Baronger's Scribblings

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Day of rest ~ Sunday

Today is the carnival of the cats and it is hosted today by Furry Paws.

Sunday is also a day of rest, and since nothing of stellar importance is happening I've decided to rest today. So taking today off from blogging. It is so hard to stay awake when you have a sleeping cat in the room.

Besides its been rainy all day. Hard to think of Sun blogging if you havn't seen it all day. You would think it was water day not sun day.


Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Medieval Warm Period ~ An Earth Day Post

The CO2 project is doing a roundup on the Medieval warm period. One of the things about being interested in human development from the earliest origins, to the present is that you develop a very broad view of time. Just 20 years ago they was hysteria about global cooling. Now there is hysteria about global warming. Please, when it comes to climate a hundred years is barely long enough to get a baseline.

Yes the Earth is getting warmer right now. It has been getting warmer since the little ice age ended in the Eighteenth century. Climate has a tendency to fluctuate, it is either getting warmer or it is getting colder; there is no such thing as a stable status quo.

When the last ice age ended, the Persian Gulf, large sections of Southeast Asia and the Bering land bridge between Alaska and Asia flooded. What we are probably going to face in the future is another flood event. Yes large populations live along the coast, large popultations have always lived along the coast. When the water rises they will do what they always do; they will move inland.

The bottom line is, yes there are long term trends of warming right now. We just have to make long term plans on how to deal with it. People need to stop being hysterical about it, and stop making money by feeding the hysteria.

The basic fact is that we still have not reached the high temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period. We survived that, and I'm sure we will survive this temperature rise. We survived ice ages and warm periods, that come and go. There were climate cycles before Humans ever walked the Earth, and they will be cycles afterwards too. The sun is the major influence on climate, and it will have the final say when it turns into a red giant and swallows the Earth, which will be the ultimate in global warming.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy Mabel ~ Friday Catblogging

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Here is a picture of Mabel (the Boomer sub cat), relaxing on her chair. Behind her is a toy squirrel, which is actually a dog toy. It is big, life like, and has a squeeker in its tail. Mabel loves attacking the thing, and will get a death grip on its head, and rake it with her hind claws.

I have also found the electronic squeeker mouse for her, and she likes it. Unfortunatly for the Boomer kitty, the noise will often attract an attack by a "fast attack cat" aka Minerva. So to be safe she has taken that mouse under her chair to play with. Often now I will hear squeeking coming from under there, as a submerged Boomer plays, hidden away.

Her favorite toy however is still her large blue fur mouse. Though she did suffer a trama last night. The mouse landed in her water bowl, and was too wet to play with. But a quick towel dry, followed by a trip through the clothes dryer put things to right. Now she can happily toss it around again, at least till it lands in the water again.

She has really turned into a happy and playful cat. Though she is limited to the study still, by patrols of the 'fast attack cat', she is gaining confidence daily. Often now she will stand her ground and hiss at Minerva, though sadly for Mabel, she is just ignored by Minnie. However, I have switched her to a collar without a bell, so now she can run silent like a proper Boomer kitty (look at that fat tail, she looks just like a Russian Boomer).

Of course like all Boomer kitties she is very secretive and shy.

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Here she is hiding her face, in an attempt to avoid being photographed. Thus she displays the true spirit of the 'silent service'. This once feral terror of the voles, is now turning into a happy house cat. She is no longer stuck outside in the cold world, but has found a home port. For this mighty hunter, the cold war is at last over.


Time is golden ~ A Golden Fridays Post

I really need to write shorter posts. However, to paraphrase Mark Twain, "I would have written a shorter article, but I didn't have enough time." Better yet is a quote from the staffer's sayings.

“Your briefing should be like a skirt: long enough to cover the important parts; short enough to be interesting…

A good editor helps an author cut their work down to size. To coin a mixed metaphor, "they are the mechanics that tightens the nuts and bolts on the old prose engine." Yet blogging is mostly a solo endeavor, so the blogger must be his own editor. The humble blogger must make due with his commentors and trackbackers. Everyone who reads a blog can contribute editorial comment, and do some of the editing and fact-checking. Ironicaly however, the blog must readable enough that people will post those comments.

The economy of the blogsphere runs on ideas. Everybody is putting out their memes, hoping to generate hits. In memenomics like economics, time is indeed money. The more time it takes for a reader to peruse the post, the more readers you will lose. Likewise the more time you put into crafting your post, the shorter and more concise it will be. Take time when crafting and presenting your memes, and you will be golden.

