Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Get_iplayer file storage

How do I change or specify where get_iplayer saves downloaded programmes?

We can set the output path of programmes get_iplayer downloads on a case by case basis. You can do this globally, but it makes more sense to do this on a programme by programme basis, particularly if you are trying to ensure the relevant XBMC and Plex folder structure conventions are met.

To specify the directory/folder get_iplayer outputs downloaded files to, we use the “output” command which looks like this:

--output

…to which we simply add the folder path:

--output "/path/to/output/folder/goes/here/" [...]

DON’T FORGET THE QUOTATION MARKS!

The file path should go within the quotation marks. You are free to type out the location and get_iplayer will create it for you if it doesn’t exist already, or it will simply add files to the directory if it already exists.

If you are unsure of the exact folder path to use, you can use the Graphical User Interface file explorer to navigate to the folder where you want the programmes to be downloaded and simply press “ctrl+L”.

On Ubuntu at least, this will reveal the folder path at the top of the explorer window, as shown in the example below, and you can just copy and paste this into the terminal window.

Don’t quote the Founders on republics

I have serious questions about anyone who venerated the founders, who had no fucking idea what they were doing. That’s pretty much of an understatement for anyone who has any idea of early American history. Patrick Henry had an inkling he was making a mistake when he said:

Whether this (Independence) will prove a blessing or a curse, will depend upon the use our people will make of the blessings which a gracious God hath bestowed on us. If they are wise, they will be great and happy. If they are of a contrary character, they will be miserable.Righteousness alone cannot exalt us as a nation. Reader! Whoever thou art, remember this; and in thy sphere practice virtue thyself, and encourage it in others.

Not sure how anyone who was paying off the cost of a war would think that having another one would solve any problems. Toss in all the other issues that were left unaddressed because a bunch of hotheads wanted another war.

Anyway, their love for republics was yet another aspect of their ignorance. The Roman republic may have lasted for nearly 500 years but

Unlike the Pax Romana of the Roman Empire, the Republic was in a state of quasi-perpetual war throughout its existence. Its first enemies were its Latin and Etruscan neighbours, as well as the Gauls, who even sacked the city in 387 BC. The Republic nonetheless demonstrated extreme resilience and always managed to overcome its losses, however catastrophic…At home, the Republic similarly experienced a long streak of social and political crises, which ended in several bloody civil wars.

Toss in the French revolution would demonstrate that republics were anything but stable.

So, for all their attempts at trying to show a difference between a republic and a democracy. there probably wasn’t that much of one even in classical times,. But it sounds nice if one is starting on shaky ground.

Originalism and the Second Amendment

This is all very simple since according to people who claim to believe in Originalism, “Constitutional interpretation should remain anchored in the original meaning of the Constitution’s text, which is the source of the Court’s authority and legitimacy.” Using that definition:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The text of the Second Amendment begins with “A well regulated Militia” which is “necessary to the security of a free State“. The language of the text does not mention Self-defence, hunting, target practise, or any other non-militia uses. It is a well established rule or statutory interpretation that inclusio unius est exclusio alterius  which means  that ‘including one excludes another’. The example given where I found this was the statement ‘no dogs allowed’ under this rule would mean that panthers were allowed.

Likewise, the fact that the Militia is specifically referenced would lead one to conclude that this text addresses the militia, but does not cover uses other than the militia.

Likewise, a search of the US Constitution shows that it addresses the militia, but personal defence is not addressed. Likewise, the preamble of the text makes it clear that one of the reasons for adopting the Constitution is to deal with matters of the common defence. However, there are people who claim to follow originalism who are willing to ignore the actual text of the Constitution to advance their beliefs.

The actual wording of the Constitution makes it clear that the Militia and Common defence are covered, but personal uses of weapons aren’t.  I am not going to get into the grammar of the Second Amendment since that isn’t really germane if one is going solely upon the text. Anyway, Dennis Baron addresses that issue in his amicus brief to the Heller decision and this essay where he demonstrates that the founders would indeed have seen this as only relating to the militia.

