Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Tuesday, 2017.05.30
Being a prophet represents a great trap baited with the temptation of
self-importance.

		Deng Ming-Dao, "365 Tao - Daily Meditations", #233

2007.10.26

When Jerks Attack

More from Bobby Caina Calvan

“I am new to blogging and it was meant to be a diary of my experiences — and as a way to avoid writing individual e-mails to friends and family wanting to share in my experiences. Yes, I realize — and am embarrassed by naivete — that nothing is private on the Web.”

Wow. That a reporter, a purported professional in the information industry would not understand the very medium within which he works, is telling enough. Even more striking is the glimpse he revealed, and then withdrew, into the bias at the root of all his reporting. He may be embarrassed at his naiveté regarding privacy on the web. If he had any awareness about the larger story to his revealing blog post, he would be pained by the shame he now carries for having utterly failed at is profession.

While I don’t see fit to foist as high an honor upon Mr. Calvan as Michelle Malkin, I do regard him as a pushy, arrogant little boy. Bad day for Mr. Calvan. Perhaps this Calvin’s words will be helpful to Bobby:

You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don’t help. – Calvin

[Edit History]

2007.10.26

As apologies from the MSM go, this one is pretty good. At least, I, the consumer of his post and his reporting, wasn’t accused of “misunderstanding”, “misinterpreting” or otherwise “taking it the wrong way.” Refreshing. Let’s hope he’s a better reporter for having had this experience and figures out how to report the facts in a dozen languages rather than…er…as his bio at the Asian American Journalists Association – Sacramento Chapter states:

At last count, he also knows how to offend people in at least a dozen languages – the list is growing.

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.

2007.09.13

Hillary Clinton’s Secret Foot Fetish

Turns out Hillary Clinton’s “Low Profile” National Security Adviser is Sandy “Docs In My Socks” Berger and a sizable chunk of her campaign money has come from Norman “Money” Hsu. Just a guess, but the qualifications of her Secretary of Defense will likely include that he be named “Jack Boot.”

2007.09.12

Politics As Sports

From the OpinionJournal:

The NFL is investigating charges that a New England Patriots employee videotaped the New York Jets’ signals over the weekend, potentially tainting the Pats’ 38-14 opening-day victory. And MSNBC.com’s Bob Cook sees an analogy:

Even though [Patriots coach Bill] Belichick is far from being found culpable . . ., the coach’s long history of poor sportsmanship means it hardly stretches the imagination to see him being Dick Cheney in the NFL’s version of warrantless wiretapping.

It’s just like wiretapping! Well, except that the war with al Qaeda isn’t a game, and the other side adheres to no rules whatever.

Neither are they held accountable. It does seem a significant portion of our politicians (and presumably their constituents) would rather just send al Qaeda to their room for a time-out and let the whole thing blow over.

2007.09.06

From The Things-That-Make-You-Laugh-Until-You-Cry Department

This from the New York Times, of all places:

“Iraq is a long way to go for a photo op, but not for President Bush, who is pulling out all the stops to divert public attention from his failed Iraq policies and to keep Congress from demanding that he bring the troops home.”

So, what say you? The Prez has totally incompetent PR folks working for him who would suggest going to Iraq would be an excellent way to divert public attention away from…er…Iraq. Or the NYT editorial dolts still think they’re writing for their 6th grade newspaper.

There was a time when “professional” meant something.

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.

2007.08.07

Brown Nosing The Troops

I had originally thought to puncture A Whitney Brown’s “I support out troops” party balloon with a barrage of logic pins, but I see he lists himself as a writer and humorist. hA. hA. I get it, now. So his bloviation could be an attempt at humor and not a real argument. Well, if his posts are an attempt at humor than it can be safely and securely concluded A Whitney Brown’s written humor is every bit as effective as his “serious” written traces of the underlying cognitive dissonance resident within his vast, planet sized brain.

A Whitney Brown

“‘I Support the troops.’ There! I finally said it.”

From that first “Look, mommy! I finally did it!” during potty training, A Whitney’s life must have been one long string of spectacular epiphanies into the magnificent world of natural occurrences. The easy laid bare and celebrated. It’s such a refreshing moment of reflection to see when someone has manage to carry their childhood innocence into adulthood. Especially when adulthood has stretched far into the years as those possessed by A Whitney. Never in the history of maturation has so little been carried so far for so few reasons.

Lucky us, A Whitney includes “an accurate transcript” (to distinguish it from other mere “transcripts” which may appear among his writings) of his video screed, sparing us the experience of viewing a flailing, talking nematode. There’s no real cogent argument to A Whitney’s rant. There are a few telling quips which reveal a frail ability to reason.

Now I know there are some cynics out there thinking, sure you say you support our troops but what do you actually mean by ‘support’? That’s a fair question and all I can say in response is that any one asking that question is a traitorous bastard and probably should be hung for treason.

Translation from A Whitney Speak: “It’s a fair question but I have to kill you for asking it.”

But to answer the question, what I mean when I say I support our troops is that I actually pay for their food, their ammo, their upkeep, transport, everything. I pay for all of it.

