Presidential Jibber Jabber

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/07/20/three-quick-links/

Three quick links regarding the upcoming presidential election:

  1. This Land — A truly hilarious cartoon explaining the contrasts between George Bush and John Kerry.
  2. It’s Over, Ralph — An entertaining “Dear John” letter from Barbara Ehrenreich to Ralph Nader … basically, while we all find the man charming, he is starting to get annoying in his ever more marginalized crusade for the White House.
  3. JohnKerryIsADoucheBagButImVotingForHimAnyway.com
    — Honorable mention just because the domain name is so silly.

Damn, I spelled Ehrenreich correctly the first time through. I must be getting smart.

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Free Style, Politics

The War on Ambiguity

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/07/21/the-war-on-ambiguity/

From a note I jotted to myself, titled “Argument Against Empire”

In a world without borders our power can always go somewhere else:
Offshore tax havens
The Silicon Valley of Bangalore

And it comes from somewhere else:
Our mobility comes from foreign oil
Our military superiority comes from advanced research and technology and our intellectual freedom.
Our riches come from the self-interest of capital, which is driven by pragmatic opportunism before national allegiance.
We have no monopoly on these.

In the end we are left with our constitutional traditions
Our republican system of distributed political power
Democracy is an insurance policy against the excesses of abusive government

We can feed our nation without difficulty
And we are secured by two great oceans and two great friendly neighbors

But in a mobile world we are vulnerable to airplanes and anthrax.
We are vulnerable to pandemics and poor public health and food safety systems.

We die more commonly in car crashes, of obesity and diabetes.
We die of cancers from cigarettes.
We die of consumerism.

What I was thinking here, is that the “War on Terror” is misplaced. Terrorism is just one threat of many against which we must remain vigilant. I don’t think that George Bush is a vigilant man. He was caught unprepared on September 11, 2001, and he has been trying to answer for that ever since. I’d rather vote for somebody who is more on the ball, and has a more holistic understanding of what our nation needs. But we get the leaders we deserve. Each of us needs to keep an eye on the world around ourselves, and do what we can to push things in the right directions.

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Free Style

The Stranger

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/07/21/the-stranger/

You don’t know me, I don’t know you
But stop me on the street,
And I may find a buck or two
To help you to your feet.

You say that you’ve just straightened out
And now’s your time to change
But I have not been in your shoes,
So your words sound kind of strange.

You know a nun down at the church
Who can verify your tale:
You need eight bucks to get to Rockford
Where your fortunes should prevail.

And maybe you could pay me back,
At some undetermined date,
Those few more bucks, that I could spare
Would bode well for your fate.

But I’m a stranger — not your friend,
And you are on your way.
And when you land on Rockford’s soil,
Some friends you’ll have that day.

You are on your way to something new,
I’ve already got my life:
This nice man is preoccupied
By Family, Work and Wife.

Though some change I spare for you
Even when my budget’s broke,
This nice man’s heart can only hold
So many kindred folk.

I may even dig down deeper,
Find some cash for your dire need,
Then smile at you and bid farewell:
Your fate is yours to heed.

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Technical, WordPress

My First WordPress Hack

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/07/22/my-first-wordpress-hack/

As posted to WordPress Hacks:

Hey. I wanted to be able to see posts that had been “recently modified” as opposed to the date posted. This way I can add entries out-of-order, but still advertise them on my sidebar.

I hacked the get_archives() function to add a recentlymod option. You can see the following function call in use under “Recent Posts.”

get_archives('recentlymod', 7);

The hack is available at http://dannyman.toldme.com/scratch/wp-template-functions-general.diff.

Personally, I would like WP to have an admin feature to distinguish between post_date and post_modified … a toggle I could set somewhere to ensure that my RSS feed was behaving as “Recent Posts” does.

Now I can post stories from my World Tour (still not finished yet!?) and my readers will have a clue that new material has appeared.

