Family Upset Over Soldier’s Body Arriving As Freight

10News.com So our tax dollars can fly Cheney and his staff all over the country on fund raising jaunts, and stump speeches, but we can’t give the men and women who fall in the line of duty fighting his war the proper and respectful transport all the way from the battle field to their home town. Just one more disgusting fact from this administration.

del.icio.us: y.ah.oo!

del.icio.us: y.ah.oo!
So the ‘net is abuzz that the hot tagging service del.icio.us was bought by yahoo. Read through the comments, some are skeptical, some simply full of congrats, some outright damning the merger. Me, eh, I’ll wait to see what happens, but will start trying to get scuttle working again, just in case. I’ve been using Blinklist as well, and there’s no shortage of options out there, if yahoo does get too hands on. I really don’t see it as this commenter

What happened to the decentralization the internet was supposed to be so good for?

because, as I’ve said, there are other options out there, and will continue to grow, especially after this buy-out.

Gmail Web Clips

So the new feature in GMAIL is the “web clip”. Not really sure what it is, other than RSS feeds based on content of your mail. So when checking your SPAM folder before deleting, you now get recipes for “Savory Spam Crescents”, and “Ginger Spam Salad”, too funny.

80% of Military Voted or Tried To

Washington Post.com
I’d like to know a little more about the “efforts” of the DoD to connect soldiers with their citizenship. While I commend the 79% that did their civic duty, and perhaps will make it a habit after they leave the military, I doubt the sincerity of the DoD’s reasons. You had to be living in a cave in Afganhistan, (oops, no, they knew about it too) to not know about the slim margin Bush “won” by in ‘00, and the discussions of the military often voting Republican, etc, etc, etc. So Rummy made a concerted effort to “get out the vote” as soon as the war started, hoping that the patriotism and general tendacies would help him keep his job for 4 more years. Now that his job is not on the line, and the undertone of the politcal landscape is in much darker, I wonder if the DoD will make such a push for election turnout. And more so, I wonder if the Dems can pressure the DoD to maintain the “program”, and turn the knife, so to speak, on the administration.

Perfect Christmas Gift!

The perfect Christmas Gift! The blogsphere! (That term has been played out, hasn’t it?)Anyway, head over to my WordPress Station and read more about the inexpensive options available. be it a $25 a year blog package, or $60 for a full year (including domain registration), it’s the perfect gift for that hard to buy for teenager, or the geek-wanna-be Aunt.

Congress and the Bowl Championship Series

ESPN.com-Congress to look into ‘deeply flawed’ BCS system You have to be kidding me. Ah, your alma matre isn’t going to the Rose Bowl this year, so it’s time to cry fowl. Boo hoo! Try fixing the education system, or working on getting better funding for students, rather than this. Any thing, heck, I’d rather here some discussion about giving student athletes a stipend than how the BCS is flawed. Sure it is, so was the old bowl system. But this is that last place Congress needs to be sticking their nose. With record deficits, a war, corruption all over the Republican map, and this is best they’ve got. Flabergasted, that’s all I’ve got to say. I wonder if this guy Barton is one of the ones the Texas jerrymandering case got elected?

WordPress and Linkblox

So while doing a design for someone, I came across this site – Linkblox. Among some other flash type widgets, this one presents your links in a compact widget, especially if you have them categorized. What’s nifty about this free widget, is that is uses OPML. While not that familiar with it, a quick poke around the forums, I discovered that the links manager built into WordPress already outputs your links in an OPML file. It’s found in your root WP folder at wp-links-opml.php. The linkblox site simply asks for you to point to a OPML file, your URL, and then outputs a script for you to place in your header and sidebar. One for the header, one for the place you want your widget. So what’s nice, is you can continue to use your “link this” bookmarklet, and keep your blogroll/links in your DB, so if the “linkblox” site disappears, or you decide to stop using it, you still have all your blogroll safely at your site. The advanced customization for the widget gives you quite a bit of color customization, and the site promises this is a work in progress, which is why they are hosting the script, so that can make upgrades seamlessly behind the scenes.

