Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Tuesday, 2020.07.07
I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.

		Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) American writer


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.


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:


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.


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)


Ripped Off By Eric Jensen And Jensen Musical Instruments

I’ve been fighting a number of battles over the past 6 months or more. I’ve also let a few dings go unanswered. Like the General says, you have to pick your battles. It looks to be time for releasing some of these into the wild. As I found with Cherubim Foundation, some folks just don’t respond to common sense, fairness and decency until they realize the rock they’ve slithered under has been turned over, exposing them to the light of day and the view of the world.

Today, the rock I’m flipping over is the one under which Eric Jensen and his business, Jensen Musical Instruments, are hiding. This leech, Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments, robbed me of $2,000.

Last February, I signed a contract for a custom built electric cello and put down better than half the money. I had done my home work and researched a number of potential vendors over the course of 3 months before deciding on Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments. I consider myself a pretty sharp Internet buyer and have never lost so much as a dime due to a fraudulent transaction conducted over the Internet. I’ve been shopping on-line for over 8 years. The BBB said Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments was good, a number of professional musicians credit Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments on their CD’s and I had a good conversation with Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments on the phone where we discussed instrument options and such.

Even so, just how many crooks bank on getting rich by flipping phony electric stringed instruments? The electric cello niche has to be pretty damn small. It’s a small market and if you run a bad deal your reputation will suffer. Or at least it should. That’s the purpose behind this post. I doubt I’ll ever seem my $2,000 again, but I sure don’t want Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments sucking on anyone else.

But the Internet wasn’t the problem. Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments could have ripped me off just as easily if he had a shop here in Denver. But he is in Seattle which complicates the idea of making a visit. The leech no doubt had this in mind as he negotiated the theft of my $2,000.

Follow the links to learn the details about Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments. I have an attorney working on this to explore the consequences of the leech having conducted such a transaction over the Internet, across state lines and such. I’d like to shut down his web site (which I won’t link to) but until I get some kind of judgment this doesn’t look to be possible. Does anyone know anything different about shutting down a web site?

So you know, I have since acquired an electric cello. It’s a beautiful 6 string instrument from Ned Steinberger. The Steinberger was my second choice only because the vapor-instrument from Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments was pitched as having a few bells and whistles which I liked a little better. In addition, the non-existent Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments vapor-instrument was alleged to be slightly smaller and thus easier to travel with (a major purpose for acquiring an electric cello in the first place.)

The Steinberger cello is a beautiful instrument and the customer service from both NS Design and their recommended vendor was outstanding. The Steinberger cello deserves its own post in the near future.

By the way, did I mention that the leech which stole $2,000 from me was Eric Jensen of Jensen Musical Instruments? What the leech doesn’t know and certainly doesn’t care about is that this is money from Janet’s life insurance policy. Money I set aside exclusively to bring music back into my life. The fucker stole blood money and may his wretched business life suffer the curse of psychotic customers until he returns my money and re-reimburses me for my expenses. I tried to do business on your terms, leech, but you failed. So now you are doing battle on my terms. Cash only, leech.

[Edit History]


See update post:

The Paper It’s Printed On


The UN – United Nematodes

What a bunch of spineless consumers of rot the UN has become.

With beverage spewing clarity, the dolts at the UN have attempted to argue issues of self defense from a legal frame. Folks, self defense is much more than the ultimate human right. It’s an instinct. None of us, absolutely none of us would be here today if our ancestors over the past several million years didn’t practice and perfect skills necessary for self preservation. This included pounding the crap out of any other life form that attempted to end their existence.

This is true of individuals. It is true of families, communities and nations. Without adapting to threats and practicing self-defense in the interest of self-preservation the end can only be extinction. The kind of spineless world view argued by the worms at the UN is precisely what the Islamofasists are counting on to win their religious war. Worms are easy to crush and hose off the streets. It’s those Freedom loving, Liberty saturated individuals with pointy teeth and claws they fear.

As Atticus noted in the comments to Dr. Helen’s blog post “Crime Strike TV“:

The word “pantywaist” is an odd choice to decribe the United Nations. The UN is a collection of folks who want to protect despots, not a collection of passivists [sic]. They don’t discourage self defense because they don’t have the stomach for violence; they just don’t have the stomach for violence that would encourage freedom.


A Clear View From The Bay

To read Austin Bay is to be informed.


