Monday, November 28, 2005
The United States Power Squadrons at http://usps.org was always more flexible.
Finally, the USPS has decided to conform to more standard notation and have configured their servers so that any of the four variations will deliver you. The two above and the following two all work. And it only took a decade or so.
p.s. The Google spell checker supplied the following votes for the spelling of bupkis:
Whatever did we do in the bad old days to answer these vital questions?
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
They won't have to travel far from the Rive Gauche. Just hop the RER to the Northeast.
French Intellectuals to be Deployed in Afghanistan To Convince Taleban of Non-Existence of GodThe ground war in Afghanistan hotted up yesterday when the Allies revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French existentialist philosophers into the country to destroy the morale of Taleban zealots by proving the non-existence of God.
Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or 'Black Berets', will be parachuted into the combat zones to spread doubt, despondency and existential anomie among the enemy. Hardened by numerous intellectual battles fought during their long occupation of Paris's Left Bank, their first action will be to establish a number of pavement cafes at strategic points near the front lines. There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man's lonely isolation in the universe. They will be accompanied by a number of heartbreakingly beautiful girlfriends who will further spread dismay by sticking their tongues in the philosophers' ears every five minutes and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Dec. 3, 1627
It is by my order and for the good of the state that the bearer of this has done what he has done.
Or perhaps you prefer the original French:
« C'est par mon ordre et pour le bien de l'Etat que le porteur du présent a fait ce qu'il a fait.
« 3 décembre 1627.
« Richelieu. »
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Sunday, October 02, 2005
October 2, 2005Where is Laura Z. Hobson now we need her. Here is the NYT promoting a travel real estate deal restricted to Muslims -- located in a city that has banned non-Muslims since it was founded. I wonder what the Public Editor will have to say?
New Tower in Mecca Is Offering Shared Ownership for Muslims
By FAYE RAPOPORT
Le Meridien Towers in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is scheduled to open early in 2007 as the first shared-ownership property marketed exclusively to Muslim travelers. RCI, a leading vacation exchange company based in Parsippany, N.J., will support the property with services that include giving club members access to RCI's worldwide network of affiliated properties.
Perhaps the Times has gone libertarian on us and come to oppose the 1964 Civil Rights Act's public accommodation discrimination ban. Or maybe it thinks that creed discrimination by an international hotel chain is the same as creed discrimination in a church or church school. If so, it should tell us and say that Gentleman's Agreement, which also attacked creed discrimination in the lodging industry featured bad social policy ideas. We'd like to know.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.
Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.
By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv’ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.
Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.
--James Russell Lowell Poet & Abolitionist (1845)
Friday, September 09, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
It's possible that the white death rate was higher than the black death rate. We'll see. I expect the total deaths will be lower than many current guesses.
One thing we do know is that sex, age, income, race, ethnicity, and religion played a significant role in deaths on 9/11. Male, young, affluent, white, Irish & Italian, Catholics were disproportionately represented among the dead because of the demographics of both the financial services industry and the various fire and police departments.
I wonder why none of those communities complained?
Given the firms for whom many of those in the World Trade Center worked (as well as the large number of fire fighters and other rescue workers) the other demographic facts should not be that surprising. The victims were overwhelmingly male (about 75 percent), young (many under 40, most under 50), and white (about 75 percent). Only about eight percent were black, nine percent Hispanic, and about six percent Asian. About 75 percent were born in the United States; the rest came from many countries. Together New York and New Jersey accounted for about 87 percent.
We now know that the Upper East Side had the most losses (44), while Hoboken, NJ had the highest proportion of loss of any area, losing 39 residents, or about one per thousand. The number is probably even higher if parental addresses are taken into account. It is not surprising that many of the victims lived in very affluent parts of the metropolitan area, including the Upper East Side and Basking Ridge New Jersey.
"This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private, and is redeemable in lawful money at the United States Treasury, or at any Federal Reserve Bank."I don't think you can redeem these FRNs any more. But back when you could wander into your neighborhood Federal Reserve Bank and demand "lawful money of the United States", they would dig out some US Notes and hand them over:
"Will pay to the bearer on demand FIVE DOLLARS"
Saturday, September 03, 2005
It strikes me that the latest contretemps would be an ideal time to finish that second volume of Forty-One Years in India by Field Marshal Lord Roberts of Kandahar.
Why don't the denizens of New Orleans choose to deploy an entertainment device that requires no batteries and has some resistance to wetting?
