Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Sunday, 2017.02.19
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		Thomas Jefferson

2008.06.27

Mythological Facts In Dispute

I’m not a believer in astrology, in the sense that I find it at all useful for solving problems. But it is entertaining and kinda fun. Stumbled upon this entry in Wikipedia this morning, actually captures the essence:

It’s the “factual accuracy” that is disputed. I’ve been wanting to ask an astrologist what happened to the art when Pluto was downgraded? Or what about the other planets that were discovered in the galaxy. And arn’t they neglecting the influence of other large objects moving about in vacuums like astroids and Michael Moore?

I’m just askin’…

2008.03.28

Anti-American Bias At Al Jazeera English? No!

Holy reeling stunning revolations, Batman (H/T LGF):

“Former ‘Nightline’ reporter Dave Marash has quit Al-Jazeera English, saying Thursday his exit was due in part to an anti-American bias at a network that is little seen in this country.”

And this is interesting:

“Marash said he felt that attitude more from British administrators than Arabs at the Qatar-based network.”

I guess there are a few Brits who just can’t get over the whole 1776 thing. Or perhaps it’s that their own country is sunk so deep in the multicultural tar pit it’s beyond their ability to muster any hope, so they might as well shift their anti-sentiments to a country that at least has some hope for survival in the 21st century. There once was a time when the sun never set on the British Empire. Looks to be a day on the horizon when the sun may never rise on the British Empire.

In other news:

Job Opening: Al Jazeera seeks self-loathing, English speaking (American citizen preferred) TV personality. Actual personality not required. Prior experience as anti-American tool and Useful Idiot preferred.

2007.12.11

Jeanne Under Fire

Jeanne Assam, a woman of remarkable poise under fire – both from bullets and the press.

There is a Buddhist koan wherein a monk is on a boat with 100 people. One of them is a murder. What does the monk do? Kill the murderer and save the lives of innocent passengers or does he stay true to his vow to take no other life? Perhaps there is a Christian counterpart to this koan and if so, it would seem Ms. Assam faced that riddle. No matter how many interviews she gives, only she will ever know if she answered the challenge correctly. That’s as it should be.

Watch for the control freaks with a specialty in gun control work to vilify her – because they simply can’t let a heroine stand here – and the press to do the same – because that’s what they do.

Personally, I breath a little easier knowing there are people about in the world like Jeanne Assam. One of Plato’s remnants revealed.

[Edit History]

2007.12.11 14:20

News on the Tubes indicates the gunman died of self-inflicted wounds. As I mentioned above, the gun control control control control freaks will work to pull Ms. Assam’s efforts into the mud. And so they are. As Michelle Malkin notes:

“The anti-gun extremists who are desperate to shoot down Jeanne Assam’s heroism will grasp at this detail as vindication somehow. But if not for her courage and her steady aim, he would not have gone down.”

The AP article linked above tosses in an “Oh, by the way” smear at the end of the article:

“Also Tuesday, Minneapolis police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said Assam was fired from the Minneapolis force in 1997 for lying during an internal investigation. Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said police were investigating a complaint that Assam swore at a bus driver while she was handling an incident on a city bus.”

Question for AP: What makes this relevant to the events on December 12th? Is this a juvenile attempt to establish that only “bad” people have guns? If reporting twisted truth and abject bias was lethal, the legacy media would be the biggest mass murder of all time. Soooooooo predictable.

2007.12.11 14:31

Ha! The comments on Malkin’s blog are excellent…

TexasTiger:

“Matthew Murray entered the church with 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Nine hundred and ninety-nine were intended for parishoners and the thousandth for his own coconut.

Jeanne Assam’s actions convinced him to skip ahead a bit to the last round…that’s all.”

