Friday, November 30, 2007

Barbabas Fund responds to Muslim open letter to Christians

This is a critical and honest look at the letter and a reasoned response. If only others were as insightful.

Update 07-23-2014: It appears that the original link above is broken. A search for the original article turned up this one which should be the one that was linked above.

Standard Hollywood Storyline #4

Well it would seem that Hollywood has finally gotten around to updating that good old staple; storyline #4. It no longer is "bigoted blue collar white guy hates foreigner that helps him". It has been updated for the new millennium to include "bigoted blue collar white guy hates 'undocumented' work that helps him". This new expanded storyline made an appearance on TV this week in both Gray's Anatomy (old form) and ER (new form) storylines.

In the case of Grey's, a (black female) paramedic has a seizure while driving a rig that results in two ambulances being wrecked. The female paramedic has a (white) male partner who is very concerned for his partner and wants her to be checked out first. When they try to check him out, he tells his black female doctor that he wants a male doctor. When confronted with a black male doctor he then asks for a white doctor. This was because he had a swat-sticker tattooed on his belly and did not want the non-white staff to see it. If you watch the story, the white "bigot" did not follow any of the normal Hollywood bigot stereotypes, he appeared clean-cut, educated, well spoken and concerned for his non-white partner. He appeared to get along with his black partner and was concerned for her. The only indication that anything was amiss was his tattoo. At first I thought that they were trying to show the tattoo as a poor adolescent decision but based on the remainder of the story I think their real intent was to show us all that the white (what other kind are there in Hollywood) bigots still exist but have just gone underground (you can never be too careful around those white guys). As icing on the cake they have the "bigot" insist on a white doctor as a witness during his surgery to make sure that the female black and asian surgeons don’t have an "accident" while operating on him. Of course the black and asian doctors "rise above" this insult and operate on the man anyway and save his life.

In ER they follow the updated script and are even more blatant about it. They try to score extra points by tossing in the helpful illegal alien that does not speak much English. A blue-collar working man gets his arm caught and would have died except that he is helped/saved by a female illegal alien working as a cleaner (aren't they all?) and when everyone gets to the hospital, the man's bigot son blames the woman for his father's injuries. The woman (of course) has a son in collage (and doing quite well thank you) and her injuries are superficial. The two boys get in a scuffle at the hospital and plenty of the typical racial insults are used and the non-white boy gets to say how he in an American because he was born here. The writers try to cover all of the bases to make sure that you really dislike the white boy. Later the white boy tracks down the other boy and beats him with a bat. The second boy dies and then the first boy finds out from his father that the woman actually saved his life. He gets arrested and hauled away in cuffs.

Is this the only way Hollywood knows how to play this mime? That all white guys (sometimes gals) are bigots and all non-whites are down-trodden, hard working missionaries only trying to better themselves and their families? How about they mix it up just once in a while and try using a Muslim man that refuses to be treated by a woman? Or how about a black racist refuses to be treated by a white doctor? How about we use an actual story “ripped from the headlines” about a drink illegal alien driver with multiple convictions that runs over a little white girl? I would not hold by breath for that one, there are still some things Hollywood thinks is just too unbelievable.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Read this Times story, I hope you find it as hard to believe and understand as I did.

In summary, a 47 year old woman pretended to be a 16 year old boy to first befriend and then verbally attack a 13 year old girl who had once been a friend of her daughter's. The verbal attack resulted in the young girl hanging her self.

What kind of sick, twisted woman pulls such a cruel and tragic hoax on a 13 year old girl? A girl she knew was on anti-depressants and claim to not have any idea that suicide could not be a probable outcome?

To add insult to injury, the only reason this became public is because when the girl's parents found out about what transpired, they took out their anger and frustration on a foosball table they were actually storing in their house for the other family as it was a surprise Christmas present. The broken pieces were thrown in the other family's drive way and they called the police. This caused the store to come to light. What a screwed up woman! The local prosecuting attorney was still reviewing the case to see of the woman could be prosecuted. I am not a lawyer but I would think of a few possibilities like: child abuse, manslaughter or how about negligent homicide?

I would hope that we don't need a new set of laws to cover this sort of occurrence but could use existing laws. In most (not all) cases, reactionary laws are written too quickly and too poorly and result in too many unintended consequences.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Of torture and Stephen King

InstaPunk makes some very good points and to be honest I expected a better perspective from Stephen King (being a big fan of his writing). As InstaPunk points out, if you can not contemplate the torturing of one to save hundreds from torture or death then you really should not be allowed to sit at the grownup table. That is the sort of dilemma and decision that adults should be able to face and make. It is black at one extreme and white on the other with every shade of gray in between and to continue to call it a simple black and white issue is to show the type of naivety that can only be tolerated in grade school or by liberals but not by adults.

Read his entire post and follow his links. The story of Ms. Wang, that is torture. After reading her story and looking at her picture, answer this question; would you water board one of her guard to find out where she is being held in order to stop her torture? If not, why not? Would it help you decide if it was your mother/wife/daughter instead of a stranger? If so, why? Honestly answer that and you just might be ready to start growing up.

