Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year 'delayed' by leap second

The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service, based at the Paris Observatory, tells the world every six months whether to add or subtract a second from atomic clocks, the standard for everyday timekeeping.

A leap second is added to Co-ordinated Universal Time (UTC) to keep it in step with solar time - based on the Earth's rotation on itself - to within a second.

Tidal friction causes the Earth's rotation to slow down, which means that solar time tends to drift out of sync with atomic clocks.

If this disparity was not corrected, the "error" could increase to several seconds within a few decades; and, claim astronomers, eventually make some of their software and possibly hardware obsolete.

There have been 22 leap seconds added - and no subtractions - since the first one on 30 June, 1972.

The new leap second will be inserted at the end of the final minute of 2005, giving the familiar "six pip" BBC radio time signal an extra pip before the long pip marking the hour.

Apparently freedom of speach is secondary to freedom of Islam in the UN

That's one way to gag a journalist, not to mention his peers. Already, an Afghan human rights proponent told the Post, journalists are saying they "have to be very, very careful in the way that they talk." Which is probably nothing our troops in Afghanistan thought they were fighting for. But no one in the West seems too broken up about it. Then again, maybe no one really cares whether freedom of expression is an attribute of 21st-century civilization after all. The flip side of the Nasab story — flip side of the globe, anyhow — makes this clear.

The last time we checked in with "Jyllands-Posten," the Danish newspaper that ran 12 rather tame cartoons of Muhammad to prove that an Islamic religious injunction against depicting the Islamic prophet didn't apply in a sovereign Western nation, it was bearing up under Islamic street protests and bomb threats, diplomatic attack, and a likely U.N. human rights commission investigation. And so was Denmark. Danes had been warned away from Pakistan, where bounties were placed on the cartoonists' heads; Kashmir was the scene of anti-Dane rioting; and Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen was under intense pressure to apologize for, and/or meddle with Denmark's freedom of the press. Amazingly — inspirationally — in this age of the about-face, neither the newspaper nor the prime minister has apologized for upholding free speech.

Now, the cartoons have drawn fire from both the Council of Europe and the European Union. The U.N. human rights commission has actually demanded "an official explanation," directing the Danish government to respond to the question, "Do the caricatures insult or discredit?" (This, frankly, presents Denmark with rather a meager choice.) Also, 22 former Danish diplomats have rapped the prime minister for not meeting Muslim diplomats who demanded to discuss the cartoons. As a spokesman for the prime minister explained, "It doesn't serve any purpose to enter into a dialogue to stop the democratic process."

So the UN's against freedom of speach and for freedom of abortion, seems to be the summary.

CJ's review of the Mother Angelica book

I'm beginning to think I should pick this book up and read it. Although I just purchased the most serious programming book ever, with the possible exception of the one I got for Christmas (still unfinished), there's something vaguely unfufilling about thinking code all day.

Mystery Meat Navigation

A particularly henious form of web navigation, the employers of which ought to be be shot. Not that I'm much of a web designer myself.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Religion and Politics in Kiev

Opening shot? Or move to reconcile?

Vatican, Dec. 29 ( - The Vatican has acknowledged the controversial move by Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, who in August transferred his see from Lviv to the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev, despite angry opposition from the Russian Orthodox Church.

A terse public statement released on December 29 by the Vatican Information Service announced that Cardinal Husar had named Bishop Ihor Vozniak as the new Archbishop of Lviv. The Vatican announcement identified Cardinal Husar by his new title as "Archbishop Major of Kiev-Halyc."

As the head of a self-governing Eastern Catholic Church, Cardinal Husar named the new Archbishop of Lviv himself, after consulting the Ukrainian Catholic synod. The Vatican announcement noted that the Pope had been "informed" of the decision, according to canonical protocol.

Maybe both!


What’s nice about creating and manipulating controls in code is that you’re creating and manipulating them in code. Suppose you want a column of ten equally-spaced buttons of the same size displaying Color names. In a program, you can actually store those ten Color values in one place. It’s called an array. There’s also an excellent way to create and position these ten buttons. It’s called a for loop. This is programming.

-- Petzold

26 Catholic missionaries killed in 2005

I read in Touchstone that 140,000 Christians or so were killed for said religion.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

One for Doomy

"Genetic Analysis of Asian Elephants in India Reveals Some Surprises"

Weather Events 2005

(Click map to see it better.)

Google quote of the day by Chesterton

It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong. - G.K. Chesterton

And if you don't know who Chesterton is then check it out.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Best Spam of the year

Courtesy of AOL

Bad news in Indonesian mining

Dirt, dirt, and more dirt, and the military's somehow involved. I think the Christian response is something along the lines of "don't pay off the military", but I could be wrong.

Can anyone find this place on Google Earth?

Does This Guy Look Familiar?

The inflatable rubber rat, bucktoothed bane of strikebreakers and emblem of union wrath, may be headed for retirement. The National Labor Relations Board is now considering a case that could make it harder to employ one on a picket line.

Inflatable rubber rats have become common at labor demonstrations, including this one at a construction project using nonunion labor in Midtown Manhattan in 1998.

At issue in the case is whether the rat is the equivalent of picketing, which can be restricted under federal law, or a form of free speech, which enjoys far fewer limitations. The case, which was filed three years ago, is slowly percolating through the system, but the labor board is poised to make a ruling. If it decides the rat is, indeed, a form of picketing, it could have a chilling effect on its use.

Personally, I find the little guy kinda cute... in a fierce NYC rat sort of way.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Need a Treo Wifi card?

I'm seriously considering it.

What would B16 do?

Following lunch, the Pope spends some time relaxing. Often he uses this break to play the piano. An accomplished amateur musician, Benedict XVI has his own baby-grand piano moved into the papal apartment. The Pope's musical preferences were made known to the world when the papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls, describing the summer vacation that he shared in the Italian Alps with the Pontiff and his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, said that he enjoyed the regimen of "Mozart every night."

I feel somehow insufficient.

What are they smoking in Britain?

First, they arrest a woman for reciting the names of British troops killed in Iraq in an otherwise peaceful protest near the Cenotaph. Maya Evans, who had fallen foul of a clause in the Serious and Organised Crime and Police Act, was duly convicted last week, given a conditional discharge and left with a criminal record.

Then, an author taking part in a broadcast discussion about gay adoptions was telephoned by a policewoman and informed that her name had been noted following a complaint that she had made a "homophobic" remark on air. Lynette Burrows had offered her opinion that two homosexual men should not be allowed to adopt a boy, which is a view with which you may agree or disagree, but does not warrant a call from the local constabulary.

