Friday, June 15, 2007

The Cowardice of the Democrats

I bash the GOP a great deal in my commentary, largely because I think they are wrong about almost everything and they fairweather friends to the law and to libertarian principles. It's important to remember though that the dems are not much better.

No one has summed it up better than this and I quote in the entirity because I agree completely.

I think Kos is onto something:

Many Democrats, especially its pathetic consultant class, still believe that the way Democrats show "strength" is by huffing and puffing and threatening to bomb the "f" out of Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, or whatever the latest boogeyman of the moment might be.In reality, Democrats are seen as weak because they are afraid to stand for those things they believe in. And if they won't fight for what they believe in, how can voters trust them to fight for anything that truly matters, whether it's national security or anything else?

The lesson of Reagan and to a lesser extent Thatcher - the pre-eminent conviction politicians of my lifetime - is that even those who deeply disagreed with them eventually respected their ability to stand for something unpopular and to lead. When I look at the Democrats today, I see no such conviction. That's a problem. No one is worse than Clinton, of course.

The Last Horoscope You'll ever need


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Best Comment Left in Someone Else's Blog

and the award goes to .... Andrew Sullivan for Obamagirl

Somewhere in America, Ron Paul Girl is finishing up her video, which centers around the gold standard.

Hortatory Subjunctive

An administration flunky named Lorita Doan tried to block investigations into the government's use of GOP emails, material and campaign recruiting materials to target democrats. Having failed at that, the congress changed hands and now she's on the business end of some sharp probing by the oversight committee.

Specifically she said, when refering to government employees following the law and complying with the oversight committee's requests for information:

Until extensive rehabilitation of their performance occurs, they will not be getting promoted and will not be getting bonuses or special awards or anything of that nature.

Now, on the defensive, she *testifies* that it was all a big misunderstanding about grammatical tense.

Watch here, it's priceless!

Even she shrugs at her defense, like "hey! it's the best I could do! It's not like I can cop to it, then I'd be guilty of violating the Hatch Act"

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Flight Patterns

A piece of dynamic, digital art.

more here

Evanescent Waves

I had read this quicky from Nick the other day, and was impressed by the work going on with evanescent waves. This seemed an unusual research topic to me because evanescent waves were always more of a mathematical construct resulting from the equation of motion and not something physical.

Then today in the NYT, they were re-visiting invisiblity. It hadnt occured to me that the negative index of refraction was due to the amplificiation of evanescent waves. A couple of minutes with Jackson* and a look at my EM notes and BOOM! It all fits into place.

The next 10 years in material science is going to be very cool.

* J. D. Jackson has a posse

Monday, June 11, 2007

Good Blog on Security/Privacy/Law

I clicked because I thought the name was cool, 27 B Stroke 6

Brazil is one of my all time favorite movies.

Words I Thought I Would Never Write

Nor, hopefully, will ever have to write again:

The best view of Paris Hilton ever.

If anyone wants me for the next few hours, I'll be in the shower.


Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"


This is almost fractal in it's ability to stun and terrify, each clause is independently scarey, summing to a grander, higher horror when read all together.

Just read that again, think about it and ... well... worry.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


And thus I sample the bitter dregs of the cup of atheism, likely not for the last time. We buried Susan this weekend, her parents, her friends and I. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, almost as bad a burying Papa in 1988. There are 4 other people; Geoff, Becky, Jim and my sister who would be even harder for me, but this was plenty difficult. And I had to get through it without the comfort of knowing I would ever see her again. Lots of folks, especially her parents, took comfort in the idea of being reunited in the afterlife, and I truly, deeply and sincerely hope they are right. But I couldn’t. I tried. I tried hard to think I might be wrong, that there might be something after, that somehow, some way, her mind was elsewhere, being computed by who knows what. That I would see her again, and everyone else that I ever have, or ever would lose. I wanted badly to believe I’d see her again, hear her voice, and tell her a joke.

It was no use. I just couldn’t. She’s gone, her neurons scrambled. The delicate connections, networks and processes that made her taken by chaos and entropy. She is done and lives only in the memories of her friends and family. Atheism is a tough road, harder in many ways than the comfort of the illusion of order, justice and dreams. It gives much in the way of freedom and truth, but provides few shields from tragedy, loss and sorrow. When I face death, it seems I must face it square on. With reason. With rationality. Without the comfort of self-deception.

I shall miss her greatly, but I do draw some tiny comfort from the idea that, were our positions reversed, she would likely be thinking the exact same thing.

Better to Have it and Not Need it, Than Need it and Not have It

File in the "just in case" drawer.

Presidential Apology letter #3. The Softsell

The White House
President Geofferey C.M. Horvath __ ____ ,203_

(Washington)-Office of the POTUS.

We all know my father is something of a rascal. During the campaign, his antics often proved an amusing, and occasionally welcome distraction from a tough election campaign fraught with the serious issues facing our great nation. Even my opponents in the Democratic and ReAnimist parties would occasionally get a good chuckle out of some his stunts. Who can forget the time he caused Teddy Roosevelt’s reanimated corpse to goosestep down to the Lincoln memorial where he danced a merry jig with Lenin and Ezra Pound all the while belting out show toons from “Kismet”? Or when he “debated” Pope John Paul II, Walt Disney’s head and Stephen Jay Gould about the existence of a soul on the Paris Hilton Show? We all learned a valuable lesson on the limits of reanimation that day. (and if there any Catholics left after John Paul’s II’s stunning revelations on the afterlife, again, I’m very, very sorry).

However, in an attempt to amuse, my father sometimes over reaches and, quite inadvertently, occasionally causes some grief and stress. While his intention was to amuse when he added helium to the moonbase gas mixture, even the engineers admit, they expected the gas to clear in a few hours. Technically, it’s still quite habitable and much scientific and social research still goes on there, its just not reported by anything with live audio. Also, the less said about his prank with the Zombie Muhammad, the better.

It is in this vein that I ask my fellow North Americans to have some patience with him at this moment in history. First contact with an alien species was bound to be extremely tricky in any event, and it is worth pointing out that they contacted him. While the Recticulan culture is extremely complex ,they had been studying us for quite some time, so it was, as my father said, “a fair assumption they knew it was a joke”. I love my father very much and remain supportive of him. While the fact that he is something of a scoundrel cannot be, at this point, argued, as his son it is my duty to stand behind him in this troubled time. I ask the nation now to bear with us, and be assured that we are making every effort to repair the small breach in our relations with the first members of the interstellar community. Vice President Freeman, Richard Feynman and my father are with the Recticulans now, along with a cadre of cultural and social experts, working through the situation. The Recticulans are an extremely advanced culture, used to encountering other species and rationality is a key to their psychology. We are explaining, clearly and cogently how a whoopee cushion works, it’s cultural significance and it amusement value for a species like ourselves which does not use a bladder in it’s reproductive cycle as the Recticulans do. No one could have anticipated that they have an equivalent translation for that sound, nor is it reasonable on their part to assume that my father has ever met the Ambassador’s mothers.

We look forward to a quick and satisfactory solution to this in the next few days. Peace be with us all and God(s) Bless America!

Geofferey C.M. Horvath
President of the United States of America

The Most Dangerous Job You Never Knew Existed