Uncle Jay Explains Congress

This is one of those things that is both funny and will make you mad/sad at the same time. Watch and enjoy(?)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh just grow up!

This opening paragraph hits it out of the park, nice start!

It is interesting to note the seeming contradiction when schools find it necessary to teach all the best ways to have “safe” sex to minors who cannot legally consent to have sex in the first place and yet also find it necessary to suspend students for legal handholding or hugging. The same contradiction is observed in schools allowing profane t-shirts as “freedom of expression” but suspending a student who used the word “noose” as a racial slur.

The entire thing is worth a read but you have to love the closing...

We expect silliness of babies and small children. It’s disturbing when seen in ostensible adults and it is alarming when it is promulgated as public policy.

eMail Joke: "The Deer Hunters"

Two deer hunters were standing on a ridge near a highway in rural Wisconsin on the opening day of deer season.

They both saw a trophy-class buck meandering towards them. As the one hunter raised his gun to shoot, a funeral procession came slowly by. The hunter lowered his gun, took off his hat, and stood with his head bowed until the procession was past.

Of course by then, the deer was long gone.

The other hunter exclaimed, "Wow! That was the most sportsmanlike act I've ever seen! You allowed this trophy buck to escape while showing such compassion and kindness toward someone's dearly departed. You are a great humanitarian and a shining example to sportsmen throughout the world!"

The first hunter nodded and said, "Well, we were married for 42 years'."

Mankind shortening the universe's life

What a rather stupid headline for this article. If you take the time to read it, mankind has not affected the universe but instead a group of scientists have raised questions about how we have previously measured aspects of it. Things like its age, size and weight. It is quite a leap from questioning if we got our measurements right to saying that because we observed it, we affected it which is a principle of quantum mechanics. And even that is not entirely true. It is actually that quantum particles can exist in a number of states and that there is a probability of the particle being in any of those states and all states are possible until that particle is observed in which case its actual state is now known and so the probability of it being in the other states is reduced to zero. Quite a stretch to go from that to saying because we observed the universe, we locked it into a quick decay model. If it is in a quick decay model, it was always there, we just did not know it.

This is about on par with man-made global warming. The Earth is getting warmer, well so is Mars and so is the Sun. Which is more likely? That man is affecting not only the Earth, Mars and the Sun too or that maybe, just maybe the Sun is going through a warming cycle and as a result is heating up Mars and the Earth? To say that man is driving this increase instead of attributing it to the Sun is going back to the middle-ages and putting man at the center of the universe.

Verizon’s new phones sound alarm when you call 911

How so very helpful! Sounding an audible alarm when you dial 911. Its not like you might need to call 911 while hiding from your attackers or anything. Apparently this "feature" has been introduced in all of Verizon's new phones with little or no fan-fare. Wonder why?

More global warming hypocrisy

So, there will be so many private/charter jets planning to be at the Bali U.N. Conference on Climate Change that there is not enough room at the airport to park them all and some will need to be flown to other airports in the area for storage. I wonder what the carbon footprint of that will be but it is for a good cause and it is not like they could fly commercial or use, I don't know, teleconferencing (WebEx, NetMeeting) or something.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bionic exoskeletons

Now this is pretty cool.

Religion of peace at it again...

Read the entire pathetic story, I will wait...

Back? Good. So, according to the religion of peace, you can not name a teddy bear Muhammad. It is an insult to the great religion of Islam. Well, now a days what is not an insult to this religion or their followers? Don't know about the rest of you but I am getting pretty tired of this constant eagerness to be insulted. This finding of slight in the smallest of things. This is so third grade or dare I say, so 500 AD of them. When are the followers of Islam going to get tired of being forever on the verge of or in the middle of a grade A hissie fit? I mean it has to be exhausting, always being angry about this sort of childish stuff, really don't you think? I mean this kind of crap is right up there with "stop looking at me" and these people want to rule the world? They want the entire big blue marble to be under Sharia law? Yeah that will happen. I would be very curious to know what advancements have come out of any of the regions that are currently under Sharia law in say the last 100 years. I mean real things, not the mad ravings of mad mullahs or presidents. Best I can recollect, it is a pretty short list but am open to any comments that will enlighten.

As I am sure others have pointed out, where is NOW or ANSWER in all of this? Where are the protests for the release of an innocent that wanted nothing more than to nurture and teach the young? Oh yeah, I remember, she is a Christian in a Islamic country, it is not PC to protest for her freedom. We save that stuff for murderers in U.S. prisons, not for innocents abroad.

Stupid decisions, part 1

This story includes just about everything that is wrong with today's public education environment. Students having a conversation about Innocent things that goes wrong and because there are no adults left in the public school system, two student pay the price.

"Travis was accused of using a racial slur for saying the word 'noose.' Then he was suspended for 10 days," Kim said.

So now the word "noose" is a racial slur.

"Someone asked if anybody knew how to tie a noose and Travis did admit he knew how to tie a noose,"

Well we can't have any of that can we! Nooses have been in the news as of late, used in both real and faux racial incidents and so it too gets added to the list of things that can not be discussed, regardless of circumstances. Instead of either ignoring this or using it as an opportunity to discuss the issue, two students are punished for a "perceived" slight. When is enough going to be enough? This is the sort of garbage that would be improved by both school vouchers and more home schooling. Anything to keep these politicrats away from the kids.