In the world of fan-fic, a solution was found. The beta reader, is the person who proofs and edits your fan-fic. Often this beta is someone who is familiar both with grammar and the genre of the fan-fic. Will this eventually happen in the Blogsphere? One of the key complaints of the MSM, is that the Blogsphere is an unedited free for all. To paraphrase the Instapundit, "commentors and other blogs are the editors that we rely on, and the speed of the internet makes editors unnecesarry."

I just need to take the additional time with my posts, and revise where needed. I need to remember to use some paraphrased rules of thumb. "Read twice, post once." "An edit in time saves nine." "Haste makes updates." "I will blog no post, before its time." "Polish your two cents till it shines like a silver penny." You are selling your ideas, in exchange for your readers time. Time is golden, remember memes are limitless but time is not. Make your meme a valuable commodity, that will be traded around the infosphere.

Bloggers are seeking the golden time of their readers. A well crafted meme will be brought. A rambling and incoherent thought, will be passed up by the astute reader. In the memenomics of the blogsphere, the choice of supplier for the reader is infinite. You must have a consistent supply chain full of well thought out and crafted memes. You have to price the time your reader must invest wisely. If your reader makes it to the end of your post, then you have succeeded.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tree Day ~ The forest have we forgotten it?

Today is tree day or wood day as the case may be.

Today we shall contemplate the forest, which some of us can't see because of the trees.

It is sort of like the parable.

When I was young I looked out my window and saw a mountain.

I went off to study, and when I looked at the mountain all I saw were rocks, strata, snow and various aspects of ecology.

Then when I came home again I looked out and again saw a mountain.

However it was not the same mountain.

This can also be applied to the trees and the forest in which they dwell. Yes it is important to study the individual trees to understand how they function within the dark woods. Yet remember at the end one must step back and view the forest as a single entitity.

This is why interdicipline actievities are important. Sometimes we need to gather all the people together who have been examining the bits and pieces. Remember the elephant and the blind men who only studied specific bits of it. What a difference it would have made if those blind men, who thought an elephant was a snake, or a wall or perhaps even a snake; had sat down together an compared notes.

So let us all step back from our inspection of the trees, and meditate on the forest as a whole.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Water day

This is the last of the introductory posts. Today is Water day, and I am dedicating it to water. Water posts will be dedicated to water. Be it symbolic, metaphoric or actual H2O. Water has a deep affect on the human soul. I could sit on the strand and stair out at the ocean forever. The sea has a soul and I love it so.

love to a pirate is the kiss of the salt breeze,
the curve of a white sail,
and the whisper of an enemy's well slit throat.

-The Pirate Movie

Jin in the Anime, Samurai Champloo, is an example of the use of water as metaphor. Water is often associated with calmness, stillness and inner peace. Yet one must always remember that it can be a destructive force. A calm pond or a raging sea; a spring shower or a torrential downpour, water can take many forms. It can be both a giver of life, or a taker of life.

The ocean is one of my true loves and most of the posts will focus on it. Also all things associated with the ocean such as the navy and things that go bump in the depths. The ocean engenders both love and respect.

It is approaching that time again where we must watch the ocean. It is coming up on hurricane season. It seems that we are in the upswing of the hurricane cycle, and we will experience a season like 2005. The season officialy starts on May 15th, yet it may kick off early. I hope people are better prepared this time.

My advice for everyone on the coast. Always keep a weather eye out. Make plans ahead of time. Have at least three days supplies on hand. Remember to care for your pets. Don't depend on the government for at least a week after the storm.

The sea is a harsh mistress but she is her own reward. Just give me a tall ship and a star to steer by. The sea is in our language and our thoughts.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fire day

Yes, it is the day that everyone has been waiting for. Today is fire day. Ok, probably no one has been waiting for fire day. But today is the day I've dedicated to blogging about fire.

But what exactly does it mean to blog about fire. It is not just powerful exothermic chemical reaction. It is more accurate to say that this is a day to blog about what fire symbolizes. Fire has always been one of our most important tools. It provides light, heat, protection and has enabled us to make yet more tools. Pottery, copper, bronze, plastics and chocolate cheesecake; none of these would exist without fire.

On the television show survivor fire is supposed to symbolize life. Fire is supposed to have been stolen from the gods by Prometheus, and given to man (Zeus was displeased by this and ended up flipping the bird at him). Fire is incredibly destructive, but is a force which we have learned to control and manipulate. Fire is power, and it is something that we have always quested after.