She was told that, although a crime had not been committed, it was policy to record details of such complaints, so Mrs Burrows is now, presumably, on some sinister register of people who express views that are not considered acceptable. Needless to say, she was flabbergasted to receive such a call. "This is a free country and we are entitled to express opinions on matters of public interest," she said.

But this is no longer true, though it is not the fault of the police. It is the fault of the Government for promoting laws that criminalise opinions judged unfashionable or objectionable, and of Parliament for passing them.

How come I rarely see mothers breastfeeding?

Monday, December 26, 2005

In case you were wondering why abortion is "safer" than childbirth

Apparently the Feds don't accept any deaths as being caused by abortion in their computer system. Classy way to get the result you want.

Moral of the story, never trust a computer. You can almost never know exactly what code is executing, unless you can single-step execution.


Burke said it would be a mortal sin for anyone to participate in a Mass celebrated by a priest who was excommunicated — the Catholic Church's most severe penalty. Burke, who couldn't stop the Mass, said it would be "valid" but "illicit."

Despite the warning, Catholics and non-Catholics from as far as Oregon and Washington, D.C., filled the church. An overflow crowd viewed the Mass by closed circuit TV in an adjoining parish center.

"I'm not worried about mortal sin," said worshipper Matt Morrison, 50. "I'll take a stand for what I believe is right."

Who cares about the law. This is about my parish! Or something.

Indictments via text message

Yet another reason to get rid of your cell phone.

Happy second night of Chanukah

I know, I know, I missed the first night. Christmas was a little crazy, sorry.

Early Image of Jesus Found

A small cross appears over the depicted individual's right shoulder, and a halo is over his head. The "Christ" symbol on the back of the seal consists of a cross with arms of equal length. The vertical portion of the cross forms a "P" sign, which signifies the monogram for Chi Ro in Greek, meaning "Christ."

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas to all

And to all a good "Urbi et Orbi".

Saturday, December 24, 2005

A final song

Veni, veni Emmanuel,
Captivum solve Israel,
Qui gemit in exilio
Privatus Dei Filio.
Gaude, gaude! Emmanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, o Jesse Virgula;
Ex hostis tuos ungula,
De specu tuos tartari
Deduc et antro barathri.
Gaude, gaude! Emmanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, veni, o Oriens
Solare nos adveniens;
Noctis depele nebulas
Dirasque noctis tenebras.
Gaude, gaude! Emmanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni clavis Davidica;
Regna reclude caelica;
Fac iter tutum superum,
Et claude vias inferum.
Gaude, gaude! Emmanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, veni Adonai,
Qui populo in Sinai
Legem dedisti vertice,
In majestate gloriae.
Gaude, gaude! Emmanuel
nascetur pro te, Israel.

Mightnight Mass on TV

Vatican, Dec. 23 ( - The midnight Mass of Christmas, celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) in St. Peter's Basilica, will be broadcast over 124 television networks reaching 74 different countries.

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications has revealed that 46 countries will enjoy full live broadcast of the midnight Mass, 3 will have delayed coverage, and 36 will see parts of the ceremony.

Last year, the midnight Mass at which Pope John Paul II (bio - news) presided was covered by 116 television networks, reaching 73 nations.

Pope Benedict's Urbi et Orbi message, delivered at midday from the balcony of the Vatican basilica, will be broadcast over 111 television chains, to 68 countries. That is a slight decrease from last Christmas day, when the message by Pope John Paul II was carried by 116 networks to 73 countries.

As one of my Jewish co-workers put it

'Tis Erev Christmas.

Christmas in the Holyland

The following was forwarded to me by Eitan Halevy.

Do They Know It's Christmas?

by Jeanine Hirschhorn

As another Christmas season approaches, the eyes of Christians worldwide
turn to the birthplace of Jesus. What they may not see is that for
Christians living in the Holyland, there is little to celebrate. Daily life
is precarious; the future rather bleak.

Ahmad El Achwal was returning to his home in Askar Refugee Camp near the
West Bank city of Nablus, after hard day's work as a cook at a Jerusalem
fast-food stand. As he approached the entrance to his home, four masked
gunmen approached and opened fire, killing him. On the streets of the West
Bank and Gaza, where the rule of law is that there are no rules and no law,
this type of rough justice is regularly meted out by Palestinian Authority
(PA) 'security' forces and other militias. It is a common method of social
control and a very effective deterrent to communal crime.

Muslim-born, Ahmad El Achwal was a convert to Christianity. His home was an
informal Christian center, where he handed out Christian literature and
informed others in his community about his new-found faith.

Ahmad El Achwal was introduced to Christianity by a fellow prisoner in
Central Nablus prison. He had been accused by the PA of dealing in stolen
gold, charges for which he was later tried and acquitted. Once word of his
conversion to Christianity spread, he was repeatedly harassed and abused. PA
'security' forces searched his home, confiscated his Christian bibles and
other religious books, interrogated him for days and arrested him for long
periods, promising an end to his suffering and even a job within the PA if
he would return to Islam.

Ahmad El Achwal was repeatedly beaten. His life and the life of his family
were threatened. His car and home were fire-bombed by men affiliated with PA
security forces. The landlord of the fast-food shop he rented refused to
renew his rental agreement, forcing him out of business. In order to feed
his wife and eight children, he had to work away from his home, in distant
Jerusalem. Despite his suffering and personal peril, Ahmad El Achwal
continued to profess his Christian faith - and eventually paid with his life
for the simple desire to live according to his conscience.

Muslim apostasy and proselytizing for Christianity are intolerable affronts
to the norms and traditions in PA-controlled areas. Though the PA publicly
proclaims protection of religious freedom, Islamic law (Shari'a) has been
adopted into the PA Constitution and is the primary legal source governing
everyone under PA rule, regardless of their religious beliefs.

The Shari'a considers conversion from Islam can be punishable by death,
which may explain why Ahmad El Achwal's murderers were never found, never
brought to justice, never sought by the local authorities. Just like members
of the Comtsieh, Azizeh and numerous other Christian families, Mr. El Achwal
became another unacknowledged victim in the on-going campaign of persecution
that has been the plight of Christians living under PA rule in the West Bank
and Gaza.

Since the PA gained control of West Bank and Gaza in 1994, the Christian
population has suffered increasing social, cultural and financial
marginalization. In a culture where social status and survival are dependent
upon the benevolence and protection of the ruling authority, the PA's
apparent indifference toward on-going abuse against members of their
community means that Christians are powerless.and easy prey.

A few Christian websites and academic monographs have been the main outlets
for regular reports about the increasingly precarious life for Christians in
PA-controlled areas.