Irrational Order In Response To Saddam Hussein Verdict

Iraq reacts to Saddam Hussein’s guilty verdict and death sentence by taking to their couches and playing violent video games*:

“It’s just like a comedy play,” said a 23-year old named Ali in western Baghdad who was playing with a PlayStation video game to take his mind off the day’s events. “We’re not surprised.”

* I assume it was a violent video game because, after all, aren’t they all violent? I mean, Big Corporations sell them and Big Corporations are all evil so all their video games must be evil and evil is always violent, yes?


Wom·an Ar. noun – 7: An idiot with a short memory

[This post builds on my previous posts Wom·an Ar. noun – 1: Raw meat, 2: Something to blame, Wom·an Ar. noun – 3: Play things, 4: Something to kick around and Wom·an Ar. noun – 5: Weapons of mass seduction, 6: Satan’s soldiers.]

He’s ready! Yes he is! al-Hilaly is extending is meat hooks hand and apologizing to his little meat balls “cherished pearls”

Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilaly described women as “cherished pearls” and said rape was abominable as he tried to explain the comments which have engulfed him in controversy.

While he expressed some contrition to the women of Australia, he attacked the “dubious media” and “devious groups” which he says have slandered and defamed him.

It’s always someone else’s fault. But ya’ know, he’s just sick about this, ladies:

Australia’s most senior Muslim cleric collapsed with chest pains and was taken to hospital today following widespread calls for him to quit after delivering a sermon in which he compared immodestly dressed women to uncovered meat eaten by cats.


He’s sooooooo ready to make up.

“I turn to all the women of Australia and the world. You are the shining lights of the world … How could any sane person think of humiliating you?” he wrote.

“You are the cherished pearls, the dearest thing in the world. So don’t be taken as offerings at the temples of the merchants of pleasure, or advocates of decadence and corruption.”

Or idiots without a memory for the fool things misogynists spew:

Satan sees women as half his soldiers. You’re my messenger in necessity, Satan tells women you‘re my weapon to bring down any stubborn man. There are men that I fail with. But you’re the best of my weapons…The woman was behind Satan playing a role when she disobeyed God and went out all dolled up and unveiled and made of herself palatable food that rakes and perverts would race for. She was the reason behind this sin taking place.

Word is, al-Hilaly is seeking an indefinite leave from his duties at Sydney’s Lakemba mosque. So what do you think? Too much stress or just tough love? If you are lost in the dark on this, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is carrying the light and shows the way.

[Edit History]


Mary Katharine Ham calls it like it is. Be sure to follow the links to Wafa Sultan and Brigitte Gabriel. Every bit as impressive as Hirsi Ali.


Wom·an Ar. noun – 5: Weapons of mass seduction, 6: Satan’s soldiers

[This post builds on my previous posts Wom·an Ar. noun – 1: Raw meat, 2: Something to blame and Wom·an Ar. noun – 3: Play things, 4: Something to kick around.]

Reading further into Sheik al-Hilaly’s comments, it just gets worse (H/T Tim Blair):

When it comes to adultery, it’s 90 percent the woman’s responsibility. Why? Because a woman owns the weapon of seduction. It’s she who takes off her clothes, shortens them, flirts, puts on make-up and powder and takes to the streets, God protect us, dallying. It’s she who shortens, raises and lowers. Then, it’s a look, a smile, a conversation, a greeting, a talk, a date, a meeting, a crime, then Long Bay jail. Then you get a judge, who has no mercy, and he gives you 65 years.

There are just so many things wrong with this, where do you start? Perhaps the Meat Head Mufti has been so preoccupied with finding all the different ways life has him outraged he’s lost a few details, like the fact he’s the one with the penis. Recall the comment at the heart of the Mufti’s revelations:

If you take uncovered meat and put it on the street, on the pavement, in a garden, in a park, or in the backyard, without a cover and the cats eat it, then whose fault will it be, the cats, or the uncovered meat’s? The uncovered meat is the disaster. If the meat was covered the cats wouldn’t roam around it. If the meat is inside the fridge, they won’t get it.

Rather than sealing women up in layers of blankets, Mr. Meaty Mufti, the easier solution would be to lock your nuts in an iron cup. As the astute Tim Blair has put it:

But if the meat is outside the fridge, and the cats are inside the fridge, they won’t get it either. For a long, long, time. Trust me on this.

