Friday, August 18, 2006

the Inevitable

I swear, if I could write like this, I'd live in Minnesota, or South Dakota, or New Mexico, or someplace cooler than here. And I probably wouldn't be an engineer:

Trust me: every day in the back of my head somewhere every common moment is fixed in amber and compared against the Inevitable, and every day I kick myself for somehow not appreciating it all more. Because the dog will be gone and she’ll be 15, or because I’ll be gone and the dog will be confused and she’ll be 7; you never know. The Lord works in mysterious ways, as do idiots who blow through red lights.

If you're familiar with Lileks, then you understand. If not, and you enjoy prose and writing you should be. Go there, now. Look around and make lots of bookmarks.

Am I famous yet?

I googled "above ground pool" and "fascist" (see below) to see if maybe I'd made the search engines yet. Disturbingly, this was one of the first hits. From one of the comments:

"Who would win in a fight -- a puma or an Orangutan armed with a spiked club?

I'd really like some expert advice before I place my bet." - Ace

Bugs, I tells ya!

I started reading Andrew Sullivan along with a bunch of other bloggers shortly after 9/11. I gave up on him a couple of years ago after it was clear that a) I was tired of hearing about gay shit, and b) that not only had he reverted back to the "left" but that he refused to be honest about it. Since then, I've only peripherally followed his antics via other blogs but I guess he's pretty much gone nuts.


When it comes to common sense and a grasp of the bigger picture, given the choice between a US District Judge and a rigging chief on one of these guys, I'll go with the rigger every time.

Update: A Clinton era prosecutor (and a Bush I Intelligence guy) points out some issues with the Judge's rulings.
"We can sympathize with her motives, and even share some of her gut feelings of uneasiness about the program. But we cannot accept the stunningly amateurish piece of, I hesitate even to call it legal work, by which she purports to make our government go deaf and dumb to those would murder us en masse. Her bosses on the Court of Appeals and/or the United States Supreme Court will not accept it."

Read the whole thing. Hat Tip: KJL at the Corner.

"Fascist" probably ain't right

If you're looking for lightheartedness and fun, don't look here.

National Review Online (NRO) published a symposium yesterday in which a number of folks discussed the President's use of the term "Fascists" as a descriptive reference for our current enemy. I think the term may be somewhat appropriate here although Andrew McCarthy makes the point that wrt Islam itself, the term may actually be redundant. He's probably right (go ahead and read the article, you know you should). But that's not the point here.

What I've always had trouble with is the the way that many (particularly those on the "left") have used the term "fascist" to describe almost anyone who disagreed with them. On almost any subject. They've kindof reduced the word to be something along the lines of "poo-poo head."

Well, here's the deal. In point of fact, actual *real* Fascism, as an implemented philosophy of government, was given to us by that clownlike dictator Benito Mussolini, a dyed-in-the-wool socialist with yet a better idea to put into practice that most odious ideology. Hitler ran with his idea, adding some charming pieces of his own and took the philosophy to a whole 'nother level, giving us Nazis (whoo-boy and that really worked out for everyone). Interestingly though, the Nazis and the Fascists hated the Communists (yet another implementation of socialism). Do you know why? Because they were going about it all wrong. They were impure (and from the Nazi standpoint, there was that race thing as well) and therefore as dangerous to their line of thinking, if not moreso, than the liberal (classical) democratic worldview that came to be their ultimate undoing. Ah, well - water under the bridge and all that.

But the bottom line is this: Nazis, Fascists, and Communists are all just branches of the same damn collectivist bush, and the only differences between them manifest in minor degrees of implementation (and genocidal efficiencies). I know that people (particularly those on the left) use the term "rightwing" to describe Nazis, Fascists, et. al. but I don't think that really works, and never has. It was a convenient categorization for them though. Try fitting Libertarianism into that left-right continuum and see where it leaves you. [editors note - I am not a Libertarian, but the philosophy has its uses]. I use "left" here with the same caviats, but you know what I mean and you know who you are. [ed. See, it is convenient].

Think about this the next time someone calls you a fascist (or Nazi - think bushhitler) when you disagree with them on topics like social security, welfare, border walls, or stupid Dixie Chicks. And consider the source - statist, overreaching, and uber-controlling socialism. God, I hate socialists. So much damage and so little appreciation for it.

Now about the "Islamo-Fascists". Is this terminology correct? Possibly, but understand that the underlying philosophy we're up against here is not constrained to any single state. Perhaps more correctly identified as Islamism, the philosophy is fundamentally fed from an oppressive and doctrinaire religious belief system (NOT a "Religion of Peace" by the way. "Islam" means "Submission" - go look for yourself here, here, or here). This is much, much worse. Maybe "Fascist" is not the appropriate modifier. Maybe there isn't one. We, with our roots in the classical liberal foundations of western civ, may just have a much bigger problem on our hands than we really care to admit. But don't call me a Nazi for pointing this out. That just doesn't work semantically, or as they say 'round here: "That dog won't hunt."

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Smoking Pot?

Here's a guitar I built a few years ago. . With a couple of SD hot P-90 pups, controlled with phase and serial/parallel switches it's a hot mama. Just one thing to keep in mind: When using a ganged switch/pot - use the tone, and not the volume controls. Because if you use the volume control, when you engage/disengage the switch you momentarily short the pot. Guess what happens if that pot happens to be the volume pot? And no, the pot doesn't smoke. What kind of voltages do you think we're dealing with here?

Nuclear water and dino juice

Eric, the Chron SciGuy has a post today asking which will be dearer in 2050 - Water or Oil? I'll say water because I think the oil problem will continue to take care of itself. It may turn out in fact that we're (the royal, global we for sure) still making oil, but I don't have a handy link to back that up. That said, water is going to be a big problem and about the only way to solve it is going to involve lots and lots of nukes. No not the bomb kind, dufii, the power generating kind. See, when we have to build all those nuke power plants to handle the energy shortages (caused by the Chinese) we might as well bolt massive de-sal plants onto the sides of em. That's where all that water's going to have to come from. Unless global warming leads to more rain, the greening of the deserts, the liquification of greenland and all that. But that's a different topic.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hot enough for you?

There was a time I would've worried about this stuff but I'll just keep on churning here. Over at Lou Minatti, Lou complains about the kids starting back to school so early. What it being the middle of August and hotternhell here. Well here's the good news. According to the chart I printed out from, 8/19 is the turning point here. The average daily temp *drops* on that date from 94 to 93. I'm willing to go out on a limb here and bet that thursday, at 98, will be the hottest day of 2006 as measured at IAH.