Math Can’t Hurt You

Zeroing Out the Messenger So amongst all the Iraq/memo gate/plamegate/Katrina debates, another slug of a Republican Congress man, bought by Utilities companies in Oregon, managed to have a little known, yet important center shut down. I wrote about this last May, when a judge ruled the Bush plan on the spring and fall runs of Chinook salmon was wrong, and forced new numbers to be used. Well, that little known agency shut down by Congressman Larry Craig was responsible for using scientific means of measuring the population of the salmon. Long story short, Craig convinced his fellow congressman to shut down funding for the agency, and it looks like my faith in the people of the Pacific Northwest was unfounded.

Abramhoff’s Cancer Spreads

Lawmakers Under Scrutiny in Probe of Lobbyist I first wrote about the Firm of ASG and DeLay’s wife back in April. Here it is almost December and it’s finally becoming a legitimate news. Some of my favorites, DeLay’s wife was paid over 3 grand a month to determine each Congress man’s favorite charity. One would assume that could be done by a few low level staffers in a week via email and voice calls. And it looks more and more like DeLay is going to be smack dab in the middle of this one too. While we’re at it, might someone look a little further into the Brian Darling connection as well. With Bill Nelson facing a tough election next year, this could be something to take another swipe out of the Republican machine.

Breaking! Scanlon pleads out, to testify against Abramoff

EDIT-Link
Scanlon also admitted… he, Lobbyist A, and others engaged in a pattern of bribery through which one or both of them offered and provided a stream of things of value to public officials, including trips, campaign contributions, meals and entertainment in exchange for agreements that public officials would use their official positions and influence to benefit the clients of Scanlon and Lobbyist A as well as Lobbyist A’s businesses.

So Michael Scanlon, former DeLay aide, has pleaded guilty in a deal to agree to testify against Abramhoff. Does this mean he has some dirt on DeLay as well? Only time will tell. I’m sure the Justice dept is licking its lips at this one!

WordPress 2.0 Beta

Everyone in the WP realm is talking about it, and soon the buzz around the net will too, Matt and co. quietly released WordPress 2.0 Beta 1 this afternoon. Some have wondered the jump from 1.6 alpha to 2.0 beta, but to me, it seems a logical marketing choice. The buzz among the net the second half of this year has been web 2.0. Why not cash in on the hype? I mean, apps like WordPress helped fuel that buzz, that web application movement, why should they not get in on the action? Web apps like Flock, technorati, delicious, all rely on more tech savvy users, most who now have a blog somewhere. Heck, Flock tied itself into WordPress.com by working out invites to wp.com for those signing up for the developer’s release. So I say to Matt, and those who made the decision, smart move, and may the 2.0 wave continue to further the popularity and development of WordPress. And thanks for sharing.

How to Export your FireFox Bookmarks to Del.icio.us on a Mac

This is intended to be a simple tutorial for Mac OS X users. I’m not a programmer, I didn’t even play one on TV.

First, head over to SourceForge and grab this script. This is assuming your downloads go to your desktop. Second, export your FF bookmarks, for ease of explanation, to your desktop as well(make sure you select all the folders you want to export, by default, the Toolbar bookmarks are the only ones highlighted). You should have a Folder then on your desktop BookmarksToDelicious and your bookmarks.html file (and what ever else you have on your desktop). Now go to your Utilities folder, and open the Terminal application. For those who are not familiar with it, you are now officially venturing into the Unix core that you’ve heard about.
Once the terminal is open, you should see a prompt that looks something like $miklb:~ miklb$. Where miklb is the User name that you use on your machine. The first step is to move to the actual directory where the python script is, which is your BookmarksToDelicious folder on the desktop. Again, this is a bare bones explanation, for non-technical users, so feel free to comment if there’s a quicker way.
To get to the folder, first type: cd Desktop. The prompt should now be miklb$:~/Desktop miklb$. (Don’t forget, yours won’t be miklb, it will be what ever your user name is).
Next, type cd BookmarksToDelicious.
We are now in the folder the file is we want to execute. Almost there.
At this point you need to know your del.icio.us user name and password. For example purposes, I’m going to use the fictional user name of Alice, and password of Wonderland. Again, this is assuming your bookmarks are on the desktop. If not, you need to know the full path to that file. But if you’re following along, the next command to type into terminal is:
python BookmarksToDelicious.py – –username Alice – –password Wonderland –submit –debug /Users/miklb/Desktop/bookmarks.html

