Gray Flannel Dwarf


Barack Obama MLK speech.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 10:01 am


In the Chips.

If anyone doubts the continued relevance of Bob Dylan, one only needs to consider the following words of wisdom, circa 1963.

Now, the man on the stand he wants my vote,
He’s a-runnin’ for office on the ballot note.
He’s out there preachin’ in front of the steeple,
Tellin’ me he loves all kinds-a people.
He’s eatin’ bagels
He’s eatin’ pizza
He’s eatin’ chitlins

–Bob Dylan, “I Shall Be Free”

Last week there were a few raised eyebrows concerning this exchange between Hillary Clinton and someone on the campaign trail, at a stop in Las Vegas:

A man shouted through an opening in the wall that his wife was illegal.

“No woman is illegal,” Clinton said, to cheers.

However, that misses the meatier bits in the article. Shrewdly identified, but somewhat awkwardly referenced over here at Daily Kos, it seems to have slipped the radar by a lot of people.

The quote in question:

“We treat these problems as if one is guacamole and one is chips, when … they both go together,” she said.

This statement, given the fact that, according to the article…

Clinton hugged Kihuen around the shoulders and asked about his family, and then the two began knocking on doors, the same doors Kihuen knocked on nearly two years ago in his first campaign. Clinton spent more than an hour in the predominantly Hispanic and black neighborhood.

…comes across as sheer, unadulterated pandering, and it’s disgusting.

Now some will come to Clinton’s defence on this one. They’ll say that she was at a Mexican restaurant. Sorry, that doesn’t cut it. In fact it comes across as even more sycophancy and equally pathetic.

Dylan’s not the only pertinent poet this time around, though: It’s Dante, whom in his Inferno, reserves the Malebolge, the eighth circle in Hell, for the fraudulent, the malicious, and the panderers.

Tags: , — cswiii @ 10:36 am



…that’s the sound you hear from the Hillary campaign’s chances in South Carolina after this little statement hits the mainstream media:

“Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act,” Clinton said. “It took a president to get it done.”

Intended or (most likely) not, it comes across as just a bit of a slight, no?

Tags: , , — cswiii @ 5:05 pm


The Audacity of Dopes

It would be remiss of me to write the following words without prefacing or making some sort of disclaimer that Obama is my candidate of choice. But it should be noted that I haven’t been too sure of this one for too awful long, and in fact had serious doubts, until recently. Lest any further doubts of your own linger, I was holding out hope for another Wes Clark run at it in 2008, and when that didn’t happen, I certainly was quite disappointed that he decided to align so quickly with the Clinton camp.

So, kos, apparently much chagrined at Obama, for a purported statement that, “I don’t want to go into the next election starting off with half the country already not wanting to vote for Democrats — we’ve done that in 2004, 2000,” fires off one of his own:

Psst, Barack, slamming John Kerry and Al Gore is what Republicans do. Not Democrats.

Psst Markos — since when do Democrats find themselves peering down the long barrel of some Reaganesque “11th commandment” of their own?

It is true that the Dems seem to eat their own, whereas the GOP tends to be lockstep — something that’s both an asset and a liability to the party, breeding diversity while also running the risk of causing animosity. You’re well aware of this, and you called out these this splintering in Crashing the Gate. But it’s apparently wrong to call out the failures of past campaigns and candidates — something else you also did in the book?

Markos, we know that you are, amongst other things, a sports fan, so you’re probably well aware that, often times, in close games, controversial (and sometimes bad) calls are made which may very will change the outcome and drastically change the end result. And just as often as people will whine that game was lost due to poor refereeing, cooler heads — often times those of the coaches themselves — prevail and the age-old truth is known: you can’t blame a game on a single call. If your team was good enough, they’d have won decisively, and that single call wouldn’t have affected the result — if it would have even occurred at all.

So now, in an odd bout of revisionism, you’re suggesting that Gore won (he didn’t, semantics and political systems be damned) and that Obama is somehow running to the right in order to win (he’s not).

A lot of people, wrongly or not, thought Gore2K was boring and wooden. The marketing sucked, the end result was both devastating and sobering. So what happened in 2004? Kerry won Iowa, and the Democrats, frothing and ready to take on GWB, buck the general historical trend concerning Iowa caucuses and eventual winners and latch on to Kerry, ignoring his fatal flaws, showering him with support, and run with him all the way through to the doubly-damning 2004 election result.

