Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Saturday, 2017.06.24
The second best thing about space travel is that distances involved make war
very difficult, usually impractical, and almost always unnecessary. This is
probably a loss for most people, since war is our race's most popular diversion,
one which gives purpose and color to dull and stupid lives. But it is a great
boon to the intelligent man who fights only when he must - never for sport.

		Robert Heinlein, "Time Enough For Love"

2007.07.24

Today’s Money Quote

From David Freddoso at The Corner on National Review Online:

“Didn’t the Founders talk about political speech as the most important kind of free speech? Or is the First Amendment somehow reserved for the practice of offending Christians with museum exhibits?”

2007.05.24

Urban Scare Crow – The Fine Print

I’ve written previously about my urban scare crow. It has served me well for close to 3 years now. A recent rash of arrogant, smug, self-rightous doooooo-gooders of various sorts have seen fit to interpret the scare crow’s message, shall we way, rather liberally. “I’m not really a solicitor. I’m here for an important cause.” Well, it had better be to tell me my house is on fire, the locus are coming or you’re bleeding to death.

Turns out, their important cause is to tell me what heinous damage I’m doing to the planet animals my soul what ever gross nominalization they have printed on their clipboard and how money and/or a signature can heal my evil ways. This has prompted an addendum to the urban scare crow:

Urban Scare Crow - The Fine Print

Lucky for the clinically thick I lack the time to chase after my 50 bucks. But hey, at least I know of one hobby to pursue in retirement.

🙄

2007.04.29

The Truth Never Changes

Except when it does. The Truth defined by Claudius Ptolemy stood for some 1,400 years before the Truth defined by Nicolaus Copernicus ground Ptolemy’s cosmological Truth to dust. The Truth had changed. When one Truth, however, stands as long and has as deep a roots as Ptolemy’s, it can take a great deal of time to be eroded by the new Truth. Such was the case with Copernicus’ Truth. When so many of a society’s beliefs have been built upon a particular Truth, society is loath to relinquish the old Truth in favor of the new.

It is the same for personal beliefs and what each of us perceive as the “Truth.” An attorney friend of mine leverages this inertia when questioning witnesses in court. He begins with “Would you agree the Truth never changes?” The answer to this question is usually “Yes.” The one exception I know of was when this question was asked of a research MD expert witness. Science types, if they learned the idea of science at all, know the Truth changes. But the average bear believes the Truth, as they understand it, is as solid as a block of stone. My attorney friend then skillfully guides the witness into acknowledging the Truth of the case he is presenting. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

When the battle is between one who knows the Truth changes and one who believe it does not, my money is on the one who knows they are dancing on quicksand.

There are, of course, areas of human experience where the unacknowledged absurdity of immutable Truth make the experience what it is. Take this for example…

The Bean

It’s “The Bean”, as the locals call it, in Chicago. I took this picture last week while there on business. Is it art? Does it reveal a Truth to you?

Most of the visual arts are lost on me. I know what I like. Asian calligraphy and the works of David Lee and Frances Ku are particular favorites. But “The Bean” wasn’t revealing any Truths for me that day. That is, not until I looked no further than my own feet. There it was. The Truth revealed just as clearly as if it had been, well, chiseled in stone.

AT&T Plaza

It’s a commercial. (I did say most of the visual arts are lost on me. That’s probably why I play piano and cello rather than muck about with paint or clay.) But what about this…

Wacker 1

Found this after wandering East on Wacker to Lake Michigan. Again, no Truths were revealed, not even chiseled in stone. But I do know it had puppies…

Wacker 2

I shall leave the subject of Truth from Art alone and instead focus on the Truth that drives, reassures and comforts most of us. It’s the Truth of “reality.” But here again, there is an often unacknowledged contamination of subjectivity. There is the Truth of facts and the Truth derived from those facts, the interpreted Truth.

