Friday, February 29, 2008

How's Your Internet Security?

If you know it could be better meaning you don't have a firewall, have let your anti-virus subscription lapse, or don't know if you have anti-spyware programs installed the good news is there are quality free programs out there to help protect your computer, your identity, and your piece of mind.

Anti-Virus

AVG Free Anti-virus is a free basic anti-virus program that does a great job if you aren't downloading stuff from strangers or sites you wouldn't want your kids to visit. I have it installed on my laptop which is normally just used for email and web surfing. Its one major plus is that there no subscription to renew. Well, that and its free.

Firewall

If you have Windows XP or Vista just turn your firewall on.

If you'd like something a little more secure there also ye olde Zone Alarm Free Firewall
It has a handy feature that totally locks your computer down when the screen saver engages and its pretty easy to configure. I've used it off and on for years.

Anti-Spyware

There are more than a few decent programs out there for free I'm just going to highlight the ones I've used. The important thing is to have two programs because currently no one program gets rid of everything.

Windows Defender by Microsoft - One of the few that updates itself.

Spybot - One of the few that inoculates your computer against getting infected in the first place.

Adaware
- Its been around forever and does a good job.

I've tried all of these out and they've worked well for me. Once you have all three layers of protection going the odds of your identity being stolen goes down dramatically, or a virus crashing your computer, or your computer being hijacked and used to attack another computer, web site, or network.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bloomberg Won't Run for President

Which he announced today in a NY Times Op Ed piece. In it he charges the candidates to tell America the truth about the issues facing the nation and to work towards common sense solutions to solve America's problems.

from the NY Times:


WATCHING the 2008 presidential campaign, you sometimes get the feeling that the candidates — smart, all of them — must know better. They must know we can’t fix our economy and create jobs by isolating America from global trade. They must know that we can’t fix our immigration problems with border security alone. They must know that we can’t fix our schools without holding teachers, principals and parents accountable for results. They must know that fighting global warming is not a costless challenge. And they must know that we can’t keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals unless we crack down on the black market for them.

The vast majority of Americans know that all of this is true, but — politics being what it is — the candidates seem afraid to level with them.
...
More of the same won’t do, on the economy or any other issue. We need innovative ideas, bold action and courageous leadership. That’s not just empty rhetoric, and the idea that we have the ability to solve our toughest problems isn’t some pie-in-the-sky dream. In New York, working with leaders from both parties and mayors and governors from across the country, we’ve demonstrated that an independent approach really can produce progress on the most critical issues, including the economy, education, the environment, energy, infrastructure and crime.
...

The changes needed in this country are straightforward enough, but there are always partisan reasons to take an easy way out. There are always special interests that will fight against any challenge to the status quo. And there are always those who will worry more about their next election than the health of our country.

These forces that prevent meaningful progress are powerful, and they exist in both parties. I believe that the candidate who recognizes that the party is over — and begins enlisting all of us to clean up the mess — will be the winner this November, and will lead our country to a great and boundless future.

First I think Bloomberg isn't running because of the likelihood of a McCain/Obama race. Simply put there won't be enough independents left for him to stand a chance of winning. Additionally he is right. We need leadership that that transcends partisan points of view and works towards common sense solutions to the problems at hand. Will we get that after an Obama/McCain race? I'm not sure. But what I do know is that regardless of who wins we'll get a leader that doesn't automatically disregard a potential solution to a problem because of the messenger's party affiliation. And that may be the best we can hope for right now.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Coming Robotic Apocalypse

Gadzooks! My evil plan has been discovered!

From the AFP:

Automated killer robots 'threat to humanity': expert

Increasingly autonomous, gun-toting robots developed for warfare could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and may one day unleash a robot arms race, a top expert on artificial intelligence "They pose a threat to humanity," said University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey ahead of a keynote address Wednesday before Britain's Royal United Services Institute.

But up to now, a human hand has always been required to push the button or pull the trigger.

It we are not careful, he said, that could change.

Military leaders "are quite clear that they want autonomous robots as soon as possible, because they are more cost-effective and give a risk-free war," he said.

Several countries, led by the United States, have already invested heavily in robot warriors developed for use on the battlefield.

South Korea and Israel both deploy armed robot border guards, while China, India, Russia and Britain have all increased the use of military robots.
...