I will focus on the energy and power aspect of fire. Power in all its forms from political to technology. It truly set us apart from the other animals, in that we alone knew how to control it. It beat back the dark, and gave us protection from the beasts that prowled the night. Now the fire most us use is electrical. Yet there is just something about a campfire that captivates us.

The camp fire is the original hearth. Since we first migrated out of Africa along the south Asian coast, it was no doubt fueled by drift wood which would give it a sparkly quality. It was the central aspect of the camp. It beat back the dark, and no doubt much as we have always done we told stories around it. It let us talk about the events of the day, and plan for the next. It was the original school, where children were taught the culture of the clan.

It was also where children learned both about the benefit and the dangers of fire. Imagine how dangerous a campfire is, with children of all ages grouped around it. They have to learn the rules of fire. Children have to learn that fire can be used for good or for ill. It is important to respect fire, yet not to be fearful of it.

Today we are running out of fuel for one of the major fires. There is a limited amount of oil that can be pumped and processed right now. Yet we have at our fingertips the knowledge of how to use nuclear fire. Fire which can give us the hydrogen we need to fuel our vehicles. Unfortunately too many people are fearful of it.

Yes nuclear power can be dangerous, and of magnitude that is thousands of times greater then the old camp fire. Yet we have also developed mechanisims that make it safe. It needs to be respected and not feared. Where would we be if we decided to give up fire just because someone was accidently burned. Chernobyl was a disaster, yet we must draw lessons from it and not fear.

All forms of power have their downsides. However there are too many of us to go back to the campfire, or give it up all together. Nuclear offers are best bet. Pebble-bed technology seems to be the best option right now. It is time to start talking about nuclear from a standpoint of respect and not one of fear. Two or three stage disposal methods, pebble bed, safe construction methods and transportation methods. All of these need to be solved, but we need to leave our hysteria behind.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Moon Mondays

As we progress through the cycle that is the week, we arrive at Monday. The moon has long been a symbol of the mystic. So I dedicate Monday's to topics of the mysteries. Religion, myth, psycology, the mind and the inner self are the topics of the day.

We have found evidence of the spiritual from the earliest of times. Spirits, ghosts, demons and demigods are found in all cultures. They go by different names, and are regarded differently, yet they are a common human trait. It is probably what truly seperates us from the other hominoids. The belief in the spiritual, is it truly what makes us human? Is this what it means to be a Hominid.

To answer that question let us turn to the biggest Hominid of them all. BigHominid, is a blogger who currently resides in South Korea. He often has insightful posts on Budhisim and other spiritual matters. He is scatalogicaly inclined like some others in the blogsphere, but he is well worth the read. Like the cartoon Southpark, the casual reader should be advised that "no one should read this blog."

He is wrong about many things. Yes vinegar does taste sour not bitter. But for those with an open mind, one can find insight. You just have to bring your hip waders with you to do it.

His articles on the spiritual are on the left side. Be prepared for some interesting pics before you get to them. Follow his instructions for finding the right article. Like all spirituality, the search is sometimes long and often leads down the wrong path. I present his article entitled: Buddhism and no-self.

It is an exploration of what exactly the self is, and the solution Buddhisim provides. It is a wonderful article though, I do think that the Hominid would have a totally different interpretation for "Moon Mondays." However, I think that even those chasms can be overcome.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sad carnival of the Cats

The carnival is up over at Animal Family. Sadly though their pet rabbit passed away today. It is always sad to lose a beloved pet. I am still coming to terms with my own loss of four months ago.

I just want to hug my two girls now. It is so sad that small furry creatures which have so much love to give, have so little time with us. Hug your furred ones tonight.


Sunday Space post ~ Spirit and Opportunity

Today is Sunday, the day when I post about astronomy, space and the exploration of the next frontier.

To start off the Space posts, I give you the Mars Rovers. These little robots really need a medal for going above and beyond the call of duty. The original mission was scheduled for three months. It has now been over two years, and though age is creeping up on them, they are still going.

The major problem that was supposed to shut the rovers down was the accumulation of dust on the solar panels. Why Nasa didn't come up with a fan, or some sort of wiper to get the dust off is beyond me. However, it seems that this problem was overcome by our spunky little rovers.

It is now heading into the Martian winter, when our little photovore Spirit will have limited energy. The last update on the Nasa page is from April 12, 2006. Spirit has reached a safe spot, and has settled down to hibernate through the long Martian winter. It is now at 'Low Ridge Haven,' and will spend the next eight months there. Though one of it's wheels is jammed, the little rover is showing the tremendous spirit for which it is named.