Just West of where I live can be found baked into the stone footprints from some long dead giant lizard. Virtually everyone agrees to this fact. The footprints are there. The creature, and any such creatures like it, have long since vanished from the planet. Where the Truth of these footprints becomes schizophrenic is in how the fact of those footprints are interpreted. My interpretation, and the resulting Truth I carry around, says those footprints were left there millions of years ago. Others interpret those prints has being no older than a few thousands years, what with the Earth not being older than some particular reference claims. A single Truth of fact with two associated, yet incompatible interpreted Truths.

A popular and politically correct Truth to hang your hat on these days has to do with global warming and whether or not it’s an established fact. My read is that it isn’t. Man’s experience with the weather is just too small a window from which to claim having any kind of clear view of what the global climate is doing. One hundred years ago, some scientists and much of the press was all abuzz with claims that the next ice age had begun.

I believe it is a good thing to reduce the amount of pollution we, as a species, spew into the atmosphere. I’ve believed that since high school when the high pollution alerts in Denver, compounded by the city’s infamous temperature inversions, left the air smelling like a sewer for weeks. Today, even with the population having growing significantly, the air is much cleaner. The global warming hysteria has not deepened my conviction in this regard.

So Al Gore is burning tons of jet fuel to haul is ass around the globe in order to set up circus tents and parade his “An Inconvenient Truth” dog and pony show. (Sidebar: When was it the Academy created a slide show category for it’s award?) I’m left with several questions. Who’s Truth is Gore selling? Inconvenient for whom? How can such a complex issue contain just one Truth? Frankly, I don’t think the Earth gives a damn about us. 4 billion years ago it was a sea of molten rock with no atmosphere. Life has been wiped clean from the surface and recreated anew probably more times than we know. The hysteria about global warming is a self-serving one and those on Gore’s band wagon are more interested about their own skin that saving the planet. The planet will save its self and will do so with the same indifferent cruelty and violence from which it began.

Listening to Gore and his evangelists leaves me with the creepy feeling that the solution to the “problem” of global warming is for others to solve (usually through some sort of sacrifice) so that they can continue living the life to which they have become accustom. (Man, are they going to be pissed if some killer asteroid is discovered for which they can’t buy impact offsets.) Setting the problem to rights, assuming it exists, will take something Al Gore and the eco-elites are apparently incapable of: An Inconvenient Effort.

[Edit History]

2007.05.01

Interesting article from ScienceDaily (“Earth’s Climate Is Seesawing, According To Climate Researchers“) illustrates my point about our window to the nature of Earth’s climate being rather small. For all their credentials, the scientists really don’t know for sure what is happening with the climate. Those that claim to be sure, probably aren’t honest scientists. (H/T Bryan at Hot Air)

2007.05.02

Added link to David Lee’s work at Lahaina Galleries.

2007.04.18

Mass Murder Friendly Zones

David Kopel writes in the Wall Street Journal:

The bucolic campus of Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va., would seem to have little in common with the Trolley Square shopping mall in Salt Lake City. Yet both share an important characteristic, common to the site of almost every other notorious mass murder in recent years: They are “gun-free zones.”

Then let’s call them what they are: “Mass Murder Friendly Zones”

2007.02.20

A World Without America

Well, golly gee wilickers! I’m sold! What’s not to like about this:

2007.02.13

Marcotte, McEwan, Darwin And The Blogosphere

Since the Marcotte-McEwan-Edwards ménage à trois, there has been a lot of comment from both the left and the right in favor of Edwards retaining his two miscreant bloggers. The argument generally went along the lines of how firing them would make it difficult for bloggers in the future to find similar work. Somehow, the entire pool of bloggers would be discredited. There is merit to the argument. But I believe it takes the short view.

To be sure, placing such inept writers in such a prominent position has splashed a measure of slime on all bloggers. But taking the long view, I believe the disgraced departure of Marcotte and McEwan from the Edwards campaign will be a good thing. Blogging is a relatively young medium for expression and has yet to be exposed to the kind of fire which can temper it into a quality medium of expression. The flames fed by the manure cakes packed by the likes of Marcotte and McEwan can help the rest of us forge blogs of substance. The offensive wet noodles with which Marcotte and McEwan charge into battle serve to accentuate the power inherent in well crafted and persuasive argument. The wreckage they leave is our call to craft such arguments which hold an edge in battle.