J S Ragman:

“Great news! Her conscience is clear, and he’s still dead. “

2007.12.07

Dumbing Down American Feminism

Honestly, my dog would be more of a feminist than Germaine Greer if it were to bite Greer on the ass. As told by Pamela Bone in her article, “Why we stay mute on Islamic sex apartheid”:

Greer: “It’s very tricky. I am constantly being asked to go to Darfur to interview rape victims. I can talk to rape victims here. Why should I go to Darfur to talk to rape victims?”

Questioner (me): “Because it’s so much worse there.”

Greer: “Who says it is?”

Questioner: “I do, because I’ve been there.”

Greer: “Well, it is just very tricky to try to change another culture. We let down the victims of rape here. We haven’t got it right in our own courts. What good would it do for me to go over there and try to tell them what to do? I am just part of decadent Western culture and they think we’re all going to hell fast and maybe we are all going to hell fast. 

Tricky, it is. Tricky, tricky, tricky, tricky.

Greer implies that there is no need to travel to Darfur to talk to rape victims because rape is a heinous crime where ever it occurs and as such she can talk to rape victims in Australia. If that is her point, I can agree with her. But as Bone points out, the magnitude of the problem is so much greater in Darfur. Indeed, rape is a greater problem in many parts of the world, in terms of both numbers and the way the victims are treated. By failing to speak out against rape in other parts of the world from the relative safety of free speech democracies diminishes the plight of those rape victims. If it matters less there, how much less does it matter here?

2007.11.29

Name A Teddy Bear, Go To Jail

That’s the LAW!

A British teacher in Sudan was convicted Thursday of the less-serious charge of insulting Islam for letting her pupils name a teddy bear “Muhammad,” and was sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation to Britain, one of her lawyers said.

Courts often rule ignorance of the law is not a defense. But what about when you’re pinned by laws of the ignorant? Can the British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, at least claim ignorance of Medieval laws?

Michelle Malkin asks a population of turned backs: “Where are the human rights groups, the feminists, the moderate Muslims?”

And check out the self-loathing among the Brits! (H/T LGF) Criminy, no wonder we won independence from them. Here’s hoping the Brits with sense prevail and prevent the radical Muslims from winning the ground right out from under their English feet.

For the record, my teddy bear is named “Mr. NOT Muhammad”.

[Edit History]

2007.11.30

Wow. Thousands in sudan call for british teddy bear teacher’s execution. Check out the pictures in this article. They not only want her dead, they want her hacked to death.

There is simply no negotiating, no possibility of “dialog” with people who want you and me dead. Islam: The Religion of Perpetual Outrage, ca. 600 AD

2007.10.31

Repeat After Me…Them…Us…Them…Us

What happens to you if you are a religious zealot bent on making those whom you deem non-human? If you’re…well…just about anywhere in the Middle East, you’ll enjoy State support for you bent thinking. But in the land of democracy, freedom and liberty, you can be brought to justice and be held accountable for such twisted thoughts when they are acted upon:

The brokenhearted father of a Marine killed in Iraq won a long-shot legal fight today after a federal jury in Baltimore awarded him nearly $11 million in a verdict against members of a Kansas church who hoisted anti-gay placards at his son’s Westminster funeral.

The jury’s announcement 24 hours after deliberations first began was met with tears and hugs from the family and supporters of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose March 2006 funeral was protested by members of the Westboro Baptist Church with signs including “Thank God for dead soldiers.”

Snyder’s father, Albert, won on every count of his complaint, as well as $2.9 million for compensatory damages and $8 million for punitive damages.

Sweet. Although I know from a bit of experience that this does little to ease the pain for Lance Cpl. Snyder’s family. It’s also likely the fight isn’t not over.

H/T to LGF. More coverage by Hot Air and Michelle Malkin.

2007.10.10

Nose Rings And Trusted Sources

Very interesting article at the American Thinker by Randall Hoven (H/T: LGF). “Media Dishonesty Matters” is a list of 101 incidents of false and misleading information from sources generally considered trusted. It’s an enlightening list and worth reading the whole article. The preamble to the list contains this comment:

I did receive a few complaints for not having “conservatives” on the list. There turns out to be a good reason for that: there just aren’t that many who pass the criteria for clear dishonesty in the public debate.

