Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2017.12.15
Be not anxious about what you have, but about what you are.

		Pope St. Gregory I

2007.02.20

A World Without America

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

2007.02.19

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty…

Cheetahs Maul Woman to Death at Zoo in Belgium

Karen Aerts, 37, of Antwerp, was found dead in the cage, Olmense Zoo spokesman Jan Libot said. Police said they ruled out any foul play.

Authorities believe Aerts, a regular visitor to the zoo, hid in the park late Sunday until it closed and managed to find the keys to the cheetah cage.

“Karen loved animals. Unfortunately the cheetahs betrayed her trust,” Libot said.

One of the cats that killed Aerts was named Bongo, whom the woman had adopted under a special program. She paid for Bongo’s food, Libot said.

I’d say so. In this case, she paid with her life. Do you suppose that Darwin fellow was on to something? Or was it species profiling by the cheetahs?

Seriously, when people expect animals to behave as refined human beings and interact with them based on that fatally flawed assumption, there should be no surprise when the animal dispatches that belief to the bone yard. What was this woman thinking? That the cheetahs would recognize her and purr thankfully for hours, lulling her to sleep that night? Instead of recognizing her as the food lady, they recognized the lady as food.

(H/T: Tim Blair)

2007.02.18

Blog Haiku #15

Tracks in the log file.
Left by machines
Driven by minds.

2007.02.13

Marcotte, McEwan, Darwin And The Blogosphere

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

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

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

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

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

Previously:

Amanda Marcotte: Near-Earth Object From Deep Left Space

2007.02.12

Ingredients For Disaster

As the saying goes, “Experience is the worst teacher. It always gives the test first and the instruction afterward.”

The Instapundit is recommending a couple of books on preparing meals in situations where you may have lost power:

Both look pretty useful. And they combine two InstaPundit interests — cooking, and disaster preparedness.

In my house, we’ve learned to do the disaster preparedness first as there is the all too real possibility it may be needed as a result of the cooking. Of course, now that the EPA has required I file the necessary paperwork prior to the implementation of any new culinary endeavors and the DoD has confiscated most of my college era recipes, the disaster part is far less frequent than it used to be.

[Edit History]

2007.02.14

Ha! I was talking about electrical power. If you’ve lost some other kind of power or otherwise fallen into some sort of decline, well, then get some Primal Shrug Therapy, a can opener and just deal with it.

2007.02.11

Introducing…

…Rose (n. Willow)

At 2 weeks…

Rose - 2 Weeks

…3 weeks…

Rose - 3 Weeks

…4 weeks…

Rose - 4 Weeks

…5 weeks…

Rose - 5 Weeks

…6 weeks…wait for it…

Rose - 6 Weeks

…Ears!…7 weeks…

Rose - 7 Weeks

…and finally, 8 weeks.

Rose - 8 Weeks

Settled on “Rose” for the name after seeing the puppy’s ears. Two of Janet’s favorite rose varieties were “Barbara Bush” and “Barbara Streisand”. The puppy’s ears look like petals from these two bushes in Janet’s rose garden.

Spent most of yesterday driving out to Burlington, Colorado to meet the owners at Paws and Claws Kennel. Brought Jasmine along as she would have final say over whether or not the new puppy was a fit. It was a rough trip for the old girl, but she was a trooper and seemed to like the puppy. All that’s left is to work out a few hierarchy rules between the two of them back home (So far, it’s working out really good.)

They say you learn more about a company when things go wrong and experience how the company handles the problem. Such was the case here. A potential glitch in our deal arose and was handled completely to my satisfaction. Landon & Dana Richards were excellent to work with – conscientious, fair and honest. Their operations were very clean and a good example of what a responsible breeder’s kennel should look like. In addition to puppy pictures, I encouraged them to put pictures of their kennel on their web site. The puppies sell themselves, but pictures of their operations would add just that extra bit of reassurance to potential customers, letting them know they are working with professionals and not some puppy mill crank.

If your decision is to work with a breeder, I highly recommend the Richards and Paws and Claws Kennel.

Previously:

Dangerous Cuteness IV
Dangerous Cuteness III
Dangerous Cuteness II
Dangerous Cuteness
A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.02.09

Dangerous Cuteness IV

The pups at 7 weeks. It’s down to a pick between one of these two:

Duo - 7 weeks

Previously:

Dangerous Cuteness III
Dangerous Cuteness II
Dangerous Cuteness
A Dog Needs A Dog

2007.02.07

Amanda Marcotte: Near-Earth Object From Deep Left Space

A lot has been said about presidential candidate John Edwards’ selection of Amanda Marcotte as his campaign blogmaster. As contentious and divisive as her “writing” is, I’m surprised she hasn’t been dropped by now like a wad of cash from Jack Abramoff. Alas, Captain Marcotte is still at the helm of Spaceship Edwards. Edwards’ sluggish response is a clear indication he is short on change. So here’s my 2¢…

Ms. Marcotte’s writing is bad. So bad, it’s worse than mine. Nice to know I’m no longer at the absolute bottom of the heap. I read 4 or 5 things she wrote and stopped after suffering through a piece she wrote for the Earth Island Journal in June, 2006: “You want guys with that?

