What the Shed Looks At

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kill Bill

Embedding Playlists from Youtube

I finally discovered how to embed playlists on this blog. I was looking in the wrong spot. Youtube is surprisingly daft on this. It took about an hour of hunting Youtube's help files to find anything about embedding playlists. Finally I found this page:
The information there is completely wrong.

Further searching lead me to this page:
Here you will find this brilliant advice: "The easiest way to embed a playlist is to create a custom player."

This is the reason why you have been forced to watch those videos inside a box with an ugly border with no way to fullscreen. I have since figured it out. All is well, and I am going back and replacing the shitty custom players (of which I have had to create a separate instance for each blog post!).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Federal Discretionary Budget for 2010


From Wallstats.com

Click for huge
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Priest Tells Congregation to Shoplift


"My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift. I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither.

"I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses but from large, national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices.

"I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need.

"I offer the advice with a heavy heart and wish society would recognise that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay has created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope."

Father Tim Jones

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Messages from the Troops

Our Troops Send Holiday Wishes For Peace, Goodwill, And Body Armor

Now for some santa style relaxation

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Merry Christmas Part Deux

History of Rome: Sol Invictus It's like twenty minutes but it's worth listening to. This is my kind of christmas carol.


Merry Christmas Shed Crew.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sarah Palin's Twitter Feed

This is her old Twitter feed archived and here is her current feed. You can watch the breakdown of English as she evolves into some kind of asperger's aol speak.

Her latest tweet.

"AKs Winter Solstice=today begins season of lighter/brightr days.May it b in Washngton,too=more light so r govt's actions can lift up America"

AKGovSarahPalin Tweet Archive height="500" width="100%" > value="http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=22691806&access_key=key-2144vzo3zf5yf7bcw742&page=1&version=1&viewMode=list">

Random Videos

This one has some Something Awful references but I know you guys will like most of it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Some Stuff

This is absolutely fucking nuts, and so are the Koreans.

Al Franken draws the US like an autistic kid

I'm willing to bet he was rattling off facts about each state while he was doing this. I wonder why MPR chose to dub over him with Benny Hill music. Maybe he was real boring.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Children's Programming

Children's programming is getting out of hand lately.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Interview with Necro

I took a aesthetics class years back, and Necro actually has a sophisticated understanding of art, albeit a piss poor way of expressing this understanding.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Steve Wilkos

I watched this episode of The Steve Wilkos Show the other day with Mike. I probably didn't explain the episode too well to James the next day, because I was surprised to hear James take a hard line on 16 year old liars. Maybe bullshit in Washington has gotten everyone in a dark mood. Sorry about the rants on the last post btw.

Anyway, here is the episode. If you have time take a look.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

God Damn America.

Welp, Reverend Wright was right. God damn America.

WASHINGTON – After days of secret talks, Senate Democrats tentatively agreed Tuesday night to drop a government-run insurance option from sweeping health care legislation, several officials said, a concession to party moderates whose votes are critical to passage ofPresident Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to provide any details at a mid-evening news conference where he told reporters a "broad agreement" had been reached between liberals and moderates on the controversial issue.

With it, he said, the end is in sight for passage of the legislation that Congress has labored over for months.

In place of a government-run plan, originally designed as a way of forcing competition on private industry, officials said the Democrats had tentatively settled on a private insurance arrangement to be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers purchase coverage. Additionally, the tentative deal calls for Medicare to be opened to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55, a significant expansion of the large government health careprogram that currently serves the 65-and-over population.

The officials

described the details did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss them publicly. Despite their reluctance, some senators had talked openly earlier in the day about the progress of the negotiations.

The developments followed a vote on the Senate floor earlier in the day in which abortion opponents failed to inject tougher restrictions into sweeping health care bill, and Democratic leaders labored to make sure fallout from the issue didn't hamper the drive to enact legislation. The vote was 54-45.

I'm so glad that corporate interests have convinced our duly elected representatives of the benefit of sculpting health policy based on what makes the most money instead of what alleviates the most suffering. How far along in this democratic process do we go before we decide the people have lost control and others are steering the ship of state to the detriment of the public?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

About the Swiss

I began commenting on Andy's post, and I realized I was going to need to use some visual aids so I started up a post of my own...

