Links: 2015-03-01

Well, post swim lactic acid and endorphin levels have ruined my chance to offer a intelligent essay. So … on to links.

  1. A middle ground?  You mean like where people who want guns can get them and those that don’t don’t. Sounds like a middle ground to me.
  2. So the left has been full frontal attack mode on Mr Walker. They’re making him a more and more attractive candidate from where I sit. I mean, for example, when you demonize a guy for “gosh he’s making it illegal on Wisconsin campuses to report rapes and assaults” … uhm, dig just a little bit and you find he’s doing that at the effing request of the University (not a hotbed conservative place, btw). And the whole, “he’s clearly unqualified” after giving reasonable responses to stupid/unreasonable questions. Uhm, no. That’s not unreasonable, but hey, the questions were.
  3. On speaking truthfully, unless you are a politician. (for a prime example see our President), in which case (to borrow from Shania Twain) as we know politicians only lie when they’re breathing.
  4. On the IRS and Obamacare.
  5. On the IRS and their breathing thing, or lying thing .. whatever.
  6. Tech for the plant floor.
  7. Cool image.
  8. Evil and consequences.
  9. Zoom.
  10. A school (down under) getting it all wrong.
  11. Left wing boorish bullying, an example.
  12. So, Obama vetoed Keystone, because he things rail is much cleaner safer way to transport oil. Teh stupid, it burns.
  13. So, will the Rubicon be crossed in the next decade or two? Wonder if anyone is laying odds.
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    The Great Canon (continued)

    So, some selected passages from tonight (Tuesday’s) canon. (tonight’s link is to Tuesday’s canon, and is the translation we used in our service tonight)

    (from the 3rd ode)

    In You, the Destroyer of death, have I found the Fountain of Life, and now from the heart cry out before my death: “I have sinned. Be merciful and save me!”

    I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned against You, but be merciful to me, though there is no one whose sins I have not surpassed.

    I have imitated those who in the days of Noah indulged themselves and like them I deserve to perish in a flood.

    (later, ode five)

    The midwives, though instructed by Pharaoh to kill the male infants of the Hebrews, obeyed their God instead. Now that you, my hopeless soul, have been spared death like Moses, like him also be nourished on the wisdom of the Lord.

    By killing the oppressive Egyptian, Moses severed his bond to Pharaoh. But you, O my hopeless soul, have not even begun to attack the wickedness of your mind. If you have not accomplished even this much, how can you expect to pass through the time of repentance, which alone can drive away our sinful passions?

    (ode seven)

    You have heard of Absalom and how he rebelled against his father David, and know how he defiled his father’s bed. So why do you still imitate his wild impulses and his love of pleasure?

    By following Satan your freedom has become enslaved to your body, O my soul, as when on Ahitophel’s advice, Absalom revolted against his father. But Christ has scattered the Enemy’s counsel that you might at all costs be saved.

    Solomon was mighty and full of wisdom yet did wrong before the Lord when he turned to idols. And you, my soul, resemble him in your evil life.

    Solomon was carried away by gratification of his lust. Alas, he who loved Wisdom now makes love to prostitutes and finds himself estranged from God. But in your every thought you have imitated him, O my soul, through your disgraceful love of luxury.

    Thwack.

    The parallelism I noticed to night is interesting. The text of Ode one from Monday night, is logically connected to the Ode one of the following night, not the next ode on the same night. Kinda of an inducement to pay attention, eh? An example of that? Here is the last stanza from Ode nine of Monday night,

    After He had fasted forty days in the wilderness, hunger revealed the Lord’s human nature. Therefore, O my soul, do not despair if the Enemy attacks you, for it is only through prayer an fasting that he shall be defeated.

    and here is the first of Ode nine of Tuesday:

    The Devil showed stones to Christ which He could turn into bread, then led Him to the top of a mountain to show Him at a glance all the kingdoms of this world. O my soul, fear the Devil’s craftiness: watch and pray to God at every hour!

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      Where in the World (was Mark Tonight?)

      At the Great Canon of St. Andrew. The Great Canon is, to put it mildly, a penitential 2×4 swung by a gorilla hitting you right between the eyes. An introduction can be found here.

      Here are the first few meditations from the first (of 9) “odes”:

      Where shall I begin to lament the deeds of my wretched life? What first-fruit shall I offer, O Christ, for my present lamentation? But in Thy compassion grant me release from my falls.

