Bookmark me or the Baron will pull my heart plug thingy.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Colbert and the Atheist

So I go back to Althouse- man I wish I could quit her, and read this-

Amba on religion and "The Colbert Report":
Colbert is something far more subtle than a fundamentalist, but on some level he means what he's saying, and is making fun of himself for meaning it by impersonating a fundamentalist's absurdly over-the-top way of saying it. No wonder Harris is baffled: it's impossible to tell where Colbert is really coming from. If you assumed he was mocking religion itself and therefore agreed with you, you'd fall into a trap.
Harris is atheist Sam Harris, and you can watch Colbert's interview with him here. Enjoy all the perplexing subtleties!

WOW! Watch the vid it is great... Colbert is some kind of genius. I can see a generation of wickedly smart comedians coming after him. You'll never know when they mean it or they don't- you'll ride the cognitive dissonance like a surfer- you'll enjoy the joke and not need the punch line. Watching him I sometimes turn away the way a baby does when it has too much input and is overwhelmed by confusion.

Man that guy is good.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Eric Schie has a good post about numbers, part of his seminal slide rule series, over at the always excellent Classical Values. He missed the day when numbers were real, when everybody pretty much agreed on a single number.

How many homosexuals are there in the United States? Gay activists claim as high as 10%, while their opponents claim as low as 1%. (Typical numbers debate here.)

But my point is not to argue the merits of Global Warming, immigration, homosexuality, or unemployment. What bothers me is the disappearance of real, unbiased statistics in favor of shrill, ever-more-partisan ones.

Statistics, in my view, are rapidly becoming opinions.

I miss the good old days when they were facts.

It made me think about why I no longer trust the experts...

I think statistics were once believed because the elite were believed to believe in honest, integrity, and ethics, beyond all else. IF that were true then they would report numbers, right or wrong, honestly, at the very least. So you could say they are true so far as the best experts can figure out, which is to say they are true since nobody can legitimately argue otherwise.

Once those values became secondary to social justice, once that end justified any means, the academic elite, that was once the pool that made up experts, became nothing more than a recruiting ground for fighting ideologies. It was inevitable then that expertise in a subject would become secondary to the ability to bullshit.

So the quality of academia has consistenly spiraled downward, despite the fact that the pool of talent, those who go to college, has spiraled upward, for the last 50 years.

But where this phenomenon REALLY is obvious, and detrimintal to society, is the media. Thank God for the internet. Or Al Gore, depending on who you believe.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Donny Hathaway-

How in the hell have I never heard of this guy!??!!?


Wow... is it possible that this guy will stand alongside Boz Scaggs, Al Green, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Elton John - on the top rung?

Or even a step below alongside Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Billy Joel, and so on?

Maybe a bit lower, with Sting... We'll see, but it is very exciting to have found a new great singer with an entire library to discover and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Self PWN3D at the Althouse...

Wow... here's my latest comment to the Althouse:


You're right that I misunderstood. You think the flyer's mention of free speech had nothing to do with the right to freedom of expression.

I think it did. So really I was objecting to something completely different than what you were talking about... Nice job of making an ass of myself. Well, not the first, nor I'm sure, the last time.


Argh... I really did misread her. I think SHE misread the flier, but that doesn't change the fact that I misread her... Wow how embarrassing...

AHAHAHAHA... such self pwn3ge is rare... Where the hell were you WILL? HORNY G???

You guys are my 2 regular readers. Why didn't you save me from myself???

Monday, April 17, 2006

More Althouse UPDATED

I guess it is a dialogue now...

She said:

Harkennodog: I have said many times that I don't think we ought to give in to threats of violence. My point has always been, here, and in other posts, about behaving decently with respect to people in a general way, across the board. That was the basis of my hypos, in response to your assertion that we need to go to the limit of free speech. Clearly we don't and we shouldn't.

And I said:


"in response to your assertion that we need to go to the limit of free speech. Clearly we don't and we shouldn't."
I guess that's where we disagree. I think free expression is under attack, and (I guess) you don't.

Comedy Central says they won't show a cartoon of Mohammed because they are afraid Muslim will kill people. Borders admits they won't carry a magazine for the same reason. The NYTimes did not admit that was why they didn't show the cartoons, but that was the obvious reason considering they showed Piss-Christ. The cartoons were published in the first place because Danes were self-censoring out of fear.

Given all that, given that so many are already not showing the cartoons specifically because they fear they'll be killed, I don't understand your position. Do you really think there is no danger to free expression right now?

Besides, since when is showing a cartoon of Mohammed "indecent behavior?" Are you really prepeared to allow certain Muslisms to define decent behavior THAT narrowly? Do you understand the implications of that choice? I mean certain Muslims find you showing your face indecent.

I then posted:

I guess what bothers me most is the "clearly" part of "clearly we don't and we shouldn't." Is it really so obvious that there's no threat? Is it so obvious that this is just a matter of manners? I just think that's crazy. Maybe I'm misreading.

Somebody throw me a friggin' bone here.

Oh, scroll down two posts for the 1st few parts of this dialogue.

Okay, so I was completely wrong, see the SELF PWN3D at Althouse post above... But before I figured THAT out I responded to her new comment:

Harkennodog: I agree that free speech is under attack, but I don't agree that the response to that attack is to be openly offensive to large groups of people who are not themselves doing the threatening. It's crude, rude, and ineffective.

With this:


You say this Muslim group is not threatening, but they are. In the end, they are promoting coercion to curtail free speech. That's what-

"While Islam promotes free speech, it is important to recognize that anything that is discriminatory does not qualify under this heading."

actually means. They aren't saying they are going to be terrorists, they are saying the government should change, and actively seek to take away, rather than guarantee our right to free expression. They aren't saying they'll blow you up for showing a picture of Mohammed, they're saying the government should lock you up. Their goal is the same as the terrorists- coercion in order to silence.

Contrast this with a group that complains that Piss-Christ is rude, and wrong, but DOES NOT SAY THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD END FREE SPEECH to make sure Piss-Christ is not shown. There is no threat of coercion, either through legal or illegal means.

Which I think is true. But I didn't post it to her comments section because I finally fuggin' figured out that my entire string of comments was based on a false premise. Wow... I still disagree with her about the best way to confront Islamists, and I still got some good out of the "dialogue," but how fucking embarrassing!

AHAHAHAHA... such self pwn3ge is rare... Where the hell were you WILL? HORNY G???

You guys are my 2 regular readers. Why didn't you save me from myself???

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to stay /paper

which was just stupid of me... I should have known. It is a simple memorization thing, and

whomever / whoever
him / he

the rule for which is:
35. She complains to __________ will listen.
a. whoever
b. whomever
c. Either a or b
d. Neither a nor b
The correct answer is whomever.
Points: a=0, b=1, c=0, d=0
who - pron. which person - used subjectively
whom - pron. the objective case of who
Whom is always used when it is the object of a preposition. Who is used as a suject and when a pronoun such as I or he could replace who. Here is an easy little trick to differentiate between who and whom: Replace the questionable word with he or him. If you would replace it with he, use who. If you would replace it with him, use whom.
She complains to ___. You would fill in the blank with him, but you couldn't use he, so the use whom.
___ complains to him. You will fill in this blank with he, not him, so use who.
Who complains to whom? She complains to him. Very simply put:
Who = He
Whom = Him
Usage Note on the following webpage: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=who

Friday, April 14, 2006

UPDATED again. Does the Althouse not understand rights?

Here is her scary post... Commentors object, and her replies to them are even scarier:

I think it's something that they express concern about free speech. But they aren't sold on the strong model of free speech that we love, because they have religious values and are worried that people need to be compelled, lest they speak irresponsibly. I would recommend reaching out to these students and not getting in their face about it. There is an opening here. There is some common ground. We need to prove to moderate Muslims that free speech is good. You don't have to get harsh because they won't accept the strong version of free speech. Accept the common ground and work on making connections. If you say it's all or nothing, and unless you accept mockery, you're as bad as the violent extremists, you are missing an important opportunity.

Here is my reply to her:

"Accept the common ground and work on making connections." Any compromise = giving up the right to free speech. I think your way validates the belief that free speech is not an inherent right, not something we are born with that government only seeks to guarantee, but a privelege government grants.

That is exactly wrong. And if anyone thinks that way they should be told they are wrong, and it should be made very clear to them that nobody, and no group, INCLUDING THE US GOVERNMENT, has the right to infringe upon our God given rights.

Let's be clear here- if the US Supreme Court says it is illegal for me to draw a cartoon of Mohammed that does not mean I don't have the right to draw a cartoon of Mohammed. It only means the US Supreme Court is trying to infringe upon my inherent rights, just as any other group which says I cannot draw or show a cartoon of Mohammed is doing.

Honestly, I find it kind of scary that a law professor doesn't hold to this view, which I thought was commonly believed.

Stock up on guns and ammo, boys and girls. The elite of this country, whether it is a smart law professor like Althouse or a war hero Senator like McCain, think free speech is something to be defined and granted by the government, we are in big effing trouble.

It looks like the last paragraph above was wrong about the Althouse. She replied with this:

Harkennodog: You are not reading my comments with understanding. Calm down and try to read what I'm actually saying, not what you're afraid I'm saying. As a response to me, nothing you're writing makes sense!

I'm not talking about rights. I'm talking about getting along with other people and influencing them so that they will share or at least respect your values, including free expression. A lot of people undervalue freedom because they think people will do bad things with their freedom. So it would be a good idea for us to exercise our freedom taking account of the interests of others to show that that isn't true.

Which means she values free expression (she thinks that is a better way to say it than saying "free speech" and I guess I agree) but thinks... well, here's my reply to her reply:

Ann, I understand you and disagree with you.

1st, "I'm talking about getting along with other people and influencing them so that they will share or at least respect your values..."
The best way to influence someone seeking to limit free expression, this grouop included, is NOT by seeking common ground or rapport. It is by telling them too bad if you don't like it. If you want a fight you'll lose, so get over it.

"A lot of people undervalue freedom because they think people will do bad things with their freedom."
I agree with you about why some people undervalue freedom, and in fact those people are entirely correct. Americans WILL use their freedom to lampoon Mohammed, which some consider a bad thing. Why pretend otherwise? Why try to assure people that freedom of expression is okay because nobody will offend Muslims? People will. People are.

"So it would be a good idea for us to exercise our freedom taking account of the interests of others to show that that isn't true."
It IS true, though. And in fact, what you are saying is that we should practice limiting our own free expression, in order to trick a group of people into supporting free expression so that we will someday be able to practice free expression because those people will support it because after a while they will value it.

You're saying we should not practice free expression so those who don't want us to practice it will say it is okay for us to practice it, someday.

That won't work. In fact it will resort to those people further limiting free expression.

It is very strange. This all seems so clear and obvious to me. Yet the Althouse- older, wiser, and probably twice as smart as I am, doesn't get it.

And now, desperate. Here is her latest response:

So, Harkennodog, do you recommend walking up to random strangers and shouting obscenities at them? Do you recommend bluntly telling children that they are ugly? Why not laugh at anyone old and say "You're going to die soon"? If you hold back, you're selling out free speech!

Wow... I think it comes down to a kind of compulsion to appease. And an equally powerful desire not to be aware of the compulsion. How else can such a smart lady be so dumb about something?

Anyway, my answer was:
I think you're forgetting the context of these cartoons. They were commissioned specifically to combat the culture of fear in Denmark. People were scared, not of the government, but of individual Muslim citizens.
Given that this fear is real and reasonable, showing the cartoons is not at all comparable to walking up to random strangers and screaming insults at them.
Cheers! (Still a huge fan btw)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Benjamin Franklin = Player

To a Young Man

On How to Choose a Mistress

By Benjamin Franklin

(this is an excerpt)

But if you will not take this counsel and persist in thinking a Commerce with the Sex inevitable, then I repeat my former Advice, that in all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox and demand my reasons.

They are these:

(1) Because they have more knowledge of the world, and their minds are better stored with observations, their conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreeable.

(2) Because when Women cease to be handsome they study to be good. To maintain their influence over men they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a thousand services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue aimiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an Old Woman who is not a good woman.

(3) Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produced may be attended with much inconvenience.

(4) Because through more Experience they are more Prudent and Discrete in conducting an Intrigue to prevent suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And, with regard to theirs, if the affair should happen to be known, considerable people might be rather inclined to excuse an old woman who would kindly take care of a young man, form his manners by her good counsel and prevent his ruining his health and fortune among mercenary prostitutes.

(5) Because every animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest part. The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower parts continuing to the last as plump as ever; so that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Circle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old one from a young one. And as in the Dark all Cats are grey, the pleasures of corporal enjoyment with an old woman is at least equal and frequently superior; every Knack being by Practise capable of Improvement.

