Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Monday, 2017.08.21
There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working
for you.

		Will Rogers

2007.07.24

Today’s Money Quote

From David Freddoso at The Corner on National Review Online:

“Didn’t the Founders talk about political speech as the most important kind of free speech? Or is the First Amendment somehow reserved for the practice of offending Christians with museum exhibits?”

2007.07.23

Greenie Meanies

Denver Business Journal Editor Neil Westergaard echo’s my major concern about the current deification of Al Gore and the push to make global warming a State Religion. Speaking of the response to a recent column of his, Westergaard writes:

“My purpose was not to dismiss concerns about what is apparently a well-accepted fact: The Earth seems to be getting warmer. That’s where the acceptance ends, however. What to do about global warming is far from a settled question, and anybody who believes in more than celebrity pronouncements and sound bites can easily plug into the scientific debate if they choose. Many, however, simply want to follow their favorite celebrity instead.”

Yes, those of the herd fear thinking for themselves. Rather than work to a solution based on a solid base of verified facts, they prefer to warm themselves in the hot air puffed out by bloviating stuffed shirts like Al Gore and his disciples.

Slap a label of “green” on something and the herd members will nod approvingly. Inconvenient truths about some “green” efforts which actually cause more harm than good are to be ignored. Just look at the obscene amount of energy burned on the recent Live Earth event which has had virtually no effect on changing people’s attitudes. I predict Gore and his minions will be remembered for having caused much more harm than good, for having deflected concentration away from finding a viable solution to the actual problems underlying global warming.

I’ve said before, environmentally congruent lifestyles are a good thing just on principal and I’ve worked to implement such a lifestyle. But the switch isn’t digital like the Goracle seems to insist it is. The hypocritical proselytizing from the ministers of the Church of Global Warming insist everyone else should change so that they can continue living the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed. And they want that compliance from the Great Unwashed to happen at the snap of their fingers. Is Al Gore even capable of leading by example? I think not. As Westergaard notes:

“And be wary of celebrities on bandwagons. They often fall off.”

Indeed.

[Edit History]

2007.07.24

Grammar fixes.

2007.07.20

Friday Morning Roses

Rose

2007.07.19

Duty Calls…

[What follows is a transcript of the press conference held today on the West Lawn of the Java Zen campus. (Note: that would be the West Lawn just East of the Main Pavilion and not the West Lawn just South of and kitty-corner from the North Gazebo. For those of you who missed it, you really should learn to read a press release.) The press conference was called to answer questions in light of the disclosure Mr. Engel is up for the National Endowment for the Arts position in the Burge/Goldstein Administration (Come on, people. It’s gonna happen. Accept it and get on with your lives.) So. Having sussed this required some sort of obligatory deed of good word on behalf of Mr. Burge, the Java Zen Table, Desk and Counter Intelligence Teams were mobilized to do what ever it is they do and make something happen. Well, it took some time, what with the sheer volume of police reports and court depositions that had to be dug through, but find the good points they did and so prepared for the anticipated barrage of questions.]

Reporter: Is Dave loyal? I mean, can we trust the bastard?

Gregory Engel: Hell yes. Dave stood by me through that unfortunate “misunderstanding” with Queen Elizabeth II, just like he said he would once it was clear I wasn’t in as much trouble as originally thought. How was I to know the Queen couldn’t swim? And that hair really DID look like a wig. What this means for the country under a Dave Burge administration is clear. There’s, like, no way he’s gonna sit still and let some podunk despot pants the good ‘ol USA.

Journalism 101 Student With A Press Pass: What makes you qualified for the position?

GE: I happen to be a good authority on all things well endowed and I plan on bringing that expertise to a new definition of Art and revised criteria for what gets funded.

Guy Standing In Corner Holding A Broom: What kinds of cultural initiatives would you support while in office?

GE: In addition to National Talk Like A Pirate Day, I’ll have National Talk In Iambic Pentameter Day, National Bang On A Drum Day, National Paint By Numbers Day, and work to make Film Noir the national language. In response to our wildly popular Poetry Out Loud program, I shall expand that to include Pottery Out Loud, Carving Out Loud and, something I’m particularly proud of, Knitting Out Loud. As a collaborative effort with the NEA (The other NEA, National Education Association), I’ll initiate a partner program with the NEA’s “No Child Left Behind” program called “No Child Allowed Ahead.” Together, we shall achieve the perfect balance of mediocrity in education and the arts. I’ll work to see Antonio Vincenzo gets the recognition he deserves for painting the Sistein Chapel baseboards. And The Bean in Chicago…I’ll see to it that thing is spray painted gray. What’s up with that thing? You can’t even straighten your tie while looking into it.

Associated Press Shill: What date do you support for the full withdrawal of the imperialist pigs from Iraq so that the freedom fighters may once again enjoy the human right of killing each other at their convenience? Next Tuesday or Wednesday?

GE: That’s a difficult question. It will depend on whether or not Congress approves of my proposed plan to choreograph the withdrawal as run-away performance art. The costumes will be expensive as will be the extensive stage lighting required for the event.

Reuters Lacky: Can I get a picture of you with your finger up your nose?

GE: With what? You’re holding a banana.

Reuters Lacky: (Damn! Those office dweebs photoshopped the camera out of my hands again.)

Helen Thomas: To date, there are an estimated 700 million pictures without frames in the United States and another 3.8 billion exposed to excessive sunlight due to inferior quality window treatments, the condition of which is worsened by the effects of global warming and rising crime rates in all major metropolitan areas which it has been substantiated that the average Iraqi disapproves of highly in light of the ongoing and uncontrolled rise in health care costs but still the government insists on charging admission to view national treasures. Is that something you will change?

GE: Like changing a diaper on a baby, you bet.

Wolf Blitzer: Can you promise us a good scandal out of the NEA? This beat is sooooooo boring.

GE: I’ll see if I can rearrange the rotunda statuary to suit your needs. Thank you all for coming.

2007.07.14

A Candidate For Our Times

Friends, the darkness is at an end. Not since the heady days of Pat Paulsen’s misguided bid for the presidency has America had a candidate worthy of the ineptitude required of the office. At long last, that candidate is here and he is Dave Burge. Go forth, my friends, and party-hardy. And for Dave, what can I say but “Dude! You got ALL my votes!”

dave-burge-08.jpg

2007.07.12

Blog Haiku #21

A match is lit.
Passionate flash.
Steady flame.

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.


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