Castration is an option, O Holy One, something else you and cats could have in common. And that “lack of mercy” you perceive in the judge is actually the presence of a spine. But I’ve interrupted the Mufti’s lardy thoughts:

But when it comes to this disaster, who started it? In his literature, writer al-Rafee says, if I came across a rape crime, I would discipline the man and order that the woman be jailed for life. (Emphasis added)

Dude gets 65 years for rape. Whaaaaaaaaaa! Jail the victim for life. WhooooHooooo!

Satan sees women as half his soldiers. You’re my messenger in necessity, Satan tells women you‘re my weapon to bring down any stubborn man. There are men that I fail with. But you’re the best of my weapons…The woman was behind Satan playing a role when she disobeyed God and went out all dolled up and unveiled and made of herself palatable food that rakes and perverts would race for. She was the reason behind this sin taking place.

Are you sick yet?

Ah, well al-Hilaly has an apologist in Keysar Trad, President of the Islamic Friendship Council of Australia:

Mr Trad said Sheik Hilali’s speech was a series of “off the cuff” remarks given as a late-night talk about chastity and marriage.

Well, that makes it all better.

“Obviously, there is a severe penalty for rape and there should be. He’s saying, ‘If you do this, if you behave in a sexual way, see how much trouble you can get into’,” Mr Trad said.

Here’s the math on that:

Rape = “Behave in a sexual way”

This goes against everything I understand about rape. In the Muslim world view, touching, hugging, kissing, holding hands, rape and other sexual behaviors – it’s all good…if your the guy. “Misinterpreted.” “Off the cuff.” Whatever. I find nothing even tangentially acceptable in what is revealed by this kind of thinking. That the Meaty Minded Mufti isn’t alone in this pattern has my attention. My hope is that others, like me, are tracking…

Much more here.


Wom·an Ar. noun – 3: Play things, 4: Something to kick around

[This post builds on my previous post Wom·an Ar. noun – 1: Raw meat, 2: Something to blame.]

From reporter Lindy Kerin (ABC Australia):

TONY EASTLEY: After coming under intense pressure over his comments that scantily-dressed women provoke sexual violence, one of Australia’s most senior Muslim clerics has been given a slap over the wrist by the organisation that employs him. (Emphasis added)

“Scantily-dressed”? The spin on that makes me dizzy. Not wearing a hijab qualifies as “scantily-dressed”? Anything less than this:


qualifies as “scantily-dressed”. Consider yourselves duly informed. Hey, don’t complain, you have your choice of two colors!

And then we have this from Meat Head Mufti al-Hilaly:

Is misunderstanding. I’m very, very sorry for that. People misunderstanding my talk in my mosque.

But as reported by The Australian:

In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame. (Emphasis added)

We can assume Muslim women leaders (for example, Nada Roude from the Islamic Council of New South Wales and the United Muslim Women’s Association) would have sufficient grasp of the language and context to know full well what al-Hilaly meant and intended. And their understanding was such that they were left with an unfavorable impression – outraged, actually. [That word, “outrage”, is becoming increasingly diluted and devoid of meaning, much like the word “terrorist.” – Greg] There have been calls for his resignation, no less, from elsewhere within the Islamic community.

al-Hilaly’s apology is as vacuous as the Islamic fundamentalist’s claim to represent a “peaceful” religion. The News Limited reports:

Australia’s leading Muslim cleric, Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilaly, says he will only resign when the world is “clean of the White House”.

After emerging from Friday prayers at Lakemba Mosque today, Sheik Hilaly was asked by a media pack whether he would quit over a speech in which he said scantily-dressed women invited rape.

After we clean the world of the White House first,” the sheik said. (Emphasis added)

Think about this folks. There is a “first” which means there is a second. I’ll speculate what’s second: All non-Muslims “willingly” convert or are exterminated. I’ll speculate what’s third: All women are bound and gagged entombed appropriately attired in their hijab and burka.

Time to wake up and smell the hummus. This guy is never resigning. His three month suspension from preaching not withstanding, there will always be something else that offends al-Hilaly’s knuckled sense of what’s right. I’ve every confidence there is an abundant supply of steep thinkers like al-Hilaly. If Satan ever had a tongue, it’s guys like this.

[Edit History]


Michelle Malkin echoes and elaborates.