It highlights why I tend to trust “conservatives” more than “liberals” or “progressives” – they tend to be less emotional and more rigorous in substantiating their arguments with facts. I’ve also noticed, the more thorough an individual is in vetting a particular issue, the more likely they are to be “conservative” on such issues. When approached in such a manner, it isn’t that the individual is “conservative,” rather the dispassionate, reasoned analysis makes them appear so. Mind you, I find them every bit as compassionate as those from other tribes. As a generalization, however, they are less emotional. That makes for better decisions in highly charged situations.

A word about facts is in order. I’m thinking of those things that can be independently verified, points of knowledge that can be tested, replicated and shared. Issues like global warming, finances and what caused the World Trade Center towers to burn and fall all can be reduced to verifiable facts. Abortion and stem cell research debates as generally framed by those from the “conservative” tribe fail on the matter of fact. What the Bible, Koran or Betty Crocker says doesn’t concern me in the least on these issues.

But facts require patience and too few people have what it takes to collect and consider the requisite critical mass for understanding of complex issues. And if they do, there is often a failure to consider context and consequence when using those facts to derive a decision. As Mr. Hoven notes:

While I provide a source for every item, a single source is not usually sufficient to prove anything. You might have to do some of your own searching if you remain unconvinced of a party’s guilt. Space is limited.

So is time. But it’s easy once you get the hang of it. It’s your choice. Be lead by a nose ring or find your own path. Either way, it’s your choice.

2007.09.18

The Tough Thing About History…

…is that it goes back further than people care to study. (H/T Hot Air)

With fewer and fewer people alive today to serve as living memory and witness, I fear the unthinkable and improbable, once forgotten and dismissed, will once again become part of the plan and probable. I can envision a scenario where, as before, fueled by an economic downturn, the sheeple scan for a convenient scapegoat. Can’t happen? Witness the ease with which a significant percentage of the population orphans the weakest of critical thinking skills and easily believes the fantastic conspiracy theories surrounding the attacks of September 11, 2001. Spectacular material evidence, swept away as easily as bread crumbs from a countertop.

[Edit History]

2007.09.20 –

Precedents: The world’s willingness to permit one Holocaust gives cause for concern that it will stand by, if not enable, another.

2007.08.30

“Jesus is history’s first, but not last, example of a suicide bomber”

I know Jesus. Jesus is a friend of mine. Jesus is no suicide bomber. But I don’t need to know Richard Flanagan to know Dick is an ass.

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?”

2007.07.23

Greenie Meanies

Denver Business Journal Editor Neil Westergaard echo’s my major concern about the current deification of Al Gore and the push to make global warming a State Religion. Speaking of the response to a recent column of his, Westergaard writes:

“My purpose was not to dismiss concerns about what is apparently a well-accepted fact: The Earth seems to be getting warmer. That’s where the acceptance ends, however. What to do about global warming is far from a settled question, and anybody who believes in more than celebrity pronouncements and sound bites can easily plug into the scientific debate if they choose. Many, however, simply want to follow their favorite celebrity instead.”

Yes, those of the herd fear thinking for themselves. Rather than work to a solution based on a solid base of verified facts, they prefer to warm themselves in the hot air puffed out by bloviating stuffed shirts like Al Gore and his disciples.

Slap a label of “green” on something and the herd members will nod approvingly. Inconvenient truths about some “green” efforts which actually cause more harm than good are to be ignored. Just look at the obscene amount of energy burned on the recent Live Earth event which has had virtually no effect on changing people’s attitudes. I predict Gore and his minions will be remembered for having caused much more harm than good, for having deflected concentration away from finding a viable solution to the actual problems underlying global warming.

