Smerconish: Health Care = Racist

I offered Springer my theory that something else is driving the protests. Three weeks ago, I told him, I couldn't buy a call to my radio show for a conversation about health care. Single-payer? Public option? Radio death. But not now. What changed? Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. Crowley ignited a racial debate that propelled itself all the way to the Rose Garden. The country rehashed - again - the repeatedly disproved notion that the president isn't a citizen of the United States. And from there the frenzy continued to escalate. Sure, health care is a small part of it. So is the sluggish economy. But I think the nastiness is in large part the latest incarnation of the lurking hostility toward President Obama
- Web annotation on Michael Smerconish: Jerry explains town-hall madness
Tim Lytle [08/20/09 15:46:52] | 24 Comments | Point

I'd Vote For Him

Is there someplace where I could vote for this guy? These are the kind of people that would bring about the 'change' this country really needs. No, I'm not saying our elected officials should be giving out guns, I'm saying they should have some kind of grounded common sense.

Tim Lytle [08/13/09 18:20:31] | 0 Comments | Point

What Would They Think?

The 4th of July. Friends and family, picnics, backyard bar-b-q, fireworks, and red, white and blue. The day we all should stop and realize just how great it is to be an American.

Not because Americans are great, but because America is great. Freedom yet justice, liberty and law, a revolutionary idea that became a reality.

What would those founding father think if they could see this nation today? Did they think this great experiment in freedom would last over two hundred years? Or two world wars? One great internal conflict?

What would they think of Henry Ford's Model T? Thomas Edison's light bulb? Bell's telephone? IBM's Personal Computer?

The first man on the moon? The incredible story of Apollo 13 - and the courage of all those modern day Lewis and Clarkes.

How would they react to a flag with the same 13 stripes, but 50 stars? A nation reaching from Atlantic to Pacific, from Washington D.C. to Washington state. And just as impressive, a volunteer military ready to protect that land - something that has been proven time and time again.

I think they'd be proud.

But what would Ben Franklin, who petitioned the congress to open each day with prayer, who argued that the favor of God was as important to the forming of the constitution as it was the fighting of the revolution - what would he think if he knew how hard it was to find a public prayer in a public place?

What would General Washington think if he knew American children were killing each other in the streets and in the schools? And that the blame was readily placed on the weapons, which when used properly, are protection for both country and citizen. What would Washington think of those who questioned how violence had found its way into the lives of our children, without considering how the Bible had been forced out. And that instead of teaching morality, schools provided the tools to make a promiscuous lifestyle at best 'safer'.

What would Thomas Jefferson think, if - as he wrote about self-evident truths - he knew that in universities across this nation professors would freely lecture about the absence of any absolute truth, taking away the moral basis for the very freedom they enjoy?

Would John Hancock's signature be larger if he realized that only two hundred years later the Creator he believe endowed him with unalienable rights would not even be mentioned in most science textbooks? Or that those rights were denied the weakest among us - our unborn children?

What would they think of judges who instead of considering the 10 commandments, would rather render decisions based on popular opinion and international consensus?

What would they think of career politicians who long to reshape the world into their image, or see their name in a newspaper, or enjoy power, influence, and special favors?

If those founding fathers could see today the monuments we have raised up to memorialize their lives - would they rather we had forgotten who they were and remembered what they believed?

Truly, much has changed, since that first Independence Day.

Yet in the time we now find ourselves, we must not equate this nation with the Christian values, the Biblical foundation, the moral conscience she was built upon. For if America falls, if she fails, the Bible will still be true. If America ceases to be a 'Christian' nation, true Christianity will not be changed. And regardless of the place He's given in our culture and society, Jesus Christ is still the epicenter of all history, and the only answer to life's questions.

But as we celebrate the birth of our nation, do we not owe it to those who have sacrificed so greatly, who risked so much, who gave their all for our freedom, do we not owe it to them, to do what we can, that their sacrifice be not in vain?

In the words of Abraham Lincoln:

"It is for us to be dedicated to the unfinished work which they have thus far so nobly advanced. It is for us to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Tim Lytle [07/04/09 06:48:07] | 3 Comments | Point

Online Bible

Just put up a new Bible site Friday, which is old news for those on Twitter. For now it's rather simple (put in reference, get Bible verses back), but I do plan on keeping the development going.

An update Saturday added limited book and chapter divisions and inline verse numbering. The next update will probably let you turn off the verse numbering (that's the way I like it). After that, not sure what's next, but printable downloads, and links relevant to the current text are planned.

