Poll of a Billion Monkeys

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Humours of Idleness - War on the Web

Humours of Idleness - War on the Web

Earlier this evening, right at dusk, I was out cutting grass around some of the old out buildings I intend to move off of my property. On one of the buildings is the web with my beautiful yellow and black argiope. She was sitting on her web watching me when a large hunter spider, or what around here we call a wolf spider (because normally they don't build webs but hunt like wolves), ran up the side of the wall to flee the noise of my mower.

Realizing that he had stumbled into a web he tried to circle back around but only became stuck. Once he was stuck the female argiope started moving down the web and towards him. He, well understanding what was attracting her instantly played dead. She stopped approaching. They hung like that for a long time, the wolf spider hanging by his two back legs, wrapped in her strong silk and unable to free himself. Finally he started trying to escape again and she made a run for him. He turned on her and possibly bit her, it was hard to tell, and she dropped from her web to the ground. She dropped either because she was actually bitten or merely to avoid his counterattack. Unfortunately the attack and counterattack occurred too quick for my digital camera to capture, by the time it started cycling the shot the whole combat was over. Nevertheless I got some incredible and awesome shots of the run up to the attack, the aftermath, and of both species of spider, together and separately.

With the argiope the shots were so close and detailed with my telephoto lens that you can easily see individual hairs on the body and on each leg of the female in the original shots. I'm not sure how it will come out on the website however. I've been experimenting with new methods of focus and framing shots with my digital camera and these techniques have really paid off in delivery. Not every shot pays or turns out so well but most are producing excellent pictures.

I'm become so good lately that I've become the de facto photographer for my church, whenever they have filming or photography to do they always ask me to take the shots or make the film. As a matter of fact I'm making the shots for the church website tomorrow morning because this is our first Sunday in the new sanctuary we recently built and I'm also assisting with the first baptism in the new sanctuary. Which I'm glad to do as it gives me a chance to experiment and practice, including practice with new equipment.

Anyway here are some of the shots I took this evening. I shot until the light failed and the camera was unable to focus properly due to lack of ambient light.

Both spiders in the web

Wolf/Hunter spider

Female Argiope - notice the beautiful markings and coloring on the huge abdomen. You can also see the eyes in one shot.

Right before the attack

After the attack. You can see the female on the ground along with a grand-daddy long legs who had accidentally also become caught in the web if you look to the bottoms of the shots.

The Exchange - A Global Network II

The Exchange - A Global Network II


I've been reanalyzing the traffic and visitor statistics for this blog. As a result of this analysis I have discovered that I have been gaining readers from new countries. And my stats as a percentage of new readers have recently changed as well. My readership audience has become slightly more international as of late.

New Readers

Hong Kong
various Armed Forces Networks (meaning, it looks like, that military personnel stationed in various parts of the world are accessing this blog)

Many of the countries previously listed are also accessing this blog, especially Spain, only with new and different readers. For some reason however my audience in Spain has grown significantly. Which probably accounts for the fact that 11% of my recent audience has been European as compared to 8% last time I analyzed the stats.

I also have many new readers and visitors from a far wider variety of locations inside the United States and Canada.

However the international parentage of my readership is larger this week than last.
Very interesting.

New Visitors By Continent: (as a percentage)

New Visitors By Country: (as a percentage)

Also I've recently gone to Blogger in Beta, as many of you know. So far I'm really enjoying the move and the added functionality and ability to more individually customize this site.

Because of this you, the reader, should find this site far more functional and user friendly.

I have segregated my links into Personal Links (links to my other blogs, websites, portfolios and newsletters), Endorsements (links to other blogs I enjoy greatly or find very useful), a News section listing what I think are some excellent newssources, both domestic and international, a Representation (briefly describing the Missal and what it does and is about), a Support section, and I have placed the Syndication links at the top of the page, on the right, for easy access.

I will be adding other features and functionality as the Missal matures and as I learn how better to use the new features and hacks to build this site.

I will also be adding more pictures, photos and graphics as time proceeds, as well as adding audio files. I'll also be posting on a wider variety of subjects, as well as returning to previously unfinished posts and completing those.

But for the moment I'll be upgrading my other blogs and on-line portfolios to beta as well.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Allele - the Mark of Cain

Allele - The Mark of Cain

I just saw a tremendous little film which I'd like to recommend. It was quite excellent.


The film itself was called Beowulf and Grendel. It deviated significantly from the epic poem, but in a way which I felt was quite ingenious and quite well done. That is the plot of the film was not significantly weaker than that of the poem itself, though it was very different in execution and emphasis from the original poem.

When I first saw Grendel in the film the line that immediately ran back to my mind from the poem was the description of Grendel as (paraphrase) "being of the line and curse of Cain, of the mark of Cain." The film itself also explored, and I thought rather well in many respects, the tensions in northern Europe as Christianity was overlapping and overwhelming paganism. In the poem it was Beowulf himself who was the new Christian, or in many respects, as regards his warrior culture, the Christian-pagan hybrid. Beowulf, in the poem was the self-sacrificial hero and exemplar of both Christ and the pagan warrior ethos of the Geat.

In the film however Beowulf remains, until the very end, both skeptic and yet obvious exemplar of Christian virtues. He must kill Grendel to save the Danes and stop the slaughter, but he also empathizes with and understands Grendel's rage and attempts to correct past injustices. Beowulf also seemed to understand that Grendel hunted those he considered his tormentors but harmed no one he considered innocent. Beowulf tries on several occasions to convince Grendel to merely leave the area and never return. But Grendel would not.

One thing I noticed was that the Geats, upon arriving at the hall and trading insults with the Danes, were thirteen in number. An obvious reference to Christ and his twelve Apostles. I'll have to recheck my copy of the poem and see if that is indeed a direct reference from the poem. If it is then it is a very interesting analogy between the Warrior Band and the future King of the Geats, and the Apostles and the King of the Jews. It's been a long time since I analyzed the poem Beowulf, although I recently re-read it, though not for analysis but just to enjoy the poetry, but the metaphors are extremely interesting. I'll have to look up those references and see what they imply.

In some way the film was far too much a modern interpretation. The writers and filmmakers could not resist splattering the film with modern curses and language which gutteralized (in the widest sense) the otherwise well-spoken language of the film and the poem. Another criticism I have is that the film paid far too little attention to the poetry of the epic in both descriptive terms and in terms of the dialogue between characters. Had it retained the far higher literary language of the poem then the film would have been tremendously good. As it was it was merely good, but extremely well done compared to most modern works on such subject matter.

The cinematography was astoundingly superb, as were the sets and locales, and the acting was very solid and well executed. I could imagine the characters as real people in a real setting. A very harsh and brutally cold and tough environment. The actual appearance of the film was beautiful. All in all I highly recommend this film. Even with the obvious deficits, it was still a very enjoyable and beautiful work.

Pesharim - Beta

Pesharim - Beta

I've gone to Blogger Beta.

It's taken a little work and consumed a lot of time this morning causing some real downtime to figure out the new system, but overall, Blogger Beta is far superior.

Very easy to edit and configure.
Hacking and editing the HTML code directly is difficult because of the new configurations but the progam makes it very easy to by pass HTML completely and work outside the template.

A very good product indeed.

I highly recommend it to all bloggers.


Marxed - Same Species Marriage, or Marriage in Ole Virginee...

Marxed - Same Species Marriage, or Marriage in Ole Virginee...


April 11, 2006

A new Constitutional amendment in Virginia is raising some eyebrows and concerns in the Commonwealth. The amendment, designed to protect the status of marriage as being between a man and a woman begins innocently enough by stating, "That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions."

However the amendment continues much further by declaring,"No union between any sort of animal, such as raccoons, possums or beavers, even if such animals be considered mammals, and a man or woman shall be considered a valid and legally binding marriage contract. Nor shall the legislature ever in the future make any new laws which will sanction the union between a man or woman and any animal, including household pets or sea-food. Furthermore no union between blood related first cousins shall be considered legally binding or valid, nor shall such unions, regardless of the number of first cousins involved be considered as enjoying the legal status of true marriage in the state of Virginia."

Several demonstrations have been scheduled state-wide for Saturday, April the 15th to protest the so called "Cousin-Clause" and to force changes to the amendment which would strike that language as unfair and unworkable.

A study by the think-tank Virginia is for #@*^ers has already estimated that if the amendment were to pass as currently written that repopulation rates in the state would plummet.

Update: Same Species Marriage Amendment narrowly defeated in state wide referendum after intervention by Governor.

