Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Carpe Bonum has moved!

The Carpe Bonum blog has moved to a new site: Click on over and join us!

If you are reading via an RSS reader, point your feed to to keep up to date!

See you on the other side!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Carpe Bonum site update

Loyal Carpe Bonum readers:

I wanted to let you all know there will be significant changes to the Carpe Bonum blog in the next couple of days. I am moving the blog to a Movable Type engine hosted in my house.

Here are the implications:
  • Readers who arrive via HCBA or Homespun blogrolls: No change. I will get those links updated when the new site goes live.

  • Readers who arrive via the Feedburner feed: No change. The same feed URL will point to the new site with no changes required on your part.

  • Readers who arrive via the Blogger atom.xml feed will need to update the feed address to the Feedburner feed. I'll post the Feedburner link when I announce the cutover. It is also set up to be autodiscovered.

  • Readers who arrive via their own bookmarks, past links from other blogs, or individual blogrolls on other blogs will need to update their links. I will make every effort to individually contact bloggers who have blogrolled Carpe Bonum and let them know about the change. I will also place a link to the new site prominently on the Blogger site.

  • Archives: The Blogger site will remain up indefinitely, so all the old links will still point to the original content. I am also planning to import all the Blogger entries into the MT site. So all the old content will be searchable from the new main page. (This is the major task remaining before the cutover.)

  • Blogger site during the transition: The process to export the Blogger entries requires a radically different main template. Readers may see this template for a time while I am exporting. I will restore the original template when I am done.

  • Statistics: I have a server side statistics engine on the new site (AWStats). But the new site will also continue to hit SiteMeter and StatCounter like the Blogger site does.

  • New site performance: Here's the rub. The new site is hosted on an ancient 400 MHz AMD K2 with 192 MB RAM and a 30 GB disk running Linux Fedora Core 3 behind a residential cable modem. There are two issues: the response time of the server itself and the upload bandwidth through the cable modem. On the server side, I am finding the response time to be pretty good (~1 sec page loads over the LAN with the client cache cleared) as long as nothing else is going on in the server. On the bandwidth side, I can upload about 400 kbits/sec. The main page right now is about 20k bytes plus another 30k bytes in locally hosted images, which will take about one second to upload through the cable modem. So I think the system is pretty well balanced. That is, increasing either performance factor would not increase overall performance because the system would then be limited by the other. So we're going to go with it like that and see how it works. As long as I am averaging less than 10 pageloads per minute, I think it will be no problem. That was about the load during the busiest hours on Instalanche day. Even if that load is exceeded by a factor of ten, I think the only consequence would be increased response times.

  • Stability: It's only been about a week since I put the Linux box, so the changes have been coming fast and furious. The changes have been mainly lots of software installs, Apache reconfigurations and restarts, and self-attacks using the Nessus security suite. But at this point it has been four days since the last restart, and I don't anticipate any major system software changes.

  • Reliability: Three major issues here: First the hardware itself. The server is an ancient box which could die at any minute. Next is the fact that the power and reset buttons are within reach of my two year old. No further explanation is necessary, I trust. Finally, Roadrunner does go down from time to time. The last outage was about nine minutes, and the outages come every few months. If we figure 36 minutes of downtime per year due to Roadrunner dropping out and, say, two one-hour outages due to the box being reset, that's 156 outage minutes per year. Divided by 525,960 minutes per year, that gives us an availability rate in the neighborhood of 99.97%. Telecom providers demand five nines availability. I think I can live with three to four nines.

  • Security: Well, there are only a few open ports through the firewall to the Linux box, and I attack myself with Nessus. So hopefully I'll avoid serious problems. I already am seeing attempts to use my sendmail as a relay (those spamming bastards).

  • Contingencies: If something ugly happens like the box melting down, I can always point the site URL and the Feedburner feed back to Blogger and use it as a backup. If something great happens, like I start to get more than 10 pageloads per minute on a regular basis, I'll export MT database to external hosting service.
So, uh, that's what I've been spending my excess brainpower on. Hope it doesn't blow up in my face!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Loony Left: Wrong Universe

Earlier I posted a theory that loony leftists must be insane to believe some of the things they say they believe. The cross-posting on Blogcritics generated lots of interesting but inconclusive discussion. Now I have a new theory. Considering all their incredible wrong-is-right conclusions, is it possible the loony left is stuck in the "Mirror, Mirror" universe of Star Trek?