Friday, September 02, 2005
The airlines have been asked to provide narrow-bodied planes, like Boeing 737 and Airbus A-320 models. The T.S.A. will screen passengers, as it normally does at airports, and it will create passenger lists for the airlines.But they won't have to present government-issued photo ID to fly.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
I recall a time when libertarians advocated that our rulers take as much time off as possible to reduce their effect on our lives. "No man's life, liberty, or property is safe as long as the legislature is in session." What happened?
This is just one example. We have Instapundit Glenn Reynolds advocating federal support for stem cell research.
We have numerous libertarians supporting state licensure of same-sex marriage instead of advocating an end to state licensure of opposite-sex marriage which I always assumed was the libertarian position.
Monday, August 22, 2005
But it occured to me that copyright registration problems are the least of some publisher's worries. I wonder if anyone with a bad temper has noticed this Project Gutenberg header:
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Koran, by Mohammed
Title: The Koran
Release Date: September, 2002 [EBook #3434]
Don't they know who the real author is?
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Or try 19th Century modernism and move into Dolmabahçe Palace:
WHITE founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea...
[Addition]One of my few readers suggested that Osama might prefer The Alhambra but I think it might have problems of defensive depth (although being in the range of French forces is not as dangerous as it once was):
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Don't you ever face difficult decisions that could go either way, irrespectively of your conservative principles?Not really. The purpose of having an ideology (or, say, a theology) instead of making everything up as one goes along is efficiency. Just as modern production techniques produce more goods for less labor than primitive pre-specialization and pre-trade economies, the adoption of an ideology saves the individual time and effort and allows one to have answers readily at hand even for questions one has never before encountered. The answers may not be perfect, but they'll be fast and "good enough" (if one's ideology or theology is good enough). There do continue to be problems "at the margins" but one is able to vastly reduce the amount of work one has to do.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Mandatory Harassment-Free-Workplace Training [What the bureaucrats probably meant.]
Mandatory Harassment -- Free Workplace Training [What some would prefer.]
Mandatory, Harassment-Free, Workplace Training [The ideal towards which mandatory workplace training should strive.]
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
The article is about multi-player, multi-day e-gaming tournaments conducted over LANs. The error occurs in this quoted exchange:
- If the office IT guys ever threw a rave, it would probably look something like this.
- "Warlord, where are you? Get out of there."
- "I'm almost out of health."
- "Dad, did you like the way I killed you?"
- "My health's, like, really gone."
- "Spray and prey, spray and prey. Beautiful."
- "Well, I'm dead."
Spray and pray = 12,900 hits
Spray and prey = 1,450 hits
I checked with the author and he admitted the mistake but it hasn't been changed yet.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
Religious conservatives and secular liberals should be able to agree on this much: teaching good morals is not a job for the Texas legislature or the Kentucky courts -- or any legislature or court.
But of course the legislature is teaching morals via the schools. Perhaps you can advise orthodox parents how to avoid the lessons the schools teach. I hope to see posts about eliminating all government operation of schools (substituting vouchers for all if necessary).
Your co-religionists on the Left are not so reticent about imposing their morality on the orthodox they do it all the time (occasionally with Child Protective Services).
As someone who is morally opposed to recycling, left-wing sociology, protecting endangered species, left-wing history, anti-gun propaganda and the whole panoply of commie garbage taught in the schools with my tax money, how am I suppose to protect my children except through political action. Note that the above list leaves out sex and drugs and rock-and-roll which also cause me some conflicts with state education.
The government has been trying to impose its morality on me for a long time. What am I supposed to do?
"Keep this with you at all times. Never sell it. It is to be used only to bribe border guards."
Thursday, June 23, 2005
If this question had been asked on April 30th 2003, we could have avoided any Iraq Syndrome:
War is a very difficult undertaking. Sometimes wars last a long time and casualties mount. I am going to ask you a question about the Iraq War, but I warn you that you will not be allowed to change your answer later and will be held to your view about the war in Iraq until it comes to an end.I wonder what the response would have been at that time?
With that in mind: All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think that the war in Iraq was worth fighting, or not?