Marcotte and McEwan swam in relatively small and protected pools. By jumping into the much larger pool of a presidential campaign, they exposed themselves to an entirely different set of rules, a different set of dangers and fish much bigger and hungrier then they are. In short, they became subject to the Darwinian rules of survival applied to a political context.

Humorously, they attempted to adapt, to change their stripes, by offering non-apology apologies and changing the character of their usual writing style. They made a pathetic attempt to become hyenas in lamb’s clothing. Fortunately, they failed.

Marcotte, McEwan and, particularly, Edwards, have made it more difficult for bloggers to establish credibility. But I believe that is a good thing. They have helped set the stage for the fittest bloggers to survive, and even thrive, while the bottom feeding bloggers will be forced to recede further into the blogosphere muck.

Previously:

Amanda Marcotte: Near-Earth Object From Deep Left Space

2007.02.02

The Hands of God…

…and the power of a sacrificial embrace borne from love. Nothing short of stunning.

The closer a counterfeit comes to the genuine article, the more obvious the deceit. As the murderer dressed in women’s clothes walked purposefully toward his target, there was a village man ahead. But under the guise of a simple villager was a true Martyr, and he, too, had his target in sight. The Martyr had seen through the disguise, but he had no gun. No bomb. No rocket. No stone. No time.

The Martyr walked up to the murderer and lunged into a bear hug, on the spot where we were now standing.

The blast ripped the Martyr to pieces which fell along with pieces of the enemy. Ball-bearings shot through the alley and wounded two children, but the people in the mosque were saved. The man lay in pieces on the ground, his own children having seen how his last embrace saved the people of the village.

I am continually impressed by Michael Yon’s work. He is what the MSM can only dream of becoming. And I continue to support his work. Will you?

(H/T HotAir.com)

Previously:

Michael Yon Still Fighting HFM, et al.

[Edit History]

2007.02.02

A similar story. (H/T Bruce Schneier)

2007.01.08

The Duke 88 Nifong Themselves

Cathy Davidson of the Duke 88:

On the other hand, most of my e-mail comes from right-wing “blog hooligans.” These hateful, ranting and sometimes even threatening folks don’t care about Duke or the lacrosse players. Their aim is to make academics and liberals look ridiculous and uncaring.

I suppose posting this makes me a “blog hooligan” in the tiny mind of Ms. Davidson merely because I posted this post dissenting from her narrow little hypocritical rant. Ah well, little worlds, little worlds, little worlds…

My aim is not “to make academics and liberals look ridiculous and uncaring.” Rather, to point out that it is the Duke 88’s very behavior which makes them look ridiculous and uncaring. That would be the behavior which the Duke 88 thought up, which they committed and from which Ms. Davidson is now going to shrill strains to abrogate responsibility. It appears, for Ms. Davidson and possibly the rest of the Duke 88, this is more about their personal social agenda and not about the presumed innocence of the accused regardless their color.

The ad we signed explicitly was not addressed to the police investigation or the rape allegations. The ad focused on racial and gender attitudes all too evident in the weeks after March 13. It decried prejudice and inequality in the society at large. “It isn’t just Duke, it isn’t everybody, and it isn’t just individuals making this disaster,” the ad insisted.

Ms. Davidson and the Duke 88 cannot separate their exploitation of the Duke rape case for their own purposes that easily. If they are not for the presumed innocence of the accused and due process, then the “prejudice and inequality in the society at large” that has them fretting will be the prevailing character of society. Luckily for Ms. Davidson and the rest of the Duke 88, I will presume their innocence as well as their naiveté and lack of depth.

The Duke 88 have embarrassed themselves and they lack the humility to acknowledge that fact. This isn’t the Emperor without clothes. It’s the Emperor who’s underwear is showing.

[Sidebar: Ever since the Duke 88 came to light, I cannot help but envision some goofy team of whatnots along the lines of the Crazy 88’s from Kill Bill.]