Kerry accepts Swift Boat challenge

but apparently he still has not fully signed the standard form 180 to release all of his records as he said he would over 1000 days ago. You would expect it to be quite easy for him to win this challenge if as he says, they all lied about him and his service record. We will see.

Mayor Giuliani

I don't agree with everything he says though I do respect the man. I most definitely agree with him on this portion of his speech:

I get very, very frustrated when I . . . hear certain Americans talk about how difficult the problems we face are, how overwhelming they are, what a dangerous era we live in. I think we've lost perspective. We've always had difficult problems, we've always had great challenges, and we've always lived in danger.

Do we think our parents and our grandparents and our great grandparents didn't live in danger and didn't have difficult problems? Do we think the Second World War was less difficult that our struggle with Islamic terrorism? Do we think that the Great Depression was a less difficult economic struggle for people to face than the struggles we're facing now? Have we entirely lost perspective of the great challenges America has faced in the past and has been able to overcome and overcome brilliantly? I think sometimes we have lost that perspective.

He is so right. So many people are walking around talking about how very bad things are right now without an iota of perspective on what their parents and grand-parents went through. They cry about the cost of health insurance forgetting that until recently, it did not exist. They cry about the price of gas forgetting how expensive it was when Carter was in office. They cry about the war, forgetting the cost of past wars (in money and lives) while at the same time belittling the threats from abroad while also forgetting that there has not been a domestic attack since 9/11.

Yes this country still has problems to solve but blowing the wrong problems out of proportion while ignoring real problems is not an answer. It shows both a lack of perspective and how well our government is doing it primary job (protect the people) that more citizens think global warming is a bigger threat than terrorism. More of this country's citizens expect so much to be handed to them while being so ignorant of the efforts needed to keep things going. They are like little spoiled kids that want it all and want it now without having to face the reality of today's world. Instead of being responsible adults that can weigh an issue and understand that sometimes hard decisions need to be made for the general good or because of bed-rock principles, they would rather take the easy way and do things like picket returning solders or block military shipments using themselves and their kids as human shields.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Weird movie ideas that were actually made, #1

I bet it was one weird pitch session for this movie, titled "The Number One Girl". The guide description for it is: Carnage ensues when a gangster asks a martial artist to judge a beauty pageant. Made in 05. If this is the one they decided to make, I would love to see some of the ideas they threw away!

Apparently it was not well received by IMDb.

Sorry for the lack of postings...

I was on holiday and out of town. Went to Georgia to stay with relatives. They have no Internet access and I did not have a chance to borrow an air-card so no postings. I am back now and things should return to normal.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Ron Silver

Our national mission, a worthy and ennobling one, is to expand freedom where we can. These are revolutionary goals very much in keeping with our Founders’ vision. They are hardly conservative, let alone neo-conservative goals.

Of societies turns out that cultural and religious tolerance are necessary qualities for capitalist success.
How true. Capitalism has been the single most liberating and equalizing force in human history. No other concept, when put into practice has allowed more people more personal and economic freedom. By its nature, a pure capitalistic society will be the most efficient user of resources and produce the most real value for an amount of expended effort. In order for this process to work at its highest level, any enterprise must be able to draw upon the best resources as inputs. This includes materials and people. There is a constant struggle to produce better; be they better answers or better products. As soon as inefficiencies enter into the effort, another producer will spring up to better meet the needs of that market. For this reason, a true capitalistic society can not afford the luxury of being prejudice. Doing so removes from the available pool of talent and another group will reap the benefits of those that were excluded. That is why Islam MUST own the world. Just as with the former USSR and communism, it has no chance to succeed when there are competing societies. Neither communism or Islam can keep up with the pace of production (be it goods, ideas or inventions) when compared to capitalist societies. That is one of the reasons that both of these forms work best when in isolation. If everyone is miserable, it does not seem so bad. If no one has shoes, you can erase the idea of shoes.

Ghost in the machine?

I think that the do not call registry was a great first step though they are currently debating a 5 year expiry which will cause you to have to re-register. It has dramatically cut down on the "crap calls" that come into the house. Now a big issue is false or misleading caller ID information. The standard rule at my house is if the name does not look familiar, we don't answer. If it is important, they will leave a message.

I have a phone for me to use, just like I have a cell phone for me to use. If you are important to me, you have my number and I have yours. You are in my directory and the phone identifies you when you call. If I don't know you or the number, most likely you should not be calling me and so I don't answer. Again, if it is important, you will leave a message and I will call you back.

Sun no longer largest object in our solar system


The Holmes coma's diameter on Nov. 9 was 869,900 miles (1.4 million kilometers), based on measurements by Rachel Stevenson, Jan Kleyna and Pedro Lacerda of the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. The sun's diameter, stated differently by various sources, is about 864,900 miles (1.392 million kilometers).Holmes is still visible to the naked eye as a fuzzy star anytime after dark, high in the northeast sky. You can find it by using this sky map.

