November 18, 2003
Check it out: CNN: Nearly extinct whistling language revived
It's called Silbo Gomero and the idea of it is pretty cool to me. Of course, being something of a libertine, I am concerned about this:
Now, Plasencia is heading an effort to have UNESCO declare it an "intangible cultural heritage" and support efforts to save it. "Silbo is so unique and has many values: historical, linguistic, anthropological and aesthetic. It fits perfectly with UNESCO's requirements," he said.My question is, "why?"
There must be some benefit behind this appeal to "international authority." And benefit usually boils down to money. And when it comes to money from "international authorities," it usually means
mandatory contributions "donations" from actual national authorities. From whence are these monies collected? More often than not, the answer is taxes. *blech*
So, I hope the kind whistlers of Las Islas Canarias won't mind if I hold a little bit of a grudge against their efforts.
If I were writing this from the perspective of a particularly bad mood, I would hasten to point out that given today's technology, and the ostensible lack of need for Silbo Gomero that has led to its degradation to this point, the practice is little more than a side-show novelty. That's just the sort of thing I want to sacrifice an ounce of my well-being to support. Not.
Anywho, poppets, go read the article and don't mind my snark. It's otherwise fairly interesting.
For the most part, I support our efforts to thwart Darwin so, I am glad for this list. There are, however, some cases where it might be wise to put natural selection to the test. (I jest, of course.)
Well, the good ol' Robert Tracinsky has published an essay casting similar aspersions on the notion.
Check it out on Capitalism Magazine!
I applaud the effort as it much more clearly states many of the points I attempted to make myself.
an insatiable desire to overeatExactly how much overeating has to happen ordinarily before someone is sated? Couldn't they just say 'an unstoppable desire to eat' or 'incessant?' Putting 'insatiable' in the same sentence as 'overeat' isn't an exact redundancy, I'll admit, but it's conceptually unwieldy enough to tell me that the writer was stretching to avoid the clichÃ©-sounding 'insatiable hunger.' (Or maybe he needed additional words?)
My subscription still has not expired and this is a prime example of the sort of writing one finds in this magazine, right up next to their anarchist/communist political tendencies. (This month's issue features a software recommendation for ripping encrypted DVDs. Yes, Wired apparently considers itself in the business of encouraging thievery and educating pirates.)
I will say that this quotation comes from a fair article about savants and autistic children. I think it’s worth the read if you can ignore the writing.
I’m sure the rest of the magazine has more things for me to gripe about. I haven’t read it all, but I’m starting to wonder if the fact that I read it even though I hate it is a problem.
November 11, 2003
Anyway, Neal brought up some news today I hadn't heard before. Then, I was reading IMAO and ol' Frank had a link to this story in his bite-sized wisdom: FT: Plan for UN to run internet 'will be shelved'
The first and most obvious outrage here is that the UN has absolutely no business even considering this. But let's pretend like we've discussed that to death and consider this little jewel:
Defenders of the status quo say handing over power to governments could threaten the untrammelled flow of information and ideas that many see as the very essence of the borderless internet.If nothing else worries you in this litany of "new challenges" that hate-speech bit should have you composing some of your own to the UN.
But these arguments appear to be losing force against the emergence of new challenges such as unwanted advertising ("spam"), privacy and security worries, hate speech and child pornography, which have convinced many governments of the need for international regulation and enforcement.
This term "hate speech" is meaningless in the proper sense of language and concepts. It is supposed to describe speech, usually containing threats of violent action, against any group but usually to the exclusion of straight, white, Christian males.
I would hasten to point out that threatening speech is already illegal. You’re simply not allowed to threaten folks and for good reason. The question becomes, why the special term? (Because it goes with my hate crime legislation brooch and with my new Kenneth Cole pumps, this ensemble is really just to die for!) Application reveals that it actually applies to anything considered disagreeable by anyone, though obviously not everyone and usually only to liberals.
Here's an example: Some person may say, "The foremost priority of the American military is the protection of the American people. All others come second." It's true, but some would call this hate speech and their specious reasoning goes something like, "If other people are to be considered secondary to Americans, then you think that Americans are superior and others are inferior and because you're talking about the military, you're talking about a threat of violence against those you consider to be inferior, thus you are the speaker of the hate; a hate speaker. BLAAAH!!!"
And then they cart you off to jail.
In all seriousness, those two tiny words represent a serious threat to our freedom of speech. The UN is not a defender of individual rights let alone a defender of American rights.
November 08, 2003
Check it out: The Absurdities Underlying Multiculturalism
Here are some of my favorite lines:
In my book race might be an achievement, worthy of considerable celebration, only if a person was born white and though his effort and diligence became black.BINGO! And then...
For the multiculturist/diversity crowd, culture, ideas, customs, arts and skills are a matter of racial membership where one has no more control over his culture than his race. That's a racist idea but it's politically correct racism. It says that one's convictions, character and values are not determined by personal judgement and choices but genetically determined. In other words, as yesteryear's racists held: race determines identity.
Western values are superior to all others. Why? The indispensable achievement of the West was the concept of individual rights.Praise him!
But it don't stop:
Western values are by no means secure. They're under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality with entitlement; they want to halt progress in the name of protecting the environment.I am on the verge of naming some names and calling y'all out. Recognize!
And I don't mean to ruin it but he closes with:
Multiculturalism and diversity are a cancer on our society and ironically, with our tax dollars and charitable donations, we're feeding it.Can I please get an 'AMEN!' from the congregation?
November 07, 2003
Oh, Brad! Come here and rest your blessed little head. You've obviously over-exerted yourself with all that pretty.
