Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Saturday, 2017.12.16
Old age is always fifteen years older than I am.

		B. Baruch

2008.03.28

Anti-American Bias At Al Jazeera English? No!

Holy reeling stunning revolations, Batman (H/T LGF):

“Former ‘Nightline’ reporter Dave Marash has quit Al-Jazeera English, saying Thursday his exit was due in part to an anti-American bias at a network that is little seen in this country.”

And this is interesting:

“Marash said he felt that attitude more from British administrators than Arabs at the Qatar-based network.”

I guess there are a few Brits who just can’t get over the whole 1776 thing. Or perhaps it’s that their own country is sunk so deep in the multicultural tar pit it’s beyond their ability to muster any hope, so they might as well shift their anti-sentiments to a country that at least has some hope for survival in the 21st century. There once was a time when the sun never set on the British Empire. Looks to be a day on the horizon when the sun may never rise on the British Empire.

In other news:

Job Opening: Al Jazeera seeks self-loathing, English speaking (American citizen preferred) TV personality. Actual personality not required. Prior experience as anti-American tool and Useful Idiot preferred.

2008.03.19

From The Just-A-Little-More-Umph Department

This could just as well come from the Get-Out-And-Push Department: Satellite misfire to hurt HDTV expansion.

“Reports indicated that a rocket carrying the AMC-14 satellite did not reach high enough orbit.”

Apparently, the problem has been traced back to the early moments of the launch…

Rocket Launch

Tragically, rocket scientists designed the satellite assuming metric child dimensions whereas launch control assumed English child dimensions. The stomping power of a 24 year old male was needed rather than that of an 8 year old male.

2008.03.18

Tuesday Afternoon Crocus And Bee

Crocus

2008.03.17

Life B.T. (Before Television)

When the younger generation asks us elders, “What did you do before there was television to keep entertained?”, it’s a difficult question to answer. Not hard difficult, but embarrassingly difficult:

We had the The Swing Wing:

“It’s a what?” It’s a Swing Wing! Because “Self-induced Whiplasher” just wouldn’t sell as well, you know.

But that’s not all! We also had Clackers! What fun! What hilarity when those things busted into pieces and flew in all directions. More thrilling than lawn darts! And they say only video games cause brain damage.

[Edit History]

2008.03.17

James Lileks elaborates.

2008.02.13

Laptops For Less Bait And Switch

Interesting bait and switch from Laptops For Less. Here’s what you see when you first hit the site:

LFL1

Note that the claim is for free shipping on orders over $30. Coolness. I need a replacement power cord for an ancient Compaq. But then notice what happens when you head on down the checkout path:

LFL2

Well how about that! My over $30 order is charged for shipping and the LFL website now shows free shipping on orders over $50. “Click for details” makes no mention of the $30 threshold, just the $50 threshold. I ordered the power cord from MobileTechPower.com which also charged me shipping but were upfront about the charge. In fact, the item was $8 less expensive overall from Mobile Tech Power.

2008.02.11

Non-Profit Transparency

Too late for Cherubim Foundation, but nonetheless good to see: Stricter IRS Form 990 to be more revealing, costly.

Among other things, the IRS wants to know more about the nonprofit’s business transactions and joint ventures, and its relationships with the directors on its board, as well as directors’ relationships with each other. Nonprofits will have to disclose more information about their officers’ compensation, political campaigning and lobbying activities; whether the organization has written policies covering conflicts of interest, whistleblowers and document destruction; and describe how it enforces some of those policies.

Funny-sad that a software engineer had a better sense of what the future had in store for how non-profits would be held accountable than a board of purported business leaders. I believe a lot of what they did, or rather didn’t do, was the result of weak accountability. When people know they will be held accountable, in some meaningful way, they tend to pay better attention to the consequence of their actions – particularly when the risks they take are done with other people’s money.

2008.02.05

Email Noir

Every couple of months I get around to clearing out my inbox and so came across this…er…generous death threat I received…let’s see…7 WEEKS AGO! Geesh. Where are my priorities? Wasn’t very prompt in my (still pending) reply.

From: “Alex Brown” <costa04ltd@hotmail.com>
Subject: PAY ASSASIN OR LOOSE YOUR LIFE
Date: Sat, December 15, 2007 5:01 pm
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Priority: Normal

I want you to read this message very carefully and diligently.

I’m a professional; hence you have no need of knowing who I am, where I am from, until I arrange for a one on one meeting. I have been mandated to terminate your life for some reasons listed to me by the contractor – someone I believe you know very well and very close to you. Consequently, I have been following you closely for a month now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusation leveled against you.

In your best interest, do not contact the Police or try to send a copy of this to any security agents, because if you do, I will certainly know through the impeccable assistance of one of the secret agents who is a friend, and you will leave me with no option than to be forced to do what I have being duly paid to do, beside this is the first time I’m turning out to be a betrayer against the ethics of my profession.