* The demographic destruction of the Christian-majority towns of
Bethlehem, Beit Jalla and Beit Sahour has resulted in a drop in the
Christian population from 60% to less than 30% in the past decade - and
their numbers continue to decline.
* The boycott of Christian-owned businesses, especially around Manger
Square in Bethlehem, has been particularly severe. Owners are targeted for
extortion and bribery by various 'security' forces and the PA.
* The confiscation of Christian-owned property by force, intimidation
and through fraudulent land deals (some involving senior PA officials) are
validated by courts indifferent to Christian property claims.
* The widespread verbal and physical abuse of Christian women. Some
Christian women no longer feel safe walking in the streets unaccompanied by
a family. Christian women in the Bethlehem area have been instructed to
adopt Muslim head coverings and conservative dress to deter harassment.
* The rape of Christian women is an open secret, hushed up to save
family honor. A few cases, such as the Amr sisters and Rawan Mansour from
Beit Sahour, have come to light. In the extremely conservative Palestinian
society, such violation is the ultimate humiliation of both the victim and
her family. The victim becomes unfit for marriage and childbearing - a
particularly brutal method of both reducing the Christian population and in
some instances, forcing her family to offer her in marriage to her rapist.
* The desecrations of Christian relics, holy sites and cemeteries,
encouraged through incitement against Christians by religious leaders and
the PA.

Due to fear of reprisals, the abuse often goes unreported. It is recounted
mainly in off-the-record conversations, which are viewed as unconfirmed
"allegations" - and therefore discounted, dismissed and largely ignored by
Church officials, human rights organizations and the Western media.

An incident in September of this year highlights the hostility Christians
face. Hundreds of armed men descended on the Christian city of Taibe,
terrorized the community for hours, set sixteen homes and multiple
businesses on fire, looted valuables, and destroyed a statue of the Virgin
Mary. And the reason for this attack? A Muslim woman from their neighboring
village of Deir Jarir was accused of having a relationship with a Christian
man from Taibe.

Western government officials, so forthright in their concern for human
rights in other areas, have remained curiously non-committal about the
treatment and increasing peril of Christians living in PA-controlled areas.
The European Union, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other
non-government organizations (NGOs) and the UN seem to have similar
financial and political motives which fuels their disregard.

The US State Department's Report on Human Rights and International Religious
Freedom Report have been ambiguous, vague and tended to downplay the extent
of harassment of Christians in PA-controlled areas. The reasons are unclear;
perhaps due to the US deep investment in the peace process, wanting to avoid
discrediting the PA, a major recipient of US aid. In Ahmad El Achwal's case,
while State Department officials had met with him and received updates about
his case, to date, his murder has yet to be addressed by State Department

International and local church officials also tend to react with
indifference to the treatment of Christians. In some cases, local church
officials perversely blame Christians themselves for their plight. This may
serve as one explanation for the widening gap between the religious
leadership and lay community. A public opinion poll performed by a Christian
academic found that only 48% of Christians trusted their religious leaders.

David Parsons, Spokesperson for the International Christian Embassy in
Jerusalem, described the situation for Christians living under PA rule as
"desperate". "Due to their minority status, Christians suffer oppression and
intimidation by the PA and powerful Muslim clans. They are frustrated that
their grievances are ignored, that their bishops and pastors remain silent
about their plight. They don't want to abandon their ancient heritage, but
as a tiny, powerless minority, they are being forced out."

The Christians of the Holyland seem to be the very real sacrificial lambs on
the altar of the nebulous Middle East peace process. A flock abandoned by
their co-religionists for political and financial self-interest.

As the Christmas season approaches, these Christians deserve the best
Christmas present they could possibly receive - acknowledgement of their
plight. Shouldn't the season of peace on earth encourage people of goodwill
to demand action to protect Christians in the Holyland?

Friday, December 23, 2005


I hope my browser doesn't get bought out by Microsoft. I pay good money not to use IE.

CJ finds the stuff

This is an issue we've been trying to work on at Columbia, with little progress, though I do love the fact that one of our grad students has a one year old.

Dawn Eden sent me a link to a post from a frustrated mother currently going to graduate school.

Dear Pro-Lifers who Hate Babies,
Your position does not make sense. If women do not have abortions they will have....BABIES!!!! Yes, BABIES! I am aware that babies make loud noises and sometimes even distracting smells. But, alas, they are the product of NOT HAVING ABORTIONS. Let me outline a few things that you might have to change now that you have begun to understand that spreading the anti-abortion message means that there will be more babies around:
1) You can no longer condemn parents of crying babies, either by making *tsking* sounds, shaking your heads, or muttering under your breath.
2) If you happen to be a conservative theology professor, you can no longer forbid the presence of an infant in your office hours. Guess what? Your student didn't have an abortion. Now she has a baby whose daycare is over before your office hours. Throw a blanket on the floor and shut up about it!
3) Catholic universities (such as the one I attend) cannot forbid babies from entering buildings because they are crying. Babies cry. It's cold out. Babies need to be warm. Deal with with.
Thank you for attention,

Ironically in a latter post she visits Planned Parenthood clinic to have a breast lump checked to find out that they also don't allow infants to accompany them. She considered this odd, but I consider it consistent - they don't want women with actual babies walking around their clinics. Now as for a Catholic university with policies such as these they should be changed. I am also against cry rooms in Church. Sure crying babies are distracting, but they can also be distracting in a good way. Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." In a pro-life society we should make every accommodations where possible to make it easier for parents and not be annoyed by the signs of life. Parents of course also have a responsibility to try to calm their children and others have the responsibility of not treating parents with little children as second class citizens to be disdained. Especially during the Christmas season when we welcome the Christ child, we shouldn't at the same time be banishing crying babies to the outer darkness or cry rooms.

Triumph is my Hero

There's nothing like watching a puppet humiliate Star Wars fans.

You tell him, Richard Prior!

A black man being interviewed for a janitor's position endures a word association quiz with the Human Resources officer. It soon degenerates into an escalating volley of racial slurs. SNL skit from '75 featuring Richard Pryor and Chevy Chase. Written by Paul Mooney.

I miss old SNL.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Muslim Brotherhood Holocaust Denial

I think I'm going to start a group of "Palestinian deniers" that doesn't think there's such a thing as a historical Palestinian people. Could look good on my resume. Or, it might already exist. Say, in history departments.

The strike is over

But I think telecommuting has many advantages over real commuting. Unless, of course, there's work you have to do.