Opportunity however is on yet another quest. It is currently treking toward Victoria crater. It has spied an interesting and tantilizing bit of sedimentary rock that was exposed by the cosmic collision that created the crater. Hopefully it will achieve a great victory, and discover many new things.

It is just too bad that the two rovers are too far apart to realisticaly drive towards each other. It would have been nice to have a grand meet up. Though maybe when we do get to Mars, we can refurbish both rovers. Give them the power, to drive towards each other and meet again. Not only have the two contributed to our knowledge of Mars but also to our knowledge and expectations of rovers.

What we need is more long endurance space craft. We need rovers and observation satelites that can function for years if not decades. We need to make them so that we can even send repair and upgrade packages to them. Each one of these expeditions are costly and it would be nice if they lasted longer then they normaly do. Just think of the possibilities such as sending a repair and upgrade rover, to repair and upgrade the current rover or one of the satilites. Of course we would have to build rovers that are easily upgraded.

Next mission I say we send in several rovers and a repair/upgrade station to the same location. Multiple rovers so that if one rover got in trouble the other rovers could rescue it. A central station that will serve as a hub for the rover fleet. The station will have batteries, and a manipulator arm to repair and upgrade it's rover fleet. These will be big rovers, capable of long range exploration and have swap out mission modules. Until we get to Mars ourselves we will have our little robotic helpers.


Carnival of the Insanities

My tornado/terrorisim post is up at the carnival of the insanities. Everyone should check out all the other great posts in this carnival. I wonder if the insanities will also accept cat posts, after all cats by definition are insane. Or at least my cats seem to behave in weird and strange ways.


Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earthday Saturday

The exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power station is teeming with life

Thus the BBC says in it's opening graph. The headline screams, " Wildlife defies Chernobyl radiation." What is going on here. It turns out that the disaster has created a huge wild life preserve.

This is also the same thing that is seen along the DMZ in Korea. Both are areas where we just don't go anymore. It is good to see that at least some good has come out of this.

Yes I know it was a day late for this Earthday post, but I will endeavor to do better. Either that or I'll just backdate the post.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Golden Fridays

I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe, a claim I shall attempt to prove. In fact, if you can understand me‚—no, that's too much to ask of anyone‚—if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolize, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because‚—well, because I am seemingly so simple.

So begins an essay that economist Leonard E. Read, in 1958. It appears in the EconLibrary. It is a must read, as it is a powerful teaching as well as a thought tool. For that reason I am using it to kick off Golden Fridays. Friday is going to be dedicated to economics in all it's forms. From basic trading, potlatches, comunisim, capitalism and other weird forms in which ideas, material and services acquired, given away or whatever the current definition of economics is.

This essay tells the remarkable story of the humble pencil and how it came to be. It details the many things necessary for its production. Illustrates that without the invisible hand of a free economy, making a pencil would be extremely difficult. It shows why planned economies don't work well. From the rubber to the graphite there are many ingredients which have to acquired, refined and transported.

If it is so difficult and takes so many people to make a pencil, then think how difficult it would be to make a modern car. Think of how many people it would take to make a complete car from scratch. By scratch I mean everything from digging the raw iron ore out of the ground to transporting all the various elements to the final assembly factory. Remember you would need to make as many cars as were demanded by the people. Could the country of Norway make cars from scratch, and if it did would it have any people left over to make anything else that they needed.

What the essay doesn't really go into, but is thought provoking is the role of people as resources. Granted that the woodcutters also supply wood to furniture makers as well as pencil makers. However a piece of wood supplied to one is a piece of wood denied to another. There is only so much wood each individual can cut during a day. So how many wood cutters are needed, the invisible hand determines it. We have seen what happens when the central state tries to circumvent this, in the failure of the Soviet Union.

The greatest advance in Human societies is the innovations in production. There is an old rule of thumb that it takes ten people on the farm to support on person in a city. This rule of thumb is of course obsolete today where only about 10% of the population works in the agriculture industry. The agricultural revolution is the fuel that supplied the concurrent industrial revolution. Without it there wouldn't have been anyone to work in the factories, or else if the state had mandated that they work in the factories, they would have slowly starved. Ponder North Korea, and wonder how this state government allocated the resources of its former farmers and the starvation that has wracked that land.

Think of the early colonies in the Americas. During the early years they were dependent on the Europe for many things that they couldn't produce themselves. Remember they had access to a lot of raw materials. What they lacked was the people, to utilize them all.