Reading the Second Amendment as a statement in which every word counts follows from the opinion articulated by Chief Justice John Marshall: “It cannot be presumed that any clause in the constitution is intended to be without effect” (Marbury v. Madison, 1803). But even without that landmark ruling, it would have been clear to 18 th -century readers that the first part of the Second Amendment was bound to the second part in a cause-and- effect relationship, that the right to bear arms was tied by the framers directly to the need for a well-regulated militia.

The Second Amendment was pretty much considered settled case law which was thrown into disarray by Heller and McDonald. US v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) wasn’t very helpful since it addressed private action, but Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886) and US v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939) both made it clear that the Second Amendment related to the Militia. Miller is usually not properly represented in recent “Second Amendment Scholarship” and totally ignored in the Heller and McDonald decisions because it is “not helpful”.

Indeed, it is not helpful to the recent decisions which were ultra vires because they amended the Constitution to add a new meaning to the Second Amendment, as this essay demonstrated. I would also add that Justice William O. Douglas addressed Miller and glossed it in his dissent in Adams v. Williams, 407 U.S 143, 150 -51 (1972) , which somehow is omitted in lists of SCOTUS cases mentioning the Second Amendment. Which is too bad since Justice Douglas was a member of the Supreme Court when Miller was decided, which makes him a very good source for how that case should be read.

Justice Douglas pointed out that in Second Amendment jurisprudence:

The leading case is United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, upholding a federal law making criminal the shipment in interstate commerce of a sawed-off shotgun. The law was upheld, there being no evidence that a sawed-off shotgun had “some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia.” Id., at 178. The Second Amendment, it was held, “must be interpreted and applied” with the view of maintaining a “militia.”
“The Militia which the States were expected to maintain and train is set in contrast with Troops which they were forbidden to keep without the consent of Congress. The sentiment of the time strongly disfavored standing armies; the common view was that adequate defense of country and laws could be secured through the Militia – civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.” Id., at 178-179.

The Heller and McDonald decisions are examples of Judges failing to follow the rule of law, precedent, and their claimed theory of judicial interpretation. As I pointed out, those two decisions are ultra vires and should be ignored, which is easy since they are incredibly limited in their scope. But even then, some daring justice should show that the emperor has no clothes in these decisions.

Anyway, one doesn’t need to go far if you believe that the text of the Constitution is determining in how to interpret the Second Amendment that it only applies to the militia. It is quite obvious that the Second Amendment relates to the militia from the text. But the Heller and McDonald decisions made it clear that the text was optional, which means that Originalism is a nonsensical school of constitutional interpretation.

Firearm technology…literally

Defaite_des_Yroquois_lg

My money is on the Indians.

OK, I was curious about matchlock muskets and how practical they would have been in early American society. Early explorers carried them since the wheellock [1] and snaphance [2] don’t seem to have too much popularity (snaphance was out of fashion most places by 1680). Toss in the flintlock seems to have been less expensive than the other mechanisms (beside the matchlock).

Anyway…

An inherent weakness of the matchlock was the necessity of keeping the match constantly lit. The match was steeped in potassium nitrate to keep the match lit for extended periods of time. Being the sole source of ignition for the powder, if the match was not lit when the gun needed to be fired, the mechanism was useless, and the weapon became little more than an expensive club. This was chiefly a problem in wet weather, when damp match cord was difficult to light and to keep burning. Another drawback was the burning match itself. At night, the match would glow in the darkness, possibly revealing the carrier’s position. The distinctive smell of burning match-cord was also a giveaway of a musketeer’s position (this was used as a plot device by Akira Kurosawa in his movie Seven Samurai). It was also quite dangerous when soldiers were carelessly handling large quantities of gunpowder (for example, while refilling their powder horns) with lit matches present. This was one reason why soldiers in charge of transporting and guarding ammunition were amongst the first to be issued self-igniting guns like the wheellock and snaphance.