[Edit History]

2007.01.09

La Shawn Barber has the depth.

2007.01.10

As does KC Johnson.

2006.12.30

Ding, Dong The…What Ever It Was Is Dead

Not sure I can say I’m glad Saddam Hussein is dead (executed by hanging) and yet be against death penalties, but I don’t see any other way this could have played out. Perhaps “glad” isn’t the word. It’s not what I feel. It’s more like a resolved sense of relief. Executing him puts him in a position to be martyred by the zealots who still follow him. Yet, allowing him to live would have allowed him to continue spewing his twisted beliefs about leadership. Given how life seems to be so cheap in that part of the world, had he been allowed to live, I could see a path to a day where Saddam Hussein might be released either because the fragile Iraqi democracy failed or he was “rescued” in some fashion. Ringing the bastard’s neck has certainly erased that possibility.

In a perfect world, he would be incarcerated at Supermax under 24/7, 8 X 8 isolation – no fresh air, no blue sky, nothing but concrete walls and a toilet. Just see that he has air and three square meals a day and leave him to his thoughts. No interviews, no letters, no access to the prison library, no knowledge of the outside world. In such a place, he wouldn’t have been a martyr and he wouldn’t ever be free to work his malice unless the very roots of democracy were dead. If that were to happen, it wouldn’t really matter whether Saddam Hussein was alive or dead.

All this is speculation and what-if’s. He’s dead. The little minds will clutch onto the speculation, what-if’s and what was. Those of true greatness will learn the lessons and move forward. Time has yet to show us what is in the Iraqi national heart.

[Edit History]

2006.12.30

More reactions which echo my sentiments from See-Dubya (guest blogging on Hot Air) and Andy McCarthy (The Corner on National Review Online).

Also, edited grammar for clarity.

Geesh. Judging by the reaction from the unhinged Left and MSM, Saddam Hussein’s sentence should have followed these guidelines.

2006.12.26

Kill. Worship. Repeat.

This is about as subtle as a pig farm in June (H/T: Classical Values):

Fundamentalist Islamists in Gaza have begun a campaign of bombing and arson against Internet cafes, pharmacies and pool halls.

A group calling itself the Swords of Islamic Righteousness issued a statement claiming responsibility for some of the attacks, denouncing Western, immoral behavior, such as unveiled women and loud music, a Times of London correspondent reported.

The group said it would continue “shooting rocket-propelled grenades and planting bombs at Internet cafes in Gaza, which are trying to make a whole generation preoccupied with matters other than jihad and worship.”

It’s pretty clear. But lets repeat it. Now, put down that Pinot Noir and paté laden cracker and listen closely: “…preoccupied with matters other than jihad and worship.”

No sense in picking up that wine and liver now. If you do, they’ll want you dead. If you aren’t busy worshiping or killing those who are not worshiping and killing, then what good are you? You’ll have to be killed. No compromise. No placating. No bargaining. No freedom. In fact, just make the word “No!” the lead word in all your self-talk. No!

The moderate Islamists might say it’s just an insignificant extreme faction promulgating this position. But the moderates are not speaking up because, duh, they’ll be killed for doing something other than worshiping and killing. Which means they’re not moderates at all.

Qui tacet consentit.

2006.12.07

What’s The Matter With Security?

The TSA has already banned one state of matter in the interests of better airline security. What a pain it has been to dehydrate your person so as to secure a seat in an uncomfortable lawn chair inside an aluminum tube squirting old dinosaurs out the back. Alas, I can hear the TSA bureaucrat scribes busily scribbling the next policy change to ban gases:

An American Airlines flight has made an emergency landing after a passenger with severe gas problems struck matches to mask the odour of flatulence.

Dehydrated passengers will henceforth no longer be permitted to breathe for the duration of the flight as all bodily orifices must be surgically sealed before boarding. I predict, soon, carbon atoms will be banned from passenger airline flights. Now those would be safe flights indeed.