Captured robots would not be difficult to reverse engineer, and could easily replace suicide bombers as the weapon-of-choice. "I don't know why that has not happened already," he said.

But even more worrisome, he continued, is the subtle progression from the semi-autonomous military robots deployed today to fully independent killing machines.

Sharkey would seem to be an alarmist kook. Five years ago he would have been just that. However considering that since then Metal Storm LTD. has unveiled an automated weapons system capable of firing 1,000 40mm grenades per second his concern is completely justified. (Although to the best of my limited knowledge they haven't managed to invent a loading system capable of sustaining that rate of fire yet.) We're starting to reach the point that our advances in weapons and robotics are on the verge of creating the same quandaries that our advances in genetics are. In other words just because we can do it, should we?

Besides there's always the off chance that some madman will insert malicious code into the networks that control these robots and eventually take over the world.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Obamacans Looming Large in Texas?

Obama and Clinton are currently virtually tied in Texas however the Texas polls may not be accurately reflecting the reality on the ground.
From CNN:

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Monday, 50 percent of likely Democratic primary voters said Obama is their choice for the party's nominee, while 46 percent backed Clinton.

But taking into account the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for Democratic respondents, the race is a virtual tie
There is some evidence to suggest that since McCain basically has the nomination in the bag some Texas Republican's are opting to vote against Clinton in the Texas Democratic primary.

From The San Antonio Express News:

Republican and Republican-leaning insiders report that a number of their GOP friends — their own presidential race all but sewn up — are planning to vote in the Democratic primary March 4. They suspect that many independents and moderate Republicans intrigued with Obama's surge will cast Democratic ballots.

"This (Obama-Clinton) is the best race. People want to be where the action is, and the action is with the Democrats," said one lobbyist, who didn't want to be identified but plans to vote in his first Democratic primary in years.

Unlike in many other states, Texas voters don't register by party. Any voter can vote in either primary but not both. The only other restriction is that a voter can't cast a ballot in one party's primary and the other party's runoff, if there is one. Moreover, a voter's choice of primaries doesn't dictate how he or she may vote in November.

More than 245,000 ballots were cast during the first three days of early voting in the 15 most populous counties — a sharp increase over 2004 — and about three-fourths were cast in the Democratic primary.

And if blogtopia is any indicator there are more than a few independents in Texas that want to see Obama win. If only in the Texas primary.

Moving Over to the Dark Side

Over at Captain's Quarters Captain Ed announced that he will be shutting down his blog to join the blogger whose name is not spoken here but whose initials are MM.

From CQ:


I will close out Captain’s Quarters sometime in March. This saddens me, as it has become my ever-ready home and because of the terrific community it has generated. I hope that the CapQ community comes with me to Hot Air, and Hot Air will have open registration today for 12 hours in order to allow CapQ commenters to join me at my new digs.

Michelle and I have different voices, and sometimes different points of view. Rest assured that Michelle respects these differences and wants them as part of Hot Air. My writing and my viewpoints will continue, and find even more encouragement than before. In fact, we look forward to debating on some of these points between her personal blog and Hot Air, much as we have between her personal blog and CapQ – with respect, affection, and the absolute belief that we have it right!

Well Ed thats one reader you just lost. There are some doors I don't darken.

Anyone else seeing a weird Anakin Skywalker parallel here?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Of Note

Over at The Poligazette my fellow coblogger Rick Moran (who also blogs at Rightwing Nuthouse and is a Pajamas Media blogger) calls on his conservative brethren to cut out "all this Obama is a Mooslim crap". Its well worth reading.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Egads! I'm a Democrat.

This weekend I voted in my first ever primary. I've never voted in a primary for three reasons the first being that I've never strongly identified with either political party secondly most of my life I've lived in states that had closed primaries, and finally for the past three or four elections I was mainly voting to keep someone out of office. But this weekend I trotted on down to the library and voted in the Democratic primary for Barack Obama. Which means for the next two years I'm a registered Democrat.

I did so for several reasons almost none of which have anything at all to do with Obama's policies. At the top of my list is the anti-Hillary factor. I really just couldn't bear the thought of her getting the nomination. As I've stated several times before I don't believe that replacing another Bush with another Clinton is what America needs or what the founding fathers intended when they set this experiment into motion. Additionally I don't see how replacing the most polarizing person on the right with the most polarizing person on the left would be much of an improvement. Finally there's the matter of her tactics and her tone (not to mention her staff's). We need someone that can work with their idealogical counterparts rather than attack them for not being on their side.