#1 – Ann Althouse articulates a point I didn’t make as clear as intended:

Reuters paraphrases the quote above [Sheikh Taj El-Din Hamid Hilaly: After we clean the world of the White House first…] as a statement that “he would not go until the White House was cleaned out.” Somebody needs to learn how to read. Those words aren’t a mere wish to see President Bush out of the White House. They state a desire to rid the world of the White House. The place in need of “cleaning” is not the White House, but the world. The uncleanliness is not the President in the White House, but the White House in the world.

Meat Head Mufti al-Hilaly’s comments reveal both his agenda and it’s scope. My belief that al-Hilaly’s comments are a “misunderstood” and isolated expression goes about as deep as Muslim tolerance of other religions.

#2 – Modified title


Wom·an Ar. noun – 1: Raw meat, 2: Something to blame

One would think the revealing commentary by Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, Australia’s most senior Muslim cleric, would instantly set no less than half the nation’s population (that would be you, girls) on edge and awaken them to what awaits on the far side of unassimilated “multiculturalism” and Shar’ia law:

In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame.

In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?

“The uncovered meat is the problem.”

The sheik then said: “If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”

Tim Blair calls it right: “A lot of things don’t occur if you never leave your room. Ask any prisoner.”

Rather than swallow the politically correct oatmeal cooked up by apologists for all things Muslim and the MSM, I have to wonder where is the FREAKIN’ outrage and rebuttal to this type of monstrous thinking, particularly from the supposed feminists organizations and politicians on both sides of the aisle?

[Edit History]


#1 – There’s more over on Hot Air: Aussie mufti to women: Stop making us rape you

#2 – Yikes!

#3 – “I unreservedly apologise to any woman who is offended by my comments,” Alhilali said. Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Can you say “Taqiyya“?

#4 – Allahpundit’s usual reserved analysis: “’Protecting women’s honor’ is virtually a science in some Muslim countries”

#5 – And Iowahawk has found a vein.


Modified title


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.


Respect This [Gesture]!

Uh oh. Looks like Ann Althouse is done for, what with stirring up a ruckus about UW’s Think.Respect propaganda beat them until they are kind Freedom for Warm Fuzzies program. The crack Java Zen Table, Desk and Counter Intelligence Team has intercepted a “bias-related incident form” on its way to the UW’s Office of Central Coercion.

Guess I should feel good that my alma mater only has to deal with the likes of Ward Churchill.

Offices of the Dean of Students
Student Advocacy and Judicial Affairs (SAJA)
Bias Incident Reporting Form

A bias incident is a threat or act of bigotry, harassment or intimidation – verbal, written or
physical – that is personally directed against or targets a University of Wisconsin-
Madison student because of that student’s race, age, gender identity or expression,
disability, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, religion, sex (including pregnancy),
sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Please include as much information as possible. Incomplete or inaccurate information will delay
processing of this report and may compromise our ability to quickly and effectively respond to this report.

Description of incident (attach separate sheet if necessary):

Reply 1

Area where incident occurred (please provide as much detail as possible):

Reply 2

Date and time of incident:

Reply 3

Victim name(s), if known (please indicate if victim is a UW-Madison student):

Reply 4

Your name, e-mail address, and phone number:

Reply 5

Would you like a SAJA staff member to contact you? ____ yes ____ no

Reply 6

Thank you for taking the time to submit this report and helping to improve campus climate at UW-
Madison. All reports will be reviewed in a timely manner. If you would like to provide further information or
speak with a SAJA staff member about this incident, please call (608) 263-5700.

Please submit this report via campus or US mail to: SAJA
75 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706


Foley’s Follies

In building my Bloggers League baseball team, I want Ann Althouse on the roster for a power hitter position in the rotation. She hits another one out of the park:

Like many from my generation, I am very strongly dedicated to the ethic of individual expression. That does not, however, in any way make it hard for me to acknowledge the absolute rule against adults doing anything sexual with children. I think you can flatly reject what Foley did and still believe in the value of individuals finding their own way around conventional morality and making their own rules about what is good. Obviously, social conservatives are the big champions of the moral order, but that doesn’t mean that to oppose what Foley did requires you to become an all-out social conservative. A responsible, freely expressive individual recognizes the need for some rules. (Emphasis added)

While individuals go about the process of “finding their own way around conventional morality and making their own rules,” in my observation, quite a few seem to drop the bit about being responsible for the consequences of their decisions and actions on other people. I’m sure it’s a complex problem, but it appears as if in the process of expanding the expression of their individuality they come to believe that the only way to “really” manifest their complete individuality is to drop the idea of limits entirely. Rules set limits. By extension, so does the concept of responsibility. Rules and responsibility become bad things on the path toward absolute individualism.

