Saturday, April 30, 2005

The more things change...

This article at the TPM Bankruptcy blog shows examples of politicians using the same "morals in decline" lament in times before I was born and before my grandfather was born. Have morals always been in decline, or does it just seem as if morals have declined to everyone who's gone through the compromising ordeal of public office?

Friday, April 29, 2005

In praise of President Bush

Watching the President's press conference last night, I laughed and I cursed. That having been said, shooting down his lies has gotten tiring (for the moment), and I want to say something complimentary. He got this question from David Gregory:
Q Thank you, sir. Mr. President, recently the head of the Family Research Council said that judicial filibusters are an attack against people of faith. And I wonder whether you believe that, in fact, that is what is nominating [sic] Democrats who oppose your judicial choices? And I wonder what you think generally about the role that faith is playing, how it's being used in our political debates right now?

THE PRESIDENT: I think people are opposing my nominees because they don't like the judicial philosophy of the people I've nominated.
There you have it! Those who oppose his nominations do so because they don't like the nominations, not because they're bigoted Jesus-haters. Lead us in showing some respect for the opposition, Mr. President!

He went on to say some other stuff that I would criticize, so I'll skip that part and move on. Still asking about those who say the opposition is based on faith rather than honest opposition, Gregory asked further:
Q Do you think that's an inappropriate statement? And what I asked is --

THE PRESIDENT: No, I just don't agree with it.

Q You don't agree with it.

THE PRESIDENT: No, I think people oppose my nominees because -- because of judicial philosophy.
I admire the delicacy here. He doesn't condemn his allies for saying what they've said (though I wish he would), but he does say he doesn't agree with it.
Q Sorry, I asked you what you think of the ways faith is being used in our political debates, not just in society --

THE PRESIDENT: No, I know you asked me that. Well, I can only speak to myself, and I am mindful that people in political office should not say to somebody, you're not equally American if you don't happen to agree with my view of religion. As I said, I think faith is a personal issue, and I get great strength from my faith. But I don't condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion.

The great thing about America, David, is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want, and if you choose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you're equally American if you're a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim. That's the wonderful thing about our country, and that's the way it should be.
It's good to hear our President say something different from what his dad said nearly 20 years ago.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Let's not get too bored here.

Earlier I said we should look at judge Pryor's record to decide whether he'd be a good judge. I haven't done that. Maybe someone has. In any case, I think the record is probably boring while this Catholic/abortion controversy is entertaining.

Imagine you look at the record and come to a decision about Pryor. Then imagine that every time you explain what you learned, the listener falls asleep. How to sway people?

It may be that some of the folks who have an opinion about this guy have an opinion based on something real (his record, for instance), but the only opinions they voice are smelly fish. The people won't understand (let alone care about) a bunch of legal mumbo jumbo! If you want to get people on your side, you have to bring out death and deities.

I think this happens a lot. Some politician really believes, perhaps for good reasons, that some course of action would be the best for the country. Explaining why, however, is a problem. So the politician makes up some junk to rile people up and get the job done.

That, in a sense, is the sincerity behind the deceit. The problem is, nobody can see the sincerity. You have to infer it, the way I just did, and even that means giving them the benefit of the doubt.

People notice that what politicians say doesn't hold gravel, let alone water, and there's a credibility problem. Then there's the problem of catching some solid information when what really flies is crap. How to change it, I leave as an exercise to the reader.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

BitTorrent is easy mirroring.

Here's what I really like about BitTorrent: it's easy mirroring. I can help make available things that I think should be available. For instance, I got the torrent of Free Culture, and I have Azureus still uploading it to whoever is interested. I've sent out the equivalent of over 50 copies. BitTorrent is perfect for this kind of work.
  • I can donate exactly the bandwidth I want.
  • I can start and stop when I want.
  • The tracker adapts seamlessly. Downloaders don't notice.
  • The more people do this, the easier it is for everyone.
  • It works best for things that are popular and/or large, the very things that old style mirroring don't work as well for.
I mirror Debian CDs this way, and KNOPPIX and anything else that just makes me want to contribute.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bumper sticker.

A good bumper sticker:

No petroleum, know peace.
Know petroleum, no peace.

Now it's my new white board.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Ultimate blogger

I heard about The Ultimate Blogger via this post at Bogger Buzz. I applied. I wish they'd said what they're looking for. I had no idea which way to bias my answers on the application.

The excommunication problem, restated.

