Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2017.12.15
A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

		Benjamin Franklin

2007.11.29

Name A Teddy Bear, Go To Jail

That’s the LAW!

A British teacher in Sudan was convicted Thursday of the less-serious charge of insulting Islam for letting her pupils name a teddy bear “Muhammad,” and was sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation to Britain, one of her lawyers said.

Courts often rule ignorance of the law is not a defense. But what about when you’re pinned by laws of the ignorant? Can the British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, at least claim ignorance of Medieval laws?

Michelle Malkin asks a population of turned backs: “Where are the human rights groups, the feminists, the moderate Muslims?”

And check out the self-loathing among the Brits! (H/T LGF) Criminy, no wonder we won independence from them. Here’s hoping the Brits with sense prevail and prevent the radical Muslims from winning the ground right out from under their English feet.

For the record, my teddy bear is named “Mr. NOT Muhammad”.

[Edit History]

2007.11.30

Wow. Thousands in sudan call for british teddy bear teacher’s execution. Check out the pictures in this article. They not only want her dead, they want her hacked to death.

There is simply no negotiating, no possibility of “dialog” with people who want you and me dead. Islam: The Religion of Perpetual Outrage, ca. 600 AD

2007.11.28

And How Is Your Christmas Shoving Going?

Er…I mean Christmas shopping.

“They were having a big fight. Two ladies was jumping a lady over credit cards,” witness Sylvester Wilson said.

Nearly a dozen Wauwatosa squad cars responded to the call just before 11 a.m. Saturday.”It was a nice brawl. It came from inside to outside. If you go up there, you’ll see hair, earrings, all pulled out on the ground,” Wilson said.

Online shopping, baby. It’s the way to go.

2007.11.21

How To Make Politics Obsolete

With science, of course. The Wall Street Journal reports:

In the quest to treat difficult diseases, researchers have created human embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos or using hard-to-get eggs. The technique may prove to be easier, cheaper, and more ethically appealing than an alternative approach that requires cloning.

This makes the moronic Republican stand against stem cell research effectively obsolete. And it goes to show science abhors corruption and routes around it.

2007.11.20

Washington D.C. Politicians Puzzled Why Sun Always Rises In The East…

…and the effectiveness of D.C. gun ban is still a mystery.

For the past 30 year, Washington D.C. has had one of the most restrictive laws against private ownership of handguns. Yet during that time, the number of violent crimes involving handguns has not decreased.

Guns were used in 63 percent of the city’s 188 slayings in 1976. Last year, out of 169 homicides, 81 percent were shootings.

And now the constitutionality of the ban is probably headed for review by the US Supreme Court.

“We were trying to send out a message,” recalled Sterling Tucker, the council chairman at the time.

And so they did. The message was “For the tastiest, richest target environment, come to Washington D.C. We’ll service all your easy crime spree needs!”

“It’s a pretty common-sense idea that the more guns there are around, the more gun violence you’ll have,” D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer said.

That’s ugly common sense and, like all things involving humans, there are a few more dots to connect than just the line from point A to point B. If homeless, penniless people can figure out how to get their person to warmer cities in the winter, violent criminals are going to figure out where the easy marks are and D.C.’s ban has rolled out the carpet for these thugs for over 30 years. AG Singer’s shallow analysis misses the more obvious common sense: The more criminals you have around with guns the more gun violence you’ll have. This conclusion emerges naturally from D.C.’s 30 year experiment. Or does AG Singer base her argument on the false assumption that any human with a gun and without a badge is a criminal? She continues:

“One of the difficult things is, you can’t measure what didn’t happen,” Singer said. “You can’t measure how many guns didn’t come into the District because we have this law.”

Neither can you measure the number of bombs that didn’t hit their target in Germany during World War II. But you sure can measure the effect of the bombs that did. Someone who is honestly, legitimately and objectively interested in lowering the violent crime rate would have to concede it is time for D.C. to allow law abiding citizens to own and carry handguns to defend themselves and study the effect over the next 30 years. Such experiments elsewhere strongly suggests D.C. would experience a drop in the number and percentage of violent crimes involving guns. But doing this would require the gun nihilists to give up the “pretty common sense” that fits their narrative.

[Edit History]

2007.11.20

Looks like it’s a go: US court to review Washington, D.C., handgun ban

2007.11.19

The Columbia 70 – Calling It Like They Don’t See It

They keep telling us, dissent is the highest form of patriotism: Statement of Dissent From CU-FAC Statement, 61 Columbia Professors dissent from the 70 Columbia Professors’ statement criticizing Lee Bollinger.

To paraphrase the Columbia 61’s points:

1. The faculty is not supreme ruler of the university and need not be consulted on university budgetary and enrollment issues.

2. Contrary to the Columbia 70’s position, the university does have a responsibility to the wider community, in addition to its students, alumni and donors.

3. The Columbia 70’s logic suffers from scope creep as obvious as Rosie O’Donnell spilling over a size 4 bikini (apologies for the imagery, but it…um…fits.)

