Friday, 31 October 2008

Today’s phischbits

Finishing Well: What does activist Christianity look like?

Finishing Well: What does activist Christianity look like?

My friend Mike has an excellent post on what Christianity should look like. I routinely fail at this.

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Macworld | Eight ways Twitter will change your life

Macworld | Eight ways Twitter will change your life

“It seems that everyone is atwitter about Twitter. Even PC World. So here’s PC World’s list of ways Twitter works — and doesn’t.”

And no comments from the peanut gallery on “not getting Twitter”. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. No one’s holding a gun to your head to participate.

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Scout’s Honor | Texas Magazine

Scout's Honor | Texas Magazine

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has written a book about how the Boy Scouts provided such a positive influence on him growing up. “I wrote the book for two main reasons: to espouse the virtues of a movement that has positively shaped the lives of millions of young men and to expose the virus of secularism that endangers institutions that teach traditional values.”

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Christopher Nolan on ‘Dark Knight’ and its box-office billion: ‘It’s mystifying to me’ | Hero Complex | Los Angeles Times

Christopher Nolan on 'Dark Knight' and its box-office billion: 'It's mystifying to me' | Hero Complex | Los Angeles Times

First of a three-part interview with Christopher Nolan, writer, director and producer of arguably my favorite movie in the past five years. (The other two parts are already online and are linked at the end of this part.)

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Online Spreadsheets - EditGrid

Online Spreadsheets - EditGrid

“EditGrid is a free web-based online spreadsheet which allows you to create and share spreadsheets documents. You can collaborate with your team, publish your spreadsheets and even power them with external data.”

Looks interesting.

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View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

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Thursday, 30 October 2008

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

“I chose my friends carefully.”

Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father:

To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists.

[…]

In search of some inspiration, I went to hear Kwame Toure, formerly Stokely Carmichael of Black Panther fame, speak at Columbia.

These are not the words of a politically conservative op-ed columnist. These are not words from a press release from the McCain camp. These are Barack Obama’s own indicting words, revealing his choice in how he was influenced during his college years.

“Everyone experiments in college, Phisch,” I can hear someone say. “Sex, religions, philosophies, politics. It’s all about figuring out who you are, what you believe.”

And what Barack Obama figured out is that he is a hard-line leftist. A socialist. Perhaps even a total Marxist. National Journal has ranked Senator Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate, and it is hardly a right-wing publication. Linda Douglass used to write for National Journal; now she’s Obama’s traveling press secretary.

He chose his friends carefully. William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Jeremiah Wright. Hardly people in touch with mainstream America. With mainstream American politics. These people are not moderates. They are not even slightly left of center. These are people who are either hardcore Marxists, or, in the case of Wright, subscribe to a theology heavily influenced by Marxism.

These are the people Obama chose to be his friends. To be mentored by. To be influenced by. To be helped by.

If you are still undecided in this election, if you still think that Senator Obama is just another moderate Democrat with a message of hope and change, think again. His own words show him to be what he really is. What do you think “spreading the wealth around” really means?

Government doesn’t have “wealth” to spread around. Government only has what funds it gains from its citizens by means of taxation. The bottom 50 percent of taxpayers in this country only pay 3% of the taxes. Three percent.

So when Obama and others talk about “spreading the wealth around”, they are talking about taking money from the 50 percent of us paying the 97% of taxes, and giving it, somehow, to the other 50 percent. That is not democracy. That is not free-market capitalism. That is outright Marxism, and Marxism has not worked anywhere it’s been tried. Why do we believe we can make it work here? Because the right people haven’t been in power to implement it yet?

That’s insanity.

posted at 4:44 PM in politics
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Replacing water fountains with soda fountains

Chris Carter:

Obama’s acceptance speech at the DNC was touching. It was a brilliant speech.

[…]

Don’t get me wrong, it all sounded wonderful, but I came away from it reminded of the kid who ran for class president when I was in 6th grade based on campaign promises of replacing all of the school’s water fountains with soda fountains. Plenty of kids voted for him because they loved the promise and incorrectly assumed that if he was promising it, he must have a way to make it happen. Those of us who took a minute to think about it realized that it was something that was beyond the power of one person and that it would take one heck of a lot of convincing and a whole lot of spending of money the school didn’t have in order to actually make it happen. Sounded great. Wasn’t realistic.

So, are we voting for what sounds great, or what sounds realistic?

posted at 1:54 PM in politics , quote
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Today’s phischbits

iPhone Search

iPhone Search

My friend Michael Tsai has created a simple search page for iPhone users. You can search Amazon, IMDB, Netflix, and Wikipedia all from a single page. Pull this up in Mobile Safari on your iPhone, then add it to your home screen, and you’re good to go the next time you need to find a book or settle a historical argument.

