Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2017.12.15
The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free.

		Henry David Thoreau

2007.06.25

The Soul Full Cup

That’s where I am, at the moment. The “Soul Full Cup” coffee house on Market Street in Corning, New York. It has it all – ambiance, WiFi, and most importantly, excellent coffee. A special shout out to my nephew, David. This is his favorite place to enjoy a cup of java and many thanks for sharing the wisdom. At 20, the man has soul. True, dat.

Soul Full Cup

2007.06.20

O’Hare + CNN = Mini-Hell

I’m waiting for my connecting flight to Rochester and United is delayed because of some sort of system-wide computer glitch. I have yet to get through this airport without a delay. CNN is spewing info-filth into the waiting area. So far in the “news”: Firemen are dead, a mother and baby are dead, a truck plowed into pedestrians, an ambulance crash was caught on tape and there has been a raccoon rescue.

Not feeling particularly informed here.

One thread of solace, via GPRS I can connect to the real world.

[Edit History]

2007.06.20

Hey, things just improved! A lady sat down next to me eating McDonald’s with her mouth open. At one time I used to think that stuff smelled good. Or maybe it always smelled like crap and I just had no relative reference. Bonus! There’s a kid just behind me throwing popcorn around (occasionally eating some with his mouth open.)

2007.06.27

Got this email from United, send last Friday:

************************************************************
We apologize if your travel was disrupted
************************************************************

On behalf of United, I want to express our sincere regrets
for any disruption to service you may have experienced when
flying with us on Wednesday and Thursday this week. We know
you expect us to take you where you want to go with on-time
departures and arrivals. We failed to meet your expectations
on those days.

As you may be aware, a computer outage, due to human error
during routine system testing, significantly impacted our
operations systemwide. Working as a team, we were able to
get our airplanes and crews back on schedule…and our
passengers on their way.

We greatly appreciated your patience and know that we will
make every effort to keep this type of situation from
occurring in the future.

Your satisfaction and business mean a great deal to United,
and we look forward to our next opportunity to serve you.

Sincerely,

Barbara Higgins
Vice-President
Customer Experience
United Airlines

Hmmmmmm. Do you suppose anyone lost their job?

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.

2007.06.12

Tuesday Evening Rose

Rose

2007.06.11

Cool On Top

As in Cool Roofs:

Over 90% of the roofs in the United States are dark-colored. These low-reflectance surfaces reach temperatures of 150 to 190°F (66 to 88°C) and contribute to:

  • Increased cooling energy use and higher utility bills;
  • Higher peak electricity demand, raised electricity production costs, and a potentially overburdened power grid;
  • Reduced indoor comfort;
  • Increased air pollution due to the intensification of the “heat island effect”; and
  • Accelerated deterioration of roofing materials, increased roof maintenance costs, and high levels of roofing waste sent to landfills.


In contrast, cool roof systems with high reflectance and emittance stay up to 70°F (39°C) cooler than traditional materials during peak summer weather. Benefits of cool roofs include reduced building heat-gain and saving on summertime air conditioning expenditures. By minimizing energy use, cool roofs do more than save money – they reduce the demand for electric power and resulting air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Unfortunately, there are tens of thousands of Home Owner Association fiefdoms in the way of making something like this happen. There really are many, many simple solutions to the problem, but how do you whip up a fearful frenzy about white roofs? It’s much more satisfying to smack down a Hummer driver or gloat over that shiny new Prius in the driveway.

2007.06.09

Saturday Morning Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

2007.06.08

That’s Not The Paris I Knew

I just don’t know what to think about the frenzied, feverish pitch in the press over Paris Hilton’s Plight. Give me a moment…

I got it! Nothing!

The main stream media has become worse than a parody of itself. In times past, the pen was mightier than the sword. But the pen wielded by today’s press is out of ink. But who am I to complain? Paris and the press are giving extra life to my little joke.

2007.06.06

Cherubim Foundation Update V

The 2005 990 filed by the Cherubim Foundation Board has the numbers behind the organization’s last year in business. The document is public and is available from sites like GuideStar. For 2004, Cherubim Foundation showed $72,000 raised for the entire year. The Unfounding Board of Directors had $86,000 to work with, most of that on hand around May 2005, and yet they managed to fly the organization into the ground by year’s end.