Look at the preview of "Mirror, Mirror" and tell me that Kirk, Sulu and others from the parallel universe aren't eerily similar to the caricatures of Bush Administration figures as portrayed by the marching moonbats of the loony left.

Here's more evidence.

Normal Spock:

Evil Spock:

Real Bush Cheney:

Moonbat Bush Cheney:

Barking Moonbats, come back to our universe! It's nicer over here!

UPDATE: Welcome WizBang Carnival of the Trackbacks readers!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Blogger oddness

(Inside blogger baseball, sorry.)

Anybody notice any funny business with Blogger lately? Posting has been pretty sluggish. I've got something in the works to eliminate the problem permanently. Regular readers (both of us), stand by for more info soon.

The Three-Minute Abortion Debate

Concise, to the point and doesn't rely on religious teachings (hat tip The Physicist's Perspective via Hammertime) The Three-Minute Abortion Debate:
"What?! You have no idea of how an unwanted pregnancy can ruin a young woman's life!"

We don't have unwanted pregnancies in this country. We have inconvenient pregnancies. If we had unwanted pregnancies, we wouldn't have people waiting years for a chance to adopt a brain-damaged crack baby or spending small fortunes to adopt children from Romanian orphanages. Where are the overflowing American orphanages? Where are the mobs of feral street urchins? They don't exist, because unwanted pregnancies don't really exist.
Be sure to click through so you don't miss the excellent zinger at the end.

One of these days I'm going to do a post on the curious rape/incest exemption many abortion foes are willing to concede. But not today.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

So, how's it going in Afganistan?

About a month ago, Aviation Week passed on a few juicy tidbits from Col. Cardon Crawford, director of operations for the combined forces command Afghanistan. I don't remember seeing these in the paleo-press or on the blogs, not even in Arthur Chrenkoff's Good News From Afganistan coverage.

From Neutralized Warlords (link for subscribers only):
The conflict in Afghanistan is changing. Warlords are being co-opted or removed, cross-border traffic limited and cooperation with the Pakistan military improved to the point that they are now spotting for artillery bombardments fired from U.S. weapons in Afghanistan at insurgents in Pakistan.
On the other hand, a Pakistani General tells Al Jazeera it never happened (hat tip Rantburg):
"This is baseless and ridiculous, it has got no truth," Pakistani army spokesman Major General Shaukat Sultan said on Wednesday in response to allegations by Colonel Cardon Crawford, director of operations for the U.S. Military command in Afghanistan.

Sultan also said that Pakistani troops were cooperating with U.S. forces based in the other side of the porous border but "it is a cooperation in terms of intelligence sharing."

"It is not in terms of inviting their (coalition) fire onto our territory," Sultan said.
The fact that the denial appears on Al Jazeera does nothing to enhance its credibility, but there it is.

Another tidbit from the AvWeek blurb:
The role of U.S. troops has now largely shifted to training the ANA and providing it with the logistics needed to move quickly around the country.
Sounds like a prototype for what US forces are planning to do in Iraq in OIF-3.

The end of blogging as we know it?

What an interesting confluence of events we have had in the last few days. First, a Federal Election Commissioner blows the whistle on impending regulation of blog postings as in-kind campaign contributions. And now a blogger has gotten a day pass, attended a press conference and actually liveblogged from the White House.

I agree with Instapundit reader Tom Maguire, who gets it perfectly right:
On a more serious note, Tom Maguire emails to say that the real lesson here is "Take that, FEC!" If bloggers are getting credentialed as press, the argument to treat "real" press differently from bloggers collapses.
Granny Insanity sees it as a sign that, "the democracy train is still tugging along." And Secure Liberty sees it as fairly easy to do, as long as the blogger doesn't have a day job.

Now if I were one of those Karl-Rove-controls-everything-and- everyone theorists, I'd say it was all a perfect set up to slap the FEC in the face while further eroding the ground under the mainstream media's feet.