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View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

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Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Businesses don’t pay taxes

Ronald Reagan:

“The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us. Business doesn’t pay taxes, and who better than business to make this message known?

Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business. Begin with the food and fiber raised in the farm, to the ore drilled in a mine, to the oil and gas from out of the ground, whatever it may be—through the processing, through the manufacturing, on out to the retailer’s license. If the tax cannot be included in the price of the product, no one along that line can stay in business.”

[Emphasis added. —R]

posted at 12:59 PM in finances , liberty , politics , quote
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Monday, 27 October 2008

Today’s phischbits

Cruz - A Social Browser for Mac OS X Leopard

Cruz - A Social Browser for Mac OS X Leopard

Todd Ditchendorf, the developer of Fluid, has entered the web browsing space with Cruz. Featuring an open plug-in architecture, global keyboard shortcuts, sidebar windows, session restore, TinyURL link creation, and automatic software updates, Cruz looks like an interesting addition to the browser arena.

I’ve been playing with Cruz for a couple of days, and it seems fairly stable for the little web browsing I’ve thrown at it. I did create a right-side sidebar for Hahlo, the excellent Twitter web app optimized for the iPhone. It’s been an interesting and fun experiment so far, and I encourage Mac users to check Cruz out.

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How To: 13 Step Method For Buying A Car While Controlling The Sale And The Price

How To: 13 Step Method For Buying A Car While Controlling The Sale And The Price

Title is pretty self-explanatory. The advice at the end regarding used cars is dead on. My next door neighbor growing up was a mechanic, with his own shop, and my dad had him look at my first car, and a couple of others he’d picked out. (My dad has a knack for finding great used cars.) It’s never a bad idea to have a mechanic not affiliated with a dealership/brand, and most importantly, one you can trust, in your contact list.

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Friday, 24 October 2008

I’m hanging my hat on this one

“Who is in the White House is not as important as Who is on the White Throne.” —Stewart Briscoe

[Via Mike.]

posted at 9:54 AM in God , politics , quote
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Today’s phischbits

Macworld | Mac 911 | Etiquette and the BCC field

Macworld | Mac 911 | Etiquette and the BCC field

“An email message’s To field is not a plaything. Be respectful of others’ addresses by putting the BCC field to good use.”

I know several people who need to read this article. Unfortunately, I’m fairly certain none of them read my blog, or read Macworld, so they won’t see this…

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Macworld | Mac 911 | More on etiquette and email

Macworld | Mac 911 | More on etiquette and email

“Huh, it seems that the subject of etiquette and email has struck a chord with our readers. Here’s more helpful advice to pass along to the email unwise.”

There’s a mention in this piece about chain e-mails. Note that I never respond to or forward chain e-mails, so you can just leave me out of those, k?

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Mini Motel

Mini Motel

“Never again find yourself stranded in a transportation terminal with no place to sleep! The Mini Motel provides you with comfortable sleeping accommodations no matter where your travels take you.”

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Thursday, 23 October 2008

Today’s phischbits

Pro-abortion - The Curt Jester

Pro-abortion - The Curt Jester

“Either dismembering a child in the womb is an acceptable moral act or it isn’t. If you think it is then you are pro-abortion and should admit it.”

Jeff Miller has a nice little piece on the nuances of language in the abortion debate.

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Rands In Repose: FriendDA

Rands In Repose: FriendDA

“The following morning, if I’m still chewing on the bright idea, I start to worry because the logical next step is to pitch a friend. The rule here is: all ideas improve as a function of the number of eyeballs that see them. The troubling converse rule is: as soon as your idea gets out in the wild, it’s no longer yours.”

Rands’ idea is that of a Non-Disclosure Agreement for friends, only not legally binding like a real NDA.

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FriendDA — Slightly more than a hearty handshake

FriendDA -- Slightly more than a hearty handshake

The official document.

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21 Most Used Fonts By Professional Designers | instantShift

21 Most Used Fonts By Professional Designers | instantShift

Not surprisingly, Helvetica tops the list. I was pleased to see Futura in the top ten. I’m a big fan of Futura Bold.

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blackr

blackr

“blackr is a bookmarklet you can put in your browser’s bookmarks bar. Later, when you are on a photo page or one of the “All sizes” pages on flickr, you can click the bookmarklet and it will hide everything on the page behind a soothing black canvas except for the photo. All that remains is the picture.”

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10 ways to Simplify Your Life and Save Money ~ Frugal, Freebies and Deals

10 ways to Simplify Your Life and Save Money ~ Frugal, Freebies and Deals

Title pretty much says it.

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View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

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Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

Orson Scott Card:

Editor’s note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.

