Monday, April 28, 2008

John McCain thinks women deserve lower pay

Republicans, including John McCain, came right out and called women stupid and incapable last week, blocking a bill to allow women to sue employers for sex-based pay discrimination. Congress had to write this seemingly-obvious law because the Republican Supreme Court put an arbitrary 6-month time limit on such lawsuits.

Now, I love it when the Republicans' true colors shine on through. Like when one of them spoke at a Hitler birthday party recently. Just as they believe whites are a superior race (listen to them talk about immigrants and foreign middle names and black people), Republicans really do believe women are less-than creatures only capable of looking pretty and wiping shit off baby-ass.

And they, John McCain in particular, came right out and said so last week.

While skipping the vote allowing women to get justice, John McCain said women deserve lower pay because women who got and performed the same jobs as their male colleagues are just too stupid to (wait for it) get and perform the same jobs as their male colleagues. "They need the education and training," McCain said, explaining why he opposes equal pay for women who get and perform the same jobs as their male colleagues.

Got that? If you're being underpaid for a job you earned and perform by a boss who disrespects women, you deserve that. Because you're stupid, according to John McCain and the Republican party.

If you see how that's wrong, lady, you're not the stupid one. Republicans are. Let's use our votes against them, shall we?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My obsession with WMP playlists

For programming practice, I've been writing PHP scripts that will turn various lists of musicians into playlists for Windows Media Player.* Basically, you find a list of musicians that you'd like to listen to as a set, put that list in the appropriate script (see below), and out comes a playlist you can open with Windows Media Player to listen to your list of artists. For long lists of artists, this saves a lot of time over the usual method of putting them in one at a time.

The musician lists you can use for this purpose so far with my little tools are:
  • Tagged Artists
    *Playlist maker
    *Example data source
    *Example playlist (rock.wpl)
    *Greasemonkey script (for users of Firefox with Greasemonkey installed)
  • Calendar
    *Playlist maker
    *Example data source
    *Example playlist (portland408to808.wpl)
    *Greasemonkey script (for users of Firefox with Greasemonkey installed)
  • User's Most-Listened Artists
    *Playlist maker
    *Example data source
    *Example playlist (jamidwyer.wpl)
    *Greasemonkey script (for users of Firefox with Greasemonkey installed)
  • iLike User Most-Played Artists
    *Playlist maker
    *Example data source
    *Example playlist (jami.wpl)
    *Greasemonkey script (for users of Firefox with Greasemonkey installed)
  • Eventful Calendar
    *Playlist maker
    *Example data source
  • Comma-Separated Values File
    *Playlist maker
    *Data source is a list of artists only saved as a CSV in Excel or OpenOffice Calc.
    *Example playlist (sasquatch.wpl)

    *I know Windows Media Player is not hip. But unbeknownst to even the tech-savviest, music-lovingest people I talk to, Windows Media Player's playlists will dynamically add and sort music by criteria you set. Instant mix tape! This was far more powerful than the playlists iTunes had back in 2004, when I took my first faltering steps to quit stealing the mp3 files I wanted, I discovered that iTunes had indeed sold me intentionally-crippled aac files that indeed wouldn't play on my phone's mp3 player, and I quit using iTunes in fury.

    So no, I will not be writing anything, ever, for intentionally over-priced, intentionally under-compatible Mac software. I would, however, like to write playlist makers for Songbird or Amarok, when I feel a little more bored of learning more PHP and MySQL and want to learn whatever it is I need to learn to write real programs.

    (Updated to fix links. Check for new playlist makers and updates on my code page.)
  • Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Good political songs

    Inspired by this cry for help, here are some political songs I've been enjoying lately.

    Apples in Stereo - Stephen, Stephen [YouTube][Buy mp3!!!]
    Don't tell me you've forgotten how brave Stephen Colbert is already.

    Elvis Perkins - While You Were Sleeping [YouTube][Buy mp3!!!]
    Cursory Googling didn't yield a clear answer on whether this song means to Elvis Perkins what it does to me. The song I hear when I listen to this is indeed partly about Perkins' mother's death on 9/11. It's also about the sleeping country awakened that day. Sad, but hopeful, I think.

    But what do I know. It could be about his girlfriend taking a long nap.

    Winterpills - Broken Arm [Buy mp3!!!]
    The lyrics are all over the map, but there's politics in 'em.

    The Chemical Brothers - The Salmon Dance [Buy mp3!!!]
    This is just a fun song about salmon, but up here in the PNW, that's political, innit?

    Nellie McKay - Mother of Pearl [Buy mp3!!!]
    According to Ms. McKay, I'm doubly blessed with no sense of humor, as both a feminist and a vegetarian. Heh heh heh heh heh heh.

    Cocorosie - Rainbowarriors [YouTube][Buy mp3!!!]
    This makes me hippy-dippy freak-folk happy.

    Smog - I Feel Like the Mother of the World [YouTube][Buy mp3!!!]
    This song always reminds me of how my mom used to make us warring sisters sit in the same chair and hold hands as punishment. I think Bush could benefit from closer exposure to Middle Eastern people who are not outlandishly rich sheiks.

    The Thermals - Here's Your Future [Buy mp3!!!]
    More about religion than politics, but then in the "God Bless America (or else)" Bush years, they're not so different.

    Ted Leo - Loyal to My Sorrowful Country [Buy mp3!!!]
    No explanation needed.

    Tokyo Police Club - Your English is Good [YouTube][Buy mp3!!!][Lyrics]
    One this is clear: this song pertains to the future. Because the shocking youthfulness of Tokyo Police Club freaked me the hell out when I first discovered it a couple years ago, I always thought this song was about young people taking over with their kinder, gentler values. Reading the lyrics, it seems like it's more of an indictment of the current people in power.

    Photo strip made by Bordr.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Programming server problems

    The web server I'm using to do programming practice is giving me server errors when I load my PHP pages. This is the second time my site has been obliterated for at least a day by the server with no warning, and with lots of lecturing instead of trying to get my page running again. I don't write the tightest code yet, and I'm grateful for advice, but when three months' work is gone without warning, with no hint at when it will return, it might not be the best time for a lesson.

    Basically, nothing I've written for the past three months works right now. It will -- I'm moving everything to a new server (and trying to install my own Linux server at home). But if you're having trouble using any of my playlist makers or Podcast Finder, it's because I'm moving everything to a place where it'll work. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008

    Dr. L Riesling - 91

    Mm. This is what oak is supposed to be. Cold. Always disconcerting and reminiscent of soda pop. Really interesting almost all wood taste.

    Harshens up with warmth.

    $40 a bottle, Wine Down on 28th, drank June 6, 2003.