Sunday, May 14, 2017

Something in the grass

I have been working long hours at work, but finally had a chance to get back up the mountain.  Needing to respond to a few comments still.


The following picture was taken on my iPhone.  I wish I had been carrying the SLR.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fighting to Save Science

I suppose someone has to do it.  After all, imagine what things would be like if a selfish conservative just changed the laws of science and the thermal output of the Sun suddenly increased by an order of magnitude.  It would be a real scorcher.

Being from the San Francisco area, I am now wondering what should be our next object of protest.  Any suggestions?

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Real People, Not Actors

Just saw the slogan, "Real People, Not Actors" on a commercial, from which we can clearly deduce that all humans are either Real People or Actors, but not both.  So are you a Real Person?  Or an Actor?  And what are your distinctive characteristics which put you in one category or the other?  This is to help me figure out which category I should put myself in.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Time to Retire April Fools

Part of the reason is that April Fools has long been running all year round.  My suggestion is that we formally invert the process, so that April 1st becomes the one day of the year when the news will be serious and not written by fools.  Something similar could happen in the other institutions.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Land of the Pure

The title of this post is the real meaning of Pakistan.  This is the second set of notes on the book, Creating a New Medina.  In this middle section we are treated to tedious arguments over how provinces are to be split and populations are to be moved.  The driving force is the need of the Mohammedans to rule, as their religion demands, while realizing that they cannot rule in a united India.  They refer to themselves as "slaves" in India, because they cannot rule, but then insist that they will be fair-minded towards their minorities.  At the same time, there is the "hostage population" theme, which perhaps is a better indicator of how they would view their minorities.

There are a number of idealistic themes being put forth by the Muslim League (ML) which are to be expected, as every political movement must energize followers by stirring up unrealistic expectations.  One that reminds me very much of the Communists is the MLs efforts to distinguish between degenerate "Muslim" governments and pure "Islam".  This neatly parallels the efforts of leftists to distinguish between the communism in action of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, ... vs the pure ideals of Marx, which are yet to be tried and still represent the greatest hope of mankind.  Similarly, the ML is arguing that Islam is a pure and perfect system of human governance which has yet to be tried after 1,300 years, except for the first initial stages of the caliphate.  Then there is the argument that Islam can have a power over the soul that can never happen in socialism.  This neglects to see that socialism's primary tool is envy, which is one of those universal diseases of the soul and the most powerful of all human motivators.

Pan-universal Islam is also showing up as a theme, with references to the Turkish caliphate being cited as an example.  Again, this completely neglects the reality, which is that the Turks would uproot the young men of one tribal region within their empire and appoint them to guard a rebellious tribe in a distant part of the empire, exploiting the pan-universal tribal hostility of Islam to maintain the unity of the empire.  This feature of Islam is starting to peek out from under the rug in the middle of the book as the issue of the Shia-Sunni split is impertinently raised.  I will keep an eye out as my reading continues for more discussion on how the most tribal of all religions will sell itself as a unifier of Muslims from all over the world.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Creating a New Medina - part 1

I finally had a chance to make some significant progress reading this book about the creation of Pakistan.  A bit more background might have been helpful for me before jumping into this, but thankfully we have the internet to fill in those pieces that are presumed common knowledge, like the Government of India Act of 1935 or the Lahore Resolution.

What stands out to me is the blinkered view of India by the Congress party leadership as they tried to adapt Marxist notions to South East Asia, together with Ghandi's naive efforts to make Western Unitarianism into the national religion of India.  This would preclude them from having any understanding of the Muslim League.  The Muslim Mass Contact Programme reminds me that the surreal behavior of current Western politicians towards Mohammedans is universal among leftists as they somehow imagine that they can convince ordinary Muslims that their greater interest is in the social justice offered by the Leftists, while being utterly oblivious to the Left's own fanatical religious agendas that are motivating the social justice pretext.  The early introduction in this book of recent scholarship regarding this period and the various motivations of the actors would seem to indicate that many scholars are still having trouble coming to terms with the religious motivations that drive Islam.

The third chapter introduces Ambedkar whose scientific analysis of the sectarian situation causes me to warm up to him considerably, until the remark that the Islamic mind precludes Muslims from embracing the class warfare beliefs of the Marxists.  Wondering if that was his comment or the author's?  As a Christian, I am inclined to just do away with class as much as is feasible, but don't see much point in stirring up a war over it, and/or deliberately creating class divisions for the purpose of fomenting class warfare so that I can become a hero in the war.  At this point things are moving optimistically towards a separate state solution, with some ominous comments about hostage populations.

I am about 1/3 of the way through the book.  There is a sense that this is just scratching the surface of one thread of a complex piece of history as British India is transformed into the current modern state(s).

