Tuesday, March 05, 2013
Drones Don’t Knock Either
It really comes as no surprise to me that Eric Holder is declaring that drone strikes against Americans on U.S. soil are legal. Nor should it come as a surprise to you, if you’ve been paying attention.
No knock warrant raids have been considered legal for some time here in these United States, and have been fully supported by U.S. courts. A drone strike against an American on U.S. soil is simply a more sophisticated no knock raid.
Under the Bootheel of Sentimental Humanitarianism
The following is a quote from Lynn Harold Hough’s Forest Essays - Free Men, The Abingdon Press, New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, 1939, pgs. 181-182. The quote is even more valid today.
The social passion of the period just before our own, however, tended to become a substitute for living convictions about God and Christ and redemption rather than the inevitable expressions of an appropriation of great truths about God and Christ and man. Men who had no theology tried to fill their lives with social enthusiasms which had no geniune basis in thought, and so sentimental humanitarianism began to take the place of true and disciplined human interest. Preachers of this type in their enthusiasm for human rights forgot human responsibilities, and in their sentimental sympathy created utopias of imagination with no sound basis in character made stable by the grace of God. Increasingly they felt that they could do by laws what can only be done by surgery at the very center of the individual’s life. Men came to feel that you could make an unselfish society out of vast groups of selfish individuals and that you could make a victorious world out of a collection of defeated men. (bold by ed.)
The Destruction of the Meaning of Large Numbers
In a recent piece written by Alan Caruba titled Obscene Government Waste, which is posted at Theo Spark, Caruba laments a problem with the meaning of large numbers.
Americans are so accustomed to hearing everything described in the billions and trillions, they have lost sight of what these numbers really mean and this is particularly true in light of the nation’s huge, growing debt and deficit.
Caruba’s lament is quite true, but I think the problem’s roots are more invasive than imagined. Large numbers are bandied about in almost all disciplines today, and individuals are so numb to these large numbers, thrown out like pieces of candy at a parade, they have indeed lost sight of their meaning. Consider a recent news story about the possibility of the closeness of other habitable planets out in space. It glibly states that, possibly, a habitable planet is a mere 13 light years away. Nevermind the fact that traveling even the distance of one (1) light year, in say the space shuttle, at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour, would take 76,526 earth years, though if humans could travel at the fastest speed of an unmanned spacecract, which is 157,000 miles per hour, it would only take 8,500 earth years.
Or consider the number of years since the big bang happened, which we are told was approximately 13.7 billion years ago. At one time this would have been considered a large number also, but with the United States’ budget deficit running into the trillions of dollars, 13.7 billion years ago has about much meaning as a hair we would spit out of our mouths.
As man has become larger in his own eyes, just about everything else has become smaller and meaningless, and we can see this quite clearly in the destruction of the meaning of large numbers.
What Does The Farmer Say?
For Christmas, my granddaughter Finlay, who is now 13 months old, received a Melissa & Doug Large Farm Jumbo Knob Puzzle. It’s a crafted by hand toy, with a cow, a goat, a chicken, a pig, a horse, a duck, a sheep, and last, by certainly not least, a farmer. The barn board which holds the animal puzzle pieces is a bright barn red, and the animal puzzle pieces themselves are all simple outline cut and primary color bright.
According to the Melissa & Doug website, the Large Farm Jumbo Knob Puzzle was designed to assist in the development of hand-eye, fine motor and visual perception skills, and I can report that it does this well, but I think the makers of the puzzle left out one other learning tool implicit within this particular puzzle. What the animals say.
Shortly after Christmas, as we all sat around relaxing, Finlay and my Lovely Melis were playing with the puzzle down on the living room floor. The Lovely Melis would lift out the animals, one by one, state the name of the animal, and ask Finlay what the animal said. For example, Lovely Melis would lift out the cow and say, “This is a cow. What does the cow say? - Moo.” Or, “This is a horse. What does the horse say? - Neigh.”
Melis did this with each of the seven barnyard animals represented on the puzzle board, and last, but not least, lifted out the farmer, showed it to Finlay, and said, “This is a farmer. What does the farmer say? - Get off my property.” When the Lovely Melis did this for the first time, we all laughed and laughed, while Finlay simply grabbed the farmer puzzle piece and attempted to slam it back into its proper place on the puzzle board.