Steve (aka "Feddie") noticed I'd linked to Southern Appeal in my post about William Pryor and left a comment:
The distinction between Kerry and Pryor is actually quite simple. Kerry, as a senator and president, is in a position to directly or indirectly influence public policy. Pryor, as a judge, is not.
I agree that Kerry would have more ability to influence abortion policy than Pryor would, but he certainly couldn't make any changes on his own. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm under the impression that overturning Roe v. Wade could only be done by the Supreme Court. Otherwise, the legislature would have to amend the Constitution, which requires all kinds of hoop jumping.
Moreover, Senator Kerry has made numerous statement in support of abortions rights. Indeed, it is hard to recall Kerry ever opposing any piece of abortion legislation (including the bill to ban the horrific practice of partial birth abortion). Kerry is, to put it plainly, directly in the pocket of the abortion lobby.
I look at that and think that Kerry is honestly pro-choice. Why do you think he's in a lobby's pocket instead? It's certainly not unusual to see Catholics disagreeing with official church policy.

If you support Pryor because he agrees with your views on abortion and you're against Kerry for the same reason, that's fine with me, but it's beside my point. Kerry and Pryor both said they'd go into office and ignore what the church would have them do. In Kerry's case, that implies excommunication. Does that imply that Pryor is automatically excommunicated as well? I'm no expert on excommunication, but it's described as "the most serious ecclesiastical penalty for Roman Catholics." If Pryor is an excommunicated Catholic, how do Catholics justify support for him in office? If not, what is the difference between his case and Kerry's?

As a non-Catholic, the difference I see is that Kerry actually believed in what he would do in office, but Pryor would put United States law above his own beliefs (and church law). It's a non-issue for me since:
  • I find excommunication pretty meaningless.
  • Kerry's position agrees with mine (or close enough for government work).
  • Pryor doesn't agree with me but can't do anything about it.
Even disagreeing with Pryor, I don't hold it against him. If he's a good judge, that's enough for me. What galls me is that the question of whether he's a good judge is hardly asked; instead we get the stinky fish.

(To be clear, I think the excommunication angle is a red herring too. I point out the contradiction of applying it to Kerry but not Pryor as a way to flush out what I think is some intellectual dishonesty.)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Catholics in government.

To be honest, I'm not that interested in William Pryor, but there's some controversy about the fact that he's nominated to be an appeals court judge, he's Catholic, and he hates abortion.

This post at Power Line says that "Pryor has said he will follow settled Supreme Court doctrine", so it's not a concern that he's against abortion, really, since he's going to follow the law as-is anyway.

Back when John Kerry was running for President of these United States, he had some views on abortion too, and he also said he'd stick to the law. Anyway, Power Line said that for Catholic Kerry, following the law instead of his religion was grounds for excommunication (though this is, of course, disputable).

Let me get this straight:
  • Kerry, Catholic, pro-choice, acting against his church in accordance with what he believes: bad (and, as an after thought, excommunicated).
  • Pryor, Catholic, pro-life, acting against his church and against what he believes: good.
Can Pryor ignore his beliefs and be a judge? I don't know, but I think it's a good question that ultimately will go unanswered. I wondered where he'd said that, though, so I looked around just a little. The only thing I found was this: Senators Expect Floor Battle Over Pryor.
Pryor added, however, that he could follow Supreme Court precedent allowing abortion.
That's nice, but it's from a couple of years ago. Has he said that recently? Has he done what he said he'd do in the meantime? I don't know; as I said, I don't really care. I notice, however, that back in 2003 someone said,
General Pryor has no choice but to uphold Roe. You see Sammie, Pryor has been nominated to a circuit court, which is bound to follow the decisions of the Supreme Court. The idea that he would refuse to follow Supreme Court precedent as a federal appellate judge is ridiculous to the point of being laughable.
Now he's nominated to be a different judge, still lower than the Supreme Court, and it would seem to me, the same argument applies.

Ultimately, I think this wrangling over faith (and abortion) is a distraction. The guy has been a judge for a while already. Look at his record. Are his judgments legally sound? If so, he's a good judge, and his views on proper toenail hygiene are irrelevant. If it's true that he just can't do anything about abortion as a lower court judge, then the argument is doubly stupid.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Let me get this straight.

Holly Hunter looks like Jodie Foster, but her name sounds like Helen Hunt. Helen Hunt was in "Mad About You" and "As Good as It Gets," and I generally don't confuse her with anyone else. Holly Hunter was in "Raising Arizona" and "Broadcast News," and I can't ever distinguish her from Jodie Foster, who was in "Contact" and "The Silence of the Lambs." All clear?

