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So long, MT

Six Apart today released version 3.1 of Movable Type, the software powering this blog, and simultaneously have thereby finalized my decision to depart from MT as soon as feasible.

When the 3.0 developer version came out the posts on the company’s blogs sounded as though 3.1 was going to be more affordable for the average user who was not willing to pay for the developer version. This has turned out to be a false impression on my behalf and I will therefore be migrating this blog and GeezerBlog over to wordpress in the near future.

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News

SF same sex marriages invalidated

The California Supereme Court today ruled that the same sex marriages performed in San Francisco are illegal as they were based on a decision San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom made by overstepping his boundaries.

This is not much of a surprise for me. When this process started earlier this year I wrote that the mayor’s decision was reckless and would damage the LGBT community’s efforts in the long run and now it seems my prediction has come true.

While it is true that disobedience of Newsom’s kind has brought about change in the past, it is important to note that that was only so back then. Nowadays change is not brought about in such ways anymore.

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Rick James dead at 56

Legendary funk icon Rick James died Friday morning of a heart attack.

Hopefully this is an isolated incident and there will not be a triad of celebrity deaths this time around.

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Democratic Convention

Regular readers may have noticed the absence of posts on the Democratic convention. This is both intentional and unintentional. It is unintentional in that I have been preoccupied and intentional in that there has not been much to talk about. Most speakers have said pretty much the exact same things abour Kerry and Edwards and almost nothing noteworthy.

Perhaps the most unusual thing so far were the few minutes of the FNC being fair and balanced.

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Iran next to be “liberated”?

President Bush yesterday started to talk about Iran in very similar ways to the way in which he and his administration promoted the invasion of Iraq.

Once again he mentions allegations of them harboring terrorists and 9/11 links. Let’s hope that many Americans will realize how overmilked that cow has become.

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Happy Independence Day!

As we celebrate Independence Day today, let us reflect on what America really stands for and what we set out to do all those years ago.

Today I shall remember the true intentions of the founding fathers, and not the perverted intentions of the fascists in Washington.

As is custom for me on Independence Day, let me now end with a relevant quote:

“Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”
– Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II

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News

“New” Iraqi government not new at all

Although it is well known by now amongst attentive people that Iraq is far from being sovereign at this point, it is less well known just how much the “new” government of Iraq is like the previous. Not only have many of its members been endorsed by the US government, but many of them were also already on the Interim Governing Council.

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Marlon Brando dead at 80

Famous actor Marlon Brando passed away today at the ripe age of 80.

Hopefully this completes the triad of celebrity passings and will keep this from turning into a string of passings like we saw in recent years.

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Poll predicts Florida deadlock

A new telephone poll conducted in Florida shows that right now, both Bush and Kerry would get the same number of votes in Florida. The poll also indicated that if Ralph Nader were to run in Florida he’d be “stealing” more votes from Kerry than from Bush.

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Supreme court affirms detainees’ rights

The US Supreme Court today ruled that people detained in the “war on terror” have the right to a trial. While they did not declare the practises of detention without charges or trial to be illegal, this does mark a clear step forward in the affirmation of the validity of the rights of people under the jurisdiction of the US government.

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Iraq not sovereign despite handover

Even though Iraq is now supposedly a sovereign nation, reality differs significantly from the official story. Over the weekend, former administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer appointed government officials and issued orders to enact new laws that remain in place under the new government of Iraq.

While this is not entirely new, it nevertheless goes further to illustrate what a sham the handover of power was.

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More proof of Christian influence

In a continuation of his assault on the health of Americans, President Bush has ordered that all scientists must now get approval from an elected official before attending conferences of the World Health Organization.

The truth about the President’s attitude towards science is becoming a lot more evident these days. While opposition to stem cell research might be understandable under certain circumstances, things like this and his anti-AIDS prevention stance are unacceptable.

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Nader encourages voting for Kerry

After having been heavily criticized for running as an independent Presidential candidate, Ralph Nader encouraged voters to vote for John Kerry in an interview with NPR.

This marks a slight change in course for the man who has repeatedly been accused of stealing votes from Democratic candidates. Whatever the truth may be, I believe it’s safe to say that this year it is probably better to assume that Nader may steal votes to ensure that Kerry gets elected. Kerry may not be a true Democrat, but he sure is a lot better for this country than George Bush.

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Payday for the Christian right

Two recent events have clearly proven the influence of one of President Bush’s largest financial backers: The Christian right.

