This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



June 2008

Hersh on Iran

Another Seymour Hersh piece. They are always somewhat controversial, and many people always dispute the facts. Personally, I don’t have any idea how much of his pieces are really true, what is exaggeration, what is someone feeding Hersh what they want him to say to push one agenda or another, etc… But regardless, these articles are always very interesting.

And if even 10% of it is true… shudder. Well… 204 days, 16 hours left to go. Regardless who wins in November, they can’t be worse than this bunch.

Preparing the Battlefield
(Seymour Hersh, The New Yorker, 29 Jun 2008)

ate last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.

It is long, but worth reading in full.

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Shoot the Economy

Sam and Ivan talk about:

  • Supremes on Guantanamo
  • Afghanistan and Iraq
  • Supremes on Guns
  • Evolving Constitution
  • FISA Issues
  • The Economy
  • Garfield Minus Garfield

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Roscoe and the Hose

Improved AbulCam Timelapses

I’ve made the timelapse “previous day” video on the AbulCam larger than it used to be. I also upped the compression and moved the actual timelapse files off my iMac and up to the server, so actual download times should be less. Now, it still takes multiple minutes (it took me just under 5 minutes when I just tried) for the timelapse to fully download and start playing, but that is actually better than it sometimes used to be. Anyway, improved timelapse. That is all.

Electoral College: MN strengthens for Obama, KS weakens for McCain

Still just good news for Obama and bad news for McCain. This time around Minnesota moves from “Weak Obama” to “Strong Obama” while Kansas moves from “Strong McCain” to “Weak McCain”. This may tempt Obama to try to make McCain defend Kansas. And it means McCain shouldn’t even bother with Minnesota.

The summary doesn’t change though, as none of this effects the inventory of swing states.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 303, Obama 235
Obama Best Case – Obama 378, McCain 160

If everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) – Obama 293, McCain 245

An Ancestor

I haven’t yet gotten to him as I gradually expand my Genealogy information, and in fact I believe I am missing one piece of information that I would need to definitively link myself… the final link confirming that the oldest Brandon ancestor I can find is actually the son of this guy… but I’ve heard family lore that indeed, #6 on this list is an ancestor of mine:

7 Famous Executioners
(Sami,, 22 Jun 2008)

6) Richard Brandon

The English were always very picky about who could become an executioner. It had to be someone from a family of executioners that knew how to kill someone quickly but also knew how to vamp for the crowd. Brandon was one of the most famous Common Hangmen of London and became the yardstick against which other English executioners (even Albert Pierrepoint) were measured. He was extremely proud of his ability to sever a head with a single blow, something that was very popular with the crowds – and appreciated by people getting executed – since it generally took a few chops for the average executioner to get through. He refined this skill after years of practice on cats and dogs. He is best known for executing King Charles I, but did so under heavy disguise out of fear of retaliation.

(via Neatorama)

Electoral College: Michigan Flips to Obama

Obama’s bounce continues as Michigan moves from Leaning McCain to Leaning Obama. Obama’s lead is less than 5% of course, so it is still a swing state.

Current Summary:

McCain Best Case – McCain 303, Obama 235
Obama Best Case – Obama 378, McCain 160

If everybody gets their leans (and Obama gets DC) – Obama 293, McCain 245

That “if everybody gets their leans” set of numbers is getting more unbalanced. Obama now leads in that metric by more than he ever has since March 8th when we first had polling in all 50 states. His lead is however still not as big as the lead McCain had in that metric in mid-May, and that evaporated after only a couple of weeks. The polls are very fickle things.

Where Did Everybody Go?

Torn on Firefox

OK, I was all excited about Firefox 3 when it first came out. I’ve been using it for a bit. There are a bunch of features that I really like. But I am getting frustrated by a handful of things Safari does better. And I am feeling like it is slower. Dunno. I’m wavering. I may try going back for a bit and see if I then miss Firefox…

Curmudgeon’s Corner: Always More to Do

Sam talks about:

  • Congressional Power and FISA
  • Backups are Fun
  • Weekend Yardwork
  • The Joy of Time Management

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