Saturday, April 30, 2011

About the "birther" issue:

     Fox News (a decidedly right-wing organization) has posted this article. I thought I would point out a few things.
     "While the White House has been quick to complain about the media's role in the birther issue, the presidential candidate other than Trump who has brought up the issue most often recently is Obama..." [Emphasis added]
     Okay, who can name a presidential candidate other than Obama and Trump? Me neither, although Nader is a possibility. The White House has, indeed, complained about the media (especially conservative media) harping on the birther non-issue. But the Fox News claim is technically accurate. None of the members of those media are presidential candidates. And so, it is true, out of the two people included in the group of presidential candidates, Obama brings it up second-most often. Some of us would point out that, among that same group, he brings it up least often.
     "The so-called long-form certificate had become the central issue for many of the so-called birthers, and for Donald Trump, who is mulling over a presidential bid and had said it was possible that Obama was pulling 'one of the great cons in the history of politics.' The state of Hawaii uses a 'short form' as a certified birth certificate, and Obama had to ask for a waiver to get the longer form released. The long form showed what the short firm did: Obama was born in Honolulu."
     As you'll recall, Trump was lying that Obama was hiding something by not releasing the "long form." Okay, quick, how many of you have access to the "long form" of your own birth certificates? Well, unless I have readers that work in the appropriate records offices, the answer is zero. Even Trump can't get his "long form" and he knows it. I can only surmise that Trump was hoping that Obama could not pull the necessary strings to get his released.
     "Obama's choice to personally involve himself in a controversy that, until recently, was driven by fringe websites and talk-radio rants..."
     And that would include the very site from which this quote is pulled.

     Okay, look, like Obama, hate Obama, fine, whatever. But everyone involved has known that Obama was a native-born citizen throughout this whole mess.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The "love" of the christian god.

     Norman really should take his own object lessons. He does so many of the things he criticizes others for. Then again, I suppose that's normal. One faults most in others the things he sees in himself but does not like.

     Okay, main point. Christians tend to accuse outsiders of "suppressing the truth" or "rebelling" against their god. They don't have a tendency to provide any evidence for this position. But I have seen the accusation made time and time again.
     Now, most non-christians, including myself, believe the christian god to be fictional. But, if I believed he existed, there would be cause for rebellion. According to christian theology, people are to submit to him like a wife to her husband. I am aware of the fight for women's rights. Christianity, however, was invented in another time. I remembered a song that illustrated just exactly what kind of "husband" the christian god really is.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Examining the witnesses to the resurrection

     One of the admins on the Queen Queequeg blog claims that a former magistrate has examined the witnesses to the resurrection. This sounds like an incredible feat as it was my understanding that they were both unidentifiable and deceased. However, bring them in; I would like to cross-examine them. Now, let me explain why a cross-examination is important. A corrupt prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict anyone he wants. How? Because he can massage the "evidence" as presented to the grand jury and no one is allowed to cross-examine his witnesses. Here we have someone who already wants to convince people that the resurrection was real performing a rather dubious direct examination. I would like the opportunity to cross.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Making gods not to exist "by definition"

     One atheist (at least one) has decided that it is not enough that there is no evidence for alleged supernatural beings. He is stating that any such being, if found, would be natural by definition and therefore not a god. Quite frankly, I think that this is worse than useless. It gives validity to the common christian claim that non-believers are "closed to the evidence." I am open to actual evidence in favor of their god. I just haven't seen any. If I ever do see such evidence, I will not play games stating that "the multiverse or anything outside the world we can see is just natural anyway." The natural embodies the world that we currently see. And there might be an outside of that. By standard definitions, any such outside would be supernatural or at least extranatrual. The term "natural" was not intended to mean "everything that exists" and should not be so redefined. It may happen that it, in fact, encompasses everything that exists. But if it does, it will not be by virtue of saying "found it, therefore it is natural."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Remember. Friends don't let friends use Macintosh.

