Thursday, October 12, 2006


Cross-posted from Gus Van Horn

A couple of weeks ago, I complained about netvibes. Since then, I played around with a similar RSS reader, which did not make the cut. A week later, I hadn't had time to play with other feed readers and it was either not post my weekly lineup at all or go with netvibes again.

The netvibes feed reader was subtly different and was calling itself the "Cinnamon Release". The problems I was having seemed to be gone. And so it is today. I'm quite happy with the speed this newer netvibes has and plan to stick with it.

Of course, Blogger is on the fritz as I write this. Links to individual pages in my blog return "Internal Server Errors" and -- in the most reliable indicator Blogger has that something is seriously FUBAR -- Blogger Status is down. [As I prepare to post this, that blog does not mention any problems from earlier this morning. But that's par for the course.]

And so I am composing in gmail and hoping to post later today. Any links that open in new windows -- an HTML coding practice I hate -- are because it's gmail's default behavior and I didn't catch them later.

Them's the breaks.

Adam Gadahn, Traitor

I have mixed feelings about the fact that the feds have finally decided to charge someone -- Adam Gadahn, the "American" member of al Qaeda -- for treason.

On a moral level, all I can say is, "It's about freakin' time!" But I once considered the idea of trying Noam Chomsky for treason and was unsatisfied that, absent a war declaration, the government had a sound legal basis for doing so.

If I am wrong, great, but why did Bush wait so long to do this?

If I am right, then this could prove to be a humiliating blunder by the current administration.

Kinky Friedman, NUB

Bubblehead updates a recent post on the fact that my least favorite candidate for Texas Governor has a habit of wearing warfare pins he has not earned, including submariner "dolphins", on the campaign trail.

The man is nothing more than an irritant and if wearing the pins alienates yet another pool of potential supporters, then so be it. In all his well-publicized ranting, he hasn't shown one jot of substance. He has no clue about what the proper function of government is. His whole campaign has been to offer up a laundry list of random tweaks to the amount of government intrusion he thinks we should have in our lives.

But if Perry falters badly enough, this idiot might get elected simply because, by offending everyone, he has succeeded in drawing a large amount of attention to himself.

Cash Register Bell Rings

Although I do not support limiting campaign donations, I cannot resist linking to Myron's observation that Democrat gubernatorial candidate Chris Bell -- who wants to "get the money out of politics" -- has just been saved by a handsome donation.

This is a significant obstacle to Friedman's quest to make all of Texas look like idiots for the next four years. Why? Because there will be no runoffs. The winner of a plurality of the votes will become governor. Friedman's main appeal is to left of center independents and Democrats who dislike Bell. I think he would benefit most from Bell dropping out of the race. Since Friedman also usually leads the other two and a half challengers (1 - Bell, 2- Strayhorn, and 2.5 - the Libertarian), he loses most from Bell staying in.


Sleeping on Submarines

It looks like the Old Coot once found the perfect place to sleep on board a submarine!
On Olympia, that vent was rather closer to the curtain rail, and in addition to increased ventilation it also provided "white noise" to block out the sound of passersby. It also served to block out annoying 1MC announcements. And so it came to pass one day that I was snoozing in my normal position, with my face right up against the back wall of the bunk, when one of the other RM2s came to wake me up. "Hutch [our LPO] wants you to come up to Radio and explain why you weren't at battle stations," quoth he.

"Huh??" [bold added]
Just a little too perfect! Hee! Hee!

Another Kind of Sneak Attack

Continuing problems with Blogger preclude me from posting an image, but I must say that Cox and Forkum have really outdone themselves this time!

Be sure to follow the link above to learn how they successfully infiltrated the recent Iranian cartoon contest with an image of Hitler-Ahmadinejad -- with horns since too many Moslems would not necessarily find a comparison to Hitler insulting.

This is not just a must-see. It is a must-read. Very interesting.

My latest column is up ...

... at Capitalism Magazine.

I focus there on the efforts of some to promote a boycott of Arab oil, which would really be a self-inflicted "Arab Oil Embargo". I offer some further thoughts on the Citgo boycott here and here.

The Undercurrent

It's good to hear that The Undercurrent is doing such a good job establishing a presence on college campuses. The newsletter is also soliciting material for its November issue.

Mike goes one for two, but he's pretty happy about it.

Mike N hits one out of the park on affirmative action:
White racists had been telling blacks that as an individual they had little or no value because of their race. White civil rights activists were telling blacks they did have value but only because of their race, and that the solution to discriminating against blacks and other minorities lies in passing laws that discriminate for those minorities. In other words, the standard of value was still the collective (race) and not the individual. This allowed the white liberals to remain loyal to their core philosophy--collectivism--of which racism is a form.
But he does recall whiffing badly earlier in the year on another topic, the Tigers, that just won't die!

