Archive for November, 2008

Obama – November 4th, 2008

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

History moved tonight.   It is not given us to feel many such moments in our lives.   The assassination of John F. Kennedy, Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon, the fall of South African Apartheid are some of the ones that have touched me.

Tonight I watched Barack Obama give his victory speech and I felt something I haven’t felt in some time – hope.   And I was deeply moved.

The world has been moving into darker and darker spaces for some time now.   Profits over people, production over conservation, greed over common sense.   A parade of stupidity to take your breath away and to make you fear for all of our futures.

I think this man sees all of that and sincerely wants to deal with it.   And he has secured the most powerful office in the world to work from.   The fact that he’s won?   It’s not the answer, it’s not the solution, and it’s not necessarily the way out of the mess we’re in.   But it is the best thing that could have happened at this time in history.

I pray that the desire for change that elected Obama President will begin to loosen the grip that materialism, short-sightedness, greed, fundamentalism and disrespect for nature have had on the United States.

We’ve dug ourselves into a very deep hole with respect to our economy and with respect to the environment.  And it will take a very large amount of effort and focus to dig our way out again.   But at least someone I can believe in seems to have stepped up to the plate.

God’s speed, Barack Obama.

Nastiness on the Internet?

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

Back on September 18th, 2008, I wrote a piece about a run-in I’d had with David Latimer of the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center.   The piece is here: 

The piece itself, and the comments about it, makes for interesting reading so I won’t go into any of the specifics here.  But, I do encourage you to go and have a look.

After the initial burst of comments and E-mail about the original piece, I didn’t think much more about it.

But the other day, more than a month later, as I was looking through my Internet Logs to see where my traffic was coming from, I noticed a really odd pattern.   The second most visited page on my Blog was the piece on the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center.

It made me curious why this piece should be so popular so I went digging and was surprised to find that all of the visits to this page on my Blog were coming from IP addresses in the range of 84.109.*.*    For example, one visit might come from while the next might come from   But all of them are coming from addresses that begin with 84.109.

Addresses on the Internet are often owned in ranges or blocks like this. I traced a dozen or more these addresses variations back to their source and they were ALL coming from a single Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Israel.   The ISP is which is located at:

Bezeq International Ltd.
40 Hashacham street, Ramat-Siv
PO Box 7097
49170 Petach Tikva

When one of the ISP’s customers requests access to the Internet, the IPS issues them one of the IP addresses from the block the ISP owns.   This is why each time someone shows up on my Blog from Bezeq, they have a slightly different IP address.

So, what does it all mean?   Well, most probably Bezeq, the Israeli company, has a customer that has some sort of a deep and persistent interest in the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center web page on my Samadhisoft Blog. 

The question. of course, is why is this person so interested?

If you look at the pattern of their visits, it is puzzling what they are doing.   Check this out.  These are all the visits today and yesterday.   All of these came from one of the Bezeq ISP company’s IP addresses:

081102 – 12:23:07 – 01m09s – 2 reloads
081102 – 10:13:52 – 00m50s – 2 reloads
081102 – 09:09:26 – 00m31s – 2 reloads
081102 – 08:50:40 – 00m42s – 2 reloads
081102 – 08:42:55 – 00m??s – 0 reloads (*)
081102 – 08:07:49 – 00m19s – 1 reload
081102 – 08:07:30 – 01m11s – 1 reload
081102 – 07:21:11 – 00m??s – 0 reloads
081101 – 15:59:50 – 00m??s – 0 reloads
081101 – 15:33:59 – 00m48s – 1 reload
081101 – 15:33:19 – 00m52s – 2 reloads
081101 – 15:32:51 – 00m27s – 1 reload
081101 – 15:31:44 – 00m??s – 0 reloads
081101 – 13:49:21 – 00m54s – 2 reloads
081101 – 13:28:56 – 00m26s – 1 reload
081101 – 12:10:32 – 00m51s – 2 reloads
081101 – 09:58:08 – 00m??s – 0 reloads
081101 – 09:14:21 – 00m57s – 2 reloads
081101 – 08:46:52 – 00m47s – 2 reloads
081101 – 08:33:04 – 00m42s – 2 reloads
081101 – 08:04:06 – 00m42s – 2 reloads
081101 – 08:02:37 – 00m35s – 2 reloads
081101 – 07:54:22 – 00m34s – 2 reloads
081101 – 07:03:39 – 00m??s – 0 reloads

– At least one of these visits (*) came through a proxy server based in Saudi Arabia. though its original IP address was still shown as 84.109.*.*.

The way to read the list above is like so:   If the line says

081101 – 08:02:37 – 00m35s – 2 reloads

It means that on 2008, November, 1st @ 8:02:37 I had a visit to my page that was 35 sec long and the Mesothelioma page was reloaded by the viewer twice.

It is an odd pattern, no doubt.   They come in directly to the Mesothelioma page again and again and stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a little over a minute and then depart.  They may or may not reload the page once or twice during their visit.  Yesterday, November 1st, they visited the Mesothelioma page like this 16 times.  Today, they had made eight visits by midday.

Perhaps, they are visiting the page to make it look popular?   Perhaps, but it makes no sense to me because the only folks who would care are the Mesothelioma lawyers and this page is very likely more of a liability that an asset to them.

The only other reason I can think why someone would be visiting it so much is if they are trying to work out how to attack the page and take it down because it is a problem for someone.

I don’t know – it is all a mystery.   But, something a bit stinky and mysterious is going on.   Stay tuned, I’ll post more if I learn anything more.

Economics – a science?

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

The New York Times Magazine has an interview with James K. Galbraith that makes for interesting reading for anyone suffering under the illusion that Economics is a science.  This is no surprise to me – I’ve doubted its status as a science for years.

– – – – –   – – – – –   – – – – –

The Populist

Do you find it odd that so few economists foresaw the current credit disaster? Some did. The person with the most serious claim for seeing it coming is Dean Baker, the Washington economist. I saw it coming in general terms.

But there are at least 15,000 professional economists in this country, and you’re saying only two or three of them foresaw the mortgage crisis? Ten or 12 would be closer than two or three.

What does that say about the field of economics, which claims to be a science? It’s an enormous blot on the reputation of the profession. There are thousands of economists. Most of them teach. And most of them teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless.

You’re referring to the Washington-based conservative philosophy that rejects government regulation in favor of free-market worship? Reagan’s economists worshiped the market, but Bush didn’t worship the market. Bush simply turned over regulatory authority to his friends. It enabled all the shady operators and card sharks in the system to come to dominate how we finance.


– Hat Tip to the Resilience Science Blog

– This article is from the NY Times and they insist that folks have an ID and a PW in order to read their stuff. You can get these for free just by signing up. However, a friend of mine suggests the website :arrow: as an alternative to having to do these annoying sign ups. Check it out. Thx Bruce S. for the tip.