September 8th, 2010


Thanks Foooooooor The Meglomania!

Apparently, there were some people surprised by Daley's announcement yesterday.


The press corps.  You know, the ones who should be on top of this stuff.  As I told one guy online, Isn't it sad when a guy who draws mermaids is more on top of politics than the people who went to college and made this their careers for the past thirty some years?

One of my coworkers said she wasn't surprised I hate Daley.  Not because of how he did things, but because "You hate everybody!"  (I beg to differ with that assessment.  I don't see myself as hating everybody.  I see myself as not compromising my standards and willing to live with the consequences.)

That said, all the newspapers are jumping on the bandwagon, reporting on what this means for Chicago.  Carol Marin, in particular.  I usually have a lot more respect for her as a journalist.  But her column this morning was almost a puff piece.  Disappointing, but then again, she works for the Sun Times, and they sign the checks.

When Daley became mayor, the Sun Times had their printing press in his metaphoric backyard.  The Sun Times became notorious for spinning Daley the way he wanted, so much so that smartasses like me referred to it as the Chicago Daley's News (in fact, we sometimes called it "Pravda").  The Iraqi Information Minister didn't work so hard to cast government officials in a positive light.  The Sun Times backed away after a while, relatively recently, but would still come up with articles that would have you wondering who was in charge there.  Every columnist in there today sang the praises of Boss Jr. to the point where you expected him to be assumed bodily into Heaven.  For example, they talked about how Daley's educational reforms were so successful, other cities started copying it.  Wrong bongos, dipshits.  Those educational reforms were the work of Paul Vallas.  Vallas was running for the D nomination for governor, and was doing fine in the polls.  Then, one of Daley's buddies jumped in, making it a three way race and splitting the vote, enabling Rod Blago to get the nomination.

The crosstown rivals, the Tribune, weren't as nice, but nowhere near as angry as they had the right to be.  John Kass, Mike Royko's spiritual successor, led the case against, but aside from Mary Schmich, everyone commenting pussed out.  To steal a phrase from the legendary Tom Tomorrow, had Al Capone died today, the papers would downplay the gangster thing and talk about what a great marksman he was.

So, what does this mean for the land of tribal politics?  There are three big voting blocks, the whites, the blacks, and the Hispanics.  Each is going to find one of their own and put them out there.  Daley did such a good job making the demographics isolate themselves, it'll be a bloody three-way race that will leave a lot of angry people.  Rahm Emmanuel has no shot.  Period.  He has money, but the policies he's helped Obama with will cook his goose.  He's great at mobilizing support, so I expect him, if he doesn't run, to try and be a kingmaker, but if he gets the nomination, he'll never win.  He'll have to decide quick -- he needs 12,500 signatures on a petition by Nov 22, right when Obama will need him most in the aftermath of an expected devestating midterm election.

Please, oh please, Luis Gutierrez, please run.  Chicago needs you.  If Gutierrez opts not to, another I would love to see run is Patrick Collins.  He's a classic Chicago Irishman and a former federal prosecutor.  He's like a clone of Patrick Fitzgerald, and in fact, has a lot of friends in the federal building.  The bipartisan Combine running the state would just shit.

The smart money to announce his candidacy is on 14th ward alderman Ed Burke, who Daley squashed like a grape in 1989.  He's gone along with Daley, so with the boss gone, what will he do?  Too many insiders are ignoring him.  He could be formidable.  The most whispered name is Tom Dart, whose dad is a Daley confidant.  The D's tried recruiting him for senator and governor, but he turned them down.  He knows what he wants, and him declaring his candidacy is a no-brainer, sure to reverberate well with Dick Mell and Mike Madigan.  (Madigan is not going to convince his daugher, AG Lisa Madigan, run.  He can't control her, so he'll easily lean towards Dart.)  Terry Peterson is another from Daley's inner circle expected to toss his hat in the ring.  Problem:  the police are angry with Daley, so too close an association will be a problem (with fewer cops and the city on the verge of bankruptcy, I'm expecting this shortage of cops to help Brady's campaign for governor.  All he has to do is tout his platform about licensed conceal carry and people will start listening big time.  The unions are also mad.)

February is literally up for grabs.  Chicago hasn't had an election without an incumbent since 1947.  The Chinese have a curse -- "May you live in interesting times."

Welcome to interesting times.  Hope we survive the trip.

Burning Rage

So, this weekend is the anniversary of 9/11.  I still can't watch anything 9/11 related.  Couldn't watch the documentary, and movies that go for a 9/11 vibe like Cloverfield and War Of The Worlds, I can't take them and walked out shortly after the action started.  (I'm not saying anything bad about the people who could sit through them and enjoy them.  In fact, I envy that they've healed and I'm apparently incapable of it.)  Each year, I encourage people to do something to honor the thousands of people dead for no goddamn reason.

9/11 tributes are tricky business.  The plans to build a memorial shaped like the impact crater of United 93 were scuttled because the design resembled a crescent moon, the symbol of Islam.  I couldn't believe people were protesting that, but they were.  I've said it before and I'll say it again -- Islam did not commit these horrible crimes, terrorists did.  But as I've pointed out here recently, there seems to be a growing backlash against Islam, something that makes the post-9/11 days look like an ice cream social.

