Archive for August 2003

Khalil Hamra

I was doing some research on my favorite terror-facilitator when I saw this article in Google: Foreign Press Slams Israeli Restrictions. Interesting, because of the charges against one Mr. Khalil Hamra, and AP photographer:

The Foreign Press Association Monday slammed Israeli authorities for preventing free coverage of the West Bank town of Ramallah, seizing the Reuters news agency offices there, and the continued detention of Palestinian journalists working for some foreign news agencies.
The director of Israel’s Government Press Office, Daniel Seaman, told United Press International the detained journalists are suspected of involvement in terror and therefore have no immunity.

He criticized the FPA, saying their attitude “encourages terror.”

Later:

It was referring to two journalists who have been under detention for weeks, Yussri al Jamal of Reuters TV and photographer Ossam Abu Alan of Agence France Press. Khalil Hamra, a photographer from Rafah, Gaza, who occasionally contributes to the Associated Press, has been detained since Friday, the statement added.

“In these cases, and in others that preceded them, the media organizations involved were provided with no indication of the reasons for the arrest beyond the most general of allegations.

As far as Mr. Hamra is concerned, it isn’t really hard to find his links to terrorism. Consider his latest contribution to the AP wire. He has pictures of militants terrorists setting up a bomb on the side of the road.

He went right to the IDF and reported that before a busload of children was blown up, right? Ummmm…

He was on hand when Bulldozer Betty (Rachel Corrie) jumped in front of a bulldozer to snap that, and he was there when Hurdell (another ISM terrorist) was killed by the IDF returning fire. He was there when the two IDF soldiers were lynched and savaged by the crowd in Ramallah. He has been there for countless Hamas and Islamic Jihad parades, yet he has never reported anyone for an act of terrorism they are about to commit?

Sounds like an accomplice to me.

News Aggregators

Take note: a post that isn’t topical! I want to talk about news aggregators for a while. I am hooked. I’ve always been a gearhead and info junkie, and this concept really has changed the way that I blog. For those of you who don’t know, a news aggregator is a program that grabs XML/RSS feeds from websites (usually blogs) and puts them into an interface that collects them all together. A lot of them are set to check a list of feeds regularly, and let you know when there is something new.

Morgan Wilson has a good post on what a news aggregator is. The thing to remember about an aggregator is that it really isn’t doing anything complicated. Your choice of aggregator comes down to what you want to use it for. I was using Wildgrape’s Newsdesk for a while on my work laptop. It was convenient at work, because it ran all the time, and I could check a little toolbar click-let to see what was new. One drawback, though, was that it was a little bit of a pain to add blogs to it, but I tend to add them in spurts. I’ll either add one because someone else linked to a site that I liked (I tend to browse the main page after I read an article), or I’ll go digging through blogrolls, and subscribe a whole bunch at once.

The problem that I had with Newsdesk was that it was tied to my laptop. I don’t use my laptop at home unless I am working. I have a PC at work, but I use Macs at the house. That meant that since I blog mainly via commenting on links, I ended up doing a lot of blogging at work. (This is a bad thing, since I should be doing more working than blogging at work.) I like to blog at home, but you get hooked on an aggregator very quickly. The answer was a server-side aggregator.

Aggregators are, after all, just a collection of links. Some of the bigger aggregators, like Amphetadesk live on your computer, but use the web browser for display. There is no reason that you can’t put the catalog on a server and access the server via the web. That is what server-side aggregators do. One of the aggregators I looked at was Bloglines. It is a server side setup, but the problem that I had with it was that it was their server, not mine. I ended up using Feed on Feeds.

It is ugly. It isn’t especially user-friendly. It is itch-ware. That means that the author of the program had something that he wanted to get done, so he bashed together a program that does just what he wanted, and nothing else. I love itch-ware. I don’t care that it is ugly. I might look into putting in the things that itch me about it (and call it VA-Feed on Feeds — VA for Value Added) since it is a GPL app. That is the great thing about open source. It is perfect for what I want it for. I don’t have to worry about someone else’s server flipping out and hosing a bunch of stuff (are you listening, Blogger?) If I can’t connect to my server for this, then I can’t blog any ways (my blog sits on the same machine.) It does what I want, and the price is right.