Now listen, I will arrange for us to see one on one but before that I need the amount of $14,000.00, you have nothing to be afraid of. I will be coming to see you in your home or you determine where you wish we meet, do not set any camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation, I seem to hold the four aces now. You will need to transfer $7, 000.00 to the account I will provide for you, before we will set our first meeting, after you have make the first advance payment to the account, I will provide you with the tape that contains his request for me to assassinate you, which will be enough proof for you to take up a legal action against him (if you wish to do so) and will tell you what to do and protect you, then the balance will be paid later.

You don’t need my phone contact for now till I am assured you are ready to comply, and being silence on this matter is very dangerous. The choice remains yours, and you have the next 72hrs to make that choice, otherwise you will live your limited life watching your back. A word is enough for the wise!

Signed,
Alex.
i’m is proud to present Cause Effect, a series about real people making a difference. Learn more

Fortunately for me, the priority is only “Normal.” Yet, Alex’s message has all the earmarks of the dreaded Northern Yukon Maphia. Uh-oh.

Hmmmmmmm, the message originates from Nigeria. Dang! I can’t count the number of “very well known and close” friends I have that are in and out of Nigeria. I’m in trouble. And oops, I’ve posted Alex’s message on the World Wiiiiiiiiiiide Web for his handlers to see and now they’re after his betraying ass.

Well, Alex may be holding all the aces, but that just tells me he’s 48 cards short of a full deck. Spellchecker, Alex. Use it. But whatever.

OK, Alex. Lets meet here. We’re expecting your visit.

Do people actually fall for this crap?

Here’s the header:

Return-Path: <costa04ltd@hotmail.com>
X-Original-To: #######################
Delivered-To: #######################
Received: by ################## (Postfix, from userid ####)
id DF26A77488B; Sat, 15 Dec 2007 17:01:30 -0700 (MST)
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.2.3 (2007-08-08) on ##################
X-Spam-Level: *
X-Spam-Status: No, score=1.9 required=5.0 tests=BAYES_40,HTML_MESSAGE,
SUBJ_ALL_CAPS autolearn=no version=3.2.3
Received: from ################## (localhost.localdomain [127.0.0.1])
by ################## (Postfix) with ESMTP id 2A3057748A6
for <#######################>; Sat, 15 Dec 2007 17:01:28 -0700 (MST)
Envelope-to: #######################
Delivery-date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 19:00:56 -0500
Received: from #################
by ################## with POP3 (fetchmail-6.3.6)
for <#######################> (single-drop); Sat, 15 Dec 2007 17:01:28 -0700 (MST)
Received: from blu139-omc2-s21.blu139.hotmail.com ([65.55.175.191])
by server21.snhdns.com with esmtp (Exim 4.68)
(envelope-from <costa04ltd@hotmail.com>)
id 1J3gwC-00054G-GU
for #######################; Sat, 15 Dec 2007 19:00:56 -0500
Received: from BLU124-W45 ([65.55.162.186]) by blu139-omc2-s21.blu139.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(6.0.3790.3959);
Sat, 15 Dec 2007 16:01:09 -0800
Message-ID: <BLU124-W459789C97059BCE2029E59DD610@phx.gbl>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
boundary=”_81da18aa-2829-41b2-b7e0-3c784b12b99c_”
X-Originating-IP: [82.128.18.8]
Reply-To: <alexabrown2000@yahoo.com>
From: Alex Brown <costa04ltd@hotmail.com>
Subject: PAY ASSASIN OR LOOSE YOUR LIFE
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2007 14:01:09 -1000
Importance: Normal
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 16 Dec 2007 00:01:09.0184 (UTC) FILETIME=[C3176400:01C83F76]
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

And the trace:

WHOIS – 65.55.175.191

Location: United States [City: ]

OrgName: Microsoft Corp
OrgID: MSFT
Address: One Microsoft Way
City: Redmond
StateProv: WA
PostalCode: 98052
Country: US

NetRange: 65.52.0.0 – 65.55.255.255
CIDR: 65.52.0.0/14
NetName: MICROSOFT-1BLK
NetHandle: NET-65-52-0-0-1
Parent: NET-65-0-0-0-0
NetType: Direct Assignment
NameServer: NS1.MSFT.NET
NameServer: NS5.MSFT.NET
NameServer: NS2.MSFT.NET
NameServer: NS3.MSFT.NET
NameServer: NS4.MSFT.NET
Comment:
RegDate: 2001-02-14
Updated: 2004-12-09

RTechHandle: ZM23-ARIN
RTechName: Microsoft Corporation
RTechPhone: +1-425-882-8080
RTechEmail: ***@microsoft.com

