Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sorry...

Havn't been posting so much recently due to the fact that my wife just got out of the hospital. I am filling in as a temporary assistant to her every need. It's tiring but she does need the assistance and I do love her so it's well worth it.

Later...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Me

I was rather upset at the Supreme Court the other week. Their decision on eminent domain being allowed to be used for private development projects really scorched my touchas. Lets face it the idea of the Gov’t being allowed to take your property is traumatic enough. When you learn that someone else is going to redevelop it for private purposes it’s enough to make you insane.

Well shortly after that decision there was an amendment up in the house to prevent federal funds from being used on a project of the type described above. Well my congressman Frank Wolf voted against that amendment. I ripped him up a bit both in the blog and via e-mail.

I jumped the gun. Congressman Wolf voted for a different bill (not an amendment) that would ban type of funding this type of project indefinitely where the amendment was good only for a year. So I jumped the gun and shot my mouth off without knowing all the facts. That’s why I am an idiot.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

$cientology again

This article is dedicated to Kelly Preston for stupidly knocking psychiatry yet again.

Imagine… a long long time ago in a world (a much younger one) that is now our own. An evil space lord gathered the population of the galaxy and h-bombed the whole place. The ghost of these aliens hung around to infect the eventual inhabitants of this reborn world (you and me). These aliens cause the new inhabitants until late in the planet’s development when a man came up with a way to clear these effects.

Bad science fiction? Yes. Worse religion? Yes. Welcome to scientology. These are some of the core tenants of that religion. You won’t hear about this at your first meetings. They hook you on Dianetics, a book about good living through positive thinking (actually some of the worst self help crap ever put to paper). Once you are hooked they reel you in on relatively inexpensive sessions where they hook you up to an e-meter. The e-meter (basically a measurement of resistance) will guide the Sr. Scientologist on whether or not you are being honest.

Once you are honest about something horrible in your past that gets checked off. You keep going to these sessions and paying money for classes hoping for your final goal, being cleared. Then you become an Cleared, a major step on the way to becoming an Operating Thetan (OT).

They claim Dianetics is a science yet cannot produce one peer-reviewed study on it’s effectiveness. Come on, it’s been around for fifty years. If it is a science it should stand up under scrutiny. Instead their publications are all copyrighted (their privilege) and that copyright is jealously guarded with fierce determination and a battery of lawyers against all outside use.

Other religions publish their scriptures and writings for all to see hoping that those searching will read and accept. In many places these materials are free or for a nominal cost. Most religions cost nothing to join and donations are encouraged but not required. $cientiology on the other hand costs a bundle. The materials and classes you need to take to become an OT can run up to half a million dollars. http://www.xs4all.nl/~johanw/CoS/levels.html (note these are 1994 dollars).

All this ‘science’ and no reviews from any recognized scientific body. All this cost and where does it all go? No wonder so many actors go for this stuff, they are pretty much stupid with unbelievable amounts of disposable income. I feel sorry for the poor idiots who don’t have the mega-bux but are suckered into the scam machine of a science fiction hack.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Security...

Ok first of all just to be clear your chances of being hit by lightning are greater than being involved in any way in a terrorist attack. I place this disclaimer up front so people don't hyperventilate by the end.

We are not secure. We will never be totally secure. Each and every one of us will someday die, this is a fact so don't dwell on it. The London bombings last week brought this message home again. Now predictably people are screaming again that we are not secure.

To really prevent the possibility of such attacks about every other person in the US would need to be an armed guard. We would need a society so tightly monitored that Orwell would look libertarian. We as a society don't want this so we need to live with the risks inherent in an open society.

Unless we want internal passports and travel papers keeping track of us at all times we are free to move throughout the 48 states (minimal ID is required to get to Alaska and Hawaii) without a thought. Our enemies are also as free. To curtail their movements would require that we implement such a system. I don't want that and most likely you do not either. So we accept that risk and move on.

Unless we want to get serious about enforcing immigration statues across the Mexican border (and to a lesser extent Canadian) people that we do not want in this country will not get in. If we clamp down on the borders the liberals will scream racism and the republicans will be appalled at what it will do with our Mexican trade relations. So we accept that threat as well.

