Feb 232017
 

Where were these people when the Democrats scuttled socialized healthcare and gave us the capitalist abomination that is the ACA?

I think they were busy calling me a communist for suggesting that for-profit enterprise was intrinsically incompatible with a universally required service like “preventing people from dying on the streets.” But economic eugenics is ok — those poor undesirables really should have had a better lineage if they wanted healthcare after all — until the petit-privileged classes find out they too get to die on the streets as inequality rises.

And yet they still fight for their privileged capitalist healthcare (we just want the leeches to die, not proper middle class wage slaves, get it?) instead of fighting for something that would be unassailable when the forces of regression rise to attack again.

Feb 032017
 

The CCFL backlight on my six year old monitor started having problems cold starting this week and I need my monitor to live so a new one was ordered. This was surprisingly cheap, QHD, and the included stand rotates which is neat for pdfs and viewing a ton of code at once (actual readable size here, could knock it down one point of I got around to getting new glasses). A few hours later I realized I could also play pinball on it… how did I live before?

Feb 032017
 

Thom Tillis is a total asshole and should probably go fuck himself. His current views represent a disdain for democracy and education and I hope that he loses re-election and is banished from the public sphere for all of time when his seat comes up.

Here is a letter I wrote to him on the topic of the DeVos nomination after hearing he was on the fence and wanted the input of his constituents. Not that I thought it would do anything — I’ve far too good an education to think something like lobbying your representatives will result in representation, unless that lobbying comes with cash money or a promise of a lavish consulting gig later.

Greetings,

I recently read in the Charlotte Observer that you were seeking the input of North Carolina citizens in order to make your decision on the confirmation of DeVos for Secretary of Education. Since you asked — here’s my two cents:

Our public education system has been under attack by regressive anti-intellectual forces for decades, and her appointment represents their ultimate victory in their quest to build a compliant, uneducated populace. It would be a great tragedy to see our public education system completely dismantled for a system of second-rate charter schools (as can be seen from the many scandals with poor performance, grade inflation, and outright noncompliance with state education standards here in North Carolina), wherein only the privileged few may receive a good education while the rest languish in ignorance and the resulting lack of economic and social opportunity. It could very well result in the dissolution of the already tenuous social fabric itself in ten or twenty years time when the children of today take the helm of society. Now is the time to rebuild our failing system, not to encourage it to completely fail.

As representative democracy is based upon an informed and educated electorate, this would represent a great tragedy and an acceleration of our descent into status as a failed democracy. I exhort you to vote against her confirmation.

Feb 022017
 

One thing that bothers me about Democrats and their self-praise in regards to voting rights is that they have done more than the Republicans to suppress ballot access by third parties. Not that the Republicans haven’t done their fair share (it benefits both ol’ boys after all). There’s some good news on that front today: The 11th Circuit of Appeals upheld that Georgia’s Egregious and Unconstitutional Ballot Access Laws Are Indeed Unconstitutional:

The one-sentence ruling, by a unanimous three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, adopted the “well-reasoned opinion” issued last March by U.S. District Judge Richard Story in Atlanta. Story had significantly lowered the number of signatures required for third-party candidates to petition to get on Georgia’s presidential ballot — from tens of thousands [approximately 51k] to 7,500.

The ruling has a nice side-effect in that it lifts restrictions in Florida as well that curiously enough went unenforced from 2011 until August of 2016, just in time to keep “…Gloria La Riva, Evan McMullin, and Thomas Hoefling off the Florida ballot, with no warning.”

Georgia appears to be planning an appeal; my hope is that the Supreme Court will take up the case and strike down absurd ballot access restrictions across the country so that we can have freer elections in 2018. I mean, who cares if you can vote, if you have no options at the ballot box?

Jan 302017
 

I have a seemingly trivial task at hand: automagically repost things on the ol’ weblog from my public tt-rss atom feed. Just an excerpt and maybe a relevant picture, nothing too difficult.

I’ve been fighting it on and off again for years, recently finding cybersyn which worked but has its own bugs (like not aggregating anything without a valid thumbnail and filling my media library with gigantic stls from planet reprap. Still, it was the only one that actually fetched feeds with any reliability.