Friday, April 22, 2005

Simple truth.

My darling daughter understands things simply.

Cruising home in the beetle, her mom stuck her hand out the sunroof. "Look," she said, "I'm touching the sky!" Unconvinced, my daughter replied, "You can't touch the sky because you can't reach!"

Driving home late one night, she admitted to me that she was tired (which means she must have been flat out exhausted). I told her that it was way past her bedtime and nearly my bedtime. I asked her if she'd tuck me into bed that night. She answered definitively, "no, you have to tuck me into bed because I'm little!"

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Chat log, Sep 10 1998 23:54

<Him> u m or f?
<Me> Yep.
<Him> yep which?
<Me> I'm male.
<Him> oh sorry
<Me> Is there something wrong with being male?
<Him> no
<Him> i am one
<Me> Then why are you sorry?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The continuing story of Bill Gates

Since I wrote "Bill Gates kicked my dog" on my white board, I've gotten a couple of laughs. Today, someone wrote in the (vacant) cube next to mine, "Bill Gates ATE my dog..."

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Me in the trash

Me, reflected in a shiny trash can, waiting for my lunch to cook in the microwave at work.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Taxing death is wrong.

Fafblog, as always, hits the nail on the head with this whole estate tax thing. When There's No More Room in Trust Funds, the Dead Will Walk the Earth. Yes, fearful owners of tasty but mildly retarded brains, if you keep taxing death, no one will die! The consequences will be devastating, as shown in recent documentaries on the subject.

Why some people can't get on board with the culture of life, and the prevention of an undead hoard of flesh-eating fiends, we may never know.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Writing well and writer's block.

Since reading it, I've directed a couple of others to "Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully: in Ten Minutes" by Stephen King. Now I'm directing you there too. While I'm on the subject, there's this and this as well.

Friday, April 15, 2005


The nice thing about LyricsWiki is that when I want it to have the lyrics to some song (for a post, for instance), and it doesn't, I can just put them there.

That, and it's not all gummed up with advertisements. I worry that it will die if it gets too big, and I wonder if it would still have any life as a Tor hidden service, but that's probably too obscure to get any use.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

White board double header.

I had this on my white board for a few weeks:

Will advertise for food

Today it reads:

Bill Gates kicked my dog

...which I've always thought of as a shorthand way to say I don't like someone, but not for completely rational reasons.

More fly paper

I talked about Bush's Fly paper idea before. In a recent speech to American soldiers, he used it again.
Because of your service, because of your sacrifice, we are defeating them there where they live, so we do not have to face them where we live. (Hoo-ah!)
You could go reread what I had to say about it (because I really have nothing new to say beyond the fact that I get more nauseated by this idea every time I hear it), or you could read "Hypocrite-In-Chief" at Cunning Realist, which demolishes the idea better than I did.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Favorites from my first 11 months.

I've meant to do it for a long time, but they're finally there now. In the sidebar I've put a list of favorite posts (note, I didn't say whose favorites). The list right now is:I picked these in some haste. If you, gentle reader, have a post in mind that you think is better than one in the list, let me know. Maybe I'll swap them (right now I'm thinking I'll limit the list to ten).

A tip on counting readers.

Garou responded to my Trend setter post by saying:
I'm fairly certain that my blog (to which you have linked) has less readership than yours. At last check, I average .5 hits/day - so I have one regular reader who checks every couple days.
I read Random Brain Dribbles through Bloglines, which uses the site feed. Since the site feed contains full entries, I don't have to touch the actual site at all.

This is part of why my site feed shows partial entries only. I want readers to come here where I can see them. Any time you're giving full entries in the site feed, there's the possibility of readers hiding behind some aggregator.

Also, there are visitors who are not regular readers. Any time I post, there's the possibility that I'll get a few visitors bouncing on the "Next Blog" button. There are also folks who arrive (often to the archives) as a result of a search. Of course there are a few I never figure out.

Anyway, it's easy to say that I write for the joy of writing, but I notice also that I write for the joy of feedback, whether that's entries in a log or comments on a post. There have certainly been times that I've written something, enjoyed it thoroughly, thought it was so great, and then been disappointed that virtually none but my regulars ever saw it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Bush is still unpopular.

Months ago, I said, hey, for a new President, Bush wasn't very popular.

