Thursday, December 22, 2005

Technical Computing Using Free Software on a Windows Computer

Here's a link to a web site I was briefly developing a few years ago. It was interesting to do but I quickly saw how much time it was consuming and had to stop. Some of the stuff is out of date now but the site, as well as the sites to which it links, still interest me.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Now There'll Be FIVE Papists on the SCOTUS!!! Omigawd!!!

It has already started. Here's a cartoon from the good ol' days when Catholics knew their place and Know-Nothings and the Klan were protecting the Republic.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Bush Doesn't Nominate IHOP Cashier for Fed Chief

In startling news today, President Bush nominated a serious candidate to replace Alan Greenspan as Fed Chief. Observers were amazed because the IHOP cashier could always add numbers in his head pretty fast back in Midland, TX when the future president paid for breakfast.

Question: How are Bush's first 2004 debate with Kerry and and his, umm, stealth selection of Harriet Miers alike?

Answer: George was in the catbird seat and then blew it by not doing his @#$%& homework. Like father like son. Bleah.

Monday, October 17, 2005

My Comments on "Mother Angelica"

I recently wrote some comments on on the new book Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles by Raymond Arroyo. They are as follows.

"This is an exciting, well written book, something that I was not expecting at all. I began watching and contributing to EWTN during a difficult period of my life and Mother Angelica's network is a blessing to all, but especially those who are going through hard times. This book is a terrific read about how it all came about and it spends a lot of time on her battles with certain members of the American Church hierarchy - many of whom were exposed in the 2002 sex scandals for their less-than-Catholic actions and unconscionable lack of leadership. Mother Angelica is the primary figure in the ongoing renaissance of orthodox Catholicism among the laity and, equally important, in the seminaries. Mother Angelica and EWTN are providing wonderful tools for taking back our Church from what Raymond Arroyo (charitably) calls the "progressives" in the USCCB and their bureaucracies. What a wonderful book! It makes me ready to join the fight!"

Friday, October 14, 2005

EWTN Is Now Podcasting!

Whether you've been wondering what podcasts are, whether you're an occasional sampler of podcasts, or whether you're addicted (like me), EWTN is now podcasting! Check out the EWTN Podcasting page!

Wondering how to get started? After starting out with iPodder, I've moved to Apple's iTunes to subscribe to podcasts. The Apple software seems hard to beat at the moment...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Latest Book I'm Willing to Admit I've Read

I just finished How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. Regular readers of this blog might guess that I'm sympathetic to the aim of the book, and I am, but this was a pretty average read. In spite of the embarassing pains the author takes to establish his bona fides ("four Ivy League degrees, including an A.B. from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Columbia"), it's not a terribly good book. Mostly a cut-and-paste job, there were nevertheless some interesting sections that I marked in my own copy: pp. 195-196: St. Anselm's argument for what, exactly, was the need for the incarnation and crucifixion of Christ, given that God could just as easily decided to "forgive" the human race for "original sin" and obtained the same result. (I use the quotation marks in that last sentence judiciously, I think, and respectfully because I am not sure what original sin really is, given that the story of Adam and Eve is, I currently believe, an allegory for how the world was really created.) St. Anselm's reasoning is, to my way of thinking, pretty good and I certainly had not heard of it before. In the same vein, Soren Kierkegaard's likening (pp. 218-219) of the love of God for mankind to a king who wished to pursuade a commoner woman to genuinely fall in love with him. Both references to our necessarily limited attempts to understand the incarnation of Christ are touching. The book as a whole is interesting, it just could have been a whole lot more. Even so, I recommend it.

The "To Be Read" Pile

This is a list of some of the most anticipated (by me) books I own and mean to read some day. They will probably stay on the "to be read" pile for some years because each requires a large investment in time and care to read and, with the job and family, I just don't have as much of those as I want. When and if I retire some day, I'm going to seriously and methodically read them. In the meantime, I love skimming through them, reading short passages at random. They may or may not be the most profound books ever written, but they appeal to me, giving me a sense of "that's the coolest thing I've ever seen"...