State Senate declares Virginia "Species Free Zone." For now.

Possums, Coons, Beavers, Bloodhounds, and native American wildlife still considered "fair game" in the dating pool.

New move in State Senate to outlaw "domestic partnerships" between native born Virginian citizens and their seafood. Measure under intense debate.

Amendment to outlaw marriage between imported wildlife, such as lions, tigers, and polar bears, still viable.

I'll keep you updated on this one folks.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pesharim - Organization and Structure

Pesharim - Organization and Structure

Since I was a young fella, an early teen as a matter of fact, I've kept notebooks and sketch books of my notes, observations, ideas, experiments, sketches, designs, plans, dreams, travels, vads, cases, etc. These notebooks now house a lot of material and take up a good deal of space though recently I have compressed many of these old notes and files and matched them to my computer files on my primary system so that my notebooks and computer files all match.
No matter the subject.

But in reorganizing and collating my old notebooks it came to my attention that my notes and sketches on a myriad of subjects were all tangled and confused into huge collections without any real system of ordering or cataloguing or proper book-keeping. I was ruminating on this problem the other day and suddenly I was struck by a very simple idea. So simple that I'm amazed it has taken me so many years to think of it. The idea was this: I would divide all my efforts into separate notebooks devoted to single subjects, or to a very narrow spectrum of subject matter. That way whenever I want to consult my notebooks on the subject of my mathematical equations I can simply go to my math notebook, and if I'm looking for a poem I wrote or an idea for a non-lethal weapon then I can go to these separate notebooks and find what I want. I don't have to waste time and effort searching through a huge stack of old general notebooks to find what I want or to try to remember which particular notebook I stored a particular idea in.

I'm still keeping a General Idea Notebook to take with me everywhere but whenever I develop an idea and write it in my General Notebook I then transfer it to another notebook dedicated to the subject matter at hand, or if I'm home then I just make notes in the appropriate notebook in the first place. It's taken me months now with everything else going on to arrange this correctly but now all of my system files on all my systems, including my laptop is correlated to all of my physical files and all of my physical files are now correlated to the proper notebook on that subject. It will be almost impossible for me to waste much time now on searches or trying to remember where notes might be stored.

Finally the project is finished and this is the final result. I now have 26 separate note and sketchbooks, divided by subject matter, catalogued by type, and for use as I need them.


The following is a list of the Notebooks, Sketchbooks, Journals, Logues and Planbooks, which should be kept, and a brief description of the functions of each and what should be contained within them.

1 General Idea Book – (a sketch notebook – carried at all times in Notepack when out, otherwise kept at home) Covering all general subjects not included in or dedicated towards the specific subject matter of the notebooks below, such as general ideas on politics, chemistry, medicine, genetics, internet and web, film, photography, blog materials, newsletter(s) materials, general observations, etc. or to make notes in when ideas strike me away from home which I can then transfer to the appropriate notebook later on.

2 Writing – (a notebook) Covering all Writings, both Non-Fictional and Fictional except poetry, and also containing research and ideas pertaining to my writings.

3 Experiment’s Composition Book – (a Scientific composition notebook) Covering all aspects of my scientific experiments

4 Games Journal – (a notebook journal) Covering all invented Hard Games and Hard Game related matter and for Hard Game Transferable Skill Simulations.

5 War-Logue – (a notebook logue) Covering Anti-Criminal affairs, military affairs, intelligence and counter intelligence, cryptology, infiltration, camouflage, stealth, terrorism and counter-terrorism, espionage, psychological operations, case-work, investigations, interrogations, interviews, surveillance, weapons and non-lethal weapons design, suit design, related theories, related experiments, anticipation and prevention, law, communications, search and rescue, disaster relief, fire-fighting, research, and Justice.

6 Pocket Notebook – (a portable mini-notebook and memo pad, 3” X 5” – carried at all times in Daypack) Kept for interview, interrogation and article notations and for the making of emergency and fast notes when no other writing material is available.

7 Business Journal – (a notebook journal) Concerning Business Projects, Ventures, Enterprises, due diligence, entrepreneurism, contacts, etc.

8 Education and Homeschooling – (a notebook) Concerning subjects to study and master, general education, ideas about improving education, Personal Education Plan and Portfolio, The Renaissance Academy and homeschooling.

9 Poetry – (a notebook) Concerning poetic works, projects, experiments, forms, epic and heroic poetry, poetic sketches and proesy.

10 Investment and Capital – (a notebook) Covering investments, due diligence, venture capital, capital sources, funding projects, international investment, credit, investment and financial goals, contacts, etc.

11 Mathematics – (a composition notebook) Covering mathematical studies, formulae, equations, experiments and equations and formulae developed by myself for both mathematical and scientific projects of all kinds.

12 Music Composition – (a staff-ruled composition notebook) For the sketching of themes, melodies, harmonies, composition projects, scores, opera, song music, etc.

13 Lyrics, Librettos, Songs, Musical Projects – (a note and sketchbook) For the developing of song lyrics, librettos, and complex multi-part musical compositions.

14 Architecture and Design – (an art sketchbook) For the development of Design and Architectural projects.

15 Architectural Planbook – (a finished planbook) For completed architectural plans of all kinds.

16 Art – (an art sketchbook) For completed art drawings and final sketches.

17 General Art Sketchbook – (an art sketchbook) For the making of basic and preliminary sketches and drawings.

18 Sketch, Composition, and Design – (an art and design sketchbook) For the sketching of complex compositions and artistic designs.

19 Portable Art Sketchbook – (an art sketchbook) A portable art sketchbook for the making of sketches and drawings in the filed. Carried at all times in Notepack.

20 Comic and Graphic Novel Sketchbook – (an art sketchbook) For the making of sketches and designs and notes related to Comic Works and Graphic Novels.

21 Video Games Journal – (an art journal) An art journal and sketchbook for ideas, sketches, artwork, plots, writings and the overall design of video, computer, internet, and electronic games and Transferable Skill Simulations.

22 Religious Sketchbook – (an art sketchbook) Covering sacred art, music, liturgies, poetry, writings, materials and building designs, sermons, morals, theology, prayers, meditations, Missions Work, Ministry Projects, and Aesic Materials and Experiments.

23 Inventions Sketch Journal – (an art and note sketchbook) Concerning all inventions and invention related matters except for those inventions covered in the War-Logue.

24 Natural Science and Physics Journal – (an art and note sketch book) Concerning natural science, physics, and general science.

25 Discovery and Travel Journal – (an art and note sketchbook) Covering travels over land, fresh water, and sea, and by air, and the notes and sketches made as a result of these travels.

26 Vadding and Exploration Journal – (an art and note sketchbook) Concerning all Vadding, Rudding (Vadding in the country or wilderness), infrastructure studies, Urban Exploration and Urban Archaeology Expeditions. Notes and sketches made during these expeditions. Sometimes includes shared notes and sketches with War-Logue.

Tape Recorders and Digital Recorders – kept in the appropriate Pack (Day, Note, Vadding, Operational, etc.) or in my Offices.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Humours of Idleness - The Boy is Back

Humours of Idleness - The Boy is Back

Now that the weather has cooled my Great Bernard Beethoven has become feisty again. He's almost three years old and about 140 to 150 pounds now, having lost some weight in the summer heat (though the way he has been eating lately he's packing on for winter again).

For the past week I've been going out at night to play ball with Beethoven and my new Great Dane bitch. It's just fanatic to see Beethoven rolling and fighting and wrestling and running with my puppy. My Great Dane is only seven months old but she is already nearly as tall as my Great Bernard, but Beethoven probably has 70 pounds or so on her still and he's immensely strong. But she is extremely strong for her age as well and lightning fast. She runs like a gazelle and is built like a horse. I'll post pictures of her to the Missal soon.

When they wrestle and fight she will stand upright and get on top of his back and then take a biting grip on the back of his neck like he is prey to be pulled to the ground. He'll take that for awhile and then he'll shake loose, run in a circle and arc back into her with his head down like a charging bull. (He often charges into me this way when we're playing and believe me he can easily take a full grown man down if he hits you right.) He hits her in the side if she doesn't sidestep quickly enough and Bam! She's rolling and pitching like a topsail, long legs going in every direction.

Then I'll jump in between them and wrestle with both and they'll knock me down and chew on my back and legs and arms pretty good. then I'll finally get back to my knees or up to my feet and grab a baseball and throw it and we'll all try to take it away from each other. They both fight pretty good, and both are tough as railroad spikes.