And Obama is somehow wrong for saying that the Dems need a candidate who doesn’t have a groundswell of opposition from the onset? We can ignore Gore’s buffed and polished weaknesses, but yet ignore the obvious issues a Hillary candidacy will entail? The Hillary campaign may seem like a juggernaut, but maybe that hulking mass is little more than a disguised 800-lb gorilla that everyone seems to be ignoring.

You and I both know the real paradox here — Hillary is the most centrist of the Democratic candidates and yet is the most despised by those on the right. I’m sure the Obama campaign is well-aware of this as well. I don’t know how Obama can be perceived as embracing “right-wing talking points”, either politically or rhetorically. I know you continually discount Hillary “electability” issues by citing national poll after national poll, but national polling did a fat lot of good in 2004.

I find my own anecdotal evidence to be a whole lot more revealing — real people to whom I’ve spoken, not anonymous polling numbers and not merely “centrists”, but those with right-leaning tendencies — people who are publicly or privately fed up with GWB and are looking very earnestly at candidates on the left. They tend to like, and sometimes even admire the likes of Edwards, or Biden, or Obama.

But the paradox lives on and these same people will not, in any way, shape or means, vote for Hillary.

Democrats want a landslide victory in 2008. In 2006 a near tidal-wave of change hit Congress and the Senate, and 2008 could be a repeat of epic proportions if the voters have the right choices. But that choice does not, however fortunately or unfortunately one wants to consider it, include Hillary at the helm. That Obama is recognizant of this does not make him a partisan or someone looking to the right for support. Rather, having seen what has occurred in 2000 and 2004, and what risks the Dems entail if HRC were to get the nomination, I’d say he’s a realist.

Tags: , , , , — cswiii @ 3:16 pm

Lo def, mos’def

One of my wife’s Christmas gifts was, admittedly, partially a toy for me. More accurately, i purchased it because I appears/appeared to fulfill a need of hers, while at the same time, hoping I could have some fun and learn a bit about it too.

The item in question is the Pinnacle PCTV HD Pro Stick… or more specifically, the one that I purchased at a price significantly lower than list.

Now, everything I’d read said it was a good product, but that you should use a different software — something like the nifty (and GPLed) app, MediaPortal — because the proprietary app was dog-slow. Sure enough, when I got everything installed, the HD channels appeared reasonably well, albeit occasionally choppy, but amazingly clear. However, it wasn’t long before the app UI would be nearly downright unresponsive, except for the actual video display itself.

I then installed MediaPortal, and the UI worked better — but video seemed to suffer a slight bit more. Hmmph.

Perhaps I should, at this point, indicate that my wife’s system is about a three-year old Dell Inspiron. Not a workhorse by any means, but not quite ready to be put out to pasture yet, especially due to fine grooming and upkeep, resulting in a virus/spyware free system. Also, too many horse metaphors there.

Anyway, while it seemed to me that her system was certainly suitable for this usage, the thought also passed through my mind that I needed to try things on a more high-calibre system.

Half a day later, after poring through Em28xx docs and associated module compilations, figuring out which apps could handle DVB (since Media Portal is a Windows app), and then learning how to scan for said HD channels, I started picking up high-def channels on my Fedora box.

However, I am saddened to report that on my desktop — a dual AMD 3800+ with a slightly dated, but seemingly reasonable video card (NVIDIA GeForce 6600), video was still choppy — perhaps even more so than on my wife’s laptop.

And yet still haven’t found a lot of people complaining about the quality (or lack thereof) in this product.

Nonetheless, I’ve come to some conclusions.

  • You need a reasonably powerful and recent CPU/video card to do this newfangled HD stuff,
  • Even though it’s readily known that the Linux Em28xx work is still not ready for primetime, my experiences may well may be further evidence to such notions,
  • There is still a reasonable chance that there’s something I could do to improve/streamline my own user experience with this device

In any case, I am somewhat disappointed in my first forays into the world of HD — and computing in HD at that — but I’ve not yet given up the ghost that this stuff could work.

Tags: , , , , , , , — cswiii @ 12:15 am