Story from 2 Canadian Muslims on the NYC mosque

Story from 2 Canadian Muslims on the NYC mosque:

A bit different perspective. I wonder if many feel this way or not. I’m undecided on the issue so far.


update and tidbits

It’s been a while since I blogged last, time for a brain dump.


The newly elected Edubuntu Council is kicking of the Lucid Lynx cycle. They are scheduling a bunch of focused work days to look at bugs, the wiki, the website, docs, etc. It should be pretty productive and I wish them well on their endeavor to make Edubuntu 10.04 a solid educational OS. Check out the meeting minutes for more info if you’re interested. There is going to be a Bug Day on the 12th and the wonderful HedgeMage has come up with an outstanding redesign of the Edubuntu website (see here and here) .

No Longer a Developer

As much as I have loved working on Ubuntu, real life has been such that I haven’t had time to really keep up with development policies and practices. Ubuntu is a huge project and so it takes a fair amount of effort/time to keep up with. With my chemistry carrier actually going somewhere I don’t see for the foreseeable future that I’ll have enough time to keep up. Since I don’t like the idea of staying in Launchpad groups I’m not actually involved with I decided last week to deactivate from the Ubuntu Core Developers team. Instead, with what little time I have to devote to FLOSS I’m going to be working on small, upstream projects where I don’t have so much to keep up with. Recently I took over the development of Plotdrop (a GNOME frontend to the graphing program, gnuplot) from John Spray. I’ve also been working on a few patches to GChemUtils (awesome set of chemistry GTK libraries and programs) and gnome system tools (specifically on users-admin).


Some people might find this utterly boring so I put it last but I’m a bit of a political junkie. So in 2004 after I moved to Nevada to go to grad school my party won the presidential election but lost the senate race. Now I’ve recently moved to Massachusetts and my party lost the last presidential election and there is a senate race in just a couple weeks. I wonder if the trend (win one, lose one) will hold and we win a crucial senate seat. It’s certainly a long shot in Massachusetts, but who knows, stranger things have happened. 🙂 It’s a least some motivation to get to the polls.

Why I’m Voting McCain/Palin

So when Gov. Palin was chosen by McCain as a running mate I posted a little blurb about being excited about his pick. The response was somewhat predictable (“How could you!?!?!”, “That’s not very Ubuntu”), but overall not as negative as I expected. However, I did have a number of my Ubuntu friends ask me why in the world I would support McCain/Palin. Most of them are not from the US and I suspect that’s some of it. So, I promised Jonathan Carter that I’d do a full post detailing why I’m voting the way I am and that I’d do so before the election. So here it goes.

First of all, I really need to talk both why I’m voting for McCain and why I’m not voting for Obama. I’d like to focus on the pros of McCain rather than the cons of Obama, but in all honesty, I’m think I’m still voting against Obama more than for McCain at this point so I’m going to have to do it to explain my reasoning. Since I don’t have enough space/time to detail every issue I’m picking out the few that really effect me in my decision:


McCain supports the supply-side economics of Reagan where taxes a held low (especially corporate and top marginal rates) while lowering/reforming federal spending. Obama favors basically the opposite, “spread the wealth” by increasing the taxes on the “rich” and lowering them for the “poor”. Though I’m in the “poor” category and would love to get a nice check in the mail, I consider Obama’s plan “trickle-up poverty” and not a plan that will produce a strong economy. I don’t think it’s wise to punish people who succeed and the fact of the matter is that corporations and wealthy people are already bearing most of the tax load, invest in our economy, and provide jobs to millions of Americans.

Obama talks a lot about things he thinks the government should be doing, but the only thing I’ve ever seen him say about paying for it is that he’s going to tax the rich so he can “redistribute”. The federal government is already enormous and we need more than a “scalpel”, as Obama puts it, to make significant changes. I don’t want government hand-outs, I want to keep more of the money I earn. I can’t put it any better than a hero of mine:

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price… Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it’s not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work–work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. — Ronald Reagan, 1st Inaugural Address

As I’ve looked at the economic plans, record, and history of Obama and McCain it sure seems to me that McCain fits that vision much better. Obama, with his “spread the wealth” undertones and socialized health-care, seems to be the antithesis what I’m after.

National Security

This one is sort of a no-brainer for me. Obama has no consistent Iraq policy that I can see, seems to think we can’t win on more than one front regarding Afghanistan, and doesn’t seem to take threats such as Iran seriously. Mostly I’ve seen Obama just jump on to whatever foreign policy bandwagon seems to be working at the moment and then claim he was right all along. Biden is at least as bad, given that he should have the experience.

McCain’s strong-point is national security. He’s not only been on the ground defending our country and a POW, but also has fought for a winning strategy in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflicts. He’s neither a warmonger nor a weakling.


Obama supports abortion-on-demand, including partial-birth abortion, and Roe v. Wade. He was rated 100% by NARAL on pro-choice votes. McCain is pro-life, voted to ban partial-birth abortions and supports overturning Roe v. Wade so states decide. He’s rated 75% by the NRLC. I’m firmly pro-life and believe adoption/abstinence/prevention should be promoted and supported as the alternatives. even though I’m not too fond of McCain’s embryonic stem-cell stance, McCain and Palin score big points here for me.

Balance of Power

Even though I’m a registered Republican I do consider myself fairly independently-minded. I’d have no problem voting for a conservative Democrat if they were the better candidate. However, the idea of having Obama, Reid, and Pelosi in charge is downright scary (especially if Reid were to get 60 seats). The Democrat-led Congress has been an absolute disaster, I don’t see why they should get any more power. The Democrats have caused one of the largest economic crises in American history, despite efforts by President Bush, Sen. McCain, and others to right the ship. I see no reason to give them even more chances to send us down a path that leads to a weak defense, economic hardship, and corrupt government. We are better than that.


My basic conclusions in these last few days before the election are:

  • This election is important. We choose pseudo-socialism or capitalism, belief in government-rule or self-rule, placation of dictators/terrorists or diplomacy through strength. We will also see the future of the Judicial branch of government set for many years to come.
  • All politicians suck, McCain just sucks less. (to play off mutt)
  • The makeup of Congress is hugely important. As much emphasis as we place on Presidential races, it’s the Senate and Congress that basically make the rules.
  • I can’t wait until this is over …


Warning: US politics ahead, read at your own risk 😉

This weekend has been quite exciting. I’m totally jazzed about McCain’s pick for VP. Sarah Palin sounds like an absolutely phenomenal, albeit a bit risky, pick and for the first time in this election cycle I’m actually wanting to get involved. Previously, I wasn’t voting for somebody so much as voting against somebody else. Finally, somebody who resonates with me is running and I’m excited. /me goes to find some yard signs 🙂

P.S I’m starting a “politics” category for my blog so Planet Ubuntu will be spared too much political ranting.