But to get excerpts and some other things I’ve had to hack it up… and have come to realization that I too must write another half-assed aggregation plugin. Or convince the cybersyn folks to add some filters to make it easier to munge things. Unfortunately that doesn’t fix things like it using php’s built in horror show of an xml parser (so I end up with feeds entitled “Article Title – Source Name” and there’s nothing I can do about — it’s just blindly catenating the title in <entry> and <source>, and the source comes last so that’s that without major surgery…

Running tests with my hacked up plugin set to post privately also reveals a social issue: I can easily share more than a full page of links in between real posts (if I actually journalled into the abyss… which I might be now). Thinking there should be some kind of squashing (e.g. everything posted in a 3h window gets thrown into one post). Or maybe not, tracking posts would be more annoying then. Trying not to think too hard about it and just get something minimal running soon.

Jan 302017
 

polticians / shitheads

Last week, the Montgomery County Council approved a bill that would have made it the first jurisdiction in Maryland — and the second in the region after Washington, D.C., to mandate a $15-per-hour base pay by 2020.

Del. Derek E. Davis (D-Prince George’s), the chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee, has introduced a bill that would put the General Assembly in charge of setting minimum wage even for cities and counties.
Davis said the bill would help improve the business climate in Maryland by making wage and benefit rules more predictable and consistent, noting that Montgomery and Prince George’s counties current have their own minimum-wage laws in place, and Baltimore considered a $15 base wage last summer.
“We’re not a collection of 24 individual fiefdoms,” Davis said “We have to work together as a state so we can attract and retain businesses, keep a healthy, strong economy, and not put our jobs at risk.”

Who needs Republicans when you have Democrats like these. It’s not like a higher minimum wage is a majoritarian viewpoint or anything like that…

Jan 282017
 

This post brought to you by me finally overcoming extreme procrastination and general laziness and implementing fastcgi php support in domtool. Yep, we were spawning an independent php-cgi for each request…

Jan 272017
 

January 25th

A national physicians group today hailed the reintroduction of a federal bill that would upgrade the Medicare program and swiftly expand it to cover the entire population, saying it’s the only workable and equitable way to move forward in U.S. health care.

The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, H.R. 676, introduced last night by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, with 51 other House members, would replace today’s welter of private health insurance companies with a single, streamlined public agency that would pay all medical claims, much like traditional Medicare works for seniors today.

And yet, not a peep from the so-called “Real Media”. Shocking. This broke January 20th, and aside from an open letter published by Ralph Nader, some press releases from physicians groups, and a few recent endorsements from labor unions the supposedly Liberal Media™ hasn’t made a peep. How can anyone fight for something they don’t know exists?

Aug 232015
 

My 600W 24V DC power supply arrived from mouser, along with my hobbed bolts and the NEMA14 motors for the dual extruder.

I’m wiring up the DC side of the power supply to use 12 awg wire and female disconnects for now. I’ve got the main board supply, a separate line for the heatbeds, and a third set that will be wired in voltage regulator to give me a couple of amps of 12V power for the fans.

And, yeah, heatbeds. The Wilson y-axis can be stretched to 400mm, and I figured it was worth a shot going all the way. I wanted at least 300mm in the x-axis as well, and I found 200x300mm heatbeds (cheaper than one 300mmx300mm) and a conveniently sized 16″x12″ piece of glass at Home Depot. Worst case, it proves to be too large and I have to downgrade to 200mmx300mm (keeping the second heatbed ready for The Future™). This might seem a wee bit insane, but, after having used the TAZ 4, less than 300mmx300mmx250mm seemed underwhelming.

For the controller, I got an Azteeg X3 Pro because it has dual heatbed MOSFETs and support for up to five extruders as a bonus. At the outset, I decided to sink some of the savings over buying a printer into dual extrusion, and wanted to leave open the possibility of at least triple later on… and the X3 Pro wasn’t much more than a RUMBA with steppers aaaand it came with eight stepper drivers (useful in their own right), was fully soldered, and, hey… a triple nozzle extruder plus a single hexagon in the next couple of years or something doesn’t seem too crazy does it?

Not much I can do now until my nuts and bolts come Monday or Tuesday. I have very boring things to say about crimping wire harnesses too.

Aug 202015
 

So I printed the parts for a three dee printer on a TAZ 4 my friend graciously let me borrow, and I may have actually spent weeks going over the BOM a few times … and ended up hitting order on a few too many websites. Packages started trickling in yesterday…

This is going to be … interesting.