OrgAbuseHandle: ABUSE231-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: Abuse
OrgAbusePhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgAbuseEmail: *****@msn.com

OrgAbuseHandle: HOTMA-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: Hotmail Abuse
OrgAbusePhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgAbuseEmail: *****@hotmail.com

OrgAbuseHandle: MSNAB-ARIN
OrgAbuseName: MSN ABUSE
OrgAbusePhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgAbuseEmail: *****@msn.com

OrgNOCHandle: ZM23-ARIN
OrgNOCName: Microsoft Corporation
OrgNOCPhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgNOCEmail: ***@microsoft.com

OrgTechHandle: MSFTP-ARIN
OrgTechName: MSFT-POC
OrgTechPhone: +1-425-882-8080
OrgTechEmail: ******@microsoft.com

WHOIS – 82.128.18.8

Location: Nigeria (high) [City: ]

% Information related to ‘82.128.0.0 – 82.128.127.255’

inetnum: 82.128.0.0 – 82.128.127.255
org: ORG-AFNC1-RIPE
netname: AFRINIC-NET-TRANSFERRED-20050223
descr: This network has been transferred to AFRINIC
remarks: These IP addresses are assigned in the AFRINIC region.
remarks: Authoritative registration information for this network
remarks: is available for query and modification in
remarks: the AFRINIC whois database: whois.afrinic.net or
remarks: web site: http://www.afrinic.net
remarks: The routing registry information (route(6) objects)
remarks: may be published in any Routing Registry, including
remarks: RIPE Whois Database
country: EU # country is really somewhere in African Region
admin-c: AFRI-RIPE
tech-c: AFRI-RIPE
status: ALLOCATED PA
mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT
mnt-routes: RIPE-NCC-RPSL-MNT
changed: **********@ripe.net 20050223
source: RIPE

organisation: ORG-AFNC1-RIPE
org-name: African Internet Numbers Registry
org-type: RIR
address: see http://www.afrinic.net
e-mail: *********@ripe.net
admin-c: AFRI-RIPE
tech-c: AFRI-RIPE
remarks: For more information on AFRINIC assigned blocks, use
remarks: AFRINIC’s whois database, whois.afrinic.net.
mnt-ref: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT
mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT
changed: *********@ripe.net 20050223
source: RIPE

role: The African Internet Numbers Registry
org: ORG-AFNC1-RIPE
address: AFRINIC, see http://www.afrinic.net
admin-c: AFRI-RIPE
tech-c: AFRI-RIPE
nic-hdl: AFRI-RIPE
e-mail: *********@ripe.net
remarks: For more information on AFRINIC assigned blocks, connect
remarks: to AFRINIC’s whois database, whois.afrinic.net.
mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-HM-MNT
changed: **********@ripe.net 20050223
source: RIPE

% Information related to ‘82.128.18.0/23AS36954’

route: 82.128.18.0/23
descr: MLTL IP ADDRESS BLOCK
origin: AS36954
mnt-by: RIPE-NCC-RPSL-MNT
mnt-by: MLTL-INT-MNT
changed: ****@multi-links.com 20070617
source: RIPE

2008.01.31

No Knock, No Knock…

The latest police drug/SWAT raid gone bad:

The parallels to Cory Maye are pretty striking. You’ve got a young guy minding his own business, with no criminal record, whose worst transgression is that he smokes a little pot from time to time. A bad informant and bad police procedures then converge, resulting in police breaking down his door while he’s sleeping. He fires a gun to defend himself, unwittingly kills a cop, and now faces murder charges.

The difference here from most other botched “no knock” raids is the homeowner defended himself, killed a cop (which he didn’t know was a cop) and is now facing murder charges. When the tables are turned, the home owner’s family buries their dead and the police bury the incident under an “internal investigation.”

There are far too many of these botched raids across the country every year and they are growing at a disturbing rate. It’s the consequence of literally giving police departments military surplus weapons with no culpability for police when they screw up. The idea of a SWAT team descending on you for jaywalking, while still laughable, is a little less so with each botched, unnecessary military-style police raid for misdemeanor crimes. I believe it was Napoleon who said: “You can do anything with a bayonet except sit on it.” If you literally give the police this power, they will find a reason to use it. It could even be said they must find a way to use it. We pay them to do that. The problem is, it’s moving down the path of unrestrained abuse. And it’s long past time to put some much needed checks and balances in place.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to change soon and a good reason for not tolerating drug business in your neighborhood. Not just because of the drug dealers but because the increasing probability the police will screw up their raid with deadly consequences. Maybe even to you.

2008.01.23

Spreading Like Wild Fire

The speed of news. My girlfriend, “Emmi,” just sent these pictures via camera phone of a vacant building burning in Salt Lake City (she’s there on assignment). So of course I have to post them on the web just to help fan the flames. Connectivity. Mmmmmmmmmm.