McCaffery and Bujold, are both science fiction writers. In both cases they had disasterous planetary colonization events. This theme has also been explored by other authors, but these two have built huge worlds on the theme. The theme of lost technology and regression. Both had small population bases, that did not have the people to maintain their original tech base. Think about it, having all the technological specifications, but not having the actual people to either maintain or build new items.

This is why international trade is very important in todays increasingly complicated technological world. Very few countries have the population base to build everything they need. From raw materials, to the people to process the materials, to people to actually transport and sell the items to everyone who needs them.

Luckily the invisible hand is guiding the modern world. Can you imagine the buerarcacy that would be needed to actually plan all of this out. It would be enormous as they decided exactly how many miners and how many truck drivers were needed. Think about all the people in the government buildings, deciding and planning this minuetia. Now imaging all the real jobs that these people are not doing. Everyone engaged in the planning is not contributing to the bottom line of the economy.

There are three pillars. Always remember that people are a vital part of the system. Resources, people and power are what make an economy run. In capitalisim that power comes in the form of money. But the lubricant that makes it all work well is the freedom, and the invisible hand that this freedom provides.


Friday Catblogging ~ Detente

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Here we have the cats exhibiting a rare moment of truce. There has been a general easing of tension between the two. Though Minerva the 'fast attack cat', will be the one that will break it. She won't usually attack, but will chase Mabel under the couch. I think she mainly does it just to have fun and get a reaction out of her.

The only time Minerva seems serious about it is if Mabel actually leaves the study and goes into the main part of the house. Apparently Minnie is ok with Mabel so long as she knows her place. Apparently her place is the Study (with connecting bathroom and litter box facilities). Mabel doesn't seem to mind and seems content to hang out in the study with me.

In the pic they are both on the couch in the study, and Minerva is looking out the window. Mabel the 'boomer' kitty is not hiding but is resting close by, but keeping a close eye on her. Mabel is tolerant but observant, and will submerge and hide at a moments notice.

The bells on their respective collars seem to help. It lets both of them know where the other is. So this way Mabel will know if a 'fast attack cat' is in fact sneaking up on her. So I'm going to keep their little sonar systems active for the time being.


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cat Exercise

Now that Mabel is getting more playful, I can give her the exercise she needs. Most of her plumpness is fur, though she does have a little bit of plumpness about her. In fact her thick tail is why I started calling her a boomer kitty. She is heavy boned but she has a layer of plumpness too.

She plays a lot with her toy mouse, which is good. However, there is nothing like a "thing on a string" to give your cat exercise. Lately I've been using the feather fishing pole to give her exercise. Use it as a lure and vary the retrieves in order to keep them interested. Flick the feather behind objects, flick it in the air and hop it around the ground. Remember they need to exercise all of their hunting skills. If they seem uninterested, they might just be waiting and biding their time. Think of a hunter hiding in a blind, waiting for the moment to strike.

Here is a pic of her, asleep after a good work out. Unconsidered Trifles, has a plump kitty that needs exercise. It takes work but it can be done. The only problem though is that most cats I know love to eat. Fortunatly most cats also love to play.

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Thursday is wood day

Thursday is now wood day.

Yes, but what does that mean?

"From the humble acorn, grows the mighty oak"

It is the day to blog about progress and diversity. From the most humble beginnings great things grow. Often in their growth there is often branching as new ideas and memes split off.

But how is this going to be applied to "wood" day

Thursday shall be dedicated to Human progress. Human progress from when we first emerged as a species and spread out over the world to today. Speculation about both the past and the present. A look at history, archaeology and the differences and similarities that is the human condition.

Currently this progress has lead us to the communication age. With the internet the small bud, is now blooming into flower. Blogs are a part of this, as now everyone can be a journalist. Though being a "journalist" is not a very good deffinition. The blog is the soapbox, or mountain top which enables everyone to speak his mind. It is nothing sort of the campfire circle, we all when we were all at the hunter/gatherer stage. Everyone got a say, not the elites who took over control of the fire.

In this blog I will devote Thursday's to this exploration. This blog is still at the acorn stage, but is at last sprouting. It has been dormant for a long while now. Mainly this was due to my cat coming down with cancer, and I abandoned the blog. I really had no idea where to go with it. Now I shall try.

The branches of the blog shall be seven. Monday shall be dedicated to the moon and the mystic. Tuesday shall be dedicated to the fire and other energy matters. Wednesday shall be devoted to water and the oceans. Thursday is wood day as I have said. Friday shall be the golden day of economics. Saturday shall be earth day where I discuss the environment, and how we fit in it. Sunday shall be astonomy and our quest for the stars.