      Come, wretched soul, with your flesh, confess to the Creator of all. In future refrain from your former brutishness, and offer to God tears in repentance.

      Having rivaled the first-created Adam by my transgression, I realize that I am stripped naked of God and of the everlasting kingdom and bliss through my sins. (Genesis 3)

      Alas, wretched soul! Why are you like the first Eve? For you have wickedly looked and been bitterly wounded, and you have touched the tree and rashly tasted the forbidden food.

      The place of bodily Eve has been taken for me by the Eve of my mind in the shape of a passionate thought in the flesh, showing me sweet things, yet ever making me taste and swallow bitter things.

      Adam was rightly exiled from Eden for not keeping Thy one commandment, O Savior. But what shall I suffer who am always rejecting Thy living words?

      It’s not unrelenting. For example, from tonight as well, “Thou art the good Shepherd; seek me, Thy lamb, and neglect not me who have gone astray.”

       

      Most if not all slavic and OCA Orthodox churches will be doing the Canon every evening this week through Thursday night. If you have the time and ecumenical inclination and wish a spiritual penitential push, visit and worship with them. You will be welcomed.

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        Links: 2015-02-18

        Links?

        1. It is indeed winter. See? Nature can impress, eh?
        2. The are spreading … and it is a religious movement. And not extremists, alas. The President’s strategy of denying their religious origins/basis is, to put it kindly, “a well intentioned but dishonest campaign”. Hmm. Well intentioned and dishonest, sounds like our President’s modus operandi for many many things.
        3. Security and technology, or asking a high school kid to hack a car.
        4. Hmm. Who’s job was it to stop the Balrog? Somebody had to, apparently, put their foot down and say, “You shall not pass!”
        5. How post-modern scholarship gets it (being it = history) wrong.
        6. I wonder how unintentionally ironic that headline is, after all “insane and unbalanced” is a pretty good self-portrait of that particular site. Well, insane might be too strong, unbalanced however is constant as the stars.
        7. Nanotech in nature.
        8. Some verse.
        9. A book now in my inbox. Looks good.
        10. Heh.
        11. I hadn’t realized most outdoors hiking/camping/mountain climbing deaths are by the very experienced not the reverse. Makes sense though. Doesn’t really sound like anything anyone needs to do anything about though.
        12. Regulation. So, is that a generalization principle? That regulation needs to establish both (a) the need for said regulation and to (b) establish that proposed regulation is feasible at a sufficiently low cost. Low. Cost. !!!! Grrr.
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          Confusing Tactics

          So, the Grey Lady has decided enough water has passed under the bridge to have an article pointing out that … indeed there were WMD in Iraq. I guess they figure the “lied/died” meme is entrenched.

          I remain confused on two points. Why release this now? And, why did (apparently) the Bush admin hide information about the WMD during the last years of his Presidency?

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            Links: 2015-02-12

            So, what have other people been talking about, eh?

            1. Well, that’s true, … but actually just about everyone toward the top of the world-class game is effing hard core. The exception is the few who are not.
            2. Hmm. (if true) Don’t worry that’s matched by the liberal intellectual and political elites who underestimate it.
            3. There is a serious problem when people who give voice to the cry of “teh racism” don’t bother to deny the actual fact that there was cheating involved. Is your race supposed to give you license to cheat? Or what?
            4. Now that’s very cool. On the not-very-cool and not completely unrelated news, my Christmas present for my daughter (glow in the dark plant seeds which were (supposed to be) genetically modified with jellyfish DNA to glow) … haven’t arrived.
            5. Speaking of very cool. Bet you could shoot planes with that. Somewhere recently I read that many many inexpensive drones with explosives would make tanks and capital ships like the one carrying ordnance linked obsolete, forget both sides have drones. You’re going to have a bloody war (as it always) with defensive and offensive drones fighting. That is just another front. You’re still going to need ships to carry troops, ships to protect those ships, tanks to protect infantry, and as always … infantry. I don’t think that’s changed yet.
            6. Speaking of unrestrained power in motion. This is interesting to watch.
            7. What passes as liberal labor theology is just out of my site racism. Until the minimum productivity/wave fanatics stop talking about US wage laws and start pushing for global wage standards … it’s just racism of a different sort.
            8. A very strange architectural wonder. My sweet wife has a fascination for very small houses (I think there is a movement, but don’t recall the phrase). I think the about 100 sq foot houses require a warm climate where you can do much of your living outdoors. Which is nice. It just isn’t where the thermometer reads single digits for much of the year (if at all).
            9. So, Mr Obama opened a can of stupid and declared that the Crusades were a Christian war of aggression in which atrocities were committed. Here’s as close as an even handed look at that point of view as you’ll find. I mean, if “because it was war and all wars contain atrocities” and Christianity was involved (just as Islam is involved in ISIS, which he denies (keeping that can open)) therefore … uhm. Isn’t this supposed to be a “smart” President. Why such a simplistic shallow view of the Crusades? Hmm?
            10. University budget cuts and how it is pointed out how an argument of this hardship is not made correctly.
            11. If true … the President should be excoriated for many lifetimes.
            12. Who is paying for ISIS/ISIL? (who is playing their video?) Answer should be nobody. Why isn’t it nobody?
            13. An economic indicator of hard times ahead. So, optimists, ‘xplain why that’s not a problem.