2008.01.13

Fat. It’s The New Thin

 So much for being victims. It’s now a choice:

As adult obesity balloons in the United States, being overweight has become less of a health hazard and more of a lifestyle choice, the author of a new book argues.

“Obesity is a natural extension of an advancing economy. As you become a First World economy and you get all these labor-saving devices and low-cost, easily accessible foods, people are going to eat more and exercise less,” health economist Eric Finkelstein told AFP.

Can’t wait for Detroit to start pushing out that new 8 mpg SUV – The 2009 Chubba Bubba.

2008.01.07

Voice In The Sand

Michael Yon emails he is headed back to Iraq for another year. His independent reporting on the war and the American efforts in that region is truly exceptional. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, start here: Little Girl / Strength and Compassion and The Hands of God.

Mr. Yon’s work is entirely reader funded – no legacy media meddling – so if you appreciate his work, you can go here and learn how to support his effort.

I sent along another $100 this morning.

2007.12.11

Tuesday Afternoon Hawk

This sharp looking bird is eyeing a vacant bird feeder while being barked at incessantly by one determined Westie, Rose.

Jeanne Under Fire

Jeanne Assam, a woman of remarkable poise under fire – both from bullets and the press.

There is a Buddhist koan wherein a monk is on a boat with 100 people. One of them is a murder. What does the monk do? Kill the murderer and save the lives of innocent passengers or does he stay true to his vow to take no other life? Perhaps there is a Christian counterpart to this koan and if so, it would seem Ms. Assam faced that riddle. No matter how many interviews she gives, only she will ever know if she answered the challenge correctly. That’s as it should be.

Watch for the control freaks with a specialty in gun control work to vilify her – because they simply can’t let a heroine stand here – and the press to do the same – because that’s what they do.

Personally, I breath a little easier knowing there are people about in the world like Jeanne Assam. One of Plato’s remnants revealed.

[Edit History]

2007.12.11 14:20

News on the Tubes indicates the gunman died of self-inflicted wounds. As I mentioned above, the gun control control control control freaks will work to pull Ms. Assam’s efforts into the mud. And so they are. As Michelle Malkin notes:

“The anti-gun extremists who are desperate to shoot down Jeanne Assam’s heroism will grasp at this detail as vindication somehow. But if not for her courage and her steady aim, he would not have gone down.”

The AP article linked above tosses in an “Oh, by the way” smear at the end of the article:

“Also Tuesday, Minneapolis police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said Assam was fired from the Minneapolis force in 1997 for lying during an internal investigation. Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said police were investigating a complaint that Assam swore at a bus driver while she was handling an incident on a city bus.”

Question for AP: What makes this relevant to the events on December 12th? Is this a juvenile attempt to establish that only “bad” people have guns? If reporting twisted truth and abject bias was lethal, the legacy media would be the biggest mass murder of all time. Soooooooo predictable.

2007.12.11 14:31

Ha! The comments on Malkin’s blog are excellent…

TexasTiger:

“Matthew Murray entered the church with 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Nine hundred and ninety-nine were intended for parishoners and the thousandth for his own coconut.

Jeanne Assam’s actions convinced him to skip ahead a bit to the last round…that’s all.”

J S Ragman:

“Great news! Her conscience is clear, and he’s still dead. “

Tuesday Morning Sparrows

2007.12.07

Dumbing Down American Feminism

Honestly, my dog would be more of a feminist than Germaine Greer if it were to bite Greer on the ass. As told by Pamela Bone in her article, “Why we stay mute on Islamic sex apartheid”:

Greer: “It’s very tricky. I am constantly being asked to go to Darfur to interview rape victims. I can talk to rape victims here. Why should I go to Darfur to talk to rape victims?”

Questioner (me): “Because it’s so much worse there.”

Greer: “Who says it is?”

Questioner: “I do, because I’ve been there.”

Greer: “Well, it is just very tricky to try to change another culture. We let down the victims of rape here. We haven’t got it right in our own courts. What good would it do for me to go over there and try to tell them what to do? I am just part of decadent Western culture and they think we’re all going to hell fast and maybe we are all going to hell fast. 

Tricky, it is. Tricky, tricky, tricky, tricky.

Greer implies that there is no need to travel to Darfur to talk to rape victims because rape is a heinous crime where ever it occurs and as such she can talk to rape victims in Australia. If that is her point, I can agree with her. But as Bone points out, the magnitude of the problem is so much greater in Darfur. Indeed, rape is a greater problem in many parts of the world, in terms of both numbers and the way the victims are treated. By failing to speak out against rape in other parts of the world from the relative safety of free speech democracies diminishes the plight of those rape victims. If it matters less there, how much less does it matter here?


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