I’ve said before, environmentally congruent lifestyles are a good thing just on principal and I’ve worked to implement such a lifestyle. But the switch isn’t digital like the Goracle seems to insist it is. The hypocritical proselytizing from the ministers of the Church of Global Warming insist everyone else should change so that they can continue living the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. And they want that compliance from the Great Unwashed to happen at the snap of their fingers. Is Al Gore even capable of leading by example? I think not. As Westergaard notes:

“And be wary of celebrities on bandwagons. They often fall off.”

Indeed.

[Edit History]

2007.07.24

Grammar fixes.

2007.06.05

Global Warming – It’s All In Your Microchip

So……

It looks like global warming is a computer problem and not a real problem, what with all the data being based on computer models instead of, you know, actual field science. I’ve made the point before:

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.

[Edit History]

2007.06.07

Matthew Brown, with InterEnergy Solutions, emails with the suggestion to look at Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s web site. I’m finding some excellent information on the site, particularly if you like the kind of detail the news nematodes haven’t the patience or the competence to understand and report.

2007.05.23

It’s Holocaust’s All The Way Down, Baby

If it didn’t happen, why are they working so hard to convince themselves it didn’t?

And on a related meta note, if they don’t fear them so much, why promulgate such contorted logic to suppress them and beat them into submission?

2007.05.14

Distinctions That Make A Point

It began with a post by Glenn Reynolds on InstaPundit:

THE ANSWER TO THE EXAMINER’S QUESTION [“And for once wouldn’t it be refreshing to see a college president show some real backbone when faced with unreasonable demands from activist minority students seeking exclusive privileges?” – GPE] IS SIMPLE: It’s because people are afraid they’ll blow things up.

Sooner or later, you know, fundamentalist Christians are going to pick up on this lesson, engage in similar behavior, and make similar demands. Because, apparently, it works fine.

To which Bryan Preston posting at HotAir.com took exception:

But he’s wrong that “fundamentalist Christians” are going to take this as a cue to start up their own terrorism to get what they want. And he’s wrong because he starts with an error on the basics: Namely, that Christianity and Islam aren’t the same thing, don’t believe the same things and don’t teach the same things. The foundational texts of the two faiths are very different, and the differences make all the difference in the world.

Reynolds replies that Preston has, quite simply, missed the central idea, he has missed the point Reynolds was making.

Preston correctly points out the differences between Islam and Christianity. But the heart of the matter is deeper than religion. Preston seems to be ignoring fundamental human nature. I suspect Reynolds is thinking in terms of logical conclusions whereas Preston is thinking in terms of faith and ideology. That’s the distinction I see.

I have to agree with Reynolds. My take away from Reynolds’ first post was that, indeed, the fundamental Islamists are ahead of the curve in getting what they want through violence and that one way (take note, I said ONE WAY) that can turn around is if other groups begin to employ similar terror tactics. These groups need not be religious in nature. In fact, Robert Spencer has made the arguement that Islamism is as much a political and social system as it is a religious faith. Reynolds could have made his point by writing “Sooner or later, you know, the Marx Brothers are going to pick up on this lesson, engage in similar behavior, and make similar demands. Because, apparently, it works fine.”

But context is everything. The thought of the Marx Brothers turning violent is laughable. Violent Christians, not so much. Preston concedes this point:

If you want to talk about the Crusades, well, they were defensive wars against imperialist Muslims who were spreading Islam by the sword.

At what point does Preston think Christians (or other faiths, for that matter) will begin to conclude a defensive posture is the needed response to the contemporary imperialist Muslim agenda? Never? His post, aside from seeming to speak for all Christians, suggests Christians will never press to violence. I believe he is mistaken. I’ve certainly had my share if experiences with Christians who’s fervor and “passion” had me making mental note of the fastest escape route. I believe anyone is capable of violence. And I believe there is an undefined critical mass for any group of people after which they will find it quite easy to turn violent. It would perhaps be fair to say that critical mass for Christians is significantly higher than it is for Muslims, nonetheless, it no doubt exists.

