Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Monday, 2017.09.25
After taking the trip of a lifetime, our reader sent his twelve rolls of film to
Kodak for developing (or "processing," as Kodak likes to call it) only to
receive the following notice: "We must report that during the handling of your
twelve 35mm Kodachrome slide orders, the films were involved in an unusual
laboratory experience." The use of the passive is a particularly nice touch,
don't you think? Nobody did anything to the films; they just had a bad
experience. Of course our reader can always go back to Tibet and take his
pictures all over again, using the twelve replacement rolls Kodak so generously
sent him.

		Quarterly Review of Doublespeak (NCTE)

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.

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.

2007.04.25

Flying Pig From Seattle, WA

Looks like Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments “found” my $2,000 deposit. Apparently, “posted no later than March 31st” means “April 16th” on the Jensen business calendar. I’ll find out tomorrow if the bank is impressed. Assuming it’s good, it means a modification to the Jensen Musical Instruments web site. Until Mr. Jensen compensates me for lost interest and the cost of the Jensen Musical Instruments web site, it will stand as a warning to others who may be considering doing business with Mr. Jensen. I have heard privately from several people similarly burned by Mr. Jensen that my efforts to shine light on his business practices have yielded positive results for them as well. To that end, I am satisfied and consider it a small miracle my $2,000 deposit was ever returned.

Refund Check

[Edit History]

2007.04.26

Several grammar changes.

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”

2007.04.08

Althouse’s Law

[The blue ribbon panel of scientists at the prestigious Java Zen Institute for the Proliferation of Inconsequential Science and Humanities debated long and hard on whether the effects described herein should more appropriately be labeled “Althouse’s Catch,” but in the end settled on “Althouse’s Law.” The simple reason being that law professors ought to have laws named for them. That and a threatened law suit from the Amalgamated Union of Catchers, Baggers, Trappers and Boxers. Since it couldn’t be substantiated that Althouse has caught so much as a single cold in her life, the panel elected to avoid a reckless and litigious war of definitions. Besides, catches should be named after judges. – GPE]

Althouse’s Law: A law of discussions whereby the central point of an argument is increasingly marginalized by exaggerating, accentuating or obsessing on either the example elements of the argument or trivial, yet entertaining, side bars. The most common end result when Althouse’s Law has taken effect in a discussion is that the examples initially used to illustrate the original point or the trivial side bars become themselves the central theme of the argument. The effect of Althouse’s Law is accelerated if the examples or trivial side bars include so called “hot button” references such as breasts, divas or tears.

Similar to Godwin’s Law, when a discussion is trapped by the effects of Althouse’s Law, all meaningful discourse related to the original argument is no longer possible. Left unchecked or unrecognized by those caught in the flow away from the original argument, the extreme and ultimate end of Althouse’s Law results in the unfortunate casting of the unwitting into Althouse’s Vortex1.

Althouse’s Law was named for University of Wisconsin Law Professor Ann Althouse, who’s personal blog was instrumental in elucidating much of the underlying effects described by Althouse’s Law.

_______________________________

1 Althouse’s Vortex is a theoretical blogosphere construct. There is much anecdotal evidence that Althouse’s Vortex exists, however no one has ever returned from having been caught in such a structure so very little is know about its nature. What is know is that those who claim to “get” Althouse generally end up in the Althouse Vortex. There seems to be a force at work in regards to the Althouse Vortex that is similar to determining whether or not one is a “hacker.” You’re not a hacker until someone else, preferably a recognized hacker, calls you a hacker. Likewise, you don’t “get” Althouse unless someone else, preferably someone on the “gets it” list, says you “get” Althouse. This quandary was at the heart of the debate on whether to call the effect defined in this post Althouse’s Law or Althouse’s Catch.

Evidence of having fallen into Althouse’s Vortex usually comes in the form of repeated ad hominem attacks against a particular author even though the attacker may, in fact, agree with the author.

[For the record, I don’t get Althouse. At all. – GPE]

2007.04.03

Worthless Words

As was easy to predict, the promise from Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments to return my $2,000 deposit by March 31 has proven to be just as vacuous as his promise to build an electric cello. Here it is, April 3 and not so much as a penny has been returned.

Lying leech.

I’m amending my demand to say I want my deposit and expenses in the form of a cashiers check. I have zero confidence in the ability of Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments to act in an ethical manner. Someone suggested he could potentially send another bell and whistle laden package which would be empty and he could then claim he sent cash. Regardless, any future correspondence with Mr. Jensen will be opened before witnesses and on video tape.

Lying, unethical leech.