That brings me to the other half of this story. A long time ago, when I first started blogging, someone told me, “I wish you had an RSS feed, so I could keep up with your site.” My thought at the time was, “you lazy bum, just check in every few days!” Now I realize how naive I was. I would do the same thing everyday. I would check out Instapundit, Best of the Web, and LGF (links on the side) every day, and about once a week, I would dig through a list of bookmarks. If you weren’t on the Trinity, I didn’t see you. If I hit your site a couple of times and didn’t see something that really grabbed me, you rotated off the list. When I am tackling it all at once, it gets too big to handle.

Then I got an aggregator, and I could keep up with all the little sites. If you had a site that only got updated once in a while, like USS Clueless or Eject! Eject! Eject! that I really liked reading, I could keep up with it, because I didn’t have to keep checking it. I could start keeping up with Texas blogs, like The Fat Guy and The Brazos de Dios Cantina.

The other thing that I realized was that I was hitting that bookmark list even less. I had so much info categorized that if you weren’t sending out a feed, you were below my radar. That was when I realized that I was below my own radar on Blogger. That was when I decided to move to Movable Type. Sure, Blogger was buggy, and it was crap on archives, and it didn’t have the best interface, but it was free and it worked. But I couldn’t get a feed without paying for it.

I didn’t mind paying for a feed, but that was all I was going to get. I could put the same money into a domain and get my own server running the same software that gets the Puppy Blender to go sacrifice a hobo and give you a link just for changing to it, and make everyone think that you know what you are doing. The automatic RSS feed was the killer app for MT, for me.

That is really the moral of the story. There are some sites like Rachel Lucas’ site and Insane Antonio that I really like to read, but they slip below my radar. If you are thinking about getting serious about blogging, get an aggregator. If you use one computer, I recommend sticking with one that lives on your computer. Then make sure that you are sending out an RSS/XML feed. It doesn’t even have to be a good feed. Mine sucks because I screwed it up trying to strip out the links in the titles that used at blogger (I never did succeed.) But just having it helps.

Update: Troy Hakala at myWireService.com emailed me to point out his service, and discuss possibly GPLing and releasing thier source code. I really like the service-oriented “give the software away and charge for hosting/support” model, and it is definately a server-side to look at if the ugliness of FoF puts you off.

The Race Pimps are at it Again

I usually don’t blog the hometown beat, but this one has me a little incensed. The DallasMorning News is reporting on the firing of (ex-)Chief Bolton, and the Race Pimps are out in force.

“It’s not about race,” Mayor Laura Miller said. “It’s a crime issue.”But many blacks said race had everything to do with the abrupt cancellation of the chief’s Dallas Police Department career after 23 years.

“The mayor is a racist,” said an angry Jordan Blair, publisher of the Elite News, a weekly newspaper aimed at black readers. “If Terrell Bolton were white, he would still be police chief.”

If Terrell Bolton was white, he never would have had the job. Bolton was elected for one reason: John Wiley Price, my county commissioner and Head Race Pimp of Dallas. The deciding factor is in this 1999 article:

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who has led weekly pickets to protest what he calls racism within the department, called for the next chief to be a minority from inside the department.

Not that the next chief be the best man for the job. Not that the next chief be fair and impartial as to race. Just that he be black. I don’t know about your upbringing, but my honkey peckerwood whitebread upbringing taught me that if the only thing you are worried about when you hire someone is the color of his skin, that makes you a racist. Must be my Klan upbringing showing.

Where is the HRPIC at right now on the issue? Here’s his quote in the paper:

County Commissioner John Wiley Price, one of Dallas County’s most politically powerful blacks, said Ms. Miller and others were relentlessly unfair to Chief Bolton.”If in fact, per capita crime in Dallas has been No. 1 nine of the last 12 years, it speaks for itself,” Mr. Price said. “That means it goes back to [former Chief Bill] Rathburn, to Ben Click. But you’ve got The Morning News weighing in, saying it’s time for him to go. You’ve got rank-and-file [officers] that never wanted him to amount to anything. He’s got a lot going against him.”

Mr. Price said Dallas blacks will view the firing harshly.