2006.12.05

A Little Racist Kit – Home Delivered For Your Convenience

This little kit actually arrived on my driveway sometime around June 2005. I had tossed it back in a corner where it stayed until I came across it a few weeks back while cleaning out that particular part of the house.

Package

Back in June, 2005, just weeks after my wife’s death, I didn’t pay much attention to it, being rather distracted as I was. At first, I picked it up and tossed it into the trash, thinking it was just a piece of marketing junk for lawn service or some such. That is until my neighbor across the street, a High School history teacher, asked what I thought of it. Turns out, everyone in the development had one of these little bombs delivered to their driveway. I pulled it out of the trash and read the enclosed flyer:

Flyer

Whoa, Nelly! The “Earth’s most endangered species: The White Race!” More genetic confusion. A race is not a species. This past week I did a little research into who the hell the “National Alliance” was and what their agenda might be. Well I’ll be… A tidy little racist organization they are. How thoughtful of them to include rocks for throwing in their little home delivered racist kit. “The National Alliance – Toward a New Consciousness; A New Order; A New People” From their web site:


General Principles

  • A Natural Order
  • The Law of Inequality
  • A Hierarchy of Responsibilities
  • Summary statement of belief

National Alliance Goals

  • White Living Space
  • An Aryan Society
  • A Responsible Government
  • A New Educational System
  • An Economic Policy Based on Racial Principles

The logic behind this organization’s goals is convoluted and tortured. There are some amazing leaps of faith dressed as some sort of science, but their mission is clear. It smacks of the same air of entitlement which I as readily reject when pushed by other races claiming victim status and seeking reparations.

Their effort backfired, at least among those on my street. There are several teachers within a few houses and these little bags-O-bile found their way into classrooms as examples of racist thinking.

2006.11.30

Want A Pancake Breakfast? Papers, Please! Papers! Quickly!

It’s tragically laughable that a Quincy, Mass. IHOP would require photo ID’s before seating people for a pancake breakfast:

John Russo has been a victim of identity theft. So when he was asked to fork over a photo ID just to be seated at an IHOP pancake restaurant, he flipped. “‘You want my license? I’m going for pancakes, I’m not buying the Hope diamond,’ and they refused to seat us,” Russo said, recounting his experience this week at the Quincy IHOP.

The restaurant now has agreed to reverse the policy of requiring customers to turn over their driver’s licenses before they can order – a rule that was enacted to discourage “dine and dash” thefts.

This part, however, made me gargle my coffee:

Russo said a security guard at the restaurant had “at least 40” licenses in hand when he arrived to eat.

40 people actually handed over their licenses! With sheeple like this, why the hell worry any more about open boarders, sleeper cells, egregious “surveillance” by governement and employers, corrupt bureaucrats and weak-ass enforcement of the Constitution?

(H/T: Bruce Schneier)

2006.11.21

The UN – United Nematodes

What a bunch of spineless consumers of rot the UN has become.

With beverage spewing clarity, the dolts at the UN have attempted to argue issues of self defense from a legal frame. Folks, self defense is much more than the ultimate human right. It’s an instinct. None of us, absolutely none of us would be here today if our ancestors over the past several million years didn’t practice and perfect skills necessary for self preservation. This included pounding the crap out of any other life form that attempted to end their existence.

This is true of individuals. It is true of families, communities and nations. Without adapting to threats and practicing self-defense in the interest of self-preservation the end can only be extinction. The kind of spineless world view argued by the worms at the UN is precisely what the Islamofasists are counting on to win their religious war. Worms are easy to crush and hose off the streets. It’s those Freedom loving, Liberty saturated individuals with pointy teeth and claws they fear.

As Atticus noted in the comments to Dr. Helen’s blog post “Crime Strike TV“:

The word “pantywaist” is an odd choice to decribe the United Nations. The UN is a collection of folks who want to protect despots, not a collection of passivists [sic]. They don’t discourage self defense because they don’t have the stomach for violence; they just don’t have the stomach for violence that would encourage freedom.

2006.11.16

A Clear View From The Bay

To read Austin Bay is to be informed.


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