Signing Statements: The new line-item veto.

Bush certainly thinks so. The media has now turned this into a story: 110 signing statements challenging the effects of over 700 laws. Now if that’s not a line-item veto, I’m not sure what is.

To make it transparent, realize that Bush took a legally binding oath to uphold and execute the Constitution and the laws of the US. Twice. And how many times has he done that? To be fair, at least a few, but to be fair far less than what that oath requires: every single time. Certainly he’s human, but the office he holds requires him at the least to back track and fix what he breaks. He hasn’t done that. He has not taken responsibility for the disasters both natural and man caused that have occurred during his term of office.

Again, I ask would you hire this man to do a job for you? Probably not. So why do we still see over 1/3 of the country support him? It’s what’s called an investment trap. You put some money into a venture, and it gets worse. Well, there comes a point where you’ve invested enough that you feel committed to it. It’s a “you will not desert a sinking ship with your family still on board” kind of thing.

It’s also well known in tournament poker terminology as “pot-committed.” You’re short-stacked, the blinds are eating you alive, you see the big blind coming around at you again and look down to see a big fat suited connector. Say, Q-J. What do you do? Well, you probably either go all-in or you make a big enough stab that you think you can take it down with. Let’s say you throw half of what you have left at it. At that point you’ll probably go all-in no matter what happens on the flop.

So you’re a 50 year old veteran, you’ve got a family, a good job. You’re a good Christmerican. Then you get the memo, “we’re living in a post-9/11 world.” You feel itchy. You have to scratch. You support our troops. You support the family. You want to see the American Dream succeed at all costs. Bush tells you that Iraq has WMDs. You remember the horrors told by Kuwaitis from the first Gulf War. You forget that it came out they were paid off. You forget that at one point in time Rummy shook Hussein’s hand, that we supported Iraq against Iran. By God, you do not want some maniac with a nuke. You forget N. Korea.

So you support him then. You supported his father even after Iran-Contra. You always loved Reagan for being truthful about not knowing the truth. Nixon may have been impeached, but he was a hell of a guy and you’re sure he only got wrapped up in Watergate because it was in your best interest. So you support going back to Iraq. It’s the rematch, this time America finishes the job.

You allow yourself to ignore bin Laden still being at large five years later. That we had the opportunity to get him in Afghanistan. You don’t worry about the domestic spying, because you’re too worried about Mexicans you don’t give a damn about stepping over an imaginary line and causing economic chaos.

So you still support him. He’ll protect us, just like he didn’t do on 9/11. He’ll protect us, just like he didn’t do last year during Katrina. Look how much he’s tried to do about abortion and gay marriage. Yes. He understands. ‘2,500 dead? It ain’t no Vietnam. I don’t care how many Iraqis have died, they isn’t Christmerican.’

I understand. You’ve bought and owned that viewpoint your whole life. You gotta believe. It’s like faith at this point. But some of us haven’t bought it. Some of us have taken the time to educate ourselves and don’t like violence, war, greed, theft, or incompetence. And we have to put up with your backed up cess pool overflowing into all of our yards. Fix it, or we’re going to have to hire a lobotomist to fix it for us.

$null 0.1

Facts from the wild frontier… and other useless whatevers. Compiled over time, and I may do this again from time to time.

Bush is in over his head” [followed by a link to an MTV.com article]

the president is ‘pro-life with three exceptions’: rape, incest or when there is a threat to a woman’s life

Anyone urinating in this area will be discharged.

A 67-year-old Canyon County man who claims he has not eaten since early January to force the Idaho Legislature to pass an anti-abortion law” […] “The father of 16 children says he’s lost 50 pounds so far and can no longer feed the many animals that live on his Wilder farm.

Spit as little as possible and never upon the floor.

The Web is ‘highly unusual & postapocalyptic circumstances.’

One expert says sometimes big balls of ice just fall from the sky without any explanation.

It’s days like today I wish I had a bedet.

the first case in history in which fires leveled a steel frame building

There is a cycle to life much like a woman’s legs: things get harrier and things get clean-shaven.

I’m a big fan of the environment.

Don’t worry, if you have nothing to hide there will never be a reason to attach electrodes to your genitals.

fucking crazies

Believe me, if I could design a virus that would leave scalpers totally impotent, mute, and penniless, I would. Same goes for lawyers. (I have a whole different virus in mind for mini vans. More on that later.)

We have never fought a country that has a McDonalds.

Harvest the carrots and dodge the anvils.

ron jeremy is wearing a mario suit and flippin me off

Hmm 512 bytes to format a decimal integer sounds a little abusive

Misery accomplished

Loss of park space is both real and frightening.

[holding a banana]”This is an atheist’s worst nightmare.

When I was a kid, I fucked a bag of butter.

[linking to moveable type]”Powered (hindered?) by an embarrassingly unintuitive CMS

If the King’s English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for us!

Thank you for taking the time to share your favorite movie “The Return of the Pirate Bay” with us. We appreciate your interest in the Motion Picture Association and the motion picture industry. Your views are important to us.

When you kiss someone you’re forming one long tube with buttholes on either end.

I can’t even form a thought because these skulls keep chasing me!

Dream places remind me of how I think people felt in the 1960s and stuff

I survived 30 minutes of 1 second io scheduler switching with a very busy io load and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

Everybody has a uniform that says security on it.

…replace the bed sheet with ten-dimensional space-time…

Move the Data.

No link. Just a simple suggestion. The number of stories of mainframe storage being compromised to steal identity data are very few, but it seems we’re hitting a once a month story of a laptop that got lapnapped. Thousands, millions of peoples’ data out there in the ethers floating.