Of course the central trunk shall still be the Friday catblog. There is a method to my madness. Or at least there is a method in this madness. This is today's wood day post, where the progress and development of this blog is laid out. Five points for anyone who can identify what this scheme is based on.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Special Friday Catblog

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Today is the anniversary of my adoption of Phoebe.

I adopted her in 2001 from a local Petsmart adoption center. She had spent a year in foster care, learning to trust again. She had been given up for adoption by a woman, whose boyfriend abused this poor cat.

She was the first cat that was soley mine. She was a unique personality. She had various quirks but they made her all the more adorable. She insisted that the food in her bowl be absolutely level. She insisted on meowing loudly when I went to bed, until I called her to come up. However, just the way she always curled up beside my head and purred made up for all her weirdness. She stole my heart, and was my constant companion.

Unfortunatly last year she came down with cancer. Though I tried various treatments throughout the summer, the progress could not be halted. I had to put her to sleep on December 19, 2005. I gave her a happy life, and I just wish that it had been longer. She was very special, and though her life was short we gave each other so much love.

She was purring and happy to the end, I hope that made up for her bad start in life.

This is a picture of her last summer. It was taken while we were up at a private hunting lodge. She loved it up there, and settled right in. She was a very adaptable cat, and actually loved to ride in cars and didn't mind going to strange houses.


Thursday, April 13, 2006


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Could it actually be? Both cats are on the couch together, and seem to be tolerating each other. Ok, I don't expect them to be cuddling anytime soon. But this is deffintely a step in the right direction. Just as long as the paw about to do the stepping, keeps it's claws sheathed.

Minerva really looks like a fairy cat in this pic. She had just been looking out the window, which is why her pupils are dilated so much. Either that or she really is a mystic fairy cat. Either way the new stars and crescent moon collar suits her.


Monday, April 10, 2006

Carnival of the Cats Kerfluffle

There was a kerfluffle about the exclusion of a Sisu in the latest edition of the Carnival of the cats. Sisu who is a regular side show attraction, responds that he was unfairly excluded.

Thus there was no tiny or baby in this weeks carnival. I can only hope that my own Minnie made up for it. Though it is a big job for even a "fast attack cat." Exspecially such a tiny one. Lawrence responds in his own blog on the subject. Hopefully this has difused the situation, and this won't end up as a cat fight.

I liked my own entry in the carnival:
Fast Attack Cat is the order of the day at Baronger's place. How about a Littoral Combat Cat, instead?

I think that Cdr. Salamander, would have much to say on the subject of the "litoral combat ship." However a "Littoral Combat Cat" produces some difficulty in our furry little hydrophobes. Anyone who has tried to give a cat a bath, has on their hand a littoral combat cat.

Cats and ships go together. After all what cat can resist a place that has four meals a day. Remember the fourth meal is called midrats. It is only natural that they enlisted.

"The sea cat is a harsh mistress, but she is her own reward."


Sunday, April 09, 2006

The winds of terrorism

It is that time of year again. The storm clouds darken on the horizon. People huddle in underground bunkers and in safe rooms. Sudden death and destruction threatens the country. People will die, property will be destroyed and lives forever altered. The destruction will be random, and nothing can be done to stop it. The only protection is an elite group of intelligence operators, trying to find out the next target. All they can do is warn people.

It is not fanatical terrorists which are to blame. In fact there is no terror at all. It is just a fact of life and sometimes death here in the Midwest. To use the newest internet meme, "Snakes on a Plane." Tornadoes happen, you deal and you move on. All that can be done is to keep an eye on the sky and go on with life as normal. These funnels of doom can do more damage in a year to America then any terrorist group could ever dream of.

Tornados are something which we just accept. We accept them because there is nothing that we can do about it. After all tornadoes are just a mindless force of nature. They come through at random, and we rebuild knowing that another may come through again. We don't sit around and worry about them, but in the back of our minds we always keep them in mind.

Is it possible to have this same attitude towards terrorism? The more I think about it, the more I think that the left side of the political spectrum does. The popular refrain seems to be, "you can't fight terrorism." If you can't fight it, then that means that it is simply a force you can't do anything about. Terrorists will strike at random and without warning, and people will just have to accept it, rebuild and move on. The best that can be done is to have intelligence agencies scan the horizon, and hopefully give early warning.

Yes a terrorist can be arrested, yet the underlying problems will just create a new one. Even the arrest of the terrorist will no doubt create another terrorist. Since nothing can be done we might as well do nothing. This seems to be the meme that is going around. A terrorist attack is just something we have to live with, like tornadoes.

