Caught with his hand in the civil rights cookie jar AGAIN

Is anyone even surprised anymore?

I mean, who didn’t expect another spying scandal given this administration’s record on respecting civil rights? Hey, guess what? I have a prediction with a pretty high degree of accuracy. This won’t be the last one of these. The administration is probably monitor our health records now too under the guise of “looking for terrorists.”

We already know that the government is mining library records, bank records (foreign and domestic), phone call logs (domestic), internet traffic (foreign and domestic) and tapping calls (foreign and domestic). They denied most of them at first and they have tried to minimize all of them.

The problem is that the American people are ignoring this. It is time to wake up. This administration has proved time and again that it will outright lie to the American people. Big Brother is now more than ever and we need to do something about it this fall.

Marco’s Supper Club

If you can stomach the noise level, it might be worth a shot.

Marco’s Supper Club is nearly a landmark, tucked away on 1st Avenue. The atmosphere seems funky but romantic, the staff is excellent and the prices are reasonable for downtown. I was wondering why we didn’t eat there more often. So we visited last night for the third time in 12 years and I was reminded of why we don’t eat there with any regularity. It was loud. Ear-split-tingly loud. It’s a large room with a low ceiling and almost nothing to absorb the sound of the various conversations. In order to speak to my wife, I had to yell over the obnoxious young microsoftie bragging about his new house to his date. He was not at the next table, he was several feet away. My food was good, but not amazing. My wife’s salmon was undercooked and had to be sent back. On its return (after I had finished my entree), it was cooked more, but still rare. To the staff’s credit, they handled the situation perfectly, but it still put a cloud over an otherwise ok dinner.

I can’t really recommend it, but I can’t suggest avoiding it either. This is one you need to try for yourself. My only suggestion is to visit on a weeknight when the crowds won’t be so intense. This might make a meal there a much more pleasant and romantic experience.

Question: How stupid does George Bush think we are?

Answer: very

Iraq is a quagmire without end and some American troops are losing their cool. Gas prices are raising the costs of goods in the stores and are making it harder for lower-income Americans to make ends meet. The earth is warming and the seas are rising. We dodged a bullet this year on the Avian Flu, but it is still going and may hit us next year. North Korea is building a nuclear stockpile. According to George Bush, social security is in Crisis.

What is our president doing about these important issues of the day? Absolutely nothing.

Instead the “uniter not divider”, the “compassionate conservative” is throwing old conservative saws at the country in a lame and obvious attempt to raise his poll numbers and keep a republican majority in congress: English as the national language; an Anti-flag burning amendment; and a gay marriage ban amendment. The purposes of these moves is so blatant as such that only the stupidest Americans should be fooled. This kind of crap should be driving his poll numbers further down.

One hopes that Americans have learned to see this kind of crap.

The Hunt Club

Good, but not good enough for the price.

While I detest the Zagat guide, they do have one thing absolutely right. They rate restaurants on three axis: food, service and decor. When a restaurant has entree prices in the $25-$50 price range, you better expect all three.

I was a bit disappointed at the decor of the Hunt Club, I had been to the lounge before and thought that decor was lovely. The Hunt Club continues the dark-wood-paneled-gentlemen’s-club feel, but one side of the restaurant is small and nearly windowless, making it feel more like one of those theme restaurants from the 70s with peanut shells on the floor. The other side is more open, but unfortunately, that is partially because it is connected to the bar and only separated by a flimsy curtain.

The service was quite good. I was concerned beforehand because I had read many accounts of poor service at the Hunt club on the web, but the service staff was friendly, helpful and prompt in our experience. The Sommelier was one of the best I’ve had; recommending not only the higher priced wines, but also some of the less expensive (without being asked).

The food was a bit uneven. The wild greens salad was a disappointment, but my grilled broccolini was delicious. The Salmon was pretty good (but for the price, we should have expected Copper River King). The Chicken was also quite good.

In general, the Hunt Club is a worthwhile choice if you are staying at the Sorrento (in which case, the cost of the menu won’t seem unreasonable), but in comparison to the many other high quality restaurants in its price range in Seattle, don’t bother.

Not another Vietnam?

Incredibly disturbing news. US Marines execute 24 unarmed Iraqis in anger?

This is a worst case scenario all around. Up to 24 (at least mostly) innocent people including women and children are gunned down. It will incite anti-US anger in Iraq making life even more dangerous for our troops. It will further damage our reputation in the rest of the world (especially the Middle East). The world can portray us as murderers, not liberators, and, if this is true, we can’t refute it.

This is just bad bad bad.

George Bush Mea Culpa

too little too late

George Bush’s comments at the news conference with Tony Blair sounded pensive and genuinely apologetic. Unfortunately, after so many years of shoot-from-the-hip-swagger, they also come off a bit fake and rehearsed. The first time the George Bush was asked “what mistakes has he made?” he could think of nothing. That caused a (completely appropriate) uproar. He’s had a bunch of time to prepare a better answer and he had one ready when the reporter asked him on Thursday. I would have loved to have heard that answer when he was talking off the top of his head. It definitely would have made me actually like the guy a bit better. Hearing it the second time around, it just makes him sound like he’s reaching for any straw that bring his approval rating back up.

Now lets see what he says the next time he is asked what his favorite moment of his presidency was.

Interview tip for young C++ developers

I’ve been interviewing a lot of young devs lately and I’ve got a good tip for the inexperienced job hunters out there…

You will probably be asked by a prospective employer how you would rate yourself as a C++ developer on a scale from 1 to 10. Do not rate yourself a 10. In fact, if you rate yourself higher than a 4 or a 5, you are just asking for punishment in an interview if you get one at all. Bjarne Stroustrup is a 10, you are not. (If you don’t know who he is, you aren’t even a 4) I’ve used C++ nearly every day for 15 years and I’m constantly learning new things about the language. Saying that you are a C++ expert when you have had no experience is saying that you don’t know very much about the language.

So take a lesson from Uncle Kevin and don’t be afraid to be honest when you talk to the recruiter or interviewer, ’cause if you come off like an idiot, you’ll never get the job.

Everyone hates us

Our policies are so heinous and disrespectful of the rest of the world that the people of the world no longer hate just our president, but us as well.

This report from last year shows that George Bush is doing serious damage to our credibility as a nation. It is serious enough that foreign dislike has extended beyond our elected officials and now extends to all Americans.

Why should we care? A low opinion of America as a whole means that the next administration will have a harder time gaining allies in all ventures. It means that foreign tourism to America will be down. It means that American tourists abroad will be treated poorly. It means that our exports will have a harder time finding markets. It is a serious problem.