Say word

In a surprising decision this week, the 6th Circuit US Court of Appeals approved the display of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky county. In writing the decision for a unanimous court, Just Richard Suhrheinrich rejected the arguments of lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU), which protested the display. The judge wrote: "The ACLU makes repeated reference to the 'separation of church and state.' This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome."


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Because Our God is a Mathy God


One more semester survived.

Dems for Life

Just do it.

Not only are they doing the hard work down in the trenches of trying to persuade their fellow Dems not be robotic, lockstep whores for the sacrament of abortion (and receiving much spit in the eye for their efforts), they are also performing the very important task of pointing out that the GOP does its own sort of whoring by mouthing platitudes about Jesus and little babies while cutting cord blood research spending from $9.9 million to $4 million in next year's budget bill.

What To Do

When you want to get away. I really like this site.

Sure it's Sacreligious

But it's so tricked out yo.

More strike

And I have to go see my sister's chorus concert, then come back to campus tonight.

I just got an interesting email

It was from some "racial equality" group on campus that was screaming how the affirmative-action bakesale last year was offensive to blacks and thus the people who had it should have been punished.

So much for free speach. Only approved thoughts allowed. How dare someone on a college campus suggest that AA isn't the best thing ever.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Q: How do you call a one-sided nudie bar?
A: A Möbius strip club.


Argh. I'm never getting out of here.

Quote of the day:
"It's a pain in the neck," he said. "I'm very anti-union, especially this time of year."

Tis the season.

What your priest really wants for Christmas!

Okay, another hap tip to Catholic Moms. I just discovered this site and blog and have become addicted to it. It has so many inspiring interviews and articles by amazing Catholic women (and men too!) I recommend it whether you are a parent or not!

Some beautiful artwork by a Catholic mother.

Hat tip to Catholic Mom Moments.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Another undergrad who doens't realize that Pascal wrote more than the "Wager"

Come on, philosophy professors. Would it really kill you to tell your students that Pascal wrote a whole book before he got to the wager, and that all of their objections are covered by the book?

Why I'm not a big fan of rational actor type of theories

On Wednesday, in a speech broadcast live on Iranian state television, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands that the Nazi destruction of European Jewry never happened. ''They have created a myth with the name of 'Holocaust' and consider it to be above G-d, religion, and the prophets," he said. It was the second time in a week that Ahmadinejad had dismissed the most infamous genocide of the 20th century as a fairy tale. ''Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces," he snorted in Mecca on Dec. 8, when he addressed an international summit of nearly 50 Muslim heads of state. ''We don't accept this claim."

Right. Everyone's just making it up.

It's programming like this that makes me want government mandated testing

I mean, come on now people, seriously.

The real reason why we're in Iraq

Might need to open it in IE.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Some data on the Mass. Plan B contraversy

It's really amazing to me when I see editorials that say that forcing Catholic hospitals to provide this drug will help women by giving them more access to it. All the law will do is force worse healthcare on everone who's not a woman looking for Plan B, by closing Catholic hospitals. What a victory.

This was sent to me

Along with an advertisement for Viagra.

TWO MEN, one who always spoke the truth and the other who told
nothing but lies, were traveling together and by chance came to
the land of Apes. One of the Apes, who had raised himself to be
king, commanded them to be seized and brought before him, that he
might know what was said of him among men. He ordered at the
same time that all the Apes be arranged in a long row on his
right hand and on his left, and that a throne be placed for him,
as was the custom among men. After these preparations he
signified that the two men should be brought before him, and
greeted them with this salutation: What sort of a king do I seem
to you to be, O strangers? The Lying Traveler replied, You seem
to me a most mighty king. And what is your estimate of those
you see around me? These, he made answer, are worthy

Is this from a story or computer generated? I think it's part of a fable of Aesop's.

A little subway history

Just in case you were wondering what happened the last time there was a strike.

I apologize if the blogging gets a little light in the next few days

I have four finals and a project due on 48 hours. HOWEVER. This is an interesting shirt.

The quote: "Sex. Do it for the kids". I'm not sure if it makes sense or not. I certainly don't like their commentary. The site, though, is vaguely interesting.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Which reminds me, you should really keep up with this

The combox wars on torture at Catholic and Enjoying It. Fierce.

Remember, it's nice to support Mark Shea

A whole second wikipedia dedicated to Star Trek

I probably shoulndn't be excited.

Friday, December 16, 2005

FDR a religious extremist?

Can someone get me a footnote on this thing?

Roosevelt's complex attitudes to American Jews were even more well-chronicled. Franklin's mother Sara was well known for being an anti-Semite, an attitude common among Eastern Americans at a time when Jewish immigrants were flooding into the U.S. and their children were advancing rapidly into the business and professional classes, alarming those already there. Roosevelt apparently inherited some of his mother's attitudes, and at times expressed them in private. Paradoxically some of his closest political associates, such as Felix Frankfurter, Bernard Baruch and Samuel I. Rosenman, were Jewish, and he happily cultivated the important Jewish vote in New York City (much as TR had done). He appointed Henry Morgenthau, Jr. as the first Jewish Secretary of the Treasury and appointed Frankfurter to the Supreme Court. But he once told Morgenthau and a Catholic economist, Leo T. Crowley: "This is a Protestant country, and the Catholics and the Jews are here on sufferance."

Looks I won't be getting carpal tunnel anytime soon

Turns out a new Harvard study has found that carpal tunnel syndrome is not caused by heavy computer use, but has more to do with heredity, body weight, previous fractures and even pregnancy. Not sure exactly how those come into play, but the study found that sitting improperly can cause all sorts of pain, such as aching shoulders and lower back, which makes perfect sense. But that’s not a syndrome.

Now for the rant part. It’s important to have a good chair set at the right height. You can feel it when your chair is not set up correctly or if the desk is too high and you can do something about it. But if you can adjust your chair and fix your ergonomics, then why do some people in well furnished offices develop carpal tunnel syndrome? Dare I continue...

Because I Find World Leaders Funny

It's Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan... on a Segway.

It's a gift from ours to theirs.

Here's a post on everything you'd ever want to know about the event.

And is it just me or does Koizumi and Presbo have the same 'do?

You figure it out.

Thinking of seeing Narnia?

Don't do it without getting a British review first.

So, Narnia. The bottom line is that it's good. I don't know if it beats the old BBC version because I barely recall it - only that I liked it back then. I'll have a better comparison soon as, due to the magic of screenselect, there is a DVD of it in my house this very moment. Incidentally, should any of you ever be thinking of using screenselect do let me know as we get free months for referring people so if you take a free trial and put my name in the box then you get your free sample and we everyone wins.

