autumn boots quicker!

Thanks to this forum post on sendmail issues, my Linux laptop now actually boots quickly, whereas before it was taking years to boot. Apparently, /etc/hosts has to look like the following for me:       localhost.localdomain   autumn

I hadn’t realized the localdomain component was required by sendmail, or else it runs into severe name resolution issues that apparently have very high timeouts.

Now all I have to do is fix this weird DMA hanging problem that I’m having occasionally on boot…

Compassionate Impeachment

I saw a bumper sticker as I was wandering through the parking lot of the Yoga place next door on the way back from a day at the Writing Center retreat and stops at Safeway and Blockbuster:

Practice compassionate impeachment

Well, that’s a contradiction in terms. I realize that that’s usually the point of bumper stickers — to be a little flippant and completely contradictory — but it still got me thinking about the term “compassionate impeachment”. I decided to be literal in interpreting this phrase and looked up both “compassionate” and “impeachment” in the Oxford American Dictionary (Heald Colleges Edition, 1980):

compassionate (adj.): a feeling of pity that makes one want to help or show mercy

impeachment (n.): 1. to charge a public official with misconduct in office before an appropriate tribunal. 2. to call in question, to discredit.

Thus, the phrase “compassionate impeachment” refers to a case when, out of pity and a want to show mercy to a public official, that official is charged with misconduct in office before a tribunal. Well, given the liberal stance on the current Presidency (as well as my own stance on the current Presidency), it’s relatively safe to assume that this refers to Bush (it’s also rare to hear of impeachments that don’t involve the office of the President of the United States; this isn’t further corroborating evidence towards assuming it’s about Bush, simply an observation). Practicing compassionate impeachment is sort of a way of “saving grace” in the face of a public official whom the public feels has screwed up.

I would argue that this is exactly what we don’t want to do in Bush’s case. Yes, Bush has perpetuated lies upon the American people, the depths of which probably won’t be fully revealed, much less understood, for several years. Yes, we are in an unjust war against Iraq (and, to some extent, against Afghanistan and the entire Middle East). Yes, this is another Vietnam — I may not like the way John Kerry has been pushing this point lately, but he is dead on in this assessment. However, given that Bush has made these errors and omissions, there isn’t enough time left within his Presidency to justify impeachment proceedings against him, since the effect of such proceedings would be felt after he left office and the damage has been done. While I recognize that some charges are better than no charges and that consequences should be leveled, the timing is wrong.

In addition, the nature of the Bush presidency thus far suggests that there are lies that we haven’t even begun to uncover. Impeaching now — without allowing more facts to emerge — is to only impeach him on his known actions after 9/11 and to essentially absolve him of future prosecution due to the double jeopardy provisions of the Constitution. Perhaps this is a stretch of my legal understanding of the Constitution — since some people spend their whole lives trying to understand the intent and content of that document — but it seems to me a reasonable conclusion. Any facts or evidence uncovered after impeachment that are related to 9/11 cannot be used against him.

Thus, since impeachment refers to a public official and not a private citizen or war crimes tribunal, impeachment in Bush’s case was impractical. Clinton’s impeachment was politically viable merely because, number one, he had committed deeds that were fully known to the public, and number two, he had enough time left in office for impeachment proceedings to make sense. At least in terms of number two, there are only about three months left in the Bush presidency. Compassionate impeachment, in any form, against George W. Bush is impractical, though the need to make Bush accountable for his lies is copiously evident.

Opening The Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian

In the New York Times today, the opening of the Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. was covered. This article contains the following quotes:

On Monday, hundreds of people already were milling about the museum to get an early peek. “At last we’re getting some kind of recognition as Indian people,” said Lawrence Orcutt, from the Yurok tribe in northern California.

Dave Anderson, who heads the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said the museum will allow Indians to open a new chapter in the United States.

“I look at this whole museum opening as an opportunity for healing, for optimism,” he said.