Man, it sure is good to see Beethoven fully over the death of his brother and playing and fighting and wrestling with her and with me. He's gonna be okay.

My boy is back in the saddle.

Ambush in Afghanistan

Signal, Sygnet and Sigil - Ambush in Afghanistan

This is exactly the kind of situation in which it would be excellent to deploy small teams of Special Forces, along with Rapid Response Teams, to areas near the border and around these outposts. We should be ambushing and counterambushing these incursions from the Pakistani side of the border. In others words we should not set up posts to wait on these incursions, but to await these incursions.

Also I hope that the idea will be considered of building fake forward observation posts (if it is not already being executed) which are built specifically to be nothing more than ambush traps. The Taliban undertakes a probing and attempted overrun operation only to encounter a dummy post prepared to encircle and destroy the operation. It seems to me that now that we control some of the cave complexes which the Taliban had formerly held that these complexes would make excellent traps. Special forces could create and design and assist with operating the traps, Afghani troops could support and assist with operations, and mountain troops could execute and ambush.

This is also an excellent opportunity to invent, develop, and deploy new weapon sets designed specifically for mountain, close combat, ambush and special warfare.

The Afghan War has always interested me far more than the Iraq War, as a military and tactical matter, I guess because it is far more suited as a theatre and as a warfare type to my particular personality and mind-set. It is a more rural and frontier's war, a rougher and more open terrain, a more rustic war full of opportunities for ambush and asymmetrical warfare. It stimulates me tactically.

The Iraq war is basically an urban war, and although those types of challenges fascinate me as well, I guess my first real interest is in rustic, wilderness, and frontier's warfare and how to properly conduct those types of operations.

As a political matter however this should be extremely interesting for the Bush-Musharraf relationship. As well as for the Pakistan-Afghan relationship.
Sooner or later things will have to change.

Taken from the Fourth Rail:

The Taliban Consolidates Power in Pakistan as Violence Increases in Afghanistan

Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas

Yesterday's rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force compound in Kabul, Afghanistan highlights the increased level of violence throughout the country. Coalition and Afghan troop have seen a marked increase in suicide bombings, IED (roadside bombing) attacks and platoon and company-sized attacks from Taliban fighters over the past year. The Taliban's latest springtime offensive is now in full swing.
In the latest attempt to stem the violence, Coalition and Afghan troops launched Operation Mountain Lion in the Pech River Valley in Kunar Province, which borders Pakistan's Bajaur agency. Over forty Taliban were killed during the operation. The Pakistani Army reportedly has deployed paramilitary troops "along the border stretching from Dir Lower to Dir Upper and Chitral districts" to halt the flow of Taliban across the border during the operation. The Bajaur tribal agency hosts al-Qaeda and Taliban infiltration routes into Afghanistan. The agency is also the scene of air strikes in the village of Damadola, where U.S. Predator drones struck at a meeting of al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders. Ayman al-Zawahiri was thought to be in attendance but missed the dinner. Five senior commanders, including Abu Khabab al-Masri, the head of al-Qaeda WMD committee are believed to have been killed in the strike.
A segment of the violence can be attributed to Coalition and Afghan Army's push into previously uncharted territories within Kandahar, Urguzan, Kunar and Helmand Provinces. The Coalition and Afghan forces are now making contact with the enemy. The Taliban are attempting to fracture the Coalition, and believe they can run up the body count and force the Canadians to withdraw. "We think that when we kill enough Canadians, they will quit war and return home," said Taliban spokesman Qari Yuosaf Ahmedi. The narcotics trade is also a major source of conflict, as Robert Charles noted last January. The drug lords are finding common cause with the Taliban as the Coalition and Afghan government seek to eradicate the poppy crops.
But the increased violence and regeneration of the Taliban in Afghanistan cannot be viewed as a strictly Afghan problem. The Taliban is reconstituting in Pakistan's lawless North West Frontier Province. The Taliban have been massing in large formations and have essentially taken control of the North and South Waziristan agencies, while consolidating power in the Tank, Khyber and Peshawar agencies. The Pakistani Army is essentially confined to the two garrisons in Miranshah (North Waziristan) and Wana (South Waziristan). The Taliban has openly declared Shariah law in North and South Waziristan and usurped power from the local tribes. Two tribesmen have been beheaded, Zarqawi-style, for "working as US spies." Eight Pakistani paramilitary troops were killed and twenty-two wounded in an ambush near Miranshah, and eight 'miscreants' [Taliban/al-Qaeda] were killed in the ensuing firefight.
The Pakistani Army has been conducting air strikes against al-Qaeda and Taliban camps, and has claimed the Taliban and al-Qaeda have taken heavy casualties. While these accounts are likely true, Pakistan has gone to great lengths to hide their own casualties. Pakistan's Daily Times indicates "Taliban forces have so far killed 150 pro-government tribal Maliks in the North and South Waziristan Agencies and are openly challenging the writ of the government by engaging a number of security forces’ personnel in the area." A source supposedly privy to a high level Cabinet meeting also indicates "the ‘Talibnisation’ of Waziristan was damaging other parts of the NWFP and that the local ‘Maliks’ and political administration had been limited to their houses and offices..."
“The Taliban’s sphere of influence has expanded to [the tribal agencies of] DI Khan [Dera Ismail Khan], Tank and the Khyber Agency, where clerks of the area have started to join them. There has been a sharp increase in attacks on heavily-defended military targets in these areas as well,” according to Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao.
Steven Emerson aptly explained the status of Pakistan in the Global War on Terror, "[Pakistan] is both an ally and it's an "anti-ally," so to speak. It has been helpful. It's also been detrimental." The Taliban's consolidation of power in the tribal belt is a major detriment, and a problem the Musharraf government can no longer ignore.





Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Aboard Ship

Aboard Ship

I'd like to welcome aboard my new readers from Spain, Italy, Singapore, the Philippines, New Zealand, the Western and Southern United States, and Canada.

If I missed anyone I apologize.

Anyway, welcome aboard ship.

Humours of Idleness - Spiders and Insects and Anthills, Oh My!

Humours of Idleness - Spiders and Insects and Anthills,
Oh My!

This time folks I've decided to post some of the photographs of insect and arachnid and botanical life I've found on my property.
These images will compose the next few posts.

Future photographic posts will include nearby landmarks, pictures taken during my vadding and rudding expeditions, animals life found on my property and on nearby farms, and various other subjects.

Now for the Show:

My favorite local spider, a large black and yellow argiope. She made her web near the corner of a nearby building.

Her eggsac.

Her feeding.

Grand-daddy longlegs (being shy)

I ran over a huge anthill by accident in the tall grass. This caused the entire exposed colony to swarm. I took a picture but they swarmed over and into my boots within two to three seconds. I got a real good going over before being forced to run in the house and take a shower.

Anthill with larvae

Large red and black local Cow Killer

Local American migratory grasshopper

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Glair - William Jefferson Clinton: The Catalystic Man *

The Glair - William Jefferson Clinton: The Catalystic Man *

In chemistry the term Catalyst is defined as: “a substance that initiates or accelerates a chemical reaction without itself being affected.”

In politics I offer the neologism Catalystic, defined as: “an agent or agency which initiates or accelerates reaction or change, often seemingly uncontrollable change, without itself seeming to be affected.”

I. A Man for All Reasons

Like many Americans I watched with interest the interview conducted by Chris Wallace with former President Clinton, ranging over several issues but centered primarily, by Clinton’s own self-interest and behavioral demands upon the Clinton administration’s conduct and execution of the War on Terrorism. Of course during that era there was no officially declared War on Terrorism, as is the case in our present age, however there was a sort of undeclared Warm War in which terror groups like Al Qaeda directly interfered in US and US Allied interests, conducted hit and run guerilla operations in various parts of the world, and in which the US conducted surgical counter-strikes. That era was not an era of openly declared war, but of covert and guerilla warfare in which a new, but rapidly organizing enemy was on the periphery of international perception and action.

There is no need for me to psychoanalyze the performance presented by Clinton during his interview for Fox News, I’m sure that has been done over and over again throughout the blogosphere, by pundits on television, and by various radio commentators. Despite my personal experience in the field of psychology I doubt very seriously if I could add anything to the cache of comments already generated, or do I suspect I would achieve any end at this point other than to reiterate the various conclusions already drawn by others. However in personally observing, and analyzing Clinton’s interview, something occurred to me by closely observing his conduct, responses, and mannerisms that had not really occurred to me before. A sort of living and animated summation of the entire Clinton era, a distillation if you will of what his period of time, his legacy, and the legacy of those associated with his administration will probably look like to historians in a future yet to be written.