     It's been a while since I've used any product made by Apple. The most recent I've used being the Apple //c. When they decided they wanted to lock down their machines so that regular people couldn't write software for them, I decided I didn't want to have anything to do with their machines. Linux always has and always will come with a compiler and assembler built in. (You need them to install new software. The same source will work on different versions of Linux. But the same binaries won't.) For Windows, Microsoft out of the goodness of its heart because there are other compilers and assemblers available for free, offers a fully functional compiler and assembler at no charge -- although they would prefer that you upgrade to one that you actually pay them for. Before that, DEBUG allowed the writing of programs. Even if it wasn't particularly convenient.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Oh, wow, just look at Norman's latest post

     The post is here, by the way. Any more extreme and he would have his "atheists" say something like "we atheists are horrible people; all the readers should become christian." As a practical matter, I do not expect to find anyone who is not playing a straw-man of his opponent to endorse trolling openly on a public forum. It reminds me of those television adverts in which a spokesman for "Brand X" is continually bad-mouthing "his own product." I don't know. Maybe the gimmick works on people. But that's just what it is -- a gimmick.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Norman vs. reasonable requirements

     In a recent blogpost, Norman copied the comic from this webpage and said that he liked it. Well, I rather like that particular comic myself. However, it would appear that he is violating the terms of the Creative Commons license by which you may reprint it. The conditions are simple: Your use must be non-commercial (I think he actually meets this condition.) You must attribute the work to the author (his name is Randall Munroe, but a link to his website would have worked -- Norman failed to attribute.) You must identify the license terms (he apparently couldn't be bothered.)
     Oh, by the way, this is also a good comic by the same person. I wonder what the chances that he will risk letting his readers see that one.

Thank you to unions

     Now, I do not personally work in a union shop, as what I do is office work. But I do know that, absent unions, all workers would be looking at no holidays, no vacation, you get sick you're out of a job, no job safety, working 89+ hours a week for $2/week, and so on. Union workers fought hard for things we take for granted today. And if unions were ever to be disabled, those rights would go away very quickly. Some people think that unions and collective bargaining are not needed any more. That is simply not true. Union and collective bargaining will be needed until such as all workers can feel safe in walking out on a job should they be treated unfairly. That is, as long as walking out on a job carries the likelihood of starvation and homelessness, unions will be needed. Because in individual bargaining the boss basically has the worker over a barrel.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Well, it looks like I owe Dan an apology.

     Some months ago, I forget how long exactly, I accused Dan of removing comments that he found inconvenient. When he restored comments, I thought that he was marking comments as spam himself so they would be available when people called him on it (which they were doing. Dan said that Blogger was sending them to spam and that he had nothing to do with it. I didn't believe him. At the time, I was going on the best evidence available to me as Blogger did not seem to have a habit of doing that and christians do seem to have a habit of making excuses.
     However, today, I see new evidence. It appears that Blogger can delete comments automatically like that (without posting 20 comments in a 5-minute period to get one deletion.) Alex has no reason to come to Dan's defense and probably didn't even know about the accusation. I must therefore accept the new evidence and where it leads.


     I apologize. I accused you in error. And for that I am sorry.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

What would convince me that the biblical god was real

     A lot of christians claim that I am closed to the evidence of christianity. Quite frankly, I don't see any evidence to support christianity. Look, I can be convinced with appropriate evidence. If it were spelled out in the stars, I would believe. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

     I remember one christian provided a recording of a program in which a non-christian identified just that kind of evidence. However the host, Slick, kept twisting it to try the claim that what was sought was playing connect-the-dots with the stars wo that he could say the evidence was already there. Slick was very skilled at the con-job. But it doesn't make the evidence actually sought any more present.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

On the Queen Queequeg blog

     I submitted that the only reason why any comment has been deleted is because it exposed a truth that the administrators found inconvenient. If you go to check, you will find that Norman has deleted the comment, proving me right, and is apparently pretending I said something entirely different. Well, I am not afraid of letting my readers come to their own conclusions. And so I ask you, does anyone think that any comment has been removed from that blog for a good reason.