Finally there is a certain allure to a race between Obama and McCain because in order for either of them to win they'll both have to work hard to win the middle over. And both of them know that they can't do that by tearing their opponent down. It'll be up to the 527s to do that. But thats a story for another day.

The Last Run of Ralph Nader

Consumer advocate and perennial presidential hopeful Ralph Nader has again decided to launch a presidential campaign. Apparently the phrase "snowball's chance" is not in his lexicon.

From the WaPo:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Consumer advocate Ralph Nader, blamed by many Democrats for their loss of the White House in the 2000 election, said on Sunday he is launching another independent campaign for the White House.

Nader, who will turn 74 this week, announced his longshot presidential bid on NBC's "Meet the Press" saying that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans were addressing problems facing Americans.

Nader called Washington "corporate occupied territory" that turns the government against the interests of the people. "In that context, I have decided to run for president," he said.

Democrats said they do not expect Nader, who also ran as an independent in 2004, to have much of an impact.

Given the fact that Nader is considered a spoiler by many, has used money from GOP supporters to fund his campaign, and has run repeatedly without any measurable success his impact may indeed be minimal this time around. Further hindering Mr Nader is the fact that Obama has already heavily tapped college campuses for those supporters which in the past have accounted for much of Nader's support. Of course if Ron Paul launches a third party bid as well he would effectively offset Mr. Nader's perceived "spoiler effect". Not that I think that's going to happen given the fact that Paul is currently concentrating on keeping his congressional seat.

For Nader hater's though their is one bright spot and that's that this should be his last run. By the next presidential election he'll be seventy eight years old. If he's still around then and tries to run again it'll be just pathetic to watch. Its time to hand the reins over to someone else Ralph before you become "the has been that never was".

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Things I Have Learned

The more interested you are in what you are doing the more likely a cat is inclined to be interested in you.

Obama Has Double Digit Lead in Texas Poll (or Not) * * updated* *

Not that I'm putting much stock in a lone poll.

From Decision Analyst:

Barack Obama has a double digit lead over Hillary Clinton in Texas, according to a statewide survey of 678 registered voters planning to vote in the March 4 Democratic Primary. The survey was conducted February 20 and 21 by Decision Analyst, a major national survey research firm. Decision Analyst projections indicate that if the election were held today Obama would win 57% to 43% over Clinton. The surveys margin of error is 3 percentage points, plus or minus, at a 90% level of confidence.
Previous polls had Obama and Clinton nearly tied. If we're to trust the validity of this poll them Obama has gained nine points in five days. Even factoring in the Texas debates Clinton's solid performance shouldn't have given Obama such a marked rise in support. Having said that I will however take this poll to mean that Obama's support in Texas continues to trend upward.

I may spend a little time checking for other recent Texas polls and then average out their findings later today. Stay tuned for an update.

**update**

Burnt Orange Report found that the poll in question is based is solely based
American Consumer Opinion's Texas web panelists which pretty much invalidates the poll.

***Further Update***

Recent Texas polls still have Clinton ahead but the gap is narrowing.

Pollster: Clinton 48.5 Obama 45.7

Rasmussen: Clinton 47 Obama 44

WaPo: Clinton 48 Obama 47

Averages: Clinton 47.83 Obama 45.56

That means the race is in the margin for error on all polls. March 4th is going to be a heck of a show.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Iran To Go Nuclear In One Year?




According to the European Commission Joint Research Center it is possible although not probable:

From Der Spiegel

As part of a project to improve control of nuclear materials, the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy set up a detailed simulation of the centrifuges currently used by Iran in the Natanz nuclear facility to enrich uranium. The results look nothing like those reached by the US intelligence community.

For one scenario, the JRC scientists assumed the centrifuges in Natanz were operating at 100 percent efficiency. Were that the case, Iran could already have the 25 kilograms of highly enriched uranium necessary for an atomic device by the end of this year. Another scenario assumed a much lower efficiency -- just 25 percent. But even then, Iran would have produced enough uranium by the end of 2010.