Now it turns out that's still true.
Bush's current rating is 45%. The next lowest was Reagan with 56% in March 1985.
Here are a few more links in the same theme:Some repeated points:
  • Republicans are being divided.
  • People are now concerned about domestic issues rather than foreign.
It's still possible that, as Bush likes to say, what he's doing is right and we just don't know it yet. "History" will judge. This sounds to me like a feeble plea to stop questioning.

What really set me off on all this was this story: "Boos and Catcalls Greet Bush at St. Peter's" Bush is at the Pope's funeral, paying his respects, as it were, and when his face comes up on the big screen, people boo. Granted, these are not all Americans, but it says something about our President nevertheless. It says BOOO.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Dobson, Bush, Hitler, and the Klan

Talking Points Memo has a post that says
James Dobson compares the "men in white robes, the Ku Klux Klan" to the "black-robed men" on the Supreme Court.
With that in mind, I dug up Dr. Dobson's Newsletter: May, 2004. It says, in part:
Whether you support President George W. Bush or Senator John Kerry, there should be a certain dignity and respect accorded the office of the Chief Executive and to our other governmental leaders. [...] Billionaire George Soros helped fund a television commercial earlier this year comparing the President with Adolph Hitler. [...] Come on, America. We can do better than that.
This comes after lamenting the passing of national unity.

To recap:
  1. Pre-election, someone compares Bush to Hitler.
  2. James Dobson says our leaders deserve more respect, whether you support them or not.
  3. Eleven months later, Dobson compares our Supreme Court Justices to the Ku Klux Klan.
To what shall we compare James Dobson?

Growing up with TiVo

This post from a year ago discusses the effect TiVo had on the author's three-year-old daughter. It's interesting to read because the effects on our daughter have been similar.
  • She expects her shows to be available at any time.
  • She doesn't have any schedule for watching.
  • She's confused when we're somewhere else and she can't get her shows just as easily.
Unlike the little girl in the post, our little girl hasn't taken an interest in commercials. I don't think that's a function of TiVo anyway. I think kids are more interested in commercials in general.

As long as I'm talking about children's television, I'd just like to state the obvious and say that Boobah is about the same show as Teletubbies, and I'm shocked—shocked—at how long it took me to notice it.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Trend setter.

I find a certain irony in pointing out new voices on my humble blog. I think that, without exception, every blog I linked to has a higher readership than mine. A bathroom wall at the north pole has more regular readers than I do. I've paid attention to what statistics I can glean from tools I have available, and I think it's safe to say I have exactly two loyal readers who show up daily. Their blogs are:I'm not complaining, mind you. Mostly I write because I like to write. That having been said, I do feel some "toiling in obscurity" angst as voiced well by Rebecca Blood:
There is a lot of justified frustration with posting your heart out day after day and not being heard, and a lot of (largely unjustified) feeling that one is deliberately being kept out of the conversation by people who have the power to get your views out to the world.
I didn't know when I did it that Jay Rosen wants an analysis like the one I did for myself. Writing a tool to do the analysis might not be that hard, but it would involve crawling entire sites, and that looks like a job for Google or Technorati, not some guy with a cable modem.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Please excuse my boredom

Blogdex tells me that this article is popular. It argues against Paul Graham's assertion that hacking is like painting. I suppose that this appears to be controversial, but I'm far too cool and worldly to get riled by such a common troll. I've seen this argument before, and I've had it up to here, and I'm bored with it now. If you'd like to be as cool (and bored) as I am, have a look at a few previous iterations.But, really, I advise against it. It's a red herring. The three examples I've provided really just scratch the surface. This theme has come up over and over again. It's worth considering for the time it takes to sketch a happy face or write Hello World, but after that, it's a waste of time. A waste of your time. Save yourself from the debate fate I've already endured.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Double standards for war crimes.

"Gobsmacked by history" at Body and Soul points out the double standard the United States has towards war crimes. Long story short, things we're now doing in Iraq were also perpetrated by the Japanese in World War II, and we came down pretty hard on them about it when the war was over. Now that it's us, well, not so much. See the article for details; I gaped when I read it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Really that dumb after all.

Back when Terri Schiavo was still alive, there was a memo that made it into the hands of the democrats which some believed was a "GOP talking points" memo. It said Schiavo was "a great political issue," and it listed ways to take advantage of her sad state.

Insert outrage here.

There were questions about its authenticity, and I have to admit that I looked at what was floating around and thought, "the opposition is not that dumb." I knew they were disgracefully exploiting the situation, but I didn't think they'd put it on paper and pass it around like a flyer.

Well, they did.

