Category Archives: Uncategorized

What is a Republican?

This guy. The one in the blue jacket. Watch every minute of this. Especially the last phase, where we see Representative Jason Spencer attacking a terrorist with his ass.

Trigger warning: Racism, hate, and Trumpisn. In other words, watching this video is like turning on CNN or FOX. Not work safe, not for children, keep the sound down.

From now on, after seeing this, you can never, ever, see the yahoos changing “USA USA USA” again without thinking of State Representative Jason’s Spencer’s ugly ass.

And of course it does not end there. Here are some Republicans advocating the arming of pre-schoolers.

According to recent polls, one of the men advocating for arming tiny children, Dana Rohrabacher, has a real chance of being defeated in this year’s election.

The KDE Dolphin File Manager

I’ve noticed that many file managers in Linux are changing in the way many Linux desktop environments are changing. They are becoming simpler. That is a bad thing. File management has not gotten simpler. If anything, it has gotten more complicated. I need a powerful tool, not a dumbed down stick. That’s why I like the KDE file manager, Dolphin.

Here are a few tips and tricks to tweak the dolphin.

Some of the most obvious things you can do are right in front of you, but this will depend on exactly what version of Dolphin you have. When I open Dolphin, I see a “preview” and a “split” icon on top. The utility of these buttons is obvious, and both are useufl. Note that with preview you can use a scaling bar at the bottom of the window to change the size of the preview.

I also see a “control” button over to the right. That leads to the menu that does most of the work in configuring the software. Play around with it. Below are a few specific suggestions that generally involve diving deepish into the menu structure.

Also, don’t forget to right click on everything until you’ve found out what all the right clicking mojo is. There is a lot of right-click mojo in KDE generally, and in Dolphin in particular.

Adding information to icons in Icon View

Dolphin has three modes for viewing files. One is “details” and to be honest, that’s all I want to know most of the time. But if you use the “Icon view” you may want to see the file size under the filename (below the icon) and the number of files under the folder icon, for each item. Or, you might want other info, like creation date, or file type. If you do, change the view mode to Icon, then under Control pick “Additional Information” and click whatever info you want to appear with the icon.

Obviously this also works with the detailed view to give you new columns on which to sort things. It also works with “compact” mode.

Making all folders behave the same way

One of the nice things about Dolphin, and this is true of many file managers, is that you can set individual folders to have specific behaviors, and those behvaviors will be there when you reopen the folder at another time. You can always change the behavior if you need to. But, an even nicer thing in Dolphin (but not in many other file managers) for some people is this: You can tell Dolphin to “Use Common Properties for All Folders” by going to Control, then Configure Dolphin, then under the “General” page, pick the Behavior tab, then check “Use common properties for all folders” as opposed to “Remember properties for each folder.”

Personally I prefer to have each folder remember its properties, but you may prefer the consistancy across all folders.

Group folders and files

Under “Control” you can select “show in groups.” Interesting things happen. Mainly, the files and folders get grouped up either alphabetically or by time. It is kinda freaky. You might like it.

Panels that show more information

Under Control >> Panel you can select several cool options.

A “details” panel appears on the right, and is like a “properties” tab, with information like file size, type, when it was modified, etc. There is additonal information that depends on file type. A picture will show the size of the picture, a video the length of the video, etc. This panel allows you to add tags and comments, and rate a file.

A “terminal” panel appears down below the file manager. As you switch around between directories, the termnial changes directory (and you can even see the cd [directory] command being implemented).

The “Places” Panel is probably on by default, and that is the strip to the left of the icon or details area. A navigation tree is also a panel, and it apears on the left.

You can resize the panels. And, if you unlock them (right click) you can move them around to a certain extent!

Depending on where on Dolphin you right click, you can bring up a menu with the various panels listed, as well as the main tool bar.

So, one thing you can easily do, is to set Dolphin to show previews, be in a folder with pictures you want to review, then turn off all the panels so your pictures can take up maximum room on your screen. Then you’ve got what acts like a dedicated photo album viewer, sort of.

Is this how Trump gets taken down? Emoluments

Seems pretty clear to me that Trump is guilty of violating the US Constitution’s Emoluments clause. Ideally, the Congress would do its job and investigate, and likely impeach. But since the Congress is controlled by Republicans, and they are bunch of crooks, that is not going to happen.

But, there is more than one way to skin a Trump. There are law suits making their way through courts, going after Trump in a number of different ways, including over emoluments. Just today, a federal judge allowed an emolument related law suit to continue, according to the Washington Post.

The ruling, from U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte in Greenbelt, Md., will allow the plaintiffs — the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia — to proceed with their case, which says Trump has violated little-used anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution known as the emoluments clauses.

This ruling appeared to mark the first time a federal judge had interpreted those Constitutional provisions and applied their restrictions to a sitting president.

If the ruling stands, it could bring unprecedented scrutiny onto Trump’s businesses — which have sought to keep their transactions with foreign states private, even as their owner sits in the Oval Office.

Here is a Georgetown Law professor talking about Trump and emoluments.

