Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Friday, 2020.07.10
Hawkeye's Conclusion: It's not easy to play the clown when you've got to run the whole circus.


Changes to the Blog Roll

I’ve endeavored to include on my blog roll a diverse spectrum which represents (that is to say, isn’t comprehensive) the various points on the blogosphere compass I scan. I certainly don’t agree with all the points of view expressed by the links on my blog roll. However, experience has taught me that familiarity with multiple points of view on a particular subject is the basis for what qualifies as “well informed.”

There are, however, positions for which I have no tolerance and several of the links on my blog roll have crossed the line into this zone.

The first to go is Ann Coulter. While I’ve admired her chutzpah and irreverent tenacity for saying out loud what I hear many people whispering in private, she crossed the line with her inane defense of a white supremacist hate group and whining about the “racist” tag with which they’ve been labeled.

The second to go is Robert Spencer. I’ve appreciated the insights from several of his books and numerous blog posts on But his failure to unequivocally dissociate himself from a group of white nationalists advocating the expulsion of all Muslims from Turkey is a step across the line. There are other odd behaviors on display by Mr. Spencer which precipitated his removal from my blog roll here at JZ:TOL. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Spencer appears to be undermining his own previous good works.

I believe we are challenged with finding solutions to many brutal and barbaric threats both here and abroad. However, the successful solutions WILL NOT involve regressing to the point of replicating past atrocities and implementing equally barbaric “solutions” via a “means justify the ends” paradigm. They don’t.

Race supremacy and genocide are not the lessons a healthy, free and civilized nation finds in history and chooses to carry forward. They are as far to one side of the spectrum of solutions as “diplomatic” solutions are to the other. Finding, and acting on, a solution will require creativity and backbone. Sliding back into the mire of dark age thinking is not something I can support, regardless the point on the compass from which it originates.

[Edit History]

2009.02.20 – 09:40

Received the following email purporting to be from Robert Spencer:

Subject: Message from Java Zen:TOL Visitor
From: “Robert Spencer” <>
Date: Thu, February 19, 2009 2:33 pm

Robert Spencer wrote:
To whom it may concern: Please be aware that the material you have repeated here
from “Guftafs”, Charles Johnson and Kejda Gjermani is false and
libelous. I have no ties to white nationalist or Turkish irredentist groups, and
am investigating the possibility of legal action against the parties named

Robert Spencer


I certainly hope clarity is brought to this situation. I’ll be watching…

2009.02.20 – 11:35

Fixed an error in Spencer’s email introduced when I stripped out the HTML escape codes for double quotes.

It appears this post has been linked on LGF (Thanks?) and I’m receiving email with some interesting points and questions. I’ll respond when I have more time. The irony is receiving a decent burst of traffic on a dormant blog after I take something away. Idea for next post: a blank page!

2009.02.20 – 14:40

I’ve had a little time to look deeper into the message purportedly sent by Robert Spencer. While I’ve taken measures to guard against spoofed messages, I certainly can’t claim such measures are perfect. What I’ve found in the server logs looks to be rather straightforward, however, the IP address captured by WordPress has left some doubt and I want to be certain. So I’ve attempted to follow up with Mr. Spencer in regard to the authenticity of the email received yesterday. I’ll post any findings.

Also, fixed several spelling errors and cleaned up some grammar.

2009.02.20 – 16:37

Well, so much for that…

Subject: Re: Message received at Java Zen Blog
From: “Robert Spencer”
Date: Fri, February 20, 2009 4:12 pm

Please contact my attorney:

The Becker Law Firm
11500 Olympic Blvd., Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel: (310) 636-1018
Fax: (310) 765-6328

On Feb 20, 2009, at 4:39 PM, Gregory Engel wrote:

> Hello,
> I received the following message yesterday via the contact form on my
> blog, “Thinking Out Loud.” The message author claims to be Robert
> Spencer.
> While I have taken measures to filter out spoofed messages, I never
> assume
> the filters to be perfect. Can this message be confirmed as having
> come
> from Robert Spencer at
> Regards,
> Gregory Engel

(The message shown previously was attached.)