Now where was I. Oh yeah, the film is good - a bit slow at first but it soon gets going. The CGI stuff is fairly well done with the notable exception of some dodgy reindeer. Reindeer are not that shape unless they are plastic and on a cake.

Guess which state had the first Jewish governor

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Blog Examination of Conscience

Something I too often forget.

I just want to make a little pause in our discussions to remind everyone of the tone I think we need to take, whether it be myself in writing a piece, or people in commenting on news stories, etc.

Let's make certain that any criticism we make is of a dispassionate variety. Let's avoid being overly sarcastic, or parodying names or describing things in a way which is solely mean to be polemical or negative.

While I can relate to the frustration that is the root of this, I think we need to be careful here to not lose sight of charity and respect, as well as to approach those whom we disagree with with a certain, academic coolness.

Zorak has found an interesting perspective on Liberal Judaism


Not that I think it was a good idea to knock this guy off, but they raise some interesting questions.

But where was the NAACP's opposition to the death penalty back in 2000? The organization ran an ad during the 2000 presidential campaign of then-Gov. George W. Bush. The ad — with a voiceover by the daughter of James Byrd, the man dragged to death by three men in Jasper, Texas — attacked Bush for not passing enhanced hate-crime legislation. Bird's daughter, in a dramatic voice, said, "(I)t was like my father was killed all over again." But two of the three men convicted of killing Byrd had already received death sentences, with the third, who testified that he attempted to stop the other two from committing the murder, getting life without possibility of parole.

The NAACP ad, in essence, says that Byrd's killers should have been punished more harshly. So apparently white bigots deserve the death penalty, but a black multi-murderer who founded a street gang does not. All clear now?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Apparently Planned Parenthood has been covering up rape

Because, you know, pro-rape is pro-choice. Reporting such things might lead to such unpleasant consequences.

The only problem is, this isn't a parody b/c it already happened

The Onion is actually behind reality here. That's pretty sad.

"Medicine has changed a great deal over the last 2,400 years, and 'purity' and 'holiness' are strong words that may no longer be viable given current cost outlays," PhysCare-Plus vice-president of operations Dr. Kyle Loveland said. "And, as far as the use of the word 'art' goes, perhaps in ancient Greece physicians could consider themselves artists, but today's medical industry is a multibillion-dollar business." PhysCare-Plus officials have proposed changing "purity and holiness" to "acumen and savvy," and to change the term "art" to "career."

Of course, we all know that THO pretty much went down back in the day b/c of it's strong opposition to abortion. The sad part is, I'm pretty sure the person who wrote it doesn't even know that.


Emotions also run high when some suggest changing the age of consent to accommodate today's more relaxed social norms, as was mentioned in a story in Sunday's New York Times that reviewed recent teacher-student cases. The story was accompanied by a photograph of teacher, Pamela Rogers Turner, 28, who was sentenced to nine months in jail for having sex with a 13-year-old boy.

Blond, beautiful and fetching in pinstripes (and handcuffs), she's an unfortunate poster girl for the cause against adults romancing minors. Most guys seeing her would say, "And the problem is?"

The problem, to be clear, is one of trust and power — even in consenting relationships. An adult, especially one in a position of authority such as a teacher, counselor or priest, is always in a superior position with a minor player. It doesn't matter that 16-year-old Johnny is built like a locomotive and has enough testosterone to power a Scud missile. He's still a kid emotionally and psychologically.

Maybe. But is that because he is, or because we treat him that way? It would seem to me that by the age of 16, back in the day, many people would have families.

An interesting question.

Carry on bags

Awesome. And quite a good resolution.

During the boarding process today, a well dressed woman stopped me in the aisle and said: "You'll need to take care of my bag, miss."

"I'll be happy to have it checked for you ma'am," I replied. "I'll be right back with a claim ticket for you."

She freaked out. Her voice got louder and louder as she called out. "No, No, NO, NO! You must put it overhead. Be careful, it's very heavy. I could barely carry it on and I don't want to lift it."

This is where the good flight attendant on my right shoulder, and the bad flight attendant on my left shoulder, had a bit of a discussion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Why I haven't been posting much lately.

Because I'm studying stuff like the above... in case anyone cared. I'll be adding stuff again next week.

Don't trust the Yahoo

The reader had a number of other examples he could point to. "Go to the Yahoo! Finance opening page and note the 'Market Summary' block on the left," he wrote. "Look at the link for NYSE Volume. This is the daily volume for the NY Stock Exchange and has a typical value of 1-3 billion shares. Yahoo displays this value correctly here. But now click on the link to go to the detail page. Note here that the index value and the chart volume are NOT displayed correctly, they are now showing a range of 1-3 million shares. Do the same for the link to the S&P 500 INDEX. The 3-month chart shows a range of 10-30 million shares, which is obviously not the case."

Obviously, Yahoo is suffering from a bug or two here, and you'd think they could fix things in a jiffy once someone complained. But the reader has been persistently asking Yahoo to do something about it for well over a year, and has been met with total indifference. "When I first e-mailed Yahoo about this they tried to blame their data provider, Commodity Systems, Inc., for the problem. I contacted CSI and explained the situation, and they explained to me that they only provide a raw data stream and that it is the user's responsibility to properly scale the data. In short, they said it was Yahoo's problem. I relayed this information to Yahoo and they said they would pass the information on to engineering. This correspondence took place in October 2004, and to this date they still haven't fixed the problem."

World's unfameous Jews

E.G. the first professional baseball player ever was Jewish. Who knew? Maybe Wikipedia?

Monday, December 12, 2005

Is the CIA obsolete?

For a show broadcast in May of last year, Mr. Laurin traced the tail number of a Gulfstream jet used to transport captives to a clearly phony company in Massachusetts.

"You weren't able to trace the name to any living individual," Mr. Laurin said. "They were all living in post office boxes in Virginia.

"If that's all the imagination they can drum up at Langley, I'd fire the bunch," Mr. Laurin added.

I gotta stop drinking coffee

On the plus side, I've never been so productive. On the minus side, it's 3:52 in the morning and I'm awake. Dang.

RSS feed fixed

Thanks to L

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Jimmy Akin's got a really interesting series going on about rock. And roads. And mud.

Seriously. I like it a lot. Of course, I also maintain a blog for no discernable reason and have read books on VB.Net.

So if the Church doesn't endorse abortion, it's against free speach?

Melbourne, Dec. 09 ( - An Australian government leader has complained that Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart made an "attack on free speech" by canceling a public lecture that he was to give under Church auspices.

