The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

This is what permanent war does to a nation

A Texas high school called the police yesterday when a kid brought a homemade alarm clock to school:

Ahmed Mohamed — who makes his own radios and repairs his own go-kart — hoped to impress his teachers when he brought a homemade clock to MacArthur High on Monday.

Instead, the school phoned police about Ahmed’s circuit-stuffed pencil case.

So the 14-year-old missed the student council meeting and took a trip in handcuffs to juvenile detention. His clock now sits in an evidence room. Police say they may yet charge him with making a hoax bomb — though they acknowledge he told everyone who would listen that it’s a clock.

Two questions have been circulating worldwide: Would a kid named Tim Smith have been arrested in similar circumstances? And just how stupid are these people?

Glenn Greenwald reminds us of the obvious:

There are all sorts of obvious, extreme harms that come from being a nation at permanent war. Your country ends up killing huge numbers of innocent people all over the world. Vast resources are drained away from individuals and programs of social good into the pockets of weapons manufacturers. Core freedoms are inexorably and inevitably eroded — seized — in its name. The groups being targeted are marginalized and demonized in order to maximize fear levels and tolerance for violence.

But perhaps the worst of all harms is how endless war degrades the culture and populace of the country that perpetrates it. You can’t have a government that has spent decades waging various forms of war against predominantly Muslim countries — bombing seven of them in the last six years alone — and then act surprised when a Muslim 14-year-old triggers vindictive fear and persecution because he makes a clock for school. That’s no more surprising than watching carrots sprout after you plant carrot seeds in fertile ground and then carefully water them. It’s natural and inevitable, not surprising or at all difficult to understand.

This kind of thing happened in Rome towards the end of the Republic, too.

Traveling again

I haven't traveled nearly as much this year as I did the past few, but only a week after my last trip, I'm away from home again. For a few days I'll be in San Francisco for Dreamforce '15, where the Force is with me dreams are forced upon you I'll learn about Salesforce and hobnob with other nerds.

Unfortunately, I left all of my laptop power supplies in Chicago. And, having had the same basic Dell model for the last five computers, I have quite a few. Fortunately, my office is sending me one.

So, today's entry will be mercifully short. Photos, and musings about cloud-based CRM, to follow when I have power.

Familiar-looking airplane at Heathrow

One of the few remaining British Airways Concorde airplanes is parked on the east side of Heathrow, and last Sunday my plane taxied right past it:

I remember, going to school outside New York, watching that thing fly over campus at 9am after leaving London at noon. That was cool.


After struggling for almost two weeks to learn AngularJS and other technologies, I've gotten BlogEngine.NET (which will replace DasBlog as the Daily Parker's platform) to do geography and time zones the way I want them. (Notice the time stamp and globe icon at the bottom of this post.) Specifically, last night I got the clickable Google Map on the Edit Post page to work.

Sometimes I like learning new technology. This was a lot less painful than some I've taken up, with only a couple of blind alleys and a reasonable learning curve. I'm excited that The Daily Parker could migrate to its new home in just a few weeks, if I continue to make progress.

That's all she wrote

Senate Democrats blocked a Republican move to kill the Iran nuclear deal, meaning it's pretty much done:

The outcome means the disapproval resolution will not reach Obama's desk, and the nuclear deal will move forward unchecked by Congress.

Senate Republicans are vowing they'll keep on fighting. House Republicans also are still maneuvering to find a way to stop the international agreement to curb Iran's nuclear program. But those efforts seem unlikely to produce results.

The deal, which Israel's right-wing government vehemently opposes, is clearly in U.S. interests.


I lost my Kindle on the flight to London last week, and only just got its replacement yesterday afternoon. Good thing, too, because I'm loading it up with articles I can't read until later:

And now I have to draft a statement of work...