Terrorism is just another form of crime. The lefts attitude toward crime seems to be exactly the same at that they have toward terrorism. It is not the criminal that is to blame, it is the society that produced him. There is no use in bringing hard punishments against the criminal since it is not his fault. Punishment won't deter crime, so why bother. Even taking the criminal off the street won't matter since society will keep producing them. Terrorism and crime are a faceless byproduct of the alienation of modern society.

It is faceless because in the big cities we are all lost in a faceless crowd. Privacy is important and easy to achieve since no one really knows anyone else. People can blend into and hide in the crowd. The police look over an undifferentiated sea of humanity, and have no idea who might be a criminal or a terrorist. In fact it is this very alienation which is the cause of so much angst and alienation which produce the destructive mind.

How is it that in small town mid-west America, terrorists are not thought of this way. This is the area of the country that knows tornadoes first hand. I have written briefly about this before. Is it because crime and terrorism are not faceless. That it is individuals and not society that is held accountable. The faceless mob is not dealt with, since there is no faceless mob. People deal with individuals and think of them as such. You might not know them personally yet you know someone who knows someone who does. Even the crazy old hermit is known, and talked about. In these communities there is no faceless person lost in anonymity. In fact anyone who tried, would be talked about and people would snoop about.

Terrorism for a lot of people is a problem like crime that can be solved. Is a person's attitude toward crime and punishment and indicator of their attitude towards terrorism? Is the basic meme difference even more simpler. Do you think of people first as individuals or as a member of a group? Is it more important to have policy that deals with individuals or that deals with group concerns? Is it more important to solve the group social issues to defeat terrorism or can one fight the terrorists?

So is the wind of terrorism something that is a force of human nature which can't be stopped. Is fighting terrorism as useless as spitting into the wind? I believe that it is possible to fight terrorism since my basic meme is that people are individuals first and a member of a group second.

Yet if my meme for the Lefts meme is correct, I think I can begin to see the Left's point. Yet everybody who lives in poverty does not commit crime, and everyone who lives in the Middle-East is not a terrorist. It all comes down to a personal choice in my mind. Terrorism is an idea, and ideas can be defeated, it is not an unstoppable force.

All battles and wars come down to the battleground behind a persons eyes. We just have to make sure that the enemy can't or won't fight no more. Terrorists are not a force of nature. A terrorist and a tornado can cause similar death and destruction. We might not be able to do anything about terrorists, but we shouldn't confuse them with a tornado.


Saturday, April 08, 2006

So close ...... yet so far

So close ... yet so far.

These are this years Hurricane names:

Please note that the "K" for this year is Kirk. That's right it is once again not Kahn. We need to see a weatherman out in the middle of a storm shouting, "KAHN" at the top of his lungs. We need a good hurricane at which to shout our defiance.

Actually the whole list is not very inspiring. Ok, with the hurricane season supposed to be just as bad we will probably go through all of them again. Though hopefully we won't go through the auxillary greek letters like last year. Let's face it, Hurricane Omega is just a bit too ominous.

However Valerie, has a nice dark and gothic ring to it. Leslie might work however Patty just won't do. Rafeal works and I could accept Nadine. But Debby and Erensto, just don't seem to be Hurricane material. I could see a hurricane Helene, I wonder if that one will be the one that will launch sink a thousand ships.

Hopefully the Hurricane season won't be as bad as the tornado season has been so far. Yet, we seem to be in the same cycle at the beginning of this season as we were at the beginning of the last. This year the models are showing them hitting the North East. We had some big ones at the beginning of the last season up there.

Hopefully, we have most of the kinks ironed out of FEMA by now. Even so, it is best to prepare oneself for three days without federal assistance. Everyone should have their emergency kits for their families and pets prepared. Always remember that self reliance is key. Though I doubt most people this go around will put much faith in either the local, state or federal government.

Remember state and local polititicians don't run on disaster preparedness, they run on school issues and the like. When we elect mayors we don't ask ourselves, "is this person qualified if the worst happens." Though in hindsight, maybe we should ask questions like that. Maybe it should be one of the first questions a candidate is asked in this day and time. "Mr./Ms. Candidate do you have a plan in case the worst happens."

Hopefully, the answer the candidates give won't be, "ah ... I encourage everyone to store tuna and powdered milk under their bed." I'm sure most people will have food for a few days saved up, we need concrete plans. Stocked civil defence shelters, that are disaster resistant. Plans for organization, and local leaders clearly identified.