It’s correct that the Museum reflects a new recognition of Native Americans and that it celebrates the life and culture of many native tribes. However, the idea that this museum opening somehow heralds a “new chapter in the United States” for Native Americans is, to put it bluntly, historically impossible and preposterous. While I, for one, would certainly embrace such a change wholeheartedly, presenting this event as a cataclysm for future changes is stretching the idea of presenting the history of Native American tribes.

Quoting Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States:

In 1969, November 9, there took place a dramatic event which focused attention on Indian grievances as nothing else had. It burst through the invisibility of previous local Indian protests and declared to the entire world that the Indians still lived and would fight for their rights. On that day, before dawn, seventy-eight Indians landed on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay and occupied the island . . . They said:

We feel that this so-called Alcatraz Island is more than suitable for an Indian reservation, as determined by the white man’s own standards. By this we mean that this place resembles most Indian reservations in that:

  1. It is isolated from modern facilities, and without adequate means of transportation.
  2. It has no fresh running water.
  3. It has inadequate sanitation facilities.
  4. There are no oil or mineral rights.
  5. There is no industry and so unemployment is very great.
  6. There are no health care facilities.
  7. The soil is rocky and non-productive; and the land does not support game.
  8. There are no educational facilities.
  9. The population has always exceeded the land base.
  10. The population has always been held as prisoners and dependent upon others.
— page 529-530

The United States has continued to deny the rights of Native American tribes in the practice of tribal and religious ceremonies, and has shoehorned them onto reservations and off of what whites consider “our land” since colonial times. This shoehorning has led to a massive loss of rights for Native Americans; in addition to the grievances listed above from the occupation of Alcatraz, the white man has made attempts (admittedly much earlier in history, but it continues today) to re-educate Native Americans into our own way of life.

We cannot declare a new age for Native Americans until we abolish reservations, allow Native Americans as much freedom as whites have continually been entitled to, and issue some form of apology on behalf of the United States for the oppression and subjugation of an entire way of life. Coincidentally, the same probably holds for blacks, and possibly Americans of Japanese descent who were put into concentration camps during World War II.

The Weekend and Monday Update Bonanza!

How ironic. Now that I’m with a cable internet connection, I haven’t bothered to post. Figures.

The big news: Oh, my God, Betty, he can assemble furniture! Okay, this isn’t the big news, but yeah — I can, in fact, assemble furniture. I assembled my new stepping bookcase when it arrived on Friday — took an hour or two, but it was fun. Listened to Clint Black in the process (“Eww”, I can hear some of you say, “Clint Black…” Yes. Get over it) — it hasn’t fallen apart yet.

In other news, I spent all of Thursday and Friday on campus doing web site work for the Writing Center. Somehow, I also served as a moving man, helping one of my supervisors move a bookshelf from the depths of the library’s storage cages (which I’ve never been to before) into his office. It’s cavernous down there. We weren’t actually in the tunnel system that connects most of upper campus together, but the connection into the tunnel system was probably nearby. Nevertheless, cool experience.

Spent all of Saturday helping Amanda move in, and got my cable internet and lunch in return. Amanda was nice enough to bring her desktop over so that I could run the Comcast install, which didn’t take long — after that, just cloning her ethernet card’s hardware address onto my router ensured my connection. I did a lot of running back and forth on Saturday, bringing her ethernet cables and stuff. We went out to dinner at Apollo’s Pizza and Pasta down the road, since we didn’t want to brave the annoyingly long lines at the Greenery (the campus cafeteria).

Sunday was mostly just reading and fiddling around until Amanda showed up around 2:00. We went over to Target, shop-ified, and came back here, then back to her dorm at around 6:30. I spent the night over there (though I admit to wondering if her roommate really approved of it), then came back with her this afternoon. My roommate’s here (finally), so it’s a bit of an adjustment. Amanda left after a while, since she had Orientation Week stuff she wanted to attend tomorrow. I’ll see her again at the Writing Center retreat on Wednesday.

Not much else to say — I’ve been working on a draft article regarding the Enrollment Growth DTF for the Cooper Point Journal, which I’ll be presenting to the DTF Wednesday afternoon. We’ll see if they like it. Other than that, it’s mostly just attempting to relax and not go batty with the possibility of an insanely hectic schedule.