Interent safe for another day!

It seems that the U.N. committee on the Internet was unable to come to an agreement as to how to manage the U.S. created Internet. Well in my mind that can be seen as nothing but good news. The U.N. wants to take control of the Internet from the U.S. The same U.N. that managed the "Oil for Food" program with such great success. The same U.N. that manages to avoid stopping any conflict their peace keepers are sent to but do manage to engage in massive under age and/or coerced sex-capades. The same U.N. that continues to allow member countries with atrocious human rights records to serve on the human rights council. That U.N. wants to manage and control what is currently a mostly open and mostly uncensored Internet.

This is a funny comment: ''As we approach the end we're going to have to see what the world wants and perhaps it will be necessary to take more concrete decisions, or if not decisions, recommendations,'' That is easy. What the world wants is what it currently has. The only reason this is an issue is this is not what governments want. Governments want to be able to limit, control and filter the Internet. This is not an issue about access it is an issue about controlling access.

Update: 2:45PM

Apparently Fred Thompson agrees with me on this one.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Its a woman's choice

A commenter nailed it (pardon the pun) with this:

It is simply undeniable that under current law concerning procreation, men have responsibilities and no rights; while women have rights and no responsibilities. Men have no choice, women have absolute choice.

I have often wondered at what a number of the commenters voiced; women have the choice to have sex, have an abortion, have the child or abandon the child while the man has the choice to have sex or not. Once a man has sex with a woman, he has no other choices or options under current law. He is completely at the mercy of the woman and the courts. Yes, I know they are few but there are actual cases of men being forced to pay child support for children that are genetically proven NOT to be theirs. Where is the justice in a system that allows this? Back in the 60s when women were fighting for the "right to choose" the argument was it was her body and she should be able to choose to carry to term or not. She has the "right" to choose. Well she can choose now but where is the man's rights? The man should have some sort of reciprocal right, should he not? A man can not force a woman to carry a child to term, why is it a woman can force a man to pay for the next 18 years?

Is there no one left on the left with any decorum?

What is going on here? These women were representing their country in an international event, which they won and while they are being honored for winning, waving American flags and while the star spangled banner was playing, they decide that is the very best time to make a political statement against their own country. That shows all of the maturity of a freshman collage student.

The players have been stunned by the reaction to what they saw as a spontaneous gesture, “a moment of levity,” said Gail Greenberg, the team’s nonplaying captain and winner of 11 world championships.

“What we were trying to say, not to Americans but to our friends from other countries, was that we understand that they are questioning and critical of what our country is doing these days, and we want you to know that we, too, are critical,” Ms. Greenberg said, stressing that she was speaking for herself and not her six teammates.

So what they actually meant was, we are so sorry that anyone back home found out about this cause we were just trying to kiss up to our foreign friends and did not think anyone else was looking. We did not think it was all that important that during an international ceremony honoring our team's efforts WHILE representing our own country that we should actually show support for our country as a whole. We waived the flag and stood there while they played the star spangled banner so what else did you want from us?

Robert S. Wolff (one of the country’s pre-eminent bridge players, who has served as an executive and board member of several bridge organizations) summed it up nicely when he said that he understood that the women might have had a legal right to do what they did but that they had offended many people.

“While I believe in the right to free speech, to me that doesn’t give anyone the right to criticize one’s leader at a foreign venue in a totally nonpolitical event,”

Exactly right and it is a disappointment that more on the left don't see that.

When one kick in the head is not enough...

Here is another relevant article about campus indoctrination. This one covers the lack of adequate news coverage by the MSM (You remember them right? The last bastion of truth and justice left in America!) on this growing problem and how when the MSM can manage a mention this issue, it is down played as a difference of opinion about a program verses a refusal by students and parents to be bullied into believing that "all whites are racists" and that "Students will recognize that systemic oppression exists in our society". This is not diversity training, this is forcing an ideology on students until they accept the "truth" at least as higher ed sees it.

There is a good summary of this article here.

Fine for thee but not for me

Yet another example of how Mexico has stricter rules and regulations that affect foreigners than the US does but that does not stop both Mexico and a number of US politicians from suggesting that we as a country are just too hard on illegals in this country. In Mexico, it is the equivalent of a federal offence to be in that country illegally and as this article makes clear, it is not legal for illegals in Mexico to have drivers licenses but here in the good old US of A, they are trying to hand them out like party favors. As most of our illegals come from Mexico, the least we can do is adopt their penalties for violators of our immigration and residency laws. It is only fair.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

RC helicopters

I tried one of these and one of these because I was looking for a simpler RC helicopter that I could fly in the house in order to keep my skills up and improve my side-in and nose-in flying but was not happy with either of them. After flying this for a while, those others did not feel right. I will just need to continue to practice with what I have and use a video simulator in doors. Though, I am hoping to get one of these soon for out door, back yard flying!

Update 1/21/09:

Looks like the "ultimate" mini-practice helicopter has been created by the guys at E-flight. It is the Blade Micro CX. I got a chance to give one of these a test fly. It is a little pricey but handles very well. It is a very scaled down version of their popular Blade CX. I will need to pick up one of these...