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Damn Phishers …

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/07/23/damn-phishers/

I spent way too much time trying to track down this eBay phisher. Instead of exploiting someone’s Formmail.pl they apparently purchased a fraudulent account, and uploaded a PHP script that pulls a bunch of addresses from a databases and spams them all. So, qmail logs the messages as coming from Apache, whereas Formmail.pl would have been wrapped through suexec. And since one invocation can send thousands of messages, there’s no suspicious log activitity.

Fortunately, the contents of the spam message were stored in the PHP script. I finally ran a find-pipe-grep on our vhosts directory for ‘ebay.com’ and shut the slimey bastard sonuvabitch down. The HTTP requests to trigger the script came from Egypt at like 4AM local time.

Grr! Let’s waste my morning on nonsense.

Then we got another spam complaint for another shared hosting server, but after some basic checking, I wrote them back indicating that the header was forged, and they wanted to instead contact a cable company in Japan.

Time to take a walk, unwind, get some real work done, perhaps.

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lnk.to Brainstorming

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/07/27/lnkto-brainstorming/

lnk.to has to relocate, like, this week.

What is lnk.to, you might ask? Well, lnk.to will take a long link, and make a very short link to it. If you have to give someone a URL, it is handier to give them a shorter URL. Have you ever tried to send someone a link to Yahoo Maps? Then, you know what I mean.

Phase 0: Classic lnk.to

So, my think is to re-implement lnk.to, and duplicate the current functionality — you can add a link, see the recent links, see, perhaps, the most popular links, which are all just porn anyway … but this time there’s an option for “private” link.

It’ll be re-written in this format, from scratch, with a proper, clean Perl Object back-end to a MySQL database.

Phase 1: my.lnk.to

Next, we’ll use mod_rewrite to get even a bit more cleverer. If you go, say, to dman.lnk.to, you’ll go to dman‘s lnk.to. This will be a chain of like 25 links maintained by the user dman. dman will have his own RSS export and other neat things that could facilitate export to people’s blogrolls. dman can share his account with friends, if he likes, basically sharing links around.

Phase 2: my.lnk.to/friends

The user model will be extended to allow users to add RSS feeds from which to populate links. “Virtual” RSS-only users will be creatable, and users will be allowed to list out who their friends are. Using that “friends” interface, a handy aggregator can be fashioned.

Behind the scenes, we see code extension — I write a “link chain” interface for Phase 0. Phase 1 requires a “user interface” and management extensions to the “link chain” interface. Phase 2 then sees extensions to the “user interface” …

I have a few other cute ideas to toss in there, which might crank up the fun a bit … dang this day job! Dang this lack of infinitely-flexible server resources! Ah, well, it forces me to think a great deal, measure several times, and make, I hope, one awesome cut!



John Kerry: Timelord

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/07/28/john-kerry-timelord/

I just received a bulk mailing from the Democratic National Committee, designed to look like some express courier message. Yayoi received one as well. They each had an identical “package tracking number” printed on the front, and computer-generated blue-pen “handwriting.”

It is from John Kerry:

Dear Fellow Democrat,
I am rushing this message to you just hours after accepting the Democratic nomination.

That’s really impressive, considering that I received it via the United States Postal Service two days before he is scheduled to accept the Democratic nomination.

You may already be a winner!

1 Comment


Our Next President: John Kerry

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2004/07/30/president-kerry/

You know, it started rough, but John Kerry gave a great speech last night. He stuck it to the President and his cronies, he decried Corporate Welfare, and he looked like a President, which should hopefully make it easier for non-Democrats to put him in the White House.

I don’t know if John Kerry gets the credit for this, or if it was the lack of sleep the night before, but I, for one, slept better after the speech last night.

Nobody is voting for Nader any more. Kerry will win, and he will make our nation better.

I am disappointed that the networks only covered the speech, and not all the great stuff from the hour before. His daughters gave two awesome speechs about their daddy. And the stuff with the Veterans is great. A “Band of Brothers” indeed — I’ve read this elsewhere, but Kerry is a man who has earned the trust of many through a life of honest hard work. He should be our President!


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