This is a clear cut case of the majority repressing the minority. This is why places like America have adopted a constitutional republic. A representative republic governed by rule of law and a constitution act to disconnect real sovereign power from the people. It is NOT a good idea to allow people to directly govern themselves (as in a true democracy) because it leads to the majority repressing the minority. The end result of this is a powerful oligarchy. Democracies tend to always degenerate into an oligarchy, this is called the iron law of oligarchy, and there are some examples of this happening in history.

The Swiss movement to ban minarets is backed by the ultra-conservative Swiss People's Party (SVP). Who used an ad campaign based on fear.

These sorts of campaigns are undeniably effective, and it is the reason why people should not be allowed to rule directly over themselves. They are simply not qualified, and they are too easily manipulated.

As far as tolerance for religion goes... In an ideal world we would have zero tolerance for religion. As we should all individually practice a zero tolerance policy towards delusion as much as possible for the good of humanity and ourselves.

We all live in a non-ideal world however, and despite what idealists believe, no amount of ideal thinking or action with ideal intentions are going to make this world any more ideal. This is equivalent to making policy decisions based on ideology rather then physical evidence, and then having faith that it will all work out in the end.

That being said, I agree that policy that attacks religious freedom are extremely dangerous for the people living in non-ideal settings (i.e. everybody). Motivating people with fear, be it God-fear, or xenophobia, will in the end only serve to repress rather then to protect.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Minarets and such

So the Swiss people chose by popular referendum to amend their constitution the other day. It now includes a ban on the construction of minarets (Islamic prayer towers) in the country. Doesn't this sound like the sort of issue which should be handled by a law, rather than a constitutional amendment? I think the amendment's backers know full well that any such law would be struck down as unconstitutional, whereas the constitution itself cannot be unconstitutional. It can only be inconsistent. So, in fact, the Swiss constitution is currently inconsistent.

Some have claimed that Islam oppresses women. That has nothing to do with minarets. While traditional Islamic culture does proscribe certain roles to women and others to men, this is true of every traditional culture in the world. I, as a proponent of general human equality, oppose these traditions, but do not single Islam out as a special transgressor. This has nothing to do with minarets.

Some have claimed that minarets represent a threat to Swiss culture. As of their 2000 census, Switzerland had 310,800 citizens who claimed membership in a Muslim congregation. This represented 4.3% of their population at the time. All reports seem to indicate that Islam's market share of Swiss population has increased since then, with some reports going as high as 6%. Islam is therefore a (minority) part of Swiss culture. It cannot be a threat to Swiss culture. If Swiss hicks wanted to practice xenophobia, they should have done so when the Muslims were still foreigners. It is too late for these yokels to be yelling "Return from whence ye came." Switzerland is now a partially Muslim nation.

Some have claimed that predominantly Muslim nations practice more severe forms of religious persecution. Some of these nations do. This is reprehensible. In no sense does this justify the Swiss amendment. If you cite this argument, I hope you realize that you are supporting my view: religious intolerance is unacceptable.

I would like to digress for one paragraph to mention my support for the process by which this amendment was made to the Swiss constitution. I stand unequivocally for popular sovereignty. Suppression of this fundamental human right is worse than religious persecution by some margin. If the government does not serve the will of the people, then it is both the right and the responsibility of the people to remove that government and all of its officers from power. That being said, 57.5% of the Swiss people who turned out to vote on this referendum are slack-jawed buffoons. Don't take it personally, Switzerland. I think 57.5% is a low-ball for the world average of buffoonery.

Finally, I would like to ask what this amendment's backers will achieve by their success. Will they block the construction of minarets in Switzerland? Yes, at least for a time. There are, of course, hives of lawyers buzzing already to challenge this harebrained scheme. Will they open up a polite discourse throughout all of Europe on the roll of Islam? No, the discourse will be far from polite throughout most of Europe, and the rest of the world. Will they widen the rift between Islam and the rest of Western culture and further inflame hatreds from numerous sources (which were doing quite well on their own, thank you very much), all directed at their fellow man? Yep.