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Creating a New Medina, by Venkat Dhulipala

Per Ramana's recommendation, I have picked up this book, but am barely into the introduction.  This is a book about the politics leading to the formation of Pakistan.  A sentence that jumps out early is this:

"In this regard, it was not just envisaged as a refuge for the Indian Muslims, but as an Islamic utopia that would be the harbinger for renewal and rise of Islam in the modern world, act as the powerful new leader and protector of the entire Islamic world and, thus, emerge as a worthy successor to the defunct Turkish Caliphate as the foremost Islamic power in the twentieth century."

It seems to me that this is a recurring theme among the Mohammedans: That they would come up with the next worldly power.  For me as a Christian, my only hope is that the governments that we live under in the West will not become too efficient in their struggle to exterminate Christianity.  But God is sovereign, so I trust that He will do what is fitting and succeed through means that are in defiance of Man's power and wisdom.

The other angle to my reading of this book is that my various learning schemes have all been upset by getting myself too busy with work and swimming, leaving myself too tired to do much.  Creating a New Medina should be a good interlude.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

I ate it. I didn't eat it.

So there.  I just gave conflicting answers to the question that I was never asked, therefore, I am a perjurer.  Guilty!  Guilty!  Guilty!  So don't even think about appointing me to Attorney General.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

California Holey Rollers

I am thinking about the holey commute I have every day ... that is, a pot holey commute.  The road I roll along to work daily was re-paved a few months ago, but now every day there are a few new holes while the previous day's holes seem to have been patched overnight.  The immediate cause for the new holes seems to be the recent rains, although I do wonder how roads are maintained in places where there is vastly more rain than we get here in California.  The thermal cycling is also considerably less here than much of the US since the roads never freeze.  Maybe this is a jobs program:  If we made roads that didn't spontaneously form holes, we wouldn't need to employ people to fix the roads.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Some birds are more important than others

But are they self-important?  Or does someone else determine that they are important?


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Refugee

Just pondering the definition.  Yes, this is nuts in the age of rage where reflecting on anything in a logical manner is a clear sign of mental illness.  But here goes anyway:

"owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it" - UN 1951 Refugee Convention.

Since this definition only permits males to become refugees, it was expanded later to include females with "his or her" verbiage.  Those are now the only two genders permitted among refugees.  

One observation is that you must be outside of your country first in order to be a refugee.  Thus, an illegal alien who commits a murder is formally a refugee, but someone born in the US who commits a murder in the US and is caught in the US is clearly not one.  

Then there is this religion things.  All of us claim to believe in absolute freedom of religion, but in practice we deny the rights of Druids and Mayans to perform human sacrifice and we are in denial about the Islamic command to "smite infidels".  

Another observation is that all refugees are "phobes" - that is, they are fearful of something, since fear is part of the definition.  Thus, I am not sure where they stand now that homophobes, islamophobes and the entire "phobe" movement stands condemned.  Something to point out here is that Nazi war criminals who fled to South America fully meet the definition of refugee.  On the other hand, someone who is by nature fearless can never be a refugee.  Then there are the Christians who are stuck in Mohammedan countries that they were born into.  These suffer by far the greatest persecution in the Middle East, but to travel away from their home area into another country means even more abuse and likely death at the hands of their persecutors, thus, they are excluded from being refugees.

I should leave this topic now.  Admittedly I hadn't given the definition much thought until recently, 

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Suspicious Package

My wife called me at work and asked me to pick her up from a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station.  Here we go again, I thought.  It turned out to be a "suspicious package" at one of the stations, which caused them to shut down the line heading to our city.  I was about to hyperventilate over the BART system again, but this time they are innocent.  Or at least not guilty of the current turmoil.

Arriving  at the other station, there were cars everywhere and people packing doorways, since it was raining.  My iPhone directed me to my wife's location, since she had moved further away to find a place beyond the crowds and with some relatively clear parking.  Nice to have her safely back here.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Free Speech was first discovered in California!

The article being here.  Which begins with, "BERKELEY - UC Berkeley, the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement, was rocked Wednesday night by a violent demonstration seeking to stop right-wing lightning rod Milo Yiannopoulos from delivering a talk there".  Dr. Wiki has a slightly different opinion.