  • Rudy Rucker, The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the Soul
  • Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality
  • Frank J. Tipler, The Physics of Immortality
  • Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science
  • Carl B. Boyer, A History of Mathematics
  • Douglas R. Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
  • Alexander Star (ed), Quick Studies: The Best of Lingua Franca

I would very much like to be made aware of other books that readers of this blog (cough, if there ARE any readers of this blog :-) think would similarly interest me.

Later, I will post the titles of some books that I've read in the past and have had the greatest effect on me. A quick example: Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Friday, August 12, 2005

9/11/01 Transcripts and Audio

I cannot let go of this and I suspect there are many like me: Tears of rage well up even now. The city of New York has released transcripts of the finest people in America at the time of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001:

"A rich vein of city records from Sept. 11, including more than 12,000 pages of oral histories rendered in the voices of 503 firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians, was made public this morning."

The NY Times has also made available sound files (MP3 and Real) and transcripts of the NYFD dispatch transmissions from 8:46 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. on that morning. I have downloaded them all and you can too. Even now, almost four years later, this is still heart-breaking. Don't forget those lost at the Pentagon in Washington, DC and in the field in Pennsylvania.

The war to destroy Al Qaeda goes on. "Let's Roll"

Monday, July 25, 2005

Senators Wary of Catholics on the SCOTUS

Cro-Magnon senators from both parties are wanting to know, essentially, if John Roberts is taking his orders from Rome. Republican Senator Coburn and Democrat Senator Durbin asked questions straight from the talking points of the nineteenth century Know Nothing Party and the Ku Klux Klan. According to the Catholic League press release...

"To be specific, Senator Tom Coburn complained last week that Roberts was reticent when asked to explain how his Catholic religion affects his views; the senator said he intends to ask Roberts about this again at their next meeting. Also, in today’s Los Angeles Times, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley says that he has learned that Roberts was uneasy when Senator Dick Durbin pressed him on a related matter: when asked what he would do if the law required a decision that conflicted with his religion, Roberts reportedly said he would probably have to recuse himself."

Read the whole thing. Durbin, who has disgraced himself before this, actually calls himself Catholic and his undergraduate and law degrees are from Georgetown, once rumored to be a Catholic institution.

Memo to John Roberts: Grow some testicles.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Crashes Marine's Funeral

Just unbelievable.

"The family of a Marine who was killed in Iraq is furious with Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll for showing up uninvited at his funeral this week, handing out her business card and then saying "our government" is against the war."

Read the whole thing. Hat tip to Free Republic.

Monday, July 18, 2005

If the NY Times Had Covered Jesus of Nazareth

Another direct hit on the irresistibly swollen liberal/secular collective pomposities!

"CAESAREA PHILIPPI (20 Kislev) Yesterday's surprise announcement that doctrinal hard-liner Jesus of Nazareth had been anointed "Messiah" provoked mixed reactions in the diverse and sometimes fractious Israelite community, ranging from cautious disappointment to frank despair. I see it as a missed opportunity," said Herodias Scheisskopf, a Galilaean incest rights activist. "May of us were hoping for someone more open to leadership roles for the people with non-heteronormative urges. I don't feel valued..."

Read the whole thing. The piece seems to be running around the internet in various forms. The print edition of First Things magazine, which is where I first saw it, deliciously skewers the infamous NY Times editorial insertion "NYT copyeditors note: Need some quote from support".

I can't stop giggling!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI

This is a good picture of the new Pope and I wanted to put it on my blog. I think being called "God's Rottweiler" is a GOOD thing! The photo was taken by the blogger-Priest, Fr. Roderick Vonhögen. If you like podcasts (and I'm rapidly becoming addicted) you might try this one.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

We Are All Brits Today

Now they have struck London. The British are our best friends and our most reliable allies. I am praying for the dead and maimed and their families. This is a reminder: We are at war and it is a war we must grimly see to the end. Al Qaeda must be destroyed.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Independence Day!