The matchlock was also uneconomical to keep ready for long periods of time. To maintain a single sentry on night guard duty with a matchlock, keeping both ends of his match lit, required a mile of match per year.

Maybe that explains why the Indians were pretty good at preventing early settlement (see Martin’s Hundred and the Indian Massacre of 1622).

Addition: the Carignan-Salières regiment was equipped with flintlocks when they were sent to New France in 1665. Flintlocks didn’t need the constant flame and had a higher rate of fire than the Matchlock. Still, possession of flintlocks (and large military presence) didn’t stop Iroquois raids on the habitants which continued up until the Treaty of Montreal in 1701.

Oh, yeah… here’s a link to one of these being fired.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KTS8PQ06Qo

A link to wheellock history and firing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk-pISvud6w&t

Matchlock and wheellock firing according to authentic French 17th century regulations


Notes:
[1] A nacent technology, wheellock guns were complex to build in an era with no machine tools. They appealed therefore only to the wealthy who could afford them in the first place and then who, generally, expected them to be highly decorated. They were deluxe examples of the armourer’s craft and not for the masses.

[2] Snaphance – A spring-loaded lock whereby upon pulling a trigger, a hammer holding the flint falls which strikes the steel frizzen and while pushing it forward scrapes particles from its surface, which as sparks, fall into a flashpan containing a priming charge of fine gunpowder, igniting first it and then, through a touchole, the main propellant charge (sort of like a cigarette lighter works). A separate pan-cover would allow the gun to be carried loaded, but for safety, not cocked.

Snaphances and flintlocks are similar, but the flintlock is faster to operate and more reliable in wind and rain than a snaphance. Also, Flintlocks can be carried half cocked, where as snaphances are either cocked or not.

You say it’s your birthday, It’s my birthday too yeah!

There’s a part of me that wants to name drop since I was checking out a list of celebrities to see who all was born on my birthday.

I knew a few of them, but I was surprised to find out a few more that I would find interesting to meet: such a well known silent screen comic, a foreign films star or two I like, and someone who would only have to say it once. I wouldn’t resist if she didn’t.

It would be an interesting party

Still more about Jean Tinguely’s Le rêve de Sofia Loren

Things are really bad when the only articles you can find about something are the ones you’ve written yourself. Even worse when the things you find aren’t relevant at all (e.g., I think she is being serenaded with “impossible dream” in the film version of “Man of La Mancha”).

On the other hand, Tinguely did another work called “Sophia Loren’s Nightmare” in 1985 which is housed in the Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan (seriously, I’ not making this up). thingelyThis one was made the same year  “Le rêve de Sofia Loren” according to this work’s other mention on the web. Unfortunately, these are two different works. The Fukuoka Art Museum does describe “the Nightmare of Sophia Loren”:

The material culture of the 20th century left behind massive amounts of discarded trash. “Junk Art” is a form of art that makes use of such waste to create works of art. Born in Switzerland and active in France, Tinguely is a representative artist of this genre. His creations, with their strange motor-generated movements, are sometimes also classified as “Kinetic Art.” This work, made up of old motor parts and a doll’s head and whose title carries the name of a famous actress, performs with much noise a nonsensical set of repeated mechanical motions. The work is grotesque but at the same time seems to cheerfully brush away the anxieties of contemporary life and reveals Tinguely’s style in the 1980s at its best.

I hope you get the idea.

Not that a picture does justice to these works of art. A video would be much more useful. I am still trying to find a video or picture of “Le rêve de Sofia Loren”, or to see the thing again.

Now, to find a video of the sculpture of a Monk that was at the entrance to the Royal Museum of Modern Art in Brussels

So I married an Axe Murderer

Henri Van Breda, who murdered his father, mother and brother with an axe in South Africa in 2015, has been sentenced to life in prison.