Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Saturday, 2017.12.16
Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.

2006.06.10

Government Demands Censorship Apology

Not good:

House Democrats from Long Island and New York City on Friday joined the chorus of critics slamming Ann Coulter.

The lawmakers signed a letter drafted by Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington) demanding that the conservative commentator apologize for saying in her new book that widows of some 9/11 victims are “enjoying” their husbands’ deaths. The book refers to the four New Jersey women as “the witches of East Brunswick.”

I’ve been working on a more considered response to Ann Coulter’s remarks and the reactions that followed. But this development breached my patience and demanded an immediate response.

Is our Congress so out of touch with, you know, reality-based reality that they believe it appropriate and worth the time to issue what measures up to a demand for censorship? “Apology,” my ass. Coming from Congress, such a demand carries a far greater implication of intimidation than a similar letter from, say, the local cub scout troop.

In light of this pointed abuse of power, I care less about what Ann Coulter said specifically, and more about showing Congress with my finger just which Constitutional Amendment I’ll die fighting to protect. It is neither appropriate nor a good use of their time for the Congress to meddle in this issue. I felt just as strongly when they meddled in the life of Terri Schiavo. Neither party, indeed no elected official has any business here except to fulfill their oath to office and protect the Constitution.

This development has the same stench as the on-going revelations about corruption within the ranks of Congress and, even more troubling, the lengths to which they will unite to protect themselves from the very same laws we are all subject to, including members of Congress. The sewage that is Congressional Hubris assumes each of the members are above the law, entitled even. Likewise for those for whom they wish to confer protection. Bizzzzzzzt! (That’s the sound of me voting for America’s new Third Party: the Not-An-Incumbent Party.) Protecting their darling shielded puppets, what ever the cause, on my dime makes me want to Ensz in their shoes.

Note to Ann Coulter: Don’t! The issue just spilled over into your fundamental right to free speech and I support you in protecting that right.

Note to Congress, Democrats and Republicans: Get back to work!

Fake But Accurate News: Whitehouse Press Briefing

[Ed. The following are a couple of snippets from the latest press briefing by White House Press Secretary, Tony Snow, on the recent demise of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. A US military general was also available for questions. In attendance were terrorist operatives reporters from various Main Stream Media organizations.]

…..

Reporter: General, were the photos of the allegedly deceased Abu Musab al-Zarqawi “Photoshopped” prior to presenting them to the press?

General: “Photoshopped?” What’s that? I don’t understand what you’re asking. Do you mean did we have the film developed at a MotoPhoto? No.

Reporter: General, how do you explain the fact freedom fighter Abu Musab al-Zarqawi survived the blast from not just one, but two 500 pound IED’s?

General: First of all, the ordnance used in this operation were not “Improvised Explosive Devices,” or “IED’s,” rather very sophisticated weapons delivered with laser precision by highly trained and competent professionals. IED’s are the weapon of choice with the terrorist organizations and have killed and injured many of our brave soldiers as well as a great many more innocent Iraqi civilians. And as far as Zarqawi’s having survived the blasts, all I can say he was lucky.

Reporter: Can you elaborate on the “Conspiracy of Luck” which you just made reference to?

General: Ahhhhh…

…..

Reporter 1: Is there any truth to the rumor that His Eminence Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was robbed by elite US combat soldiers just before he died?

Snow: No truth. Rumors? I thought you guys were professionals and dealt with facts and stuff.

Reporter 2: So, for the record, are you not saying these rumors are unsubstantiated non-truths or are you not saying they are likely un-truths pending Congressman Murtha’s investigation?

Snow: Ummm…

Reporter 3: How do you explain the growing reports which claim Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Benevolent, was robbed by US military personnel as he lay on his death bed?

Snow: “Reports?” Because two reporters asked about a goofy rumor that makes it a report? I think I got off the elevator on the wrong floor.

Reporter 4: Is there any truth to the rumor that the Exalted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was sexually abused by elite US combat soldiers just before he died?

Snow: I think I’m in the wrong building.

Reporter 5: Are you claiming these atrocities wouldn’t be true if they had actually happened?

Snow: Excuse me. I just remembered I have a dental appointment for a root canal.

Reporter 6: Are there any more rumors you care to neither confirm nor deny?

Social Parasites Wanted, No Experience Necessary

Amy Alkon is attending the Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference at the University of Pennsylvania. She makes note of these comments from behavioral ecologist Marlene Zuk (University of California, Riverside):

She talked about parasites as a normal part of life, and noted that they’ve shaped life from the beginning: “We evolved with parasites…” and “…we remove them at our peril.” She spoke of the unexpected downsides of removing our pathogens.

This has me thinking. It is a common observation that our social behavior is a more developed or complex extension of basic physical models and that our social structure is often modeled after similar systems in nature. So while Professor Zuk is talking about actual little critters, what are the implications of removing societal parasites? Is it actually a good thing for society to have some portion of the population living on welfare? Does the social burden of 14 million illegal aliens provide some as yet unrecognized benefit, something deeper than the ideas and claims being kicked around in the MSM and blogsphere? And the same for social security, Medicaid and Medicare.

I don’t have an answer to these questions, but they may merit consideration if a socially healthy solution is to be crafted to many of the current issues we face. I believe there is a very real possibility we are failing to define many of these issues in a manner which can result in positive solutions.

That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

Friedrich Nietzsche

[Edit History]

2006.06.10 – Ooooops. Wrong link to Advice Goddess post. Its fixed now.

2006.06.20 – Sissy Willis takes a similar tack with regard to immune response research and the social context.


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