Clinton was an animal of his age. Which was essentially an age of self-involvement and self-fascination. His reaction to attacks on America and American interests combined with this narcissistic Weltanschauung colored American reaction to terrorist and terrorist attacks by foreign enemies. Yet Clinton could have no more reacted differently than the way he did to escalating danger from Al Qaeda than a Zebra could have stood his ground against an onslaught by a pack of hungry lionesses. It was natural for Clinton to misapprehend the nature of the threat and to look at each escalating series of attacks as separate, isolated, and ultimately judicial events. Because Clinton was not, and never has been, a real agent of change. Rather Clinton, like his age, was merely a catalyst for future events. Clinton’s age was an age of maintenance, of transition from an Old World with old concerns, to a New World with wholly different, far more dramatic, and far more important concerns. Historically Clinton’s presidency will be seen as a minor and unimportant chapter in the gap between the End of the Cold War and the War on Terrorism. In that gap Clinton falls like a catalyst into a soon to boil chemical soup of competing political, military, natural, cultural, sociological, religious and psychological forces. Clinton will be viewed historically like a stagehand who sets the props on a play in which he was overlooked for a major role. But that is the role of the catalystic man, he does not strut in the Main Act of the play, he either sets the cauldron to boil, or in Clinton’s case he lets the pot boil until the cup runneth over and the broth bubbles over the capacity of any lid to withstand the force of heat generated within.

Clinton was, and remains to this day, as was evidenced by his reactions to the questioning by Wallace, a catalystic man. Catalystic men do not change the world; they create the conditions of change for others without themselves ever becoming truly affected. Or they may, as was the case with Clinton, fail to suppress, redirect, or transform change until it is too late for it to take any other course than to explode outwards in a dramatic conflagration. Clinton could not understand the nature of the threat of terrorism, and certainly could not react in order to pre-empt or anticipate it because Clinton’s nature is that of a catalyst. Clinton by his actions could spur on, even encourage change in others, but he could never really understand the nature of the change that was occurring around him because like any chemical catalyst he never really participated in that reaction. A catalyst spurs action in other substances, but it remains passive in regards to the very actions and reactions it has initiated or accelerated. A true political catalyst, like a true chemical catalyst will accelerate events to unfold, to transform, to react, without ever becoming directly involved, without taking effect itself, without becoming affected in its own nature. That is the way in which a chemical catalyst operates, the way in which a catalystic man operates, and the character of the political catalyst. Clinton was such a catalyst, even though he himself remained totally and blissfully unaware of it. That is the nature of the political catalyst, it causes or encourages others to act and react without it being aware of what forces it has helped put into motion, or how those forces will interact with one another. Because of this Clinton can, and does, within his own mind, find excellent reasons for why he is not at fault for the failures of his administration to have prevented the ever escalating terrorist attacks or the ever-growing threat, which culminated in the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Towers. You see Clinton is unable to grasp the idea that he could possibly be at fault for the very same reason he could not realistically and fully comprehend the nature of the threat in the first place, Clinton is a catalyst in the world. He did not and does not change the world; he encouraged others to change the world, sometimes for good and sometimes for ill, as was the case with Al Qaeda. Clinton was a man for whom it only makes sense that his reasons for failing to respond to the threat are quite logical, both to himself, and to others. Clinton became angry not because he failed to stop the 9/11 attacks, but because he was angry that no one else could understand that he could not understand why he could not stop the attacks. The attacks had been in planning and preparation, obviously, years before the actual September 11th attack, and obviously the planning and preparations were long underway well into Clinton’s second administration, but Clinton was not prepared to understand or perceive this threat. Had Clinton been elected to a third term he would have still never perceived the actual threat facing the United States until the attacks had been executed, and even then he would have been psychologically unprepared to properly react. Not because he would have not wanted to react in a decisive and effective manner, but because he was and remains to this day simply psychologically and politically unable to grasp the full historical import of the 9/11 attacks and what they implied about the present and the future. It is simply not in him. Clinton remained throughout his presidency a catalyst for change in the world, an accelerator of events, an initiator of action in others both through his own actions and through his inactions, but he was not an actual agent of change himself. And he never would have been as a president and political figure. Clinton could and can theorize, he could and can intellectualize, he could and he can reason, but he could have never acted in an effective and anticipatory manner. Clinton remained, and to this day remains, a Catalystic Man - a Man for All Reasons, but not a man who ever had a real reason to Act. Or ever understood the need to do so.

End Part One

* Note: I employ the term catalystic as opposed to catalytic so that my term will not be confused with the term catalytic as applied in the field of medicine.

© JWG, Jr. 2006

The Exchange - Threat and Victim

The Exchange - Threat and Victim

A friend sent me this article. I thought it so well written with such a great counterintuitive point that I decided to post it here.

The Real Islamic Threat

Friday, September 22, 2006
By James Jay Carafano

The greatest danger in the world today is not the threat from Islam, but the threat to Islam.

In the long war against terror, nations with primarily Muslim populations have suffered the most loses -- murder, instability, economic malaise and the degradation of religious faith. And it is all the fault of the terrorists who claim to be their champions.

On 9/11 and many times since, terrorists have tried attacking the West. But they’ve found the West isn’t an easy target. Britain foiled a major plot this past summer. The United States and its allies have struck back, adopting unprecedented security measures to stop further attacks.

In turn, the terrorists did what they have historically done: attacked the weak and avoided the strong. And the weak are in the terrorists’ own back yard.
Hezbollah’s adventurism offers only the latest example. Having finally emerged from decades of civil war and foreign occupation, the people of Lebanon enjoyed a brief false dawn of peace before terrorists sparked a war that killed hundreds of Muslim Arabs in Lebanon and Israel, displaced thousands more and dragged Lebanon to the brink of chaos.

The story in Iraq is much the same.

The Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City estimates that, to date, Iraq has suffered 5,771 terrorist attacks, totaling 14,680 deaths and thousands more in casualties. The country holds the current world record by a large margin. And it’s violence launched by Muslims, against Muslims.

Since 9/11, the institute has recorded 8,491 terrorist attacks in the Middle East and 16,269 fatalities -- numbers that by far exceed the losses in any other part of the planet.

In the last year alone, the government’s National Counterterrorism Center counted 8,223 victims of terrorism, including 2,627 deaths. South Asia, another region with large Islamic populations, runs second on the list with 5,401 total victims. In contrast, Western Europe suffered 339 victims and North America eight.

And it is not just the physical losses.

By virtually every index, many countries that are losing ground in the march to peace, prosperity and justice are Muslim. Terrorism is a key reason why. In The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, for example, Lebanon and Malaysia scored lower in 2005 than they did in 2004. Countries such as Afghanistan and Somalia were so chaotic they couldn’t even be scored.

According to the rankings of the non-partisan group Freedom House, in 2005 only one country out of 18 in the Middle East was graded as “free” (Israel). The region trails all others in the Freedom House rankings, and although modest gains were recorded last year (most notably in Lebanon), even that’s probably wiped out now.

Even Muslim charities are suffering from all the chaos, particularly in the United States. According to The Washington Post, charitable donations are way down. Religious organizations have been able to send only a paltry amount of aid for humanitarian relief in Lebanon. That’s because people know terrorists have used some Islamic charities as cash cows, so all charities are now suspect.
Terrorist propaganda argues that all the murder and mayhem is justified by religious sanction. That is simply a perversion of the Islamic faith. The use of “jihad” for what is essentially a political agenda is not part of Islamic tradition. In fact, when it has been used that way before, the results have usually been disastrous -- for Muslims.

The followers of al-Mahdi tried it in the Sudan in 1885; the result was 10 million dead Sudanese and a failed revolution. And the Muslim world learned a lesson. For almost a century, until the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, armed jihad was virtually unknown. Now it’s back.

After expelling the Soviets, the Taliban used the excuse of jihad to turn the country into a wasteland, and Osama bin Laden tried to unleash this brand of armed fascism on the world. Not surprisingly, where it has worked, its worse effects were on the followers of Islam -- the easy victims.

The real victors when the long war is won will be the Muslim world. Its people will be saved from the suffering terrorism causes, and their religion will be saved from a secular perversion that tries to turn an act of faith into a justification for naked aggression.

The great common cause in this war would be for all of us to battle those who would intentionally murder innocents for political gain.