Movin' On Up

...nearly 58% of filers who were in the poorest income group in 1996 had moved into a higher income category by 2005. Nearly 25% jumped into the middle or upper-middle income groups, and 5.3% made it all the way to the highest quintile.

Well, that seems rather strange for a "stagnant economy" now, doesn't it? More than half of those that filed tax returns that were in the lowest income bracket, were in a higher income bracket within 10 years and this has been steady for the last few decades. Most of those that enter the lowest economic level don't stay there. They work they way up and out. Also, it appears that there is fairly constant churn on the high end as well.

You know how it goes though, we can't let a simple thing like facts get in the way of a perfectly good campaign speech now, can we?

Well an't that a kick in the head!

Due to threatened legal action from a major taxpayer-funded university, we've temporarily taken down the Indoctrinate U homepage while we assess our options.

So the hollowed halls of academia are all for free speech and free expression and the questioning of the status quo; that is until someone dares to question them and what they are doing in the name of education. Then, well you have just gone too far and the gloves come off…

Monday, November 12, 2007

They portray nothingness

Read this article.

Duncan Anderson hits this one out of the park. Modern monuments reflect nothing because their creators are ashamed and embarrassed for themselves and their country. They are expressing nothingness with their 'art' because they don't want to bring any attention to the honor and sacrifice of those these monuments are meant to honor. The artists themselves can not conceive of making such a "useless" personal sacrifice and as such, can not conceive of why anyone else would so they reflect this lack of empathy with their 'art'.

Update 11/13/07:

I though about this some more, over night and I managed to get worked up all over again. One of the comments in the article had to do with an effort to get a flag pole and flag added to the monument and the push-back from the artist. I am sure the argument was that any change would change the "vision" of the artist and that is a major no no in the art world. Artists have it so much easier today than they did generations ago and have been given so much more power for no apparent reason. In prior centuries artists worked either for patrons or on consignment. In either case, you mostly delivered what you were told to produce. Some big name artists had more freedom of expression "on other peoples dime" than your average artist but mostly, you produced what you were told to. Today artists expect to produce their "vision" and have everyone take it as is. They no longer produce "spec work" even when being specifically paid. They take our (mostly) government money and are either given or demand absolute freedom to produce whatever they wish and resist any attempts to mold their vision to our wants. That is how you wind up with public art that is neither art or for the public and monuments that stand for nothing.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tell'em Joe!

There is something profoundly wrong--something that should trouble all of us--when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran's murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.

And I am sure that Cindy Sheehan will have much to say...

on this as she is such a close friend and confidant of Hugo Chavez. I am sure she will just give him a call and tell him to stop all of this foolishness cause he is just so much more reasonable than that evil Bushitler fellow.

Xbox Timer allows parents to control play time.

Parents can use it to restrict children's activity time. As their usage time diminishes, "helpful notifications" will appear to warn young gamers that their session is coming to an end. At the appointed time limit, the tool will automatically turn off the console.

Sounds like a good idea but I wonder how many parents will 1) know that it is available and 2) be able to get and install and actually use it. Most parents have no idea how "those things" work and what can be done with them. For a lot of families, the kids know much more about technology devices than the parents do. Kudos to Microsoft for trying though.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

When will this photo be on the front page?

Or lead the nightly news? I wouldn't hold my breath.

Thought control, part II

Walter E. Williams continues to make good points with his column Academic Cesspools II. It is related to this post of mine. Two things become clear from his pair of articles.

The first is that academia is quickly approaching the point of diminishing returns. More and more time is being spend on shepherding students down the "proper" path of though and behavior and less time being spent on teaching students how to evaluate an issue or problem and come to a rational conclusion as well as teaching the skills that will be needed if they are to become productive, functional adults.

The second is highlighted by the photograph and caption attached to the article. In what is becoming typical liberal behavior, the message of others is being silenced because it is not agreed with. In the photo, a someone reported as being a Democrat is trying to cover up a sign that a student is displaying because the message is not agreed with. Let us not debate the message but silence the messenger. This occurs with increasing frequency everywhere but especially on the campuses of higher education, the place that is supposed to be open to all ideas. Right wing and conservative speakers are either denied access out right or are simple shouted down when they are permitted to appear, all in the name of tolerance. When students are not trying to shut down speech that they don't agree with, they are committing fake hate crimes and when they are not, they are encouraged by their professors to attend anti-war rallies, write protest letters to politicians or vandalize displays that they don't agree with. Enough already. It is long past time for educators to return to educating and not preaching.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hear hear

I agree 100%. In this country we have far too many people voting for all of the wrong reasons and far too many voting without a clue as to what they are really doing. They enter the voting booth and pull the Dem or Rep lever because their friends, parents or favorite Hollywood star does. As has been pointed out by others, voting is not a right but a privilege and as with driving, I would not mind seeing a voting test required before you could enter the booth.


Learn something new every day...

It is not yet Christmas!

It is not yet the Christmas season. Heck it isn't even Thanksgiving yet and there are already Christmas commercials on the TV. Can't they even wait until after Thanksgiving anymore, for cry’in out loud? Annoying!

