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Hometown: GA
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,980

Journal Archives

How are your charitable donations changing this year?

Are you donating less? More? To any new organizations?

I'm adding the Women's Refugee Commission to my list this year, for their work on behalf of migrant families at the U.S. border.

With the higher standard deduction in place for 2018 Federal Income Taxes, I may not end up itemizing deductions, but I still want to make a difference with my dollars, so I'm donating about as much as I have in previous years. Scrambling to get a few more contributions in by Monday.

Beautiful documentary about New York's last great chess shop


Open Culture is an excellent source for information about many wondrous creative people and projects. This piece is especially nice.

Cute story from a Republican and former Trump administration official appointed by Ryan Zinke,

who resigned his post at the Bureau of Indian Affairs last year under an ethical cloud because of his role in a tribal loan to buy a Wall Street brokerage that later went belly up -- a gambit for which Clarkson and his consulting firm collected a $327,500 paycheck.

More on Gavin Clarkson:

Secret and Unaccountable: The Tribal Council at Lower Brule and its Impact on Human Rights

Trump appointee to Bureau of Indian Affairs resigns after Interior’s IG slams the loan program he oversaw

ProPublica: Your $20 million loan went bust? The Trump team will hire you

Report cites 'disturbing' conduct of former Bureau of Indian Affairs official

Q&A: Secretary of State candidate Gavin Clarkson
Q: Do you believe New Mexico’s campaign finance reporting system should be improved? If so, what changes would you propose?

Gavin Clarkson: Albuquerque’s mayoral race is a perfect example of the failure of our campaign finance system. A publicly funded candidate should not be allowed to leverage private donations. “Dark Money” from George Soros has reportedly flowed to my opponent repeatedly, yet the existing system doesn’t force those funds to be reported.

Please support John Barrow! This Democrat could become Georgia's next Sec. of State on 12/4.


If we're going to fight voter suppression in Georgia, the best way to do it is with a Democratic Secretary of State! Democrat John Barrow is in a runoff election, along with Public Service Commission candidate Lindy Miller, with the vote scheduled for Tues. December 4th.

In the November 6 midterm election, Barrow came very close to winning. Here are the totals:
John Barrow (D) - 1,877,742
The Republican - 1,901,463
The Libertarian - 86,109

Folks, that's a difference of just 23,721 votes, and the Libertarian has endorsed Barrow, so this race is very winnable IF we get out the vote!

“I know John Barrow, I’ve served with John Barrow, and I trust John Barrow. John is a fighter for us. We need to do everything that we can to make sure that John is our next Georgia Secretary of State.” — Rep. John Lewis

For more info:

John Barrow - Ballotpedia
IndieDems: The Importance of Georgia’s December 4 Runoff Election
Daily Kos: Georgia's Dec. 4 runoff for secretary of state is crucial for stopping GOP voter suppression in 2020
Barrow for Georgia: Volunteer

Many years ago, a friend of mine

who’d fallen on hard times was paying for his groceries with food stamps. An asshole right-winger behind him in line was muttering all this stuff about the “god-damned gummint.”

My friend turned to him and said, “I AM the government!”

He said the guy looked like he’d had cold water hurled at his face. That shut him up but quick.

WE are the government. Never forget that.

After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside

Note: This article may warrant a trigger warning for some, since it details intense psychological abuse in some quarters of the open source development community.

After Years of Abusive E-mails, the Creator of Linux Steps Aside
September 19, 2018 - The New Yorker
By Noam Cohen

The e-mails of the celebrated programmer Linus Torvalds land like thunderbolts from on high onto public lists, full of invective, insults, and demeaning language. “Please just kill yourself now. The world will be a better place,” he wrote in one. “Guys, this is not a dick-sucking contest,” he observed in another. “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” he began in a third.

Torvalds has publicly posted thousands of scathing messages targeting programmers who submit what he deems flawed code to the Linux computer-operating-system kernel, which he brought to life more than twenty-five years ago and now administers as a collaborative, open-source project. Today, the Linux kernel is famous, running the enormous computers of Google, PayPal, Amazon, and eBay, and the two billion mobile phones using the Android operating system. Torvalds, though, retains final say over each precious line of code, just as he did when he first started working on the system as a graduate student at the University of Helsinki. For years, he has been known as Linux’s “benevolent dictator for life.”

On Sunday, the benevolent dictator announced that he would be stepping down temporarily, to “get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately.”

More at link.

Very unfortunate, but Torvalds is taking an important step. Linux is a great project. I hope Torvalds gets some meaningful help and changes his behavior.

Amid the all-too-common misogyny in tech, it's disheartening that what should be a warm, welcoming environment for all contributors has tolerated such assholery, starting at the top. Linus Torvalds, a very influential figure, can play a huge role in improving that situation not only for Linux developers but for the tech world at large.

Preet talks with Joyce Vance - must-listen podcast

On his most recent podcast, released today, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara speaks with Joyce Vance (who held the same job in the Northern District of Alabama) about the blockbuster events of Tuesday 8/21. Recorded just after 6 p.m. ET that day, this is a fascinating conversation between two brilliant legal minds as the dramas of Manafort's conviction (and, more significantly, Cohen's confession) unfold -- check it out at the link below, or use your favorite podcast gizmo to access Stay Tuned With Preet.

I listen to Stay Tuned With Preet on TuneIn. You can also hear the podcast on their site without installing the app:

Ok, so what analogy should we use

to describe a policy of kidnapping the children of people whose only crime is walking hundreds of miles trying to stay alive and become Americans? Stalin's USSR? The USA of the 18th and 19th centuries?

Ingraham demonstrates her knowledge of right-wing "debate" tactics 101: change the terms of the discussion so now we're talking not about ripping families apart, but about my skill as a debater and whether or not the Trump "zero tolerance" policy is like the Nazis.

Maybe there is no suitable analogy. So that makes it OK to kidnap these children, with no plan for returning them to their parents or guardians? (Insert claim that these are MS-13 gang members and drug smugglers with other people's children, posing as families).

Oh yeah, and another thing: Republicans' insistence on destroying asylum seekers' families is going to bring them down in 2018. Keep doubling and tripling down, morons.

Billboard promoting souvenir Trump-Kim coin

I'd like to see these all over the country:

Generated here: https://bighugelabs.com/billboard.php

Has anybody applied for the Global Entry clearance?

I'm intrigued after reading this article:
TSA Precheck isn't worth your money — and there's a better alternative few people consider (Business Insider, 4/9/2018)

Is the application process onerous? What questions do they ask in the interview? How does it compare to TSA Precheck in your estimation?
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