2007.03.03

The Paper It’s Printed On

That’s what this is worth…maybe…

Letter From Jensen - 20070303

The letter was sent priority mail, certified and return receipt. Not sure what that was about. Mr. Jensen gains nothing with some sort of paper trail. Is he trying to demonstrate the sincerity of his intent to refund my deposit? I won’t be holding my breath until March 31st. From my perspective (That would be the one of the customer who is out $2,000.), nothing of substance has changed. In this deal, talk has been cheap and promises empty. I’ve been put off before by such chatter and promises from Mr. Jensen.

Neither will I be altering in the slightest the plans I’ve put in motion. Eight bucks of postal pomp and circumstance hasn’t inspired me to call off the dogs. If Mr. Jensen wants to impress me, he can send my money back, plus interest, and cover the expenses I incurred while trying to get his attention. And remember: the terms are cash. It will save the burden of having to spell my name correctly.

Previously:

Ripped Off By Eric Jensen And Jensen Musical Instruments

[Edit History]

2007.03.03

Something about this letter bugged me even after accounting for the postal pageantry and name misspelling (after first spelling it correctly.) It’s dated February 29th, 2007. Typed on a date that doesn’t exist. Perhaps that’s to match his promise? What calendar is Mr. Jensen looking at? I’m thinking the same one he uses to schedule his delivery commitments. Grateful, I am, there is a March 31st. Although, Mr. Jensen doesn’t specify a year.

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)

2007.01.25

Sponges Who Use Sponges

Bold prediction: There will soon be warning labels on sponges. Why? Just examine the evidence:

[A] study that found microwave ovens can be used to sterilize kitchen sponges sent people hurrying to test the idea this week — with sometimes disastrous results.

But several experimenters evidently left out the crucial step of wetting the sponge.

“Just wanted you to know that your article on microwaving sponges and scrubbers aroused my interest. However, when I put my sponge/scrubber into the microwave, it caught fire, smoked up the house, ruined my microwave, and pissed me off,” one correspondent wrote.

Maybe there should be a law that says you have to be smarter than a sponge to use a sponge.

(H/T Slashdot)

2007.01.21

Operating Room Tantrum

Ouch. But you’ll be delighted to know the surgeon “has already been punished enough after having his medical licence [sic] suspended.” Suspended, not revoked.

The medical costs will be paid by the hospital’s insurer, but doctors’ unions have criticised [sic] the decision that the money for the damages has to be paid by the doctor.

They say the move sets a dangerous precedent and that Professor Ciomu, a urologist and lecturer in anatomy, has already been punished enough after having his medical licence [sic] suspended.

A “dangerous precedent?” Dangerous? The Romanian doctors’ union needs a better understanding of what “dangerous” means. An unstable surgeon with a knife standing over an unconscious patient is dangerous.

Vice-president of the Romanian Doctors Union, Vasile Astarastoae, said: ‘Ciomu’s case is a dangerous precedent for all Romanian doctors. In future doctors may have to think very carefully about what work they undertake.’

Because obviously, the last thing you want is a doctor thinking carefully about the work they’re doing.

Obviously, if you are a Romanian doctor, that is. Consequences for destructive behavior commensurate with the damage done are a good thing. It’s the difference between dangerous and deterrence.

[The surgeon] told the court it was a temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems.

No kidding. I wonder if the physically damaged patient, in lieu of the monetary damages awarded by the court, would be allowed a moment alone with the good doctor for a “temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems” of his own. It is stunning to see other Romanian doctors circle the wagons around Naum “The Hacker” Ciomu, referring to his mutilating conniption as “a mistake.”

I have to say, though, the caption to the picture in the article is, shall we say, rather ill conceived.

[Edit History]

2007.01.21

Added thoughts related to the position taken by the Romanian doctors’ union.

2007.01.17

Lemming (Previously Duke) 88

Welcome, dear reader. You’ve come to hear the tale of Aquaville, no doubt. A place where blue and green people live in relative harmony and where all the buildings are painted a sparkling, bright nondescript color.

Well, almost all. A small number of blue people buck social convention and paint their house blue. Or perhaps just part of it. Or maybe a pale shade of blue. Or perhaps all the rooms inside are painted blue.

Same for a few green people who feel the town should be green and so paint their house green. Or perhaps just a part of it. Or maybe a pale shade of green. Or perhaps all the rooms inside are painted green.

One day…SCANDAL!

Egads! Someone, a person of green it turns out, has been doused with a bucket of blue paint. “I’ve been blued!”, the greenie cries. “And those blue derkreuz players did it!” There is now a person in Aquaville who is both blue and green. The Horror! Not in Aquaville! No!

Yes!

The Aquaville DA was the first to the microphone: “Twists and turns, this story has, yessssssssss it doesesssss, My Precious.” he says to the angry greenies and the dumbfounded bluies.