Fake but accurate?

...student journalist/College Democrat at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., admitted that she had drawn swastikas on her own dorm room door.

...she told the staff that she "only drew the final three of six swastikas on her door in an attempt to highlight what she characterized as GW's inaction.

Oh, it was political speech, well then that makes it all, all right.

This article highlights two things, one directly and the other indirectly. The first is this ongoing drive to manufacture news to fit the mime when you can not find it naturally. The other is this spate of manufactured hate crimes. Hate crime in and of its self is problematic because you are criminalizing thought. In this "new world" hate crime laws make it preferable to kill someone for money than it is to kill them for their race or sexual orientation. The victim is just as dead but modern society has determined that committing a crime for the second reason is worst than for the first.

If a hate crime is worst than a "normal" crime, should not a fake hate crime be just as bad as a "real" hate crime? Should not someone faking a hate crime still have to face the same penalties as someone that commits them for real? The intent is the same, to inflict pain and suffering against persons based on issues of race, sexual orientation, religion and/or other issues of prejudice. In this case, the student's hate crime was against herself and the rest of the local community because they were falsely inflamed and lead to believe that a crime was committed. They felt the same emotional pain and suffering at hearing and seeing the results of this student's fake crime as they would have felt had it been real. One could argue that a fake hate crime is actually worst than a real hate crime because of the emotional backlash that those who witnessed or heard about the original crime would suffer from, after learning that it was faked and their emotional involvement was wasted.

As is the norm these days though, cause "she meant well" and was just "trying to make a point" she will most likely get off with little to no punishment and may even be praised for her "courage" in bringing issues of race, religion and/or politics to light.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Digital water

This is kind of cool. Using water to create a display device. Obviously there are some limitations to what you can display as in you are limited to information that can "flow" from top to bottom and unless you go to extremes, you are limited to two color monochrome displaying but cool none the less.

The link is to an animation of the concept, enjoy.

The hypocrisy of bio-fuels

A recent study by the Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen shows that the official estimates have ignored the contribution of nitrogen fertilisers. They generate a greenhouse gas - nitrous oxide - that is 296 times as powerful as CO2. These emissions alone ensure that ethanol from maize causes between 0.9 and 1.5 times as much warming as petrol, while rapeseed oil (the source of more than 80% of the world's biodiesel) generates 1-1.7 times the impact of diesel. This is before you account for the changes in land use.

And using bio-fuels mean that somewhere someone is going hungry. Stop using bio-fuels. Do it for the children.

The next time you hear an environmentalist say NO to fossil fuels, ask them about nuclear power. If they say NO to that too, then they are indeed a hypocrite because nuclear power does not emit any CO2 and could generate an enormous amount of electricity. When was the last time the U.S. built a new domestic nuclear power plant? A very long time ago. If you want clean energy, go nuclear, do it for the children.

He is a bit of an idiot but this is just funny...

"Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they're to shoot Quayle. There isn't any press here, is there?" -- John Kerry, Nov. 16, 1988

TV bugs must die!

It is getting to the point that I can no longer watch the History Channel, Discover Channel and a number of the other not quite mainstream cable stations. The reason for this is not the content. Most of the content on these off channels is quite good, interesting and well made. I particularly enjoyed "Ice Road Truckers" (even though is was an idea ripe off of "Dangerous Catch"). The reason I may have to boycott these channels for a bit is their annoying habit of showing large, active, invasive screen station bugs during the various shows.

For anyone that does not know what I am talking about, a screen bug is that small station logo that appears in the lower right corner of the TV screen while you are watching a show.

Some stations have reasonable, small, unobtrusive bugs that do not get in the way but allow you to see at a glance what station you are watching. A number of them are even translucent so you can see through them to the part of the screen that they cover. Others though, take annoying screen bugs to new heights. I feel that the History Channel is the current "worst offender" in this regard. Their bugs are large to start with, are active, change size and worst of all, at times take up the bottom 25% to 30% of the screen. This completely blocks the show you are watching and is very distracting because the bugs are active and are in many cases, ads for other shows. Normally this is just distracting and bothersome but it is down right fatal to shows that include sub-titles. These bugs completely overlay the sub-titles so you can not read them.

A fear of mine is that with the advent of Tivo and PVRs, that more and more networks will move to these larger, active screen bugs to make up for people zipping through commercials, allowing us no respite from that annoyance. So if any TV execs are reading this (especially History Channel) do us all a favor and kill the bugs!

Stop "Making A Difference"

Thomas Sowell makes a number of good points with this article and it is worth a reading. His first point concerns the current, fashionable need to "make a difference" and to "give back" without much care to what kind of difference you are making and to whom you are actually giving back. Good point. Hitler made a difference but most people would agree we would have been better off without his efforts. Those that worked so hard to get DDT banned made a difference too and so far that difference has cost thousands of Africans their lives due to malaria and other insect born diseases. In their rush to "make a difference" many people see the issue as black and white and do not properly weigh the ramifications or consequences of their actions. They are in such a hurry to "do something" that they don't notice until it is too late or don't care that their "something" makes things worse than they were before they got involved but at least they "meant well" and their "hearts were in the right place".

