Political Rant

To Begin

If I had to pick one of the two major parties to identify with then you can call me a Democrat. I don’t agree with all their major talking points, but in general they scare me less than the Republicans. Generally I define myself as fiscally conservative, but socially liberal. I put a greater emphasis on the socially liberal side of my views.

This election season has been doomed to disappoint from the beginning. As best as I can tell, there is absolutely no outcome that would leave me hopeful for the future of both the United States and Iowa.

On the National Stage

Democrats lost control of the house and I think that is probably a good thing for them. I’m hoping (though not even remotely optimistic) that the two parties will actually manage to work together to keep this country moving forward. I think it is much more likely the government will be engaged in even more ridiculous political crap and will grind to a halt. I suspect the Republicans will try to repeal healthcare and I’m actually pretty confident that will fall flat on its face. There is no way they could overturn a veto with the political layout being what it is.

I am incredibly annoyed with the Democrats for screwing up as impressively as they have for the past two years. Yes, they passed the healthcare bill and a financial reform and they had to deal with a major recession but they controlled the entire government and couldn’t get anything else done. While it is remarkable the Republicans managed to stand together on so many issues, it isn’t the good kind of remarkable.

Here in Iowa

I’m sad to see Culver ousted because his opponent scares me. But part of that is because I’ve seen Iowa take many excellent steps over the past few years and I dearly hope to see them kept. The biggest of those (in my opinion) is the legalization of same sex marriage. While the Democrats had little to do with legalizing that, they were able to keep it from becoming a ballot initiative. Why shouldn’t I want people to be able to vote on this? Because I don’t think that questions of social equality should need to be voted on. Because I don’t want to see this state go backwards and I’m afraid that people don’t remember that separate but equal isn’t equal.

We kicked out the three supreme court justices who were up for retention this year. This one result is the one that truly makes me angry and ashamed. From what I understand, most of the money for the campaign against them came from out of state and people apparently don’t mind just doing what they hear or see on TV. I’m hoping the remaining justices and future justices will continue to be unbiased in their decisions regardless of the possible political backlash. I hope most fervently that our justice system can continue to be a fair one, but I’m afraid we may have just politicized our courts and that is something for which Iowa should be ashamed.

Nexus One ADB on Ubuntu 9.10/Arch Linux

So I just spent the last hour trying to get the Nexus One and ADB to play nicely together on my machine. Finally it is working and here is how…

/etc/udev/rules.d/90-android.rules

SUBSYSTEM=="usb|usb_device", SYSFS{idVendor}=="18d1", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb|usb_device", ATTR{idVendor}=="18d1", ATTR{idProduct}=="4e12", SYMLINK+="android_adb"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb|usb_device", ATTR{idVendor}=="0bb4", ATTR{idProduct}=="0fff", SYMLINK+="android_fastboot"
sudo restart udev

This should allow any user in the plugdev group to use adb without sudo.

Nexus One

My Nexus One arrived yesterday. I haven’t been this excited about a device in a long time and Christmas was good. I’m guessing I was one of the first couple hundred people to place an order and so far, I really like it. I don’t really feel like typing an actual review, so bullets it is…

Pros

  • This is the first smartphone I’ve had and that is exciting on its own.
  • The thing is fast. The Snapdragon inside really shows. I haven’t felt like I was waiting for the phone to catch up to me.
  • Android and open source. I like open source. And I know a bit of java. Maybe I’ll develop an app if I find a need/use.
  • Navigation. It works and pretty well at that. Even over iWireless less than impressive data connection it was able to reroute and pull down the satellite imagery.
  • Gmail app. Works like gmail (go figure). I really like gmail and since I use it for all my email, an Android device is perfect.
  • Google Voice. If you have it, Android will use it seemlessly. And seemless is good.
  • Widgets. Bits of information that are always available. And live.

Cons

  • The android market is not the most intuitive of beasts
  • The touch screen is occasionally a bit wonky. Not sure if this is me touching things I don’t intend to or what.
  • No multitouch if official apps. I don’t get it. Why won’t Google build in multitouch? Other apps can have multitouch? This may be the cause of some of the aforementioned wonkyness.
  • iWireless’ edge connection is SLOW. Painfully so. But it can somehow support Pandora which is nice.