An early memory of mine is a picture of Thich Quang Duc, the Buddhist monk who burned himself to death at a busy intersection in downtown Saigon, Vietnam, in 1963. He sought to “bring attention to the repressive policies of the Catholic Diem regime that controlled the South Vietnam.” Years later, as I began my own Buddhist practice, this picture came up in conversation following a Zen sesshin I had just completed. I remarked, “I could never do that, set myself on fire.” A senior student replied quite matter-of-fact, “Sure you could. With a strong enough meditation practice, you could.” This struck me in a way that stayed with me and years later I understood. Yes, with a strong enough belief, or will or nerve or call it what you like, the most unlikely of people are capable of the most unlikely of behaviors. My understanding of how such beliefs take hold was further clarified as I worked my way up to Sandan rank in Aikido.

Most people do not understand aggression or violence. And those who don’t often give strong, scary emotions and behaviors blanket labels like “bad” and “evil” and make sanctimonious declarations that they themselves are free from such base drives. The more laughable among them become legislators and work to establish magical laws designed to rid the community of the “bad” and “evil.” They don’t know what they don’t know.

To Bryan Preston: Threatened and pushed far enough, yes, they will.

[Edit History]

2007.05.15

#1 – I made note that if other groups made use of violence to force their agenda as effectively as the fundamental Islamists, you would begin to see concessions made to those groups. Some pro-life advocates have done this as well as groups like the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation Front. So far, what is different is the tactical scale and that is certainly an area where the fundamental Islamists have raised the bar. What worked for the eco-terrorists in 1998, for example, barely rates as a news item these days given the carnage, gore and destruction served up by the Islamic terrorists on a global scale.

However, there is undoubtedly a tipping point at which Joe Citizen will begin to take matters into his own hands to protect his property and family. I wouldn’t expect this to be some grand declaration. Rather a quite shift.

As far as Christians are concerned, I’ve known many to have made transgressions with the aim of protecting their own interests and with the understanding their sins could be absolved in the confessional or by prayer with their minister. And the ones I’m thinking of weren’t even life threating situations. Do I fault them for this? Not necessarily (assuming their transgressions do not break any of society’s laws.) The basic instincts of human nature are poorly understood by most and the human intellect is easily overpowered by emotions such as fear and anger. It takes training and practice to keep your wits about you in a storm such as a bomb blast in a public area. This is why I think Preston overreaches in his claim that Christians won’t turn violent. I think Preston has what it takes to keep his cool under dire stress. But it is naive to presuppose his strengths are derived exclusively from a common faith and project his capabilities upon others who do not have his training and experience. I would be hesitant to deny those around me the humility to discover their weaknesses and the requisite space to grow and learn.

#2 – Grammar fixes.

2007.05.03

Digg And The Church Of Global Warming

I had been waiting/searching for the past several weeks for a good example of where the global warming hype is likely to end up given it’s current trajectory. This past Tuesday, the diggbats delivered.

If you aren’t familiar with Digg, it’s a community driven site for ranking blog posts and news items. According to Digg.com, “Digg is all about user powered content. Everything is submitted and voted on by the Digg community. Share, discover, bookmark, and promote stuff that’s important to you!” As a blogger, it is fundamentally just another way to drive traffic to your blog. If the digg community likes your post, it gets promoted on Digg.com and web surfers visit your blog.

Simple enough, but a few in the Digg community with way too much time on their hands (the diggbats) have proved to be an unruly bunch playing in a sandbox that itself doesn’t seem to have any rules. At all. Rules of fairness? No. Rules of etiquette? Nope. Full disclosure? Ha! Copyright? Ha HA! Spend some time on Little Green Footballs (search for “Digg”) and you will get a pretty clear picture of what the diggbats are capable of. On Tuesday, the diggbats revolted, repetitively posted (as in thousands of times) copyrighted material and essentially took control of the site once Digg’s founder, Kevin Rose, surrendered to the diggbat pressures and joined the revolt himself.