For the purposes of the simulation, the JRC modelled each of the centrifuges individually and then hooked them together to form the kind of cascade necessary to enrich uranium. A number of variables were taken into account, including the assumption by most experts that Iran isn't even close to operating its centrifuges at 100 percent efficiency. What is known, however, is that the Iranians are operating 18 cascades, each made up of 164 centrifuges. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself said last April that the country had 3,000 centrifuges in operation. At the time, most Western observers discounted the claim as mere propaganda. But the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Ahmadinejad's assertion in November.

However the IAEA report issued today confirms that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium and has in fact acquired better centrifuges.

From the AFP:

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — A report by the UN nuclear watchdog on Iran's suspect atomic program bolsters the case for the Security Council adopting new sanctions against Tehran, hopefully late next week, senior US diplomats said Friday.

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said earlier Friday it had made "quite good progress" in its long-running probe into Iran's disputed nuclear drive, but was still not in a position to offer a verdict on Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

In a confidential new report, the IAEA complained that Tehran was continuing to defy UN demands to halt uranium enrichment and had started developing faster and more efficient centrifuges to produce enriched uranium, which can be used to make the fissile material for a bomb.

With the National Intelligence Estimate putting Iran as being able to produce weapons grade fissile material in ten years and the JRC's report stating its possible to do in twelve months I'm for splitting the difference and assuming it'll take five years and then crafting our policies to reflect the new assumed time line. Personally I'm not for taking military options off of the table but having said that I am also for directly engaging in talks with Iran via diplomatic channels rather than a leader to leader summit. Once we take military options off of the table we lose the ability to blockade their ports and declare no fly zones on their borders with Iraq and Afghanistan. I also believe we should only pursue such a course of action only after all diplomatic and nonmilitary punitive options have been exhausted.

Iran is either playing a dangerous or strange game. As Dave Schueler points out they are either developing nuclear weapons or want the world to think they are. So while we need to treat them as if they are pursuing the former we need to figure out what benefit is derived from the latter.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Link Love-o-Rama

Too tired to post anything intelligible so I'm just going to link to all the blogs that link to me and then back up my blog to double the impact. If you're up for trading links, let me know in the comments or via email at dyre42 AT gmail.com

Bummer

Blogging canceled tonight due to sleepless baby.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Clinton Whipped in Wisconsin


Looks like the exit polls were on the money this time. Obama cleaned Clinton's clock by 17% in the Wisconsin primaries. Meanwhile the results of the Hawaii caucuses are still ongoing. If Obama wins those as well he'll have won ten states in a row giving him a huge amount of momentum going into March 4th. Given the fact that Obama is currently unbeaten in caucus states I think that a highly likely scenario. I've already predicted that the winner of Wisconsin will also win Texas. Mind you I still think its going to be a close race.

Meanwhile in Ohio Clinton is currently polling 14% higher than Obama. I expect that tonight's two wins will cut that lead by half. If I were placing a wager I'd bet on Clinton to win Ohio. I am of course basing that on absolutely nothing. However I've been right on every individual state I've called for Obama but VA (which I called for Clinton).

There are some that believe that Clinton will be asked to withdraw from the race by the DNC if Obama wins Texas. I don't think that will happen unless she loses Pennsylvania. But that is pure conjecture on my part. One thing is for certain if Clinton withdraws she will have proven that she is a highly viable candidate for 2012 or 2016. She'll have one major plus then. She won't have the Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton political dynasty meme working against her. And that may be all she needs to win then.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Clinton and Obama Tied in Texas Polls

Looks like Obama and Clinton are in a dead heat in Texas...

From CNN:

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll suggests the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination between Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois is a statistical dead heat in Texas, which holds primaries March 4.

In the survey, out Monday, 50 percent of likely Democratic primary voters support Clinton as their choice for the party's nominee, with 48 percent backing Obama.

But taking into account the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 4½ percentage points for Democratic respondents, the race is a virtual tie.

Two recent polls by other organizations also show the race statistically even
I'm going to stick my neck out and predict that the winner of the Texas primary will be....

(drumroll)

The winner of the Wisconsin primary!