I have no plans to contact Mr. Spencer’s attorney. Neither do I plan to pursue this issue further. What I will say is that Mr. Spencer’s statement that he has “no ties to white nationalist or Turkish irredentist groups” is not the same as rejecting the methods and goals of such groups. I have no ties to any groups or organizations who deify the color purple, but that does little to clarify whether I support or oppose the color purple.

As I said, I’ll continue to watch how events unfold.

2009.02.23 – 05:00

The header from the email received from Mr. Spencer in response to my confirmation request shows:

Received: by (Postfix, from userid 2005)
id D676878269E; Fri, 20 Feb 2009 16:12:38 -0700 (MST)
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.2.5 (2008-06-10) on
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-2.0 required=5.0 tests=BAYES_00,RDNS_NONE,
WHOIS_DMNBYPROXY autolearn=no version=3.2.5
Received: from (unknown [])
by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 6356978269E
for ; Fri, 20 Feb 2009 16:12:38 -0700 (MST)
Received: from ([]:63377 helo=new-host.home)
by with esmtpa (Exim 4.69)
(envelope-from )
id 1LaeXn-0001oL-Oo; Fri, 20 Feb 2009 18:12:31 -0500
From: Robert Spencer
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: Message received at Java Zen Blog
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
References: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII; format=flowed; delsp=yes
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v930.3)
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 18:12:37 -0500
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.930.3)
X-AntiAbuse: This header was added to track abuse, please include it with any abuse report
X-AntiAbuse: Primary Hostname –
X-AntiAbuse: Original Domain –
X-AntiAbuse: Originator/Caller UID/GID – [47 12] / [47 12]
X-AntiAbuse: Sender Address Domain –

It contains the same IP address as captured by WordPress from the original email message sent via the contact form on JZ:TOL, namely, This increases my confidence that the original email message was indeed from Mr. Spencer.

Now, to respond to several emails received from visitors…

Mel Sherwood writes,

“It seems to me that Spencer [sic] defense was more than adequate. It was an oversight on his part, a bit of carelessness, that is all. You never did something careless, eh?”

It is a silly syllogism to excuse Mr. Spencer’s specific “carelessness” of allowing himself to be associated with groups espousing repulsive goals to the notion that I have been careless at any point within the context of my entire life. There are degrees of carelessness to consider. Carelessly leaving the bathroom light on all day hardly compares with carelessly leaving a loaded handgun on the merry-go-round at an elementary school playground.

Yes, I’ve been careless in the past, but such acts have not been egregious and most likely have occurred in contexts where I am ignorant, inadequately trained or do not claim to be an expert. In contexts where I have training or claim to be a professional or expert, carelessness is virtually nonexistent. And if it does occur in such contexts, it is trivial. This is what is puzzling about Mr. Spencer’s behavior. He definitely should know better and if he has been “careless” then his refutation should be commensurate with the magnitude of his “carelessness.” If Mr. Sherwood is comfortable excusing Mr. Spencer’s behavior as careless, then that reveals much about Mr. Sherwood. The fire of responsibility to which I choose to hold people (myself included) accountable, it would seem, is much hotter than Mr. Sherwood finds comfortable. In this case, “Ooops” doesn’t withstand the heat. Mr. Sherwood and I will have to agree to disagree. I find Mr. Spencer’s explanation, at least so far, less than adequate. And I do hope that changes.

Anti Jihad writes:

“Let me ask you a question. Your blog has a link to the Democratic Underground, which has had posters that have supported terrorist attacks in Iraq, and it also has a link to the Daily Kos which has had articles by groups that appease jihad and apologize for Jihadist groups. Should we judge Java Zen based on that? I think your attacks on Robert Spencer are pointless and contradictory on the larger challenge that we need in defending equality and liberty. I am just pointing out that someone could easily smear your web site the same way, using the same tactics. And it would be wrong then too.”