A Whitney’s tax bill covers the entire military budget? Way to stretch a dollar, Uncle Sam! Or maybe A Whitney is just being an arrogant, presumptuous ass. I’ll have to think about that one some more.

I mean I am involuntarily, under threat of prison, forced to pay for their support. Now do I resent that? You’re damn right I do.

Dude! Move to Iraq or Afghanistan or Malaysia or Chile or anywhere else. The World awaits your tortured soul. Reach back to the glorious potty training moment. You can do it. You can! Move!

But do I still support the individual men and women who have given so much to serve their country? No. I think they’re a bunch of idiots. I also think they’re morally retarded. Because they sign a contract that says they will kill whoever you tell me to kill. And that is morally retarded.

I’ve seen 50 car pileups on the highway that have made more sense than this twisted wreck of an argument. Alas, A Whitney is thinking:

Friends, the most important moral decision a man makes in the course of a day is “Who am I going to kill today?”…A man’s killing list is a very personal matter. It should be between him and those persistent voices in his head.

Scary. I wonder if I’m on that list A Whitney keeps locked away in his “happy place.” But wait! There’s more! A Whitney continues:

For this view, I have been called Anti-Military.

My response is this: Who on earth could be Pro-Military! The purpose of a military is to kill. It is at best a necessary evil. Necessary only because someone else has a military that threatens our survival. Pro-Military? That’s like being Pro-Abortion! Or Pro-chemo-therapy!

No! In a world of ignorance, greed, and ambition it is a practical matter that we defend our peace and security against the militaries of others, but the goal is always to have as little military as needed, and no more than absolutely necessary. Currently we spend more than all the rest of the world put together.

Clue for A Whitney: A huge chunk of the rest of the world wants America destroyed and looted. That would be why we need a large military force.

Pro-military is like being pro-chemotherapy? One would think the biggest adversary A Whitney has faced is bindweed amongst his petunias. The purpose of America’s military is to defend our country and the rights and freedoms that define it. If necessary, with deadly force. What disconnect is there in the minds of all the A Whitney’s that allows them to focus on the end result of deploying the US military to the battlefield and yet remain blind to the end effect of Islamic terrorists?

Move, A Whitney. You can do it! Move to Iran or Afghanistan. They’re waiting to show you the love.

A Whitney Brown – “Putting the ‘dolt’ into ‘adolthood’ one lame blog post at a time.”

2007.08.05

Democrats – The Party Of Spineless Wimp Asses

At the ABC News Republican presidential debate at Sheslow Auditorium on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, today, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani observed:

“In four debates, not a single Democrat said the word, ‘Islamic terrorists.’ Now that is taking political correctness to extreme.”

I take exception to that. The Democrats fear of uttering the phrase “Islamic terrorists” is extremely politically INcorrect. It is politically correct to call Islamic terrorists what they are: “Islamic terrorists.” It’s a clear indication of the Democratic party’s willingness to self-castrate in the name of appeasement. A behavioral characteristic they are all too willing to inflict on America. It’s as if they believe their elitist sense of “higher morals” will somehow magically protect them from bad things they do not understand.

2007.07.26

Republican Congressman Are “Jihadists”?

John W. Olver, D-Mass., chairman of the House Transportation-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee, is accusing Republicans of “stalling” and attempting to shut down the government. “They are nihilists. They are jihadists.”, he exclaims. Kathryn Jean Lopez notes:

It doesn’t even make any sense. Which, come to think of it — when you realize he comes from a majority party that just doesn’t get this whole war thing we’re in — makes complete sense.

It leaves me wondering if Rep. Olver’s comment is disparaging toward Republicans or jihadists. Hmmmmm. (H/T Instapundit)

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.

2007.07.19

Duty Calls…

[What follows is a transcript of the press conference held today on the West Lawn of the Java Zen campus. (Note: that would be the West Lawn just East of the Main Pavilion and not the West Lawn just South of and kitty-corner from the North Gazebo. For those of you who missed it, you really should learn to read a press release.) The press conference was called to answer questions in light of the disclosure Mr. Engel is up for the National Endowment for the Arts position in the Burge/Goldstein Administration (Come on, people. It’s gonna happen. Accept it and get on with your lives.) So. Having sussed this required some sort of obligatory deed of good word on behalf of Mr. Burge, the Java Zen Table, Desk and Counter Intelligence Teams were mobilized to do what ever it is they do and make something happen. Well, it took some time, what with the sheer volume of police reports and court depositions that had to be dug through, but find the good points they did and so prepared for the anticipated barrage of questions.]

Reporter: Is Dave loyal? I mean, can we trust the bastard?

Gregory Engel: Hell yes. Dave stood by me through that unfortunate “misunderstanding” with Queen Elizabeth II, just like he said he would once it was clear I wasn’t in as much trouble as originally thought. How was I to know the Queen couldn’t swim? And that hair really DID look like a wig. What this means for the country under a Dave Burge administration is clear. There’s, like, no way he’s gonna sit still and let some podunk despot pants the good ‘ol USA.