Now, in all likelihood the data was not the target of the thefts. A laptop is a nice score for a minor criminal; they are easy to move, liquid. The risk, if caught, is not monumental and the risk of being caught is not either. Identity theft or conspiracy to commit fraud, those are not things the average thief after a quick turn of a laptop wants to involve themselves in for the most part. Maybe the reward is greater, but so are the risks and the punishments.

So we need to recognize that rather than giving thousands, millions of people an extra dose of stress for an indeterminable time period, we should seek to change the way companies and governments store and access their data. I was just commenting about how the Library of Congress search is not a good example of government leading the way in technologies that bring information access to new thresholds. Neither do they set a good example for information security.

The solution is to put the sensitive data behind the firewall, behind the encrypted protocol, behind the password protected server login. Some need the data on the go? All the more reason to move forward in our information delivery infrastructure. More pipes, more availability. There is simply no excuse to take that data and wrap it in what amounts to a candy wrapper and place it on the entrancetable’s candy dish. A laptop is a tempting thing to steal, and it doesn’t really matter what data is on it. A majority of the time the goal will not be data, but the ability to turn that laptop into quick, easy money.

So, let’s use some sense.

dpkg-buildpackage subversion tutorial

This is a brief writeup of how to take a package or version of package that’s not yet in incoming debian but is on the subversion. Please note it pertains to sid/unstable, though may be applicable for other versions.

First thing you want to do is hit up the above web-subversion browser and find the location of the package you want. For example I was annoyed that they merged the gtk2 engines into one package and thus broke the industrial cursor theme. Well, there is a new package being developed to put the industrial theme back in, but it’s not in incoming yet. You can see similar packages here in the “New and Byhand” listing.

So you find the package you want on the SVN, now you need to download the source:

svn co svn://svn.debian.org/pkg-gnome/packages/unstable/industrial-cursor-theme ~/new

svn co invokes the subversion client to connect to the address that follows: svn.debian.org. Use the directory that applies. In this case the theme is a member of gnome, so pkg-gnome, then almost always packages/unstable/package-you-want. then ~/new will download that source to ~[home]/new, a directory called ‘new’ in your home directory. You should be fine running this as a regular user.

Now, you have the source in ~/new, what’s next? You want to go ahead and build the source into a dpkg so it will properly register in your installation and can be updated seamlessly. So, go ahead and jump to ~/new, and then dpkg-buildpackage

It may report needed dependencies and/or give errors regarding a makefile. In that case you need to root up and install the needed packages, try looking in ~/new/debian/rules file for any package you need. In my case I had to install gnome-pkg-tools.

So root down and build it, don’t give up if it has errors, look around, inspect, try to determine any other packages that may be needed that could cause errors. You may have to resign eventually if it’s just a broken package, but generally you should be able to get it built. Once you’ve done that, hop back to ~/ and you should find your shiny new .deb to dpkg -i. And you’re done, buy yourself a beer and toast to the debian developers all over the world.

To recap:

1. Locate the package in upstream subversion repository. ie, industrial-cursor-theme
2. Construct your svn command to check out the code. ie, svn co svn://svn.debian.org/pkg-gnome/packages/unstable/industrial-cursor-theme ~/new
3. Build the package from source using dpkg-buildpackage. Simply cd to the appropriate location and dpkg-buildpackage
4. Read the output. If there’s an error, look at it, stare it down. If it says something about no such directory or file, what file, what directory? Maybe you’re missing a dependency. If it’s more complicated, talking about some error in code (ie, “foo.c:38 expected ‘)'”) you may be out of luck unless you can do some coding and fix it.
5. Assuming you had no (4) or you resolved it, you’ll have a .deb file containing your package. Just dpkg -i file.deb and it will install.

Please feel free to comment if you have any questions, suggestions, clarifying points, et cetera.

Knockless Warrants Upheld

Briefly — looking at this AP story via Yahoo!, the SCOTUS has upheld police entering without announcement for warranted searches. What does this really get us except a lot of gunfights? If someone crashes into your home without announcement, you have the right to shoot first and ask questions later. So now if someone does so, you need to worry that they are the law, and that they will kill you for trying to protect your home. Great.

The only solution I see is to renovate. Place six feet of bricks behind all traditional entrances, and start building hidden passages entering and exiting your abode. It’s the only way. Let them rupture their internal organs trying to ram-batter solid steel plates. At least their curses at failure will serve as proper announcement of their presence and intentions. I mean, after all it is unreasonable to have a reasonable search and seizure without the simple courtesy of clearing up the question of legality.

It’s not like they haven’t divebombed the wrong house on a lawful warrant before. It’s not like this makes sense. The whole reason is in the event you might be able to destroy the evidence they seek. Well last I checked until you are informed they want and have been granted legal right to “evidence,” you can destroy it all you want. Set up thermite lozenges of love with remote triggers attached to the doors and their barging without first disabling the system via a sixteen digit security code will result in a firebomb on the precious spice they seek to confiscate.

It’s a bad ruling without sense except to bolster the “we’re tough, go Joe!” attitude that is so prevalent in the post-American Century. What’s next on the agenda, allowing officers to excavate your cess pool without first taking the proper steps to make sure it doesn’t flow over into your neighbor’s yard? The whole point of search warrants and the due process associated with them is to make sure that there is a cordial circumstance to precede and follow the admitted but necessary breach of public liberty and private rights. The more you erode it, the thinner the line. The thinner the line, the easier it is to cross it. The easier it is to cross it, the less free we all are.