Leftists will respond that Milo is some sort of fascist hate monger who doesn't deserve freedom of speech for reasons of public safety.  The rebuttal here is that all people who disagree with Leftists are categorized the same way.  My opinion being that Leftists have always bravely supported their own freedom of speech when they are in a rage, which is almost all the time.  When they don't want to hear something, however, there is never any freedom of speech.  Or to put it another way, the only freedom of speech that matters to them is their own.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Fog

It is sad to have the last day of January go by.  This morning's swim was with an air temperature of 2C and a water temperature of 7C.  As you can see, the fog was rather thick, so I didn't want to go too far from the shore and always kept a rope or buoy in sight.  The distance swam was about 1,200 meters.  This is the second year to swim through the worst of winter.  Except that my friend from Boston denied that we have a winter.  Sigh.  San Franciscan's do what we can, but I was humbled and put to silence by her.


Friday, January 27, 2017

California secession continued.

The movement seems to be picking up steam.  Call me a hypocrite, but I was much more for Brexit than I am for Calexit.  Still, we must keep in mind that the EU was more favorable to Britain than the US is to California.  There might also be some question of borders, since Calexit would likely be most viable for the Bay Area and the greater Los Angeles suburban area, while the US might want to keep Tahoe, Yosemite and the Central Valley.  Since Northern California and Southern California don't get along particularly well, they might just have two separate countries, and it is hard to imagine that Sacramento would remain the capital.  On the other hand, the meaning of the name Sacramento - Holy Sacrament - might make it mandatory to retain this as a focal point for their constitutionally mandated desecrations of everything Christian.  We will need to wait and see.

What really is on my mind is what citizenship I will have after Calexit.  Will I be a Californian or an American?  Is dual citizenship possible?  Or perhaps I should just face the fact that I am a white, conservative Christian and will most likely be expelled from the Promised Land and/or sent to a re-education camp where I will vanish.  In case that happens to me, let me just say that it has been a good life and I have enjoyed interacting with many wonderful people over the internet.  Will miss all of you.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

47 degrees

Looks like the lake temperature isn't getting any lower this winter.  We have been keeping the swim distance at 1,600 yards, which is just under 1.5 kilometers.  It is nice to have some companionship this year to help our small group swim regularly.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Have A Dream!

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." - MLK speech

We can certainly thank Identity Politics that MLK's dream is dead:  Judging based on character rather than group identity is increasingly dangerous to ones position in society.  The irony being that those who killed the dream will celebrate MLK's life along with this speech this weekend as if they represent his legacy.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Russians did it! - Read the report for yourself.

A link is here.  The primary finding is that the Russian government's RT news network put out propaganda that was directed by the Russian government towards furthering its interests.  What is the world coming to?

Friday, January 06, 2017

The Russians did it!

My guess is that Wikileaks will let us know a few weeks later which Democratic campaign staffer authored the "Intel Report".

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017?

Not sure I am ready for it.  A big chunk of America is still hysterical over the election.  They will not rest until Trump's head is brought to them on a platter.  Then there are all those poor souls who have no way to get to heaven unless they go out with a bang and bring some infidels with them.  2016 saw the War on Cops being inaugurated as a distraction from the total failure of the Christian Social Justice movement.  In parallel is the effort to disarm everyone except the criminals, and especially the gangs who deal freely in contraband and are the primary reason for the gun deaths.

On the other hand, I don't need to worry about the Black Death or some Viking raid.  No new alien spaceships have been reported from our solar system scans.  All is calm.

My final thought is from Jesus:

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." - Matthew 6:34

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Cost of Discipleship - Bonhoeffer

This is a classic now of a German Christian theologian who organized resistance against the National Socialists.  He was arrested in 1943, and eventually executed a few days before his camp was liberated in 1945.  Many of his works were smuggled out of prison.  Before the war he had spent some time at a neo-pagan seminary in New York, Union Seminary.  There is a brief biography by someone else at the beginning of this work which includes this gem:

"Both modern liberal theology and secular totalitarianism hold pretty much in common that the message of the Bible has to be adapted, more or less, to the requirements of a secular world.  No wonder, therefore, that the process of debasing Christianity as inaugurated by liberal theology led, in the long run, to a complete perversion and falsification of the essence of Christian teaching by National Socialism."

Today, this same liberal theology is America's and Europe's established religion, more or less.  The irony being that the theologians of this state religion are constantly finding National Socialists behind every challenge to their authority.  Those who currently call themselves National Socialists are just as confused since they still embrace the state religion, but are somehow opposed to its consequences.  This should be a good read.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Book Burnings. California Style.

The story is here.  This reminds me of a collection of the writings of the early church fathers that was at my local government library.  I made good use of it for some time, but then it disappeared from the shelf.  All 30 some volumes.   But not to gripe too much, time moves on and what was formerly deemed useful is no longer the case, with usage statistics to back this choice.  Or at least my optimistic imagination will cause me to think so.  The sinister side might consider that the University of California was simply anti- science and engineer, while my local library was anti-Christianity.  Nah.