Abuse of power (weblog style)

     Norman seems pretty clear in that he plans to have "rules for comments" but has no intention of following his own rules. He makes the excuse that police officers are allowed to break the speed limit. But consider, they are only supposed to be allowed to do that in very limited circumstances. Under normal circumstances, law enforcement is supposed to uphold a higher standard than the rest of the citizenry. Unfortunately, reality doesn't always work that way. And there are people that abuse their power.
     I suppose I should consider myself fortunate that the only power Norman has to abuse is that of weblog administrator. Still, I will call him out on his abuse.


     Here is Norman making excuses for future deletions and my response. Readers can make their own determinations.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

To Rhomphaia:

     In this post, you claim that you disallow comments because you "know [people] don't really have an answer.] But I submit, it's because you know we do. Alex has already addressed you point by point. I shall be more general.
     I do not ask you to believe anything on an authority. I would hope that you would form your beliefs based on evidence. An authority would simply be someone dictating what you are "supposed" to believe. And that is the position that you have given for your god, except that you have to let other people tell you what he has "told you" to believe.

Another post about Norman.

     In this thread, Norman relays a story and probably envisions himself as "Patches." I think his actions are more in keeping with the lynch mob. The facts, as anyone can verify by reviewing his blog and comments that he makes on other blogs, are that he is quick to accuse and belittle anyone who dares to disagree with him. He frequently claims that the has submitted proof positive of his accusations (on some unknown former occasion.) And yet, I have never seen him present any actual evidence to back his claims up. The closest I saw him come was backlinking to another blog post of his where he had made the same accusations without evidence. Where he has the power, he is in the habit of making regular deletions of comments that he doesn't like. The reasons he gives are flimsy at best and I do not believe they are true. But the reader may judge for himself.

An annoying message box

     Gee, is there anything else Microsoft wants, like, say, my source code files so that they more easily steal my efforts and call them their own? No, I don't want to send an error report. I am quite aware that, as I write my program, I will encounter errors. That's what debuggers are for -- so that I can fix them. I do not want to send Microsoft any information about my program until it is finished.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Some comments that Norman has deleted

     Incidentally, these comments were not directed to his blog. He usurped the authority to delete legitimate comments on a blog where the owner extended him the privilege of making his own primary posts.


     No, you don't have to babysit. This is (supposedly) Rhomphaia's blog. And it is her place, not yours, to decide what comments fit the rules. I submit that the comment you deleted followed all the rules and was only off-topic in that it responded to your own off-topic comment. It's easy to make a false conviction when you are able to block the defense from speaking.


     Contrary to your assertion, I do not claim that everyone who disagrees with me is a sock puppet. I do claim that the various accounts which all exhibit your style of writing are. There are people other than you who disagree with me. But you use a multitude of accounts. I make very few claims about people being crazy or evil. But I do note that you do not shy away from making such claims yourself.
     "We do have the right to make rules whether you like it or not."
     And we have reason to cry foul when you delete posts that do not violate your stated rules and you pretend they do. Quite frankly, I think Miss Goose should revoke your administrative privileges. But, by now, you have probably become the primary owner of the blog.
     The posts which you deleted did not violate your stated rules. (I happened to see Alex's before your got to it.) But I suppose that you can rely on the fact that supporters won't know the difference. After all, they won't see the oriinal to test against your stated claim. Your abuse of power can go unchecked.

     This is supposedly Rhomphaia's blog, not Norman's. However, Norman seems to be making two (or more) sets of rules. There is the set of rules he claims overtly and will lie and say people violated when he deletes their comments. Then there are the rules he keeps to himself about why he deletes the comments, likely involving being inconvenient to his lies. I say "or more" because one can argue that he has a third, less restrictive, set for himself (and his supporters, insofar as they exist.)
     He likes to accuse me of "whining." But I submit that he does not believe it to be so. If he really believed that I was whining, he would let my comments stand, as it would inspire others to ignore me without his interference. Instead he tells people not to listen to anything I may have said and just take his word that I was "whining." It may be effective; but it is deceptive

     Now, technically, I'm jumping the gun on that last one, as I've just posted it and he hasn't had opportunity to delete it yet. But does anyone want to lay any bets?