Programming Stuff (yes, you can skip this part)
First app done with the new Zend Framework Took, using the standard directory structure and 'accepted' (since there's no implementation in the framework) Model structure.

I must say I love the configuration and bootstrap, it makes all that a whole lot easier. Of course if you've already written a standard bootstrap and config system, then maybe you'd prefer that. I had not, and found using Zend's to be great, since really, you just want to start writing the application.

Also be using GIT to do the version control. It's worked rather well. I think the most inviting feature (to me) is the easy branch switching. I like being able to quick switch to one change I'm working on, without limiting my ability to go back and work on a fix for the 'stable' branch. Yeah, I know SVN has that too, it just doesn't seem as easy.

Of course coming form SVN it can be hard to catch onto the way GIT works - not having a central server. But once it made sense, I think I like that way better.

Why Another Bible Site? (welcome back)
I just found the other sites a bit too busy. It's not that I couldn't figure out how to get to a passage, just that that nothing seemed quite simple enough. And I wanted a bit more control over the display formating.

[Oh, and, your cookies expire way too fast. It seems like every time I go to your site, I need to setup my version preference again. But I don't have to do that anymore.]

I'd been thinking of doing something like this for a while, but last week, after reading a passage, I thought that it would be nice to post a link to a verse. Just a single verse, and have it displayed something like twitter's updates (when a single update is viewed).

So now here goes: I like Paul's perspective.

Go enjoy it if you want, and let me know what features you think would be nice.

Tim Lytle [06/28/09 15:30:00] | 0 Comments | Point

Web Development Q&A

Having a little Web question and answer session next Monday Tuesday. Did one of these (kinda) at Panara Bread last year. This one will be 'virtual', meaning less cream cheese on the keyboard. At least for me.

There won't really be an overview, introduction, explanation of the basics like last time - this will be simply based off the group questions, and hopefully will end up dealing with a range of topics that help everyone increase their knowledge and understanding.

Here's the catch, so as to avoid my looking too befuddled, the questions will be submitted beforehand. That way I can ask someone who actually knows this stuff and just repeat their answers.

Here's how to be a part:

  1. Fill out the google form.
  2. Ask a question here, or upload stuff here, or just e-mail, twitter, or whatever the question to me.
  3. Fire up the computer next Monday, and join in (links for that will be posted on Monday).
Note that this is mostly web development focused, not web design, so questions about scripting languages, markup (CSS&HTML), and the technology used in development (editors, how things work, tools to use) will probably get better answers than questions about how how to incorporate textures into a web design, or what kind of content layout is hot right now.

Tim Lytle [06/22/09 15:12:52] | 0 Comments | Point

Just A Simple Request

And a simple answer: Yes Chris, there is an RSS feed.

[Yeah, yeah, there's no fancy link on the sidebar (and really not much of a sidebar). But most readers will accept the main URL and find the RSS link in the header. No, no, they will.]

Tim Lytle [06/09/09 12:04:27] | 3 Comments | Point

Something About Denmark

[The following are the results of a survey done to determine what, where, and how a little group - heading to The Complete Works, Abridged - will have dinner. Why? Because google documents is cool (are cool?) and the google docs forms generate nifty charts and graphs. And. Well, that's it I guess.]

Here's what you've all been waiting for - the results of the survey. The survey 32% of you gave a 10 on the 'important' scale - which is a pretty good consensus for this group.

Okay, looks like we'll be splitting up. Aww, sorry togetherness people - if it's any consolation 32% of the group will wish they listened to you when it's all said and done.

Now for the knity-gritty - we'll be meeting at 5:30. But don't be late because 42% of us wanted 5 and we're just being nice. Don't abuse that. Okay?

Barnes & Noble is the place to gather - let's make it the circle entrance (not the parking lot entrance), and then split up from there.

Let us for a moment consider where you don't want to eat (right side). For some reason Hex: Dutch Delights, came in second. Second? Really? Who would eat at a place called that? Bad news for the Japanese place. They're more unpopular than a restaurant that was made up for the purpose of being unappetizing. That's rough.

The most popular places that mostly everyone is pretty much okay (left side) with are Cosi, Pandini's, and Red Robin. Of course, there's one in every group, and we're no different. A whopping one person doesn't want to go to Red Robin. Now you know who you are, so I'm not going to call you out on the internet. Mostly because I'm looking at the graphed data, and it would take way two* much effort to look through all the responses.