Where miklb is again the username you have on your machine, which is going to be the same as your prompt in the terminal.
If all goes well, you will begin to a lot of action scrolling down the page, and then the actual bookmarks going into del.icio.us, with a line saying “Getting”, then some code, then & result code =”done” /, & for each bookmark.
The script will put tags on each bookmark with the folder name for that bookmark. So if you have a folder called Apple in the folder toolbar-bookmarks, that will be the tag structure you get for the bookmark. You can then edit that in del.icio.us, or, you can redo your folder structure in FF prior to export, which ever you prefer.
Also note, it’s not neccessary to use the –debug command, I simply included it, as it may be nice to see something happen, and know when it’s done. Working in Terminal, generally speaking, it doesn’t show anything happening, so a new user may not know what’s going on. Seeing stuff scroll down the screen helps. If you run into a problem, you can leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to help, but again, this is meant as a bare-bones-I-couldn’t-find-a-better-option way of doing this, and wanted to share, as I didn’t come across many other explanations.

Milk for Oil?

Reuters.com
OK, so Big Oil said they didn’t need the subsidy, so Congress, trying to save some money here and there figured, hey, we’ll cut the subsidy then. Smart think guys. But then this comes along. Hastert, playing politics, pushes to extend an expired subsidy for dairy farmers. Granted, an International dairy board is against the subsidy, and there’s got to be something better to do than hand money over to dairy farmers ‘cause they can’t sell their milk, but, hey, when a Republican Congressman is running for Governor of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin was a “battle ground” state, it makes perfect sense. According to this fact sheet, The MILC (get it, milk)program is about giving milk producers money if the price drops too low. Why then, can a Republican government that argues about free trade, and capitalism, support such a program. Because it’s our food supply?? Not mine, I don’t drink milk. Will they start subsidizing organic produce? I’d much rather do that, to lower the cost to me, than give a billion dollars to commercial milk farmers.

Who Hired This Guy??

Washington Post OK, sure, when ever you’ve got billions of dollars flowing around with out a check and balance system, there’s bound to be some corruption. Much has been made about the no-bid contracts, the mis-management of money by the Bremer lead provisional Authority, and finally formal charges have been levied. My question is this? Who their right mind hired this guy Stein to work their in the first place. Talk about fox in the hen house. Guy was found guilty of fraud in ‘96, spent some time in jail even. Hello!! He even paid some of his restitution from the previous crime with the kickbacks he got for this one. His wife paid taxes! 3 years late! I’d love, just love to know who he knew to get the job. And I’d like to hear how it wasn’t thought out on how to hire people to oversee REGIONS without proper background checks. This wasn’t a low level guy getting a few thousand dollars, this was a guy who got .5 million in kickbacks for fixing over 13 million in contracts, which never really were done. And the investigator says 50 more are being looked at. More examples of poor planning by the administration. Thank God though they were able to “negotiate” the deals with Haliburton months before the invasion…

Alex King asks, Should I Host Another WordPress Theme Competition?

So with the impending release of WP 1.6, Alex King ponders the pluses and minuses of hosting another theme contest, and asked for opinions. So as someone who came along WP as he was starting his second contest, may I add that the primary thing I remember from that contest, and perhaps should be consider if a third comes along, is the delineation of where one theme ends and another begins. If I take Kubrick, put a new header on it, change some fonts and colors, is that a new theme? I realize that is a fine line, but with a panel in place to screen a theme that’s hosted on the contestants own site, a consensus can be reached as whether or not it’s original.
Second suggestion, phases of judging. Contestants host the design, and each category is narrowed, to say, 3. At that point, the theme is then put on a clean install to test the safety, and code. Thus eliminating some of the worries.
But I will say, the second contest was surely a motivator to get more involved with WP and explore its community, which subsequently opened my eyes to many more things web related. Where my knowledge is now, can only be contributed to my exposure to WP at that point. And I can only hope that 1.6 and a theme contest does that for someone lese like my self. So I encourage and will support, be it $$ or time, to see that another does happen.

ZazzleStamps

How bloody cool is this: ZazzleStamps your own image on a real, licensed stamp. I think 20 stamps is around $16, and the more you buy, the cheaper they get. And if you’ve got a Flickr account, then you can easily choose an image from there for the stamp.