We don't need a detailed plan, since you can't plan for a total disaster. We need local on the spot people who can trouble shoot and plan on the fly. We need people deputized to be the person on the spot for their area. We need to know who to call to report things. This is the communication and internet age. What we need is for the people in charge to start communicating with us. It needs to be done now, since when the disaster happens that is the first thing that will be lost. Communicate now, because when the worst happens you won't be able to communicate then.


Friday, April 07, 2006

Cat Blogging Friday

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This little thing is Minerva ne' Minnie ne' FAC (Fast Attack Cat).

She is Mabel's daughter, and despite her small size really is almost three years old. She is 7.2 pounds of feisty though. I refer to both of them by submarine types. Mabel is a boomer (she will mostly hide), while Minnie is a "Fast Attack Cat", who is intent on finding the boomer and attacking her. Minnie even makes a little chirrup that sounds exactly like the diving alarm on a submarine.

Like Mabel she is a feral cat, and has decided that she has had enough of that wild life style in the outdoors. Instead she has decided to have a wild life style inside. She has now settled into the routine of a housecat, and loves this new concept of toys. I'll always find her three favorite toys in my bed.

At first she thought she was going to be an only cat. She was not pleased at first when her mom joined us. Now she is not hostile aggressive anymore though. Unfortunately for Mabel she is playful agressive. The little thing is a bundle of energy. In the picture above, she is intent on the birds at the bird feeder.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Phoebe - RIP

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3-10-98 to 12-19-06

Earlier in this blog you will see a quick post about Phoebe. Alas, the poor dear came down with cancer. It was a long fight over the summer, which she would eventually lose. She was really the first cat that I owned that was not a family cat. She was incredibly sweet in her own grumpy way.

I just wish that she could have had a longer life. I adopted her on 4-14-01. She had been in an abusive home, and needed a lot of love. She was a very loving cat, and she will be missed. I'm just glad that I knew her, and could give her a loving home.


The FBI - so sad it is not even funny

Found via Instapundit. Slate has an interesting article on The Federal Bureau of Investigations luddites. I increasingly get the feeling that the entire organization needs to be scrapped, and rebuilt from the ground up. Of course people would reject that, since we have this idea of proper FBI agents dressed in their early 20th century best. The problem is that they are still in the early 20th century. I lost my faith during that whole crime lab kerfluffle, and 9/11 was just the final nail in the coffin.

I expect them to have something akin to Wikipedia on their private servers. A carefully contructed FBI view of the universe. Every agent has his own registered account so they can edit the information, and it will be available to every other agent instantly.

Lets also give each agent a blog too, to record their daily progress. This will give them each of them a searchable data-base. It will also let others find relative information that might also have applications to cases they might be working on.

Of course they should all have an email account, which is the basis for the slate article. We could call it gmail for gmen. Instead of advertisements like in the google gmail, a search engine will scan an email and search for connections between the email and a database.

Of course cell phones, blackberries, laptops and handheld computers will be equally important. Yes it is time for the FBI to get into the 21st century. It is sad to think that almost everybody has access to more powerful computer resources then the FBI. All the FBI has to do is come up with these same applications, and just make them a little secure. Either that or we can just let NCIS, take over or maybe one of the other intelligence agencies.

Either the FBI can start taking protecting us seriously or they need to be replaced. Maybe the FBI can stick to low level federal crime investigation. They probably also need a big marketing/PR campaign to tell us what they are doing. They need to give us cause to have faith in them again.


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Demographics and Europe

Asymmetrical blogs on the blog entry "dooms loom and the band played on", with her own take on the situation. She is going more for an economic impact to explain the declining birthrate in Italy and Europe in general.

Here is my reply:
Economic reasons for not having children are only part of the problem, and then only a minor part.

Having children goes beyond economics to social and emotional values.

I think one of the key reasons is the fear of the "population bomb" that has been ingrained into progressive society. Remember the common saying of, "how can you possibly want to bring a child into a world like this?" This is probably more of the cause of the lack of children. The mantra of, "the human race is destroying the environment, they needs to be less population."

Think about it, parents will sacrifice and suffer economic hardships for their children. Children are beyond economics.

The common refrain from Europe is that they are "citizens of the world". Well world wide the population is still not shrinking it is expanding. The drumbeat ever since the '60's has been to curb the population growth of the planet. This is very tied into the green movement, and is a fundamental philosophy that is central to the movement. So we can add "guilt", as a reason why European population is decreasing.


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