     "If you had not answered him, it was going away. He is being recalcitrant and only interested in causing trouble"
     Rough translation: I was trying to prevent you from seeing that. Christians who scrutinize their faith too closely tend to lose it.

     Somehow, this got put in the wrong post.

Apparently my last response was too powerful for "please convince me" and they felt the need to delete it

     Here is the thread. I shall try to recompose the thoughts of my response as best I can.

     "I hope you really don’t think that a reasonably intelligent person, let alone a perfect one, would be unable to see what is at play. Just because words can be strung together does not prevent the sentence from being incoherent."
     That's true enough. I can string words together like "rook sea shape fat penguin" and it won't mean anything. But the statement I proposed does not suffer from that problem. It has a clear meaning.
     "A statement that is contradictory, incoherent or circular simply proves that reason is operating."
     My statement is not contradictory nor is it incoherent. And it is not really meaningful for a statement to be circular.
     "Your Rubik’s cube example does not help your argument."
     The Rubik's cube itself is only a backdrop. The point was that a particular text was meaningful and useful to me, but "meaningless" to someone else. Individual limitation may prevent someone from seeing the meaning. I highlighted a specific example to prevent a claim of an empty assertion.
     "Saying that 'God truly knows that this statement is not true but therefore true' is not something we dwell on because we can’t solve it."
     But, of course, I never said anything like that. I said that if he does not believe it to be true then it is true but he doesn't know it. You see, I am not introducing a contradiction. I am exposing one. I said at the beginning that omniscience was inherently inconsistent. And, if you remove the assumption of omniscience, all the contradictions go away. The contradictions only come into play when you modify my statement to claim that your god cannot have made an error. The statement is a simple one about the set of beliefs of a proposed being. Either the statement is among those beliefs and is thus false, or it is not there and is true. Either way, there is a truth that your god does not know.

     Ultimately, credit must go to Kurt Gödel. He was the one who proved that any sufficiently advanced system must have statements that it can express but cannot resolve or be an inconsistent system. You cannot have a collection of all and only true statements, because for any given collection <X>, the statement "This statement is not part of collection <X>." is reasonable, but the collection will be wrong about it.


     My response is back. Perhaps it was just hidden so that someone checking would give up before it was restored. I'm just guessing, of course.

Blogger gave me some brief trouble with my account.

     I can only guess that it was because no phone number was connected with the account. It is my understanding that phone numbers are a recent requirement to Blogger accounts. But I was hoping that, since my account already existed, that I wouldn't have to mess with it.

Norman claims:

     As you can see above, Norman claims that he will be deleting "personal attacks." Personally, I think he is going to use it to delete comments he finds inconvenient. I have seen him take simple honest disagreement and call it a "personal attack." I have also seen him engage in personal attacks and say they were nothing of the kind.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Does saying "April Fool's" make something less of a lie?

     I realize that April Fool's jokes have become accepted in modern culture -- although there are limits. But really, does it make it any less of a lie?

What is conservatism?

     I thought that I would present the position of the conservatives to the best of my observations. This would be my assessment of their beliefs and what I think they would say if they thought it safe to do so.

     When will these leftists get it? Workers are not real people. They are a tool to be used to get some work done. If my hammer breaks, I throw it out and get a new one. That's the way it should be for workers. And that's the way it was before the **** unions came along. Instilling such nonsense as "living wage," "safe working conditions," and "break periods." All these things directly affect my bottom line. I don't want to pay for safe working conditions. A full crate drops on a worker, putting him out of commission, why should I have to pay him while he's not working. It's cheaper just to get a new worker. But, no, those commies came up with OSHA, MSHA, and workman's comp.
     Things have gotten ridiculous. Soon they'll want me to pay my guard dog at least minimum wage and give cats the right to vote. Those liberals need all the help they can get. They know no real people would ever vote for their commie policies. If I can get workers to put in 14 hours a day, 6 days a week for 5 bucks, no stinkin' government bureaucrat should be tellin' me no. That's what's wrong with America these days. Too many people crying about "worker's rights." Well, workers have the right to work in my factory until they drop dead from exhaustion. And there's plenty more where they came from.