Yet another year is nearly upon us.

No internet for the last week! AGH!

Well, I’ve been without a cable internet connection since like, Saturday when the modem was actually installed. I’m waiting for Nathan (my roommate this year) so that I can hook it up (or Amanda, depending on who gets here first). Yeah, I could call Comcast and activate it manually, but if I can’t tolerate my own technical advice, why the hell would I want to listen to someone else’s?

So, therefore, you probably won’t see many other entries on here until, like, Sunday. Consider yourself warned.

Yes, this is a humorous entry. Really.

Donnie Darko

Well, I said in my last entry that this was a weird movie — I just finished watching it, and I think “twisted” is a more appropriate phrase. Amanda liked the movie, but she kept saying that she was freaked out by the rabbit, which didn’t make sense to me until I watched it. Now there’s a rabbit that’s very hard to forget (no, it’s nothing like the rabbit in Monty Python and the Holy Grail). I really liked it, though — it’s extremely well-crafted and a very interesting story line. I’m not going to spoil it for people who haven’t seen it — just trust me when I say that it’s an insight into a world that none of us would ever dare even imagine unless we were stuck there ourselves. I give this a 5/5 — nice special effects, great cinematography, and believable characters.

A Trip to TESC

Amanda and I spent most of Sunday wandering around Capital Mall and doing some shopping — I’ve figured out now that Best Buy probably has new DVDs at cheaper prices than most other places in the mall, though I do have a Suncoast Rewards card, which makes it a toss-up as to where I pick up stuff. GameStop, also in the mall, has a pretty eclectic used DVD selection that goes from somewhere between $9.99 to somewhere around $15, I think. I picked up Quantum Leap Season 1, a weird-assed film called Donnie Darko, and Amelie, which my mother has been bugging me about watching. We also went over to the Olive Garden (which I didn’t know was in Olympia until we got there) and had lunch — I had a fantastic dish, the steak-Gorgonzola fettuccine (I think that’s what it’s called). It’s quite good, with what I think is a red wine/vinegar sauce covering steak tips and fettuccine, all blended with Gorgonzola cheese. I’ve never had anything like it.

Amanda and I both had to go to the College this morning — I had a meeting with the head of the Web Team and she was being picked up to go home, though she had a couple things she had wanted to do first. We caught the 48 and got onto campus about 15 minutes early, which meant that I was able to go to both the Bookstore and the Writing Center with her right before I had to dart off to my meeting at 10.

The library’s remodel is underway, apparently, since I had to take a detour around the main staircase, which is currently blocked off my construction work at the top of the stairs on the third floor. I had to detour around and through the construction, which wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, but it’s good to see those changes are underway. The meeting itself went fine — we just talked about the accessibility work I’ve been working on very intermittently throughout the summer, and I met the person I’ll probably be working very closely with this year on accessibility issues for the next version of Evergreen’s site template (yes, there is already a new version of that template in the works, which isn’t surprising to me, but might be surprising to others). After that, I hopped route 41 and came home, ate, and did some more poster-related stuff. I found a use for the screen that used to belong to my grandmother — it works fantastically as a backdrop to the amber-shade torchiere I’m using in my room as main lighting. All my posters are up, though there are still a couple posters I have no idea what to do with, and I have one entire wall that’s essentially blank except for my Far Side calendar. I’ll have to figure out how to fix that.

I decided to make a trip back to the College with my laptop so that I could quickly check my e-mail and let my clients know why I wasn’t filling their client requests. That took a while (and thank goodness for daily passes on the Intercity Transit system, which paid for itself on the third and fourth trips), and the library started closing just as I finished that, but it worked out alright. I’m slated (or so I’ve been told) to work in the Writing Center on web page stuff on Thursday and Friday of this week, so perhaps the very long to-do list that we’ve been crafting all summer will actually get shorter. We’ll see.

It’s odd being in this apartment alone, but it gives me a chance to loaf for a while. We’ll see what happens.