Geesh. Well, this is my blog and Anti Jihad can cry if he wants to. If the simple act of removing a link to a web site qualifies as an “attack” or “smearing” in Anti Jihad’s mind, then I can only hope he develops thicker skin over time.

Mr. Spencer has positioned himself as an expert in Islam and jihad. The content and message of his web site is under his control. This is not the case with Democratic Underground or Daily Kos. There are no experts running those sites, except of the self-proclaimed variety, and they appear to be little more than sounding boards for the Left/Far Left’s position. And that’s why they’re on the blog roll. (Hint: you find similar links for the Right/Far Right.) The blog roll on JZ:TOL contains a mix of both broad and specific viewpoints from both individuals and organizations. That’s how I chose to structure it. It isn’t all one thing and Anti Jihad’s narrow reaction serves as an example for why that’s the case.

Let me try illustrating it this way. Let’s say I had a link to an automobile safety web site run by a race car driver, Speedy Joe. He has excellent advice, knows his stuff, doesn’t pull punches and writes well. Then one day he “carelessly” associates with a group advocating the immediate roadside execution of careless drivers who take up two parking spaces. Well, I may or may not choose to read Speedy Joe’s web site in the future, but I will certainly no longer recommend his site to others. (Note for those currently pumped up on adrenaline: This is an intentionally absurd example for the benefit of black and white thinkers needing help with shades of gray.)

And remember, I removed the link to Ann Coulter’s site as well for similar reasons. She is in control of the content and message of her web site. If Anti Jihad wishes to take exception to a falsely perceived contradiction on JZ:TOL’s blog roll, then where is his defense of Ann Coulter? I don’t expect one to be forthcoming. As he said, it is the “larger challenge that we need in defending equality and liberty” that counts. But as I said before, the ends do not justify the means.

I can assure my readers, if any other individuals with sites are currently linked on the JZ:TOL blog roll cross such a line, they, too, will be unlinked.


The Last Post

Colorado Sunset
(Click on image for larger version.)

This is likely my last post to Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud.

I’m not capping the inkwell for good, blogging is just too intoxicating for that to happen. But it is time to take a bit of a break from blogging and ponder the move to other interests -  written and otherwise. It has served the purpose I intended, namely to help me hone my thinking and writing, experiment with ideas, sort out interests and find my voice.

The genesis of this blog goes back to a time before things called blogs even existed. Starting with the “Friday Humor Break” in the late ’90, these were once a week snippets sent out by email meant to put a smile on a small circle of friends and family. As the distribution list grew, it became unwieldy and posts to web pages became the logical extension. Then, a more efficient way to post became necessary. By that time, blogs were happening and a number of content management systems tailored to blogging were available. And so here we are, Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud on WordPress.

For the most part, this has been a lot of fun. I’m certain a few visitors have benefited from the posts here at JZ:TOL, particularly in regard to the posts related to my late wife, Janet. But I must say, I have been the principle beneficiary. I have learned more than I thought I would and gained unexpected insights in more ways than can be counted. Perhaps most important among these are that blogs are indeed powerful platforms from which to speak and, because of that power, demand a great deal of responsibility from the authors.

By the posts here on JZ:TOL, I was able to shine light on the incompetent dealings of Cherubim Foundation’s board of directors and recoup $2,000 from a sloppy businessman that otherwise would have been permanently lost. While crafting each of the posts related to these and other issues, I was challenged to think clearly and carefully, for what I wrote could, and did, effect the lives of quite a few other people.

I’ve always considered myself to be honest and truthful. Even so, deciding to do battle on the web where it’s easy to acquire a false sense of righteousness, anonymity and immunity, such ideals are put to the test. It is tempting to throw mud and, on occasion, I’ve thrown such mud in unpublished posts. Patience and the ability to cool down have been two more lessons from my experience with this blog.