Blair's Right

This Harry Binswanger column is a must-read.
Hostility to global trade, to nuclear power, to DDT, to "urban sprawl," to Wal-Mart--it all comes from the same root and has the same meaning: antagonism towards man's life as a rational animal. Reason is man's basic means of survival. The life- giving power of reason is sensed by those who rail against the technological-industrial achievements of the West and particularly of America. Whether environmentalist or Islamist, they cannot abide the success of America. It stands as an unbearable reproach. It's America or their own irrational way of functioning, which they would rather blow themselves up than challenge and change.

All the anti-reason movements have been unleashed by the Ahmadinejad-look-alike professors in our universities. The intellectual establishment has long attacked reason and science.
This is just a taste. I could just as well have excerpted something else.

Ramadan in Sweden

Martin Lindeskog reports on something that Western media, in their role as stooges of the Mullahs, have done an excellent job of keeping under wraps: Ramadan looting and rioting in his home town. I am glad to hear it was, at least, not as bad as first reported in the blogs.

Moslems in the Street

Quick! Before some Moslem whines loudly enough to get it pulled, stop by Daniel Rigby's blog and watch the parody he has posted of Martha and the Vandellas' motown classic, "Dancing In The Street"!

And I sure hope watching this doesn't feel too much like home for poor Martin!

How to Yank a Blogger's Chain

Send him an email like this:
Dear Andy,

It looks like your site has been hacked. Thought you'd like to know.


The trick seems to work for any blogSpot URL. (HT: Adrian Hester)

Three Recent Anniversaries

Alexander Marriott and Craig Ceely mark three important anniversaries related to: a discovery, a great work, and a major thinker.

The Curriculum at Founders' College

Adrian Hester makes a lengthy, but very worthwhile comment on the purpose of an undergraduate education over at Noodle Food:
What is (should be) the purpose of an undergraduate education, as opposed to high school and graduate school? High school should inculcate students in general analytical thinking, train them in clear, logical writing, and teach them the general knowledge one would expect from a reasonably well-educated adult. On the other hand, undergraduate education should be directed towards a coherent, broadly extensive study of one's chosen field with the goal ideally of preparing the student for teaching or for academic, scholarly work. Graduate study, of course, is (or should be) highly specialized, with an intensive, rigorous study of all important areas of one's discipline directed towards original scholarly work. A coherent core curriculum is essential at the undergraduate level, of course ...
I once heard a professor of mine make comments like this when I was young and contemplating a double major. I ignored him and I paid. But that is a post or posts for another day, probably in the distant future, if ever.

Indiana Jones and the 'Track of Doom

This hypothetical letter from a tenure committee to Indiana Jones is hilarious.
The committee concurred that Dr. Jones does seem to possess a nearly superhuman breadth of linguistic knowledge and an uncanny familiarity with the history and material culture of the occult. However, his understanding and practice of archaeology gave the committee the greatest cause for alarm. Criticisms of Dr. Jones ranged from "possessing a perceptible methodological deficiency" to "practicing archaeology with a complete lack of, disregard for, and colossal ignorance of current methodology, theory, and ethics" to "unabashed grave-robbing." Given such appraisals, perhaps it isn't surprising to learn that several Central and South American countries recently assembled to enact legislation aimed at permanently prohibiting his entry.

Moreover, no one on the committee can identify who or what instilled Dr. Jones with the belief that an archaeologist's tool kit should consist solely of a bullwhip and a revolver.
It gets even better!

Quottas? Quottiods?

At long last, they're back! That bastion of linguistic scholarship, The Speculative Grammarian, has solved the dilemma of where to put quotation marks in relation to periods and commas!
Despite these turbulent troubles, there is a solution that is both simple and elegant, and which requires only the cooperation of typesetters -- likely (and preferably) without even the knowledge of difficult and recalcitrant editors and publishers. That solution comes in the form of new blended punctuation marks, dubbed the quotta, a combination of quote and comma, and the quottiod, a combination of quote and period. By superimposing the quotation marks over other punctuation, the question of which should come first is completely avoided. These forms are, accidentally or otherwise, used in a hand-written form all the time -- a fact which inspired these more formal typographic variants.
For fellow fans of SpecGram, I have added it to the link list under "Humor". My thanks to editor Trey Jones for emailing me about this article, although I had already noticed it!

-- CAV