Abandoning limits on individual expression, and therefore abandoning responsibility for however that expression may manifest, imposes greater limits on those around such a person. Someone expressing themselves with an extended vocal outburst of profanity in a public coffee house will cause those within earshot to place additional limits on their own expression by reducing the number of coffee houses to which they may frequent by one (assuming the don’t want to hear extemporaneous profanity à fortissimo, of course.) This is but a trivial example.

On a larger stage, the effects are more pervasive and less easily remedied. The effects from the Law of Unintended Consequences begin to manifest as the spin goes out of control. This is what I see happening with the events surrounding the Foley scandal. Things get recursive and bizarre (Gays asserting “traditional values” to out other gays for the purposes of advancing a liberal party agenda? What’s up with that?) The hyperbole is enough to make one dizzy. People who’s experience with taking responsibility for their own actions is, shall we say, a bit rusty, are all gung ho to dust off what ever “moral code” seems to serve their agenda and apply it to the object of their moral outrage.

There are many other current events which illustrate this principle. Declaring “freedom” from the shackles of responsibility reveals all manner of contradictory outrage in individuals as well as larger collections of individuals. Their actions become decreasingly rational and increasingly emotional. In classic ends-justify-the-means style, behaving from such a frame leads to actions devoid of any need for explanation or justification and the consequence to others is of no concern. So, for example, we see soldiers hiding behind women and children in Lebanon (applying the apposing side’s moral code of not killing women and children) for the benefit of fulfilling their own individual expression (saving their own ass) with zero regard for the consequences (women and children caught in the crossfire.)

[Edit History]


A manager’s dilemma. My Bloggers League baseball team isn’t even a post old and I can’t decide if Althouse should go in the rotation as a power or clean-up hitter. I see she has a post today that beautifully illustrates my point about adherents to the Church of Individualism loosing track of the consequences of their actions.

Her post addresses recent developments around an incident involving protesters at Columbia University who stormed a stage where Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project, was giving a presentation (video here). It seems Columbia’s investigation involves looking at various Facebook profiles.

As of late Thursday night, 13 Columbia students and alumni had joined a Facebook group titled, “YES, I was there when Gilchrist was rushed faster than CUFT’s Quarterback.”

“I don’t [agree with the decision], but there’s nothing we can do about it,” Patric Prado, SEAS ’09 and creator of the group, said. “I was there, and it’s fine that they want to incriminate people who actually started violence. … Yes, we were stupid, but we got our message across that we weren’t going to accept this on campus.”

Universities, employers, and law enforcement agencies have widely contended that materials posted on Facebook-including posts, photos, and personal information-are admissible in investigations. Hornsby emphasized that screening Facebook was just one of several methods that the University would employ to conduct its investigation.

Student leaders expressed concerns Thursday night about the tactic.

“I was worried that that was going to happen,” Marcus Johnson, CC ’07 and co-chair of the University Senate’s student affairs committee, said. He later added in a statement, “As a University Senator and chair of the student affairs committee, I will do my best to make sure that all students are as safe as possible. On another note, everybody should quit Facebook right now.”

“On some level, I have to agree with the University,” Daniel Okin, SEAS ’07 and president of the Engineering Student Council, said. “That being said, it worries me that they would use the Facebook for that.”

The protesters did themselves in by not thinking about what might follow from their blunt protest (University launches investigation) and the subsequent posting of their involvement on a public web site (University collects evidence). But, Ann pushes the run home:

To use the material in an investigation is not to presume it is conclusive proof of something. What makes people think that if they do something in a place that makes them feel confessional it somehow doesn’t count? The students storming the stage also seemed to feel entitled to act out. That doesn’t make them not responsible for what they did. They can’t say oh, we were surrounded by friends who all thought this was just fine and we felt in charge of our own space. Really, these are intelligent college students. Why do they feel a special immunity from being observed in a public place?

Read the whole thing. She illustrates how the selective application of rules and responsibility exposes various agendas among the players involved.


One example of the hyperbole around the Foley scandal. Gateway Pundit has a post related to the scandal in which he states:

Representative Jack Kingston and 10 fellow Republicans sent a letter to the Democratic leadership asking them to go before the Ethics Committee and disclose what they knew about Foley’s activities for the safty (sic) of America’s children.

