Ancient history

I’m googling myself and collecting some of the results:

Republican toast

I keep getting asked by friends where I am on Obama vs. Clinton (I’ll support either one in November). The next immediate question is inevitably aren’t the Democrats divided and isn’t this going to benefit McCain? It’s tough to get across just what a pathetic candidate McCain really is and how badly the republicans are going to do:
Here’s a Frank Rich article that provides a good overview:

The last debate, however dumb, had the most viewers of any so far. The rise in turnout and new voters is all on the Democratic side. Even before its deathbed transfusion of new donations, the Clinton campaign trounced the McCain campaign in fund-raising by 2.5 to 1. (The Obama-McCain ratio is 3 to 1.)
On Tuesday, a Democrat won the first round of a special Congressional election in Mississippi, even though the national G.O.P. outspent the Democrats by more than double and President Bush carried this previously safe Republican district by 25 percentage points in 2004.

The Art of Happiness

I’m reading a book “The Art of Happiness” by Howard Cutler. He’s a psychiatrist who spent time talking with the Dalai Lama. Here’s an interesting quote about what a psycologically happy person is:

Well, I would regard a compassionate, warm, kindhearted person as healthy. If you maintain a feeling of compassion, loving kindness, then something automatically opens your inner door. Through that, you can communicate much more easily with other people. And that feeling of warmth creates a kind of openness. You’ll find that all human beings are just like you, so you’ll be able to relate to them more easily.

Child labor

More joy on the work front. Here’s an excerpt from a new book on the state of labor in the use: The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker,” by Steven Greenhouse (Knopf, 2008).

The squeeze on the American worker has been further exacerbated by corporate America’s growing sway over politics and policy, making it harder for beleaguered workers to turn to government for help. When investigators unearthed serious child labor violations at a dozen Wal-Marts, officials in the Bush Labor Department signed a highly unusual secret agreement promising to give Wal-Mart fifteen days’ advance notice whenever inspectors planned to visit a Wal-Mart store to look for more such violations. Wal-Mart officials had been major donors to the Republican Party.

or try this article with lots more small examples.

Sold a bill of goods

This article about Iragi

military analysts selling a bill of goods
is disturbing if not enraging. I
occasionally verify and usually apply skeptical thinking to news that I hear on
TV or read in the newspaper but I basically trust that news. That’s
particularly true of those military analysts. I respect these military people
for what they’ve done and expect an honest assessment of military matters that’s
better informed then the typical news reporter and also independent of the
government.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information
apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news
coverage of the administration s wartime performance, an examination by The New
York Times has found.
The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this
day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a
powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military
contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

It seems they are just a bunch of venal, lying, war profiteers far more
interested in be perceived as important rather then relying on honesty and
expertise to do something important. The way our government treated this to is
utterly disgraceful. How can politicians be so ignorant of how people think and
feel? How is lying and distorting reality going to generate support for the
war?

Google App Engine

I’ve always been a fan of the djangoproject.org and it’s what I use for my web server at home: www.peteware.com
But the coolest news is that Google App Engine is based on it. Here’s some info:

For me, Django provides a great object to relational mapping interface combined with a wonderfully clean seperation between business logic (a view in the django world) and presentation (a very nice templating language). Each piece is wonderfully independent from the others.

New art

My brother, Bob Ware, keeps me well stocked with art work. Here’s one of his latest photographs that is hanging on my wall.
Wyoming-Lake.jpg
Naturally, this low-res image doesn’t do the subtlety of the original justice.