So how does this map to the global warming zealots? The hysteria and blind actions among a small, yet very vocal and mobile, population of the community, for starters. Their ability to determine the direction of the overall course, for another. Digg’s founder is probably a nice guy. Most of the people working to address the possible issue of global warming are nice people. But, like Rose and the diggbats, the nice people involved with the global warming cause are getting run over by the zealots. I include Al Gore among the zealots.

Gore, like a few in the digg community, is whipping up the frenzy and hype surrounding global warming such that it is becoming increasingly difficult to have a reasoned discussion about 1) the causes and 2) the solutions. In an evengelical, rapture driven environment, it is quite possible, perhaps even probable, that any solutions coming out of such a logic locked irrationality will either have no effect or actually exacerbate the problem if for no other reason than delaying the implementation of a reasonable, workable plan. Carbon credits, for example. I have more faith in the stability of Monopoly money.

Consider this quote by Meg Worby, one of Gore’s environmental evangelists, as it appeared in The Bulletin:

“All of a sudden he just fired up and he wasn’t this smooth politician anymore. His hair, which is usually slicked back, was out of place, he had sweat on his brow, and he was gesticulating wildly. You could feel the energy from the back of the room. It was the moment when I felt I had touched on something real. That was the moment I really felt convinced.”

Wow. Gore must have be expounding some deep and profound thought at the moment. Pray tell, Meg, what lofty yet deep Truth was the Goracle inconveniencing you with at that moment?

“Al Gore was taking us through step by step to show us why the slides were in the order they were and how they build the case. I was trying to keep my concentration going and someone told him that we didn’t have much time left.”

Oh. He was sorting slides. The Gorelettes attending his camps to learn how to evangelize The Message (soon to be His Message) hang on his every gesture, his every syllable. Too bad they’re not holding on to them, stringing them together and then asking themselves if they make sense. That, too, is An Inconvenient Effort.

It gets worse from there. The evangelicals within the Church of Global Warming have openly declared that denying the “truth” of global warming is on par with denying that the Holocaust occurred. In effect, this puts Godwin’s Law into play and all rational discussion ceases. There are those who are even proposing jail time and fines for “global warming deniers.” This isn’t science. It isn’t even rational.

Understanding the problem no longer seems to be relevant. And in my opinion, based on reading the science, the issue is not at all understood. Solutions cannot be proposed to problems that are not understood. You might as well be rolling dice or throwing darts while blindfold. No one seems to be asking the question of whether or not global warming is, in fact, bad in the long term. I’ve said before, the earth doesn’t give a damn so it comes down to how it effects us, the selfish little we on the planet. Sure, there are dire predictions of rising sea levels and such, but the press is ignoring the positives that are occurring naturally from this change. (Exercise for the reader: These are not hard to find, just don’t expect to do your “research” on any of the MSM sites.) What seems to be rubbing people the wrong way is that it is a change in the status quo. “Damn it, the Earth should have a thermostat that man can adjust to his needs, right? Just fix it and fix it NOW. YOU better change YOUR ways so I don’t have to change MINE.”

However, like the diggbats, the belligerently vocal minority within the Church of Global Warming have, in my estimation, taken the wheel of the issue and will drive it in a direction they couldn’t care less about as long as it is they who drive it there. We, the global community, will likely pay the price incurred by the mad few. What this issue needs is a string of three or four years of hard freeze to get it back into rational territory. Maybe then we won’t be force fed incomplete science by a politician and ecological hypocrite.

[Edit History]

2007.05.03

Another representative example of the attitude toward global warming I’m concerned about (H/T Tim Blair):

 Is Global Warming being over hyped? Probably. But the planet needs to get out of the hole it currently is in by a world dominated by the oil and coal industries! The hype is necessary to try and remove the dependency from these money hungry, egotistical, evil SOBs!

For this commenter, it isn’t about understanding and solving the potential threat of long term global warming, it’s about sticking it to the man. For this commenter, it’s about good vs. evil. Where’s the science? Global warming is evolving into a convenient credibility cow on which to paint a personal agenda.


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