His other point has to do with "giving back" and this need people have to insist that corporations or people of means must "give something back". What they usually, actually mean is to give money to their cause du jour. To give to the right social causes to help the right groups because you OWE it to them as if you are only where you are today because you took from these others. As Thomas points out, to truly give back in a way that helps society and supports the ideals that allow us to be where we are today is to give to those groups and organizations that actively support this country and the freedoms that have made this country possible. Unfortunately, most of those types of groups are not on any progressive 'A' list. Things like "free needle exchange" or "free condoms" is not giving back. Job training programs are. Supporting those causes and organizations that work to help people help themselves are worth supporting with time, effort and money verses those organizations that simply deliver handouts and excuses.

Santa is TOO FAT and must conform

cause you know, it is for the children...

So not even Santa Clause is safe from the march of the progressives. In the UK he is just too fat for modern times and must slim down or go down. Now that Santa has been put in his place, I guess the next item on the list will be to get everyone to give out vegetables for Halloween.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Charge of the Ultra - Capacitors

Very interesting article on current activity in the area of ultra-capacitors. The ability to store electricity in capacitors to augment or replace batteries. Give it a read.

I wish that every electronic device with a clock on it contained a capacitor to help that device maintain its time through a brown out or quick blackout. Would save me a lot of clock resetting...

Schumer showing some common sense

In 2004, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft testified before the Judiciary Committee on the question of "torture," and Schumer injected some common sense into the proceedings. Here is what he said:

There are times when we all get in high dudgeon. We ought to be reasonable about this. I think there are probably very few people in this room or in America who would say that torture should never, ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake.

Take the hypothetical. If we knew that there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American city and we believed that some kind of torture, fairly severe maybe, would give us a chance of finding that bomb before it went off, my guess is most Americans and most senators, maybe all, would say, "Do what you have to do."

So it's easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used. But when you're in the foxhole, it's a very different deal. And I respect--I think we all respect the fact that the president's in the foxhole every day. So he can hardly be blamed for asking you or his White House counsel or the Department of Defense to figure out when it comes to torture, what the law allows and when the law allows it and what there is permission to do.

There you have it. You do what you have to do. Adults get that. Adults understand that. If asked "would you torture one criminal in order to gain information to save 1000 innocents", an adult says yes and whom ever is the next president of the US, you better be able to count on to say yes as well. You don't want to have to resort to motivations like torture but you MUST have that option available. Our enemies are currently using it for amusement, we need to be able to use it to save lives. That may not be all warm and fuzzy but it is reality.

At this time, the Hollywood writers’ strike is still on...

and me thinks, so what? They don't have anything to do with keeping the trains running on time...

Daylight savings time, NUTS

Why is it that we as a people, as a civilized (mostly) nation continue to put up with this screwball idea called daylight savings time? I mean, get real, enough already! I thought we had a real shot to get this thing once and for all, put to bed but noooooo, they just moved the end date around a little bit. This thing is annoying and mostly stupid and we should STOP IT.

I have an idea, why not just split the difference? What do you say? Instead of setting our clocks back an hour when the next change date rolls around, why not just set it back 30 minutes and call it a day? Leave the time set half-way between the start and stop times for the REST of time? This way everyone wins a little something? The time savers get 30 minutes and the rest of us can stop messing with all of our freakin clocks twice a year? What do you say? Would you be willing to sign a petition?

Life choices 101


"YOUNG STRIVERS" IN WASHINGTON find that being a "professional world-saver" doesn't pay as well as they'd hoped.

And they're not getting much sympathy.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Geez, we’ve been dealing with this in academic science for decades now.

I wish these people would do the math: Doing something that’s stimulating and fun, sounds great at a cocktail party, and is supported by charity or tax money means that you will probably be making peanuts. (In my field, there are usually about 200 applicants/permanent position, all with Ph.D.s.)

Don’t like being broke? Do something that makes you a profit center instead of a cost center.

Good advice anywhere.

Sounds eerily similar to this item:

I am 24, live with my parents, can’t find work and am floundering in a sea of debt five figures high. I think of myself as ambitious, independent and hardworking. Now I’m dependent, unemployed and sleeping under the same Super Mario ceiling fan that I did when I was 7.

Why is that, we have to wonder? Well, maybe this can give us a clue:

Upon graduating, I was helplessly launched headfirst into the “real world,” equipped with a degree in history and $32,000 in student loans. Before ricocheting back home, I would learn two important lessons: 1) There are no well-paying — let alone paying — jobs for history majors. 2) The real world is really tough.

I can not help but love this line:

I had no intention of living in a society that was as unfair as this one.

There it goes again, that bit about society being unfair because it does not hand a newly minted collage graduate with a HISTORY degree a job in history, paying $100K, where he wants to live and where he wants to work. Boo Friggin Hoo. The real world is like that. It allows you to stand or fall on your own and tends to reward those skills that are needed and it doesn't so well reward those skills that are not so needed. This is called supply and demand. He should have learn about this while in collage but maybe they no longer cover that lesson cause it is so, you know "old school". What in the world did he think he could do out in the real world with a history major? Be the CEO of a video game company? Head of Starbucks? What?