In thinking about polls, it's important to remember that poll questions are pure creatures of man and that you can ask anything you want.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
The real reason he ran into trouble - using too broad a brush. If he'd just slandered Christians he might have got away ith it but "believers" includes Muslims and Jews. A Brooklyn no no.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Eugene Volokh writes:
"I assume for the purposes of the post that the ban on federal funding of therapeutic cloning research would handicap such research (as I think it's intended to), " ...And Glenn Reynolds wrote a few days ago:
If other countries compete with Korea while the U.S. is left behind, will enough Americans really hold the line on their abstract moral principles to sustain an American funding ban? So while America's religious sensibilities may cut in favor of restrictions on therapeutic cloning (or at least restrictions on federally funding it), America's sense of its place in the world will cut against such restrictions.
CHRIS NOLAN is calling Bush's stance on stem cells "UnAmerican." I'm not sure that applies, but I do think that it's wrong, and counterproductive.But George got CA, NJ, CT, & MA to pay for fetal stem cell research rather than US taxpayers in general. Couldn't that be labelled a brilliant strategy?
I can recall the good old days when most libertarians opposed "government science". What happened?
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
The IRS (and I) have finally updated the lists of Americans Renouncing Citizenship.
This quarterly exercise in list making -- which consists merely of the names of US citizens who have renounced their citizenship -- has been published in the Federal Register since the end of 1996. A total of 5483 names have appeared on the lists since that year and the numbers are up to just over 600 a year.
If you want a .csv file of all of the names, it can be had here.
As I've followed the lists, I've noticed that the largest group seems to be Koreans who want to return to Korea (now that it's rich) and want to be able to own land and corporations -- something that "foreigners" are restricted from doing.
In fact, even though the list was meant to be used to highlight and target "taxpatriates" -- native-born US citizens who renounce to save taxes -- most of the expatriates seem to be foreigners who have limited contacts with the US (other than citizenship) and don't want to be caught up in the US' unusual world-wide taxation regime.
I guess I've been blocking out of my mind the reality that there are camps out there that allegedly make gay kids "straight," and that parents send their kids to these places.Andrew Sullivan and TerranceDC have united to advocate (or hope for) violent attacks on medical facilities to kidnap children.
To my mind, this is child abuse. What we need are some really dedicated Act-Up types to find these places and liberate the kids.When abortion clinic shooters or bombers do it, the Left opposes such attacks. But when minors who may or may not by gay are involved, some have no problem "interfering with child custody".
Camp "Refuge" is in Memphis, TN. With any luck, maybe someone in or near Memphis will come across Zack's story and undertake a "rescue mission" to get him out of there.
I've been blocking out of my mind the reality that there are places out there like public schools, abortion clinics, hempfests, Million Mom Marches, plastic surgeons, rock concerts, the Democratic Party, UU churches, graduation trips to Aruba, Brown University, etc. and that parents send their kids to these places. But much as I'm tempted, I don't send private special forces squads in to break them out. I figure that I can't do anything about the poor parental choices of others.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Just one of those legal loopholes one picks up along the way.
From this morning's NYT email summary:
Harvard Will Spend $50 Million to Make Faculty More Diverse By ALAN FINDER
The money will be used to recruit, support and promote women and members of underrepresented minority groups.
And while they're at it, they can get rid of some over represented minority groups: Jews, atheists, commies, etc. Just kidding... BTW presumably Harvard believes that Womyn and Victims of Color are underrepresented at Harvard when compared with heir presence in the American population. But aren't leftists, feminists, atheists, and deconstructionists already over represented when compared with their presence in the American population?
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Monday, May 09, 2005
IN THE GRIP OF A "THEOCRACY"? Pace Glenn Reynolds, I don't think and have never said that we're in the grip of a "theocracy." We live in a constitutional democracy. Iranians live in a theocracy, and I am aware of the difference. But one element of our politics - one that happens to have a veto on Republican social policy - does hold that religion should dictate politics, and that opposition to a certain politics is tantamount to anti-religious bigotry.Course right-wing nuts didn't strike first. The Kulturkampf was started by the Left in the '50s (or before). Progressive Ed, Teen Cult, Pop Cult, MultiCult, Porn, Violence, Earth Worship, ReEducation, SelfCriticism, TeachersUnionEd, etc.
If philosophy can dictate politics, isn't theology just another part of philosophy? What's the diff? If someone can use Das Kapital or Jacques Derrida to decide on appropriate social policies, how can he complain when someone uses other books?
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
It's a bearer instrument.
Access to my office is controlled by RFID readers. All doors including the rarely used fire escape entrances unlock when touched by an appropriate RFID card. Various interior doors are also controlled in this fashion.
The RFID readers are flat panels with an LED mounted 42" off the floor to accommodate the dwarves that work (or may work) in the building.