This day is the fourth of July and, in my country, it is celebrated as Independence Day. We have parades, fireworks displays, cookouts, festivities of all kinds. We Americans are at each others' throats every other day of the year but on this day we are all proud to be Americans. I have a lot to be thankful for, stuff that isn't the subject of my blog rants below, and I feel pretty good right now. Happy Independence Day to you and yours!

CNN: Nuclear Energy Can Be The Answer

CNN posted a guest editorial by an MIT professor a few days ago on the subject of nuclear energy. He states that...

"Nuclear energy is uniquely suited to contribute to the growing energy challenge -- environmentally, economically and geo-politically. It produces no greenhouse gases, utilizes uranium fuel, which is abundant worldwide, and can contribute to hydrogen production..."

Nuclear power should be more widely considered than it is and I would like to believe that we're seeing the beginning stages of a common sense back-to-nuclear awareness among the policy makers in this country. As I've said before, pebble bed reactors are making a splash in the sense that they're much safer and easier to mass produce. It's not necessary for interested observers like us to organize and lobby in Washington (unless you want to, of course). It's enough to have this idea percolating in the back of your mind so that when it is proposed in the political arena, you can be among those who have heard about it and are receptive.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

BBC Free Download: Beethoven Symphony MP3 Files!

Sorry for the lack of a rant in this post. The BBC is offering free downloads of Beethoven symphonies recently played on BBC Radio 3. They'll be gone after only a few days so if you're interested, hurry! :-) Hat tip: Slashdot

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dubya and Jimmy Carter

Check out this article: "Former Hostages Allege Iran's New President Was Captor". My own opinion is that the picture of the captor, placed next to the photo of the new Iranian president taken at about the same time, shows two different people. But wouldn't it be interesting if they are the same person?

Just think how different our recent history would have been if George W. Bush had been President when the hostages were taken in 1979, instead of Jimmah Carter. I bet the helicopters wouldn't have broken down, at the very least.

Peggy Noonan's Direct Hit

Peggy Noonan, a speechwriter for President Reagan, and now a columnist for the Wall Street Journal has published a new opinion piece "Conceit of Government" that is simply breathtaking. It targets the outsized egos of Senator Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and "America's two most famous political grifters" Bill and Hillary Clinton. Obama recently compared himself favorably with Abraham Lincoln. Bill Frist's self regard isn't quite as outsized, although it's pretty impressive. And then Noonan took aim at our favorite former President and the junior Senator from New York, the world's smartest person. This column was a masterpiece. It wasn't a display of exquisite, fine fencing, finishing with the victims impaled on stiletto blades. Rather, it was one of the best political bludgeonings with a 2x4 board with a nail in the end that I can recall having ever read. Whew!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Karl Rove's Direct Hit

It seems the Dems are a bit put out by Karl Rove's observations about their behavior concerning the ongoing war on terror. It brings to light a problem that dogs the loyal opposition: the persistent perception that they are guilty of sedition against the war as a result of their hysterical hatred of President Bush. Dubya cleaned their clocks in both the 2002 and 2004 elections exactly because of this and yet they continue. News reports yesterday indicated that Gen. Abizaid told Senate Dems the perception is growing among the troops in Iraq that they are not being backed by Congress. As a result, morale is beginning to decline. Achievement of objectives in the war is not only undermined by low morale but it is also easy to imagine that US casualties could be caused by reduced aggressiveness in suppressing the insurgency. Casualties that otherwise would not have happened. The behavior of the core of the Democrat party leadership (i.e., Dean, Kennedy, Durbin, Leahy, Clinton, is distressing. But at what point does Democrat behavior leave the category of anti-Bush and become anti-American?

