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You “like” me, you really “like” me.

I don’t care whether Facebook knows when people like my content but I do care when people do like my content. I really wish the “like” button down there kept track on my site which articles y’all like and would give me a report showing the ongoing popularity of all the articles on my site that people “like”.

So, do any WordPress Plugin developers want to build a “Like” plugin that works my way? It can publish to Facebook or +1 to Google or anything else but above that it needs to track the “Likes” on each article and compare it to all articles on this blog. Being able to see “likes” by categories would be needed also. A bonus is given if I can look at “likes” by tags.

No. No, you can’t just kill people.

I figure most of you have seen this headline:

Kill Americans memo reveals drone strikes on US citizens on US soil are LEGAL | Mail Online.

To be clear this is the opinion of a group of lawyers that are paid to come up with justifications for such stuff as this. It is not US law and I have just one response to this, “No. No, you can’t just kill people because you think they pose a danger to our country and if you do you better be prepared to prove they were an imminent threat to the security of our nation beyond all reasonable doubt.”

What I hope to see real soon is a video meme with a still picture of Pres. Barack Obama making a speech while in the background is playing someone impersonating his voice reading a few paragraphs of this memo. I mean, it’s his administration and his lawyers coming up with these words. He should be more than happy for someone to put these words in his mouth because that is what the Justice Department is doing with this memo.


DCS says it will cost $55K for child death records

I noted the following headline in the Tennessean this morning:

DCS says it will cost $55K for child death records. Agency cites 7,000 miles of driving, 1,800 staff hours needed to find, copy, redact and hand-deliver files

via DCS says it will cost $55K for child death records | The Tennessean | tennessean.com.

Now let me get this straight, those records being asked for should be available for all to see upon request. That’s state law. DCS is charged with the care of the children of the state of Tennessee who have no one else to responsibly care for them and yet over 200 children have died or almost died in DCS’s care. There should be transparency there but this cost for providing the records is making it prohibitive for there to be public oversight.

Nicole Cooke Retires From Cycling

Nicole Cooke retired from cycling today. This woman had an amazing run in women’s cycling and it wasn’t clouded with doping allegations. Actually, doping doesn’t seem to be a problem with women’s cycling. Getting your team sponsors to pay you what they signed you for is, though.

These women are every bit as good as the men in this sport and I, personally, think they ought to get the same recognition but they don’t. Nicole had this parting shot to take on that matter:

“When Lance cries on Oprah later this week and she passes him a tissue, spare a thought for all of those genuine people who walked away with no reward,” Cooke said. “Tyler Hamilton will make more money from a book describing how he cheated than I will make in all my years of honest labour.”

via Nicole Cooke Retires From Cycling | Cyclingnews.com.

I hope she writes a book on the sport. I’ll buy a copy.

Americans Like Guns and The NRA

It’s an interesting article that points out something most people want to ignore. The NRA has been so overwhelmingly successful because Americans overwhelmingly like guns. The NRA isn’t brainwashing its constituents, it’s reflecting the attitude of its constituents and its constituents make up the vast majority of Americans.

In this atmosphere of popular ambivalence about gun control, the NRA wins by playing the political ground game more single-mindedly than its foes. It showed its laser focus in 2011 in Connecticut. That year the state legislature held hearings on a proposed ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines. Some 300 opponents turned up in person. More than 50 testified against the bill. On the other side, two people spoke in support. Gun-rights advocates also buried legislators in thousands of letters and e- mails.

via Americans Like Guns, NRA Even After Newtown: Paul Barrett – Businessweek.

Right after the Newtown incident there was a spike to just above 50% of people maybe willing to accept some sort of restrictions on guns. That was a spike based on feelings. That spike is quickly dropping back to where it was before, a little over 40% are willing to accept some sort of restrictions. Define the restrictions rather than just having an ambiguous “some sort of restrictions” and I’m thinking you will see a lot more push back.

Is Nothing Sacred?

It’s interesting how times have changed. Growing up I always heard the Russians referred to as “those un-Godly Soviets” mostly due to their view that nothing, not even religion, should be above the state. The Russian Orthodox Church then was openly persecuted by the state with all sorts of restrictions placed on it. Now that the Soviets are gone and its back to being called Russia the tide has turned.

The pro-Kremlin United Russia party proposed a law introducing jail terms for offending religious feelings after a protest against Putin’s increasingly close ties with the Church by punk band Pussy Riot in Moscow’s main cathedral in February.

via UPDATE 2-Russian patriarch says religion law must not go too far | Reuters.

Patriarch Krill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church thinks that protection of the Church from offensive speech is okay as long as it doesn’t go to far and prevent people from stating their beliefs. That’s kind of like telling someone to tell you what they think of you but don’t do it in a way that hurts your feelings.

So, tell me, should the law protect us from being offended by religious opinion?

Redefining normal weight.

This news article is great news for us carrying around a few (or a lot of) extra pounds but I think the author is missing the point.

