Borland wants to be a Red Hat for developers

Well, at least it looks as though they're planning to go down fighting. Borland's made the best RAD tools for quite a while now, and it would be a shame to have only one serious commercial tool vendor (M$) for programming tasks.

Borland's Java and Windows application development tools will once again lead the industry, setting the pace in both quality and innovation. So says Nigel Brown, who is leading Borland's integrated development environment (IDE) business to independence and out of the shadow of Borland's other application lifecycle management (ALM) tools. Brown, an 18-year Borland veteran, was recently named general manager of Borland's IDE business.

(link) [The Register]

23:00 /Technology | 0 comments | permanent link

Iran anger over women fans

Not only is Islam the "Religion of Peace", it's also apparently the "Religion of Stupidity". But note how both the "Peace" and "Stupidity" are usually directed against the fairer sex.

Members of the clergy say it is wrong for men and women to look at each other's bodies, even if they have no intention of taking pleasure from it.

Well, a certain member of the Heathen clergy (me) says that what's wrong is to treat half the population of the planet as slaves, and what's stupid here is to somehow conflate usage of the eyes with "sin".

But, in the spirit of interfaith cooperation, I've come up with a new slogan that Muslim fundies everywhere can use: God Hates Girls.

I mean, isn't it obvious? Just ask your mum...

Iran's religious right opposes moves to let women attend football matches played by male teams.

(link) [BBC News | News Front Page | World Edition]

By the way, speaking of stupid, which way is Mecca when you're in orbit?

23:00 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link

More Pictures

Of course, I couldn't stop with just a snake picture...

The New Calves

The new bull calves (soon to be steers) in the south pasture. Suggestions for names are being accepted!

More Sheep Pix

Link and Cory doing the Hokey-Pokey (you put your right foot in, you put your left foot out ...)

23:00 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Spanked employee seeks $1.2 million

Perhaps not coincidentally, I ran across a wondrous screed today over at The Mutualist Blog: More On (Moron?) Fish! Philosophy. To understand this story, read that one. Beatings will continue until morale improves ...

Lawyers for a woman spanked in front of co-workers as part of what her employer said was a team-building exercise asked a jury Wednesday for at least $1.2 million for the humiliation she says she suffered.

(link) []

23:00 /Politics | 2 comments | permanent link

US agriculture and immigration tied in a knot

Whew! Good thing I'm not testing my blood pressure today ... this bit of tripe has sent it through the roof, I'm sure. I know I said I wasn't going to wade into the immigration debate, but here you have it being used as a straw man by one of the most rapacious industries on earth: American "agribusiness". Choice quotes:

"What makes food so cheap in the United States is because we do things efficiently and if you wiped out that efficiency by creating an unnecessary labor shortage, it essentially will foist a high food price on to consumers," said [Dave] Ray, spokesman for the American Meat Institute, which represents beef and pork companies.

I beg to differ: what makes food so cheap in the US is the use of virtual slave labor on factory farms and industrial packing plants, coupled with horrific treatment of the animals and the environment. Massive Federal subsidies to the largest corporations involved don't hurt the bottom line, either. They're partially right when they claim these are jobs Americans won't take: who wants to stand knee deep in gore all day for $5/hr.(or less, in some cases, as they pay by the piece)? What American would work in these conditions, sans medical insurance, sans safety rules, minus anything at all that considers him or her as more than a "labor unit"?

Answer: No sane American citizen would take a job like that. However, illegal migrants, who frequently live in tent cities or shared apartments (one two bedroom apartment locally was found to have 20 male illegal Mexican immigrants as occupants - and no running water, as they never bothered to pay the water bill), and simply send most of the money made back home to support their wives and children, are more than happy to be making far more than they could back home, in similar conditions.

"What we've seen with the mobility of labor, particularly from Mexico, has enabled that industry to stay in the United States," Chris Hurt, agricultural economist at Purdue University, said of meat processing. "It's entirely possible that if labor had not been mobile that parts of the industry would have to moved to other countries like Mexico."

Labor mobility in this case seems to be a one way street - try moving to Mexico and getting a job without any government documents (i.e. "illegally") and without speaking a word of Spanish. And many plant have moved, especially in the vegetable and fruit areas. The only thing keeping the meat packing industry here is really the bureaucratic inefficiency of moving living livestock across international borders, not "mobile labor". There's a certain causal logic at work here: if you can't efficiently make your product over the border, with the consequent lower labor costs, then bring the cheap labor here. We already import nearly everything else from the Third World, why not import the people?

The real lunacy here: every one of these plants has USDA inspectors on site - these are Federal employees. And to my knowledge, not one of them has been busted for violating the existing laws on employing illegal immigrants. Not one.

So how do we solve this? Number one: enforce the existing labor laws. Stringently. Number 2, kill farm subsidies. All of them. Number 3, level the playing field by making all foreign food products imported into the US pay the same price for USDA inspection as domestic produce.

Will this make the price of food in US supermarkets rise? Yep. But it'll also put alot more Americans to work, make the food supply safer by a longshot, and at least give the small producer a fighting chance at survival.

Reuters - Agribusiness is warning Americans that the $12 trillion U.S. economy could be forced to go on an expensive diet if immigrant workers are restricted.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

23:00 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Army Bans Use of Privately Bought Armor

Un-fucking believable...

AP - Soldiers will no longer be allowed to wear body armor other than the protective gear issued by the military, Army officials said Thursday, the latest twist in a running battle over the equipment the Pentagon gives its troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

23:00 /Politics | 1 comment | permanent link

Sheep in the Snow

We didn't get much snow in the "Big Storm" the other day - just a dusting, really. But the lambs had never seen the white stuff, and watching them cavort around the yard in it proved quite amusing:

What is this stuff?
What is this stuff?
Let's play, kitty!(Yeti)Let's play, kitty!(Yeti)
Yummy Old Yule Tree
Yummy Old Yule Tree
Can we go in now?
Can we go in now?

23:00 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Animal Rights Groups Decry Bear Wrestling

Read the article carefully: this strikes me as no different than dog training, lamb agility, or even draft goats. It's a show, with a beloved pet, and I would imagine that they weave substantial education into the act as well, in the form of black bear lore and factoids.

Most folks, after all, have never seen a black bear. Hel, most folks today have never been around a goat or a cow or a lamb! So the animal "rights" wingnuts have an easier time convincing city folks that this kind of stuff is "abuse". And if they can silence the trainers and showmen who bring their animals to the public, it'll be much easier to reach their ultimate goal of divorcing humanity from it's own nature entirely.

AP - Lance Palmer, a 140-pound high school wrestler and four-time state champ, taps into his substantial skills whenever he takes on Ceaser Jr. Skill comes in handy when your opponent is a 650-pound black bear.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

23:00 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link