The oligarchic nature of today's DC government

At the nation's founding, there was one representative per 35,000 people. Now it's one per 700,000. So your voice has dropped 20 times.

Most western democracies have about one national rep per 100,000 people. So again, DC is about 7 times more oligarchic than other nations.

US Constitution, Article I, Section 2 :

"The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand..."


Calexit or Calsplit?

John Fund, a former member of the Wall Street Journal editorial board, penned a piece in the National Journal where he said it would be better for California to split into several states than to become an independent nation.

This proposal to split California into several states has been floated in the past, as Fund points out. Notably, a failed 2016 ballot initiative funded by venture capitalist Tim Draper tried to split the state into six new states.


Look to regional (independence) movements for third party growth in the US

A friend of mine recently commented on the need for a third political party. There are a few problems with this.

First, the US generally has a "winner take all" (non-proportional) vote system that naturally leads to two parties.

Second, by poll numbers, the Libertarian Party shows the most viability, but many true libertarians (small 'L') don't believe in voting and have no interest in politics. Good luck trying to get that crew to go toe-to-toe with the Democratic and Republican machines.

Acer Aspire L5100 won't boot - black display only

My desktop Acer Aspire L5100 (purchased Jan. 2009) was having sporadic boot problems, and then finally wouldn't boot at all. Upon power-on, there was no display from the BIOS or any other feedback on the screen.

I had seen some problems like this after the machine went into hibernation, but I don't believe that was the case here.

Upon doing a bit of Internet research, I opened the case and checked the motherboard's battery. After pulling one screw holding the DVD/HD unit, I uncovered the battery. The CR2032 battery only had about 1.5 volts instead of its 3.0 volt rating.


Network interfaces for Ubuntu VirtualBox guest on Windows host

To work effectively and relatively securely on a VirtualBox guest system, the guest needs two network adapters - a NAT and a host-only adapter. The NAT interface allows talking out to the internet, and the host-only adapter allows ssh and http in from the host.

However, it seems that Ubunt/Debian only recognizes one network interface on system installation.

So to get two interfaces on the guest, I found the following to work :


Getting an entry-level job in computer programming

A young man who's studying computer science in college asked me for information regarding how to get an internship in the software industry. Here's what I told him :

There is great demand for programmers with a bit of experience. You just need to get a bit of the right (or desired) experience.

I think there are several ways to do this :

Upgrading Drupal 7 PHPTemplate-based themes to Drupal 8

I'm looking to start trying out Drupal 8. But I need some themes for display.

Here's a couple good articles on how to handle this :

For my current D7-based themes, looks like I have a couple options :

- Modify "slightly" the PHPTemplate-based themes and use them mostly as-is.

- Run the PHPTemplate-based theme thru "Twigify" at


Follow-up on Ubuntu apt sources.list in Amazon Web Services

This is a follow-up to a previous post where I was having trouble running apt-get as part of the initial boot process for a new AWS instance.

I actually never could automatically load packages using the recommended workaround of using apt_mirror :


When I'd check the cloud-init log at /var/log/ apt-get would just sort of silently fail.

Getting Ubuntu cloud-init to work in an Amazon (AWS) VPC

Ubuntu's cloud-init is a mechanism which can be used to provision a new instance upon initial boot. I imagine cloud-init can be used in many environments, but I'll focus on its use in Amazon Web Services (AWS).

You can invoke cloud-init in at least a couple ways :

- shell, with a lead line of #!/bin/sh
- cloud-init, with a lead line of #cloud-config


Subscribe to RSS