So what is next? The plan is to create a new blog location and focus on essays and longer posts which develop ideas. I don’t follow the news close enough to be successful at hit-and-get posting. There are many other blogs which excel with that approach. My writing is more suited to deeper analysis than it is to responding to current events. Too many times, something exciting would be happening, my mind would be fully engaged in joining the fray and by the time I actually had time to post, the event was old news. And I’m talking here about days, not months. Such is the way of the Internet. Things change fast and the focus of interest shifts.

When I’ve figured out where I’ve landed, I’ll add an update to this post. Well, that’s enough for now. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Be Well and C’ya,

Gregory Engel


The Bungee Email Safety Feature

I proposed this idea in various conversations something like 10 years ago, before there were blogs and such. Perhaps it’s time to voice it again in this forum where any techno-entrepreneur can stumble upon it and, if we’re all lucky, run with it to some success.

Today, for the third time in as many weeks, I was the recipient of an email regretfully sent just nanoseconds after the “Send” button had been clicked. (Today’s blunder, it must be stated, was exacerbated by the “Reply All” button, but I don’t have a solution to that problem.) None rose above the level of “Major Oooops”, but we’ve all heard stories where such events have ended careers, relationships and governments to small countries. (Just kidding about that last one.)

For people caught up in the anger of the moment, too drunk to practice self restraint in front of a keyboard or those who just can’t get the hang of thinking about consequences, I propose The Bungee Email Safety Feature.

It’s simple. If you’re one of those people who feel a strong, irresistible urge to defiantly, compulsively, decidedly or with malice of forethought click the “Send” button regardless (you know who you are), then this safety feature is for you. The way it works is the email client would have a setting whereby a user could specify a number of minutes/hours/days (depending on a particular users safety threshold) that have to pass before any and all email messages they “send” are actually released into the wild. After clicking the “Send” button, their messages would sit safely in the send queue until such time the wait period had passed.

With this feature, once the sender has cooled off, found wisdom or sobered up, he can easily open up his send queue and disarm the ticking time bomb placed there prior to having attained enlightenment. And, of course, if he decides to send that message anyway, he can always cut the bungee chord. Sometimes, there’s satisfaction in that as well.


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]


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


She Was Blind, Now She Sees

I’ve written about Amanda Marcotte before. Well, sheeeeeee’s baaaaaaaack. There has been plenty written regarding her latest – and quite successful, I would add – effort to open a shoe store in her mouth. Not much to add there. But I did catch this from her apology:

“I didn’t pick the offensive imagery in my book, but I should have caught it sooner than now. I didn’t and there’s no excuse. It was my first book, I was excited and happy, but I needed to have a more critical eye.”

What author doesn’t go over every speck of ink on their first book with a critical eye? Does she not care? Is she so trusting of those towing the party line that she can be so easily duped? Was the book ghost written?

I call “bunk” and say she knew full well what she was doing, just as she did with the blunders at the Edwards blog. What she didn’t do was anticipate the reaction, as before, to her venom. She seems to think that everyone is as narrowly focused and myopic as she.

And then there’s this from Ms. Marcotte’s publisher, Seal Press:

“As an organization, we need to look seriously at the effects of white privilege. We will be looking for anti-racist trainings offered here in the Bay Area.”

Sensitivity trainings must be the equivalent to Catholic confession, or penitence of the self-flagellation variety, for followers of The Church of the Politically Correct.

I have to say, though, there’s a bit of Schadenfreude when multicultural, hyper diversity types get bit by their own pets.


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.


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.


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]


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.


From The Things-That-Make-You-Laugh-Until-You-Cry Department

This from the New York Times, of all places:

“Iraq is a long way to go for a photo op, but not for President Bush, who is pulling out all the stops to divert public attention from his failed Iraq policies and to keep Congress from demanding that he bring the troops home.”

So, what say you? The Prez has totally incompetent PR folks working for him who would suggest going to Iraq would be an excellent way to divert public attention away from…er…Iraq. Or the NYT editorial dolts still think they’re writing for their 6th grade newspaper.