Since that initial “What does the farmer say?” hilarity, whenever either I, Melis or Fin’s Mom have been playing barnyard puzzle with Fin we’ve all taken to telling Fin that what the farmer says is “Get off my property,” in an appropriately stern tone of voice.
Yesterday afternoon, I hear Fin and her Mom playing barnyard puzzle, and going through the various what the animals say sounds, and Fin was getting quite adept at responding with the appropriate animal’s sounds. Pig, duck, cow, horse, sheep, goat and chicken sounds all were imitated quite well by Fin, and her imitations made me smile as I stood in the kitchen. When they got to the farmer, though, I had to laugh out loud. When Fin’s Mom asked her “What does the farmer say?,” Fin responded with a raspy and guttural string of non-sensical syllables meant to mean “Get off my property,” doing her best to imitate the appropriately stern voices we use when saying what the farmer says.
So last night, as we all sat together in the living room, Finlay was playing with her toys by herself down on the floor and she pulled out her Large Farm Jumbo Knob Puzzle. She began lifting out the various animals, holding them up for us to all see, and imitating their sounds. When she got to the farmer, she stood up, held the farmer puzzle piece high in the air, and in that raspy, guttural voice, uttered that string of non-sensical syllables meant to mean “Get off my property.” I think Finlay knows what the farmer says
Monday, March 04, 2013
“No Set Price” Influence Peddling
White House press secretary Jay Carney denies that there is a ‘set price’ to meet with Obama, but he does not deny that there is a price.
Sunday, March 03, 2013
Polite Resistance Frustrates the State
Millsmost posted a 14:43 YouTube video of Americans politely resisting the state at DHS checkpoints. Millsmost titled the video Top DHS Checkpoint Refusals. If you view the video, you’ll note that the polite refusal of Americans to answer the DHS questioners at the checkpoints results in rather frustrated DHS enforcers who seem unable to respond intelligently to informed Americans, ulitmately conceding that Americans are not required to answer questions regarding their citizenship in order to move freely throughout our country.
While Millsmost’s video does provide some excellent examples on how to politely resist the state at DHS checkpoints, here’s my suggestion for the top DHS checkpoint refusal (0:33).
Obama claims “I am not a dictator,” and yet every time Obama speaks about the subjects of American freedom and prosperity, his words mean the exact opposite of what is said. Dictator speak.
The dictator always claims that he denies freedom to men in the name of their own prosperity, of their own good, of their own fullest life. And this quickly comes to mean that for the sake of comfort, men surrender those liberties without which life has no true meaning.
Lynn Harold Hough, Forest Essays - Free Men, The Abingdon Press, New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, 1939, pg. 36
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Plugged and Hobo Nickels
Most individuals have heard the phrase not worth a plugged nickel at some point in their lives. The phrase means, of course, that whatever is being referred to is worthless.
There were, at one point in time, in actual circulation, plug nickels, and individuals were known to check their change thoroughly to ensure that they had not received a plug nickel, because if they had, they would have been shortchanged.
While many individuals have a smidgin of knowledge of plug nickels, most (I know I was) are unaware of Hobo Nickels, which are decidely not worthless. In fact, a hobo nickel (Lot 41 at that link) recently sold for $24,200.00. I wouldn’t mind receiving a hobo nickel in change.
The hobo nickel is a sculptural art form involving the creative modification of small-denomination coins, essentially resulting in miniature bas reliefs. The nickel, because of its size, thickness, and relative softness, was a favored coin for this purpose. However, the term hobo nickel is generic, as carvings have been made from many different denominations.
Leaving Answers to Gun Questions Blank
In a post titled Media and Politicians Firing Blanks, Brian Wilson presents a Pop Quiz for members of the mainstream media. The quiz is designed to measure mainstream media members’ capability to comment on the subject of guns. If they cannot answer all the questions correctly, and coherently, they should be disqualified from commenting on the subject of guns what-so-ever. My favorite question.