             

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              Just Asking

              So. As the Roman Empire got too large and complex they went to a Eastern/Western Empire situation. If you take as given that the job in front of today’s US executive is too complex to be handled by one man, would instead of a geographical a similar separation of responsibilities might help allow someone with who could be more expert in the area and a smaller contingent of responsibilities make sense? For the following take it as a given (as in we won’t argue that point) the job needs to be broken up and concentrate instead on how to do so.

              This question it seems has two parts. The first is, wow to best break the job up. Foreign/domestic seems an obvious choice, but there may be other ways. Bertrand de Jouvenel suggested in his political philosophy that there were two types of leadership, one that drives forward toward a goal and one that can reconcile differences between people. Perhaps that would be another way to divide the two. Any other suggestions?

              The second part is, how to implement this? Could this be done by dogmatic precedent (like the two term limit which followed Washington’s example for so long)? Could a President announce at his inauguration that he was doing this, and his vice President was going to, say, handle 100% of foreign affair issues and he would 100% concentrate on the domestic affairs.  The titular President would promise to rubber stamp any decisions made by his VP as if he were signing them as long as there were in the foreign affairs sphere and vice versa. Would this fly? If not, why no? Or would a full Constitutional amendment process be required to effect this?

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                So. Vaccinations?

                Some ground rules should be established in these conversations. Everyone should agree:

                • Vaccines greatly decrease the chance of contracting the disease which they target.
                • If a significant proportion of the population is vaccinated, then epidemics are unlikely.
                • This “significant” number does not have to 100% to be effective. Flu shot vaccination rates hover around 50% for the last few years according to the CDC, and no epidemics have occurred.
                • Vaccines are not 100% risk free, although globally speaking the benefit outweighs the risk. This, of course, does not help either the person getting sick or having an allergic or auto-immune reaction.
                • All currently required childhood vaccines are for horrible illnesses. Measles for example “Most patients with uncomplicated measles will recover with rest and supportive treatment.” (from the wiki). Like chicken pox, in childhood in the 50’s and earlier .. almost all kids got the Measles. Oddly enough people survived.

                My question is, if you think measles vaccinations should be mandatory, why don’t you think flu shots should be mandatory?

                If you think free riders are a problem and deserve active censure, should childless middle age adults (or older) be similarly censured?

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                  Is Islam the “Problem” or Not?

                  Many of our intellectual elite keep (White House, others) keep repeating that Islam is “not the problem” behind the terrorism, violence and so on in the Middle East and elsewhere (France for example). What is not said in those pronouncements is, if Islam isn’t the problem, exactly then where does the problem lie? It seems likely that the statement Islam is not the problem is only half right. People who claim “Islam is the problem” (or not the problem) can be compared with people who claim “germs cause disease” (or that they don’t). Stating that Islam is or isn’t “the problem” isn’t useful. What are some more useful remarks or questions that might be raised instead? Such as, what does a more complete story/picture look like? What are useful ways of approaching this matter, not that the President and the left elite don’t have a useful way, they just are very very coy about what that way is, as “it’s not X” does not explain “it is Y”. Read the rest of this entry

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                    Color Me Confused

                    So, the left has gotten unhinged about Mr Christie offering that vaccinations for kids be voluntary. This isn’t an “anti-vaccination” position, as he hasn’t said not get them. If you need evidence that they have gotten unhinged, the proof is in the conflation, equating “anti-vaccine” with “optional”.

                    Look. I’m not getting the kerfuffle. Explain to me the difference between optional flu shots and optional measles shots (hint: “It’s about the children” or “‘cause they are minors” earns you a dunce cap and won’t be considered a response). So why are flu shots not required for everyone? Hmmm?

