One of the things I futz about is that occasionally I’ve gotten really interested in the awesome “conversations” interface in Gmail and I take a bunch of steps to put myself into a gmail universe, setting up clever filters to allow this to be redundant with my other email accounts, all that kind of thing.

I think I’ve finally put all that behind me, and having put it behind me, I thought it might be a good time to take all of my private email back from Google, to the degree they’ll let me. So over the past week I’ve been downloading it all. I’ve got Gmail set up to work as a pop mailbox, with it set to “delete mail after I download it.” So it’s been sluuuuurping down all the mail I’ve shoofed into it over the years, directly and indirectly, and dropping it in the “Trash” on the server (I just emptied the trash… there’s no going back!)

This turns out to be timely. Two exploits against gmail have been reported in the past week (here and here), and there’s an interesting account of what you can do if someone compromises your gmail account here (answer: nothing).

(If you’ve got my gmail address and are worried about email getting to me, don’t worry — I’ve got a forward set up.)

Not that Gmail is any worse than any other huge free service provider. I’m sure yahoo mail or hotmail or whatever have their own vulnerabilities, and similarly don’t give a crap about you if something bad happens to your account. (Yahoo especially is notoriously impossible to contact if you have a problem or complaint.) It just seems like it’s Google’s week in the spotlight, the week I happen to have bailed out of them.

I’m going to depend on as my primary email provider. I pay them, so they’ve got a motivation to take care of me if anything goes wrong, and they just seem overall to be Good People.

Gimpin with MacPorts

I want to blog about this and I realize that I basically never write about anything but politics anymore, so it’s kind of weird and out of place. Oh well.

I found out recently about this cool gimp plugin I wanted to try. I use a precompiled Mac version of The Gimp, called “” I tried to use the various goodies inside it to compile the plugin, with no success. I’d have to compile my own copy of the Gimp to get it to work. And that way lies madness… so many dependencies, so many things that could go wrong… no, wait! I can always use MacPorts! MacPorts is a project to maintain an interdependent system of open source software packages that compile correctly together on OS X. The gimp is available there.

But it wouldn’t compile. I discovered that I’d let my install of macports get pretty out of date. I had to update MacPorts itself, and then do upgrades of all my installed software to the various latest and greatest versions. I had trouble installing one package, sqlite3, because I had installed a copy of it by hand, separately from macports, at one time, and there were a couple files left over interfering with building the new one.

Sadly the version of the Gimp included in macports seems to have a lot of requirements, all kinds of gnome stuff. (I learned just now that you can build it using a “without_gnome” variant. Too late. All the dependencies are already built. Oh well. :)

All this for a silly little plugin…

Impeach Bush For Peace » Kucinich to Force Impeachment Vote on the House Floor

Impeach Bush For Peace » Kucinich to Force Impeachment Vote on the House Floor:

This bombshell just dropped by Rep. Dennis Kucinich on the Ed Schultz show. Kucinich is considering forcing an impeachment vote on a “privileged resolution” on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.


Time to call your representative and let him/her know that you will not support any candidate who doesn’t support accountability and the rule of law.

You can reach the Capitol switchboard toll-free at 1-800-426-8073.

Vern Ehlers’ Blow-Off-The-Insignificant-Liberal-Constituents Squad Isn’t Even Trying Anymore

So, I contacted Vern Ehlers again to express my views on, you know, everything. Like, how he could vote for the impeachment of Bill Clinton but not Cheney or Bush. How we should get the hell out of Iraq right now. The usual.

Of course, I got a form letter back which betrayed no awareness of anything I had written. But apparently the crack Liberal Constituent Blow-Off Squadron hasn’t even learned to use their “Constituent Mass Blowoff” software correctly…