Monday, April 03, 2006

Time to move along. Did I mention Anconia’s Customer Support Blows?

As I mentioned previously, I have been examining the possibility of moving the blog elsewhere for a variety of reasons. Blogger’s interface, while OK for basic blogging, lacks a number of features present in other blogging systems. Blogger’s response to their users is glacial, at best, and getting anything more than a “check the FAQ” response is nearly unheard of.

So, I am moving this blog away from Blogger after 2 1/2 years here. The good news is that I’m moving somewhere that allowed me to keep all the content that exists here. The new blog is at The name’s the same, the author’s the same. The look’s a little different and I’m still getting the pieces in just the right places. I invite you to follow me over there for a (hopefully) improved experience.

The other issue is with this blogging software I also mentioned. This application, Anconia’s RocketPost, has turned into a bug-laden, eternally-crashing piece of crap. The worst part is the absolute silence from the company in response to a paying customer’s request for support I paid for. I’ve sent 4 requests for them to help me out and I have not gotten a. Single. Response. Not even a form-generated receipt of my messages has been forthcoming. So I’m switching over to an application that appears to be working well and crashless. Take a hint, Anconia - an application can have all the bells and whistles in the world and if it won’t run consistently, it’s still a pile of crap. (Interesting note: I’m using RocketPost to publish this note and it’s crashed twice in the process.)

My advice to you bloggers is to stay the hell away from Anconia and all its products. Use them at your own risk.

In closing, please click on the link and follow me to my new home. I look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Nebraska becomes 40th State to permit concealed carry of firearms

From Instapundit, I find this wonderful write-up by David Kopel over at the Volokh Conspiracy regarding Nebraska's passage of a "shall issue" law for concealed carrying of a firearm permits.

Yesterday the Nebraska legislature defeated a filibuster, and passed a Shall Issue law for licensing the carrying of concealed handguns by adults who pass a background check and a safety class. Nebraska's governor has said he will sign the bill into law.

With Nebraska, there remain 15 States that do not have such laws. 2 of those actually don't require permits at all to carry but will provide one if asked. (Read David's article on that.) 3 more have so-called "Do issue" laws that are like the "Shall issue" laws but allow local cops some discretion. The "shall issue" law basically instructs State government agencies that they must issue the permit if certain qualifications are met. While you might think that's a no-brainer, there are 8 States whose laws are such that the local governments will issue you a permit basically if they feel like it. The laws allow them to issue permits to celebrities while denying low-life scum - such as the common citizen.

Do read up on it if you have any interest in it.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Changes coming soon

Well, I’ve gotten a bit fed up with my blogging lately. No, I’m not running out of things to comment upon. My experiences here at Blogger are, frankly, leaving me a little flat. I know you get what you pay for, and all, and it is a free service. But they’ve never been really good at actually answering questions. The interface, while servicable, doesn’t offer many of the features other blogging platforms do. I don’t see that changing any time soon.

Then there’s the matter of the blog authoring software I’m using. I switched over to Anconia’s RocketPost almost 2 months ago. At first, it was stellar. The company then put out an update to the program and it’s been all downhill since. The program crashes repeatedly. It does so between each and every post I try to publish and, after this morning’s “update” from Anconia, it actually crashes whenever I try to put a hyperlink in the post text on the 1st try. I’ve tried to contact their tech support - reachable only via a web form on their site - and have received no reply after 4 messages. Not the way to keep paying customers, Anconia. In fact, this one’s about ready to take a walk somewhere else.

Bottom line: expect changes here at HoodaThunk? soon. I’ll keep you advised. Assuming I can actually post the notice.

Analysis of daily attack stats in Baghdad show decline in averages

From Pajamas Media, there’s this link to Soldier’s Dad who provides a map of the districts in Baghdad along with the average daily attacks for the past 2 weeks. There’s an overall decline. Not that you’d know that from the media coverage, but the numbers are the numbers. Have a look.

I note, interestingly, that the once-lethal Sadr City - you know, the area the media held up as the example of how we couldn’t assist the Iraqis in securing their country - had precisely zero (0) attacks last week. Also note that every district but 3 saw declines. One of those 3 was steady - at an average of 1 daily attack - while the other 2 went up by less than 1. All others were lower.

Hardly what a civil war looks like.

Where’s the riot?

Something interesting happened on my way to work yesterday. As I was driving in DC’s wonderful traffic and listening to the local news station (hoping their traffic reports might guide me around the worst of the traffic snarls), a commercial came on. The very happy-sounding narrator began telling the story of Genesis. You know, the part of the Bible that describes how God made the universe. When the narrator starts up his rendition by stating that, in the beginning, “there was nothing - not even a bagel!”, you just know this isn’t going to turn out well for the story.

As the narrator continues, he pauses in various places to allow another voice-actor, playing the part of God, to speak his lines about how whatever was just created was “pretty good.” This fast-forward retelling of the Bible’s opening story culminates when the narrator tells us that God, after creating man and woman, notes that something’s missing, and it’s not bagels. It’s fun, and that means God needs to create bikes. Yes, you read that correctly: bikes. As in: bicycles. As in: here’s where “God” and the narrator put in their plug for some bike seller’s big sale and ya’ll should just come on down!

Or something to that effect.

As I listened to this commercial spot I realized several points.

  • Some marketing group somewhere thought that hijacking the story of Genesis was not only not offensive, it was downright clever.
  • That same group thought that having that story - and God, I might add - depicted as rather goofy was also not only not offensive, it was downright clever.
  • That the production house, director, and actors clearly had no issue with making the spot.
  • That the radio station advertising people had no issue with accepting the spot and running it on the air with no disclaimers about how their station respects the beliefs of all its listeners and intends no offense.

And as quickly as I thought of these points I was able to identify why they were so. Because none of those people are, in any way, concerned that their actions would garner death threats, get them killed, or light off a riot that would burn DC for a week. These people feel completely fine with co-opting components of the Christian faiths and broadcasting them. If some Christian has a problem with that, well then they just get to live with it. Freedom of Speech, and all, right?

Can you imagine them performing the same commercial based on the Koran?

I have stated before that our media and the Left in this country have no issue with disrespecting Christianity while loudly thumping their chests and proclaiming their “tolerance” and desire to avoid offending any religion. When I point out to some of these folks that their actions say that every religion is to be respected except mine, they get steamed and tell me I’m imagining things. When the attitude that Chistianity is fair game becomes so ingrained into our media that commercials like this are casually made and aired without a second thought, they prove my point more eloquently than any words I have.

What I am asking is not that they muzzle themselves where Christianity is concerned. Witness the lack of any rioting to give weight to the argument that we Christians are confident in our religion to the point where we can endure people who speak ill of it. What I’m asking is that they treat other religions no differently. If Islam is worthy of the media self-censoring, then so should Christianity. If Christians aren’t worth that level of action, then neither should Muslims be. Equality of consideration is what we’re asking for. I think our tolerance of the treatment we get deserves it.