Groups like al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and state sponsors of terrorism such as the governments in Syria and Iran are on the wrong side of history and religion, and they should be treated as the common enemy of all peoples.

James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow for National Security and Homeland Security at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org), and author of the new book “G.I. Ingenuity.”

The Exchange - Another Effort

The Exchange - Another Effort

Overall, another affair well handled by the Vatican. He did not apologize, and should not have, but he did reconcile.


The Exchange - Going Home

The Exchange - Going Home

Many of you know of my personal interest in this matter. Not just of a reconciliation between the Catholic Church and Science, though I think that a very good place to start, but of a reconciliation between all Christian Churches and Science.

So I'm very glad to see this and Benedict's interest in this.
The more I see and read of Benedict the more I truly like the man.
I see now why John Paul groomed him and hoped he would be chosen.
If he lives long enough he could be an excellent pope.

Pope's evolution seminar to be published

Posted 9/6/2006 7:59 AM ET

Staff and wire reports
USA Today
Pope Benedict XVI and his former doctoral students plan to publish the proceedings of a recent seminar on evolution to promote a dialogue between faith and science on the origins of life, participants say.
The minutes, to be issued later this year, will show how Catholic theologians see no contradiction between their belief in divine creation and the scientific theory of evolution, participants said after the annual closed-door meeting ended Sunday.

Controversy surrounding the theory of evolution has grown in the USA, where conservative Christians who oppose teaching it in public schools promote rival views such as intelligent design, which scientists reject as religion in disguise.
Benedict has been "concerned for a long time, and especially now that he is pope, about fostering a discussion between faith and reason," the Rev. Stephan Horn, a German theologian who organized the sessions, told Reuters.
"He probably believes there is not enough public discussion about this, so that's why he wants to revive it."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Exchange - A Global Network

The Exchange - A Global Network

Don sent me an email in regards to the post about the B Reader. He had a very interesting suggestion about how to implement the site which I found fascinating and was a sort of indirect confirmation of some ideas I had already been considering. I'm going to write him back along with some of my friends in the military, government, law enforcement, etc. with a formal reply, as well as posting my reply to his comments under the post B Reader. That'll be over the next couple of days. I've had so much work to do I'm pretty bloody exhausted right now.

Don also made some suggestions about the appearance of this blog, about the black background, and so forth. He is of the opinion that I should alter the template to a light background instead of using the black one. I like the black background however one reason for the existence of this blog is so that the readers can easily access it, and part of that is being comfortable with the graphic and design presentation.

So I'm leaving it up to my readers to some extent. If you would like me to change the appearance, template, background and other aspects of this blog then just let me know and I'll consider your opinion. You can either leave your comment here or email me with your suggestions. Also if you have any suggestions as to content you'd like to see explored (and some have made suggestions which I haven't ignored, just haven't found the right way to post those ideas yet) or format changes to make it easier to read and use this blog then let me know. I'll take those suggestions under serious consideration as well.

Now onto other things. In the past few days I've been studying my Site Meter, gathering data about those who visit this site and getting a detailed analysis of my readers. I have discovered that most of my readers are North American of course but a sizeable percentage are from Europe and Asia. I had sorta half expected the European audience, but not the Asian audience. I'm not really sure what it is about this blog that specifically appeals to an Asian audience, but I'm glad to have them.

I'm also very glad to have readers from Russia (specifically Moscow) and from Iran. Especially the repeat visitors from Iran.

I have for a long time wanted to help bring about political changes in Iran, as my friends can tell you, long before it was recently fashionable to do so for domestic political and security reasons.

So I'm gonna tell you readers a little story from my personal background to help explain my interest. When I was a kid the Soviet Union and the United States were rather bitter enemies. Long before Perestroika or Glasnost or Gorbachev my father made a prediction that the Soviet Union would fall and Russia would become a more or less free nation, free of communism anyway. I remember going to school and telling my friends this and we all laughed, we all believed the US and the USSR would fight a war one day, not that Soviet communism would fall from within. (I discounted my father's prediction too, at the time.) Years later one of my best friends and I were on the phone talking with absolute amazement and joy about the fall of the Soviet Union (he was a US Army officer) and how amazing it was and I reminded him about the time I had said at school that communism would fall in Russia by it's own weight, because of my father's prediction.

Before that day, in my twenties I had begun to correspond with people all over the world, Europe, South Africa, various other parts of Africa, South and Central America, Hong Kong, Russia. Back in those days we did it with paper, pen, and by post, this was long before the internet or personal computing had become popular. Some of my contacts and correspondents in Russia were military officers, some regular soldiers, and even one psychology student (at the time I was also studying psychology) at the University of Saint Petersburg (then Leningrad University) with whom I exchanged ideas about new Theories of Personality we were both developing. In most of my correspondences with those in Russia my correspondents complained of the political system, the government, of lack of freedom, or fear and resentment against their system. I always encouraged them to help bring about change if they possibly could without endangering their own lives or the lives of their friends and families. I won't go into details but I feel I helped do my part, in my own small way, to assist with change in Russia and bring about the fall of Soviet communism.

I'd like to help do the same in Iran, to help the Iranians, especially the youth of Iran to bring about a peaceful transition away from the mullahs and ayatollahs and towards a true Iranian Republic. So I am honored and gratified to have Iranian readers and if my Iranian readers would like to spread the news about this blog then I'd be happy to get far more Iranian readers. I have no desire at all to see the US and Iran go to war or to fight any more than I had a desire to see the US fight Iraq, though I did and do still support the Iraq War and intend to see a free and peaceful Iraq, and to assist in that endeavor in any way I can. It may eventually be necessary for the US and Iran to go to war but if it can be avoided, then I'd much rather see an internal revolution in Iran, and a peaceful one at that. I don't want to see a bloody Iranian Civil War any more than I want to see a US-Iranian War. Instead I want to see the youth of Iran succeed and bring about a peaceful transition to a free government, and to see them build a true Republic there. So I want my Iranian readers to know that I keep them in my prayers and I'll do what I can from here to help any of them, and if I can ever assist you in some beneficial way then just let me know. Otherwise you can consider this blog a source of information and sometimes even intelligence about the outside world, and you can consider me your friend. God bless you, your nation will be entirely free one day, and have courage. Godspeed and good luck to a free Iran and I encourage you to do what you can to make it that way, short of endangering your own lives and those of your family and friends. You have allies here, in the US, many of them. Pray, work, prepare, and hopefully we will both live to see a free and peaceful Iran that became that way through peaceful means.

I would like to reiterate the same hopes for China. One day I hope very much to see a truly free, and not merely prosperous, Republic in China. I have great respect for and love for both Iran and China as nations and for their peoples. I keep both nations in my prayers, will do what I can to assist both nations in becoming truly free, want to see both succeed, and will be happy to help when and where I can to those ends. So to readers in China and Iran, you are welcome here. Same for my readers in Moscow. I have never forgotten Russia, the contacts I have there, or the nation.

I'd also be more than happy to gain readers in Afghanistan, Pakistan (I have a few friends there, mainly soldiers and police), and Iraq. I'd be pleased to have you as readers, as contacts and possibly even friends.

As for my other readers, in other parts of the world - You are all welcome. I am glad to have you all, and I hope this blog will be of interest to you. Think of me as a contact and a friend. I will present to you what I can in interesting information and content, and you're welcome to send me anything and everything you think might be of interest to me and the other readers of this blog.

I guess what I'm saying is that all of my readers are free to think of this blog as a means of communication, and contact, and intelligence, and information, and you can all think of me as a contact with whom you can share whatever interest you have, personal or professional, or think will be of value to me and my readers. In this way we can together build a world-wide network of contacts and this blog can be far more than just a mere entertainment, it can also be a valuable tool for all those who make use of it.

As for my readers from the US and North America, you are my fellow countrymen and my fellow Americans. I owe you a special debt of gratitude and am glad to have you as readers and patrons. I can't put it much better, or more earnestly than that.

Now for my analysis of the information I gleaned from my Site Meter thus far and to this date:

Visitors by Location:

United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Russia, Moscow
New Zealand - I know who that is
Germany - I know who that probably is

Visitors By Continent: (as a percentage)

North America - 83%
Europe - 8%
Asia - 7%
South America - 2%
Unknown - such as Iran, Middle East, Australia, etc. - 1%

By Country: (as a percentage)

US - 80%
Singapore - 3%
Portugal - 2%
Iran - 2%
UK - 2%
Germany - 2%
Canada - 2%
All other nations - 1%

Well, that's about it for this entry. I've been working recently 7 days a week most weeks and about 12 to 16 hours a day to get as much done as possible. I didn't even go to church today just watched a Mass and some religious programming off of the satellite, read some, and worked on-line. I'm pretty exhausted and I'm gonna go take a nap.