                    Or is this just the purely partisan stupid hacking like it looks like?

                     

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                      Links: 2015-01-17

                      So. Back to work tomorrow.

                      1. Carnegie-Mellon puts PV=nRT to the test.
                      2. No prejudice in the alteration of data.
                      3. Methane for vehicular fuel, exhibit a and exhibit b.
                      4. School hi-jinks.
                      5. Corruption in (a) government noted.
                      6. Someone on the right praises Ms Obama.
                      7. With the common practice of security free medical devices, do you think security will be a primary concern for its use.
                      8. Very cool. Wonder what it would be like to play with that on at the same time.
                      9. 200 million? That seems not very much, it’s likely they lost more than twice that from employees borrowing pencils and office supplies.
                      10. Unemployment and welfare.
                      11. Military aid for families takes an ironic turn.
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                        Links: 2015-01-22

                        Linky link.

                        1. Still seems like mental illness to me. The dysphoria <->BIID comparison seems to make that clear. It might be that the best available treatment is to live with it, but that doesn’t make it not a mental illness.
                        2. Not unrelated, Mark Daniels on addiction.
                        3. Toyz.
                        4. Nutt’n better to do I guess than pretend to know about that which you don’t.
                        5. “Digitally faked”. Now that’s just wrong (and embarrassing to own up to I’d think).
                        6. An animal with a backpack.
                        7. A use for old hard drives.
                        8. “Everywoman” … isn’t.
                        9. Extra-terrestrial taking a leak.

                        26 days to (Western) Lent. 31 Days for the Eastern Church (for which there are 10 days to the Triodion … this Sunday is Zacchaeus Sunday).

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                          Links: 2015-01-21

                          New Tablet … an attempt to see how android 5.01 works with WordPress for creating links posts.

                          1. Oh. It’s a race!
                          2. Color me unsurprised.
                          3. I am not unsympathetic to the notion that at some point in end of life, end is inevitable and pain and loss of dignity is the only thing left. However, I also think euthenasia should be illegal and a likely jail term in the offing. That isn’t to say, if push came to shove and the hard choice was mine to make, I think if you love your parent or spouse, isn’t that love great enough to go to jail for your beloved? *That* will prevent abuse. It is often the error that illegal=immoral (hint: it isn’t. And furthermore, when given the choice, moral wins, not legal).
                          4. I use LastPass. How ’bout y’all?
                          5. Fiction, Fact, stranger than … Raiders of the Lost Arc edition.

                          Well, that wasn’t impossible. I need to figure out how to create enumerated list in the android wordpress app.

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                            SSM Surrogates

                             

                             

                            This is one reason why SSM is not, objectively, marriage. As a rule*, marriage is a culturally and societally managed institution which, through natural processes, results in the next generation being produced. The protection and perpetuation of the next generation is something which society (whether tribal or governmental) has historically been deeply interested in. Rest assured that there is no natural way in which an SSM couple can contribute to producing the next generation. While virtually any relationship between two or more humans can be recognized and, therefore, named “marriage”, “marriage plus surrogate”, “grouping”, “shacking-up”, “brotherhood”, “sisterhood”, or whatever, only a relationship minimally limited to a male – female arrangement can in and of itself produce the next generation (I know, that last part is pretty obvious). As such, marriage between a man and a woman should be recognized as an institution which, as a rule and by design provides for the perpetuation of society; and not as, for example, an arrangement which provides one with governmental benefits.

                            * By “as a rule” I’m referring to an anomaly free, unencumbered, and properly functioning system. (thanks to Stand to Reason for pretty much everything I just said)

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                              Links: 2015-01-20

                              And nonsense.

                              1. Heh. A history lesson of sorts.
                              2. The sooner people figure out that human value is uncorrelated with salary, the better.
                              3. Conservative vs Liberal Supreme Courts (by a paint by numbers metric) measure with respect to freedom of religion.
                              4. Seems I grew up in a transition period. I think A grades are exceptional, but that as well, Failing means you were also exceptionally unexceptional.
                              5. Church and men.
                              6. Snipers and public perception.
                              7. Heh.
                              8. Security and Progressive. In a word, yikes.
                              9. If Picketty is right (capital trumps salary) then gosh, you’d think the President would be proposing policies that encourage investment in markets. Not the reverse, ah, our moron-in-chief.
                              10. Great muscular strength helps sometimes.
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