So, too, the Aquaville University Intelligentsia determine (at the weekly Ivory Tower Society Of Aquaville University Intelligentsia meeting) there is Obvious and Universal and Unquestioned Outrage at this heinous event. “Let us go forth to declare and impose our judgment upon the nematodes who pay our salaries.”, they proclaim. And thus they splattered their perspective upon the citizenry by way of a sacred “ad.” As in “advertisement.” You know, one of those thingies marketing types use to sell you all manner of shi…er…shiny objects.

We are listening to our students. We’re also listening to the Aquaville community, to Aquaville University staff, and to each other. Especially, to each other. Actually, only to each other. We don’t give a rat’s ass about the police investigation, what is apparent everyday now is the anger and fear of many students who know themselves to be objects of discoloration and splashism, who see illuminated in this moment’s extraordinary spotlight what they live with everyday. The clueless bastards, but bless their molded minds. They know that it isn’t just Aquaville University, it isn’t everybody, and it isn’t just individuals making this disaster. Which is to say it’s nobody. But it is a disaster nonetheless. These students are shouting and whispering, simultaneously all at once, about what happened to this young greenie and to themselves. And we hear them.

Non-descript Universal Power be praised! Our Department of Discoloration and Splashism Studies has been saved! The agenda lives!

Aghast, were the four score and eight Ivory Tower Intelligentsia, at the base and growly response reflected from the cretins at their feet. “Pay your child’s tuition and be gone with you!”, they pronounced. But alas, the din from the great wealthy unwashed would not abate. So they did speak again unto the foul mass of check writers.

Recently, the Aquaville University community was rocked by terrible news. We heard that a greenie hired to perform at a party thrown by our derkreuz team had accused members of the team of discolorization. Neighbors, we were told, heard splashist epithets called out at the greenie. The criminal proceedings and the media frenzy which followed are perhaps beginning to wind down. But we won’t let that happen for we shall perservere and fan the flames once again. For us at Aquaville University, the issues raised by the incident, and by our responses to it, are not. How DARE the masses contradict our proclamations!

The ad we previously posted has been read as a comment on the alleged discoloration, the team party, or the specific students accused. Worse, it has been read as rendering a judgment in the case. You idiots. It’s not a rendering. Its a suggestion. Got it? Good! We understand the ad instead (and it is OUR understanding that counts, don’t you know) as a call to action on important, longstanding issues on and around our campus, an attempt to channel the attention generated by the incident to addressing these. We reject all attempts to try the case outside the courts, and stand firmly by the principle of the presumption of innocence, except insofar as it makes us look bad and prevents us from achieving the agenda from the Ivory Tower.

Come on, people! Just think of all the vast numbers of blue-green people who suffer each day under the yoke of discolorization. Have you NO sensitivity to the ISSUES of SPLASHISM? We. Need. This. Victim. Keep it up and you will force us to WRITE IN ALL CAPS!

There have been public calls to the Intelligentsia to retract the ad or apologize for it, as well as calls for action against them and attacks on their character. We reject all of these. Fie, we say to all you vermin! We think the ad’s authors were right to give voice to the unsubstantiated anonymous quotes we used, whose suffering is every bit as real as our world. They have tenured suffering and that must be respected. We also acknowledge, without the concomitant empathy stuff, the pain that has been generated by what we believe is a misperception that the authors of the ad prejudged the discoloration case. How were we supposed to know the masses would, like, you know, actually figure that out?

We stand by the claim that issues of discoloration and splashist violence on campus are real, and we join the ad’s call to all of us at Aquaville University to do something about this. Damn it! Get a Federal grant and DO SOMETHING! Hellooooooooo! We hope that the Aquaville University community will emerge from this tragedy as a better place for we Intelligentsia to live, study, and occasionally work.

Sadly, for the Intelligentsia, the overwhelming preference from the community was for the Intelligentsia’s head to emerge from their collective Intelligentsia arse.

2007.01.12

The Culture Of Pure Fantasy

Bad enough we have Senator Ted Stevens (Republican, Alaska) exposing his profound ignorance by claiming the Internet is “a series of tubes“. Now we are blessed with Representative David Wu (Democrat, Oregon) spelling out the difference between “real” and “fake” Klingons for us:

Fantasy, my friends. Scary, scary fantasy. These guys wouldn’t know a terrorist if it blew up in their face.

[Edit History]

2007.01.13

Something about this video really bugged me, but didn’t put my finger on it until last night. Rep. Wu is reading from a prepared statement. He actually thought this through, if you could call it that. When you put your ideas to paper, actually write them down, you give them their first audience and from there you begin to think about a wider audience. Good writers consider how their ideas may be perceived and what the audience reaction might be. Good writers seek to provoke the reaction they originally intended – outrage, humor, debate, edification, etc. So Rep. Wu is either a brilliant orator and knew his congressional audience will enough to craft his SiFi message or he is an idiot.

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.

2006.12.07

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.


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