So if we were to go to a single place, it would be Cosi or Pandini's.

But here's where it gets interesting. The two most popular choices when limited to a single pick, are White Orchid's Thai and Red Robin, followed (not too surprising here) by the Pita Pit.

Now, it seems from the responses, and from the fact that serving this large of a group would take more time than we'd want, splitting up is the way to go. While deciding on the fly will probably work for Cosi, Pandini's, Pita Pit, and maybe even Red Robin - it might not be that welcome at White Orchid's. Or, for the 6% of you (yeah, that's one person) who picked it, Melt.

So if you're wanting to hit up the Thai place, or some place else that needs a reservation, shoot me an e-mail, text, whatever, sometime today and we'll see what we can arrange for reservations. But if the Pita Pit, Pandini's, or the like is your pick - and that's 30% of you - just meet at B&N, find your group, and have fun storming the castle.

[*for John (was 'to') happy now?]

Tim Lytle [06/04/09 01:21:11] | 2 Comments | Point

Almost a Birthday

Haven't been posting that much. I guess that means I'm busy.

Another couple of days and this little blog will have been around for 6 years. Wow. That's not bad I guess.

Started out as a quick php script, added comments pretty soon after that - then things were a little quite as a hosting change kinda kill some old code. But that's okay, it needed to be killed.

Now everything is running on a very unstable half-way done blogging system. So here's the question - blogging has been around for a while, but what things are the mainstream platforms missing?

Tim Lytle [06/02/09 23:03:55] | 0 Comments | Point

Pass the Phone

Crashed The Kid's party last night. Well, not quite a crash, 'cause it was an open invitation - but I didn't get there until the party had already started.

After a dinner filled with lies and half-truths, we played a little 'catchphrase'. Had this little circle game thingy that displays a word and the object is to get your team to say that word before the time runs out. If your successful, you pass it to the next player who is on the other team.

Simple enough concept, and I thought I had seen something like it in the android market place. Sure enough, found gPhrase, installed and played a few round with it.

It's deserving of the mixed reviews. It doesn't follow the sound settings (it still plays loudly when on silent), and it needs a better interface, plus some kind of scoring feature before it would be worth paying for. It is a beta, so there should be improvements in the future.

But it got me thinking - what other group games could be ported to a phone? Taboo shouldn't be hard, what about some kind of charades? It seems to me the hardest part would be generating the questions, phrases, word lists, etc. I haven't been able to find any kind of public domain database of that sort yet.

So, any other ideas on games? How 'bout those of you black turtlenecks - are there apps like this in the iStore?

Tim Lytle [05/18/09 02:42:03] | 16 Comments | Point

Kindle Comments

[UPDATE: The original post has been updated showing the context of what I was saying. Original quote:

As for cost? Ask any college student if they'd rather pay $500 once then $10/ebook, or buy all paper books. Of course, textbook publishers won't be happy, but there's a change growing in that field as well.

See this post for the current version.]

I'm quoted in this blog post about the Kindle DX; however, I'm not sure I could have been taken more out of context. Here's my full quote for now - perhaps a follow-up on the post in a little bit:

My wife and I were talking the other day about how technology - the Kindle among other things - would change education.

I was homeschooled from preschool to graduation (only went to 'real' school in the 4th grade), so my view of education is pretty flexible. Working in the technology field, I'm aware of (and sometimes get to use) new technology like the tablet pc (okay, so that's not new anymore) and the Kindle.

Now with a not quite a year old daughter, I think about what her education will be like. I wouldn't be surprised if she had most of her 'books' on a Kindle, and did most of her work on a tablet pc styled netbook or a 'smart' pen (the livescribe). The technology exists today, and it will only get better, more portable, and more accessible.

Sure, maybe it won't be the 'Kindle' from Amazon that she uses - it will probably be something even more integrated, more 'natural'. Maybe something like a netbook with a second screen instead of a keyboard. She'll use it as a laptop with one touch screen displaying a keyboard. She'll use it as her book, flipping it 90 degrees to view two pages. She'll lay it flat and grab a stylus to take notes or work on her art project.

I believe Asus (and maybe Apple) are working on a dual screen device. Combine that with the Kindle and tablet pc technology and we're pretty much already there.

As for cost? Ask any college student if they'd rather pay $500 once then $10/ebook, or buy all paper books. Of course, textbook publishers won't be happy, but there's a change growing in that field as well.

Tim Lytle [05/12/09 13:48:17] | 0 Comments | Point