I say that because if Obama wins he'll have kicked Clinton's toucas so many times in a row that he'll have gained an almost unstoppable amount of momentum at that point. However if Clinton pulls out a Wisconsin win she'll show that she is still capable of taking him on toe to toe. Obama however has an ace up his sleeve in the race for Texas' delegates. Since Texas has a dual primary/caucus system Obama could lose the primary election and come back during Texas' Democratic convention and win the caucus. Since he's done extremely well in caucuses in the past so there is no reason to believe that he can't pull it off.

It seems to me that the race for the Democratic nomination has now become more about being perceived as having momentum than it is about the two candidates positions and if I'm right tomorrow's race will either make or break Clinton.

Pinups for Paul

Its become obvious to everyone that the only way that Ron Paul is going to get nominated for the GOP candidate is for is either for McCain and Huckabee to meet some unlikely end or for him to beat both of them in a steel cage match to the death. However over the course of Ron Paul's campaign I came to appreciate his followers fervor to financially support their candidate and the many ingenious ways they came up with to support and promote him. The latest example of that is the calender Hotties for Ron Paul (which is nearly sold out). Below is Miss February:
" I like liberty, long walks on the beach, kittens, the constitution, and elderly free market economic policy wonks."


Additionally I appreciate the fact that Ron Paul and supporters generated a large scale discussion about many core libertarian ideals. I believe that the GOP has strayed from many of the principles it once held in common with The Libertarian party and Ron Paul's campaign did an excellent job of pointing that out and showing how many people still believe in those principles. Ultimately I hope that Paul's supporters stay politically engaged after Ron Paul drops out. Otherwise the GOP isn't going to change until the coalition of Money, Bombs, and Jesus fail to elect a president for four or five elections in a row and I just don't see that happening anytime soon.


Hey, while we're on the subject of pinup calenders check out this clever bit of niche marketing.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Tidying Up

I spent a little time today doing blog maintenance. Deleted some stuff on the sidebar, added others, fixed a few broken links, and fixed/added a few blog directory buttons. Most importantly I combed through technorati.com and blogrolling.com and added every blog I found that links here. Since I know that technorati has more than a few bugs in it I may have missed a few blogs. So, if you currently link here let me know in the comments and I'll add your blog.

Also if you're open to trading links with me then drop me a line in the comments comments or email me at dyre42 at gmail.com and I'll add your blog to ye olde reciprolist.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

National Flags Redefined

as graphs. Its a clever way to make a statement about a nation if nothing else.

America's for example:



vs China's:


h/t to The Daily Dish

Things I Have Learned

Always make sure the AC is off prior to carrying a naked baby from one room to another.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Six Word Autobiography

I originally heard about this on NPR but forgot to blog one until Dave Schuler reminded me with his. So here goes:

I still get toys for Christmas.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Toys for Texans

Another intrusive government attempt to legislate "decency" was shot down in Texas today.

From the Austin American Statesman

Court strikes down Texas ban on sex toys

A federal appeals court has struck down a Texas law that makes it a crime to promote or sell sex toys.

"Whatever one might think or believe about the use of these devices," said an opinion written by Justice Thomas M. Reavley of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, "government interference with their personal and private use violates the Constitution."

Under Texas law it is illegal to sell, advertise, give or lend obscene devices, defined as a device used primarily for sexual stimulation. Anyone in possession of six or more sexual devices is considered to be promoting them.

The Texas law dates back to the 1970s and is seldom enforced. Travis County prosecutors say that they haven't charged anyone with a sexual device-related crime in at least the past seven years, and probably much longer.

In 2003, a woman in the Fort Worth suburb of Burleson drew nationwide attention when she was arrested for selling erotic toys at a Tupperware-type party. The charges against Joanne Webb were later dropped.

In addition to Texas, whose law has survived previous state court challenges, three other states have a similar sex toys statute: Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia. Laws in Louisiana, Kansas, Colorado and Georgia have been thrown out by courts in recent years.

The 2-1 opinion by a panel of the 5th Circuit was based heavily on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, which struck down a Texas law prohibiting private consensual sex among people of the same sex.

That case established a broad constitutional right to sexual privacy.

On the heels of that landmark ruling, Reliable Consultants Inc. sued Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in 2004 in U.S. District Court in Austin.

