Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2021.10.15
What is truly empty is the value that counsels A to live off of the wealth given
to him by B and which B confiscated from C. And what is truly mindless is the
notion that society progresses as greater numbers of us live as A's or as B's,
and all the while thinking of C's as being nothing more than contemptible cows
to be milked for the "general good."

		Donald J. Boudreaux

2008.07.05

You Know It’s Summer When…

…you’ve spent the day with excellent friends, grilling burgers, drinking beer, sailing at 9,000 feet in the heart of the Rockies, watching Bald Eagles fly and celebrating this great nations birthday.

To get things going, no Fourth of July is off to a proper start without first giving room to the obligatory flag wearing, skateboard riding pit bull to show his stuff.

And there must be a parade.

Then it’s time for an afternoon of sailing on the Tangent (many, Many, MANY thanks to Bruce and Angie!)

And non-stop, drop your jaw, Rocky Mountain Awesomeness…

Of course, the day could only be finished with an awesome fireworks display over Dillon Reservoir.

2008.06.30

Who’s Boat Is This, Anyway?

“Running your own blog” is a relative phrase. For most bloggers, the meaning doesn’t go beyond authoring the posts and monitoring the comments. Having the password to the admin page constitutes “running their own blog.” But if you’re hosting your blog with some vendor, such as blogspot or wordpress, that’s a bit like renting a cabin on a cruse ship and feeling like it’s your boat to command. If the crew decides they don’t like you, they just might lock you in your cabin. Perhaps even throw you overboard.

This looks to be what is happening to several pro-Hillary, anti-Obama blogs over at Google’s blogspot. Assuming some other explanation doesn’t emerge from these suspicious coincidences, it’s another showing of Google’s increasingly obvious political bias. Their anti-American bend has long been on display since they acquired YouTube – jihadist and US soldier snuff videos a-plenty, pro-American videos…not so much.

Stories such as this serve as a reminder as to why I accept the extra work required to run the server on which this blog is hosted. It’s my boat. And if some pouty elitists with a leash to a Google Goon get tied up in knots over the content, best they can do is sail on by…or break the law.

[Edit History]

2008.07.01

More on this from the New York Times which, oddly, has this in the “Technology” section.

2008.06.03

Rules Strictly Enforced…

…except when they’re not.

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.

2007.12.11

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. “

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.

2007.05.24

Urban Scare Crow – The Fine Print

I’ve written previously about my urban scare crow. It has served me well for close to 3 years now. A recent rash of arrogant, smug, self-rightous doooooo-gooders of various sorts have seen fit to interpret the scare crow’s message, shall we way, rather liberally. “I’m not really a solicitor. I’m here for an important cause.” Well, it had better be to tell me my house is on fire, the locus are coming or you’re bleeding to death.

Turns out, their important cause is to tell me what heinous damage I’m doing to the planet animals my soul what ever gross nominalization they have printed on their clipboard and how money and/or a signature can heal my evil ways. This has prompted an addendum to the urban scare crow:

Urban Scare Crow - The Fine Print

Lucky for the clinically thick I lack the time to chase after my 50 bucks. But hey, at least I know of one hobby to pursue in retirement.

🙄

2007.04.29

The Truth Never Changes

Except when it does. The Truth defined by Claudius Ptolemy stood for some 1,400 years before the Truth defined by Nicolaus Copernicus ground Ptolemy’s cosmological Truth to dust. The Truth had changed. When one Truth, however, stands as long and has as deep a roots as Ptolemy’s, it can take a great deal of time to be eroded by the new Truth. Such was the case with Copernicus’ Truth. When so many of a society’s beliefs have been built upon a particular Truth, society is loath to relinquish the old Truth in favor of the new.

It is the same for personal beliefs and what each of us perceive as the “Truth.” An attorney friend of mine leverages this inertia when questioning witnesses in court. He begins with “Would you agree the Truth never changes?” The answer to this question is usually “Yes.” The one exception I know of was when this question was asked of a research MD expert witness. Science types, if they learned the idea of science at all, know the Truth changes. But the average bear believes the Truth, as they understand it, is as solid as a block of stone. My attorney friend then skillfully guides the witness into acknowledging the Truth of the case he is presenting. It’s a beautiful thing to watch.

When the battle is between one who knows the Truth changes and one who believe it does not, my money is on the one who knows they are dancing on quicksand.

There are, of course, areas of human experience where the unacknowledged absurdity of immutable Truth make the experience what it is. Take this for example…

The Bean

It’s “The Bean”, as the locals call it, in Chicago. I took this picture last week while there on business. Is it art? Does it reveal a Truth to you?

Most of the visual arts are lost on me. I know what I like. Asian calligraphy and the works of David Lee and Frances Ku are particular favorites. But “The Bean” wasn’t revealing any Truths for me that day. That is, not until I looked no further than my own feet. There it was. The Truth revealed just as clearly as if it had been, well, chiseled in stone.

