Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Thursday, 2017.04.27
If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in
the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world...

		Deepak Chopra

2007.12.05

Doing The Jobs Illegal Aliens Won’t Do

Michelle Malkin asks: What was your worst job?

In high school, I did dock/janitor work for The Denver Dry company, which included cleaning the bathrooms. Having grown up with five sisters, there were no illusions on my part in regard what girls are capable of. Nonetheless, the lady’s bathroom chore was far and away the worse part of that job. “Powder my nose” masks all manner of…er…um…well…ah…gack…

But that job pales in comparison to the work I did in nursing homes for three years while working my way through college. There was much to that job which was rewarding and much that I’d rather not think about. Frankly, makes picking lettuce, mowing lawns, cleaning homes and working construction all look like a walk in the park. My take away lessons from that experience included a healthy respect, even at that age, for my elders, a good diet, exercise and retirement plans.

What made it possible to work these jobs was the belief they were stepping stones to better opportunities. I remember having a sense of the need to “pay my dues” in the trenches, as it were. Having worked these jobs lead to a much greater appreciation of the success I enjoyed later in life. Nearing 30 years later, I still remember those early jobs and the lessons I learned.

2007.12.01

Beep Beep Day

Catch the fever!

Just be sure and do it on the right side of the road.

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.

2007.10.31

A Peek Through University of Delaware’s Fish-Eyes

Just about any dissection can be a grisly, unpleasant endeavor and the dissection in this post of the University of Delaware’s statement of support for it’s ideological reeducation camp approach to “free” thinking is no different. Hold your nose and let’s get started…

UD’s response to FIRE’s report begins:

The University of Delaware residential life educational program has been misrepresented and its goals distorted in a report generated this week by an advocacy group, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

When looking through a fish-eye lens, the world certainly looks distorted, unless you’re the fish. No doubt, UD really, really, really believes they’re the good guys and that thing we all see as bendy is, in their mind, quite straight, correct and as it should be. In typically Higher Irrelevance fashion, they really, really, really “know” we all got it wrong.

“The central mission of the University, and of the program, is to cultivate both learning and the free exchange of ideas,” said Michael A. Gilbert, vice president for student life at the University. “Far from stifling free speech, the residential life educational program seeks to encourage free speech.”

“Vice president for student life”? Does someone actually HAVE that title? This program is about as far from promoting free speech as a drowning person is from calling for help. Fish-eyes.

Students who choose to participate in the residence life educational program are not required to adopt any particular points of view but are presented with a range of ideas to challenge them and stimulate conversation and debate so that students can reflect on various topics, including diversity.

Ha! It would seem the only choice they had was whether or not to attend UD. After that, not so much choice. Meta-model time, big shots. Which “range of ideas?” Challenging how? Stimulate what specific kind of conversations and debate? Diversity for whom?

“Our goal as educators is to expose students to ideas and to engage them in self-examination of the roles they hope to take in society once they leave our campus,” Gilbert said.

“Expose students to ideas and engage them in self-examination…” Ug. Please, UD, keep the trench coat closed, for all our benefit. Here’s an idea: work to make your students better engineers, scientists, or what ever else you claim to offer as professional training.

Students in residence halls are not forced to participate, and certainly are not forced to agree with any particular point of view. Students are faced with questions, but the answers to these questions are their own. There are no “correct” answers.

Just be sure to leave your answers with the man behind the curtain on the way out of the interrogation exam question room.

“The notion that students at the University of Delaware can be coerced into any one point of view does a great disservice not only to the institution but also to the student body, which is bright, creative and represents a wide array of thought,” Gilbert said.

Patronizing fish-eyes. Let’s hope UD’s students are bright enough to see this for what it is. Apparently, I benefited from a public education which actually did promote critical thinking (although the Ward Churchill fiasco years later suggests CU has slipped a bit in this regard) and so has made UD’s shameful reeducation endeavor an easy read. From UD’s own reeducation camp material:

“[a] racist is one who is both privileged and socialized on the basis of race by a white supremacist (racist) system. The term applies to all white people (i.e., people of European descent) living in the United States, regardless of class, gender, religion, culture or sexuality.”

Just what is it about such a statement represents a “wide array of thought”? That statement is itself racist. The author (or authors) of that statement is the racist. Fish-eyes, baby. Fish-eyes.

The residential life educational program, which has been developed with the express intent of helping students think critically and analytically, has had the input of student leaders, faculty and administrators and is continually assessed through feedback from individuals and through focus groups.

And finally, UD contends the program is “continually assessed through feedback from individuals and through focus groups.” What we need to know…and I do mean NEED…is which individuals SPECIFICALLY. Which focus groups SPECIFICALLY. Reveal ALL details pertaining to this process so that it may, in the interests of CRITICAL and ANALYTICAL thinking, be evaluated by independent observers. ANYTHING less than this is smoke and mirror bureaucracy.

Further commentary from Michelle Malkin, LGF and additional documentation at FIRE.

[Edit History]

2007.11.23

Fixed typo in title.