Admittedly, it was some low level staffer at some newbie Senator's office who wrote the thing. It's not as if this is some official Republican Party position statement. Of course, it's also not an evil Democrat plot to discredit the Schiavo-loving Republicans.

I'm fortunate, I guess, that I never got around to writing about the memo myself. I can now admit I was wrong in the same post where I divulge the truth, and I don't have to hem and haw to try to save face.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

"april 2005" "patti rothberg"

Dear New York seeker of Patti Rothberg, who has visited my blog twice,

Should you return a third time, please note "My rediscovery of Patti Rothberg." It is undoubtedly the article which Google thinks it found for you.

I know not your reason for seeking both "patti rothberg" and "april 2005" on the same page. As my humble blog allows comments (even anonymously), I invite you to enlighten me. If you don't want the whole world to see what you have to say, I'd love it if you'd email me any time this April.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled weblog...

The Meeting Reloaded

I worked on my laptop during The Meeting today. When it was over, the other participants filed out, but I stayed in my seat, still glued to the task before me. When I got to a break point, I got up to leave and remarked to the one other person still in the room. "You can tell who wasn't really in the meeting. They're the ones who don't leave when it's over."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Stupid tor trick.

I use BitTorrent to get *cough* stuff from the network, but I'm frequently browsing BitTorrent sites from computers other than the one I use for the downloading.

As it happens, that computer also runs a web server, so I wrote myself a little CGI script that accepts a URL and a password. It fetches the URL (via tor), checks that it's a torrent, and puts it in a directory that Azureus checks periodically for new torrents.

As a result, all my torrent browsing and fetching is anonymous. Someone (i.e., my ISP) monitoring my torrent usage would see what I was getting but not how I found it. As a special bonus, getting things through BitTorrent is a lot easier than it was before.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Trash cans in the daylight.

I overheard something on Oprah's show the other day that's stuck with me. The show was about self-esteem problems in teenage girls. One effect is having sex early and often. The overall theme of the show didn't bother me, but some of the specific comments gave me pause.
Dr. SMITH: You know, the truth of the matter, Melissa—I call it hunger pains. You know, people may say slut, whore. What they're not saying is you're hungry for something.

Ms. SMITH: Love.

Dr. SMITH: And you're trying to get your hunger needs met. So what are you hungry for? To be loved? To be cared for? To feel special? Those are not things to be ashamed of.
Seeking love: nothing to be ashamed of. No argument there!
WINFREY: Dr. Smith, what do you—I know you have a powerful thing to say about what girls are doing with their bodies today.

Dr. SMITH: Yes. Trash cans. You guys say, `What? What about a trash can?' A lot of young girls are treating their bodies like trash cans. Trash cans for what? For boys' sperm, for boys' insecurities, that boys come and drop their trash in our bodies.
Whoa! Boys' insecurities are trash? The trash can metaphor shows the lack of self-respect some young women have for themselves, but the implication that a boy's feelings of insecurity are, shall we say, without worth, is frankly offensive.
WINFREY: So if you're a mother and your daughter's overweight and you want her to lose the weight, you want her to not to have that as another thing to have to overcome in the world, what is the best way to deal with that?

Dr. SMITH: Two things: one, shame never creates change. Never. Never creates change. [...] Get rid of all of the shaming behaviors. [...]

WINFREY: Oh, that's good. See, the little hairs on my head just rose so I know when that happens, that was really good. Shame never creates change.

Dr. SMITH: But—never. Never creates change. And so what you do is get creative. You start thinking about what can we do together. But don't make weight the issue.
This comes after a discussion of a girl's insecurity, and it's a good observation. Shame does not create change. Couple that with calling adolescent male insecurity "trash," and I'd say you have a recipe for more trash.

The guests spent the whole episode talking about female insecurities and trying to build up the self-esteem of girls. They acknowledge that boys have a problem with insecurity too, but that's just trash. When a girl is looking to reduce her insecurity with sex, it's "hunger," but when a boy does it, it's "trash."

The image I really have in my head is a boy who's not feeling too good about himself pressuring a girl for sex. She can tell him "no" gently and firmly, but instead she tells him she's not his trash can, and he's shamed as a result. Him hurting her is replaced with her hurting him. I can see the advantage here (there's no chance of pregnancy or disease), but it still looks like poor interpersonal relations.

This is just a step up from telling girls that boys are evil. The girls who believe it are protected from certain mistakes (again, pregnancy and disease in particular). It's much simpler to understand and to teach than any truth about the opposite sex. It's efficient, but it's wrong, and it leads to women who have to recover from the lie in later life (if they recover).