I took issue with this in the comments to Gateway Pundit’s post, specifically, the “for the safety of America’s children” phrase:

I don’t think what Foley did, in context, was a threat to America’s children. Rather, a threat to a specific (yes, vulnerable) group.

To my knowledge, Foley didn’t have access to the entire nation’s children and the entire nation’s children were not somehow at greater risk from Foley’s behavior. Acceptance into the White House page program is a highly competitive process, not just any child/young adult can participate. As a result, it’s a select group of bright kids. What ever the result of the Ethics Committee’s inquiry, it would likely have little or no bearing on the safety of America’s children. It could, however, have a significant impact on how the White House page program is monitored and therefore the safety of the children/young adults in the program.

The more rigorously problems are defined, the higher the quality and durability of the solution. And in cases like Gateway Pundit’s post, the scope is too broadly defined to yield a meaningful solution to the actual problem at hand (i.e. the relationship between elected officials and their pages.)

This is but one example of what happens as scandals are sensationalized. There has been so much of this in the Foley scandal that the whole thing has spun off its axis. In this state, no one will be happy with the outcome as any proposed solution will not sufficiently cover each position’s definition of the problem space.


Law Enforcement As A For Profit Venture

Seems the city planners in Clive, Iowa, were banking on 1) catching lawbreakers 2) lawbreakers being plentiful and 3) lawbreakers not changing their ways – ever. (H/T State 29 via Instapundit)

Clive’s stoplight camera system fell well short of revenue expectations for the second consecutive month.

Based on preliminary estimates provided to city officials by the cameras’ operator, Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems, the system was expected to generate about $85,000 per month initially.

September’s revenue was less than $700, based on statistics compiled by the Clive Police Department. The number of citations issued was down about 10 percent from August, the first full month of operation.

Clive City Manager Dennis Henderson said glitches are still being corrected in the system, and that he’s been satisfied that area residents are driving more safely.

Ouch. That’s 0.8% of projections. Just a little off, don’t you think? Come on, you Clivers, get with it and start running those red lights! Your city needs you!

Actually, State 29 has it right: “Shouldn’t the revenue expectation be zero?

I’m left with uneasy feelings anytime I hear of governments employing this type of technology principally for the purpose of raising revenue. I say “principally” because, as it appears to be in this case, the argument in favor of using the technology is based on revenue expectations rather than the decreased violations. I’ve read other articles where this type of revenue expectation was actually included in annual budgets.

Bad idea, this. As technology improves and becomes less expensive, the full range of statutes become available for automatically issuing citations for violations. Because, you know, ignorance of the law is not a defence. Remember this little gem from Houston? Couple Chief Harold Hurtt’s attitude with micro-surveillance and you’ve got yourself a right profitable proposition. If Big Brother were only watching us, perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. Being pinned under the fat ass of a revenue hungry Big Brother is a bit more disconcerting.

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I’ve been wondering. What are City Manager Dennis Henderson’s “glitches” to be “corrected”? Is the yellow light too long? Perhaps he should eliminate it all together? Or how about flashing from green to red for a few seconds right in the middle of the green cycle? Photograph vehicles as they drive away from the intersection just after the light turns red. After all, they almost ran a red light and they just might do it for real next time. They’re just building up the confidence to do it. There they go, fleeing the scene of a red light. That’s got to be good for some extra violation cash. Come on, guys. If the Clivers aren’t cooperating with Redflex Trafffic Systems’ sales pitch, you gotta think outside the box, or intersection in this case.

Several grammar changes.


Making The World Safe From Treeists

I am soooooooo relieved the police have pounded another gang of rogue tree climbers into the ground. Whew! It was getting to the point I was a fearin’ to leave my house!

To the 12-year-old friends planning to build themselves a den, the cherry tree seemed an inviting source of material.

But the afternoon adventure turned into a frightening ordeal for Sam Cannon, Amy Higgins and Katy Smith after they climbed into the 20ft tree – then found themselves hauled into a police station and locked in cells for up to two hours.

Their shoes were removed and mugshots, DNA samples and mouth swabs were taken.

Crikey. I’d ask where’s the common sense to this but I already know the answer – THERE ISN’T ANY. There’s a thread about this stringing over at Slashdot.

And let’s not forget Glenn Reynolds’ question: “Will somebody please explain to cops that they can’t arrest people for photographing them?”

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