Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for April 27th, 2008

Programming languages you should know

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Weird: he lists the six programming languages you should know, but forgot to include Forth.

Written by Leisureguy

27 April 2008 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Software

The banality of Doug Feith

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Good comment by M.J. Rosenberg at TPM Café:

Dana Milbank offers us a good take down on Douglas Feith, one of the two or three principal architects of the Iraq war.

typical of the ideologues and seekers after profit, feels no guilt whatsoever about the role he played manipulating intelligence to help lie us into the war. But he will give proceeds from his self-justifying memoir to help the troops his actions helped maim or kill. (Big deal. Feith comes from a very wealthy family).

People like me who, in addition to hating this war, are involved in helping Israel and the Palestinians achieve peace, have extra problems with Feith. Long before he decided that a US attack on Iraq would help Israel secure the West Bank, Feith had been a leading Likud activist in the United States. He is no more a Republican than Ariel Sharon was. Feith is all about “securing the realm” (his term for defending the Israeli occupation).

I do not believe that most of the architects of this war had Israel on their minds when they pushed the US into the war. Their goal was profits and the money keeps rolling in. But Feith is not a greedy man. He is a right-winger but in the Israeli context. For him, everything is about crushing the Palestinians. (He despised Rabin and did what he could to undermine him).

Of course, this angle rarely comes up in any of the MSM stories about Feith. But this man has done almost as much damage to Israel as to the United States.

I always wondered how he ever got a security clearance to serve at the Pentagon.

Anyway, it’s lovely that Georgetown fired his disloyal ass. But that is not enough by any stretch of the imagination. 4000 American dead. Would they be alive if Feith had never been born? He should be sentenced to spend the rest of his life working with brain injured soldiers at Walter Reed. Many of them will never ever be released. He shouldn’t be either.

Nice profile on Feith here.


Written by Leisureguy

27 April 2008 at 3:56 pm

Clinton’s weaknesses

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Very good analysis in McClatchy by David Lightman. It begins:

Despite Hillary Clinton’s big win in Pennsylvania last week, the story of her campaign is often one of mismanagement and missed opportunities, and it raises questions about how she’d organize and run the White House.

“There’s a certain style to the campaign, and it shows what we might expect in a Clinton presidency: a lot of viewpoints and a messiness,” said James McCann, a political science professor at Purdue University in Indiana.

Whether that’s a good or bad trait is in the eye of the analyst. McCann called it “policymaking through trial and error,” similar to how Bill Clinton ran his administration, which to many was a big success.

But her campaign tumbled from riches to rags to rebounds — and now to hanging on for dear life. It wasn’t supposed to be that way.

Not many months ago, Clinton was the consensus front-runner, with a 30-point lead in national polls, $118 million raised in 2007 and the backing of most Democratic power brokers.

Today she trails Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in convention delegates, campaign cash and the popular vote.

How’d that happen?

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Leisureguy

27 April 2008 at 3:41 pm

Posted in Democrats, Election

Puzzles and games

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A good site if you like challenges. The opening paragraph:

Kadon Enterprises, Inc., welcomes you to our online gallery of 233 games and puzzles you can see and purchase here. Enchanting original playthings in lasercut acrylic and handcrafted wood, for minds of all ages. So beautiful, they’re art.

  • Click on the gamepuzzles title above for a quick introduction.
  • For a surprising animation, click on our yellow W logo above.
  • You can take a full-circle tour of the entire gamepuzzles gallery. Click Grand Tour to begin. Scroll through or click NEXT buttons, and at each section bottom click on playful portals (in red) to enter the next section. See everything in one loop.
  • To visit individual sections in any order, click on Gallery Showroom at left.

Written by Leisureguy

27 April 2008 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Daily life, Games

Summertime: time for Barley Water

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Very nice summertime drink. And by making your own, you can tailor it to suit yourself—Meyer lemons instead of Eureka lemons, agave syrup instead of sugar, and so on. Here’s a simple recipe from Alton Brown:

2 quarts water
1 cup hulled barley
2 lemons
1/4 cup honey

Place the water and barley into a medium saucepan; cover, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the barley comes to a boil, decrease the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. While the liquid is cooking, peel the lemons, being careful not to cut into the white pith. Juice the lemons and place the juice along with the peel into a 3-quart pitcher and set aside.After 30 minutes, strain the barley water through a fine mesh strainer into the pitcher. Discard the barley. Add the honey and stir to combine. Refrigerate until chilled.

In that recipe, for example, I would probably use pearled rather than hulled barley. Here’s another recipe:

  • 5 whole lemons
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 breakfast cup cut sugar
  • 3 quarts boiling water

Soak the barley for several hours and strain.
Add the whole lemons, barley, and sugar to the boiling water. Boil for two hours.
Let it stand until cool, then strain and serve.

Written by Leisureguy

27 April 2008 at 2:14 pm

In the Valley of Elah

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Yesterday I watched In the Valley of Elah, with Tommie Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Charlize Theron, et al. It has a lot of resonance as we read more and more accounts of how many Iraq and Afghanistan vets are suffering breakdowns and how the VA is simply not funded, staffed, trained, or organized to help them—to the extent that the VA lied about the number of suicides and suicide attempts recently.

The movie is a good mystery and also puts a human face on how our troops are suffering under the unceasing stress of combat.

Written by Leisureguy

27 April 2008 at 8:48 am

Baked beans

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I’m finally getting around to some baked-beans experiments. Right now I’m making something very like recipe #5 from this post. Tonight I’ll know the changes needed, and I’ll do another batch and then write up the results.

Written by Leisureguy

27 April 2008 at 8:42 am

Posted in Daily life, Food

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