Archive for May, 2010

Daily Show – Marines in Berkley

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One of my favorite Daily Show clips:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Marines in Berkeley
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

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OpenID

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OpenID is somewhat new. It allows you to log in to participating sites based on authenticating to an OpenID provider. Many of the providers are well known, such as Google, MySpace, Yahoo!, Blogger, Flickr, etc. There are also dedicated providers.

More info here: http://openid.net/

I'd heard of it and saw Drupal had a (pre-installed) module for it, so I enabled it. Then I decided to try it. There are instructions for the various providers and most of them are as simple as entering, for example, username.livejournal.com. Google was a little a little trickier, but pretty straight-forward. 

  1. Go to your Google Profile URL
  2. There's a bunch of stuff you can fill out. You will be searchable in Google the more you fill out. I left my first and last name as the only filled form fields. To enable it, though, I had to click the "Create Profile" button at the bottom of the screen. I now had a profile and my Google OpenID is now 'www.google.com/profiles/mygmailusername'

If you've done that or have used OpenID before, joining a site running on the Drupal framework is a little counter-intuitive (though it may be normal?) So here's my experience.

  1. Put my OpenID in the OpenID box
  2. I was redirected to google, I was already authenticated there , so I just had to verify I was OK with using the google OpenID for this site.
  3. I was redirected back to my site, where I was promted to supply a username and email.
  4. The email contained a password I could use and a link that would allow a one-time auto-login. I clicked the link.
  5. Once I had done that, I logged out and was able to log back in via my OpenID

I'm not sure, it may be a good idea for non-serious sites. I wouldn't use it for my bank, for example. It is also interesting that I do have a password on my site, if I choose to go that route, so it's not exclusive. You can also have multiple OpenIDs associated with the account on this site, so if one provider goes away or whatever, you can use another provider.

One argument against would be that it's centralizing the risk , but that's at least somewhat mitigated by being able to switch providers. End of the day, if you feared identity theft or whatever, you'd be running around updating OpenID providers instead of passwords. It looks pretty secure as far as keeping your authentication from the site (mine, in this case).

Wikipedia weighs in: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenID

 

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Personal Political History

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I’ve touched on this before, but feel some need to expand on it.

Both my parent were/are conservative, though my Dad is more of an independent. They weren’t particularly vocal about it or anything. I remember their disappointment when Carter was elected, but I wouldn’t say I was raised in a particularly political household. I didn’t really think about politics much growing up that I can remember. Meta-politically, I was unnerved by industrial development and war and poverty, etc., but didn’t really correlate solutions with political parties or ideologies. I do remember watching portions of the Iran Contra hearings and being disillusioned, but still am pretty sure I voted for Bush in ’88 (my first election!).

Toward the end of my high school career, I started getting into the hippie culture, and got further into it throughout the first two of my college years. I was convinced the hippies would complete what they had started in the 60s, that it was a matter of time before my parents and everyone else “got” the hippie thing. I read Be Here Now while on acid and thought I was enlightened.

The Gulf War broke out in ’90 and I was devastated and not alone. A guy called Phoenix set up a tent in Dunn Meadow and soon a round the clock vigil/protest was born. School (which my parents were paying for) took a back seat to the cause. Regardless of any recklessness with my parents’ investment, I’m still glad I stood up for what I believed in. We sang “Give Peace a Chance” so much I wanted to puke, but at the same time, that idea was so core to my perspective. A group of conservatives came down one night*, and we were terrified. I don’t remember much else, as I was stoned most of the time. After heated exchanges, I think we honestly held hands and sang “Give Peace a Chance” until they went away. I think there may have actually been some act of aggression on their part, but it’s all fuzzy.

Socialism and anti-capitalist rhetoric was not the order of the day, really. The war was considered imperialistic and profit-driven, but I don’t remember a lot of a further indictment of capitalism itself. There was a quirky song called, “You Ain’t Been Doing Nothing If You Ain’t Been Called a Red”, but I still consider that a parody of McCarthyism, rather than an ideological call to arms. There were two individuals who were considered “The Socialists”. I had no opinion of socialism at the time, but intuitively considered them the dark side of the peace movement. It was a professor and a student (his protogee?) and they, in retrospect, were truly at the vanguard wearing keffiyehs in 1990.