Whether the White House or the FEC wins out, it’s clear we are at a turning point for media in this country and maybe the world.

Oh, and how did I notice the linked postings? I saw them on CNN Television. Truly, blogging has changed forever!

POSTSCRIPT: Steve H. over at The Command Post is decidedly unimpressed, Fake Blogger Admitted to White House Press Corps:
The "blog" is FishbowlDC, a site decorated with all the little corporate features sites like Yahoo have. A contact email address which doesn't go to the "blogger." A disclaimer. A copyright notice. A site map.

The "blog" has no comments, and there are no trackbacks.

Idiots. Real bloggers will never get any recognition as long as establishment hacks continue their incestuous practice of calling corporate sites "blogs."

Calling this Graff person a blogger is like calling the pimply kid who brings Brit Hume doughnuts a broadcaster.

A blogger pays his own bills. A blogger has comments, if at all possible. A blogger does his own writing or chooses a few friends to help. A blogger has trackbacks. A blogger links to other REAL bloggers, not the mainstream dorks Graff links to.

I hate to disagree with a tongue that sharp, but I do. The precedent that has been set is there regardless of whether Graff is a "real" blogger. And I see no recognition problem when all the headlines say "Blogger," not, "Establishment Hack."

Cheer up, Steve!

POST-POSTSCRIPT: The Political Teen has video of Graff on MSNBC. (Hat tip, Michelle Malkin)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Laughed so hard I cried 2

There is a very important lesson here, so read carefully: Don't mess with Bible-toting old biddies from Texas. Just don't.

(Hat tip, The Nerd Group via lgf)

NOTE: The original file was a 4 MB .wav file. I converted it to a 2 MB 92 kbps .mp3 and put it on my Linux box. My cable modem uploads at about 40 kB/sec, so it should take around a minute to download the file. If you'd rather, just grab the original.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

FEC, protect us!

I, for one, admire and appreciate the FEC taking on this new challenge to protect all us easily-confused citizens from them wily old bloggers. I'll be danged if I couldn't use some oversight myself!

So here is what I propose: Let's set up a trackback bot. Anytime somebody posts something dangerous (i.e. political, contains original thinking, etc.), send the bot a trackback. The bot will instantly generate a message to the FEC:
From: Extremely Concerned Blogger <$$AuthorEmail$$>
Date: $$CurrentDateTime$$
Subject: Please protect my country from this EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SPEECH: "$$PostSubject$$"

My Dear FEC,

Thank you SO SO SO SO much for being right there on the front lines, protecting us VULNERABLE CITIZZENS
[sic] from dangerous unregulated speech!

To assist you in this CRITICAL MISSION, it is my duty to report to you that I, myself, have just made a posting on my blog, $$BlogName$$. It is located right out there on the INTERNET where ANYONE CAN SEE IT. See for yourself right here: $$PostURL$$.

Why, this posting has all kinds of ...THOUGHTS... in it, like this:


I must also inform you, Dear Commission, that this posting was NOT AUTHORIZED OR SCREENED BY ANYONE, including:

* My Congressperson
* Either of my Senators
* The President, or his Chief of Staff
* Howard Dean
* The Chief of Police
* The boys down at the Local 142
* The New York Times
* Not a single Justice of the Supreme Court, not even that Souter guy
* Heck, I can barely even get my wife to read these things

And I didn't prescreen this content with YOU, MY DEAR COMISSION.

So PLEASE STOP ME before I speak again!


See where I'm going with this, folks?

For serious coverage of the issue, check out Cyber Conservative, who's doing a bangup job.

Oh yeah, almost forgot: Hey Arizona, please pick someone other than McCain on next go around. (Now where do I send that trackback...)

Saturday, February 26, 2005


Maybe Carpe Bonum shouldn't pick at Condi so much. She might make me hold an open election for Supreme Leader of Carpe Bonafamily...

(Hat tip, Instapundit)

Who is Lynn Swann?