Yak at you guys later.

Take care,


Saturday, September 23, 2006

Humours of Idleness - The Living Serpent

Humours of Idleness - The Living Serpent

Coincidentally, and synchronistically, I came in from cutting the grass last night and my wife and daughters came home from getting the groceries about the same time when something very interesting occurred related to an event from a few days back. I sat down in the den while my youngest daughter went upstairs. A few minutes later my wife said, "She's screaming!" I don't hear very well but after a few moments concentration even I could hear it, she was screaming so loud and in such a frenzy.

My youngest daughter tends to be overly dramatic about many things but from her wailing you would have thought she were being butchered. So I bounded up the stairs and as I passed I noticed a rather long black cord lying on one of the steps about three quarters up the stairs to the next floor, but I passed by in such a hurry (I was really booking it and concentrating on my daughter) that I only glimpsed the thing. When I got to the end of the upstairs hallway and to my daughter's room I could still hear her screaming uncontrollably and she had the door locked so I couldn't gain access. This worried me as I thought she might have pulled something over on herself and was severely injured. I thought momentarily about kicking the door in but I yelled at her asking if she could open the door and could she move? She answered yes but said she wouldn't. I asked why and she said hysterically, "Because there's a snake on the stairs and I heard it hissing."

I went back to the stairs to investigate and sure enough there was about a two and a half to three foot long rat (black) snake sitting on the stairway about half way up by now. That was the black cord like object I had bounded by on my way up the stairs to check on my daughter.

I laughed when I saw it and wanted to just pick it up. Unfortunately it was spread directly along the bottom length of one step, pressed flat against the rise so that I couldn't approach it from above or behind to simply pick it up and take it outside. It was obviously terrified as by now my oldest daughter and wife were crowding around as close as they dared and all but my oldest daughter were screaming and yelling at both me and the snake. (My wife seems to share the same unreasoned horror of snakes that my youngest daughter does.)

Now rat snakes are very beneficial, like king snakes, and so I like snakes like that. King snakes, rat snakes, black snakes, coachwhips, I like them all and they are all beneficial.

I imagine what had happened was that when I left the basement door open while cutting the grass I must have flushed the snake out and it came up the steps through the underground floor and into the hallway and foyer on the ground floor. Then it was gonna make its way to the top floor via the upstairs steps. Rat snakes have overlapping, angled belly scales which make them very good climbers. But they will also fight and take a striking coil when threatened. I'm not afraid of snakes at all and handle them often at the Science Center or around here but I had already once tried to take it behind the head and it coiled and hissed and made a half-hearted lunge, just to warn me it would fight if cornered. Coupling that with it's attempt to hug the wall to prevent access by me, I knew approach was not gonna be easy. Although far from venomous I had no desire to be bitten on a Friday night and so I withdrew to the bottom of the steps to see what it would do.

In the meantime I thought to grab my digital camera and take the two photos you will see below. I also opened the basement door because I figured that all it really wanted to do by now was escape the way it had entered. Soon it tried climbing down the wall beside the stairway but the paint on the wall made the wall too smooth to hold onto. It did an excellent job at the attempt as you can see from the picture of it hanging but eventually it fell to the hardwood floor. At that point my oldest daughter and wife practically ran over each other trying to flee the area. My wife is black and as she says, "Sistas don't play with no snakes!" Watching them flee made me laugh again.

But the snake made her way down the hall and out the basement door, then down those steps and I imagine back into the south field. Watching it I realized that this snake looked almost exactly like the one I had run over a few days earlier (only that one was much smaller) on my mower and after examining those remains more carefully I realized it was probably a rat snake as well. The snake that had gotten into the house was probably either an older sibling or the mother of the clutch that had produced the small snake I had killed by accident.
And now you know the rest of the story.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Exchange - Critique My Blog

The Exchange - Critique My Blog

The Missal received a favorable review over at Critique My Blog, for which I'm appreciative.
Now I'm going to return the favor. Not simply because I can, or because Billy gave me a favorable review.
But because I think that such a review is deserved. And those of you who know me also know that I would in no way give anyone a favorable endorsement unless I truly believed they had earned and deserved it.

I have been visiting Critique My Blog at least every other day since I saw it profiled on the Bestest Blog. Not simply to see what Billy might say in reviewing this site but also because I have found his blog to be an excellent resource in more than one way. First of all I think that Billy's idea of doing short critiques is an excellent marketing and promotional tool, especially for those sites, like this one, that are new to blogging and could use every means at their disposal for promotion and communication with both new and established readers. So as a promotional tool the idea is an excellent one and the method by which it is undertaken is solid in execution.

Secondly I think the reviews posted are mostly very fair and insightful. The reviews posted are short, and not in-depth reviews, but that is to be expected and I'm sure that Billy has far too large a workload reviewing every blogger that wishes their site to be reviewed to post in-depth reviews of every single blog. Yet the reviews are nevertheless very useful and Billy manages to distill the important aspects of most people's blogs into a few short but descriptive and utilitarian sentences which give a practical synopsis of blog content and presentation.

Third, the site is an excellent tool for the discovery of new blog sites. I have through use of the site discovered several interesting and useful blogs which I have transferred to my own Links to Other Blogs page in the sidebar of all of my cross-linked sites. In addition I have added the link to Critique My Blog to my other links as well, into my favorites folder in Internet Explorer, and will be adding the email syndication. However my one criticism of Billy's site is that I saw no link provided for RSS syndication (I may have missed it but I did not see one). If one were available then I would add the address to my personal RSS Reader. In that way I could use my RSS Reader to easily scan for new sites of interest even if I didn't have time to visit every day. In many ways I consider Critique My Blog to be every bit as useful as a discovery and research resource as the Bestest Blog. So Billy, if you don't have RSS or Atom I hope you will get it in the future.

And last but not least I think that Critique My Blog does an excellent job of driving traffic and readers in both directions simultaneously. That is his reviews drive traffic to your site and if your site is cross-linked to other interesting sites then that same traffic will be driven farther forward and a'field, as well as back in the direction of Billy's site in order for the reader to discover similar finds. The idea behind Billy's site is deceptively simple and yet functional, useful, extremely efficient, and beneficial to both reader and blogger alike. My recommendation is to take advantage of this resource, as both a reader and a blogger. You won't be disappointed.


Critique My Blog link: http://critiquemyblog.blogspot.com/

Marxed - Grave New World

Marxed - Grave New World

Ignore this article. I accidentally posted it twice tomorrow.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 March 2006, 15:09 GMT

Grave New World

The Royal Society (RS) announced yesterday that we may all know a lot less about a lot more than we ever thought we did as humans.

A total of 1.5 million pages and 250,000 trillion articles will be available electronically to technologists. A new joint study by the Royal Society in Halifax, the California Polytechnical Institute, and the University of Pittsburgh in New Brunswick has found that people who have been publicly educated using high technology are likely to be twice as not as they are smart. This backs up several soon to be conducted prior studies which disclose disturbing trends in relational statistical models of projected non-intelligence on the part of those who consider themselves otherwise. This new study, using a brand new computer model just created should be able to conclusively demonstrate that a computer model is exactly that. The evidence is indeed compelling because even if the computer model were somehow wrong, an incredible assumption indeed, then the whole project would still be on computer and therefore would of course be self-correcting. That's the way computers work.

In a related envelopment a meticulous search of other studies, often going back several decades, has finally found them. "This could be the breakthrough we've been looking for," said Rob Zomzie, a graduate student in the field. "It's the kind of thing that could either prove, or disprove, what I'm saying right now."

"Lots of people put their hope and trust in technology thinking that technology and science will solve all of their problems despite all evidence to the constipated. The real truth of the matter is that technology won't solve all of our problems, it will merely tell us everything we don't already not know. For instance if human beings don't know something then we can just look it up on the computer or on an information collage, like the internet. Then the internet or the machine can tell us what we don't already not know. It's a totally self-retained and analogical system of misunderstanding the way we haven't yet learned to learn and the things we don't yet know but our technology and science does. Our science and technology is already way ahead of what we as human beings know, and I think people like it that way. Why it works that way is still a mystery but we're pretty sure that one day technology will tell us and then we won't have to wonder about it anymore," said Jessica Drake, University of Columbia's Chair of Ballet and Modern Dance. "See, I'm as smart as anyone else and that's what I do. Technology has levitated the playing field making everyone equated to other people. That's been the dream of prehistoric man for the last hundred years and what every fallopian society has ever worked for. And now I have it. We all have it. And so does everyone else of us too."