Update: Check out for some examples. Kudos to Instapundit.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

I'm attending a conference in Miami and you're not

To conclude this somewhat lengthy hiatus from maintaining my blog, I am currently attending a conference at Florida Internatinal University in Miami. The campus is pretty, with lots and lots of greenery. Unfortunately it has been rainy all week but I like Miami anyway. You can tell I grew up in the desert southwest of the United States by watching my reaction to the greenery in Maryland (even now) and the ubiquitous water in Florida. I'm not kidding: the drainage ditches are full of water and there are ponds all over the FIU campus. I even saw what was apparently a waterway cleaning boat this morning as the bus was taking us from the hotel to campus. It looked like it had a scoop on the front, much like garbage trucks have. I'm still trying to figure out how it might be used because there was no cargo area in the back into which the scooper might deposit branches and other detritus that might be clogging the drainage. Maybe it is used to simply remove the refuse from choke points and deposit it on the shore?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Before the Papal Conclave

The Papal Conclave begins tomorrow morning (US Eastern time) in which a new Pope will be selected by the college of cardinals. There is no reason not to have confidence that the cardinals will be guided by The Holy Spirit in their selection and that the new pope will continue and extend the work of Pope John Paul II the Great.

But in these hours before we begin watching for the color of smoke rising from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, I find it fun to speculate. Wouldn't it be interesting if Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany were to be selected and if he were to take the name Pope Pius XIII? Wouldn't it be fun to listen to the indignant squeals of the liberals who have perverted the "Spirit of Vatican II" for their own ends at the thought of the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith becoming the Vicar of Christ? And wouldn't it be fun to listen to and read of the outrage of those (mostly) non-Catholics who have libeled the memory of Pope Pius XII the past several years? Would it be a sin to enjoy the spectacle of a thumb in the eye of the enemies of the Church?

Ah well, I am praying for unity as well as for wisdom in the imminent conclave. But I am also praying for loyalty to the future Pope and the Magisterium by church leaders, especially in the United States.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


I've been glued to Fox News and EWTN for the past couple of days. But then I wandered away to play with Mathematica and when I came back to the television, it was just being announced that Pope John Paul II had passed away. I am experiencing a distinct sadness but also pride in the Catholic Church and the conduct of this particular Pope. He, along with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, was one of the great anti-Communist warhorses of the 1980s who forced the Soviet Union to its end. Just as crucially, he stopped the erosion of fidelity to Catholic dogma, loyalty to the Papacy and to the Magisterium that was being accelerated by liberal "Catholics" who used what they insisted was the "spirit of Vatican II" for their own immoral ends. Pray for the soul of the Pope and pray for Holy Spirit to guide the cardinals to select a new Pope who will continue to defend the 2000-year-old Catholic faith.

Thursday, March 31, 2005


This woman has been murdered. There is no other way to state it. There are no shades of gray. Her estranged husband and his enablers in the Florida State and U.S. judiciary withheld food and water until she died. This is what we have come to.

Update 1: For Life...and for Terri

Update 2: See Ann Coulter's The Emperor's New Robes. (Via A Saintly Salmagundi.)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Funny: French Intellectuals To Be Deployed to Afghanistan

From Michael Kelly's Page of Misery:

"French Intellectuals to be Deployed in Afghanistan To Convince Taleban of Non-Existence of God

"The ground war in Afghanistan hotted up yesterday when the Allies revealed plans to airdrop a platoon of crack French existentialist philosophers into the country to destroy the morale of Taleban zealots by proving the non-existence of God.

"Elements from the feared Jean-Paul Sartre Brigade, or 'Black Berets', will be parachuted into the combat zones to spread doubt, despondency and existential anomie among the enemy. Hardened by numerous intellectual battles fought during their long occupation of Paris's Left Bank, their first action will be to establish a number of pavement cafes at strategic points near the front lines. There they will drink coffee and talk animatedly about the absurd nature of life and man's lonely isolation in the universe. They will be accompanied by a number of heartbreakingly beautiful girlfriends who will further spread dismay by sticking their tongues in the philosophers' ears every five minutes and looking remote and unattainable to everyone else...