First, there are the new CDC guidelines that force AIDS education organizations to abstain from educating people about condom usage and mandate that they teach abstinence instead.

In addition, the FCC has determined that on-air curse words can now cost $500’000.

It’s things like this that show how opposed to progress neoconservatives are. If only we we had time machines, then we could send them to the middle ages where they could enjoy the barbaric simplicity of those times.

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News

Yet another tuition increase?

The New York State Assembly is yet again considering raising tutition rates at the state’s public higher education institutions. This time tuition would be raised for out-of-state and graduate students.

When will they awaken to the possibility that the money missing from the state’s coffers should be coming from the federal government?

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Linkwire

In an effort to broaden my knowledge of blogging software, I recently created my own blog on Blogger, linkwire.

At least until I make the move to wordpress for the blogs on my server, I’ll be posting links to interesting articles on there.

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Yet another case of Amnesia in the White House

The Bush administration seems to once again be suffering from amnesia.

Even though the 9/11 commission has proven that there is no link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda (at least as far as 9/11 goes), they keep on insisting that there were ties between the two. Both President Bush and Vice-President Cheney are also denying that they implied that Saddam Hussein was somehow responsible for 9/11 in the lead-up to the war in Iraq.

(via buffaloreport.com)

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Music

“We love to sell out” – 2004 edition

It’s that time again: INXS have effectively announced their own selling out by planning to find their new lead singer by means of a TV show. Not only is this very unsophisticated, but it is also an insult to the legacy of Michael Hutchence who cannot be done justice by any replacement.

On the upside they have however not trumped the surviving members of The Doors who took a proverbial piss on Jim Morrison’s grave by deciding to run their new project under the The Doors name.

Not to insult Bill Wyman, but it’s one thing to replace your bass player with an unknown like the Rolling Stones did, but it’s quite another and a very big insult to replace a rock legend with a star of the late 20th century. In the case of the Stones, calling 4/5 of the (sort of) original members by the same name as the full band is alright, but touring with a replacement drummer and a lead singer who couldn’t reach the original singer’s level if he wanted to is unacceptable.

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Six Apart announces new pricing structure

Six Apart, the makers of Movable Type, yesterday announced their new pricing structure.

While it certainly is better than the initial MT 3.0 pricing structure, it is in many ways still just as bad as some of the new features eliminate the merit of improvements that could have made the new policy a lot better.

One example of this is my situation where I’d be better off if I was a non-profit organization than an individual as individuals using MT for non-commercial purposes pay more than the former.

Also I’d have to again pay $100 to have the freedom I need and that is something I’m not willing to do. Even the limited personal edition still has a far too large price tag for me.

This moves me a lot closer to moving to wordpress for good.

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News

First cell phone virus

The Financial Times today reported that what appears to be the first virus that can infect cell phones has been found. Although this virus is not volatile, this could well mark the start of even more virus problems than there already are with conventional viruses.

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Bush praises Clinton

As shocking as the headline may seem, it does not tell the whole story.

At the unveiling of former President Clinton’s official White House portrait, President Bush praised the Clintons by commending them for their “forward-looking spirit the Americans like in a president”.

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Pledge of Allegiance to remain religious

The US Supreme Court ruled today that the Pledge of Allegiance was to remain religious by not undoing the change that was made to the pledge in 1954. This looks like further proof of the clout of the Christian right to me.

On the upside, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Friday that reverse discrimination cases should not be harder to argue than traditional discrimination cases. I am glad to see that finally a court has aknowledged the existence of this phenomenon.

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New ZU design

Today I finally upgraded ZU to the next level with a new design. Over the next few weeks I’ll be migrating the older content over as well.

Depending on when a new version of wordpress with true multiblog capability comes out I’ll probably be moving to WP as I’m getting impatient with SixApart (authors of Movable Type).

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Ray Charles dead at 73

Before the funeral services for former President Ronald Reagan have even ended, another icon of American culture has passed away.

Singer Ray Charles died today at 73 at his home in Beverly Hills, according to CNN. There is no indication of unnatural causes of his death or any other reasons but it is clear that he will forever have a prominent place in the history books of modern music.

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Unilateral praise for Reagan

Since the passing of former President Ronald Reagan, several mostly online sources, such as consortium news, have commented on the slanted coverage the mainstream media have given the life and career of Reagan. They have correctly pointed out that there has been nothing but praise in most media.

While I would never jump in joy over his death, as some on the extreme left have done, as I consider that unAmerican, I do agree with CN about the abscence of fair criticism.