Personally I view such "decency" laws as intrusive and archaic. But then I'm of the frame of mind that what one or more consenting adults do in the privacy of their home is none of the government's business. If they want to add a battery operated friend to the mix well then more power to them. I may however draw the line at sex with robots though. But since we haven't gotten to that point I'm thinking I'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

**Update**
I received an offer to exchange links with a Sex Fashion Blog based on this post. I declined because the site is not PG and contains no content related to this blog. But I linked to them in this post to thank them for asking.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Obama Crushes Clinton in Potomac Primaries

He beat her by an average of thirty four percent. I figured that given the racial mixes involved in the races in question that he'd take MD and D.C. but that he'd eke out a tiny victory in VA or lose by five percent or less. Mainly I based that on the fact that he's done better in states that have caucuses, have a high percentage of Blacks, or a very low percentage of blacks. Simply put he does well in areas where racial tension is low or winners are more or less decided by debate. (Not my theory but I can't remember who to credit for that bit of pattern recognition.) In my experience (I'm from VA.) Virginia has just enough racial tension to have made it a hard state for me to predict. But what I had forgotten is my theory that the more Obama wins the more he will continue to win.

I theorized that if Obama won an early primary and SC he'd prove that he was electable. Once that happened voters that were backing Clinton because she was the presumptive front runner would start siding with Obama. Once that happened the more he won the more states he would win. Apparently my theory has reached a sort of critical mass. In tonight's primaries he actually pulled in more Women voters than Clinton according to early exit polls...

In the Democratic primaries in both states, Barack Obama won both men and women. In Virginia, he got 68 percent of men and 60 percent of women, while in Maryland he got 62 percent of men and 55 percent of women. In Virginia, Obama even won among white men, getting 58 percent of their votes while Hillary Rodham Clinton took her base, white women, by an unusually small margin. In Virginia she got 53 percent to Obama's 47 percent among white women. But in Maryland, Clinton won overall among whites, winning by a wide margin among white women but only tying Obama among white men.

Obama's narrow win among whites in Virginia marked one of his best showings yet among white voters and was the first time he has beat Clinton among whites in a Southern state. Obama won the votes of 90 percent of blacks in Virginia and 84 percent in Maryland.

Obama is now officially the front runner having a higher number of delegates and pledged super delegates in his corner. But Clinton has a major shot at playing catch up. She has to win Texas in order to regain momentum. Current polls have her ahead of Obama by ten percent. But I'm sticking to my theory and guessing that she'll be down to a five percent lead by the time the Texas primary rolls around. If she doesn't manage to do that she only has two options to stay in the race; reseat the FL and MI delegates and strong arm and/or sweet talk enough super delegates to come up even. And if she goes that route to get the nomination she'll poison the hearts of enough voters to ensure a McCain victory. So keep your eye on Texas because if I'm right it will make or break Clinton's campaign.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Baby Hiatus **Updated**

My daughter is scheduled to be born Friday the 8th at 7am via C-section. So I'll be back a couple of days after that.

**update**

Sorcha Louise 42 was born on 02/08/2008 at 7:36am weighing in at 8lbs 2 oz 21 inches in length with all of her fingers and toes and a full head of black hair. Both she and her mom are doing well.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Calling All Conservative, Moderate, and Libertarian Bloggers

After participating in last weekends Blog Amnesty Day I find that my new blogroll is heavily slanted to the left. In the interest of fairness and shameless self promotion I'd like to correct that. So if you'd like to swap links let me know in the comments of this post, slap a link to my blog on yours, and I'll do the same. Additionally every blog participating will be listed in this post so that as this progresses you'll know which blogs are open to trading links and you can drop them a line too. Finally many of the lovely and talented people on my link love blogroll would be happy to trade links with you as well.

Thanks,

Dyre

Blog Traffic Tips

Over the past year and half I've listed myself on hundreds of blog and feed directories and have discovered that I wasted a lot of time doing so. Below is a short list of sites/services that actually do generate daily traffic.

1: Blogrush (referral link) a relatively new service that exchanges post titles between your blog and other blogs in your category. For every person that views your blog you get one recent post title displayed on someone's blog. They are also really generous with free credits and have a referral program. (You can preview it on the right hand sidebar) Just make sure to filter out profanity if you don't curse on your blog.

2: Memeorandum the trick to getting listed on Memeorandum is to link to them often or install their widget on your blog. Then link specifically to the articles it lists. It almost seems to be traffic activated so check it by clicking the links on your own blog.