(Image via Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame)

Lynn Swann is considering a run for Pennsylvania Governor. He has a "Draft Swann for Governor" committee. PoliPundit Jayson, Captain Ed, Betsy, Professor Bainbridge, and Todd Zywicki have all blogged about it.

As regular readers of Carpe Bonum (both of us) know, I am not a big fan of electoral neophytes aiming for major office, but maybe Swann has enough star power to pull it off. At least he's not running for President! (Sorry, Condi, I still love you, but...)

We all know Lynn Swann the Pittsburgh Steeler hall of famer. But who is he outside of football? Let's find out.

Mr. Swan is alive. (Hey, first things first!)

At present, Lynn Swann is the chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness. His official bio opens with:
Lynn C. Swann, Chairman, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania - What happens to the youngest of three boys, whose name is Lynn, when his mother enrolls him in dance school as an eight year old child? What will people say?
I like this guy already! The bio highlights Mr. Swann's football and broadcasting careers, community involvement and service with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. And it says he collects fine wines. Professor Bainbridge, a kindred spirit! The bio on the campaign page covers similar ground but without the self-deprecation.

He was fully involved in the Bush campaign last year. Examples:
  • The anti-Fox News Channel blog News Hounds reports Swann gave a pro-President Bush interview on Fox News last summer.
  • Mr. Swann was a principal in an organization called African Americans for Bush. (Can't find their web page any more, but there is plenty of residual information on the web discussing Swann's involvement.)
  • Swann did an online chat on behalf of the Bush campaign in early September. The campaign web pages are disappearing quickly but I was able to find a partial transcript in Google's cache. Here are the excerpted questions and responses from Swann:
    Valerie Torkelson from Westfield NJ wrote: What has the response to "African Americans for Bush" been? Do you feel like you are making any progress in the African American community to rally any support for President Bush?

    Lynn Swann answered: The response has been good and solid. I am always somewhat amused by the fact that some people would ask, "Why as an African American I am a Republican." In many cases, my response is, "Why not a Republican." Why is is such a grand assumption that African Americans should be Democrats when historically the Republican Party has been a leader on issues important to African Americans.

    Neil Hutchins from Albuquerque NM wrote: Hello Mr. Swann How long have you known the president? and what was it about him that you knew you could support him.

    Lynn Swann answered: Neil, I met the President when he was Governor of Texas. What I liked about this President and this man was that he acted on what he believed. When he talks about being healthier and more physically active in an effort to save America some of the $250 billion dollars we spend on obesity and its related illnesses and diseases that are preventable, he backs it up by being physically active himself. The President ran a 3-mile race in which he ran sub-seven minute miles at the age of 55.
Mr. Swann and his wife have given $10,300 in political contributions since 1987, mostly to Republicans like John Heinz, Arlen Specter, George W. Bush, and Pete Coors. But in 1996 and 1997 he gave $2000 to John Kerry?!?! I wonder what that was about!

The Draft Swann "Why Lynn" page stakes out a few positions:Not everyone loves Lynn Swann. Last month, corporate scold Center for Science in the Public Interest called for Swann to be fired. His crime? "The former Pittsburgh Steelers football player received payment to appear at a public relations event for a vending-machine trade association."

On racism, Mr. Swann made the following comment in a 1999 Time Magazine online chat:
Heichi asks: Lynn, have you ever received any racial abuse whilst playing?

Lynn Swann: Not while playing. I think that most minorities have experienced some form of racial abuse. And I am certain many young people and some adults have been abused and not even been aware that it was going on. The important thing, I think, is that you have to continue to break down a variety of barriers. Professional, social, economic, and political barriers.
The chat was in honor of Black History Month that year, and Swann wrapped up with this comment:
Lynn Swann: This being Black History Month, I would like to ask people to celebrate the similarities and not focus on the differences between people of color and not of color. Take the time to discover how African-Americans have had a great impact on this country. In science, education, literature, art, and politics.
He makes $20,000 to $30,000 per appearance on the lecture curcuit! No, wait. He makes $30,000 to $50,000!

On the nanny state, Mr. Swann made this comment in an online chat from the White House:
Question from Smokey: What do you think of California's tax on junk food? Do you think that good health can be encouraged with economics or can it not happen unless people have the willpower to stick to a program?