AT&T Plaza

It’s a commercial. (I did say most of the visual arts are lost on me. That’s probably why I play piano and cello rather than muck about with paint or clay.) But what about this…

Wacker 1

Found this after wandering East on Wacker to Lake Michigan. Again, no Truths were revealed, not even chiseled in stone. But I do know it had puppies…

Wacker 2

I shall leave the subject of Truth from Art alone and instead focus on the Truth that drives, reassures and comforts most of us. It’s the Truth of “reality.” But here again, there is an often unacknowledged contamination of subjectivity. There is the Truth of facts and the Truth derived from those facts, the interpreted Truth.

Just West of where I live can be found baked into the stone footprints from some long dead giant lizard. Virtually everyone agrees to this fact. The footprints are there. The creature, and any such creatures like it, have long since vanished from the planet. Where the Truth of these footprints becomes schizophrenic is in how the fact of those footprints are interpreted. My interpretation, and the resulting Truth I carry around, says those footprints were left there millions of years ago. Others interpret those prints has being no older than a few thousands years, what with the Earth not being older than some particular reference claims. A single Truth of fact with two associated, yet incompatible interpreted Truths.

A popular and politically correct Truth to hang your hat on these days has to do with global warming and whether or not it’s an established fact. My read is that it isn’t. Man’s experience with the weather is just too small a window from which to claim having any kind of clear view of what the global climate is doing. One hundred years ago, some scientists and much of the press was all abuzz with claims that the next ice age had begun.

I believe it is a good thing to reduce the amount of pollution we, as a species, spew into the atmosphere. I’ve believed that since high school when the high pollution alerts in Denver, compounded by the city’s infamous temperature inversions, left the air smelling like a sewer for weeks. Today, even with the population having growing significantly, the air is much cleaner. The global warming hysteria has not deepened my conviction in this regard.

So Al Gore is burning tons of jet fuel to haul is ass around the globe in order to set up circus tents and parade his “An Inconvenient Truth” dog and pony show. (Sidebar: When was it the Academy created a slide show category for it’s award?) I’m left with several questions. Who’s Truth is Gore selling? Inconvenient for whom? How can such a complex issue contain just one Truth? Frankly, I don’t think the Earth gives a damn about us. 4 billion years ago it was a sea of molten rock with no atmosphere. Life has been wiped clean from the surface and recreated anew probably more times than we know. The hysteria about global warming is a self-serving one and those on Gore’s band wagon are more interested about their own skin that saving the planet. The planet will save its self and will do so with the same indifferent cruelty and violence from which it began.

Listening to Gore and his evangelists leaves me with the creepy feeling that the solution to the “problem” of global warming is for others to solve (usually through some sort of sacrifice) so that they can continue living the life to which they have become accustom. (Man, are they going to be pissed if some killer asteroid is discovered for which they can’t buy impact offsets.) Setting the problem to rights, assuming it exists, will take something Al Gore and the eco-elites are apparently incapable of: An Inconvenient Effort.

[Edit History]

2007.05.01

Interesting article from ScienceDaily (“Earth’s Climate Is Seesawing, According To Climate Researchers“) illustrates my point about our window to the nature of Earth’s climate being rather small. 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. (H/T Bryan at Hot Air)

2007.05.02

Added link to David Lee’s work at Lahaina Galleries.

2007.02.02

The Hands of God…

…and the power of a sacrificial embrace borne from love. Nothing short of stunning.

The closer a counterfeit comes to the genuine article, the more obvious the deceit. As the murderer dressed in women’s clothes walked purposefully toward his target, there was a village man ahead. But under the guise of a simple villager was a true Martyr, and he, too, had his target in sight. The Martyr had seen through the disguise, but he had no gun. No bomb. No rocket. No stone. No time.

The Martyr walked up to the murderer and lunged into a bear hug, on the spot where we were now standing.

The blast ripped the Martyr to pieces which fell along with pieces of the enemy. Ball-bearings shot through the alley and wounded two children, but the people in the mosque were saved. The man lay in pieces on the ground, his own children having seen how his last embrace saved the people of the village.

I am continually impressed by Michael Yon’s work. He is what the MSM can only dream of becoming. And I continue to support his work. Will you?

(H/T HotAir.com)

Previously:

Michael Yon Still Fighting HFM, et al.

[Edit History]

2007.02.02

A similar story. (H/T Bruce Schneier)

2006.12.07

What’s The Matter With Security?

The TSA has already banned one state of matter in the interests of better airline security. What a pain it has been to dehydrate your person so as to secure a seat in an uncomfortable lawn chair inside an aluminum tube squirting old dinosaurs out the back. Alas, I can hear the TSA bureaucrat scribes busily scribbling the next policy change to ban gases:

An American Airlines flight has made an emergency landing after a passenger with severe gas problems struck matches to mask the odour of flatulence.