My favorite part of J's story?
“My eyes! My eyes! The beauty overwhelms them!” shouted a nearby man as he fell to the ground, clutching his face.
“Tone it down a touch, honey,” Brad suggested.
“Oops! Sorry, mister!” she shouted as her beauty faded ever so slightly.
It would be easy to dismiss this as a silly geek pageant. I can almost hear the jokes about geeks and their dates being created. Right on the tip of your tongue, am I right?
But I would like to sling some praise their way. This competition is perhaps the first earnest artistic effort in the only truly legitimate and distinct modern artistic medium. In further contrast to the largest body of modern art, they're actually striving for beauty.
Technically speaking, even the sneak previews of the entries I was able to find on the web are as astounding as they are complex. The level of naturalism that these artists have accomplished is not rivaled by any other classical medium.
I, for one, am going to keep an eye on this. I’m confident that the best is yet to come.
“Art is the selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments." – Ayn Rand
So, peep these upcoming celestial events and heavenly minutia:
- 8:06 PM EST, Saturday, 11/8/2003 – Lunar Eclipse
- Sunday, 11/9/2003 – Full Moon (the loonies are already afoot.)
- Wednesday, 11/19/2003, Leonid Meteor Shower
- Friday, 11/28/2003, Solar Eclipse (Antarctica only)
- Mars continues to shine brightly
- Venus (Eosphoros to the ancient Greeks) is available for a peep show
- Saturn and Jupiter also make several showings.
PS This post is for you because my last several posts were really long.
November 05, 2003
Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated murder and agreed to provide information to help locate remains lost for nearly two decades in exchange for prosecutors agreeing not to seek the death penalty.We don't need the remains. Execute him.
I will admit that I'm not particularly sensitive about these sorts of things. But I also don't share the affection for corpses and momento mori that our society has. To be honest, I often to think this tendency is irrational. So, perhaps I'm not the best person to ask about that sort of thing.
What is rational, however, is executing serial killers and we have everything we need for that.
A man picked up a dead rattlesnake he found on the side of a road and stuck it in his freezer to keep as a souvenir. Now, he finds himself in court.This is a perfect illustration of why these Endangered Species laws are completely absurd. (And even if you don't buy my anti-endangered species argument that follows, you have to admit that this is a completely ridiculous situation.) Allow me to illustrate by way of the Socratic method some of the problems here.
The game warden said it did not matter the snake was dead.
"We're trying to protect the species because they are an endangered species," he said. "Handling them and even having them is a violation. He had it for three weeks so he certainly had enough time to contact authorities."
- If no one owns endangered species, then how is it that the government can offer them protection when the purpose of the government is to protect the rights of its citizens?
- If species labeled as endangered are a "public property," then as part of the public, shouldn't this man be allowed to have one since he's part of the public? Or should we chop up all of our endangered species and give a little piece to any one who wants one?
- If the specimen in question is dead, then it's not really endangered any more. It's already gone way past danger. So, why is it part of the law that handling even the carcasses of dead endangered species animals is a crime?
The solution to saving endangered species is to actually turn them over to private ownership. We have no shortage of chickens, for example, because we're allowed to own them and their owners have a strong incentive to keep them healthy and make sure they propogate.
So, who wants a bunch of rattlesnakes? Any takers?
November 04, 2003
Here's the article:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Police say they've arrested a man in a case of trick-or-treat rage.Ok. Someone needs to just chill.
They say he smashed a bird-feeder and threw a pumpkin through the window of a house where his son allegedly was denied Halloween candy.
Police say the 43-year-old father was taking his son trick-or-treating Friday when the boy returned crying, saying a woman didn't give him any candy. Police say the man confronted the woman, who said she had given the boy candy.
The father and son left but returned a few minutes later.
Police say the man gave the woman a note with his address, told her to call the police, and then went on the attack.
I wonder why li'l Johnny misbehaves in school? Where did he get the idea that if someone won't give him something that he should beat them up? Why is li'l Johnny a
liberal communist? Where did he get his foolish ideas? I wonder.
Public schools probably because he certainly didn't learn it at home.
November 03, 2003
At least four Iraqi civilians were killed in Iraq in the wake of the deadliest single strike on U.S. forces...There are two facts presented here that let you know that Iraq sucks. 1) The single deadliest attack they've been able to launch killed 15 of our soldiers. Every American life lost to these nincompoops is a tragedy make no mistake. But at the same time 15 does not even approach the sort of scope that could be counted as a military victory. I have no doubt, however, that the "moonbats" will make some opportunistic fuss about the war being a complete failure now. 2) In killing us, they still manage to kill some of their own. Who exactly are these folks fighting for again?
Anyway, the article goes on to outline other attacks and attrocities. It also quotes some of the loco citizens of Iraq who hate America. yadda yadda yadda...
Which brings me to the point of this post and a question that has puzzled me since even before Iraq: Why are we helping them rebuild?
I earnestly do not understand this.
It used to be that after a sound stomping the victor actually claimed a portion of the defeated nation's territory.
To the victor go the spoils.
Nowadays, it seems like we go in, kick butt, and then help them fix what we broke. I realize that most will say that we do this out of compassion, but how does this make sense at all? We wouldn't have had to do that if they weren't acting like a bunch of loons in the first place.
It seems to me that by helping them rebuild that we're actually helping them NOT learn their lesson. I would even so far as to say that our efforts to help them re-establish themselves is not born of compassion at all, but rather those apologists who are constantly seeking to undermine our sovereignty and deny America’s moral superiority.
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