I don't get it. I guess I'm not bright enough to see the connection between a private organization's decisions and the government's actions.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Google: The opposite of Officespace

Ray served as the first line of defense against users who were spamming Google with multiple automated queries. This was often the result of their using software that automatically queried Google on a regular basis to ascertain the rank of their websites in Google results for a particular search. High volumes of these automated queries could potentially slow the service down for everyone, which is why Google considered them a violation of its terms of service.

Ray took unauthorized automated queries very personally. If he could figure out the spammer's email address, he would send a terse cease and desist warning to them. If he couldn't, he might block their IP address from accessing Google altogether. In an extreme case, he might request that a spammer's ISP kick them off of their service. And, if the ISP wasn't responsive enough, he might block all of the ISP's other IP addresses, too. That's how Ray turned off access to Google for most of France one day. It got the ISP’s attention, all the more so because it happened to be one of Google’s larger customers at the time.

One engineer holding that kind of power speaks to the assumptions inherent in Google’s culture. Individuals were considered capable of weighing the effects of their actions and presumed to have the best interests of the company (and Google’s users) at heart.

In previous jobs I’d held, no one did anything of significance without first getting approval from two or more layers of management. Memos would be written, committees would form, discussions would be held and all aspects considered before steps could be taken. Time would pass. Decision-making redundancy was believed to be mutually beneficial: it prevented rogue acts of self-interest or stupidity from harming the brand and insulated individuals from the repercussions of implementing their own ideas. The assumption was that individuals could not be trusted either to put the corporate welfare first or to understand the complexity of the business in which they were engaged.

Google emphasized acting over deciding.

Of all the elements of "big-company thinking" I had to unlearn, that was one of the hardest. I constantly sought reassurance that I was empowered to move to the next step, only to be asked, "Why haven’t you done that already?"

Holding starts the study bible for Mark


Should we write software as FSMs?

The question being whether it's a good idea to make your software look as if it were hardware. Useful if you want to have code that you can implement in either, I suppose, but I don't think it would ever occur to me.

Sorry for the computer content I'm working on a circuit all weekend.

If you have millions of wall warts, here's the solution

Thank you Mr. Bill.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Rebellion's a-brewin in MA

Massachusetts Commands Catholic Hospitals to Violate Their Conscience

Freedom of choice for everybody except prolifers. I hope O'Malley tells Romney to go to hell.

I.E., if O'Malley doesn't, I'll go up there and start it.

It's not Easy Bein' Green

Kermit the Frog
You scored 47% Organization, 63% abstract, and 81% extroverted!
This test measured 3 variables.

First, this test measured how organized you are. Some muppets like Cookie Monster make big messes, while others like Bert are quite anal about things being clean.

Second, this test measured if you prefer a concrete or an abstract viewpoint. For the purposes of this test, concrete people are considered to gravitate more to mathematical and logical approaches, whereas abstract people are more the dreamers and artistic type.

Third, this test measured if you are more of an introvert or an extrovert.
By definition, an introvert concentrates more on herself and an
extrovert focuses more on others. In this test an introvert was
somebody that either tends to spend more time alone or thinks more
about herself.

You are mostly organized, both concrete and abstract, and more extroverted.

Here is why are you Kermit the Frog.

You are both somewhat organized. You have a good
idea where you put things and you probably keep your place reasonably
clean. You aren't totally obsessed with neatness though. Kermit is also
reasonably tidy. He'll even dress up for interviews.

You both are sometimes concrete and sometimes abstract thinkers. Kermit
spends a lot of his time as a reporter collecting facts, but he is also
the author of the dreamy song "The Rainbow Connection." You have a good
balance in your life. You know when to be logical at times, but you
also aren't afraid to explore your dreams and desires... within limits
of course.

You are both extroverts. Kermit gets along with everyone. Sure a few
folks annoy him, but that's just because they are annoying. Kermit
likes to meet new people when he does his job as a street reporter. You
definitely enjoy the company of others, and you don't have problems
meeting new people... in fact you probably look forward to it. You are
willing to take charge when necessary or work as part of a team.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Kermit starred on Sesame Street years before The Muppet Show.

The other possible characters are

Oscar the Grouch

Big Bird




Cookie Monster


The Count

Guy Smiley


If you enjoyed this test, I would love the feedback! Also if you want
to tell me your favorite Sesame Street character, I can total them up
and post them here. Perhaps your choice will win!

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 28% on Organization
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 82% on concrete-abstra
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 94% on intro-extrovert
Link: The Your SESAME STREET Persona Test written by greencowsgomoo on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

" "

quotation marks
You scored 53% Sociability and 100% Sophistication!

There is a lot more to you than meets the eye. You certainly get plenty
of "action," but you'd be happier if those who lusted after you were
more selective. You hate being used as a general intensifier; haven't
these people ever heard of underlining? Italics? And yes, you remember
the cruel words Mr. Joyce directed at you.
But you let none of this get you down; those who abuse you are destined
for a "special" reward, sooner or later. You feel particularly warm
toward periods, commas, exclamation points, and question marks, and
usually wish to have them next to you. Parenthesis can sometimes
trouble you.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 60% on Sociability
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 99% on Sophistication
Link: The Which Punctuation Mark Are You Test written by Gazda on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Poor boys

Many accuse Silva's group, however, of lighting the fuse by commissioning a landmark 1993 report: "How Schools Shortchange Girls." It triggered waves of teaching seminars and education grants to lift girls' spirits, grades and career goals in traditionally male fields.

By decade's end, the report came under fire for its use of data - overlooking girls' higher grades and college admissions while underreporting the struggles of many boys. The American Association for University Women also did not disclose poll results showing broad agreement among students of both genders who thought girls enjoyed better treatment by teachers.

"What was so bizarre," said Joe Manthey, who now leads school programs for boys in California, "is that it came out right at the time girls had overtaken boys in almost every area.

"It was phony ... and it was harmful."


Many thanks to Alex for not adding on to the intro for that WTF. Honestly, the code alone was enough for me to shoot milk out of my nose, which was weird because I was drinking Cherry Coke at the time....

Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception

In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin."

Good thing I remembered! There is still time to get me to a mass!


Or, the joys of Wikipedia.

Hat tip to that guy in Mark Shea's combox.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Coldest Rosary EVER

Tonight Columbia Catholics for Life prayed the Rosary at the sundial on Columbia's campus. It was cold. Very cold. It didn't help we had readings for every mystery, as well as the Litany of Loretto, apparently lifted from a Carmelite website.

But. It was worth it.

Thank you Zorak for confirming my masculinity


You scored 66 masculinity and 46 femininity!

You scored high on masculinity and low on femininity. You have a traditionally masculine personality.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 63% on masculinity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 13% on femininity

Link: The Bem Sex Role Inventory Test written by weirdscience on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

O Viridissima Virga!