Lynn Swann: I think it's important that people develop their own lifestyle and their own habits. This has to be a personal choice. This is not something that can be legislated. We're trying to encourage people to lead a healthier and physically active lifestyle. We're not trying to mandate it. Certainly people have different schedules and there are certain things they can and cannot do. We encourage them to do what they can do, but we're certainly not in a position to try and dictate, mandate, or tax them on their eating habits.
But in the same chat he made this vicious attack on bloggers:
The computer is a wonderful tool, but it should not be a way of life for everybody where you sit in front of the computer and you do nothing else.
Just kidding -- that was totally out of context. (Eat your heart out, Maureen Dowd!)

And Mr. Swan may pick up votes from some unlikely places. For example the Philadelphia Daily News reports that there is some rancor in Philadelphia's African American Community over the appointment of a traffic court administrative judge.
The State Supreme Court this week named Bernice DeAngelis as administrative judge at Traffic Court, giving her control of patronage and angering black Democrats.
"The last thing we need is a revolt," Campbell [head of the African-American ward leaders] said, "but I've had some trial lawyers talk to me who are looking at raising money for [Lynn] Swann."
Good luck, Mr. Swan. You will definitely make an interesting candidate.

2/26/05 09:40 PST: Welcome Betsy's Page readers. Enjoy the information!
2/26/05 09:40 PST: Turns out, Mr. Swann has a personal web page, last updated March 2003. (Hat tip, Patriot-News Know@Noon)
2/27/05 18:35 PST: Welcome Professor Bainbridge readers. Enjoy!
2/27/05 19:14 PST: Welcome Volokh Conspiracy readers, too. (I missed you guys yesterday. Sorry!)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Winter '05 in San Diego

Nice weather we've been having here in sunny San Diego.

Imagine if you will...
Scene: A cafe in which one may order up the weather. One table is occupied by a group of Vikings wearing horned helmets. Whenever the word "rain" is repeated, they begin singing and/or chanting. A man and his wife enter. The man is played by Eric Idle, the wife is played by Graham Chapman (in drag), and the waitress is played by Terry Jones, also in drag.
Man:You sit here, dear.
Wife:All right.
Man: Well, what've you got?
Waitress: Well, there's cold and clouds; cold wind and clouds; cold and rain; cold clouds and rain; cold clouds wind and rain; rain clouds wind and rain; rain cold rain rain clouds and rain; rain wind rain rain clouds rain thunder and rain;
Vikings: Rain rain rain rain...
Waitress: ...rain rain rain cold and rain; rain rain rain rain rain rain mud slides rain rain rain...
Vikings: Rain! Lovely rain! Lovely rain!
Waitress: ...or a lovely, spring-like day with the sun shining, birds singing and children playing while the sweet aroma of freshly cut grass gently wafts into your nostrils, like Opening Day of Baseball season with cold and rain.
Wife: Have you got anything without rain?
Waitress: Well, there's rain cold wind and rain, that's not got much rain in it.
Wife: I don't want ANY rain!
Man: Why can't she have cold clouds rain and wind?
Wife: THAT'S got rain in it!
Man: Hasn't got as much rain in it as rain cold wind and rain, has it?
Vikings: Rain rain rain rain... (Crescendo through next few lines...)
Wife: Could you do the cold clouds rain and wind without the rain then?
Waitress: Urgghh!
Wife: What do you mean 'Urgghh'? I don't like rain!
Vikings: Lovely rain! Wonderful rain!
Waitress: Shut up!
Vikings: Lovely rain! Wonderful rain!
Waitress: Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can't have cold clouds rain and wind without the rain.
Wife: I don't like rain!
Man:Sshh, dear, don't cause a fuss. I'll have your rain. I love it. I'm having rain rain rain rain rain rain rain mud slides rain rain rain and rain!
Vikings:Rain rain rain rain. Lovely rain! Wonderful rain!
Waitress:Shut up!! Mud slides are off.
Man:Well could I have her rain instead of the mud slides then?
Waitress:You mean rain rain rain rain rain rain... (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)
Vikings:(Singing elaborately...) Rain rain rain rain. Lovely rain! Wonderful rain! Rain ra-a-a-a-a-ain rain ra-a-a-a-a-ain rain. Lovely rain! Lovely rain! Lovely rain! Lovely rain! Lovely rain! Rain rain rain rain!
Apologies to Monty Python.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Blackbird Diplomacy

The January 24, 2005 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology has an interesting story from a former SR-71 pilot. In the Fall of 1984, the Soviets were delivering advanced weapons to the communist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. A series of unusual SR-71 flights was used to change their minds.

