Saturday, June 28, 2003

Ugliness at Oxford...

A professor at Oxford sent this missive off to a PhD candidate:

From: "Andrew Wilkie"
To: "Amit Duvshani"
Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 9:58 AM
Subject: Re: PhD application

Dear Amit Duvshani,

you for contacting me, but I don't think this would work. I have a huge
problem with the way that the Israelis take the moral high ground from
their appalling treatment in the Holocaust, and then inflict gross
human rights abuses on the Palestinians because they (the Palestinians)
wish to live in their own country.

I am sure that you are
perfectly nice at a personal level, but no way would I take on somebody
who had served in the Israeli army. As you may be aware, I am not the
only UK scientist with these views but I'm sure you will find another
suitable lab if you look around.

Yours sincerely,
Andrew Wilkie

It took chutzpah to write this and then complete stupidity to hit the send button!

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Over at The Corner on National Review Online: "CHIEF JUSTICE FUNNYMAN"
I don't know how many times I've self-censored myself on FreeRepublic today. I hit the reply button and then realize that nothing I have to say would fail to be offensive. What have I been censoring? Well... Let's put it this way: There's a nexus between the Texas Sodomy case, California's run-away taxes, and the acronym BOHICA.
Here's a cool tool for blogging on the fly. Go to this page on There's a link called "BlogThis" near the bottom of the page. Drag that to your personal tool bar. It's a little javascript that opens a blogging window. This one's obviously for users. Other services may have their own. Mozilla users should check out MozBlog.
Firearms Industry Wins Another Court Victory

In another significant legal victory for the firearms industry, a New York appellate court on June 24 upheld a trial court's August, 2001 order dismissing a lawsuit brought by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer against gun makers. The appellate court said manufacturers of lawful and non-defective products cannot be sued for allegedly creating a 'public nuisance' when criminals misuse firearms.

From The NRA-ILA News Center

Another nuisance suit quietly bites the dust.

Everybody else is chiming in on the "Texas Sodomy" ruling, so I might as well join in...

There's a lot of talk about the... um... mechanics of the acts involved. As a libertarian, I respect the right of people to do dangerous, immoral, and destructive things to themselves. It's your life; who am I to tell you not to ruin it? And since I don't want you poking your nose into my affairs, I ought to afford you the same courtesy.

However, I'm torn on the larger issue at hand: Should the US Supreme Court be telling the states how to run their affairs? On the one hand, I like the reservation of powers and rights embodied in the 9th and 10th Amendments. Governance in the US was intended to be from the bottom up; not the top down. On the other hand, I don't want things like gun laws written by the loons in Sacramento. In that case, I'd like nothing more than to see SCOTUS use the 14th Amendment to ram the 2nd down their throats.

The garmongous FreeRepublic thread on this is here.

Got that dual boot thing working. (For those who are curious, my old Win2k drive is set up as the master on IDE0 with the new Linux drive as a slave. I let LILO write to the master's MBR and everything's happy.) My next bit of fun is convincing Windows that there's really something to see on that new drive. (Linux sees the Windows drive with no problems.)
Blogger just completed an update. They were down for most of yesterday. Oddly enough, I missed it.

There are some new features to the interface. It ought to be easier to use.

Monday, June 23, 2003

I'm sure that there was something in the news that I could have commented on over the weekend, but I was on vacation. (The mountains were lovely. Thank you for asking.)

I've been playing with Linux this past week. I loaded Slackware 9.0 onto a "new" harddrive. (It came with what was then a new machine; however, it was pre-loaded with WinXP so I stuck to my old drive with Win2k and all my stuff rather than messing with XtraProblems.)

Thus far, I'm impressed. It fired right up, and saw our home network. It's so much easier to monkey with things when the Google is available. LILO isn't happy with how I have the old Win2k drive installed. (Or perhaps Windows is broken.) But I can still see the drive so all my stuff's safely copied to the new drive. (I'll see if Grub can get the old drive to boot later.) For now, I'm having fun tinkering.