“We traditionally, and rightfully so, are suspect of the Police Department,” Mr. Price said. “So if you wind up with a brother at the helm, and he’s hanging on by his fingernails, when he gets fired, it makes us even more suspicious.”

Mr. Price said he would push city officials to hire a black chief to replace Chief Bolton.

Let me translate from race-pimpese for you:

You aren’t fair to black folks.Black chiefs shouldn’t be expected to reduce crime at the same rate as the rest of the country. It is OK if they just hold at the same level while every place else in the country gets safer. It also isn’t a big deal if most of the police force never wanted him to have the job in the first place, since being black is enough qualification.

You’re going to get some protesting out of this one, buddy.

Black folks have an irrational fear of the police, but they are chauvinistic enough to think that they are little safer if the chief is black, and now they are going to be convinced that whitey is coming to break down their doors now.

I told you to put a black man in last time, and you better do it again!

I heard this guy on the radio this morning. He has been coming on the radio for a while, and had me pretty convinced that he had hung up his big Race Pimp hat. He threw that right out the window this morning. The first words out of his mouth were “black man in the south” “three-fifths” “60% of the income of whites.” And the only think I could think was, “What the fuck does that have to do with the chief of police?” You know the answer? Nothing. It is the same old rhetoric as ever, and there is no thought behind it. It is the “Gimme, it�s mine!” mentality, and I am sick of it.

At least the Hispanic pimps have some pride:

“I hope everything settles down, and we get a chief who is supported by all the department,” Mr. Cerda said. “I would say I would like the chief to be Hispanic � a qualified Hispanic.”

“If you can find a qualified Mexican, I would rather you put him in” is a hell of a lot more reasonable than “a black man or else!” (Even if it is still racist.)

Jim Schutze over at the Dallas Absurder — I mean, Observer, has been on the job for a while, and sums it up pretty well.

There are whole layers of history here that have never been shared with the public. First of all, Dallas police Chief Terrell Bolton is John Wiley Price’s chief of police. In 1998, County Commissioner Price, the city’s most influential black leader, and an attorney friend of his developed the entire case against former Chief Ben Click for so-called “disparate discipline”–the notion that Click’s department handed out much tougher discipline to minority officers than to whites.The Dallas Observer published a thorough story on it by Miriam Rozen showing that the case, while not lock-cinch, was persuasive. The Justice Department came to town and announced a big investigation.

The outcome of all that was a deal brokered by Price. Click was out. Bolton was in. End of story. End of investigation. And tragically for the department, end of discipline reform.

No one has suffered more brutally from Bolton’s misrule than minorities in this city. The entire “Sheetrock” or fake-drugs scandal, in which his department sent to prison people on whom fake drugs had been planted, fell on the backs of Mexican immigrants. More than 80 percent of the victims of violent crime in this city are people of color.

And the cops do seem to be out of control. For the past year, some of the most committed and sincere leaders in the African-American community, led by the Reverend L. Charles Stovall, have been agitating on the issue of police shootings of minorities. I have huge respect for Stovall and have spoken to him a number of times about this. Each time, he tells me that the criticism of the police department must not and cannot be allowed to touch the chief.

We have a chief that can’t seem to do anything about the crime rate. We have a chief that can’t seem to root out dirty cops planting evidence on poor Mexicans. We have a chief that can’t seem to get his cops to stop manhandling people for trumped up charges like “failure to ID.” We have a chief that just can’t seem to do his job.

Correction: had.

The Moral Equivalence Brigade

The idiotarians at Factivism have put up a couple of photos. Go take a look at them. They seem to want you to believe that there is some sort of moral equivalence between that and this. Let me consider that —

BRRRRAAAP!!! Sorry. Try again. It is a military parade. I would go to the same thing at the state fair here, and there would be lots of American flags around. I got to climb on an F-16. (Brand new at the time.) I got to crawl all over the old M-113 troop carriers.

What I didn’t get was fake bombs strapped to me. I wasn’t handed a live rifle. I wasn’t told that I should go blow myself up to kill some Joooos.

There is no moral equivalence here, and it is disgusting to think that some people can’t see the difference.

