Politics Explained


Left wing, right wing, libertarian on marriage, health care, money, taxation, and war.

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Convert PDF to PNG using Linux

If you use the defaults for Imagemagick, the output of a PDF file with text converted to PNG is unreadable.  The secret is to use the density option:

$ convert -density 300 xxxxx.pdf yyyyy.png

If the original PDF has a transparent background, use the alpha option:

$ convert -density 300 xxxxx.pdf -alpha off yyyyy.png
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Famous Presidential Lies

Famous Presidential Lies

We were attacked (in the Gulf of Tonkin)

I am not a crook

GHW Bush:
Read my lips – No New Taxes

I did not have sex with that woman… Miss Lewinski

GW Bush:
Iraq has weapons of mass destruction

I will have the most transparent administration in history.
The stimulus will fund shovel-ready jobs.
I am focused like a laser on creating jobs.
The IRS is not targeting anyone.
It was a spontaneous riot about a movie.
I will put an end to the type of politics that “breeds division, conflict and cynicism”.
You didn’t build that!
I will restore trust in Government.
The Cambridge cops acted stupidly.
The public will have 5 days to look at every bill that lands on my desk
It’s not my red line – it is the world’s red line.
Whistle blowers will be protected in my administration.
We got back every dime we used to rescue the banks and auto companies, with interest.
I am not spying on American citizens.
Obama Care will be good for America.
You can keep your family doctor.
Premiums will be lowered by $2500.
If you like it, you can keep your current healthcare plan.
It’s just like shopping at Amazon.
I knew nothing about “Fast and Furious” gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels.
I knew nothing about IRS targeting conservative groups.
I knew nothing about what happened in Benghazi.
If elected I promise not to renew the Patriot Act.
If elected I will end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan within the 1st 9 months of my term.
I will close Guantanamo within the first 6 months of my term.
I will bridge the gap between black and white and between America and other countries.
And the biggest one of all:
“I, Barrack Hussein Obama, pledge to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”

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Boot from ISO using GRUB2

Goal is to install new OS from an ISO image without creating a boot CD.

Step 1:  Format hard disk to be used with a boot partition.  (set boot flag)

Step 2:  Mount partition, create new directory named ‘boot’ (in this case the partition automatically mounted as /media/brian/boot, so new directory is /media/brian/boot/boot).  Copy the ISO file(s) you want to use to a  subdirectory named grml.  (or anywhere else) Continue reading

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The Basis for Law is Religion

image001DID YOU KNOW?
As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world’s law givers and each one is facing one person in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view ….

It is Moses and he is holding the Ten Commandments!

image002As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door.

As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall, right above where the Supreme Court Judges sit, a display of
The Ten Commandments

There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington , D.C.

James Madison, the fourth president, known as ‘The Father of Our Constitution’ made the Following Statement: ‘We have staked the whole of all Our political Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for Self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to The Ten Commandments of God.’

Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.

image006DID YOU KNOW?
Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established Orthodox churches in the colonies..

Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of Interpreting the law would begin making law an Oligarchy: the rule of few over many.


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Using WonderWare Script to Check for Correct Number Format

Here is how I used a WonderWare window script to check to make sure the batch number entered by the operator meets the following requirements:

  • must be 9 digits
  • first digit is a 8
  • 2nd and 3rd digit are the 2-digit year number
  • 4th to 9th digits are numbers

Screenshot from 2014-04-22 15:50:21 Continue reading

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Wood Repair Using Plastic Filler (bondo)

The house we just bought had damage to several of the stair trim pieces of wood from a dog.  Here are some pictures I took of my fix.  I started with a dowel glued in a hole I drilled, then added fiberglass bondo.  I used a rasp and double cut file to shape the bondo after it hardened.  Once I had the basic shape, I switched to an all-purpose bondo that went on much thinner.  More filing and finally sanding and painting.


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Use cron, grep, ps to monitor and restart a program (x11vnc)

As a band-aid to check if a program stopped running, and then restart it if it did stop, here is what I came up with.  x11vnc is the program that gave me trouble, seems like every once in a while, usually while I’m logging in as a user and the X11 screen changes, the VNC server loses its mind and quits.  Being lazy, I don’t want to remember the command to type in to restart it correctly, so this does it for me:

Step 1:

create a shell script (/root/check-x11vnc-running)(and chmod +x to make executable):

 # Check to see if x11vnc is running
 if ps cax | grep x11vnc | grep -v check >; /dev/null
      echo "x11vnc running when checked at $(date)" >> /var/log/x11vnc-checker.log
      x11vnc -usepw -nap -wait 50 -noxdamage -display :0 -forever -o /var/log/x11vnc.log -bg
      echo "Restarted x11vnc at $(date)" >> /var/log/x11vnc-checker.log
  • ps cax lists all the processes running, grep finds all the lines that mention x11vnc, and the second grep command removes the instance of this script running.
  • if the statement was > 0, we think the program is running, make an entry to a log file (have to create the file to start with —  use ‘touch /var/log/xxxxx’)
  • if the statement was false (a zero), issue the command to restart the vnc server, and make a log entry

Step 2:

add a entry to crontab to run the script above once every minute

 > crontab -e
*/1 * * * * /root/check-x11vnc-running  

I had fits getting this to work, and finally figured it out.  The first entry represents the minute, so I figured ‘run every minute’ would be a ‘*’.  But, it won’t run with all *’s, the ‘*/1′ makes it run once per minute.  ‘*/2′ is every two minutes.  ’2′ would be at H:02 of every hour.

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Redirect, Pipe, and Tee

Redirect – ls command creates file called file_list.txt instead of sending to stdout:
$ ls > file_list.txt

Redirect Append – ls command appends file_list.txt instead of sending to stdout:

$ ls >> file_list.txt

Pipe – sends output of ls command to less command:

$ ls | less

Pipes can be stacked:

$ ps aux | grep conky | grep -v grep | awk '{print $2}' | xargs kill

If you pipe to the command ‘tee’, the command output goes to stdout and a file of your choice:

$ ls | tee file_list.txt

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Fire Hose Pants

firehosepantsAmber bought me a pair of fire hose pants for Christmas.  I wore them today to do some clean-up work outside.  Right off the bat, there are two things that are awesome about these pants:  1) There is a diamond-cut panel in the crotch area that gives the boys the room they need when you bend down.  This feature alone makes them worth their premium cost.  It works, makes a huge, noticeable difference in comfort.  2) There are about 12 belt loops on the waistband.  Not the typical wussy belt loops either.  These things will let you say no to butt crack if you have a decent belt.  The material they are made of seems very tough, they claim they outlast all other pants by 3x.  The pockets are deep, and easy to get your hands and stuff in and out.  I rarely get very excited about clothes, but these pants have some promise!



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