3: Daylife if you blog about current events, do not hesitate to submit your feed to them.

4: Google Adwords The link leads to a 50$ ad credit (5$ setup fee though) I'm targeting blogger.com and a few blogs that I like that use adsense.

5: Blogburst Syndicates your blog on various newspapers. The first time a post appears on USAToday.com is a pretty cool feeling.

6: Feedburner: Make sure that you've set it up to ping all the major aggregators particularly sphere.com if you blog about daily news of some sort.

7: The following directories don't generate daily traffic save when added together blogcatalog.com, blogtoplist.com, blogflux.com, and toppoliticalsites.org

There you go, no SEO optimization crap, no traffic exchanges, no BS. Of course the two best ways to increase your readers is to make good quality comments on other peoples blogs and lots of them and trade links with other bloggers (like me).

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Early Super Tuesday Results

Right now it looks like McCain is on top largely due to Huckabee drawing off the conservative Christian vote. Meanwhile Obama and Clinton are neck and neck. It looks like its all going to come down to California. At this point Romney has to win California just to stay in the game. However early exit polls make that appear unlikely. CA looks like a tight race on the Dem side and with the counting not yet started the race may not be decided until the wee hours of the morning.

Now reporting only those races that according to CNN have 80% of their precincts reporting here's how it looks so far:

Dems

Clinton wins in NJ (53%), MA (56%), NY (57%), TN (59%), MO (68%), OK (55%)

Obama won in CT (51%), KS (73%), ND (61%), AL (56%), DE (53%), GA(63%)

Republicans

Huckabee AL (41%), AR (61%), TN (34%), GA (35%), WV (52%),

McCain OK (37%), NY (51%), DE (45%), NJ(56%), CT (52%), IL (48%)

Romney ND(36%), MT (38%), MA (51%)

Frankly I'm hoping for Obama and McCain to come out on top. Why? Because if both get the nod from the party bosses the crippling partisanship of the past two decades will end. We need to get beyond squabbling and move toward working together for the common good.

Monday, February 04, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog

To bring you the following announcement. Blogging will be light this week. I'm sick and my daughter is scheduled to be born on Friday. She might decide to arrive earlier. If all goes as planned I will of course be covering tomorrow primary returns but that all I'm willing to promise for this week. As for next week? We'll see what kind of sleep I'm getting then.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I'm B.A.D. I'm Nationwide

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Jon Swift are celebrating the anniversary of Blogroll Amnesty Day. Essentially they have issued a call for bloggers to link to blogs smaller than them in remembrance of the day Atrios declared blogroll amnesty day and deleted a ton of smaller blogs off his blogroll which in turn set off a string of link deletions on other similar minded monster blogs. I'm all for voluntarily supporting the little guy. I'm just not one hundred percent certain that the blogs I'm linking to have less traffic than mine. But it's the thought that counts right? So here we go...

First a few folks from Central Sanity:
Short Woman
Carrie's Nation

Then a fellow Moderate Blog Network Member
Connecting.the.Dots

Then some guy my cats highly recommend
Kiko's House

and over on the new blogroll I've added about ten more blogs (including Skippy and Jon)

That list will get longer over the week as I hunt down participants of B.A.D and trade links with them. Now if you have a blog and want to swap links, drop me a line either via email or in the comments below and I'll add you (provided it doesn't promote racism, porn, or light beer that is)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Tagged

Alan Stewart Carl at Maverick Views tagged me with a meme that been going around lately.
I ignored the only other time I was tagged but that was mainly because it wasn't as simple as this one.

So here's the rules of the Meme:

1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

I had to wander into the living room and the first book I laid my eye upon was Pirate by Fabio which is a: not mine and b: autographed (My tiny wife claims that she was merely passing by the table where he was posing for pictures and autographs and he scooped her up in a desperate attempt to get a breather from picking up and posing with a group of significantly larger women.)

"Besides, decent women were expected to be chaste---men were not. That was simply the way of the world. But his world had changed ever since the minx laid claim to him."

I tag
Bridget Magnus of Shortwoman
Citizen Carrie of Carrie's Nation
MW of DWSUWF
NeoWayland of Pagan Vigil
The Crux of Buck Naked Politics

Things I Have Learned

Never ask a woman,"When is the baby due?" unless you have prior confirmation that she's actually pregnant.