Let's turn the Sine Timore Viewfinder to Gainesville, FL.  There's a pastor there named Terry Jones, who is in charge of a fifty-member church there since 2008.  He plans to commemorate 9/11 with that grand ol' Christian standby, a book burning.  Now, before you think like me and send him a copy of Confessions Of An Heiress by Paris Hilton (note to my "friends" who gave me that gag gift:  you ever pull a number like that on me again and I'll zonk every last one of you.  We've been allies for decades, you know the dark forces you are toying with), it's not a general book burning.  He wants to burn copies of one specific book -- the Quran, the Muslim holy book.

I understand freedom of religion and all that.  Just like people have the right to burn the flag, they have the right to burn religious representations.  However, just as he is free to express himself that way, people like me are free to express themselves by calling him an asshole.  This is the most fitting tribute to the dead you can think of?  To troll a bunch of people who had nothing to do with 9/11?  You are making war on innocent bystanders.  Congratulations -- you're a terrorist.

I've mentioned before that there seems to be a real upswing in anti-Muslim sentiment.  Well, for once, this has hit humanity's universal disgust switch.  People from the church in Germany he founded in the 80's are saying he shouldn't.  The Gainesville Fire Department refused to grant him a permit, but Jones says he'll do it anyway (whoa!  What a rebel!).  People from all angles including Mitt Romney (which I honestly didn't see coming) are telling Jones not to do it.

There are concerns about overkill.  Some are saying that people like us protesting this guy are actually bringing more attention to him and his cause, that we should ignore him.

This is the wrong response.

This is not about bringing attention to him.

It's about bringing attention to us.

The actions of this one man are going to be used to paint Americans as intolerant racist assholes.  Every voice that joins in protest is saying, "He is not one of us!  We will not let him speak for us!  And we will not be judged by him!"  We are showing the world that his hatred is not ours, that we are a caring nation, not this bitter man fighting his own insignificance.

He will get his fifteen minutes of fame one way or another.  It is up to us to do something positive with it.

Kiss That Chrome, Make A Wish It Won't Turn To Rust

If anyone can identify that lyric without an Internet search, I'll be so amazed....

I am getting really scared the closer Google's Chrome OS gets to RC status.

If you want to know why, just look at Android.

Google engineer Patrick Brady has stated, unequivocally, that Android is not Linux.  Some may call that bullshit.  After all, without Linux, there is no Android, so it must be Linux.  But the fact is, he's right.  Android is not Linux.  It's an app that runs on top of Linux (specifically, the 2.6.32 kernel), like how Windows runs on top of DOS.  This is important to remember.

See, Android has a lot of stuff that is not GPL'ed.  Because it is running on top of Linux instead of actually integrating it, they can't be forced to.  This means their security model with its hooks for the core system or their lock type or the unique framebuffer or how it handles power issues?  Everyone is relying on them to tell them how it works so they can come up with the drivers for smartphones that will make Android work for them.  And lots of people aren't happy.  St. Linus Torvalds recently dumped the Android drivers from the main Linux kernel.  Developers are angry because they can't use Open Source like they want to, they have to go through Google and use the tools they've created for their smartphones.

With so many devices trying to use it, Android has become a mess.  There are six different versions of Android out, with companies upgrading whenever, meaning some Android programs will not work.  This is counter to the philosophy of Linux, that what works on one distro can work on any.  Ted Ts'o, Google developer, poo-poo'ed such talk, saying, "I can't think of any shipping Linux distro, including Red Hat, that doesn't have some out-of-tree packages.  No one ever said, oh my God, Red Hat or Novell forked the kernel."  1)  You bet we've said they've forked the kernel, just not with Linux.  Remember the special remix of OpenOffice that Novell ginned up with their M$ patent indemnity.  2)  I will agree, you are not forking the kernel.  What you are doing is fragmenting, not forking.  In other words, you really are making Linux a UNIX-like OS.

The Android team is actually very small.  Getting some more people would be a help.  There are all kinds of people who would gladly volunteer to help make Android all it can be.  But not only is Google hesitant to relinquish such control, but their own team doesn't get it.  Ts'o recently said, "You know, you don't have to wait for the Android engineers to do this work.  You (or others who want to be able to use stock upstream kernel with Android devices) could just as easily try to do the 'bit more work' yourselves -- that is, do the open source thing and scratch one's own itch."  In other words, if you want something done, do it yourself.  This is unmitigated arrogance, that if you aren't smart enough to engineer patches and features yourself, you have no right to complain.  Take it from someone who knows -- learning to program takes years.  People are being told not to contribute to the community, but to do their own thing and fuck everyone else.  Or, if you can't do your own thing, to be fucked and quit bitching about it.  Linux is for everyone.  It's called the General PUBLIC License.  Elitism has no place here.

This worries me because Chrome follows a similar idea.  It uses Google's Chrome browser running on top of a Linux kernel as an OS, sort of like what Netscape was evolving into before M$ attacked.  Google has so much cache, they could spread Linux like wildfire this way.  But if Android is any indication, Google's help may cause more harm than good.

A Piece Of The Action

Snooki of the TV show Jersey Shore was fined $500 for bothering people at the beach.

How much can I get her to pay me for bothering me in my living room through her TV show?

Any Chance Of A Blake's 7 Game?

I am a very happy Nintendo Wii owner.  mornblade  isn't as big a video game nut and is not as impressed with the Wii as I am.

For now.

A deal has just been signed to bring out Doctor Who games, one for the Wii, one for the Nintendo DS.  Hey, Mornblade!  Didja know the DS does not have a country lockout code?  So you can import the game from Britain and play it in the US?  The Wii has a lockout code, but I'm watching to see if a US release is announced.

Oh, and here's one more little thing to drive you nuts, a special edition Wii controller.  Mornblade, this one's on me....