Aaron Sorkin’s Movie Is Really Good (updated)

Molly Bloom was an accomplished skier who retired from that profession due to a bad accident and probably other factors. She eventually became involved in running legal poker games, which then led her into contact with some rather iffy characters and perhaps some laws were broken. Her story appears in her own memoir, Molly’s Game [Movie Tie-in]: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World, and was recently adapted to a movie directed by Aaron Sorkin. The movie is Molly’s Game, and below is an interview with Sorkin about about the movie and related topics.

Continue reading Aaron Sorkin’s Movie Is Really Good (updated)

Terry Goodkind Books Cheap Right Now

I’ve never read Terry Goodkind’s books. I’ve heard he is a very good writer, but also, politically on the iffy side. But a lot of people like his books, and they seem to fit with a signfiicant subset of readers of this blog. So, I’m here to tell you that a whopping load of Goodkind’s work is now available, temporarily, on Kindle, cheap. Now’s your chance!

The ones I know about:
Continue reading Terry Goodkind Books Cheap Right Now

Check your congresscritter at the door

Maria Butina is a Russian Spy who has been working with US politicians and the NRA to develop special relationships.

That spy is now being charged by the US Justice Department.

From WaPo:

Butina is accused of developing relationships with American politicians and a “gun rights organization,” none of which are named in the affidavit supporting the criminal complaint. FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson wrote that Butina was attempting to “establish a ‘back channel’ communication for representatives of the Government of Russia.”

The affidavit also contains apparent communications, by direct message on Twitter, between Butina and the unnamed Russian official. “Your political star has risen in the sky,” the official told Butina. “Now it is important to rise to the zenith and not burn out (fall) prematurely,” and they later discussed the “Russia-USA friendship society.”

In 2017, Butina and the official attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, the affidavit states.

Is your representative in Congress one of Maria Butina, friend of the Proboscidea’s traitors? (Though perhaps I should not assume all the turncoats are Republicans.)

Here’s her facebook page, by the way.

Click here to find out who represents you in Congress.

Then, click here to find out if they are a spy for Putin.

The Trump Regime, Fascism, and You

Fascism has deeper historical roots, but the earliest acts and events that can be tied to its widespread rise early in the 20th century date to the early 1920s.

Racial supremacy, exclusionary nationalism, and fascism, started up or grew from earlier roots in the US, UK, France, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Germany, and many other places. In 1922 it would have been impossible to predict which nation or nations would give rise to a charismatic dictator with one or another final solution. (Probably Germany, yes, but Germany and what two or three other nations?)

The rise of facism consisted of acts of containment, harassment, and sanctioned theft by governments, as well as violent attacks against target groups and displays of martial power by both private mobs and governments. It involved individuals popping in and out of popularity, as populists, occasionally winning elections. It involved elected officials carrying out regular streams of illegal acts, and a great deal of corruption in the ranks of their supporters.

In other words, it looked like today.

The rise of facism took 17 years before the first Jews were put in German run ghettos (in Poland). But about half way to that point, facism had become unstoppable.

That is why the famous quote is famous. Learn and remember it.

That is why people today are making a legitimate comparison between things happening now, like putting assylum seeking toddlers in dog kennels, or neo Nazis marches, and then.

So, let us repeat:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Martin Niemöller

Book deals including Paul Offit and Doris Kearns Goodwin!

You may remember that last May, I reviewed Pandora’s Lab: Seven Stories of Science Gone Wrong by Paul Offit, and around the same time, interviewed him. My original post and a link to the interview are here. It is an excellent book, and the kindle version is now on sale for $1.99, so now’s your chance to find out bout the seven cases of science going badly wrong!

You might also want to check out Walter Tevis Sci-Fi Novels: The Man Who Fell to Earth, Mockingbird, The Steps of the Sun

Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements, from Arsenic to Zinc by Hugh Aldersey-Williams is also available for two bucks.

Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream by Doris Kearns Goodwin is a must read, and cheap in Kindle form right now.

Kepler Space Ship Death Imminent

The Kepler Space Ship, is this, via NASA:

The centuries-old quest for other worlds like our Earth has been rejuvenated by the intense excitement and popular interest surrounding the discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other stars. There is now clear evidence for substantial numbers of three types of exoplanets; gas giants, hot-super-Earths in short period orbits, and ice giants. The challenge now is to find terrestrial planets (i.e., those one half to twice the size of the Earth), especially those in the habitable zone of their stars where liquid water might exist on the surface of the planet.

The Kepler Mission, NASA Discovery mission #10, is specifically designed to survey our region of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone and determine the fraction of the hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy that might have such planets.

I heard something rather mind blowing about the hunt for planets elsewhere, and I’ve not followed up on it. Apparently, every single one of the one thousand or so plantery systems that have been found follow a similar pattern, except for our. The large planets (like Jupiter) are close to the sun, the smaller Earth-like planets are farther out, beyond the Goldilocks Zone. In other words, rather than the plethora of planetary systems signaling a high probability of life elsewhere, it may in fact turn out that the Earth-like scenario is very rare.

The Drake Equation now looks like this, if true: Continue reading Kepler Space Ship Death Imminent