This housing crisis didn’t come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

[…]

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

[…]

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That’s what you claim you do, when you accept people’s money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

[…]

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth — even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that’s what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don’t like the probable consequences. That’s what honesty means. That’s how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time — and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards’s own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

Wow. And I didn’t even quote all of the good parts.

posted at 1:54 PM in liberty , politics , quote
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Monday, 20 October 2008

Today’s phischbits

Domainr

Domainr

“There’s a whole world of domains out there—hundreds at the top-level and even more beyond—Domainr helps you explore them all.”

For instance, if you type “retrophisch”, you’ll see the top search item returned, “retrophis.ch” is already taken.

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View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

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Sunday, 19 October 2008

Healthcare shouldn’t be linked to employment

Jeff Jacoby:

An end to employer-based health insurance is exactly what the American healthcare market needs. Far from being a calamity, it would represent a giant step toward ending the current system’s worst distortions: skyrocketing premiums, lack of insurance portability, widespread ignorance of medical prices, and overconsumption of health services.

With more than 90 percent of private healthcare plans in the United States obtained through employers, it might seem unnatural to get health insurance any other way. But what’s unnatural is the link between healthcare and employment. After all, we don’t rely on employers for auto, homeowners, or life insurance. Those policies we buy in an open market, where numerous insurers and agents compete for our business. Health insurance is different only because of an idiosyncrasy in the tax code dating back 60 years - a good example, to quote Milton Friedman, of how one bad government policy leads to another.

[…]

Americans who would never think of using auto insurance to cover tune-ups and oil changes grew accustomed to having their medical insurer pay for yearly physicals, prescriptions, and other routine expenses.

[…]

When patients think someone else is paying most of their healthcare costs, they feel little pressure to learn what those costs actually are - and providers feel little pressure to compete on price. So prices keep rising, which makes insurance more expensive, which makes Americans ever-more worried about losing their insurance - and ever-more dependent on the benefits provided by their employer.

De-linking medical insurance from employment is the key to reforming healthcare in the United States.

[Emphasis added. —R]

posted at 10:42 PM in finances , health , liberty , quote
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Thursday, 16 October 2008

Today’s phischbits

Not Art. Gospel. at The Plow

Not Art. Gospel. at  The Plow

“Not Art. Gospel. is an artistic view of each topic on the Sermon on the Mount. Some amazing doors have been opened, and some great conversations have started from this. But what is most important is that the words of Jesus are being discussed. We want to create art that will lead to God, and we pray that this project will be for His glory.”

There is some really nice stuff here.

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Terminal Tip: Add scroll arrows to both ends of scroll bar - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

Terminal Tip: Add scroll arrows to both ends of scroll bar - The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty on the command line, the title pretty much says it all.

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View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

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Monday, 13 October 2008

Today’s phischbits

Umbrella Today?

Umbrella Today?

Simple way to find out whether you’ll need to carry an umbrella with you for the day or not. Type in your zip code, get a simple answer. You can also type in your mobile phone number and receive text messages at a time you determine each day telling you whether or not you’ll need your umbrella…

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ProfileMenu

ProfileMenu

“This is a simple little application which places a ColorSync menu in your menu bar that will allow you to switch between display profiles, see how old they are, reset your video card’s gamma LUT, and clear out ColorSync’s internal profile cache when it starts acting up. Useful for troubleshooting, evaluating calibration packages, and for those times when you just want to change white points on a whim.”

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Man decorates basement with $10 worth of Sharpie - Health & Family - Kentucky.com

Man decorates basement with $10 worth of Sharpie - Health & Family - Kentucky.com

The title is pretty self-explanatory. Pretty impressive.

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New Buzz on Honey | ScienCentral | Science Videos | Science News

New Buzz on Honey | ScienCentral | Science Videos | Science News

“The next time you’ve got a sinus infection, that honey in your tea might do more than just soothe your cough, says a recent study done by the University of Ottawa. Researchers found that two types of honey are effective at killing bacteria that cause sinusitis and other infections.”

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Saturday, 11 October 2008

You never know

Dr. Wess Stafford, President and CEO of Compassion:

“The cure to cancer might be in the slums of Kenya or Indonesia.”

In other words, you don’t know what the children of today are capable of tomorrow, how God may use someone like me, someone like you, now to change the lives of scores, hundreds, thousands, possibly millions, years from now, just because we help change the life of one child today.

Please consider sponsoring a child.

posted at 11:51 PM in God , helping , love , quote , salt and light
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The only constant is change

Philip Terzian:

When asked what the market would do, J. Pierpont Morgan is supposed to have replied, “It will fluctuate.” And so it has always done. For the time being, capital will be tighter than before, restricting credit—which is not always a bad thing—and businessmen will be reminded (as legislators, state and federal, seem never to learn) that neither bull markets nor recessions last indefinitely.

This is a fundamental reality of capitalism that seems never to penetrate the minds of journalists or politicians: Markets expand, contract a bit, and expand again, revenue streams are not always smooth, and for economic enterprise, the cost of overconfidence can be the same as the price of inertia: swift self-immolation. What appears to be huge, venerable, and financially indestructible today can be gone tomorrow.