Read the whole thing here. Kudos to Instapundit.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Nah, nah, nah, nah; Hey, hey, hey; Goodbye.

G'night Dan. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Iraq and the Insurgents

Here's a heartening column on the state of the Iraqi insurgency from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"Lt. Col. Jim Stockmoe, chief intelligence officer for the First Infantry Division ... recalled the increasing missteps of the resistance in Iraq in an interview earlier this month ... 'There were three brothers down in Baghdad who had a mortar tube and were firing into the Green Zone,' Stockmoe said. 'They were storing the mortar rounds in the car engine compartment and the rounds got overheated. Two of these clowns dropped them in the tube and they exploded, blowing their legs off.' The surviving brother sought refuge in a nearby house, but the occupants 'beat the crap out of him and turned him over to the Iraqi police' ..."

According to the article, things really are getting better. For some good news, read the rest of it. Found via Lucianne.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Hollywood's Oscar Blahs

Here's a story in the New York Times on the lack of interest in the Academy Awards to be held this Sunday.

"LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24 - In the days leading up to the movie industry's most glamorous night, the Oscars, the word heard frequently around Hollywood this year is not glitz, or hype, or excitement. It is fatigue ... But another challenge this year seems to be the best picture nominees themselves: none have crossed the $100 million mark at the domestic box office. In previous years when films like "Titanic," "Forrest Gump" or "Gladiator" ruled the box office and the nominations, audience interest seemed built in."

The NY Times article points out that The Aviator hasn't even come close to earning back the cost of production ($89M versus $112M) and (yet another weird) Clint Eastwood-directed movie, Million Dollar Baby, has earned only $56M. These are, apparently, the front runners.

And NOWHERE mentioned in the article is Mel Gibson's 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, which earned - wait for it - $611M. Yep, and the enlightened minds who run Hollywood and who froze this expression of the 2000-year-old Catholic faith out of the Oscars, wonder why nobody cares about them. Duh.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Catholic Blogs

By way of Saintly Salmagundi, here is a list of Catholic blogs voted on for various categories: 2005 Catholic Blog Awards. I'm not familiar with the web site or how the voting process worked, but vote totals ranged from the three hundreds to over a thousand. If these numbers represent unique voters, then this list has possibilities. Categories include "Most Informative Blog", "Best Group Blog" (corporate authorships, in my experience, make for lots more activity), "Best Blog by Priest or Religious", and so on. Interesting and now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to check some of these out! :-)

Saturday, February 19, 2005

More About the "Da Vinci Code" Piece of...

Here's an article about a public presentation on the falsehoods upon which The Da Vinci Code is based. It is being held in the form of a "mock trial". Book sales have benefitted from the controversy it has generated, something that isn't terrible by itself. The malicious aspect is that the author covers himself with the usual "this is a work of fiction...". And problems arise because people are believing the stuff even so, something he isn't doing anything to discourage. Read the whole article. An excerpt:

"ROME - Art experts and conservative clerics are holding an unusual 'trial' in Leonardo da Vinci's hometown aimed at sorting out fact from fiction in the 'The Da Vinci Code' after many readers took the smash hit novel as gospel truth. The event in Vinci, just outside of Florence, began Friday with an opening statement by Alessandro Vezzosi, director of a Leonardo museum. He said he will produce photographs and documents as evidence of the mistakes and historical inaccuracies contained in Dan Brown's best seller."

Yes, I know people will liken this exhibition to an Inquisition. ("Nooooobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!") So what? It isn't and reasonable people will know that. Sod the others. I have written about Dan Brown and his book before...

