Citizens of Upright Moral Character
don't drink the kool-aid


Tue Jan 31, 2006

Comments are ON

By the way, I turned comments back on, after installing a bloggy update that should keep the spammers out. Fell free to comment away, citizens of upright moral character.


an upright moral citizen

Moral Citizen: evil-barry on Jan 31, 06 | 6:27 pm | Profile

Category: wonking
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Mon Sep 20, 2004

Comment spam

I spoke with a PHP friend. He mentioned 3 code changes you can make to virtually eliminate comment spam. Said I'm not supposed to post them publically for some reason. Email me if you're interested.

Moral Citizen: Jacques Vanderdreschd on Sep 20, 04 | 9:44 am | Profile

Category: wonking
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Tue Jun 29, 2004

free and very cheep phone for macintosh

This just seems too interesting to not post. Chances are that I will never use it, but it seems like incredibly useful information to have. Voice over IP for mac. Info from FWD has two phones pre-configured for the Macintosh (XTen and SJPhone) and very well written documentation of how to connect in 5 steps with either a direct internet connection or through a firewall, NAT (i.e. LinkSYS) proxy/router. Once you have a FWD account which works from anywhere in the world by the way (not just Vonage) and is FREE (as in air) you can make SIP VoIP calls to any other SIP phone anywhere in the WORLD for nothing, nada. In order to make calls to a regular POTS (plain old telephone system) phone ..... Read more...

Moral Citizen: pibor on Jun 29, 04 | 10:06 am | Profile

Category: wonking
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Sat May 08, 2004

how to get out of Iraq

an email I got and thought I'd share
Hello friends,

Below is a collection of 11 short pieces assembled by The Nation on the
question "How to Get Out of Iraq" The contributors include liberals and
progressives, and they vary in their willingness to abandon the imperial
project in Iraq, and in general. Only a few, like Chomsky, Cohen and Close,
actually acknowledge the aspects of the occupation that involve the seizure
of control and plans for ongoing domination of the Iraqi economy and its
resources, and the establishment of a permanent U.S. military presence in
Iraq. In my opinion, addressing this agenda is essential. It's an
interesting forum nonetheless.

Mark Haim

Mid-Missouri Peaceworks
804-C E. Broadway
Columbia, MO 65201

Web site:

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism" --Thomas Jefferson

How to Get Out of Iraq
[from the May 24, 2004 issue]

As the situation in Iraq goes from bad to worse, many Americans who opposed
the war, including Nation editors and writers, understand that the country
must find a way to extricate itself from the disaster they predicted. There
is, however, no agreement or even clarity about such an exit strategy. Nor
is any leadership on this crucial issue coming from the Bush Administration
or as yet, alas, from the presumptive Democratic candidate, Senator John
Kerry. With a sense of obligation and urgency, The Nation, has asked a range
of writers, both regular and new contributors to the magazine, for their
ideas on America's way out of Iraq. Some responded with short essays, while
others were interviewed by contributing writer Scott Sherman, who
transcribed and edited their remarks. We hope that what follows is the
beginning toward a necessary end. And we invite readers to respond; we will
publish an exchange in an upcoming issue. --The Editors

Moral Citizen: evil-barry on May 08, 04 | 2:03 pm | Profile

Category: wonking
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The Strategist and the Philosopher

Alain Frachon and Daniel Vernet
Le Monde

Tuesday 15 April 2003

Who are these Neoconservatives who play an essential role in the United States President's choices alongside the Christian Fundamentalists? And who were their master thinkers, Albert Wohlstetter and Leo Strauss ?

Moral Citizen: evil-barry on May 08, 04 | 1:55 am | Profile

Category: wonking
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Fri Dec 05, 2003

Framing the Dems.

How conservatives control political debate and how progressives can take it back
By George Lakoff

On the day that George W. Bush took office, the words "tax relief" started appearing in White House communiqués. Think for a minute about the wordrelief. In order for there to be relief, there has to be a blameless, afflicted person with whom we identify and whose affliction has been imposed by some external cause. Relief is the taking away of the pain or harm, thanks to some reliever.