But can this momentus of technology and science be indefinitely ejaculated into the future? This is a question that can only be answered by repast generations and the future high priests of science and technology. One thing though is certain, it's a modern Grave New World of practically limitless improbabilities as long as we all remember that just because we don't know something doesn't mean somebody else doesn't not know the same thing we don't. Because collectively we all know more about what we already do than anyone individually knows about what he alone doesn't know about what he does. So when technology is used to properly pool that kind of knowledge base it can have surmising consequences.

Get ready to be surmised.

The future is finally hear for everyone to see.

The Exchange - Side Links and Other Sites

The Exchange - Side Links and Other Sites

I'm going to be extremely busy with my other websites, my newsletters, and my portfolios (especially my portfolios) for the next few weeks. As a result I won't be able to make updated and current posts here as often as I'd like (I'll be instead working on the sites listed in the Links in the sidebar), but I will still try to post here. What I've decided to do in the interval is to post things I've written in the past, sometimes for the amusement of friends, but have never posted to this blog (or any blog for that matter). I'm also gonna be posting some pictures I have been taking lately, and scenes from my various Vadding and Rudding expeditions. I thought that for some of my buddies currently still stationed overseas these photos and pics and retellings of old Vadding expeditions might remind them a bit of home.

I'm also gonna be converting my gaming sites to either Wiki websites or blogs and removing them from their third party positions. But that could take some time as well.

In other news today I was notified that my Writing Portfolio is now up on a writing site. My own writing portfolio, the Grapharium (which I'm gonna have to be updating with writing samples from both previously published works and with new works) has already been redesigned and is already up (though incomplete) but this is the first time I have ever posted my portfolio to a third party site. However this site was recommended to me as a site clients frequent in order to secure Freelance Journalistic and Writing talent for contracted assignment. Therefore I'm trying it as a marketing tool, to see how effective, or ineffective it might be, and whether such sites are really capable of delivering new and interesting clients and assignments. Only time will tell and I'll let you know as the experiment proceeds.

The other thing I should mention is that I had a bit of a computing and application disaster the other day. For several days every I connected to the internet my and stayed on awhile my computer would shut down and then reboot, meaning all data for that session and all running files were lost. More inconveniently and perhaps disastrously I was left with a large collection of lost clusters and chains every this happened. My immediate suspicion was that it was my OS since it was a Microsoft product. (And who running Microsoft does not immediately suspect Microsoft when their computer software malfunctions? Truth be told I would be running some version of Linux were it not for incompatibility issues with so many of my clients. Though truth also be told I don't really like any current OS and think them all extremely primitive, inefficient, lacking in capabilities, and just plain useless compared to what should exist as an OS in this time and era. But that's a story for another day.) After about the fifth reboot in a week I got really worried and employed system Restore to a restore point at which I knew the problem was not appearing. But that had no effect. So finally I let Microsoft report the problem and they actually suggested a solution. (I couldn't believe it; they suggested a solution not created another problem.) Anyhwo I was running System Mechanic Pro 5 as a utility suite and it was causing the problem so I downloaded the fix and that took care of the errant rebooting. But the next time I went to open my RSS Reader all of my carefully collected RSS links, and their folders were... gone, gone, gone!!!

I tried searching for deleted files, scanning the registry, used every tracking tool I had but to no avail. I lost over three hundred syndications of websites and blogs that I reread once a week or so through my reader. Gawl dangit I was upset. Now I've had to wipe out my RSS Reader (Sharpreader) altogether because although I in no way blame Sharpreader for the problem, and I'm sure it was a result of the SM5 bug and malfunction, I just can't take the chance of it occurring again and losing all of that data and links. The really frustrating thing is that this weekend I had already planned to do an entire system backup of data including those files but lost them right before that could occur. I have some older backups of many of the links but all of the links I had stored for the past three months or so are now gone along with the new category folders. Wiped out due to a buggy app. Very disgusting. See what I mean about modern computing? Imagine a biological mind where neural networked connections of image or thought clusters could be wiped out merely by another cluster of thoughts malfunctioning, or let's say imagine every scientific idea you had being wiped out or altered every time you tired to have a thought about literature. That kind of thing, where one app endangers or alters or disrupts another unrelated app is simply ridiculous, both from an end-user utilitarian point of view and from a design/engineering point of view. And since most programs function without the need to access anything other than a few simple shared files and by occasionally accessing the OS shell it is even more ridiculous because important data could be protected simply by secreting access from other apps, including utilities (short of anti-viral and spyware utilities of course). You could blanket, shield, or enwrap alterable and important data with internal program data-walls (as I like to call them) and protect them from malfunctions in other apps. By devising such data walls you could also greatly limit spyware intrusions, repress viral infection and vectoring routes, and achieve a whole host of other worthwhile security capabilities. It would be an internal program method of data firewalling and access encryption that would protect run over from the OS, from other apps, and from intruders. And that's hardly the only solution an engineer could devise. But don't get me started on modern OSs, software, and computing, cause the whole structure is as primitive as a kid's walkie-talkie set and I want to put my fist through my monitor whenever I stop to think about the damned situation.

Anyway now I'm using Snarfer and RSS Bandit, both of which I like alot (but RSS Bandit the better) and will be creating duplicate files for each program of all syndication links. In that way if I lose one program and even my back-up files then I'll still have a redundant program as secured back-up. You'd think though that by 2006 this kinda totally stupid and unnecessary computing problem could be avoided by OS makers and by app and utility engineers. But no.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Technorati Claim

Technorati Profile

Invisible Hand - The Coiling Viper

Invisible Hand - The Coiling Viper

This isn't really a viper of course. It's a little snake I ran over with my riding lawn mower while cutting the eastern field. I've always had a deep and persistent interest and fascination with natural science, biology, genetics (before the modern science of genetics really developed), micro-biology, bio-chemistry and medicine.

Because of this certain animals and their capabilities have always fascinated me, including snakes and lizards (especially as regards their biological energy systems). Anyway I didn't see this poor snake until well after my mower had made meat of it. It must have been in the process of fleeing with it's head up as it glided, because if you look carefully you can see that the head was sheared clean off by the mower blade but the lower jaw is still attached. It was just too young and inexperienced to understand the danger and apparently tried running directly away from the mower instead of moving off at an angle. In any case I just happened to see the remains as I made the next pass through the field. I stopped immediately once I saw the coiling body and dismounted to examine it but it was already mortally wounded.

I took it back to the front yard of the house, the northern yard, where it continued to coil for maybe three or four minutes before finally dying completely. It even coiled around my finger a couple of times in that span. So I put it down and took the following two shots with my digital camera. It coiled twice more while I was making the shots.

Part of the old stone wall to the south of the house where our black snake, King, used to live. I haven't seen King in some months now so he has either moved on to greener pastures or was scared off by my two dogs, my Great Bernard and my Great Dane.

In the future I intend to post images to the Missal with greater regularity. These will include digital and other images of subjects in nature, human subjects, inanimate objects, studies of images I use as sketch subjects, cross linked images to my art portfolio and even images from my travels, assignments, operations and Vadding expeditions, when appropriate, and it is not a violation of confidentiality.

Signal, Sygnet and Sigil - The B Reader

Signal, Sygnet and Sigil - The B Reader

For your consideration:

This is something I've been thinking about for a very long, long time. However this morning I was reading the new Counterterrorism Blog and it occurred to me how the idea might actually be implemented.

The basic idea would in some way be similar to that of the Counterterrorism Blog. It would allow experts with divergent and asymmetrical opinions on various subject matters to publicly present those opinions in order to influence public, institutional, legislative, and even military action on aspects of current policy and operations. However unlike the Counterterrorism Blog it would cover an open field of subjects ranging from, but not necessarily limited to: military affairs, intelligence matters, counterterrorism, espionage, psychological operations, counterintelligence, national politics, international politics, law enforcement, technology, economics, futurism, and related topics of local, national, and international interest.