Moving Day

Well, I finished packing to move down to Olympia on Thursday night, laptop, boxes, and all. We left at about 8am yesterday so that we could get down here in time for my scheduled walk-through with the property manager for Olympic Heights. We got here uneventfully and I checked in with the renting office. The walk through took probably 20 minutes or so, but it got done with several damages noted on the apartment check-in sheet. Good thing, too, since most of them are small things — there aren’t any large, gaping holes in the walls (as if I expected there to be any!).

After that, we went ahead and unloaded the car — you haven’t had fun until you’ve carried a 60- or 70- pound dining room table up a flight of stairs backwards and slowly so that you don’t fall and break your neck. I’ve decided that moving out of here, due to the large number of heavy furniture pieces, will require a moving company that can do heavy lifting for me. Anyway, we brought everything up, set up the dining room table, then went shopping for some things. We went to Target, picked up some supplies and some floor lamps (since the living room has no lighting in it, it has to be lit entirely by floor lamps — I also got one for my own room). We went to Joann Fabrics after that and got a 3-foot long wood dowel to use as a door jamb for the glass sliding door in the apartment, then went to lunch at Red Robin. After that, we stopped by Ace Hardware and got some nails to hang pictures and stuff with, then cruised through the Big Lots right next door to see if they had anything interesting. They did have a cheap futon for about $140, cushion and frame. It was tempting, but we didn’t go for it.

After a stint of grocery shopping, Mom dropped Amanda and I off at the apartment and said her goodbyes. Amanda and I spent the rest of the day Friday assembling stuff, including my nightstand, a small QBits storage stand to hold the cable internet stuff, and the frame for my desk (without putting the glass top or the small CPU/printer stands onto it). I put together all three floor lamps, which wasn’t quite as easy as it sounds. The procedure was relatively easy, but assembly was a little annoying, mainly because they pack it so that you have excess power cords that you use in order to store it that aren’t really needed once assembled and need to be stuffed into the frame of the lamp. That part alone took a bit, since the frames are a little narrow.

At about 6:00 (maybe 7), I went in to get the wireless router from the boxes, and got my laptop out at the same time. Lo and behold, out of everything I had packed, I had forgotten one very crucial thing: the laptop’s power supply. Thus, I’m stuck on batteries and waiting for the power supply to be shipped via UPS from home. Argh.

Anyway, since we had no bed, we slept on the floor in my room, getting up at about 8:30 so that we could be ready when the Bon-Macy’s delivery people came with the bed. That happened at about 9:30 — they showed up, asked me where I wanted the bed, then went down to get the bed itself.

At this point, I’m thinking it’ll take them about 15 minutes to fully assemble the frame, then put everything else together.

It took them about four minutes. I swear, I’ve never seen a bed assembled faster in my life, and by the time they got to me, if their delivery sheet was right when I signed it, they had already done two deliveries!

Amanda and I put the sheets we got at Target on the bed, then pulled my nightstand out of the closet and set that next to the bed. We then proceeded to bring the frame for the desk into my room and set up the glass top — it faces the door to the room, with the longer side of the desk extending outward from the wall in the space between the door to the room and the door to my closet. It looks good. We later added in the CPU and printer shelves on the inside part of the desk on the right side. I’m using those shelves as bookshelves, for lack of any other book storage other than my closet at this point.

We had an hour before Comcast showed up to do the cable internet hookup, so we went ahead and walked over to Target and got some more things that we needed, then stopped by OfficeMax and picked up a floor mat for my desk. We stopped by McDonald’s on the way back and got lunch, then came back and ate. Amanda went off to Joann Fabrics to look around for a while, so I spent my time doing some organization and putting up some posters in my room until the Comcast technician arrived.

The technician just dropped off the modem and gave me the stuff I needed to do a self-install — since my laptop’s battery power was nearly gone at this point (and I’m running Linux anyway, which is unsupported by Comcast), he couldn’t do a full install and said that he would try to get our charges reduced to a self-install configuration. That was nice of him.

That done, there was nothing else to do for most of the day other than organize some more and keep tweaking the room. That’s where it stands at the moment. I’m glad to be down here, but I almost feel like half an academic year has passed already!