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dballance

Profile Information

Name: Dave
Gender: Male
Hometown: Gallatin, TN
Home country: USA
Current location: Portland, OR
Member since: Mon Nov 6, 2006, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 5,756

Journal Archives

Morning Philosophy Thought

"Are you merely finding that for which you look? Or are you looking for that which you find? Only one is the path to real discovery."

- Anonymous

I Think I Made A Breakthrough. Also, Anyone Have Recommendations for Nikon-Compatible Lenses?

Okay, so never underestimate the benefit of just sitting there with your camera and it's manual (or the third-party manual I got on sale at Powell's bookstore) and just clicking through all the settings. I knew the basics of what f-stops and shutter speed meant but never really fooled with them on my current DSLR. It's a Nikon D40 and I have the stock 18-55mm/3.5-5.6 that comes with and a 18-200mm/3.5-5.6 that I picked up refurbished.

I finally figured out how to adjust the aperture, shutter speed and ISO with the camera in full manual mode. Now I can start trying to be really artistic (after much practice). Full-auto has allowed me to take some excellent pictures but then I think "Why do I have a decent body and two lens for if I'm going to use it as a point-and-shoot?" Thank goodness it's digital so I don't have to waste a lot of film and processing $$ to try things out. My photography is pretty standard amateur stuff. No professional portraiture or anything like that in my future.

So I'm getting the idea I probably should have a 35mm or 50/55mm prime lens with as low an f-stop as I can afford. Nikon has a 35mm 1.8 I see online for under $200. I've never used third-party lenses with the camera. I'm not all that tied to the auto-focus and understand my D40 can't focus certain lenses even within the Nikon line. That's okay since I used to use a film 35mm without auto-focus I could live with it. When I upgrade I'll stay within the Nikon D-series.

Anybody had good luck with third-party lenses? Which ones?

Also, any advice, and "are you nuts - you don't know what you're doing" comments are okay too. I'm just now transitioning from using the camera as an expensive point-and-shoot to a real camera.

Here's a picasa gallery of photos I took I don't hate

https://picasaweb.google.com/111080945812562422368/DUPhotos#

Why Any Desire to NOT Change the Filibuster Now is WRONG.

The reason I keep hearing is that Dems & Reid don't want to change the filibuster now because the GOP will someday be in control of the Senate again and then Dems won't be able to use the filibuster.

Well, that's just more self-immolating stupidity on our part. Given how McConnell and the GOP have acted with such impunity to their "gentlepersons' agreements" not to abuse the filibuster then we're crazy not to wake up and smell the coffee. The moment they get control of the Senate they'll change the rules. Even if they have to use the "nuclear" option. They don't give a crap about what the people of the country would think of that because it would only live in the news cycles for a week or two at best.

Then they'll start cranking out horrible, horrible GOP bills through both houses and stating how much better a GOP-controlled congress is because, gee, look at how many bills have passed compared to the last two congresses. And the worst part is, as we all know, the fawning media will let them get away with touting how "successful" they are.

We're insane if we think they'll do anything else. If we change the filibuster now, perhaps we might get some of Obama's appointments approved. Since those are life-term positions they have decades of influence and can undo a lot of bad GOP laws down the road. We've seen how important this is with the two appeals courts that ruled Obama's recess appointments were not valid by taking a brand new reading of the President's authority to make recess appointments and throwing out a couple of hundred years of history of Presidents doing exactly the same thing, more often actually, as Obama has done. Some past presidents have made recess appointments when the Senate was adjourned for as little as a day.

If Bush had made those same appointments I doubt the courts would have even granted a right to review them. No, they would have said that they wanted to follow past practices and respect the separation of powers.

I'll be damned if somebody didn't try to break into my car

Silly them. They didn't know I'm a night owl and would hear the alarm.They were gone by the time I got to the parking lot. The police got here very quickly. I didn't call 911 I called the non-emergency number but they stopped by within 15 minutes.

Browser Speed on Ubuntu/Firefox (V 20 for Ubuntu) SO MUCH FASTER than Win or Mac

I had an old Mac Mini - circa mid 2007 - lying around that I could no longer update to the latest version of Mac OS X. So I thought, what the heck. I'll load Ubuntu on it. I haven't had a LINUX machine in a while so it'd be good to have one and get my skills back in shape. Also, I thought I'd just let it run some BOINC projects like SETI@home and climateprediction.net pretty much non-stop when I wasn't using it.

I am an IT guy and I guess it must be like being a gun person. I have 4 computers. A MacBook Pro, two Mac Minis, and a Win 7 machine. Yes, I do work in IT but I don't wear the propeller hat

The Mac Mini I put Ubuntu on has the oldest processor and the least memory of any of the machines. Yet, when I'm running Firefox on it it's noticeably faster than on OSx or Win 7.

Since the Ubuntu install is pretty pristine I'm not reviewing all the plug-ins and stuff on Firefox on the other OSes. I know I have some anti-virus software on those that is scanning content and downloads. I need to see what kind of sluggishness I set up for myself on the other machines.

