Jim's Blog Ramblings about novels, comics, programming, and other geek topics


I’m turning democratic, I think I’m turning democratic, I really think so

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Like many, my viewpoints on issues have changed overtime. I didn't pay close attention to politics until I was in my mid-twenties. During those years, I didn't challenge my viewpoints and I didn't spend a lot of time even contemplating why I held those beliefs.

Democrats (I think to myself) are liberals who believe the people are basically good, but that they need government help to organize their lives. They believe in freedom so fervently that they think it should be compulsory. They believe that the poor and ignorant are victims of an unfair system and that their circumstances can be improved if we give them help.

Republicans (I think to myself) are conservatives who think it would be best if we faced the fact that people are no damned good. They think that if we admit that we have selfish, acquisitive natures and then set out to get all we can for ourselves by working hard for it, that things will be better for everyone. They are not insensitive to the poor, but tend to think the poor are impoverished because they won't work. They think there would be fewer of them to feel sorry for if the government did not encourage the proliferation of the least fit among us with welfare programs.

- Andy Rooney, 60 minutes commentary

Unlike the old adage, that all young people are idealistic and liberal leaning who turn more conservative as they get jobs and have to start paying more taxes, I've went in the opposite direction. Maybe once I become a billionaire, then I'll start shifting to more conservative values.


Adding a custom button to Microsoft CRM 3.0 toolbar to link to another web site

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Most people might have already migrated or began to migrate to the current version of CRM (CRM 4.0). For those CRM 3.0 users, here's a quick guide on how to customize your Microsoft CRM 3.0 toolbar to add a button to link to another web site or web page and optionally pass along the current entity's identifiers.

The custom button will open a new browser window and pass arguments from the CRM entity to a new web page. The web page can then parse the URL parameters from the URL to perform whatever function is needed. In this example, we will add a button to the Opportunity entity toolbar that will pass the opportunity id (GUID) value to another web site. The other web site could then take the GUID value and perform whatever lookups or actions is needed.


Incredible Hulk (Movie Review)

Much like Iron Man, I wasn't too excited with the release of this movie. However, unlike Iron Man, I wasn't much impressed with the movie.

When I first saw that Ed Norton was playing Bruce Banner, I had a feeling that I wouldn't like the movie. I still think that Dr. Banner needs to be someone in the same spirit as Bill Bixby.


Taxes, Politics, and Election 2008

Taxes is one of the top all-time political issues in the United States. There are old stereotypes that seemed not have any bearing in the recent decades.

Some voters might have recognize one of the more vicious stereotypes as "tax and spend liberals" and "republicans cutting taxes for the wealthy".

In my lifetime, the deficit has increased under every Republican president and has decreased under every Democratic president. The deficit run up during the Reagan/Bush (Republicans) years were reduced and even resulted as a surplus during the Clinton (Democrat) years. More recently, the surplus left by Clinton quickly disappeared when the current president (George W Bush, Republican) took office.

Just to note... Nixon's first term ended with a reduction in the debt (as a percentage of GDP), but I wasn't even born yet. Nixon's first term was the last time a republican has left office with a reduction in debt as a percentage of GDP. (see table)


Marriage and Politics

Firstly, I don't buy the Christian argument that gay marriage isn't allowed in the Bible so it shouldn't be allowed in America. Last time that I checked, we aren't a theocracy, but we are a nation where everyone is supposed to be treated equally.

[T]he institution of marriage pre-dates reliable recorded history...

The first recorded use of the word "marriage" for same-sex couples occurs during the Roman Empire.

-- Wikipedia

As far as marriage goes, it predates Christianity and Judaism (and recorded history). In the 4th century, Roman Christian emperors declared same-sex marriage to be illegal (which leads one to believe that it was either legal or occurring before that edict.)


Blog update…

I seem to be in a bit of a dry spell for my blog. No posts in the last two weeks.

As most web developers or programmers know, the work is pretty boring. Once you grok programming, the rest is just busy work. There are a few moments when some unique problem needs an unique solution or a frustrating problem, but for the most part, you are just a code monkey.


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Movie Review)

I had read a few reviews of the movie before watching it this previous weekend. For some reason, not many of the reviews that I read were favorable, but there were a lot of other reviews that rated this movie pretty well.

After seeing the movie, I was a bit disappointed in it. I couldn't put my finger on why I wasn't very impressed with it, until I read Kyle Smith's review of the movie. He put into words my exact thoughts about the movie.