How many guns have you seen become violent? If your answer acknowledges an individual is necessary to operate the weapon, why, then, are you using the term “gun violence” and not “human violence”?
Thursday, February 28, 2013
-96.1°F - That’s Frickin’ Cold!
Via Small Dead Animals.
The Golden Age of Caddisflies
While the various genera of mayflies garner most of the attention of fly fishers, if one is not paying attention to the caddisflies, more than likely opportunities to land a trout will be missed.
Often, when I’m waiting for a hatch to commence, and the rise to begin, you’ll find me wading around in the shallows by the bank of the streams I frequent, picking up rocks and turning them over to see what is hiding beneath. In many instances, there will be mayfly nymphs tenaciously clinging to the bottom of the rock, waiting for their metamorphosis clocks to strike and call them to the air as winged mayflies, to molt, mate, and die.
While searching for, and finding, mayfly nymphs is a pleasant pasttime when waiting for the rise, finding a gathering of caddisfly larvae is not without its own excitement. You see many caddisfly larvae build cases out of stream debris, such as pictured here, and finding a gathering of them clinging to a submerged log, as if they’re having some sort of conclave, is kind of exciting, for a fly fisher at least.
I’m thinking of caddisfly larval cases this morning after looking at French artist Hubert Duprat’s caddisfly larval cases. These caddisfly larval cases are not constructed out of mere stream debris, but rather gold, turquoise, pearls and beads, and they are quite something to look at. It would be quite something to find caddisfly larvae such as Duprat’s while taking a wade.
600 Rounds 3D
Defense Distributed’s new demonstration of their improved 3-D printed gun with a large capacity magazine seems designed to confound—and throw a middle finger to—Congress, which is trying to ban high-capacity magazines.
Video embedded in article runs 2:57.
Monday, February 25, 2013
A Bit of Tech Work Goin’ On
If you notice a paucity of posts, and an intermittent ability to access Improved Clinch in the next few days or so, it’s because a bit of tech work will be goin’ on, here. Just so you know.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Only 65 Days Until Trout Openers
My trout camp looks rather forlorn, not to mention cold, during the winter months. There are 65 days until trout season opens here in the State of Michigan, on the last Saturday in April. This does not mean one cannot fly fish during the winter months, and the most recent fishing report for my neck of the trout fishing woods attests to this, and there are a good number of waters which are open year round for trout fishing here in Michigan, if you can contend with very cold toes.
I’m thinking about fly fishing, right at the moment, because I just read a post titled It Ain’t Easy, which was linked to by the folks at Moldy Chum, and this portion of that post articulates some of what I appreciate most about spending time chasing mayflies and trout.
Fly-fishing has taken me to places that few other ventures could have. It’s been a life long learning experience that I now have the fortune of sharing with others. Over the years I’ve put a lot into learning to fly-fish. On many fronts I still do and often I’m still not where I would like to be. There has been frustration along the way, and I still have moments where it all goes helplessly wrong. All said and done, fly-fishing can be quite simple, that’s its beauty. As long as your fly is in the water you have an opportunity to catch a fish regardless of your abilities. In the grand scheme of things, if you are having fun that’s what matters most, yet if you want to truly reap the sports greatest rewards you’ll need to put your time in. The fact that it is challenging has a great deal to do with its appeal. Personally I can think of few things in life as enjoyable as spending time on the water, playing this game, casting fur and feather to lure a fish to take a fly, and when that happens because of the essence of it all its magical.
Breath of Fire
Interesting post at the blog Letters to Nature, written by Luke Barnes, titled Why science cannot explain why anything at all exists, which delves into the question “why is there something rather than nothing” as posed and considered by Lawrence Krause.
As I read through Barnes’ post, I recalled the consistent response of scientists in many fields of study as presented in Bill Bryson’s book A Short History of Nearly Everything, when confronted with deeply probing questions about their field of study, “I don’t know,” an answer we are less and less inclined to give, or admit, in this day and age.
Though Barnes does not answer Krause’s question directly, he does lay out, in readily understandable fashion, some of the various conundrums required to be considered to approach the question openly, and his post is well worth reading.
Link to Barnes via Donald Sensing.