The article begins with a laborious recitation of a storyline for some fast food commercial (I don’t watch TV and haven’t seen the commercial, so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of her plot summary.) She then springs to:

What I find interesting about this is that the consumption of meat as a way of homosocial bonding through the disdain of women fits really neatly into other media portrayals of how men are supposed to bond – generally by a shared loathing and/or objectification of women.

Kierkegaard would be amused to see such a divine leap in a secular context. Relax, kid. It’s a commercial. Perhaps it would be helpful for Ms. Marcotte to reacquaint herself with the concept of “shallow.” But perhaps that’s a bit like explaining water to a fish. She continues…

It’s a nasty trick to play on men, trying to persuade them that the path to manhood requires consuming great quantities of artery-clogging beef, especially since men are more prone to heart disease than women in the first place.

Yes, save us easily duped guys from our own choices. Rescue us from those tricksy Madison Avenue evil doers. Ah, but there are those pesky facts in the way of her arguement.

Both men and women have heart attacks, but more women who have heart attacks die from them.The National Women’s Health Information Center

This is only half the story. Consider:

Women are 16 per cent more likely to die within 30 days of a heart attack than men, after accounting for age and other health issues. Their risk of dying after a stroke is 11 per cent higher than the risk for males.

For reasons that are not clear, Dr. [Beth] Abramson says men in every age group are more likely than women to be sent to a cardiologist after a heart attack, which raises their chance of survival by almost 50 per cent. They are also more likely to be transferred to a larger hospital and receive bypass and angioplasty treatments.

If Ms. Marcotte were interested in addressing an issue of gender bias of substance, she would be working, for example, to change the complex issues involved with how our medical professionals are trained and the outdated “traditional” attitudes prevalent in the medical industry. Such attitudes are receding, but a glacial speeds. They require a dedicated, persistent and sustained effort to change. Attacking transient 30 second commercials is easier and well suited to equally transient rants which amount to little more than spitting on the problem. Changing deep seated memes require strategy and tact – attributes I find entirely lacking in Ms. Marcotte’s writing. By extension, the same attributes are lacking from Edwards’ presidential campaign blog presence.

Back to the “commercial as science” analysis:

It’s also a terrible message about the qualities of American men, who are portrayed as stupid, destructive, greedy, and childish. If I were a man, I’d be deeply insulted. My gut feeling is that there are plenty of men who are insulted.

Hmmmmm. I’ve been slapped and praised in the same article. How persuasively polar. If you were a man? Why, I’m deeply offended that Ms. Marcotte, a woman, would presuppose to know the mind of a man. Shocked, I am. Shocked and hurt!

Ack. Ms. Marcotte’s guts are wrong. Try reading tea leaves instead. There are plenty of men who were amused. The humor pitch, something that also appeals to guys, was completely left out of Ms. Marcotte’s analysis. We like to laugh, even at ourselves. Studies suggest taking one’s self so seriously also leads to problems of the heart.

What spatters the rest of Ms. Marcotte’s article is an unconnected litany of perceived global and social problems caused by “fast food companies” – disdain of women, environmental consequences of having cows on the planet, polluted rivers and streams, depletion of the rain forests, depletion of grain resources, soil erosion and, of course, greenhouse gas emissions (gotta get the global warming in there somewhere.) This scaffolding magically collapses to her conclusion:

This commercial demonstrates [the fast food companies] are willing to resort to childish taunts about how to be a man in order to do it. So what men watching this commercial are left with is not just the message that they have to oppose women to be Real Men, but also the implication that Real Men destroy the environment.

Which leads me to conclude that Ms. Marcotte really isn’t walking on the same planet as I am. I’m not so sure she would recognize a Real Man if he opened a door for her in front of her face.

Michelle Malkin has the clearest warning for John Edwards: “Lesson for Democrat politicians: If you lay down with nutroots, it will be hard to get back up.”