Any President deserves respect in life and death simply because of the office he occupies but should never be above and beyond criticism.

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Reagan dead at 93

Former President Ronald Reagan died today at 93 of Alzheimer’s. His children were with him when he died at his Los Angeles home.

It’s almost ironic that someone like him should die this close to D-day.

CNN has the story.

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Today’s cpt. obvious award

Todays captain obvious award goes to Netscape / CNN who have finally gotten wind of the Taliban’s 2000 offer to hand over Osama Bin Laden to the US government. What’s even funnier is that they cite a German TV documentary as a source.

So well done for ignoring this set of facts for so long.

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Music

Phish to split

In a post to their official website, Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio announced earlier this week that the band were going to part ways for good after their tour this summer.

The reasons for the split are unfortunately not as unique and special as Phish’s career has been. The band has named the standard “wanting to move on with life” excuse as a reason. The band could have definitely gone to another level.

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MT exodus

While Six Apart are taking their time with the development of the personal license for MT 3.0, I have been testing out WordPress, the most likely replacement for MT for me.

I’m somewhat hesitant to move away from MT just yet, but then again it does seem like there will be a point sooner or later where I’ll have to move away from MT due to its proprietary nature.

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MT usage

This post is in response to a call for posts on Six Apart’s blog today in regards to usage of Movable Type.

I personally use MT for three blogs, one for news, one for diary like entries and the third one is a private blog. Of those, I am the only author for two of them and the third has two authors.

Now this would already be almost good enough for the present free version of MT, but it isn’t. While two blogs are at the same URL and I am the only active author, I feel I need the freedom to innovate, to expand as needed and not be restricted.

Seeing as I would need to buy the personal edition 10 author license to have the freedom I need, I am very tempted to discontinue my use of MT as I cannot afford to pay $119 for a software package of this nature.

I am a college student and even though weblogs are an academic interest of mine, I would rather spend those $119 on textbooks or more basic necessities.

I would however be willing to pay a more reasonable amount as nothing is free at the end of the day. I would probably be willing to pay about $40 for that license type based on my non-commercial usage and student status and would definitely pay that same amount again for a major upgrade.

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News

Iraqi torture was planned and permitted

The whole uproar about the torture of detainees in Iraq has, like so many other media events, obfuscated the truth.

It appears that the torture in Iraq was partially ordered by Defense Sectretary Donald Rumsfeld and a part of a larger new approach to “information extraction”.

This reminds me again that there is very little random behavior in the activities of the federal government and that most events can be explained in one way or another or at least reduced to fundamental truths.

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End-user MT

After reading many MT users’ comments on the new pricing structure, I found a few that pointed out that what came out last week was not the true 3.0 release yet and was merely a developer release. They pointed to past posts in the MT deveoper’s blogs where they indicated that there was going to be a less restrictive version of 3.0 for end users.

If that turns out to be true I may end up staying with MT after all. I can still however not get rid of the uneasy feeling the new nature of MT gives me. The fact that it’s not open source does make open source alternatives look a lot more attractive now that I’ve seen what kind of changes Six Apart are willing to make.

I may add the links to those posts later, but for now I’ll simply paraphrase Noam Chomsky: The information is readily available if you bother to look.

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It’s about time I switched away from MT

Yesterday the authors of Moveable Type, the software this blog runs on, announced their new commercial version of MT and at the same time added that the free version would be limited in functionality from now on.

Seeing as I as an individual would have to pay at least $69 for the full version I’ll paraphrase Six Apart here… It’s about time I moved away from MT and find myself a better blogging software product!

What’s even worse is that in order to have a comfortable setup I’d have to pay $600. That means I have to look for a different product in order to avoid having to pirate the new version of MT.

Well done Six Apart! Smashing!

Update: I totally agree with this post and this one is right on as well.

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News

The return of the purges

In a new article that is to be published in the upcoming issue of The Nation, author Greg Palast warns that the voter purges that nearly cost Al Gore the election in Florida in 2000 could well come back for the general election this year, only this time all across the country.
If this turns out to be true, Bush won’t even need the hackable Diebold voting machines to steal another “election”.

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Michael Moore censored by Disney

Disney has ordered Miramax, one of its subsidies, to not distribute Michael Moore’s new movie “Fahrenheit 9/11”.
Moore alleges that they have done this as they recieve large tax cuts in Florida where the President’s brother jeb is governor.
Whatever the real reason may be, it does seem as though Disney has a vested interest in keeping the media free from truth.