Dehydrated passengers will henceforth no longer be permitted to breathe for the duration of the flight as all bodily orifices must be surgically sealed before boarding. I predict, soon, carbon atoms will be banned from passenger airline flights. Now those would be safe flights indeed.

2006.12.05

A Little Racist Kit – Home Delivered For Your Convenience

This little kit actually arrived on my driveway sometime around June 2005. I had tossed it back in a corner where it stayed until I came across it a few weeks back while cleaning out that particular part of the house.

Package

Back in June, 2005, just weeks after my wife’s death, I didn’t pay much attention to it, being rather distracted as I was. At first, I picked it up and tossed it into the trash, thinking it was just a piece of marketing junk for lawn service or some such. That is until my neighbor across the street, a High School history teacher, asked what I thought of it. Turns out, everyone in the development had one of these little bombs delivered to their driveway. I pulled it out of the trash and read the enclosed flyer:

Flyer

Whoa, Nelly! The “Earth’s most endangered species: The White Race!” More genetic confusion. A race is not a species. This past week I did a little research into who the hell the “National Alliance” was and what their agenda might be. Well I’ll be… A tidy little racist organization they are. How thoughtful of them to include rocks for throwing in their little home delivered racist kit. “The National Alliance – Toward a New Consciousness; A New Order; A New People” From their web site:


General Principles

  • A Natural Order
  • The Law of Inequality
  • A Hierarchy of Responsibilities
  • Summary statement of belief

National Alliance Goals

  • White Living Space
  • An Aryan Society
  • A Responsible Government
  • A New Educational System
  • An Economic Policy Based on Racial Principles

The logic behind this organization’s goals is convoluted and tortured. There are some amazing leaps of faith dressed as some sort of science, but their mission is clear. It smacks of the same air of entitlement which I as readily reject when pushed by other races claiming victim status and seeking reparations.

Their effort backfired, at least among those on my street. There are several teachers within a few houses and these little bags-O-bile found their way into classrooms as examples of racist thinking.

2006.11.30

Want A Pancake Breakfast? Papers, Please! Papers! Quickly!

It’s tragically laughable that a Quincy, Mass. IHOP would require photo ID’s before seating people for a pancake breakfast:

John Russo has been a victim of identity theft. So when he was asked to fork over a photo ID just to be seated at an IHOP pancake restaurant, he flipped. “‘You want my license? I’m going for pancakes, I’m not buying the Hope diamond,’ and they refused to seat us,” Russo said, recounting his experience this week at the Quincy IHOP.

The restaurant now has agreed to reverse the policy of requiring customers to turn over their driver’s licenses before they can order – a rule that was enacted to discourage “dine and dash” thefts.

This part, however, made me gargle my coffee:

Russo said a security guard at the restaurant had “at least 40” licenses in hand when he arrived to eat.

40 people actually handed over their licenses! With sheeple like this, why the hell worry any more about open boarders, sleeper cells, egregious “surveillance” by governement and employers, corrupt bureaucrats and weak-ass enforcement of the Constitution?

(H/T: Bruce Schneier)

2006.11.10

Happy Birthday United States Marine Corps

231 years young.

Rock and roll, kids! Project Valour-IT has reached the $134,184 mark towards the goal of $180,000. Donate early and donate often.

And remember:

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.

[Edit History]

2006.11.11

WhooHooo! The Marines are over the top! Go team! Better yet, Project Valour-IT has reached $172,047 towards the goal of $180,000! Nothing but exclamation points in this update! Yes!

2006.10.31

Project Valour-IT

Just kicked in $100 for Project Valour-IT (Voice-Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops) and joined the Marines (gotta support the boots on the ground) lead by Villainous Company. The project has raised an additional $7,000+ toward the overall goal of $180,000 since I first tuned in this morning. Sweet.

This is a good use of technology. The voice recognition software is quite impressive and greatly improved over where it was just 4 years ago.

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.

[Edit History]

2006.11.01

$12,000 additional over night. Awesome!

2006.10.20

Blalock’s Conflict Model

Looking back over the past few days, I’ve the impression the Spirit of Rosanna Rosannadanna has been haunting me – “It’s always something.” It’s been a convergence of deadlines, personal tasks it’s just time to get completed, music lessons (voice, cello), health, things breaking down and cool things arriving in the mail.

One of the interesting projects I’ve been working on since the first of the year (and one of this week’s deadlines) has been helping a fellow DU student with her Masters thesis. Elizabeth Twomey approached me to write an application which would facilitate the use of Blalock’s general model for understanding conflict. We made the decision to create this as a web application and the prototype/proof of concept is posted on one of my big boxes. You can explore the results on the web site I built for Liz to demonstrate this part of her thesis.


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