How long before Edwards wakes up and sees who is in his bed? The clock is ticking…

[Edit History]

2007.02.07

11:15 – Signs that Edwards may be stirring from his slumbers: “Mr. Edwards’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Palmieri, said Tuesday night that the campaign was weighing the fate of the two bloggers.” The second blogger, one Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare’s Sister, under scrutiny for expressing anti-Catholic opinions.

14:50 – “John Edwards has fired the two controversial bloggers he recently hired to do liberal blogger outreach, Salon has learned.” Those would be Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan.

2007.02.08

06:45 – Bryan at Hot Air shines the light nicely: “IMPORTANT ACTION ALERT: Stop taking yourselves so seriously” It echoes what I wrote above about Ms. Marcotte taking herself so seriously.

There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them. – Heisenberg

The kind of behavior described by Bryan is more prevalent among the left than the right and such behavior does more to explain why I am not a liberal than why I am a conservative/libertarian.

And it appears the firing of Marcotte and McEwan isn’t a done deal as yet. Seems Edwards has hit the snooze button. (Was tempted to type that as “schmooze” button.)

11:15 – Looks like it was the schmooze button after all: “Edwards Stands By His Bloggers

2007.02.09

Fixed several minor grammatical errors.

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)

2007.02.01

William Arkin – Just Biden His Time

From William Arkin’s damage control:

I said I was bothered by the notion that “the troops” were somehow becoming hallowed beings above society, that they had an attitude that only they had the means – or the right – to judge the worthiness of the Iraq endeavor.

Invoking the Moral Equivalence Clause from the MSM Big Book of Behavior, we can restate this to say:

I said I was bothered by the notion that Cindy Sheehan is somehow becoming a hallowed being above society, that she had an attitude that only she had the means – or the right – to judge the worthiness of the Iraq endeavor.

To continue…

I was dead wrong in using the word mercenary to describe the American soldier today.

These men and women are not fighting for money with little regard for the nation. The situation might be much worse than that: Evidently, far too many in uniform believe that they are the one true nation.

Evidently? How does he “know” this? Al-Qaeda tells him so, silly.

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
See here for what I mean by “Biden.”

It’s My Blog And I’ll Cry When I Want To

Althouse is having problems with the new Blogger. The “new and improved”, post-upgrade software seems to be as palatable as New Coke. She describes the issues from the blogger’s perspective and I can attest her site is taking a while to load. Haven’t tried to post any comments yet. I noticed similar problems with Gateway Pundit’s site a month or so ago when he was upgrading to the new Blogger. Gateway Pundit’s site always took longer to load, but for several weeks it took a really long time. Seems to be back to normal slow speed now so perhaps the Althouse issues, at least for the visitors, will resolve over time.

I had looked at Blogger several years ago and didn’t much care for the interface and functional layout from a blogger’s perspective. The steps for posting comments still strikes me as rather tedious. I have some doubts about how Blogger tracks web traffic, too. Over the past several months I’ve been working to sort out the JZ:TOL traffic patterns and the trends have been rather interesting. SPAM has been the biggest issue. As I identify IP addresses associated with SPAM, I ban them and they drop out of my traffic statistics. Bots are another big issue. In most cases, I want the bots because I want my blog to show up in search engines and such. But I don’t include bot traffic in my stats. Does Blogger count SPAM hits, even ones that are successfully filtered? Does Blogger count bot scans as if they were visitors? Same questions could be asked of the various third party site meter services.

Eventually, I settled on WordPress and have used it ever since. But there was a deeper criteria for me when looking for a content management system. I had to have complete control over the system. I wanted unfettered access to the web logs, the database, the code and the system. This means it had to be hosted on a machine I owned. This greatly expanded the options for software, backup and recovery strategies, and upgrades.

Granted, the capability to manage such a system is extra work and not something that is desirable for the vast majority of bloggers. It’s a question of trade-offs and accumulated experience. System administration tasks are for me what handling a saw is for a woodworker – not much effort because of the many years practice in handling the tools. Upgrades to JZ:TOL always occur on a non-public mirror site so I can see the effect and assess the impact of any upgrades or code changes. The upside is near transparent upgrades to the public blog. And in the unlikely event of a water landing after an upgrade to the public blog, I have a rollback strategy in place that can restore the previous site in a matter of minutes. Apparently, Blogger doesn’t have such capabilities. Having such a system in place also makes the blog more secure as patches and upgrades can be tested and pushed within hours of the announced patch or upgrade.

Like I said, it’s a question of trade-offs and accumulated experience. When I have a legal problem, even a relatively small one, I hire an attorney. With Althouse, probably not the case.

[Edit History]

2007.02.02

Didn’t mean to imply JZ:TOL is hosted on WordPress. Rather, I use the WordPress software application on my own javazen.com server. Ambiguity fixed.


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