The numbers don’t look right to me. They claim $57,000 “provided as aid and education to 56 participants” ($1,018/participant). Yet the 990 for 2004 claims $35,000 “provided aid and education to 42 patients” ($833/participant). 14 more participants consumed $22,000? Their own Board meeting notes indicate they moved to cut participant benefits. And I don’t know what happened to all of Cherubim Foundation’s material assets (office equipment, furniture, sound equipment, etc.).

What the Board didn’t know is someone on the Board, or close to it, was dropping notes at my door. I don’t know who and would rather they hadn’t. I prefer whistle blowers who actually blow the whistle. Regardless, the Note Elf(s) seemed pretty accurate and corroborating the important stuff was easy enough. A good look at the books would have been most enlightening, but would have served little more than to confirm what I’ve been saying all along. The Board members listed in the 2005 990 lacked the skill and the steel to do a decent job. They and they alone own Cherubim Foundation’s failure. It’s success belongs to the rest of us.

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.

2007.06.04

Monday Evening Roses

Rose

Rose

2007.06.03

When Napping Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Nap

Take a nap, go to jail No rest for the wicked? There will only be rest for the wicked.

A teenage girl could face criminal charges after the two toddlers she was baby-sitting drowned in a nearby pond in a rural Pennsylvania town.

The coroner says the deaths were accidental. But the 18-year-old, who is related to one of the girls, could be held responsible if she is found to have been negligent or reckless.

The baby sitter told state police she put the girls down for a nap Wednesday and took a nap herself. When she woke up, she said the two girls were missing from the house.

There are a few other clichés that could be rewritten to match the sentiment.

It’s a tragedy with potentially far reaching repercussions. I suppose the sitter was negligent, 18 years is certainly old enough to understand the responsibility – or at least it was when I was 18. My sense is that kids these days are more isolated from the ideas of consequences and responsibility. We can thank the shift toward a nanny state mentality in public education and draconian social services for much of this. But Dr. Helen asks:

So, if taking a nap while babysitting turns out to be a crime, what would napping while parenting be called? And if cases like this are prosecuted–isn’t it too dangerous to babysit for anyone, relatives included?

Glenn Reynolds observes:

Everybody wants to demonstrate that they care about kids by ratcheting the standards for parenting and childcare ever-higher. But in doing so we raise the costs of having kids — you can’t even go out, because who’ll babysit if the liability is so extreme? — and that probably does more societal damage.

I also note that when I was on the state’s Juvenile Justice Reform Commission, I heard a lot of child-welfare authorities who testified make the same kind of excuses for the neglect or abuse of children in their care that they refused to accept from parents, etc. — we’re so busy, there’s not enough money, it’s not our fault they live in a building that’s old and unsafe, etc. As Reverend Lovejoy said, when the state does it, it’s not wrong!

I’m not surprised that the same excuses are used by bureaucratic authorities. Government institutions are not made up of socially enlightened people with superior intelligence and impeccable moral vision (although they themselves may think they are such divine beings.) It’s much more likely the wheels are cranked by regular people who have a lot invested in having acquired the position they occupy. So they want to protect their position and do so with regular people excuses. In the worst cases, however, the wheels are cranked by folks matching the lowest common denominator. These people are scariest of all as they will actively work to insure there is a market for their “skills.” What do you suppose the Baby Sitter Police might look like and who would join the force? I can think of a few models in place right now.

[Edit History]

2007.06.06

There’s more to the story (H/T: Instapundit):

A teenager had been up all night drinking at a party before coming home to baby-sit her stepsister and another toddler, who both wandered outside and drowned in a nearby pond while the teen slept, state police said Tuesday.

“OK im finally done drinking and im rocked lol,” she text-messaged a friend — using the shorthand for “laughing out loud” — between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. last Wednesday, police said. A few hours later, the children were dead.

The emerging facts are more than a little disturbing. As it turns out, the teenager is actually 19 years old and is telling conflicting stories. I’ll say it again: “My sense is that kids these days are more isolated from the ideas of consequences and responsibility.”


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