There was a time when “professional” meant something.


“Jesus is history’s first, but not last, example of a suicide bomber”

I know Jesus. Jesus is a friend of mine. Jesus is no suicide bomber. But I don’t need to know Richard Flanagan to know Dick is an ass.


Brown Nosing The Troops

I had originally thought to puncture A Whitney Brown’s “I support out troops” party balloon with a barrage of logic pins, but I see he lists himself as a writer and humorist. hA. hA. I get it, now. So his bloviation could be an attempt at humor and not a real argument. Well, if his posts are an attempt at humor than it can be safely and securely concluded A Whitney Brown’s written humor is every bit as effective as his “serious” written traces of the underlying cognitive dissonance resident within his vast, planet sized brain.

A Whitney Brown

“‘I Support the troops.’ There! I finally said it.”

From that first “Look, mommy! I finally did it!” during potty training, A Whitney’s life must have been one long string of spectacular epiphanies into the magnificent world of natural occurrences. The easy laid bare and celebrated. It’s such a refreshing moment of reflection to see when someone has manage to carry their childhood innocence into adulthood. Especially when adulthood has stretched far into the years as those possessed by A Whitney. Never in the history of maturation has so little been carried so far for so few reasons.

Lucky us, A Whitney includes “an accurate transcript” (to distinguish it from other mere “transcripts” which may appear among his writings) of his video screed, sparing us the experience of viewing a flailing, talking nematode. There’s no real cogent argument to A Whitney’s rant. There are a few telling quips which reveal a frail ability to reason.

Now I know there are some cynics out there thinking, sure you say you support our troops but what do you actually mean by ‘support’? That’s a fair question and all I can say in response is that any one asking that question is a traitorous bastard and probably should be hung for treason.

Translation from A Whitney Speak: “It’s a fair question but I have to kill you for asking it.”

But to answer the question, what I mean when I say I support our troops is that I actually pay for their food, their ammo, their upkeep, transport, everything. I pay for all of it.

A Whitney’s tax bill covers the entire military budget? Way to stretch a dollar, Uncle Sam! Or maybe A Whitney is just being an arrogant, presumptuous ass. I’ll have to think about that one some more.

I mean I am involuntarily, under threat of prison, forced to pay for their support. Now do I resent that? You’re damn right I do.

Dude! Move to Iraq or Afghanistan or Malaysia or Chile or anywhere else. The World awaits your tortured soul. Reach back to the glorious potty training moment. You can do it. You can! Move!

But do I still support the individual men and women who have given so much to serve their country? No. I think they’re a bunch of idiots. I also think they’re morally retarded. Because they sign a contract that says they will kill whoever you tell me to kill. And that is morally retarded.

I’ve seen 50 car pileups on the highway that have made more sense than this twisted wreck of an argument. Alas, A Whitney is thinking:

Friends, the most important moral decision a man makes in the course of a day is “Who am I going to kill today?”…A man’s killing list is a very personal matter. It should be between him and those persistent voices in his head.

Scary. I wonder if I’m on that list A Whitney keeps locked away in his “happy place.” But wait! There’s more! A Whitney continues:

For this view, I have been called Anti-Military.

My response is this: Who on earth could be Pro-Military! The purpose of a military is to kill. It is at best a necessary evil. Necessary only because someone else has a military that threatens our survival. Pro-Military? That’s like being Pro-Abortion! Or Pro-chemo-therapy!

No! In a world of ignorance, greed, and ambition it is a practical matter that we defend our peace and security against the militaries of others, but the goal is always to have as little military as needed, and no more than absolutely necessary. Currently we spend more than all the rest of the world put together.

Clue for A Whitney: A huge chunk of the rest of the world wants America destroyed and looted. That would be why we need a large military force.