[…]

The financial markets are unsteady at the moment, and Wall Street is undergoing elective surgery. But change, not stasis, is the hallmark of the free market […]

posted at 11:26 PM in finances , liberty , politics , quote , that's life
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Friday, 10 October 2008

Six

Today marks the conclusion of six years of blogging at Retrophisch.

Two thousand, two hundred, sixty-three entries.

Two thousand, two hundred, sixty-three bits of myself, revealed for passers-by. Two thousand, two hundred, sixty-three things I thought you might find interesting. Or funny. Or serious enough to care about. Or to do something about. Or just for me to think about. Or to do something about.

Now to press forward in to the next six…

posted at 9:44 AM in web/site
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Thursday, 09 October 2008

A prayer



Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes from Brandon Heath on Vimeo.


posted at 11:47 PM in God , love , music , video
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Tuesday, 07 October 2008

Fire in the Night

John M. Murtagh:

During the April 16 debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, moderator George Stephanopoulos brought up “a gentleman named William Ayers,” who “was part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other buildings. He’s never apologized for that.” Stephanopoulos then asked Obama to explain his relationship with Ayers. Obama’s answer: “The notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn’t make much sense, George.” Obama was indeed only eight in early 1970. I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me.

[…]

Nobody should hold the junior senator from Illinois responsible for his friends’ and supporters’ violent terrorist acts. But it is fair to hold him responsible for a startling lack of judgment in his choice of mentors, associates, and friends, and for showing a callous disregard for the lives they damaged and the hatred they have demonstrated for this country. It is fair, too, to ask what those choices say about Obama’s own beliefs, his philosophy, and the direction he would take our nation.

posted at 11:38 PM in politics , quote
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Dark Knight Toy Story



[Via Lee on IM.]

posted at 10:46 PM in movie , video
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Monday, 06 October 2008

Today’s phischbits

iPhone Steals Lead Over Kindle - Forbes.com

“Free app Stanza has more people reading books on iPhones than on Amazon’s Kindle e-reader.”

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View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

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Sunday, 05 October 2008

Attachments we don’t want

James Madison:

“For the same reason that the members of the State legislatures will be unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national objects, the members of the federal legislature will be likely to attach themselves too much to local objects.” (Federalist No. 46, 1 February 1788)

posted at 6:38 PM in liberty , politics , quote
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The Endgame in Iraq

General Jack Keane (USA, Ret.), Frederick W. Kagan, and Kimberly Kagan:

Reducing our troop strength solely on the basis of trends in violence also misses the critical point that the mission of American forces in Iraq is shifting rapidly from counterinsurgency to peace enforcement. The counter-insurgency fight that characterized 2007 continues mainly in areas of northern Iraq. The ability of organized enemy groups, either Sunni or Shia, to conduct large-scale military or terrorist operations and to threaten the existence of the Iraqi government is gone for now. No area of Iraq today requires the massive, violent, and dangerous military operations that American and Iraqi forces had to conduct over the last 18 months in order to pacify various places or restore them to government control. Although enemy networks and organizations have survived and are regrouping, they will likely need considerable time to rebuild their capabilities to levels that pose more than a local challenge—and intelligent political, economic, military, and police efforts can prevent them from rebuilding at all.

American troops continue to conduct counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in Iraq, which has not given up, and against Iranian-backed Special Groups, which are also reconstituting. U.S. forces support Iraqi forces conducting counterinsurgency operations in the handful of areas where any significant insurgent capability remains. But mostly our troops are enforcing the peace.

In ethnically mixed areas, American troops are seen as impartial arbiters and mediators. In predominantly Shia or Sunni areas, they are seen as guarantors of continued safety, destroying the justification for illegal militias. American brigades also play critical roles in economic reconstruction, not by spending American money but by helping Iraqis spend their own money. American staffs help local Iraqi leaders develop prioritized lists of their needs, budgets to match those priorities, and plans for executing those budgets. American troops support the Provincial Reconstruction Teams that mentor Iraqi provincial leaders and help local communities communicate their needs to the central government. American soldiers provide essential support to Iraqi soldiers and police working hard to develop their ability to function on their own.

Indeed, American combat brigades have become the principal enablers of economic and political development in Iraq. When an American brigade is withdrawn from an area, there is nothing to take its place—all of these functions go unperformed. Clearly, then, the number of brigades needed in Iraq should be tied not to the level of violence but to the roles the Americans perform and the importance of those roles to the further development of Iraq as a stable and peaceful state.

[Emphasis added. —R]

Saturday, 04 October 2008

Today’s phischbits

SmartSleep

“[A] preference pane that dynamically sets the sleep state of your machine. It’s a successor to Hibernate.prefPane.”

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View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

posted at 2:01 AM in links
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