The article is part of Aviation Week's wonderful Contrails series, an "initiative to capture the untold stories that collectively make up the rich lore of aviation and space." Check it out if you get a chance.

The link is for paid subscribers only:
Blackbird Diplomacy by Major General Robert F. Behler, USAF (Retired)

Though few taxpayers knew what we were doing, SR-71 missions near belligerent communist countries were influencing U.S. foreign policy. Today, that meant contributing to the demilitarization of Nicaragua, while allowing the Soviet Union to save face. Nobody wanted a repeat of the Cuban missile crisis in Central America.
Instead of arriving in the area of interest around noon, when sun-angles were optimum for a photo mission, we arrived just after sunrise, providing an unmistakable wakeup call for the Sandinistas. Even originating at altitudes above 80,000 ft., the shock wave from our SR-71 created window-rattling, double-crack sonic booms on the ground. Message: The U.S. is watching, and we know what that Bulgarian ship at Corinto is carrying [destabilizing MiG-21s].
The world may never know if the Bukuriani arrived in the Nicaraguan port of Corinto actually carrying crated MiG-21 fighters. In private, State Dept. officials said their objective had been to give the Soviets an opportunity to remove the jets without admitting the fighters had even been there in the first place. They believed that strategy was the best way to end the incident peacefully.

Blackbird diplomacy had worked.
Thanks for your service, General Behler.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

CNN's Inside Politics: Good TiVo Fun

After Jacki Schechner and Abbi Tatton mentioned Carpe Bonum on their Inside Politics blog segment yesterday, I thought it would only be fair to get them on the TiVo and check them out in video form (rather than just reading transcripts).

I got a chance to watch today's show, and I thought their report did a good job of informing a typical CNN viewer what was going on in the blogosphere. Atrios and Kos got too much air time for my taste, but they were clearly identified as lefty blogs.

Confederate Yankee's continuing Hinchey coverage got a nice mention.

I like the way they actually display the blogs they are discussing and let viewers see for themselves.

And it was interesting how Judy Woodruff turned the the Hinchey stuff from yesterday's blogger segment into a live interview with Hinchey today.

Inside Politics has earned the distinction of being the just the fourth news show to be a regular in Carpe Bonum's TiVo (in addition to Brit Hume, Meet the Press and Shepard Smith). Congratulations!

UPDATE: Carpe Bonawife says I shouldn't admit Shepard Smith is in the TiVo. "He looks too old now, not like during the war." Mmm kay. Sorry, Shep, you're out!

Hinchey strategy enhanced: The Big Bluff

Rep. Maurice "It originated with Karl Rove" Hinchey has enhanced his media strategy, adding to it The Big Bluff. In an interview with Judy Woodruff on CNN's Inside Politics today Rep. Hinchey said:
Unfortunately, the Congress is not doing its job. There are -- this is something that ought to be investigated by the Congress of the United States. But this Congress is not doing its job. It's not standing up for the American people the way it should. And, as a consequence, there is a certain amount of frustration out there and that frustration was voiced by the people who attended the meeting that I held last Saturday.

Imagine the howls of rage if the Republican-dominated Congress started investigating news outlets for running politically-motivated hit pieces: McCarthyism! Intimidation! Chilling effect!

No, Congress can't go anywhere near this and Rep. Hinchey knows it.

Let's face it, you don't survive thirteen years in Congress and eighteen years in the New York State Assembly before that unless you are one savvy dude.

Well done Rep. Hinchey.

(Of course, we may get that open investigation into the fake memos if the CBS Three go ahead with their lawsuit. Here's hoping...)