Thursday, June 26, 2008

DC vs. Heller

Today, the Supreme Court ruled on DC vs. Heller and affirmed the ban as unconstitutional. Folks, while you're celebrating, remember this is just one step in preserving our rights. One small step. And it's a journey of a thousand miles.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Son of Life of a Charter Pilot

I'm in Rochester MN for the next couple of days. I'm also 8 bottles into a six pack of beer at the hotel bar. Do not expect erudite blogging at this point. I'll blog you all when I sober up... a little.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's "of" people.

I was on a blog wander when I came upon an article about the WBC and their picketing of Tim Russet's funeral. Which led me, strangely, to an article about a woman, distraught over the fact her father-in-law was in a coma, getting lambasted by atheists for having the effrontery of quoting the WW2 phrase "There are no atheists in foxholes.". Both by the same unfortunate woman.

I'm disturbed. To say the least.

People, the first amendment to the Bill of Rights reads:


Ratified on December 15, 1791
Now, read it carefully. I'll wait. Read it again. No, really.
Nowhere in there does the word "from" appear. It's freedom of religion. Of, of, of OF, for Shiva's sake already, its of. The word "of" carries a completely different meaning in this context than "from".
  • of
    \əv, before consonants also ə; ˈəv, ˈäv\
    Middle English, off, of, from Old English, adverb & preposition; akin to Old High German aba off, away, Latin ab from, away, Greek apo
    before 12th century
  • 1 a: relating to : about b: in respect to

For those of you who don't want to read that little blurb, "of" in this case means relating to or in respect of. See, I repeated it. That means, in this country we're free to practice or don't practice, believe or don't believe in whatever form of higher being, god, earth spirit, or ceiling cat we want or don't want too. But that also means that our practice ends at the tip of our nose. We don't get to ram our beliefs down anyone else's throats. I'll repeat that so you're sure to hear it.

We don't get to ram our beliefs down anyone else's throats!

We don't get to make everyone practice the same religion or, and this is important too, exclude anyone from celebrating whatever religion they want to just because you've chosen to not have any sort of faith. Those people who are forcing communities to remove any sort of religious connotation from Christmas decoration are just as bad as someone forcing them to hang crosses over their doors. Unfortunately, there's militant nutters on either end of the spectrum out there. These people seem to have missed that day in kindergarten when they taught about infringing on other peoples rights. DON'T DO IT! There, you've made up that day now go out and play on the swings... Nicely.

Let's talk about vision lock.

Vision lock is when you get so focused on something that your field of view narrows down to just that to the exclusion of everything else. Parachute jumpers would get it, they call it ground rush, and forget to pull the rip cord. Ground attack pilots would get it and not pull out of the attack run in time to avoid the ground. Nutters get it on an idea and think that everyone else should be indoctrinated to it and there mustn't be any discussion or dissension on it. People like that caused the holocaust in WW2, the inquisition of the 15th and 16th centuries, or the crusades of the middle ages. And it's imbeciles like that who make it hard, really really hard, to appreciate that 1st amendment freedom we have. These sorts of short minded, short sighted, mentally stunted retards need to be subjected to a dose of their own medicine. No, screw that, not a dose. They should be subjected to it till they've equaled all the suffering they've inflicted on others.

This country was supposedly founded so there would be room for all those differing view point to exist in relative harmony. And by harmony, I don't mean all rose-colored glasses-y with pink ponies. I mean the ability to have open discussions, if that's the thing to do, without the monkey's from the gallery throwing shit all over you. These fringers don't believe that and don't want it to happen. Makes you wonder what sort of society they'd prefer. I hear there are some jack-boots out there running some countries. [Cough]Venezuela[Cough]Iran[Cough].

I'd love to be able to apologize to everyone out there that's been hurt by the WBC-idiots or rabid atheists. But, I'm with you on this. They're reprehensible immature attention whores and really deserve the ass-whoopin they're crying out for.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Obama's crack team

This just in. Obama's crack team of cybernauts has finally cracked the internet...
My eyes! My eyes! They burn!....

Who's thinking for the thinkers?

Over at The Breda Fallacy: pooh.