You see we live in state of trade offs. We need to decide as a society what we can live with where security conflicts with what we want. We need to be like the Britains who having been subjected to random bombings throughout my entire life (IRA bastards) accept that their way of life comes with risks and when an incident takes place they go on with their lives and do what they can to catch the morons who decided to blow people up.

So let us resolve to stop whining about being secure and simply decide what we want to live with in terms of security. Lets also resolve to stop using the fear of terrorism for political gain. Who's with me?

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Global Warming Religion

Despite the separation of Church and state here in the US, religion is being pushed down on us. Religion is a worldview taken on faith. This means that there is no proof. This does not mean there is no evidence.

I am Catholic and believe in what the Church teaches. I’ve looked into history and miracles and am convinced that the available evidence indicates that it is true and right. Is that evidence proof? No. Can the evidence be interpreted and dismissed by others? Yes.

Laurie David, wife of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David (a combination of Kramer and George Castaza) is an evangelist of that religion, Global Warming. Their premise that we are making the world too hot and we must do something to fix the mess we are in. The trouble with their whole premise is that they have no proof. They have models and some temperature readings (that conflict with other temperature readings) that supports their case.

The models are equivocal because the earth’s weather is hideously complex and we don’t understand much of it at all. If we did then we would have weather schedules and not forecasts. These models support their dire predictions. Anytime someone criticizes their religion they are called names (fool, corporate shill and exxonmobile hack are some of my favorites) and their criticisms are dismissed and never dealt with. (question why do they dismiss studies from exxon mobile ect. for bias off the bat, but the studies funded by their religious organizations they take at face value? I mean after all bias is bias).

Aside from poor apologetics their religion is marked with the absolute surety that they are correct and we must spend TRILLIONS of dollars to correct this situation. Trillions? Yes Trillions of tax dollars and increased prices to reflect their religious crusade against the devil (corporations and CO2).

For me, we may be in a long term warming trend and we may be in a short term one. The problem is nobody really knows. Temperatures are within historical levels (the dread arctic warming is slower but at the same level as the warming that ended in 1938). Antarctic temperatures are about the same as they have been.

Weather changes and since climate is aggregate weather we can expect that to change. I can say with absolute surity that in the next 10 years it will be warmer and cooler, rain will fall, there will be droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes and most likely an el-nino in there too. This is all that the climate scientists can say with certainty as well as they don’t know.

The worst cut of all is that presupposing that every thing they say about global warming being caused by us is true there is no proof that we can change it in the least.

So we are being asked to fund their religion with no proof of a problem and no clear-cut solution to the tune of trillions and trillions of dollars. Well they are not getting my money on that flimsy data. If they want to do it fine, let them fund it. They can have bingo nights just like everyone else.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Laying Carpet...

Putting Legato carpet tiles in the office today. Tons of work but not nearly as easy as they make it look on Trading Spaces.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Sasser Worm Creator's Sentence Suspended

Sasser Worm Creator's Sentence Suspended

Computer virus and worm writers are vermin. At best they can be likened to idiots who key cars or paint on walls. To them it's harmless fun, but someone has to pay to clean up their mess and it's never going to be them.

Nowadays it's even worse as real live criminals (people who steal vs mindless vandals) will use their base code to install malicious software that can lead to identity theft, cash loss and severe finantial liability for individuals.

Now I grew up playing around with arpanet in school, set up a dial up at work for internet access so I could play around in Usenet and with gophers in the pre web internet days. As such I tend to have a pragmatic approach to intellectual property but these maniacs cause mayhem and hardship whenever they operate. It's not just businesses either, it's people like you and me that have money stolen, computers screwed up just so these little lame idiots can get their jollies.

And the freaking Germans let this little moron off with a slap on the wrist. How does that deter the other idiots out there? The only thing that makes most virus writers not as bad as terrorists is that they don't actually kill people. The downstream results can be almost as bad though.

I think that programmers need to take a page from doctors these days. We need an oath... "First of all do no harm..."

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