Michael Fumento is a Worm

He’s tangling with Acidman now. Dig this mouth:

You demonsrate beautifully the very arrogance and self-importance I have attributed to bloggers such as yourself. The real world knows you are utterly talentless as a writer and it has rejected you, so you retreat to your fantasy blogosphere. Well blab all you want, because nobody outside of your tiny sphere has ever heard of you or ever will. You contribute nothing to society except hot air, which is not something in high demand this summer.

Mikey is a worm. Really. It bothers him that bloggers get attention. In America, you are defined by what you do. In other countries, when you meet someone, you ask, “How is your family?” What do we ask in America? “What do you do for a living?” That is what defines us.

Mikey is a man who sees that his days are numbered. He comes from a land where you pontificate to the masses, and they adore you, and say, “please sir, may I have another?” That isn’t how the world is going to continue to be. Sure, mass media is going to be around for a while. Newspapers didn’t kill books. Radio didn’t kill the newspaper. Television didn’t kill radio. But every one of those has sure as hell changed the face of society. And each one certainly marginalized that which preceded it.

Mike writes about health. There is a large percentage of the population that doesn’t need him to write in papers and books about health anymore. They have WebMD. They have Google. They have sites tailored to nearly any health concern. And that is what really chaps Mikey.

Sure, he will still have readers. People still get thier news from radio, no matter how big TV gets. But it isn’t important. Fumento is becoming unimportant. He measures his life by how much people need him — look at his own words:

My column goes out to 400 papers, many of which go directly online. The hits I get from just the online versions easily swamp you. Then add in the print papers themselves. If just a fraction of the people who read those papers read my column, I probably get more hits in a week than you get in a lifetime. And these are people reading a whole column, not some one-paragraph off-the-cuff remark with a link. Finally, how many magazines do you boast of that refuse to publish you. Go to my bio page and you’ll see I’ve been in many of the biggest. And how many books do you have to your name. I have five, thank you.

That’s how Mikey keeps score. A couple of years ago, people would have said, “wow, you wield great power — ravage me, you big hunk of man!” Now, they say, “Yeah, you get a bunch of hits. So does a guy with a bionic dick. Hey! Wait a second! You aren’t that guy that drinks puppy-shakes, are you?” That is his fear.

He was already a small part. No one buys papers for the health collumn. People read the health column because it is either that, or they can wretch over having accidently read Cathy again. (No link for that one. You can thank my via Paypal.) He knows that he can’t really claim those papers. He isn’t the one selling papers. He is just filling column inches.

Just like me. Just like Acidman. Just like the Fat Guy. And deep down inside, he thinks that there is something very, very wrong with that.

Say it ain’t so!

I was really happy to see that the Fat Guy getting another mention in a big paper, but when I read the writeup on his Luxury camping I’m having to re-think everything I feel about this man.

Sure the tents are there but now it’s canvas safari style, outfitted with electricity, with foyer and a sitting area as well as a bedroom large enough to hold a queen size bed. Outside, there’s a charcoal grill and an ice-filled cooler packed with whatever you told them you wanted when you made the reservation.

That’s right. Charcoal. I am disgusted. This is supposed to be luxury?

I remember when my family cooked with charcoal. We were poor. We couldn’t do any better. No sirloin for us; we were grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. But I’ll tell you what — as soon as we get into a little more money, we kept the hamburger and got propane. We’re doing better now; it is sirloin every week on Saturday now. But you can bet your ass that it is on propane, the way God intended for man to cook.

Charcoal. And to think that I almost went and sprung for this. I think if I do I’ll just bring my George Foreman Grill and cook on electric.

Charcoal. In Texas.

A Brief Time of Lucency

I was surfing moonbat websites (and getting paid for it) when I ran across this piece the commentator called “LUNACY OR MILITARY INTELLIGENCE?” Lunacy, hell. This was lucency. A moment of clarity.

However, based on this part:

The nuclear flash would have been widely visible from Earth, he said, and would have produced a lunar crater and dust cloud that, because of the moon’s lack of atmosphere, would have flown out in all directions rather than in the usual mushroom shape.

. . . it looks like Fearless Leader needs a new graphic on his T-shirts.