I especially liked this quote:

"When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it."
- Winnie the Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner

I think much of the current crop of Pols could be lumped into the BoVLB (Bear of Very Little Brain) group. It's not the thinking of things that causes the problem. It's not the examination of others that seems, to me, to be the issue. It's the disconnect that many of our elected officials seem to have between gedankenexperiment and reality. There seems to be a mentality in Washington that goes something like:
  1. The people elected me therefore They like me.
  2. I thought of this therefore They will like this.

This amazing step of logic is know as The Fallacy of the General Rule. But they blithely go on believing it.

Or they will fall into the trap of The Argument of Small Numbers. Just because the people they hired like the idea doesn't mean the larger case is true.

Similarly, just because the Idea they had worked good in their mind, doesn't mean it'll work once reality starts reaching into the pot.

It used to be that logic was taught in school. It was a course unto itself. Either in high school or college we learned how to argue and through association how to think. We were taught how to look at a hypothesis or premise and think about it critically. Come to our own conclusions of it's inherent worth and act accordingly. When logic was dropped I don't know, but we're paying the consequences now. We have an entire populace that knows no better than to blissfully follow what they've been told and, may the great Ghoo save us, the ones telling us what to do aren't any better than the rest of the flock.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wild Weather

I've got friends in Cedar Rapids IA and I'm still waiting to here if they're okay. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Talk about a rumor starter

In this article from USAToday. I kept looking at this pic.

I'm thinking Che... Obama... Che... Obama... hmmm.....

Friday, June 13, 2008


Ailurophobia - Fear of Cats
Suriphobia - Fear of Mice Boy, throw these two groups in a room together and the entertainment would be endless.

Ornithophobia - Fear of Birds

Pupaphobia - Fear of Puppets

Brontophobia - Fear of Thunder I had a Golden Retriever that had this. The big 100 lb baby.

Kakorrhaphiaphobia - Fear of Failure Is it ironic that people afraid of failing have to try to pronounce this?

Eisoptrophobia - Fear of Mirrors

Cainophobia - Fear of Novelty Well, that's... unique.

Gephyrophobia - Fear of Bridges

Bufonophobia - Fear of Toads

Melissophobia - Fear of Bees

Cynophobia - Fear of Dogs

Hoplophobia - Fear of Guns. Sometimes just refered to as a Liberal.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Crack team of what?

I saw this little news article via Tam. I didn't get much farther than the first paragraph before my internal snark meter zeroed in on the visual....

"A crack team of cybernauts will form a rapid response internet “war room” to track and respond..."

What exactly is a crack team of "cybernauts". What exactly constitutes the "right stuff" for a cybernaut? I can just imagine the selection process. "Son, you were only able to troll 7 porn sites, that's just not good enough. We're gonna have to send you back down."

I imagine this room filled with pimply, socially inept boys in stained t-shirts and y-fronts frantically entering search terms into Google. Sort of like what I'm wearing now.... Or was that too much information?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monticello and Thomas Jefferson

I know I was going to blog about my visit to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's Virginia home, and I've been meaning to. But visiting the house and plantation as well as the learning center associated with it really got me thinking about the man and his life.

Here's a man who is the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, Governor of Virginia, third President of the United States, second Vice President, US Ambassador to France, one of the founding fathers of the Democratic-Republican party, Founder of the University of Virginia. Really, as a man of the Age of Enlightenment, his accomplishments could take up an entire book and there are a few books to attest to that fact.

But that character of the man really blew me away. A staunch believer in his phrase "All men are created equal", he still owned slaves as a Virginia plantation owner. The plantation tour guide said that Jefferson was, by all respects of the era, a very liberal slave owner and probably saw the institution as a unnecessary thing that would be best for the country to ease out of. He was noted for paying a good wage to those who had training and facilitated the freeing and relocation of those who he could. He wrote about slavery, "We have the wolf by the ears; and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other."

A confirmed believer in the virtues of the 18th century Democratic-Republican party, he none the less brought about the Louisiana Purchase. A move that many politicians at the time felt violated the Constitution and founding principals of the United States. He also formed and funded the Lewis and Clarke expedition to explore this purchase.

He was a strong believer in states rights and limiting federal power, yet the Louisiana Purchase and his support of the Embargo Act of 1807, to the point of calling out federal troops to enforce it, actually expanded that power on the federal level.

His commitment to his principals and values caused him to lose many friends while in office at both the state and federal level. In fact his differences politically with John Adams caused the two, by all accounts close friends, to stop speaking to each other till they had both retired from the public life years later. And only started corresponding then due to the intervention of an intermediary.

