30 Jan

Transitionary Posting – an inside joke.

in Personal

Alternate title: Gotta post something or I’ll never post again.

Today marks seven months since Lori’s funeral and it’s not getting any easier.  If anything, I’m just getting more comfortable living in a state of dulled funk punctuated by sudden and unpredictable bursts of anguish.

I’ve nevertheless gotten quite adept at performing my life; indeed, even an idealized version of it.  But even though I’ve sat down to write often in the past few months, I’ve been balked by the omnipresence of my previous post.  Amongst all the happenings in the world, good and bad (and let’s face it, there has been some shocking Bad), there has been nothing sufficiently monumental, earth-shatteringly worthy of bumping Lori further down the home page and into the dank oblivion of THF archives.

And there never will be.

So, either I consign THF to the dustbin of Google-was, or I find a way to take that first step.  And I can think of none better than an inside joke between me and the sister I will forever miss.

I love you sis.

Help … Me … !!

17 Jul

A Gaping Wound in the Universe

A couple of weeks ago, my beautiful sister died while having the time of her life.  She left behind her husband and two children, my parents, myself, and the hundreds of others who knew and loved her.  It was standing-room only at her funeral.  We are all completely undone. 

Lori, you will be forever loved and missed.

Picture 052

Lori Beth Neiverth Key
March 19, 1971 – June 28, 2009

25 Jun

Know Thy Congress(Wo)man

in Congress, Internet, Lifehackery

I tend to keep my lifehackery obsession separate from THF, but this bookmarklet seemed to be worthy of the crossover.  If you’re not familiar with bookmarklets, they are bits of javascript that you can store as a bookmark in your browser to perform pelosicertain functions.  They are not only speedy, but also prevent you from having to download a bunch of browser extensions you may hardly use.

KTC (or Know Thy Congressman) provides a wealth of info should you find yourself reading the funnies er, the political news.  I used it to capture this screenshot of Pelosi which tells me anything from most used words to who are her major donors.  From their website:

KTC is a bookmarklet that displays an abundance of political and biographical information about current members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

To use it, highlight the name of a legislator on a webpage and click the bookmark. Or, click it anytime to search for a politician by name. To install, drag the link below into your Bookmarks Toolbar.

25 Jun

Fixing Airport Security

in Civil Rights, Police Abusing Power, Security Studies, Terrorism, TSA / Homeland Security

Nobody knows more about airport security that Bruce Schneier, and his work on subverting the TSA formed one of the central arguments of my doctoral thesis.  Bruce has a new essay up that is worth checking out – if for no other reason than the importance of keeping this issue alive:

book-sos-175wThe Constitution provides us, both Americans and visitors to America, with strong protections against invasive police searches. Two exceptions come into play at airport security checkpoints. The first is "implied consent," which means  that you cannot refuse to be searched; your consent is implied when you purchased your ticket. And the second is "plain view," which means that if the TSA officer happens to see something unrelated to airport security while screening you, he is allowed to act on that.

Both of these principles are well established and make sense, but it's their combination that turns airport security checkpoints into police-state-like checkpoints.

The TSA should limit its searches to bombs and weapons and leave general policing to the police - where we know courts and the Constitution still apply.

24 Jun

Another Whopper from the BK Peeps!

in Ads Gone Wild, Funny

From the same ad team that brought you the homophobic hamburger.  Note the fine print - “Fill your desire for something long, juicy, and flame-grilled.  As Michael Scott would say … well, never mind.



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21 Jun

Marriage: The Way Grandma Used to Recommend

in Civil Rights, Religion, Video

Betty Bowers, America’s “greatest” Christian, explains the finer points of biblical marriage.

19 Jun

The Self-Defeating and Ineffectual Weaponry of Internet Gatekeepers

in Copyright / Copyfighting / Piracy, Internet

Nice piece up from Cory Doctorow (of BoingBoing) on the perils of trying to suppress the internet as an alternate means of distribution:

So, how do you use copyright to ensure that the future is more competitive and thus more favorable to creators and copyright industries? horsebuggy

It's pretty easy, really: Use your copyrights to lower the cost of entering the market instead of raising it.

What if the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) had started out by offering MP3 licenses on fair terms to any wholesaler who wanted to open a retailer (online or offline), so that the cost of starting a Web music store was a known quantity, rather than a potentially limitless litigation quagmire?

What if the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the North American Broadcasters Association made their streams available to anyone who paid a portion of their advertising revenue (with a guaranteed minimum), allowing 10 million video-on-demand systems to spring up from every garage in the world?

What if the Authors Guild had offered to stop suing Google for notional copyright violations in exchange for

16 Jun

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Finally Releases Video of Trooper Attack on Paramedic

in Civil Rights, Police Abusing Power

This is not pretty and definitely NSFW (or kids for that matter).  It’s always the bad seeds that get the spotlight in these cases, which is too bad for the rest of the force, but behavior like this part and parcel of management and hiring practices.  People like this should not get to carry a badge or gun under any circumstances.  Period.

Let me walk it down for you. An ambulance, with Maurice White acting as supervisor and paramedic, is taking an elderly woman, who had collapsed, to the hospital for treatment. Her worried family follows.

Trooper Daniel Martin, who was responding to a stolen car report, came up behind the ambulance on a two-lane country road. In Oklahoma, those shoulders are notoriously tricky for even a car to pull off onto. But there's another factor involved. As the dash cam clearly shows, a car is on the right-hand shoulder, partially obstructing the highway. Just as the highway patrol pulls up behind the ambulance, the medical unit must swing out to avoid colliding with the parked car.

Let me repeat that, because it's important: if the ambulance's driver, Paul Franks, had immediately pulled over when the racing trooper came up behind him, he would have created an accident. It is impossible to safely pull over while slamming into another vehicle.

03 Jun

Sex With Ducks & Gay Marriage are the Same!

in Civil Rights, Funny, Video

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of discovering Garfunkel and Oates then I truly recommend a quick romp through youtube lane.  Here they are weighing in on teh gay: