Buttle's World

30 December, 2012

Quite a Year

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 12:18

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. It cracks me up that such a big deal was made when I’ve only made one post this year. Wait – now it’s two posts! The funniest part is seeing what my top article was.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

14 June, 2012

Brett Kimberlin is a liar, a felon, and a terrorist

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 21:40

And I don’t want him to steal the name Velvet Revolution.

Yes, I know this blog has lain fallow for a long time. It’s worth using it to fire this shot in the Google War. If you have a blog (or twitter, or Facebook) account, please consider doing likewise.

21 October, 2011

Occupy Wall Street!

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 9:45

I hope Jonah Goldberg doesn’t mind that I’m, uh, “quoting generously” from today’s G-file. This is just too funny, and I wanted it on a web page I could link to.

As I mentioned in the Corner, I love this story about the fraying tensions among the Occupy Wall Street crowd.

Aside from the general schadenfreudtasticness of it all, I found this bit to contain some fascinating contradictions. Apparently some of the “facilitators” — you might call them the avant-garde of the avant-garde of the avant-garde of the lumpenproletariat — have started censoring and taxing the drummers.

To Shane Engelerdt, a 19-year-old from Jersey City and self-described former “head drummer,” this amounted to a Jacobinic betrayal. “They are becoming the government we’re trying to protest,” he said. “They didn’t even give the drummers a say. . . . Drumming is the heartbeat of this movement. Look around: This is dead, you need a pulse to keep something alive.”

The drummers claim that the finance working group even levied a percussion tax of sorts, taking up to half of the $150-300 a day that the drum circle was receiving in tips. “Now they have over $500,000 from all sorts of places,” said Engelerdt. “We’re like, what’s going on here? They’re like the banks we’re protesting.”

Wait a second. The leadership of OWS is imposing a 50 percent tax rate on the most successful and entrepreneurial protesters and they’re regulating their ability to satisfy the consumer (as it were)?

This Engelerdt guy’s grasp of political theory is a bit off, though. First he says that the organizers are becoming the sort of government they’re protesting. Except that has it exactly wrong. They’re becoming the sort of government they’re demanding!

He then goes on to say that the decision to confiscate so much of the drummers’ obscene profits makes the organizers like the banks. But the banks don’t tax anybody — that’s government’s job. In fact, if these guys had their way, the drummers should be taxed at a much higher rate, right? Why should the drummers make so much more than the guy running the seminar on how to make hemp-twine condoms or the lady teaching folks how to recycle everything from urine to toilet paper?

For my original content contribution, I’ll add something I tweeted the other day.

I can, in under 140 characters, sum up everything the Tea Party wants and is about. Is there anybody from the Occupy Wall Street crowd who can articulate what they believe and want at all? (NB: That’s a link to some Howard Stern, so expect language.)

11 September, 2011

“Lucky” Penney

Want to know what “the right stuff” is? Read the story of “Lucky” Penney.

Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.

Except her own plane. So that was the plan.

Hats off to you, ma’am. And to your commander.

30 August, 2011

Atheists Need a Holiday

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 16:37

Steve Martin has the hymnal covered. Or at least started. But I’m thinking we need a holiday. Now, I’m perfectly aware of the etymology of holiday. The word now also means a day exempt from work, and a period of relaxation.

The other night I went to see Penn Jillette at a book store in Marin where he was pimping his new book, God, No!. He was, as usual, funny, charming, and profane. It was the first time we had seen each other in person in something over ten years. When he recognized me I pointed out that, the last time we spoke face to face, I was heavier and still a Mormon.

Anyway, after the long line of autograph-seekers dissipated the people at the store gave Penn a nicely-wrapped gift. Smiling like a big, goofy kid, Penn asked, “Ooh! Can I open it now?” I was about to make a crack about waiting for Christmas when it hit me. “Penn, atheists need a holiday!” We ended up chatting for a minute about Christmas. I like it. (I”ve called myself “The Merry Christmas Atheist”). So does Penn. His wife, not so much. I mean, there’s a lot to like about Christmas, but it has baggage.

In his book there’s a touching chapter about why New Years is the Jillette family “special night”, complete with a simply lovely new family tradition. I wouldn’t want to hijack that because it’s so personal. But I still want a holiday. And if an FBI stool pigeon in jail can invent a holiday out of whole cloth then, dammit, so can I. But mine won’t be restricted to members of a certain race, ethnicity, nationality or religion.

Operating on the shoot from the hip idea that most atheists are humanists, I propose that the new holiday be called Human Day. What could be a better cause for celebration? Family, history, love, and kindness are uniquely human traits. (Basic levels of meta-cognition required for entry.) We are the only species that cooks, writes music, and builds space ships. We came up with the best idea in the history of ideas: Science. Right there you’ve got enough to celebrate. But we’re also the only ones who can think and organize ourselves in ways to help each other, and create art for the sake of creating it. We’re a damn fine animal.

I’m not married to the name, though. If you’ve got a better one, sing out.

When should the holiday be? I say December 25th. “Wait!”, I hear certain Christians shout. “That’s our holiday!” You do know, don’t you, that it was the pagan Roman holiday of Saturnalia (plus a mish-mash of winter lights festivals) before it was Christmas. Some have said that “atheist is the new gay” because so many are “coming out of the closet” in the face of persecution by much of society. In America many (but, as Penn points out, certainly not all) religious types think that atheists must be immoral, unhappy, or (if the person really flunked theology) satanic. Don’t think atheists are persecuted in America? Ask yourself what the odds are of one being elected president. The early Christians were also a persecuted group in ancient Rome so, to run under the radar, they moved their holiday to line up with the Roman festivities. Nobody questioned the parties that way.

The proximity to the winter solstice makes it a nice time, at least in our hemisphere, to decorate. Adorning the house with lights, putting an evergreen tree in the living room, having friends and family over for a nice meal, exchanging presents, singing songs (as soon as Steve writes us some more) – what’s not to like? “Happy Human Day!”, you greet your neighbor. It means “I’m happy that you are alive, that I am alive, and that we have a chance to be happy.” And you don’t have to worry about accidentally offending anybody because everybody you talk to just happens to be human!

Peace on earth, good will toward men, is a fine idea and not unique to just one religion. I know that the quotidian reality is war. Starvation has been the rule through most of history. But I agree with Penn that most people are good. Let’s celebrate that at least one day of the year.

Besides – having Sundays free is nice, but how about a day off work?

18 August, 2011

Gaaaaah!

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 13:56

It is so frustrating trying to find a presidential candidate with even a little basic knowledge of the constitution! Rick Perry is solid on the Second Amendment, which is as good a single metric as you’ll find. He’d probably help shrink government, and he wouldn’t blame corporate jet owners for the country’s problems. Pretty obviously he’d be a better chief executive than President Downgrade. An admittedly low bar.

But then he goes and says something mind-numbingly stupid like this.

If he expects me to cheer on a guy this clueless he’s, well, clueless. If the Republicans find someone at least as good as a syphilitic camel I’ll vote against Obama. But, damn, it would be nice for once to have someone to vote for.

A word to creationists, especially young-earth creationists. You are wrong. Period. And you should not expect the government to fund the preaching of your religion, especially in school.

14 August, 2011

Don’t Get Cocky

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 20:50

People believe lots of crazy things. That doesn’t mean the people are crazy, or stupid, just human. It’s awfully tempting, though, to see the other guy’s crazy beliefs as a sign of some sort of mental or moral deficit. What with Rick Perry jumping into the race for president, it’s a good time to go over this.

Let’s take young-earth creationism, for example. It has several features we can identify:

  • Somebody made it up out of thin air
  • It has no plausible mechanism of action
  • Belief in it stems from either ignorance of reality, or an ideological view
  • Modern experience shows it to be utterly, incontrovertibly false

Most conservatives are not creationists, but most creationists are conservatives. This causes a lot of Lefties to forget that correlation is not causation and, further, to brand conservatives as stupid and/or crazy for believing such a thing. Indeed, it is no longer possible for reasonable people to disagree about the fact of evolution. Failure to believe in evolution as the explanation of speciation is not reasonable, it’s religious or, what is the same thing, ideological.

This is the typical Leftie’s cue to get all smug and to make outrageous claims like “reality has a distinct leftward bias”. Oh, really? Let’s take a belief, clung to as bitterly as any religion, by our friends on the Left: Keynesian Economics. It has several features we can identify:

  • Somebody made it up out of thin air
  • It has no plausible mechanism of action
  • Belief in it stems from either ignorance of reality, or an ideological view
  • Modern experience shows it to be utterly, incontrovertibly false

Sound familiar? It should. Not only has it never made any sense to anybody with any sense, and not only has it failed to work, ever, but the last few years should have made it painfully obvious to all and sundry that it is an unmitigated failure. And yet the Paul Krugmans of the world still say we need more “stimulus”.

Borrowing your way to prosperity is just as likely as the historicity of Adam and Eve. They’re both fairy tales.

It doesn’t mean that Lefties are insane or stupid. (Let’s set Krugman aside for now – I’m not sure he’s not royally bonkers.) It merely means they’re wrong, and that they believe in crazy things just like everybody else.

Told You So

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 19:27

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that I’ve been saying for years that Great Britain is dead.

The British lost their freedom decades ago but didn’t notice. Hint: If you can’t buy a gun and use it legally for self defense, you have no liberty in any meaningful sense of the word. Add in so-called “multiculturalism“, and you have the death of a civilization.

Well, none other than Peter Hitchens says that it’s now official. The “Left-wingers at last meet the filthy thing they have created.

They have all learned what most British politicians somehow cannot grasp – that the more encounters you have with our justice system, the less you fear it. A few ‘exemplary’ sentences – none of which will be served in full, or anything near it – will only help to spread the word that arson, robbery, violence, spite and selfishness are not punished here any more. Indeed these are the things we are now famous for around a world that once respected us.

And that is why we have many more nasty surprises waiting for  us, here in The Country Formerly Known as Great Britain.

 

4 August, 2011

Psalm 44:21

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 22:39

Update: Yes, this post has been altered.

Some friends of mine recently vacationed at a remote fishing lodge off the coast of British Columbia. It’s small, and guests are encouraged to get to know one another. One couple, however, acted oddly – they kept to themselves and refused to be photographed together. Naturally, this aroused suspicion.

To me, the rest of the story played out as a joke with a punch line. The woman turned out to be a wealthy divorcee who had a high-profile break-up from her developer husband. No big deal there. The punch line was that the man was a Catholic priest. And not just any, but a Veep at a large Catholic university. This blog post used to feature their names and his photo.

Some friends, and a commenter, pointed out the less funny parts of all this, and I have reconsidered. I’m no fan of the Catholic Church but, at least, this guy was having a consenting relationship with an adult woman. That’s a lot different than raping little boys. And, while he’s clearly being less than honest with his employer, hypocrisy is not the unforgivable sin that some folks (particularly on the Left) would have us think. It was never my motivation in posting the info anyway. I just thought it was funny. And I have an admittedly weird sense of humor sometimes.

I still stand by the veracity of the story. And it’s still a cautionary tale about how one should not assume anonymity when one has to register at a hotel, no matter how small, with one’s real name.

Anybody clever and determined enough can find out who they are. For everyone else, my apologies, and move along: there’s nothing more to see here.

 

26 July, 2011

What is Beck thinking?

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 16:17

A friend tweeted that Glenn Beck “has offered reassurances why we need not mourn for the 80+ youths massacred in Norway… apparently they were “Hitler youth”.

That may be an unfriendly reading of what Beck said, which was:

“There was a shooting at a political camp, which sounds a little like, you know, the Hitler youth. I mean, who does a camp for kids that’s all about politics? Disturbing.”

Without the audio I don’t know if “Disturbing” referred to the shooting or the idea of a political camp for kids. If the former, which is the most charitable interpretation, we’re still left with a mind-numbingly stupid thing to say. How does he get from a politics camp to Hitler Youth? There are all kinds of political camps for kids, as others are gleefully pointing out. And this is what he says just days after a bunch of kids was gunned down by a lunatic?

I’ve never been a fan of Beck. I know that most of his detractors are full of it, eager to lie or exaggerate. But this shows that he is, at best, a thoroughly thoughtless jerk. At worst he’s an idiot and a bottom feeder. If anybody on the conservative side of the aisle still listens to this clown my question to them is, in light of this, why?

Update:

For all my Lefty friends who are feeling smug about how offensively stupid Beck is, do you read Thomas Friedman? Here’s what he said on another subject:

“If sane Republicans do not stand up to this Hezbollah faction in their midst, the Tea Party will take the G.O.P. on a suicide mission.”

After that will you still read Thomas Friedman? If you do, you have to stop complaining about Beck.

22 July, 2011

Well, that didn’t take long

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 20:15

I liked Herman Cain. I even sent him money. I was willing to put up with his religiosity.

And then he goes and says the government can and should ban mosques. Now, when he talks about Sharia he’s right. We have every right to fight that – a duty, in fact. And I’m on record as believing that Islam is the world’s worst major religion.

But the First Amendment is pretty damn clear, Herman. The government can’t ban churches.

Sigh.

