I have updated the License for all the content on this site to the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported [creativecommons.org] license. Have fun.
I don’t know if I like it, don’t know if I’ll keep it but I made a site icon. All the important and well read bloggers have one so I guess I should too. Even if no one in the world actually reads this blog on a regular basis. Since I started closing comments after 14 days I rarely ever get comments—seems it really was just the Nigerians and knock-off V1agr@ guys who gave love to my site. So sad. Anyway, if anyone does happen to read this while they can still comment let me know what you think of the icon!
P.S. I made the logo with a little help from the Web 2.0 style buttons [iris-design.info] tutorial over at IRIS Design.
I took part in a survey recently to help steer a Political Action Committee (PAC) I have supported before. I was asked to rank the following as I saw their importance:
- A living wage for all
- Global leadership through diplomacy
- Verifiable, accurate elections
- High quality education for all
- Balanced federal budget
- Health care for all
- Publicly funded elections
- Preserve our natural resources
- Energy independence: clean, renewable sources
- Restored constitutional rights
So this survey was asking me “what do you believe is important for the US Government?” Which got me thinking, what do I believe in, at least when it comes to government? I see both dominant parties as abject failures and self serving profit driven entities and would prefer not to vote for a ‘party,’ neither bleeding heart liberal of cold hearted conservative. So what do I believe?
At the risk of never again finding a good job because someone ‘googled’ my name before setting up an interview, here is what I believe at this point in my life:
- I believe the Environment is important.
I believe we should use taxes to encourage people to do the right thing: tax every pound of waste sent into a landfill, cash back for recycling, tax the sale of items that are not packaged in recycled packaging, tax products that can’t be recycled, and tax products that use production methods that are considered harmful to the environment. Make it economical to go green and painful to throw things out. Higher taxes on Fossil fuels lower taxes on renewable energy. More money for NSF research, tax breaks for green buildings and for retrofitting green technology into existing buildings.
- I believe that Immigration is important for the United States and should be encouraged.
We should make it easier to immigrate and harder to cross the border without a pass. We should make basic English skills a requirement for citizenship and offer free classes to all who would be citizens because speaking English will unlock many doors for them.
- I believe in the right to privacy and I regret that the founding fathers did not spell it out.
I believe that congress should make no laws limiting what consenting adults can do in the privacy of their homes or what they can and cannot do with their bodies. I believe we may need to amend the constitution to enshrine this law.
- I believe that the laws of the land need to be reviewed.
Old laws that have been over turned or are not enforced should be removed from the books. I believe that once this is done every adult in the US should receive a copy of the code of the US for their reference. Ignorance is not a defense.
- I believe in states rights.
The federal government should stay out of local issues.
- I believe that America needs to work hard to regain the moral high ground.
Immediately cease all covert overseas activities, publicly acknowledge them and apologize for them. Cease all domestic covert activities, publicly acknowledge them and apologize for them. Stop torture, stop arbitrary imprisonment, stop extra-judicial activities and apologize for them. Pay our UN bill. Live up to the treaties and international conventions we have signed. Ask the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq how we can be of service to them and do as they ask. Stop foreign military aid; all of it. Review all foreign aid. Give less money directly, it only encourages corruption. Give more money to the IMF, World Bank, UNICEF, and other UN agencies, Fight to abolish the permanent seats on the UN Security Council. Learn the value of soft power. Spend as much on peace as we do on war.
- I believe in personal responsibility.
Make the law reflect this.
- I believe in Welfare in so far as a decent pay should be provided for a decent days labor.
If you don’t have a job and need money then report to the local government house for a task at the end of the day, assuming you have worked you will be paid for your work. Come back tomorrow if you need more money. I believe that there is enough work to do that no one should sit at home and collect welfare, you should have to work for it each and every day you collect it. Even if you dig a ditch in the morning and fill it in after lunch (which of course would be provided by others who needed a job for the day.)
- I believe in corporal punishment.
The US could learn a lot from Singapore. I don’t believe in rehabilitative punishment 200 years of attempts to rehabilitate have lead to a system that makes things worse.
- I believe Capital punishment should be ended.
Because it simply does not work. Either fix the system or end the system.
- I believe in what I believe in.
I believe that Church is important to many Americans. So are Mosque and Temple and Synagogue and Shrines and many other things I am not aware of. I believe this means that these things should be dealt with outside of government and that people should not be allowed to force their beliefs on others under the auspices of the government.
- I believe that government funded research should be for the good of all.
Therefore the results of government funded research should be in the public domain. I believe we should help to pay for drug development only if that development is aimed at diseases and health problems that affect a significant portion of the global population not 1% of 5% of the global population.
- I believe Politics should not be a career but a duty.
I believe to help enforce this we should make a law excluding any and all publicly elected officials from running for office during their term. This means that while in office a politician is not allowed to campaign—for themselves of any other candidate. During a term in office you should be doing your job not convincing people of how well you’ve done your job.
As you can see I will never get elected to public office unless I resort to lying. And this is one of the biggest problems in politics today. The rhetoric does not match the reality. It’s not even the same language. There are too many bad people in politics. It attracts too many corrupt people who have turned the system into one big grinding wheel so that no one of high ideals will ever make a difference, long before they achieve a position where they could make a difference they will have been corrupted and turned into just another crooked politician.
Saturday we went to see the monkeys! One of the visiting guys from work wanted to see monkeys! So my girlie played tour guide to four of us and drove us up to the Upper Pierce Reservoir, right smack in the middle of Singapore. There along the road, being fed by some drivers—watch out you’ll get caned (or just fined actually) if they catch you feeding the monkeys!—was a group of Long-Tailed Macaque‘s [wikipedia.org]. Photo op! Nuff said… now look at my monkey!