Secondarily it would diverge from almost all other blogs of this type in the fact that it would not be just another “Expert Blog” nor would the opinions and analyses be limited to "mere experts." Yes, it would contain articles and writings by people with their own substantial personal base of expertise and experience, but it would also allow the posting of the ideas and opinions of thoughtful amateurs and private citizens, who nevertheless have good and interesting perspectives regarding these subject matters and would like to have a place to express them. Of course the amateurs would have to meet the same criteria of "professionalism" of content and expression in any pieces they submit, as would the experts. That is to say that any amateur piece submitted would have to be well written, well expressed, and well reasoned, but it could easily deviate from and distance itself from accepted doctrine and wisdom, and hopefully it would do just that in order to be of value to others. In other words the amateur productions would not have to agree with expert opinion in any way, merely be well reasoned and well argued from that particular point of view. Anyone could contribute, expert or amateur, citizen or foreigner, as long as his or her paper or presentation was of high quality and well executed.

Why would one possibly want to create a website where expert opinion and amateur opinion freely mix, you might ask yourself? The answer is self-obvious if you just think about the potential for a few brief moments. Expertise tends to become self-limiting over time, experts become calcified in their opinion and slow to change and understand change, relying upon their past and present level of expertise to solve problems, when in truth new and vexing problems often require new solutions well beyond the scope and kin of currently established expertise.

The amateur on the other hand is often extremely inventive but also usually has little understanding of how institutional and organizational processes function, and what can realistically be achieved, and what cannot be realistically or economically achieved.

By mixing the wisdom and experience of the expert with the inventiveness and innovation of the talented amateur a cross-fertilization may develop which helps to synthesize beneficial approaches to extremely difficult problems.

In addition this process of cross fertilization will help the amateur to better understand the expert and the difficulties of his necessary method of operation and help the expert to become exposed to ideas outside the normal parameters of his operational method and theatre, and thereby gain new and fresh insights he had previously lacked. The amateur can provide innovation and insight, the expert wisdom and clarity. Together they may just possibly work so well in unison that heretofore seemingly impossible problems become manageable and soluble.

I'm going to run this idea by some of my friends in the military, government, and related fields and see what they think of it, if they would like to contribute, or if they know others who would like to contribute. Then I will be going from there based upon their recommendations and what I think can be accomplished.

There are other problems to work out of course before this venture can be launched. First of all, though I intend to contribute I will be too busy to contribute all of the time, so instead I will act more as Editor in Chief, contributing when I can. The next problems will be form and format. At this point I am considering a topical approach with a new topic being submitted once every two weeks or once a month. One or more experts could then write about that topic, and one or more amateurs could write about the same topic. The contributors would not see (nor would anyone else except the editors) each others products or writings or papers until such time as they were published on the blog or site (simultaneously or near-simultaneously), and then everyone would be free to react to those productions in any way they wished. As for format I currently see the project as either a standard blog or a Wiki site, but I'm leaning more towards a blog, as the Wiki site might be too easy to crack, deface, and malignantly edit.

The last few problems should be fairly easy to solve, a method of submission, how topics are arranged, what topics are presented and when, and editorial criteria.

If you have any comments to make on this proposal or idea then please feel free to email your ideas and responses to me or post them here, to the Missal.

Finally I should say that provisionally I am thinking about calling the Blog
the B Reader. But I'm open to other suggestions as well.

article here: http://themissal.blogspot.com/

© JWG, Jr. 2006

™ JWG, Jr. 2006

The Glair - "Even Fools..."

The Glair - "Even Fools..."

I got to see the speech that Hugo Chavez made to the UN General Assembly this morning. He got a few things dead-on right for sure.

1. The UN is powerless and impotent.
2. The UN is in great sympathy with him and his type.
3. The US is the greatest threat to the UN vision of the world in existence.
3. The UN should definitely look for another place to locate.

Even fools speak truth by accident if they live long enough...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Exchange - The Last, Best Hope

The Exchange - The Last, Best Hope

A friend of mine sent me these article links along with his personal observations regarding religious matters in Germany and Europe.

We have often had related discussions on these very matters. I'm not going to post his remarks because they were for a few select friends but below you will find my response to his observations and the articles he sent me.



My Response:

My personal opinion on this matter is this.

Germany and Italy were the prior religious centers of Continental Europe. (One could easily count Spain at one time but Franco held that under the thumb for a very long time).

When religion began to decline in both nations they were ripe for Hitler and Mussolini and with Fascism changing Christianity into a sort of bastardization of official ceremonial state function, or wiping it out altogether and replacing it with neo-pagan Nazi state religious totems, Christianity began her modern death march in Europe.

Then Germany and Italy lost the Second World War but Germany never recovered her religious identity, (and I'm not sure she ever may entirely), I suspect because many people there associated with the idea that religion had done nothing to stop Nazism, and they were right. But Christianity was already impotent and on the decline in the continent by that time anyway. Italy recovered because of the Vatican and Catholicism but really hasn't been a major political, social, religious, or national power up until very recently, and then only weakly compared to the past.

When religion is weak in Germany and Italy it is weak throughout all of Western Europe. (When religion is weak in Russia it is primarily weak throughout Eastern Europe as well, Poland possibly excluded.) Britain is too much the non-continental and semi-isolated island outsider to really drive the continent in any way and France is a religious joke as well as a political and economic one. Italy may always be relatively religiously strong due to the Vatican, but Germany really determines the course of Western Europe, economically, politically, and religiously. Europe does not have a unified culture and never will and only religious sentiment and association can stand as a surrogate "Super-culture." Secularism cannot act as a Super-culture at all because by very definition secular prosperity is competitive and economically adversarial. Germany and France cannot secularly and economically prosper equally. Only religion acts as a superculture and always has in Europe, even amid internecine conflict. Though such conflicts also on the one hand served to remind Europe of the superculture (Christendom) while at the same time tearing apart that superculture with various regional, national, and ethnic versions of Christianity in violent competition. (Not that I'm against denominational competition, it's good for religion, but not to the extent that it helps breed religious and sectarian warfare. That's all been worked out in modern times, Christian religious groups and denominations do not war on each other, but then again they do not act cooperatively in Europe either. They are apathetic and languid to a high degree.)

Nevertheless if Germany corrects itself religiously then most of Western Europe will become that much more stable and much can be done to isolate and marginalize the danger, degeneration, and duplicity that is France. If not then Western Europe will follow France into another period of stagnation followed eventually by open warfare in Europe.

I found it interesting you mentioned the Third World Nigerian street preachers. About two years or so ago I read a very good book which had statistics on various types of Christianity apparent in different parts of the world. Surveys were taken in various regions of the world and the one major power/industrialized nation that scored the most in common with Third World Christians (as far as similarities of religious views) was the United States. The US also scored high in similarity of religious viewpoint with home churches in Asia and with Catholics in South and Central America. The nations we scored least as having anything in common with religiously were most Western European nations. Which only makes sense because America has never had much faith in secularism as a solitary pursuit, or a safe national or cultural pursuit, rather we mix secular and sacred pursuits freely, like the Byzantines did. (I have a personal theory that the US is Byzantium reborn and improved upon.) Also America has never really lost her affiliated affections and sentiments towards primitive or early Christianity and has even to this day maintained a "rural and primitive feel" in most things, culture and religion included, when compared to the over-civilized and over-intellectualized and passive and primarily effeminate cultures of Western Europe. I do not say effeminate as a mere insult, but as a true and correct observation. Europe is urbanized, passive, slow to change, retiring, narcissistic, pessimistic, effeminate, and timid. The US is primitive, frontier-like in outlook, dynamic, aggressive, optimistic, masculine, and unafraid. We have far more in common in psychological outlook and general worldview with many parts of the Third World than we do with Europe, with which we share basically only a common cultural background heritage. Europe is our ancestor, but in truth we are nothing like our parents. Thank God for that.

Anyway, if Germany and Italy return to the more primitive roots of their Christian heritage then the axis will shift again and Europe may tilt in our direction once more. If not then in my opinion we can look to fight a war there once again, maybe by the time of our grandchildren. I would like to be optimistic, and I am considering Pope John Paul and Benedict, and the Third World primitive Christian missionaries now invading Europe and even the US (and our major urban centers could use a few good missionaries, they have to far too large an extent become "Europeanized") but it may already be too late. Only a complete collapse of the Secular Only model may bring Europe to her senses again, and that will only follow a real catastrophe. But then again if the early Christians could bring Rome to her knees and remake the Roman world into Christendom, then maybe the modern primitives can also remake modern Europe into a kind of New Christendom. But only time will tell in my opinion. I think we're too far out to tell as of yet.