The Magnificat antiphon for Second Vespers sings: "This day a shoot from the stock of Jesse has budded forth. This day, Mary was conceived without stain of sin. This day, she crushed the ancient serpent's head, alleluia!" The Gregorian chant for this antiphon echos and mirrors the antiphon for Christmas day, 'Hodie Christus natus est', clearly underlining the link between that great Feast of our salvation and today's Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Hence, St John Damascene can add: "Today the ears of the whole world are listening to news of joy. The heavens above rejoice, the earth beneath exults... He will tear to pieces the garments of our old mortality."

Today's joy overflows into the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, which keynote is rejoicing and the exultation of Israel in her redemption. Indeed, our Lady is present in this Sunday's liturgy both in the responsorial canticle, which is her song of exultation, the Magnificat, and in Isaiah's proclamation of joy, which echoes today's Second antiphon at First Vespers: "I rejoice heartily in the Lord... for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation."

CBS's Pope John Paul II

Just watched the end of this two part miniseries. In my humble opinion it was quite good. I think that both Cary Elwes and Jon Voight gave terrific performances. Cary succesfully acted a span of a couple decades in age as did Voight.

And as my random trivia, it's cool that both these actors have Yonkers connections:
Cary Elwes went to Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers
and Jon Voight was born in Yonkers.

Yonkas foreva!

Should I hate them?

On one of my mailing lists, someone objected to the idea of "hate the sin, not the sinner" as mealy-mouthed in the context of interfaith marriages in that religions shouldn't expect people to, well, believe in them, and to stop wanting kids raised in their religion. I suspect she was going for the idea of "love the sin", but it seems like "hate the sinner" works just as well.

Da Bears da bears da bears!

It's bear hunting season in New Jersey! Come and get 'em!

Here's some recipes for bear stew and steak.

According to NYT:

4,434 hunters issued permits by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to participate in the state's second bear hunt in the past 35 years, six days of open season on a growing population of bears estimated at 2,000 to 3,000 animals that have been encountering humans at an increasingly alarming rate in the last several years.

Mr. MacMillan, 30, was hoping to catch and take his bear to a weigh station at Waywayanda State Park in Vernon, 40 miles northeast of Allamuchy, one of five checkpoints for the hunt in the northern part of the state. Hunters took their 200-pound-plus trophies there to be weighed, tagged and sampled by state biologists.

Environmental Protection officials said that 54 bears were killed as of 2:30 p.m. on Monday. The largest, a male black bear, weighed 606 pounds after being gutted, meaning that it probably weighed roughly 725 pounds when it was shot.

I really don't know who would click on the attachment, given this message

hey its me, my old address dont work at time. i dont know why?!
in the last days ive got some mails. i' think thaz your mails but im not

plz read and check ...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Don't drink the milk

As Bill reports:

The chemical bisphenol A (BPA), widely used in products such as food cans, milk container linings, water pipes and even dental sealants, has now been found to disrupt important effects of estrogen in the developing brain. A University of Cincinnati (UC) research team, headed by Scott Belcher, PhD, reports in two articles in the December 2005 edition of the journal Endocrinology that BPA shows negative effects in brain tissue "at surprisingly low doses." The research was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

C.S. Lewis's books too Christian

Jested by the master.

I don't get it

The group then lists a series of complaints about John Paul's pontificate:
the "repression and marginalization" of controversial theologians;
the movement away from collegiality in Church governance;
the unwillingness to engage in "real and serious debate about the status of women in the Roman Catholic Church;"
the opposition to "a reconsideration-- in the light of the Gospel, science, and history-- of certain norms of sexual ethics;"
the adherence to the discipline of clerical celibacy--which, the statement said, continues despite the evidence that many priests in some geographical regions live with women, and the sexual abuse of children in other regions;
the lack of control over Church financial institutions, leading to the banking scandals of the 1980s;
the "ecclesial isolation" of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the failure to support the theology of liberation in Latin America."

Basically, it's a protest that JPII was Catholic. Plus they use the term "Roman Catholic Church", always a way to lose points in my mind. I prefer his Excellencey's response:

Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwiszof Krakow, who served as the late Pope's personal secretary, was more openly dismissive of the protest. "In principle, one should ignore these attacks," said the Polish archbishop. "You only have to look at the list of people signing the appeal to be reassured about the process of beatification."

A little history of the IBM Internet Division

IBM, like many large businesses, used to be very inward-looking, preferring to do everything by ourselves if at all possible. Embracing the Internet, its open standards and overall outside-in approach turned out to be much more than a technology change for us. I think it had a very big impact on the overall culture in IBM, as it did in many other companies. It truly made us much more open -- e.g., embracing new technology ideas from external communities, as we did with Apache, Linux and Grid. It paved the way for a much more collaborative approach to innovation, as exemplified by some of our recent announcements around the management of our intellectual property. It helped us better integrate our people and activities around the world, to become more productive and to better support our clients. In short, embracing the Internet turned IBM, as it did so many other businesses, into an open, globally integrated enterprise, far more ready for business in the 21st century than we ever were before.

I want a job there. In IBM, anyway, not in the ID.

Raised as Catholic in Belgium, She Died as a Muslim Bomber

The face of a terrorist.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Z(ed) says: "[Squach] should go to Italy, drive beautiful cars, and chase fast women".


From the Facebook:

When considering whether or not to pop one's collar, one should first look at precedent. Who in history has been famous for popping his collar? The bad coach from Mighty Ducks D1. Who didn't pop his collar? Jesus.

NFP @ Columbia?

Go Ask Alice mentions NFP as a form of family planing. Heresy! Heresy!

The contraceptive method you are referring to is called Natural Family Planning, or the Symptothermal Method. Its success is based upon a woman's familiarity with her own body, her degree of motivation, and her willingness to use another method of contraception, or to abstain from intercourse during the time of the month when she is fertile. The symptothermal method can be an extremely effective birth control method when taught carefully, understood fully, and used correctly.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Combox of the day

Zed's postings stirring up controversy, as always.

You know you are losing the linguistic battle when your CCD students write "Happy Holidays" on Christmas cards they are giving to nuns.
Justine | 11.28.05 - 11:04 pm | #

What we need is some strict Pre-Vatican II nuns who'd tear the cards up, rap the kids over the knuckles, and make them write 'Merry Christmas' 100 times on the blackboard.

Steve | Homepage | 11.29.05 - 1:16 am | #

Will B | 11.29.05 - 12:04 pm | #

The Second Sunday of Advent

Penitentially speaking, of course.