Somehow the camp out on campus evolved into a storefront on 3rd street called the Peace and Justice Center. It was an interesting experiment in idealism meeting reality and, looking back, a preview of what happens when a group of disparate radicals with pet causes try to find a common front. I was quite involved and bewildered that more weren’t getting in on the ground floor of the (non-violent) revolution.

In the midst of this, I started to lose faith in hippie-dom. I was always pretty musically open-minded and a friend of mine had lent me N.W.A.’s Straight Out of Compton after he heard I liked Public Enemy. I was drawn by the rawness of it and began to feel the hippie movement was not radical enough. At the same time, I started hanging out with anarchists and reading Goldman, Bakunin, Anarchy magazine, etc. Between these, the peace movement started to seem too benign. A favorite poster I wheat pasted at the time compared holding hands for peace to lambs being led to the slaughter.

I dropped out of college after my junior year. I drifted away from anarchist theory, but didn’t cling to another. I listened to Too $hort, Naughty By Nature, Ice T, Geto Boys. I listened to the Clash, Dead Kennedys, and the Misfits. I listened to Nirvana and Alice in Chains (Sound Garden, not so much). I listened to Slayer, Biohazard, and Sick of It All. I listened to Brown Betty and Tangleweed. I worked in restaurant kitchens and, to paraphrase The Clash, hit the town and drank my wages. Any specific policy critiques were subsumed by a general disapproval of “The System”. I’m currently not even sure what that means, but it certainly didn’t include any solutions.

As time went on, I let some pop music back in my life and swung back from my nearly complete nihilism to embrace local and organic food. I guess we’re into the Clinton years now and I didn’t really pay much attention to politics. They’d backed down on the war on drugs some, so what was a little Bosnian crisis? Honestly, both parties sucked (it was the “system”) and I was frustrated as hell, looking for a revolution and getting wasted.

In 2000, I voted for Nader. I didn’t know much and pretty much just voted for the pseudo-viable 3rd party candidate. Bush won.

9-11. Devastating. But I considered it pure blow back.

2004; Voted for Kerry (against Bush). Bush won.

Bush/Cheney/Rove were teh evil. I felt a lot more strongly about this before Obama extended the Patriot Act, etc.

Early 2008: Started watching Daily/Colbert, which was the closest thing I’d done to paying attention to news in years.

2008: Voted for Obama. I’m not one of those who had no idea what he was about. I thought universal health care was a good idea. I’d argued with my parents how the increased size of the pot would help everyone. Similar on other issues.

Feb-Mar. 2009: I think it started with his backtracking on FISA. I was hesitant to vote for Obama in the first place, as I didn’t think he was radical enough, but I was also concerned about his honesty and follow-through, so when I saw him back-pedalling on FISA, I sought out what the “other side” was saying about Obama. I didn’t go to Rush or Fox, I went to 4chan/b/ and someone provided a link to the Alex Jones film “The Obama Deception”.

If you are not familiar with Alex Jones, I generally consider him a nutjob. That said, there were valid accusations among the conspiracy theories. I also must give him credit that in the midst of false flags, psy ops, chem trails, etc., he brings up The Constitution a lot.

This got me to read the constitution and think about the founding of this country and limited government.

Started listening to Mark Levin and (God forbid) Rush. Coulter is hilarious.

i can haz rule of law?

* Among those conservatives was a guy named Matt Foreman, someone I had played with as a child, but I guess we grew apart. He died several years later diving in a nearby quarry. Kind of strange this was the last time I saw him.

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Maple Tree Seedling

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Maple Tree Sapling

Sorry about the dirty table I took this on. I think if I ever want to convert my garden into a maple tree farm, it would be a success. I’ve been pulling scores of little saplings out. It is pretty wild how they transform. If it’s not clear in the picture above, a seedling is breaking out of its transporter pod and out of its tip the start of roots (to the left) and a stalk and leaves (to the right), which probably would have thrived in my garden, had I not extracted it.

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Tom Gabel is apparently directing his songs directly to me at this point

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“I Was A Teenage Anarchist”

Against Me! | MySpace Music Videos

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