Thursday, February 2, 2006

AROUND THE WEB ON 2-1-06

Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

One's Own Fairy Godmother

I like the way Jennifer Snow puts it when she considers the importance of one's own effort in effecting a personal transformation.
From Ovid's Metamorphoses to fairy tales to modern rags-to-riches tales, the thread is always there. Change is what humans are all about.

In fairy tales, though, the transformation is always at the impetus of some outside source, some spell or fruit or fairy godmother that rewards the deserving or forces the wicked into some serious soul-searching.

...

When you do, you'll find at the end that, surprisingly, you did have that ingredient after all. You conjured it up out of thin air. You are your own fairy godmother.
Nuke Detection

I'm not talking about bombs here, but people. (Nuclear-trained submariners are often called "nukes".)

Every once in awhile, Bothenook writes up a post about his Navy days that makes me wish I were back, and that's not even accounting for the decade younger I'd be.
as an aside, but related. i used to keep a 3 way main steam stop bypass valve on my desk at work. i could always tell who was truly a nuke or not within seconds. if you came to my desk, saw the valve, and DIDN'T pick it up, take it apart, and put it back together while standing there talking to me, you probably weren't a nuke.

there just seems to be a natural curiosity in the breed. most of them would ignore the wooden puzzle box, but were unable to leave the valve alone
That one made me chuckle.

Naval Research is Discriminatory?!?!

Grant Jones reports on the threat posed by leftist academics to military research at the University of Hawaii.
The claim that unclassified military research somehow violates Hawaii's anti-discrimination law was floated last year by UH law professor Jon Van Dyke. Since this argument is patently absurd, Keever is now linking it to alleged classified research and alleged required security clearances.

While working for various defense electronic companies I have had security clearances. At the lower level of clearance the company itself runs a background check. Background checks on public school teachers are more thorough than these low level clearances. Even at a higher level no civilian is ever asked about their sexual orientation.

Soon the university's Board of Regents will be deciding on whether to accept the UARC proposal. The academic leftists are right; the future of the institution will be determined by the Board's decision. The University of Hawaii Manoa has recently dropped to third-tier status according to U.S. News and World Reports. The university responded that this is "not quite the distinction we want." If the Board votes down the UARC, it's a distinction they had better get used to.

...

With its vote the Board will be sending a message to the state and nation. Does the university represent the people of the state, the overwhelming majority of who support the Navy and its mission, or is the university to be controlled by a small cabal of anti-American leftists? Let's hope for the sake of the university and the people of Hawaii the Board votes in favor of the U.S. Navy.
***

This week, I have two pairs of posts that mention the same subject. One of each pair is serious, the other not. I like all four posts, so I offer...

A Study in Contrasts I: The State of the Union

Nick Provenzo pointed out that Bush's State of the Union Address might drive one to drink ...
So not unlike President Clinton's State of the Union addresses, President Bush is expected to rely upon the "micro-initiative" to sell his agenda. How pathetic.
... while Bubblehead proposed a way to at least have fun doing it.
So, everytime Mother Sheehan is shown while President Bush is discussing military issues, take one drink. If she's shown while the President is honoring our fallen heroes, throw the bottle at the TV...
As it turns out, Mother Sheehan was absent, but the microinitiatives were allowed in.

The absence of Mother Sheehan, mentioned before beginning of the speech by the crew at Fox News was its high point, but things quickly went downhill from there. I was especially unhappy when Bush came to within an inch of ripping Iran a new one, only to induce cognitive whiplash with his sudden shift into HIV/AIDS.

But would we, as Provenzo would have us ponder, necessarily be better off, in terms of the battle of ideas, with John Kerry in office? That's an interesting question.

A Study in Contrasts II: Copyright Law

I discussed a fantastically bad "defense" of copyright law I ran into recently...
To refer to the fact that child pornography and snuff films are illegal as "social censorship" is doubly wrong. (1) It ignores the fact that one man's rights do not supercede another's. And (2), it uses the name of a violation of the rights of one man to refer to what is actually a protection of the rights of another! This would be like pointing out that policemen sometimes have to kill criminals, and saying that sometimes it is necessary to have "social murder".
... while at Save the Humans, Jason Roth demonstrates fair use.
Now, in my opinion, it's doubtful that some non-profit company or government agency paid for an original photo. There's no need to retake a photo that could easily be purchased cheaply from a third party. So, here's what I'm wondering. Do you think, when the chick signed the contract with the stock photo company, that she knew she would be a poster child for safe sex?
He then photoblogs on the possible consequences of posing for stock photo companies.

In my post, one William Rees-Mogg compares copyright law to censorship -- with a straight face -- as his argument for Google, now that it has shown support for censorship, to respect copyright law. Try again, Mr. Rees-Mogg.

Coincidentally, my employer exercises its property rights to bar access to "pornographic" sites like Save the Humans, meaning that I can't access Roth's handiwork from ... work.

A Russian Answer to Anti-Missile Defenses?

Vigilis discusses Bulava missiles at Molten Eagle.
Will Russia place the new missiles on its submarines? Putin said the new missiles were capable of carrying nuclear warheads. He wouldn't say whether the Russian military already had commissioned any such missiles., but as Molten Eagle note 4 days ago here, Russian is laying the keel of the third strategic submarine of the new Borey-class, constructed to carry the new solid-propellant, 10-warhead maneuverable Bulava missiles.
Apply the Thirteenth Amendment to Me!

Andy over at the Charlotte Capitalist makes the following excellent point about the income tax.
Today In History in 1865. This was a great moment for all Americans -- black and white. It continued the trend against slavery throughout the world brought on by the Enlightenment and capitalism[.] ...

What is slavery?

the state of a person who is a chattel of another

Just a few amendments later:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

Hmmm...what happened to forbidding involuntary servitude? Not buying it? Take a look at how much of your paycheck goes to "social services" at the federal, state, and local level. You are not paying for those "services" voluntarily.
Diana Got Fan Mail!

Diana Hsieh over at Noodle Food shares with us an email with an interesting list of reading recommendations. The sender's general tone showed that he is as well-versed in the art of persuasion as he is in Middle Eastern affairs. He recommends, not just with a straight face, but with an angry scowl:
1) The Zionist Connection by Dr. Alfred M. Lilienthal
2) The Question of Palestine by Edward Said
3) The Fateful Triangle by Noam Chomsky
4) The Great War For Civilization: The Conquest of The Middle East by Robert Fisk
5) What Price Israel ? by Alfred M. Lilienthal
6) The Other Side of The Coin by Alfred M. Lilienthal
7) Pity The Nation: The Abduction of Lebanon by Robert Fisk
I particularly recommend also perusing the reader comments. (e.g. "What, no "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"? A careless oversight by Mr. Hardesty, I'm sure." Hee hee!)

I don't get such quality hate mail, but I do occasionally get a comment that makes up for that fact.

The Meme Game

Elizabeth at Hence, the Elizabethan has joined the Meme Game I played recently. She even answered the Beer Question I added as an improvement. She is a fellow guest blogger at Ego, where she does some memorable cat blogging from time to time.

Joined in Progress:
Just after I composed this post (but before publication), Lubber's Line threw his hat in the ring, including the Beer Question and following Alex's lead with "Four Cars I Have Owned".

Stop by and visit the other players, listed here and here.

-- CAV