You may have noticed there are a bunch of buttons at the bottom of the pages here at confusion.cc. What does it all mean? Let me tell you…
This button links to WordPress [wordpress.org] because I use their software to run the blog [wikipedia.org] on confusion. And basically all the content on the sight is uploaded as an entry in the blog (which I call my ‘journal’ a holdover from when I was doing this manually before the glory days of blogging!)
Next is the Creative Commons [creativecommons.org] license button. This button is intended to show that you can copy anything you want from this website and use it (with a small number of restrictions) how you want. Read this post [confusion.cc] for more info.
Ah the power of standards! This button means that the pages on this site are designed using valid CSS [wikipedia.org]—whcih stands for Cascading Style Sheets and is a way to separate the layout and visual style of a webpage from the HTML code and content. We love standards! And we’d love them even more if they worked in IE! Damn Micro$oft and their non-conformist ways!
This one says that confusion is coded in valid XHTML [wikipedia.org]. What does that mean? It’s another standard that along with CSS is designed to make coding and maintaining web pages easier. All of the basic pages here at confusion should validate but some of the older journal entries may not. Click the button to see if this page validates!
Want too keep up with my latest dribble? Feeds are just the thing! Using a feed aggregator like those you can find here [blogspace.com] and here [wikipedia.org] you can add the links these buttons and you will be able to keep up-to-date with all my pointless ranting. The ‘entries’ link will will give you all the new entries I post and the ‘comments’ link will provide a feed of all the comments other leave.
WTF? This one takes you to this post, because an odd number of buttons was not cool. I made this button to match the other second row buttons using this handy utility [kalsey.com] created to support the “steal these buttons” craze which you can read about here [antipixel.com] and if you need a bazillion buttons go here [gtmckignt.com].
For a long time my little corner of cyberspace was quite, the neighbors didn’t make much noise and there were not a lot of strangers around.
Life was good…
Then reality came crashing in. For sometime now I have been getting comment spam. It has been confined to a single post [confusion.cc] from a single spam bot for the past few months. To manage this I added Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist [jayallen.org] plugin to my Movable Type installation. This allowed me to remove the offending post easily and for the most part automatically.
And life was good… for a time…
Today I had 136 comments posted to my journal. Comments posted by people with names like; cmxmqr, yreaiile, kaiewh, turjey, hkqoaq, etc. They have been coming in fairly regularly all day, about every 15 minutes. MT-Blacklist is still working, blocking a number of these posts, but spammers are persistent and my in box is getting full.
By lunchtime I was a bit annoyed about this and was trying to figure out what could be done. I went through a lot of heart ache when my email address first made the rounds with the spammers. I was a long hard struggle, but I am farily spam free now thanks to spamassasin [apache.org]. I didn’t want to go through that painfully long process again to make my journal spam free. Then I remembered that over at Jonathan elacour’s [delacour.net] weblog there is a little tag line at the bottom of the comments on old posts. It reads This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed. This is a good idea, especially since most comments come within the first week or so that the entry is posted and most of these spam comments are being posted to achieved entries.
Now Jonathan doesn’t say how he does this, but a quick search of mt-plugins [mt-plugins.org] turned up this nice little plugin called CloseComments [mt-plugins.org] which does exactly what I want. It took only a few minutes of fiddling around with the plugin to get what I wanted.
And life is good… for now
I have set the CloseComments plugin to remove the ‘post a comment’ form from any journal entry over 14 days old which has not had a comment posted to it in 7 days. Now you will see in place of the ‘post a comment’ form a short note saying that comments are not allowed and pointing any lost soul, who may happen to wonder in from the cold and decide to participate in old discussions, to this post. So now, this discussion is over. Have a nice day.
The works on the site are released under the Creative Commons “Attribution 2.0” [ creativecommons.org ] license (unless otherwise explicitly stated).
From the Creative Commons webisite [creativecommons.org]:
You are free:
- to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work
- to make derivative works
- to make commercial use of the work
Under the following conditions:
- For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work.
- Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.
This is a human-readable summary of the Legal Code (the full license).
Because I’m a nice guy and because of things like this [ wikipedia.org ]! I think copyright is a good thing in general. But the insatiable desires of the capitalist enterprises chasing the all mighty dollar (or Euro, or Yen, or Pound, or Renminbi, or whatever) has pushed copyright so far beyond what is reasonable that they are in fact destroying the vary basis of what makes free markets and capitalism work. I don’t agree with the Copyright Term Extension Act (aka the Sunny Bono Act or the Mickey Mouse Act) which extended copyright but neither will I resort to piracy of copyrighted material. I choose to fight the system from within the framework of the law. I do not believe that we have come to a point where breaking the law is the only effective way of changing the law [ eldred.cc ].
Confusion.cc has been online since late in 2001—before that there was another older will-not-be-mentioned-here site which has been lost in the fog and shadow of the early internet. This site originally started as a way to keep my close friends up-to-date with my wanderings in Europe as I went to school in London.
Admittedly confusion is filled with what Jeffery Zeldman [ zeldman.com ] would refer to as “dull personal commentary with a side order of self-importance” [ zeldman.com ] but perhaps one day my writing skills will improve and I might approach the depth of writing that Jonathon Delacour [ weblog.delacour.net ] has, or the beauty of opinion that Richard Geib [ rjgeib.com ] illuminated to the web before the ‘blogging phenomenon’ started.
In the meantime I will continue my dull personal commentary and occasionally update my photos and writing. All for my own benefit but then again this is my personal corner of cyberspace. I make no excuses for hideous grammar, asinine statements, blissfully ignorant worldviews or verbal diarrhea on this site. It is by me, for me and of me.