Just wanted to share and to see if others had similar experiences.

Direct Link to Jason Richwine's Dissertation

I scanned the first few pages of GD and didn't see this. I did see it in replies to threads but thought it might be helpful as a thread of it's own.

You can read it online at Scribd. To download it you need to sign up - which is free.


http://www.scribd.com/doc/140239668/IQ-and-Immigration-Policy-Jason-Richwine

Pics of My Fair City: Portland, OR

I've never posted pics here but wanted to try it out. So here are some I took of Portland.


Waiting for the Train


Me and My Shadow


A Benson Bubbler. Public Water Fountains Found Around Downtown


Don't Go


Foggy Morning

I Just Came from the Opening Session of Move to Amend's Portland Convergence - This is Important.

Move to Amend (MTA) is an organization that formed to add a 28th amendment to the constitution to undo some of the damage the courts have done by treating corporations as if they were human beings. The goal is to build grass-roots support for the amendment because we all pretty much know our corporate-owned politicians won't be doing anything that might endanger their campaign contributions or those fact-finding and trade negotiation trips they take on corporate jets and get bank-rolled by corporations.

So it's simple. The amendment declares that artificial entities, such as corporations (C-Corps, LLC's, Non-Profits) or any legally created entities, have no rights under the Constitution. It also declares that money is not free speech. The idea is that the government needs to be pushed back on and that the government should be accountable to "We the People" as living, breathing humans and not beholding to immortal corporations. That ought to be something libertarians and even Tea Baggers could support. We the People in control rather than "big government" and faceless corporations.

Here's the text:

Section 1. [Artificial Entities Such as Corporations Do Not Have Constitutional Rights]

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

Section 2. [Money is Not Free Speech]

Federal, State, and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, to ensure that all citizens, regardless of their economic status, have access to the political process, and that no person gains, as a result of their money, substantially more access or ability to influence in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

Federal, State, and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.


For more on MTA here's their site: https://movetoamend.org/

On Edit: The amendment would remove corporations, non-profits, and union's ability to claim they had free speech rights or equal protection rights and other rights that are considered to be rights of natural persons under the Constitution. It would not prohibit them from donating to candidates or causes or spending on same. It would simply put a stake in the ground to declare that rights extended to humans are not extended to artificial entities. Although the first ten amendments are commonly referred to as the "Bill of Rights" they are not separate and apart from the Constitution. They are amendments to the Constitution and, therefore, part of the Constitution. Nowhere in the text of the first ten amendments is such a legal document called the "Bill of Rights" mentioned or acknowledged to exist. That's because it doesn't exist in legal terms. The people who wrote those first ten amendments did not entitle them the "Bill of Rights." They proposed them as articles to amend the Constitution in order to clarify the original articles of the constitution and further restrict the powers of the government. You can read the preamble here: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html. To think of everything in the first 10 amendments as rights granted is not accurate. This confusion comes from the use of the term "Bill of Rights."

So it's perfectly fine to read the 1st Amendment and consider the freedom of speech clause a right that applies to individual humans while at the same time reading the freedom of the press clause to be a limit on the government's ability to suppress free information flow through the press. Just as it's perfectly fine to read the rest of the Constitution and believe that not all parts of it apply to every situation.

On Edit 2: I dont' know who said it but here's an applicable quote:
Democracy is not served by one party having a gazillion watt TV or radio station to broadcast their message (think FOX) while the opposing party has only a soapbox on the corner from which to broadcast theirs.

Move to Amend Event in PDX. This Evening/This Weekend. Anybody Else Going? I am.

Move to Amend (MTA), the organization trying to overturn the SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United is hosting an event this evening/this weekend.

MTA is hosting an event this weekend that begins with an opening session today at 6:30 and continues Saturday and Sunday. Here's the link on their site to event details: http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/portland_2013_convergence?utm_source=movetoamend&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=portland_conve7&recruiter_id=42008

If you haven't registered for it and still want to go that's okay. They'll register you on site today or tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to it. Hope some of you are there too. Is there a secret DU handshake we can use to ID each other? Maybe I'll just make a big DU sticker on my computer and attach it to any "badge" they give us to wear.

If you're going, , note that in comments here on this thread.

Move to Amend Event in PDX. This Evening/This Weekend. Anybody Else Going? I am.

I started to post this in Oregon but since it's about Move to Amend (MTA), the organization trying to overturn the SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United, I decided to go with GD instead. Hosts, if you want me to move just let me know.

MTA is hosting an event this weekend that begins with an opening session today at 6:30 and continues Saturday and Sunday. Here's the link on their site to event details: http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/portland_2013_convergence?utm_source=movetoamend&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=portland_conve7&recruiter_id=42008

If you haven't registered for it and still want to go that's okay. They'll register you on site today or tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to it. Hope some of you are there too. Is there a secret DU handshake we can use to ID each other? Maybe I'll just make a big DU sticker on my computer and attach it to any "badge" they give us to wear.

If you're going, , note that in comments here on this thread.

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