This is an example of what cognitive linguists call a "frame." It is a mental structure that we use in thinking. All words are defined relative to frames. The relief frame is an instance of a more general rescue scenario in which there is a hero (the reliever), a victim (the afflicted), a crime (the affliction), a villain (the cause of affliction) and a rescue (the relief). The hero is inherently good, the villain is evil and the victim after the rescue owes gratitude to the hero.

The term tax relief evokes all of this and more. It presupposes a conceptual metaphor: Taxes are an affliction, proponents of taxes are the causes of affliction (the villains), the taxpayer is the afflicted (the victim) and the proponents of tax relief are the heroes who deserve the taxpayers' gratitude. Those who oppose tax relief are bad guys who want to keep relief from the victim of the affliction, the taxpayer. Read more...

Moral Citizen: evil-barry on Dec 05, 03 | 10:26 am | Profile

Category: wonking
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Wed Nov 26, 2003

Regarding The "Booming Economic Recovery"


Lately I've been listening to the media drumbeat about the economic turnaround that is apparently under way. And I've been thinking that perhaps it's true. After all, you can't simultaneously cut taxes and up spending without "priming the pump" as Keynesians have been calling it since the Depression. On the other hand, one of the things I do remember learning in Macroeconomics (a class I admittedly regretted taking as a college freshman) is that Keynes argued that warmaking while in the short-term is an effective means for economic recovery is the least efficient way to go about it. It's all very vague now (spring semester of 1989, after all), but I think he was arguing that investment in human and material infrastructure (education and roads as the primary examples) was more efficient in the short-term and long-term. In the short-term, a significant amount laid out in wages and materials is necessarily spent in the place where the war is occuring, and therefore doesn't "ripple" throught the domestic economy with the same efficiency. In the long-term, if you spend it on war you "prime the pump" with all kinds of war-related jobs and materials consumed in the war, but with education and infrastructure you get improved long-term results. It sorta reminds me of the "give 'em a fish vs. teach 'em to fish" analogy. Of course my line of reasoning assumes (perhaps cynically) that the only reason the administration got us into a war in Iraq was to lift the momentarily flagging economy, and certainly this was not their only reason for doing so. For one thing, the long-term economic effects of controlling most of the world's crude oil supply could conceivably be quite nice for a country with the Texas-sized balls to take and hold 'em. (And then of course there are all those "WMD's" that they're still cleverly hiding from us, as well as their well-known and documented ties to al Queda that everyone knows are "based on real good intelligence").

Anyhoo, another thing I keep thinking is: the numbers being used to establish the turn-around are short-term, quarterly numbers, up-ticks after a long decline. And, while everyone on the cable news networks (highly paid "professionals" with adequate insurance, homes in good school districts etc...) seem to think that this means the crisis is over, I can't help thinking about the over seventy million U.S. citizens who are without health insurance, the millions of jobs that have been lost since the beginning of this new millenium, and the endless rounds of cuts at every level of government services since then. And when I think of those things I thinks to myself: am I better off now than I was three years or even three months ago just because the nicely tanned cable news guys and gals keep telling me I should be? Maybe so. Or, are they saying the new version of Hoover's famous 1932 reelection campaign ("Prosperity is Just Around the Corner")? Maybe so.

Anyways, I've cut-n-pasted a rant by a Nation commie (Katrina vanden Heuvel) that sums up my gut feelings on the subject pretty well. So read it over, or don't, and comment on anything I or she have written, or don't, but definitely HAVE A NICE TURKEY DAY.


Slothrop

Moral Citizen: Slothrop on Nov 26, 03 | 10:02 am | Profile

Category: wonking
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Sat Nov 22, 2003

"political hate speech"

The Republican assault on "political hate speech" (11/13)
By Brendan Nyhan

Over the last two months, the Republican Party has begun a
systematic effort to label attacks on President Bush by
Democratic presidential candidates as "political hate speech," a
new piece of political jargon intended to delegitimize criticism
of Bush. It appears this strategy will expanded in the coming
months -- a recent memo from Republican National Committee
chairman Ed Gillespie urged party officials to adopt the term in
their rhetoric.

Moral Citizen: evil-barry on Nov 22, 03 | 12:14 am | Profile

Category: wonking
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