4. President Bollinger provided exactly what the Columbia 70 claim he didn’t.

Where, exactly, did the Columbia 70 acquire their skills at logic and analysis? Are a sizable portion of academics still busy contemplating their navels? If they had any ability to view themselves critically – potential damage to their self esteem notwithstanding – and consider the larger world then perhaps their views would have been better informed. Unfortunately for Columbia and their students, the Columbia 70 appear capable of little more than rear-search.

Not unlike the Duke 88, the Columbia 70 presume to speak for all those who have remained silent, until now, that is. It’s easier to tolerate the likes of the Columbia 70 when they stare at their navels. At least then they were somewhat sympathetic. Now they’re just laughable.

(H/T: The Volokh Conspiracy)

2007.11.15

From The Two-Plus-Two-Equals-One Department

The unanswered question is, which had the greater suction, the vacuum cleaner or the black hole at the center of this guy’s head?

A man using a vacuum cleaner to suck gasoline out of a vehicle was burned and his house damaged when the fuel exploded, the Albuquerque Fire Department said.

2007.11.10

Run, Legacy Media, Run!

Glenn Raynolds’ wrap up from Blogworld Expo in Las Vegas:

It really underscored to me how big and diverse the blogosphere has become. There were lots of big bloggers I barely knew of, because they’re in areas I don’t follow. Some tech folks were telling me that they liked it because, going to the tech conferences, they saw the same people every time. I think a lot of political-blogger types felt the same way. There was plenty of cross-fertilization.

But the bottom line is that the blogging pond has gotten very big, and there are a lot of big fish in it now. I think that’s a huge success for the blogosphere.

I would agree and I believe the blogger’s effect on news and information is still defining its self. Just two years ago there were a handful of blogs I kept up with on a daily basis and of those I pretty much kept up with all the posts and comments. Of that handful, just two remain that I follow that closely: Instapundit and Tim Blair. I still tune in now and again to many of the old favorites, such as Althouse, Hot Air, Gateway Pundit, Iowahawk, The Anchoress and the Advice Goddess. But the time that had been spent keeping up with the second tier blogs has been supplanted by time spent at a variety of excellent blogs related to my business and industry. Two years ago, there wasn’t much out there in the blogosphere related to my business. At least not much beyond the posting of code samples, requests for technical support and rants against Microsoft and such. Today, there are a number of excellent blogs related to software design, development and security. Joel Spolsky and Bruce Schneier are no longer such lonely examples in the blogosphere.

The adaptability of the blogosphere, where evolutionary rules prevail more so than the revolutionary, is not its only advantage over the legacy media. The blogosphere, I believe, will host a diversity of which the politically correct congregation cannot even conceive. When an environment of diversity exists without fear of reprisal or repression by guilt, there can be true dialog and understanding.

In the blogosphere there are no suicide bombers to be fearful of, entitled, unfocused hunger strikers receive the collective yawn and laughter they deserve, lies are exposed, and justice prevails. In the legacy media, you’ll find support of terrorists tactics (bombers, snipers, use of human shields), exaggerated importance of trite stories, fabrication, lies, bias disguised as journalism and efforts to incite lynch mob frenzies among their readers. True, you may find this among bloggers. But other bloggers will expose such bloggers. Legacy media does not do this to its own.

I have great faith in the general population’s distaste for being duped like this and judging from the falling circulation and stock prices among the major US papers as well as the anti-war bombs being cranked out by Hollywood, I’d say the general population is catching on to what a shabby product the legacy media is producing. And for those that see, the blogosphere is there to catch them.

2007.11.01

Not Your Father’s IDE

That’s Integrated Development Environment to you non-software developer types. More generally, I’m referring to most of the marketing material for developer tools originating from the Great Northwest. I’m seeing more and more of this stuff with the ninja-kung-fu-martial-arts theme.

“Use our tools and be an instant black belt master of codi-fu on that next killer app!”

Much of the code I see from the younger set of developers, those that are a generation behind me and who have never known of a world without a wide web, is indeed quite killer. As in the “killed the project” kind of lethality. The IDE wrapped around the .NET languages has become a warm blanket for new developers which insulates them from the consequences of sloppy design until much too late in the development process.

I came to software development just at the end of assembler’s run and when C was it. Memory was still scarce but there was a lot more wiggle room in 640KB than there was in 64KB. A bad design still failed early and a good developer understood how design effected performance. Not only did you need to know the language, you needed to understand the hardware as well. These days, systemic knowledge is a tertiary concern if it’s considered at all.

“Black Belt Programmer” is a phrase that has always made me wince. The discipline required to achieve a black belt rank in most martial arts is considerably greater than the discipline required to become an excellent software developer. I can make this call because I actually have a real-life black belt rank in a martial art (currently, 3rd Dan in Aikido) and sustain an excellent quality of life as a software developer (so presumably I’m good at that, too. Right?)

So I’m not buying into this ninja marketing hype, yet that’s what is selling to them that’s buying. Will “evil code assassins” replace “debuggers?” Will my work day be interrupted with Kato-like tests (à la Inspector Clouseau) of my skill and attentiveness? Hiiiiiieeeeeee-YA!

Leaves me with the feeling I’m not long for this world of main stream software development.


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