The whole point of the show was to help girls and the parents of girls, and it did that. It's a noble cause, and I'm glad they're doing it. I'm just offended by this lousy idea (the trash can) and the double standard that goes along with it. Those things have no place being used toward the show's worthwhile purpose.

My daughter's toys.

I think my daughter has too many toys.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Near Death in '83

In 1983, the decision of one man averted nuclear war. His instruments told him that the enemy had fired five missiles at his country, and he decided that what he saw on his screen was wrong.

Coincidentally, 1983 is also when I saw "WarGames" on the big screen. In it, a computer depicts a false attack, prompting a possible counter-strike. Reading about Stanislav Petrov reminded me of quotes from the movie:
Stephen Falken: What you see on these screens up here is a fantasy; a computer enhanced hallucination!
Stephen Falken: General, you are listening to a machine. Do the world a favor and don't act like one.
Finally, through this post, I found 20 Mishaps That Might Have Started Accidental Nuclear War. It's interesting reading.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Ten new voices.

Halley has a challenge for bloggers that she calls "Ten New Voices." She's asked folks (many of whom are not me) to list ten bloggers with some limits on who can make the list:
  1. Five non-white men.
  2. Five women of any color.
  3. Any three of them must be non-Americans
I'm not very interested in digging up new voices, but this did pique my interest in who I've linked to already. I've been writing here for not-quite-a-year, so I have some history to look at.

I made a list of every link I've used, sliced it and diced it a bit, sorted by frequency, and I've discovered that:
  • The sites I link to the most by far are IMDb, Wikipedia, and Amazon (i.e., links for reference).
  • The first individual on the list is Talking Points Memo at spot number six (linked ten times).
  • The first individual woman in the list is Michelle Malkin at spot ten (five links).
I could make some more observations, but they'd be boring.

Anyway, finding five women in my link history is easy. I could have named them off the top of my head.
  1. Does This Look Infected? I started reading for her banter posts, but I enjoy the other oddball stuff too.
  2. Raging Red says she's quitting, but I'm hoping it's an April Fool's prank.
  3. Abigail's Magic Garden provides some liberal commentary to chew on.
  4. Body and Soul had a fantastic post about Eason Jordan.
  5. I'm shocked to discover I haven't actually linked to JeSurgisLac, so I'll fix that right now. She talks about America from the UK.
Finding non-white men among my links is harder. Since my computer turned up nearly 1000 unique links in over 450 unique domains, I haven't checked them all for nationality, race, and gender, but I found a few.
  1. Barack Obama's blog is the official blog of our non-white Illinois Senator who I linked to in a post about an ideal President, if that tells you anything.
  2. Adam Yoshida is Canadian, and I linked to him after the election.
  3. Geomblog had some nice election maps I linked to.
  4. MFDH is a white male Canadian, so he doesn't quite follow the rule. Also, I've never linked to him before, but I've been reading him for eons.
  5. Chrenkoff is from Australia, and I linked to him here.
Let me review now the lameness of this effort.
  • I broke Halley's rules once (by including a white male).
  • I broke my own rules twice (by including people I hadn't actually linked to before).
  • I'm late; the challenge asked for this in March.
  • I had to struggle to find non-white men, but finding non-Americans was easier.
  • While I would have liked a real analysis of my (copious) linking, I'm just too lazy.
This is actually less lameness (or should I say more robustness) than I was expecting. My shame is lessened further since I'm not one of the eleven she actually asked to meet this challenge.

From looking, I can't tell if I link to women more or men more. What I can tell, clearly, is that it's not a total shut-out for anyone in Halley's list. I'm pretty pleased about that.

April Fool's Day at Scientific American

A post at Obsidian Wings points out this editorial at Scientific American
Good journalism values balance above all else. We owe it to our readers to present everybody's ideas equally and not to ignore or discredit theories simply because they lack scientifically credible arguments or facts. Nor should we succumb to the easy mistake of thinking that scientists understand their fields better than, say, U. S. senators or best-selling novelists do. Indeed, if politicians or special-interest groups say things that seem untrue or misleading, our duty as journalists is to quote them without comment or contradiction. To do otherwise would be elitist and therefore wrong. In that spirit, we will end the practice of expressing our own views in this space: an editorial page is no place for opinions.
It's about time they joined the other he said/she said stenographers. All that integrity was really starting to get dated and out of touch with the people of America.