Pro-military is like being pro-chemotherapy? One would think the biggest adversary A Whitney has faced is bindweed amongst his petunias. The purpose of America’s military is to defend our country and the rights and freedoms that define it. If necessary, with deadly force. What disconnect is there in the minds of all the A Whitney’s that allows them to focus on the end result of deploying the US military to the battlefield and yet remain blind to the end effect of Islamic terrorists?

Move, A Whitney. You can do it! Move to Iran or Afghanistan. They’re waiting to show you the love.

A Whitney Brown – “Putting the ‘dolt’ into ‘adolthood’ one lame blog post at a time.”


Blog Haiku #19

Friend and foe.
Fiend and fair.
One becomes the other.


Althouse’s Law

[The blue ribbon panel of scientists at the prestigious Java Zen Institute for the Proliferation of Inconsequential Science and Humanities debated long and hard on whether the effects described herein should more appropriately be labeled “Althouse’s Catch,” but in the end settled on “Althouse’s Law.” The simple reason being that law professors ought to have laws named for them. That and a threatened law suit from the Amalgamated Union of Catchers, Baggers, Trappers and Boxers. Since it couldn’t be substantiated that Althouse has caught so much as a single cold in her life, the panel elected to avoid a reckless and litigious war of definitions. Besides, catches should be named after judges. – GPE]

Althouse’s Law: A law of discussions whereby the central point of an argument is increasingly marginalized by exaggerating, accentuating or obsessing on either the example elements of the argument or trivial, yet entertaining, side bars. The most common end result when Althouse’s Law has taken effect in a discussion is that the examples initially used to illustrate the original point or the trivial side bars become themselves the central theme of the argument. The effect of Althouse’s Law is accelerated if the examples or trivial side bars include so called “hot button” references such as breasts, divas or tears.

Similar to Godwin’s Law, when a discussion is trapped by the effects of Althouse’s Law, all meaningful discourse related to the original argument is no longer possible. Left unchecked or unrecognized by those caught in the flow away from the original argument, the extreme and ultimate end of Althouse’s Law results in the unfortunate casting of the unwitting into Althouse’s Vortex1.

Althouse’s Law was named for University of Wisconsin Law Professor Ann Althouse, who’s personal blog was instrumental in elucidating much of the underlying effects described by Althouse’s Law.


1 Althouse’s Vortex is a theoretical blogosphere construct. There is much anecdotal evidence that Althouse’s Vortex exists, however no one has ever returned from having been caught in such a structure so very little is know about its nature. What is know is that those who claim to “get” Althouse generally end up in the Althouse Vortex. There seems to be a force at work in regards to the Althouse Vortex that is similar to determining whether or not one is a “hacker.” You’re not a hacker until someone else, preferably a recognized hacker, calls you a hacker. Likewise, you don’t “get” Althouse unless someone else, preferably someone on the “gets it” list, says you “get” Althouse. This quandary was at the heart of the debate on whether to call the effect defined in this post Althouse’s Law or Althouse’s Catch.

Evidence of having fallen into Althouse’s Vortex usually comes in the form of repeated ad hominem attacks against a particular author even though the attacker may, in fact, agree with the author.

[For the record, I don’t get Althouse. At all. – GPE]


Blog Haiku #18

A stream flowing down a mountain.
A bloggers finger’s on a keyboard.
Gentle babbling.


The Passing of Cathy Seipp

This is a great loss.

Cathy was one of the few bloggers I followed consistently. I admired her writing style, enjoyed her humor, and delighted in the way she could both nudge the reader into thinking about things differently as well as deliver the proverbial slap shot to wake the reader up.

Her latest battle with lung cancer paralleled Janet’s final struggle and so I had a pretty good idea what was coming. Doesn’t make this loss any easier by any measure. Blessings to Cathy, her family and friends. As with Janet, I find solace in knowing she is no longer suffering. She shall continue to be a treasured source of inspiration for writing, for living.

Peace be the journey.

More on Pajamas Media.

[Edit History]


Official obituary in the LA Times is here. More on Hot Air and Little Green Footballs.


And Michelle Malkin.

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