Journalism 101 Student With A Press Pass: What makes you qualified for the position?

GE: I happen to be a good authority on all things well endowed and I plan on bringing that expertise to a new definition of Art and revised criteria for what gets funded.

Guy Standing In Corner Holding A Broom: What kinds of cultural initiatives would you support while in office?

GE: In addition to National Talk Like A Pirate Day, I’ll have National Talk In Iambic Pentameter Day, National Bang On A Drum Day, National Paint By Numbers Day, and work to make Film Noir the national language. In response to our wildly popular Poetry Out Loud program, I shall expand that to include Pottery Out Loud, Carving Out Loud and, something I’m particularly proud of, Knitting Out Loud. As a collaborative effort with the NEA (The other NEA, National Education Association), I’ll initiate a partner program with the NEA’s “No Child Left Behind” program called “No Child Allowed Ahead.” Together, we shall achieve the perfect balance of mediocrity in education and the arts. I’ll work to see Antonio Vincenzo gets the recognition he deserves for painting the Sistein Chapel baseboards. And The Bean in Chicago…I’ll see to it that thing is spray painted gray. What’s up with that thing? You can’t even straighten your tie while looking into it.

Associated Press Shill: What date do you support for the full withdrawal of the imperialist pigs from Iraq so that the freedom fighters may once again enjoy the human right of killing each other at their convenience? Next Tuesday or Wednesday?

GE: That’s a difficult question. It will depend on whether or not Congress approves of my proposed plan to choreograph the withdrawal as run-away performance art. The costumes will be expensive as will be the extensive stage lighting required for the event.

Reuters Lacky: Can I get a picture of you with your finger up your nose?

GE: With what? You’re holding a banana.

Reuters Lacky: (Damn! Those office dweebs photoshopped the camera out of my hands again.)

Helen Thomas: To date, there are an estimated 700 million pictures without frames in the United States and another 3.8 billion exposed to excessive sunlight due to inferior quality window treatments, the condition of which is worsened by the effects of global warming and rising crime rates in all major metropolitan areas which it has been substantiated that the average Iraqi disapproves of highly in light of the ongoing and uncontrolled rise in health care costs but still the government insists on charging admission to view national treasures. Is that something you will change?

GE: Like changing a diaper on a baby, you bet.

Wolf Blitzer: Can you promise us a good scandal out of the NEA? This beat is sooooooo boring.

GE: I’ll see if I can rearrange the rotunda statuary to suit your needs. Thank you all for coming.

2007.07.14

A Candidate For Our Times

Friends, the darkness is at an end. Not since the heady days of Pat Paulsen’s misguided bid for the presidency has America had a candidate worthy of the ineptitude required of the office. At long last, that candidate is here and he is Dave Burge. Go forth, my friends, and party-hardy. And for Dave, what can I say but “Dude! You got ALL my votes!”

dave-burge-08.jpg

2007.06.16

Immigration – The New Slavery

The trend over the past several decades, and becoming even more pronounced within the last five years or so, is to push immigration as essentially an Hispanic issue much like slavery in the mid 1800’s and civil rights issues in the mid 1900’s were, rightfully so, essentially a black issue. The American Idle appear to be swallowing this presentation without so much as a gag reflex. Consider this report from Fox News:

[California Gov. Arnold] Schwarzenegger, who immigrated to the U.S. from Austria, recently told a group of Hispanic journalists that immigrants should stay away from Spanish-language television, books and newspapers.

“You’ve got to turn off the Spanish television set,” Schwarzenegger said Wednesday night at the annual convention of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in San Jose, Calif. “You’re just forced to speak English, and that just makes you learn the language faster.”

This has upset many in the Hispanic community, including Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA), who called Schwarzenegger’s idea a “typical sound bite solution to an important issue” and complained of long waiting lists (up to three years) to get into language classes.

Why aren’t the Hispanic businesses involved with communication (radio, TV, print) including English lessons, however minimal and brief, into their normal content? I’m thinking stuff like “English word for the day” or half hour languages classes or Sesame Street broadcast in Spanish followed by a repeat in English. I would predict Rep. Sanchez would require a subsidy to any business that would consider such bilingual presentations because, God forbid, they might actually take the initiative themselves for the good of their community. Hell, she doesn’t even like the idea of them doing something as simple as turning off the TV or changing channels.

So. Do you suppose there is anything, anything at all, the immigrants can be doing while they’re waiting? Rep. Sanchez’ knee-jerk sound bite solution is that nothing can be done until the State fixes it. And then there is this:

A Hispanic advocacy group said Schwarzenegger’s comments show his “ignorance on immigration issues.”

As Glenn Reynolds notes:

Because what would Arnold know about people who come from a different land, raised in another language, who want to make a life for themselves in America?

Don’t you get it Glenn? Schwarzenegger’s immigration doesn’t count because he’s not Hispanic. It doesn’t help that he did it legally, either.


All content copyright © 1994 - Gregory Paul Engel, All Rights Reserved. The content or any portion thereof from this web site may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the written consent of Gregory Paul Engel. Queries may be sent to greg dot engel at javazen dot com.

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