(6) Because the Sin is less. The debauching of a Virgin may be her ruin, and make her for life unhappy.

(7) Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young girl miserable may give you frequent bitter reflictions; none of which can attend the making of an Old Woman happy.

(8) and lastly - they are so grateful.

Thus much of my paradox. But, still I advise you to marry directly, being sincerely

Your affectionate friend,

Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My friend in Saudi Arabia called-

Him: There's a difference between a fairy tale and a war story.

Me: What?

Him: A fairy tale starts with once upon a time and war story starts with 'You won't believe this shit.'

Him: The food here sucks. The beef tastes like shit. If you're not eating beef you're eating fucking camel.

Me: What's camel taste like?

Him: Tastes like shit. Everything has curry in it. These fucking people and their curry.

These guys make pastry like you wouldn't belive. Oh they don't fuck around when it comes to pastry man. There's nobody in the world makes pastries like these motherfuckers. You have a fuckin' pastry and you just about go into a coma. But they eat the shit out of that. These fucking guys are serious about their pastries.

Pastries and coffee. They make super strong coffee. You know like a doll's cup that your daughter would play with? That's the size of their coffee. And believe me that's enough. Two of htose and your good to go.

It's amazing too because Saudis are the laziest fuckers in the world. I mean 70% of the workforce is foreigners. These are not people who like to work.

Don't even let me get into how these people drive. You think Thailand is bad? Most of the stoplights don't work, like they're made in the 30's. But you know when the light changes 'cause the SECOND it changes everyone starts honking. I mean these people are in a huge fucking hurry to get nowhere.

You'd have to be doing Mach 30 for a cop to pull you over here. I've never seen a cop pull anybody over in the last year.

It's not all bad. There are some interesting, neat things here. Typical crime is non-existent. If you leave your wallet in a supermarket, in a store, anywhere else in the world it is gone before you get out the door. Here you can go back and get it the next day. They cut your hand off if you're stealing. It's effective.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Shaving part the 3rd...

Put in the new Feather blade today... NO PROBLEM! HAHAHAHA!

I didn't have a repeat of the blood bath, for two possible reasons.

1) No pre-shave oil.
I stopped using the KOS pre-shave oil... Oil sucks for cutting, which makes it good for protecting your face from being cut but bad because you need more pressure to cut oil-covered hair. With these incredibly sharp feather blades the tiniest bit of pressure will lead to bloooooood.

2) Beard reduction.
I practiced beard reduction. Rather than trying to scrape my face clean with 1 or 2 aggressive passes I let the blade cut hair only by avoiding ever touching the blade to my skin. I did 4 passes, with ZERO irritation because I was not scraping my skin, but cutting my beard. This actually takes LESS time because you can go much faster because there is less danger.

Either way the answer was less pressure. I got a close shave, though not as close as the shaves that left me raw and bleeding, but also a very consistent, even shave. Ideally I would have baby but smooth skin after a shave, and also have zero irrititation. The way to do this, I think, is to have the shave I had today, and the do some gradually more aggressive against the grain passes.

I simply don't have the skin-stretching skills, the light-touch skills, or the grain-mapping skills necessary to pull it off. I'll get there. Really enjoyed today's shave!

Mohammed turned the other cheek many times.

You don't hear much about it, but according to this wonderful post of the day it is true.

That's a great read. And don't tell me it is taquiya, okay? Even if it IS, a man tends to believe his own lies, eventually, and not all Muslims would KNOW it is taquiya, and would find the ideas presented attractive and go with them.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Incredible post of the day-

dealing with anti-Semitism is here, Eurabia, and everything almost, is here.

It is a friggin' novel... go to the page and eat it as you would a whale, one at a time.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Evil or Funny?


The second "reality" check was when this group of Warcraft players otherwise known as a guild interrupted a memorial service. Apparently, some dude dies in real life who is a popular WoW player. The people in the game think it would be nice to have a memorial for the player so they log into his account, take the character to a lake, and set it up for everyone to come pay their respects.

A bunch of dudes decide this would be a great time to ambush everyone so they run over a hill, kill the dead guy's character, and then wipe out everyone who was there to show their respects. They filmed the whole thing and put it on the net for everyone to see.

Follow the link to watch the movie... LOL... Condolences to the guy's family and friends.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

best commercial ever