Repeat After Me…Them…Us…Them…Us

What happens to you if you are a religious zealot bent on making those whom you deem non-human? If you’re…well…just about anywhere in the Middle East, you’ll enjoy State support for you bent thinking. But in the land of democracy, freedom and liberty, you can be brought to justice and be held accountable for such twisted thoughts when they are acted upon:

The brokenhearted father of a Marine killed in Iraq won a long-shot legal fight today after a federal jury in Baltimore awarded him nearly $11 million in a verdict against members of a Kansas church who hoisted anti-gay placards at his son’s Westminster funeral.

The jury’s announcement 24 hours after deliberations first began was met with tears and hugs from the family and supporters of Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, whose March 2006 funeral was protested by members of the Westboro Baptist Church with signs including “Thank God for dead soldiers.”

Snyder’s father, Albert, won on every count of his complaint, as well as $2.9 million for compensatory damages and $8 million for punitive damages.

Sweet. Although I know from a bit of experience that this does little to ease the pain for Lance Cpl. Snyder’s family. It’s also likely the fight isn’t not over.

H/T to LGF. More coverage by Hot Air and Michelle Malkin.

2007.10.30

Project Valour-IT – 2007

It’s time again to contribute to Project Valour-IT (Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops). Like last year, I’ve kicked in $100 and joined the Marines (gotta support the boots on the ground) lead by Soldiers’ Angel – Holly Aho.

This is a good use of technology. The voice recognition software is quite impressive and continues to improve.

Please note:

Division among military teams is purely for the purpose of friendly competition. Any blogger may join any team and all money raised supports the wounded as needed, regardless of branch of service.

2007.10.26

When Jerks Attack

More from Bobby Caina Calvan

“I am new to blogging and it was meant to be a diary of my experiences — and as a way to avoid writing individual e-mails to friends and family wanting to share in my experiences. Yes, I realize — and am embarrassed by naivete — that nothing is private on the Web.”

Wow. That a reporter, a purported professional in the information industry would not understand the very medium within which he works, is telling enough. Even more striking is the glimpse he revealed, and then withdrew, into the bias at the root of all his reporting. He may be embarrassed at his naiveté regarding privacy on the web. If he had any awareness about the larger story to his revealing blog post, he would be pained by the shame he now carries for having utterly failed at is profession.

While I don’t see fit to foist as high an honor upon Mr. Calvan as Michelle Malkin, I do regard him as a pushy, arrogant little boy. Bad day for Mr. Calvan. Perhaps this Calvin’s words will be helpful to Bobby:

You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocketship underpants don’t help. – Calvin

[Edit History]

2007.10.26

As apologies from the MSM go, this one is pretty good. At least, I, the consumer of his post and his reporting, wasn’t accused of “misunderstanding”, “misinterpreting” or otherwise “taking it the wrong way.” Refreshing. Let’s hope he’s a better reporter for having had this experience and figures out how to report the facts in a dozen languages rather than…er…as his bio at the Asian American Journalists Association – Sacramento Chapter states:

At last count, he also knows how to offend people in at least a dozen languages – the list is growing.

2007.10.10

Nose Rings And Trusted Sources

Very interesting article at the American Thinker by Randall Hoven (H/T: LGF). “Media Dishonesty Matters” is a list of 101 incidents of false and misleading information from sources generally considered trusted. It’s an enlightening list and worth reading the whole article. The preamble to the list contains this comment:

I did receive a few complaints for not having “conservatives” on the list. There turns out to be a good reason for that: there just aren’t that many who pass the criteria for clear dishonesty in the public debate.

It highlights why I tend to trust “conservatives” more than “liberals” or “progressives” – they tend to be less emotional and more rigorous in substantiating their arguments with facts. I’ve also noticed, the more thorough an individual is in vetting a particular issue, the more likely they are to be “conservative” on such issues. When approached in such a manner, it isn’t that the individual is “conservative,” rather the dispassionate, reasoned analysis makes them appear so. Mind you, I find them every bit as compassionate as those from other tribes. As a generalization, however, they are less emotional. That makes for better decisions in highly charged situations.

A word about facts is in order. I’m thinking of those things that can be independently verified, points of knowledge that can be tested, replicated and shared. Issues like global warming, finances and what caused the World Trade Center towers to burn and fall all can be reduced to verifiable facts. Abortion and stem cell research debates as generally framed by those from the “conservative” tribe fail on the matter of fact. What the Bible, Koran or Betty Crocker says doesn’t concern me in the least on these issues.

But facts require patience and too few people have what it takes to collect and consider the requisite critical mass for understanding of complex issues. And if they do, there is often a failure to consider context and consequence when using those facts to derive a decision. As Mr. Hoven notes:

While I provide a source for every item, a single source is not usually sufficient to prove anything. You might have to do some of your own searching if you remain unconvinced of a party’s guilt. Space is limited.

So is time. But it’s easy once you get the hang of it. It’s your choice. Be lead by a nose ring or find your own path. Either way, it’s your choice.


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