­i­tive feed­back this week after point­ing peo­ple to my posts regard­ing macro tools for Win­dows.

This may be one of the big “miss­es” in the Win­tel world. In the Mac world, we’ve had tools like Apple­script, iKey, Quick­eys, and TypeIt4Me (among oth­ers) for years. We’ve just tak­en it for grant­ed that you can use automa­tion tools with good user inter­faces to improve pro­duc­tiv­i­ty in our per­son­al work­place.

(Lat­er: There’s a Quick­eys for Win­dows? Who knew?)

Not so in the Win­tel world. When you ask Win­heads about text replace­ment, for exam­ple, they start talk­ing about how fast they can accu­rate­ly type. They miss the point — no mat­ter how fast you type, the com­put­er can do it faster. If you have to type it over and over again, it’s faster and eas­i­er just to auto­mate the process. Dull, rep­e­ti­tious, tedious work is best left to the CPU on the desk­top, not the one between your ears.

It’s not like the tools aren’t there. There are macros in the Office Suite as well as stand alone pro­grams like Active­Words, Pow­er­Pro and Macro Express that can auto­mate much of the mou­s­ing and key­board­ing we do every day. But it’s not a wide­ly pro­mot­ed fea­ture, and you have to won­der why — this is the sort of non­sense that com­put­ers were sup­posed to make eas­i­er.

I’m impressed that the util­i­ties exist, and dis­ap­point­ed that they aren’t pushed hard­er by Microsoft and the Win­tel blog­ging press. It’s an area wor­thy of much more atten­tion, and — at least from what I’ve seen — get’s short shrift when talk­ing about rea­sons to stay on the Win­tel plat­form. [code: theWeb­Sock­et;]

I didn’t know there was a QuicK­eys for Win­dows. I used to use it on the Mac years ago, before mov­ing to OneClick, and I’m hap­py to see that it’s avail­able on Win­dows. I’ll have to check out the tri­al ver­sion.

From smith2004 : “School shootings happen because the overwhelming majority of students are never trained in the techniques — and more importantly, the attitude –
Apr 20th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

From smith2004:
bq.
“School shoot­ings hap­pen because the over­whelm­ing major­i­ty of stu­dents
are nev­er trained in the tech­niques — and more impor­tant­ly, the
atti­tude — of self-defense. And of course the most reli­able
means of self-defense, firearms, have been demo­nized by those with a
polit­i­cal agen­da and an end­less sup­ply of dull-witted fol­low­ers. It
also appears now that mind-altering pre­scrip­tion drugs like Prozac and
Zoloft play a part. But chiefly, these inci­dents illus­trate the
con­se­quences of hav­ing too few guns around, not too many.” –
L. Neil Smith
[End the War on Free­dom]

How to Survive a Zombie Attack .
Apr 19th, 2005 by Ken Hagler

How to Sur­vive a Zom­bie Attack. I final­ly saw Dawn of the Dead (2004), and I just have to won­der, did these peo­ple even think about how they would sur­vive a zom­bie attack? Since we’ve had a rash of zom­bie movies late­ly — 28 Day, Shaun of the Dead — I think some­one needs to pub­lish a zom­bie sur­vival guide to help these peo­ple out. And that some­one is me, because I for one don’t wel­come our new zom­bie over­lords. [kuro5hin.org]

You nev­er know what kind of use­ful infor­ma­tion you’ll find on the Inter­net.

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