Is it so much to ask that some party, any party, put forward just one candidate who has read and understood the constitution? This is so discouraging, and a big part of why I have never voted for anybody as president. I always end up voting against someone worse.

As long as the Republicans run someone to the right of Karl Marx I’ll vote against Obama. Again.

15 June, 2011

I, Global Warming Skeptic

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 10:11

I’ve started blogging over on the Skeptoid blog. Some of you might find my latest post interesting, alarming, or both. I hope you find it persuasive.

23 May, 2011

Raising Cain

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 9:41

So how do I feel about his religiosity? There are no perfect candidates, and it’s a political reality that this country is not yet ready to elect someone who isn’t (or doesn’t at least pretend to be) a Christian as president. He seems sincere about it, and what matters is how his religiosity translates into policy. I don’t see any red flags on that count yet.

I really like his “Defending Fathers” line. This is a nice start for Cain.

18 May, 2011

The Arab Apartheid

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 11:58

A little history that you probably won’t find in the New York Times.

In 1959, the Arab League passed Resolution 1457, which states as follows: “The Arab countries will not grant citizenship to applicants of Palestinian origin in order to prevent their assimilation into the host countries.” That is a stunning resolution, which was diametrically opposed to international norms in everything pertaining to refugees in those years, particularly in that decade. The story began, of course, in 1948, when the Palestinian “nakba” occurred. It was also the beginning of every discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict, with the blame heaped on Israel, because it expelled the refugees, turning them into miserable wretches. This lie went public through academe and the media dealing with the issue.

12 May, 2011

A. A. Milne to ZZ Top

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 16:16

A friend here at work wondered idly if anybody could contribute to a list that started with A. A. Milne, passed through e e cummings, and ended with ZZ Top. I think my coworkers did well.

  • A. A. Milne
  • B. B. King
  • C.C. Rider
  • C.C. “Bud” Baxter
  • C.C. Sebathia, Yankee’s pitcher
  • D. D. Ramone   (I know)
  • Dee Dee Meyers <– does this count? if so Gigi might work too
  • DD Bridgewater
  • D.D. Barant (sci-fi author)
  • E. E. Cummings
  • “Doc” E.E. Smith. Father of the space opera.
  • F.F. Bruce
  • G.G. Allin (circus freak pretending to be musician)
  • HH Munro [saki]
  • H.H. Holmes (serial killer)
  • I.I. Rabi (physicist)
  • J.J. Abrams?
  • K.K. Downing (Judas Priest guitarist)
  • K.K. Slider
  • L.L. Cool J
  • LL Bean
  • M.M. Kaye
  • M.M. Buckner (sci-fi author)
  • Eminem?
  • N.N. Pillai (playwright)
  • O.O. Howard
  • O.O. McIntyre (writer)
  • P.P. Arnold (singer)
  • QQ more noob
  • r.r. Martin
  • R.R. Donnelley (printing company / founder)
  • S.S. Rajamouli
  • S.S. (pick any ship, or pick S.S. Adams, novelty toy magnate, inventor =
  • of the Joy Buzzer)
  • T. T. Rangarajan
  • T.T. Brown (physicist)
  • Titicaca?
  • U2
  • Unitarian Universalists, who are often called UUs?
  • Yo Yo Ma if pronounced with an odd accent?
  • yu yu hakusho
  • V.V. Brown (singer)
  • W.W. Norton (publishing company / founder)
  • Dos Equis
  • Y.Y. Pang (motul racer)
  • ZZ Top

If you have any contributions to make, put them in the comments.

Update:

Doctor M adds:

  • CC Biggs (Keebler cookies)
  • BB Bumble and the Stingers
  • G. Gordon Liddy (of Watergate fame)

5 May, 2011

Happy Mother’s Day

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 10:21

30 April, 2011

I think I just found my Presidential candidate

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 15:41

It’s Herman Cain FTW.

Watch the video all the way to the EPA punch line. He gets it. And I would pay money to watch a debate between him and Obama.

Did I say debate? I meant rhetorical slaughter.

26 April, 2011

There’s nothing like watching a master at work

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 10:05

And Ricky Jay is a master.

25 April, 2011

What if somebody dropped a bombshell and nobody noticed?

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 12:46

Because the IMF just dropped one.

According to the IMF forecast, whomever is elected U.S. president next year — Obama? Mitt Romney? Donald Trump? — will be the last to preside over the world’s largest economy.

Symmetry

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 9:16

Do not miss this brilliant video from Radiolab.

You may want to have a hanky ready for the ending.

