A Modest Plea for Biblical Literalism

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A friend’s wife joined a good Christian church where they believe in beating the children in order to save their souls. Seems like a reasonable enough trade. But then, we’re talking beating with sticks and belts. We’re talking bruises, welts and blood. I suppose it will make the little tykes righteous. The friend was unable […]

Take Control of Popups in Firefox

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By default Firefox comes with a popup blocker enabled that prevents popups from automatically opening, that is the ones that you don’t specifically request, but that open just because you visit a page. So that’s fine. That problem is solved. What is more annoying is legitimate popups that are actually useful, but which are very […]

Why elephants have flat feet

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Q. What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants coming over the hill? A. “Look! Here come the elephants!” Q. What did Tarzan say when he saw the elephants coming over the hill wearing dark glasses? A. Nothing. He didn’t recognize them. Q. Why do elephants have wrinkled knees? A. Their pink tennis shoes […]

Uninstall a Service in Vista, Repair Adobe CS3 and Clean Up the Registry

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I totally messed things up with a botched uninstall of Adobe CS3 [update: although, as you’ll see below, some people have used this on Adobe CS4 as well and I would bet this works for CS5 too]. Basically, all I was trying to do was get rid of the absurd and unnecessary Version Cue Server, […]

Welcome to Raised by Turtles

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Welcome to my brain dump. I have no idea what will end up on this site, but basically, I’m planning to use it to put some fiction up that has languised on my hard drive for years and also to be a sort of external memory to keep track of various things I learn. The […]

A Troubling Sort of Courage

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Review of Michael Beschloss, Presidential Courage I had high expectations of Michael Beschloss’ Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989, but must say that I was disappointed. I had expected stirring narratives of cases where presidents stuck to their guns in the face of criticism and opposition. That’s more or less what’s […]

Hitler, Bush and Historical Accuracy

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“An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation. We must take steps to insure our domestic security and protect our Homeland.” This quote, according to hundreds of pages on the web, is by Adolf Hitler from a 1933 (or 1932 or 1922 on some pages) announcement of the creation […]

Ludlow Amendment, the Draft, and a culture of war

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I’m reading the somewhat disappointing book Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 by Michael Beschloss. I’ll have to do a complete review, but in brief, the disappointing part is that in most episodes, I get to the end and think “Oh, it’s over.” Somehow it reads a bit like a core […]

Rent or Own? Some thoughts on the true value of real estate

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I’m always telling people that historically speaking, real estate has never been a good investment. Now, I don’t really invest because 1) I don’t have any money and 2) I have the worst sense of timing anyway. So good investment/bad investment is generally irrelevant, but I do like to track social trends and lately, whenever […]

Bush Administration Cites Success of Inquisition as Model

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The Bush administration responded forcefully today to critics of “aggressive interrogation”, known euphemistically as “torture lite.” Critics, including the FBI, have alleged that torture is ineffective and does not elicit quality information from suspects. The Bush administration has pointed out, however, that these techniques have been extremely effective in the past. Notably, press secretary Tony […]