At 6' 4", my "rear" pants pocket is about 42" high. I carry an RFID card in a leather ID case in that pocket. To enter the building, I present my rear and the door unlocks. The RFID card never leaves its leather case or my pocket.
The card will open the doors for anyone who presents it. That makes it a bearer instrument in this application.
In practice of course, most photo IDs are bearer instruments since most ID checkers are not very dedicated document examiners.
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
"'Chances are that most of the time the software will catch not a money launderer, who is always wary, but a regular person,' said one bank official who did not want to be named. 'If you got a fat birthday gift from your brother who works in the Middle East, would you like to get calls from the bank or the government asking for an explanation? In theory, that can happen.'"I always give my creditors and debtors (banks) my voice mail number and then I don't listen to the messages. If they want to contact me, they can write (and I can throw that stuff away if I feel like it).
With net-based account management, phone and mail are obsolete.
If the government writes, I just mail it to my lawyer.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Monday, April 18, 2005
So Philip Johnson has died at 98. My wife and I will finally be able to visit The Glass House. We've been waiting.
But that's not what this is about.
I'm reviewing a PJ building list and what do I see: Rehovoth Nuclear Plant
Rehovoth; 1960-1961. The link is just to a page which has no further information on the building other than that it is in Israel and in the "Plastic Style". No pictures. Nothing.
So I wander around the nets and find that it is likely this building, a "particle accelerator" at the Weizmann Institute of Science. This page has more pictures and info. And here is the relevant page on the Weizmann website.
The accelerator laboratory at the Weizmann Institute has been initiated in 1957 using a HVE 3MV Van-De-Graaff accelerator which is still active and running continuously. In 1963 the Heinemann Accelerator - a 6MV EN Tandem from HVE, was constructed and operated till the late 80's. The Heinemann Accelerator is now converted to Free Electron Laser facility. The Koffler Accelerator - 14 UD Pelletr on by NEC- started operating in 1976 and since then it is the major facility of the lab. The laboratory is a unit in the Department of Physics Services headed by Prof. Michael Hass. It is providing ion-beam services to several scientific departments of the Weizmann Institute, to other research institutes in the country and collaborates with scientists from other countries.There is a tendency in the modern era to disguise nuclear reactors by referring to them as other things "Japan's largest power plant of its type" in the Sunday Morning GE TV commercial or "particle accelerator" as here. But where do the particles come from? I assume there's a small reactor inside.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Law student Eric Berndt, upset with Justice Scalia's oral argument questions and dissenting opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, asked the Justice: "Do you sodomize your wife?"This technique will only work as long as the few surviving members of an older generation are around to be verbally abused.
Neo-traditionalists, right-wing radio fans, and libertarians will be able to flip questions like that easily and give as good as they've got. Lefties should spend a bit more time practicing argumentation rather than insult because insults will be wasted against most of their modern opposition.
"No, I'm not a sodomite because my faith calls it a sin so I choose not to indulge" would be a good Neo-Trad answer and one that is non-falsifiable by Mods.
Other answers suggest themselves:
"I don't know, you'll have to ask her."
"How dare you! (Wap) My Second is Clarence Thomas. If you are a man, (somehing I have cause to doubt) have your Seconds contact him immediately."
"Since your domestic relations philosophy advocates the elimination of concepts such as 'wife', 'husband', 'mother', and 'father'; you are logically estopped from asking any questions that use those terms."
"Are you using the legal or the popular definition of sodomy in your question?"
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
So no voice plan meant no telephone taxes and New York had removed sales taxes from monthly ISP service fees way back in the CompuServe era. (That was a funny experience. In the '80s ISP connections were tax free in New York, then they started charging sales taxes as soon as the state noticed ISPs existed, then they decided to remove the taxes because the ISPs pointed out that customers could just sign up out of state.)
Anyway, my bill was $79.99 + a 5 cent fee from Verizon for a total of $80.04. (I have to ask Verizon what the nickel is for.)
I hope it's a while before NYS finds out I'm making VOIP phone calls with my service.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans will need passports to re-enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, Panama and Bermuda by 2008, part of a tightening of U.S. border controls in an era of terrorist threat, three administration officials said Tuesday.Not precisely correct since if you are a US citizen they have to take you with or without a passport. When traveling from overseas, the carriers won' t you board without a passport (because of fear of having to ship you back for free if not admitted) but since you can walk or drive from Canada, there's no one to stop you before you hit the border and the border guards can only slow you up not bar you forever.