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Slashdot Troll on the Gentoo Zeitgeist

Here's another good troll on Slashdot. Unlike my previous post about the Slashdot Macintosh zeitgeist, this one is too profane to post an excerpt here. But it's very funny IF you've ever installed a Gentoo Linux system. I have and I nearly spewed my morning coffee on my computer screeen when I first read it.

FYI, Gentoo Linux is known as a source-based distribution because it allows the user to download source code and compile it himself in order to wring out all of the performance there is in his computer hardware. It's a lot of fun but it isn't for newbies. People just starting out in Linux should use SuSE or Mandrake Linux.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Ordinary People Have Shown Extraordinary Bravery In Iraq

Congratulations to the Iraqi people who have shown amazing courage. Here's how the New York Times led off their article:

"After a slow start, voters turned out in very large numbers in Baghdad today, packing polling places and creating a party atmosphere in the streets as Iraqis here and nationwide turned out to cast ballots in the country's first free elections in 50 years."

Iraq is a part of our own War on Terror. The Iraqi elections are now rightfully seen to be a highly successful expression of defiance to al Qaeda and to the Baathist remnants. Their success is our success and what they have done today is worthy of admiration from everyone who loves justice.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Culture War Goes On

By way of The Dawn Patrol, another manifestation of the sickening culture war in the Catholic Church. I wish I could say this little bit of exhibitionism is unusual but it isn't. Liturgical abuses devoid of spiritual, theological, or philosophical content continue in very many parishes. Especially in those that consider themselves "educated" and open-minded. It reminds me a lot of the charismatics who are convinced their babbling and clicking is "speaking in tongues". (That sort of thing nearly always afflicts confused and disappointed individuals in the less affluent parishes, however.) Sigh. Will the Catholic Bishops act to maintain ecclesial decorum? Sheeeeeyeah, SURE they will!

Teddy Kennedy IS a Disgrace

From Power Line:

"I don't think Kennedy would fight for our freedom. I'm not even sure he would try to save us if we were drowning. OK, that was a cheap shot. Sort of. But there is no possible excuse for Kennedy's behavior. He is a disgrace to the office he holds."

You betcha.

UPDATE: Here's what al Jazeera had to say about Kennedy's speech. By way of The Diplomad.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Abortion Specimens

This news story, Church to Bury Aborted Fetal Remains, has appeared on the MSM a few times and has also been making the rounds in the blogosphere. Basically the story is that a doctor who performs late term abortions is objecting to what happens to the abortion "specimens" (his word, from a television news story) after they are discarded by his clinic.

"A Roman Catholic church will bury the ashes of up to 1,000 aborted fetuses in its cemetery this weekend, despite accusations from the clinic that performed the operations that it is collaborating in a 'macabre' and political ritual. Dr. Warren Hern of the Boulder Abortion Clinic said his contract with Crist Mortuary required it to bury the ashes in its own plot. Instead, he learned this week that for nearly a decade, a mortuary officer has been giving the remains to the Sacred Heart of Mary Church. The ashes are buried near a statue of Jesus and a memorial wall with plaques carrying messages from people wanting to memorialize their fetus. 'A lot of my patients come in with desired pregnancies, deeply saddened they have a desired pregnancy which is medically complicated or threatening their life,' said Hern, one of a handful of doctors in the country who perform abortions late in pregnancy. 'I'm appalled that the Catholic Church will exploit women's private grief and misery for their own political purposes,' he said."

What can be added to this? The late Senator Patrick Moynihan condemned partial birth abortion ("dilation and extraction") as "barbarism" which seems almost understated. I find it difficult to form commentary without lapsing into cliche, which might lead some to conclude that insufficient thought has been devoted to the issue. It might also be a case of whatever CAN be said, HAS been said. But this story represents a case where those who, somehow, defend abortion on demand, have been unexpectedly, well, caught and publicly shamed. I am genuinely surprised at their simulated outrage. His immediate accusation of "The Catholic Church," instead of Sacred Heart of Mary parish smacks of the last acceptable prejudice, which, I have no doubt, animates him and his coreligionists. Why on earth does Hern object to what happens to his medical waste? Pathetic.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Flash! Federal Judge Shows Common Sense!