But the scientists also found that people classified as overweight, with a BMI of 25 to 29.9, died at slightly lower rates — not higher — than those of so-called normal weight. And they found that those who were mildly obese, with a BMI of 30 to 34.9, died in no greater numbers than did their normal-weight peers.

via Being moderately overweight might not pose health risk – latimes.com.

From what I’m reading those people classified as overweight might ought to be reclassified as normal while those currently classified as normal weight should probably be classified as underweight and those with a BMI of between 30 to 34.9 or just obese should be reclassified as overweight. I say this because the overweight group is actually living longer lives.

Journal News Hires Armed Guards After Outcry Over Map of Gun Permit Holders – NYTimes.com

Dan passed on a link to this story about the Journal News hiring armed guards after releasing the names and home addresses of carry permit holders in two counties in New York. It looks like the guards are just a part of the publicity stunt.

But an editor at the West Nyack office told the local police that the newspaper had received “a large amount of negative correspondence” related to the publication of the map, according to a police report highlighted by The Rockland County Times on Tuesday. The police report said that e-mails received did not contain threats and that armed guards from a private security firm had not reported any problems at the office.

via Journal News Hires Armed Guards After Outcry Over Map of Gun Permit Holders – NYTimes.com.

This would be funny if it didn’t put some people at risk for being burglarized. Not only is that bad that some people might lose some belongings they worked hard to acquire but it could also result in guns getting into the hands of people we want to keep them out of. People just don’t think this stuff through.

It’s the transportation costs that get you.

Okay, now that we have cheap natural gas to produce electricity with and all of our appliances and lighting is becoming more and more efficient we don’t have to worry about electricity prices. Do we? Not so fast there, friend. While production costs for electricity are down and will probably drop more there is this little matter of getting that electricity to your home. It gets there on the grid and the grid is getting old.

Industry analysts estimate that approximately 50% of distribution poles are 30 to 50 years old, and near the end of their useful life. With 2.2 million distribution miles in North America, the annual replacement of 1% to 2% of distribution miles (22,000 to 44,000 miles), at a cost of $140,000 per mile, represents approximately $3 to $6 billion per year. It is important to note that these figures do not include upgrades or new mileage.

via The Perverse Economics of the Electric Grid – Forbes.

This is something that we’ve been talking about for years but just won’t do anything about it. Perhaps now that fuel costs are dropping the money might be there to upgrade the grid but not by reducing electricity costs to us and not without a lot of cooperation from all the public and private utilities that put power on the grid.

Hey! What’s that clicking noise on the phone?

Have you been paying close attention to Congress and the President’s efforts to avoid the “fiscal cliff”? The discussion has monopolized our attention and Congress’ time. Hasn’t it?

Not quite.

Federal detectives won’t need a warrant to eavesdrop on the emails and phone calls of Americans for another five years. President Obama reauthorized an intelligence gathering bill on Sunday that puts national security over constitutional rights.

via Obama authorizes five more years of warrantless wiretapping — RT.

If I was a cynical person I would think that this “fiscal cliff” thing was just a distraction for the rest of us to keep us from seeing our rights to keep the government from prying into our personal lives without reasonable suspicion. But I’m not that cynical. I don’t think there is collusion between the parties but I do find it interesting that the bills Congress has no trouble agreeing on are the bills that will give both parties more control of the citizens.

“Queen” James Bible?

Okay, I have questions about the treatment of homosexuality in the Bible and how it actually relates to a loving, committed gay relationship but I’m not quite ready for a “gay Bible” nor do I think there is actually a need for one.

Gay glory: First gay-friendly ‘Queen’ James Bible released — RT.

URL: http://rt.com/art-and-culture/news/gay-queen-bible-released-401/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co

Chambliss and Woodall press for FairTax consideration – Georgia Tipsheet

In the past even though Sen. Chambliss sponsored the bill in the Senate he has not seemed more than luke warm over enacting the FairTax. Now that 48% of Georgia Republican Primary voters have expressed their opinion that Sen. Chambliss isn’t conservative enough he is becoming more enthused about the idea.

“Now is the time to enact the FairTax, which would create a fairer, simpler tax code that allows every American the freedom to determine his or her own priorities and opportunities,” stated the senior Senator.

via Chambliss and Woodall press for FairTax consideration – Georgia Tipsheet.

The funny thing to me is that I’ve never looked at the FairTax as being especially conservative in nature.

Van Heesch Copper Bicycle

Living on the Piedmont in Georgia makes a single speed bicycle unpractical for me but even though this is a “girls bike” I would so ride this Van Heesch Copper Bicycle if it was flat enough around here.

Before you think you can build this your self with copper tubing this is a copper clad steel frame bike. It will age to a nice green patina like it was  copper tubing but it has the strength of steel.

More than 1 in 10 take antidepressants

Just another data point that proves nothing by itself but with 11% of the population 12 and up on drugs that have stated side effects of violent behavior I think we really need to look to reasons people are so violent as much as what they use to commit violence.

URL: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/health/story/2011-10-19/CDC-Antidepressant-use-skyrocketed-in-past-20-years/50826442/1