He amassed 3 libraries during his life. Considering the relative scarcity of printing presses and book binders of the 18th and early 19th century, that's no mean feat. The first was lost in a fire of this childhood home, the second became the core of the Library of Congress after Washington was burned in the War of 1812, and the third he collected in his retirement and was offered to the University of Virginia after he founded it.

The ability of Mr. Jefferson and the other men of this era to think is astounding. Just some of his thoughts on different subjects are are amazing. Of course, unlike today's so called "thinkers", these men understood the relationship between thought and action, between the realm of the mind and the landscape of the real world. They understood, that just because they could think it up, didn't mean it was a good idea to implement it. Contrast the original Bill of Rights with today's plans for universal health care to get an idea of what I'm saying.

On guns and arms:
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."

He also once stated, "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

On self-esteem:
"I never had an opinion in politics or religion which I was afraid to own. A costive reserve on these subjects might have procured me more esteem from some people, but less from myself."

On time:
"Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing. "

In fact, his house has a clock in virtually every room. To those of you who think this is no big deal, the average person in this era used the sun to tell time and to find 3 pocket watches in a room full of people would be an unusual thing indeed.

On his thinking, President John F. Kennedy was quoted during a meeting with 49 Nobel Prize winners as saying "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House — with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone."

And finally, for all this mans accomplishments as a horticulturist, statesman, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, author, inventor and founder of a University what does he want as his eulogy? This simple epitaph:

Three simple things from a lifetime of accomplishment. This more than anything else, I think, says what kind of man this was.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's news, but not as we want it..

In the news in Japan, a sick and mentally defective man went on a killing spree in downtown Tokyo. With a knife. There are many bloggers out there talking about it now. To point you to a few, there is Armed & Safe, Tam at VFTP Central, Xavier, and Breda.

Why is this so tragic? I mean it wasn't done with a gun, fer kriminy. Then it would have been tragic.

And the sarcasm is alive and well here with the seagulls.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

All hail the police state?

In what to me is a completely mind boggling move. The Washington D.C. police Chief Cathy L. Lanier and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty have wholeheartedly and some might say lovingly embraced a Nazi-style police state. It seems after having outlawed guns in our lovely nations capitol, they can't keep up with the rampant gun violence. (Hint: When you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns.) So, in an effort to put a band-aid over the sucking chest wound, they're setting up "Neighborhood Safety Zones". This is where they set up a cordon around a neighborhood and stop any and all cars. Demand their papers please and you'd better have a damn good reason for driving on a public street or you're going to jail.

America, land of the free... Well, not so much anymore.

You know, this is the city that house some of our countries most iconic documents. The U.S. Constitution. The Declaration of Independence. The Bill of Rights. The Federalists Papers. Maybe we should consider calling up a SEAL team to go in and rescue these papers from the totalitarian regime that is holding them hostage.

It's our freedoms that make this country so great. It's what has half of the rest of world either envious and jumping everything to get into the country or jealous and trying to blow us up. And to watch those very freedoms get trampled into the dust by jackbooted yahoos that probably couldn't tell a constitutional right if it jumped into their lap and yelled "Wheee!".

I've said this before. When I see things like this, I don't worry that our civilization is going to collapse. I know it already has.

Happy Birthday to me... Happy birthday to me...

Happy B-day to me. Yeah! What do I get to do on my birthday? I'm in Charlottesville VA. 0n a trip till Sunday. It's a sort of good news/bad news deal. Bad because I'm away. Good, because Monticello is just up the road and so is James Madison's home. Two great leaders of our nation when it was just a fledgling still trying to soar. Madison's home is in renovation till the 7th, but Monticello is open. If the charter sales guy leaves us alone, I'm gonna try to get to Monticello tomorrow. Expect crappy pictures to follow.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Blog Surfing

The rules:
  1. Start at a blog, any blog.
  2. Read as much or little as you like.
  3. Find their blog roll
  4. Pick a blog at random and go there.
  5. Repeat Steps 1. through 4. as often as you like.

You are not allowed to hit the "Next Blog" at the top of the page.

This might also be known as "6 degrees of Tam". Count how many blogs it takes to get back to Tam's View From The Porch. And no fair starting from Tam's page. It's almost eerie, I tell ya.