20 April, 2011

The Mormon Church and Illegal Immigration

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 9:19

If I hadn’t left religion altogether years ago, this probably would have pushed me out. The paper, published by CIS, is written by  by Ronald W. Mortensen, PhD, a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, retired career U.S. Foreign Service Officer, and member of the LDS Church.

Once the Church recognized that it was walking a fine legal line with its don’t ask don’t tell policy, and as illegal aliens joined the Church in ever-greater numbers, the Church, as noted earlier, had U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett covertly amend the U.S. immigration act in 2005 to protect it from possible violations of U.S. immigration law. Under Bennett’s amendment, churches were given legal immunity from immigration laws that make it a crime to house, transport, and provide stipends to illegal aliens.

So I guess Harry Reid has official cover from Salt Lake. Shameful.

14 April, 2011

16 Tons

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 16:36

Sleep tight, everybody.

11 April, 2011

How to Tell if Your Neighbor is a Bombmaker

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 16:26

A few hints from Stratfor.

It is important to recognize that when we say an explosive mixture or an explosive device is “improvised,” the improvised nature of that mixture or device does not automatically mean that the end product is going to be ineffective or amateurish. Like an improvised John Coltrane saxophone solo, some improvised explosive devices can be highly-crafted and very deadly works of art. Now, that said, even proficient bombmakers are going to conduct certain activities that will allow their intent to be discerned by an outside observer — and amateurish bombmakers are even easier to spot if one knows what to look for.

6 April, 2011

All the Gold in the World

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 13:42

Today’s moment of clarity brought to you from the back of Dr. Lane Molpus’ envelope.

  • All the gold ever mined in the world throughout history, if gathered into one place, would form a cube about 60 feet on each side [1].
  • (60 foot x 12 inch/foot x 2.54 cm/inch)^3 = (1828.8 cm)^3. That works out to be about 6,116,438,900 cubic centimeters of gold in the world.
  • Gold weighs 19.32 gram/cc [2]. The spot price of gold right now is $46.95/gram [3].
  • Thus, all the gold in the world is worth: 6,116,438,900 cc x 19.32 gram/cc x $46.95/gram = $5.54 x 10^12, or $5.54 trillion.
  • The U.S. National debt [4] is 14.2 trillion = $14.2 x 10^12.

The bottom line? All the gold in the world could only pay off 39% (5.54/14.2) of our national debt.

[1] Theodore Gray’s book “The Elements”, page 181.
[2] www.lenntech.com/periodic-chart-elements/density.htm
[3] goldprice.org/gold-price-per-gram.html
[4] www.brillig.com/debt_clock

 

Craig here: I found another estimate of 1.656 x 10^11 grams total gold ever mined, which still adds up to only $7.75 trillion, or about half the national debt.

 

Sleep tight.

30 March, 2011

Your Acapella Chorus is Wimpy

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 13:27

No True Scotsman

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 9:20

Bert Prelutsky on a common fallacy of the left:

Leftists like to think of themselves as clear-thinking realists who are sensitive to nuance and irony. In reality, they are like little children who regard fairy tales as non-fiction. For instance, they champion socialism even though the past hundred years have proven time and again that it doesn’t work in practice the way it does in theory. On the contrary, in every country where it has existed, it has inevitably led to loss of liberty, widespread poverty and mass murder on a scale that has no parallel in human history. Point out this obvious fact to a liberal, and once he gets done calling you a greedy, heartless, bloodthirsty reactionary, he’ll insist that we haven’t yet seen true socialism. Actually, we have, though. We’ve seen it in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, in China, Cambodia, North Korea and Cuba.

Look it up.

Time for Action

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 9:07

No matter where you live in the country, Wisconsin matters. So crack open that wallet and help get this commercial on the air.

Iron.

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 8:52

 

The embed is really tiny. Click on the Vimeo logo in the video to go there and watch this in HD.

24 March, 2011

Reincarnation

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 9:16

Burt Prelutsky aimed at Harry Reid and shot himself in the foot by dissing cowboy poetry. Of course Reid is a sad joke when he claims that cowboy poetry needs federal support. The poetry, though, can be quite good. My favorite is one I heard the poet read on Johnny Carson’s show years ago. And wouldn’t you know that Reincarnation is on line.

Follow the link and scroll down to it. It’s worth it.

23 March, 2011

Leftists and Union Thugs Complain

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 8:30

They complain when we call them ignorant, stupid, evil, or destructive. And then they go and show that we were being charitable.

Older Posts »

The Silver is the New Black Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,475 other followers