This is also a good one:

Suddenly, living at home didn’t seem nearly as degrading as selling out. But sadly, other graduates don’t have any choice but to work for temp agencies and retail stores to eke by.

Yeah, don't sell out and support yourself at just any old job! That is too much like being an adult. It is much better to stay at home and mooch off of your parents. His closing statement says it all:

My loan payments can’t wait much longer, and soon I must leave home to find work that doesn’t compromise my integrity. Although I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I had declared as an accounting major and got a cushy job punching numbers somewhere, I’ll take my history major, my debt and my mom’s cooking any day of the week.

So, an honest day's work compromises his integrity and (having NEVER been an accountant) he knows that accountants have cushy jobs punching numbers all day. Well he showed them didn't he! Living at home, off of his parents with a nearly useless (but apparently fun) history major degree, crying in his pillow cause HE choose to go to school and get an nearly useless degree (but had fun) and didn't immediately get the "grand easy life" he feels he is entitled to. Yep, he is certainly ready for life in the real world. After reading his diatribe, I for one am glad that he had a chance to go off to collage and grow up some. I would have hated to see what he was like before that maturing experience.

Let's see if we could have helped him make some better, more informed decisions if he had asked, shall we?

Well first off, he could have gone to the local community or 4-year collage instead of initially to Alfred University (a pricey private school) and then to University at Buffalo. That decision could have turned his $32K in dept into a slightly more manageable $2.2K to $5.8K per-year. Going high end, that would have been $23.3K. A savings of at least 9K in loans.

Another choice he could have improved on was NOT being a history major. What is the world did he think he was going to do for a living with a degree in history? If we assume he has some brains, then he must have given some thought to what he was going to do the day after he graduated. For history majors that generally means teaching or research. Nether one a career choice known for the big bucks. That being the case, he should have expected to either spend a long time looking for a job in his career field or spend some more time getting a teaching certificate. Can't really tell cause he doesn't really say.

All in all a nice little peak into the mind of the average collage graduate today. Picked a fun degree, went to an expensive school and didn't think much about the cost of the degree, didn't give much thought to what would happen the day after graduation, feels it is the governments job to "fix the problem" with the cost of education, lives at home with mommy and daddy cause he doesn't want to compromise and wants his parent's standard of living handed to him. Well we can't all be Paris Hilton now can we?
As Glenn Reynolds notes, GOOD POINT ON THE MURTHA SCANDALS: "Just imagine for a moment if this had been Newt Gingrich." Think we would have heard more?

Well that goes without saying. Had any of the Clinton issues been issues for either of the Bush(es) or if any of the recent Democratic scandals been Republican scandals, you would never hear the end of it but because they are Democrats and as such "mean well" and are "fighting for the people instead of evil corporations" then well that makes it all right. It will just be our little secret. Cause EVERYONE knows that Republicans and conservatives are evil whereas Democrats and liberals are just looking out for the little guy and well, you know, sometimes the ends justify the means.

Nanny State

Soon coming to a state near you...

More U.N. sex-capades

Join the U.N. Peacekeepers and get a free round the world sex jaunt vacation! Based on the events of the past few years with peace missions involving U.N. forces, this would seem to be an apt ad slogan. What good are these guys? They stand around watching genocide all the while buying, bribing or forcing their way with the local boys and girls. As others have pointed out, if this story involved the U.S. military, it would not only be front page news all over the world but there would be major calls for an overhaul coming from all corners but as this is the U.N. and everyone KNOWS that they mean well, we will let it slide but just this once (again).

More Fred news

but not as bad as it would first appear.

As was pointed out in the story, Philip Martin was a criminal where as Norman Hsu IS one. I will be curious as to how hard the Dems will kick this one as they are always talking about how a criminal past is just that, a criminal past and they are the ones pushing for easier or automatic restoration of voting rights to released criminals. This could get interesting if anyone is keeping score.

Will wonders never cease?

While states such as New York are increasing the risk of such fraud, a half-dozen states have recently adopted laws requiring voters to offer proof of identity or citizenship before casting a ballot. A federal commission, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker, gave such laws a big boost in 2005 when it called for a nationwide policy requiring a photo ID before voting.

From the November 2, 2007

Amazing! Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks! The former President that never met a dictator he didn't like agrees that it is a good idea to require a photo ID for voting. I guess it is true, even a broken clock is right twice a day! The integrity of the voting process is paramount for a democracy. If you can not trust the voting booth, you can not trust the outcome. If you can not trust the outcome, you can not trust the government. It seems we know where the former president stands and it seems we also know where Senator Clinton stands as well.

Despite her muddled comments this week, there's no doubt where Mrs. Clinton stands on ballot integrity. She opposes photo ID laws, even though they enjoy over 80% support in the polls. She has also introduced a bill to force every state to offer no-excuse absentee voting as well as Election Day registration--easy avenues for election chicanery. The bill requires that every state restore voting rights to all criminals who have completed their prison terms, parole or probation.

Squirrels safe to eat again in New Jersey

Mmmmmm squirrels...