In a stunning new development, news stories are appearing that indicate certain U.S. judges are showing, at last, some common sense:

"ATLANTA (AP) -- Since 2002, Dr. Kenneth Miller has been upset that biology textbooks he has written are slapped with a warning sticker by the time they appear in suburban Atlanta schools. Evolution, the stickers say, is 'a theory, not a fact.' What it tells students is that we're certain of everything else in this book except evolution,'' said Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, who with Joseph S. Levine has authored three texts for high schoolers. On Thursday, Miller -- along with fellow teachers and scientists -- cheered a federal judge's ruling that ordered the Cobb County school board to immediately remove the stickers and never again hand them out in any form..."

After all the idiotic posturing and law-making by activist leftist judges, we at last see decisions that do some good. The sight of a judge bringing ideologues to a screeching halt is refreshing. I am not being sarcastic here, this is a welcome change. People are justifiably becoming concerned about the US judicial branch getting out of control, with the Israeli supreme court pointed to as a worrisome precedent.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Website of the Hour: Sacred Miscellany

I've been following an interesting blog lately called "Sacred Miscellany". Posting is infrequent, so I necessarily follow it via RSS. But it's obviously done with a lot of care and it's worth a look and a visit whenever a new article is posted. The author lists "music, singing, religion, Christianity, ethics, conservatism, politics, Southern culture" as interests, so I think it would appeal to other moderately conservative Catholics like me.

I've written about other "Websites of the Hour" here and here. This favorite obscure websites feature is another something I intend to do more of.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Reconsidering Nuclear Energy

I intend to begin posting on the subject of nuclear energy in light of the extremely variable fossil fuel prices, their demonstrably variable availability (e.g., the 1973-74 OPEC oil embargo), and the increasing concerns over the release of greenhouse gases. I intend to learn more but I have read that modern "pebble-bed" fission power plant designs are so safe that a Chernobyl-style meltdown is not possible. This newspaper story is what prodded me to post now:

"Sky-high crude oil prices prod many governments from across the world to seek alternative energy sources other than petroleum, particularly in nuclear power. This marks a major turnaround from the hitherto widespread anti-nuclear policies, which have been generally adopted after a series of disasters of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident and the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe. The United States now looks to license novel nuclear plants, putting an end to the nation’s quarter-century moratorium on new nuclear facilities after the 1979 Three Mile Island debacle..."

The mantra in the late 1940s and through the 1950s was "power too cheap to meter". Wouldn't that be great in light of gas-electric hybrid cars?

Monday, January 03, 2005

Slashdot Troll on the Macintosh Zeitgeist

Okay, here's one of the funnier trolls I've found on Slashdot. Ya gotta be a computer geek to enjoy this one and, if you're a Mac user, ya gotta have a thick skin. It was posted on a thread about a rumored new office suite to be released for Mac OS X and is a hilarious caricature of the Mac zealot. Here's the first paragraph...

"Oh no, here come the proles. The tasteless rabble. The masses who see nothing past the price tag. Of course you can’t blame them if their trust funds aren’t large enough to provide them with life’s very finest—they wouldn’t appreciate it anyways—but surely Apple should know better than to serve the poor peasants la crème de la vie on the discount rack at Sears..."

Here's a link to the rest of the post and some of the responses it got. One of the great things about Slashdot, besides being a perpetually interesting web site, is that anonymous posting is possible and that has led to some really good trolls over the years. Some of them, like the subject of this post, are even sufficiently inoffensive to be discussed in polite company.

Finally, I would point out that I lust after the iMac G5 that was introduced a few months ago. Too bad my current desktop and laptop show no signs of giving up the ghost (knock on wood).