BERLIN - A German Protestant youth group has put together a 2006 calendar with 12 staged photos depicting erotic scenes from the Bible, including a bare-breasted Delilah cutting Samson’s hair and a nude Eve offering an apple.

"There’s a whole range of biblical Scriptures simply bursting with eroticism," said Stefan Wiest, the 32-year-old photographer who took the titillating pictures.

Yeah, but outside of the Song of Solomon, those aren't people you're supposed to be emulating, I think.

Bad Resumes


Idaho Statesman on Seasons Greetings

or as Andrew puts it:

The Idaho Statesman on politically correct holiday greetings. I think I
might agree with them, if I could figure out exactly what their point


Christmas Day, Dec. 25, celebrates the birth of Jesus, a central event in the Christian faith. Hanukkah — the Jewish festival of lights, beginning this year on Dec. 26 — celebrates the rededication of the temple of Jerusalem after a victory over the Hellenist Syrians in 165 B.C. Kwanzaa, an African-American celebration of family, community and culture from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, was created in 1966 — but it is based on first-harvest celebrations dating back to ancient Egypt.

To those who devoutly celebrate these dates, the "happy holidays" greeting can seem inadequate — a pseudo-sentiment that doesn't connect with a faith. In the effort to not offend, wishing happy holidays can have the effect of offending.

That can happen. But it need not happen.

In a smaller community, in another time, perhaps it was easier for us all to connect with each other immediately, and know exactly how to extend good wishes with sensitivity. But perhaps not. The fact is, we don't know a stranger's religious beliefs on sight — any more than we can divine their politics. What a hollow world it would be if we knew everyone before we even met them. Hence "happy holidays," a deliberately generic greeting.

No, it's not personalized. Nor is it perfect. What greeting is? When 160,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Iraq — and Americans are embroiled in a bitter debate over our mission there — it's not as if the old holiday standby "peace on Earth" is absent political topspin.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The deaths of the 20th century

Snipped . . .

[…] Mao's butchery "exceeds the 61,911,000 murdered by the Soviet Union 1917-1987, with Hitler far behind at 20,946,000 wiped out (from) 1933-1945," he said.

The Chinese communist leader's toll is higher than the 34.1 million combat deaths in "all wars between 1900 and 1987," including World Wars I and II, Vietnam, Korea, and the Mexican and Russian Revolutions.

[…] In all, Rummel estimates about 174 million people were killed during incidents of democide in the 20th century, "of which communist regimes murdered about 148 million," he said, adding, "Communists overall have murdered four times those killed in combat."
(Read the whole thing here.)

All of which pales before the estimated 945,000,000 abortions committed between 1920 and 2005 (courtesy of the Johnston Archives). Interestingly, 608 million are estimated to have taken place in the communist People’s Republic of China and USSR. We have a long way to go to overtake them in Satan’s hierarchy, but I am confident that government and industry are hard at work to close the death gap.

Why you should read Dostoevsky

Their chief peculiarity is summed up by Shigalyov, the leading theoretician in Demons, commenting on his own system: "My conclusion directly contradicts the original idea I start from. Starting from unlimited freedom, I conclude with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that apart from my solution to the social formula, there is no other."

Disturbing email

I recently got an email from the admins in my department saying that our new methodology would involve planning and quality control. What, then, was our old methodology?


Got this in my mailbox from Lenny Z.:

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg Th e phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Such a cdonition is arppoiately cllaed Typoglycemia :)-

Amzanig huh? Yaeh and yuo awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Chaos in Hawaii

Curtesy of MS

Another Vignette From the America's Abortion-Tortured Conscience and Mind

Read the following and see if you can discern any coherent thinking in this insane story:

The Supreme Court of Hawaii has ruled that unborn children are not "human beings," and therefore women cannot be prosecuted for causing the death of babies by harmful behavior during their pregancies.

The unanimous decision overturns the manslaughter conviction of 32-year-old Tayshea Aiwohi, who was found guilty in connection with the death of her newborn son by smoking crystal methamphetamine shortly before his birth.

"I'm extremely happy and grateful," said Aiwohi. "I believe [the case] changed me into a better person and I just hope to share that with others."

"My son can finally lay to rest," her husband, Kimo Aiwohi, told reporters. "And I'm very happy for my wife."

The highest court in Hawaii decrees, apparently, that unborn children are kangaroos or goldfish. Judicial fiat indeed! Meanwhile, the mom who murdered her... what? inner platypus and got away with it feels "changed into a better person". And Dad? His "son" (how does one have a "son" who is not human) can finally "lay to rest".

A sentimental denounement to a heart-warming holiday tale.

I'll retire to Bedlam.

Europes 'Moral Outrage'

In much of Europe's public debate, the true meaning of human rights has degenerated into a tool that gives anti-Americanism an aura of legitimacy. The real, horrendous human-rights violations in the Middle East, North Korea, China, Cuba, etc., are largely ignored or relegated to news blurs on the back pages. For front-page coverage, you need an American angle.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Political correctness, smacked down

Goodnight Moon," the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown, has gone smoke-free. In a newly revised edition of the book, which has lulled children to sleep for nearly 60 years, the publisher, HarperCollins, has digitally altered the photograph of Clement Hurd, the illustrator, to remove a cigarette from his hand ... .

"It is potentially a harmful message to very young kids," (Kate) Jackson (editor in chief of HarperCollins Children's Books) said, "and it doesn't need to be there."

In the great green room there was ...

A cordless telephone

And a red balloon, non-helium and securely tethered out of toddler reach

. . .

Do we spend too much on brand name drugs?


Increased use of generic drugs has emerged as a major strategy to combat rapidly rising health-care costs in the last few years, and more employers are providing financial incentives such as lower co-payments in their prescription-drug plans to persuade workers to make the switch.

The most dramatic savings to be had are for generics that treat gastrointestinal problems, the substitution of which may shave $5.4 billion from costs, according to a report from Express Scripts, a St. Louis-based company that administers employers' prescription-drug benefits. The study looked at patterns of about 3 million commercially insured people using six categories of drugs.

Generics that treat stomach distress could capture as much as 95 percent of the market versus today's 31 percent, the study said. Overall, generic drugs cost $60 less on average than their brand-name counterparts.

You lose

HOUSTON - The leader of the largest branch of American Judaism blasted conservative religious activists in a speech Saturday, calling them "zealots" who claim a "monopoly on God" while promoting anti-gay policies akin to Adolf Hitler's.

Thus invoking Godwin's Law:

Although the law does not specifically mention it, there is a tradition in many Usenet newsgroups that once such a comparison is made, the thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

And killing his argument.

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