this does concern me

Via the AP

WASHINGTON — The national Republican Party has mailed a fundraising appeal suggesting Democrats might use an overhaul of the health care system to deny medical treatment to Republicans.

A questionnaire accompanying the appeal says the government could check voting registration records, “prompting fears that GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system.”

It asks, “Does this possibility concern you?”

How in the world can this even happen? I wish I thought this didn’t appeal to anyone but clearly it does. Maybe we should send a mailing that asks if you think that it’s a good thing that the Republican plan includes sticking a gun up everyone’s rectum or whether you agree with the idea that the Republican plan will prevent hordes of flesh eating zombies from acting the malls of America.

all those jokes about threat levels, not funny

This is really sad (and infuriating) but hardly surprising.

Tom Ridge, the first secretary of homeland security, asserts in a new book that he was pressured by top advisers to President George W. Bush to raise the national threat level just before the 2004 election in what he suspected was an effort to influence the vote.

(via the New York Times)

iPhone haiku

Two days ago

fell into water
with iphone in my pocket
sometimes things get wet

This morning

with my fingers crossed
tremulous, phone cased in rice
power on. it works.


Harper’s Index and Underwear

Via Harper’s index:

Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata revealed that for a month in space he wore the same underwear, which was flame-resistant, controlled odors, killed bacteria, and absorbed water. Wakata said that he also ate a number of curries. “My station crew members never complained,” he said, “so I think the experiment went fine.”

Rove can’t be trusted with facts

Guess who thinks that Obama Can’t Be Trusted With Numbers? Karl Rove. ’nuff said?

Why would we listen to someone with questionable ethics and a penchant for doing whatever it takes — not to improve my country but rather — to win at all costs?

I know it’s an opinion piece but it would be nice to go back and at least compare how the WSJ covered similar legislation during the Bush years of plenty ™

Before you polish that Chrome…

New Google Operating System, Chrome OS, Raises Privacy Concerns | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

“‘Competition in the OS market should always be welcome, but Google is the special case,’ Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told Digital Daily. ‘It has become dominant across many essential Internet services–search, mail, video, online apps, and advertising. Coupled with Google’s growing profiles of American consumers and reluctance to adopt meaningful privacy safeguards, we expect that antitrust authorities in the US and Europe will view Google’s entry into the OS market with enormous skepticism.’”

He has a point…

snob appeal or just appeal

From John Gruber‘s essay on touch keyboards and Apple:

Apple tries to make things that many people love, not things that all people like. The key is that they’re not afraid of the staunch criticism, and often outright derision, that comes with breaking conventions.

That the iPhone — or specifically its software touchscreen keyboard — does not appeal to everyone is not a problem. Nothing appeals to everyone. Even if you try to make something that appeals to everyone by adding every single clamored-for feature, you wind up with something like Windows that does not appeal to people with a taste for the elegant and refined.

pushd, I hardly knew you

From a tech/geeky point of view, this is embarrassing enough that I probably shouldn’t mention it. There is hope, however, that some other soul will benefit from my pain.

If you use the *nix (or OS X) command line, you probably know about pushd. It and its companion popd let you push and pop (duh!) a stack of directories so that you can jump from place A to place B and then quickly jump back. Cool.

The embarrassing part is the way in which I was using pushd. I thought that I had to push the directory I wanted to come back to before I went there. So I would:

> pushd .
> cd /someplace
> ... do stuff ...
> popd

This works, but it (obviously) looks sort of, well, dumb. Somehow, when I learned about pushd, I never learned that it acts just like the change directory (cd) command. I.e., that the argument to pushd was the directory to which you want to move and that it saves your current directory automatically. Thus, the correct (more efficient) way to use pushd is:

> pushd /someplace
> ... do stuff ...
> popd

It only eight fewer keystrokes but it’s conceptually much cleaner. The morass of the story: use pushd but use it correctly. Alternately, keep reading the manual, you’ll probably still learn something!