In the Shadow of the Moon

I hadn't known about this film until just this afternoon, looking for something to do. Bea wasn't feeling great, so I rang up my dad. I knew that unless he was involved in something he absolutely couldn't pull away from, there was a 100% chance he'd go. See, after leaving the Nevada Air National Guard as a jet engine mechanic in the early 60s, he went to work for Rocketdyne in the Nevada desert as a technician for the descent engine for the Apollo Lunar Module. He claims to be the first to ride that engine. Something was amiss after a test firing while he was on the test stand, it fired again, and moved down the track some yards. So far as I know, his claim is undisputed. So it was no surprise that in spite of getting to the theater about five minutes before our appointed meeting time, he was already there with my ticket in hand. I bought snacks. The film is amazing. Quite a lot of footage I've never seen before, and I've seen a lot. Lot's of lead-up and behind the scenes footage too. And the interviews with the guys -- their insights and perspectives...

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“Campaign Finance Reform”

More donations of time and talent for Ron Paul.

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Balderdash

Karen calls this "unsurprising," and I suppose I understand what everyone's getting at -- having patience is smart -- but the "study" as briefly presented is utter nonsense. It seems that a desire to be satisfied right now is linked with lower intelligence. When 1,000 people in Germany were given the choice of receiving 100 euros today or 150 euros a year from now, those with a higher IQ chose to wait for the higher return. It’s the first time research has shown a relationship between intelligence and patience. Source: University of Bonn, July 2007 I suspect it's just that the smart people knew an exercise in masturbation when they heard it, and picked the answer most likely to to arouse pleasure in the sponsors. A hundred euros is an insignificant amount of money (around $140), I have no idea whether a promise will be kept a year from now, so I'll take the 100 euro now, please, if you're offering. But suppose it's 100,000 euros verses nothing now, and a promise for 150,000 in a year. Now the uncertainty of the promise being kept is even more prescient (and if you're not factoring that in you're not smart). That's...

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God Notes: Freud a Defender of Fath?

An interesting NYT article chronicling the softening of Sigmund Freud's attitude about religion. No, of course he didn't begin believing in the primitive notion of an anthropomorphic or otherwise literal being. He recognized the value -- perhaps the power -- of invisibility. And it was, but not chiefly because of the strange speculations about Moses’ identity that worried Yahuda and scandalized the book’s first readers. There is a more subtle and original dimension to the book, and perhaps it was that dimension that made Freud so determined to complete and publish it, despite all the resistance. For in “Moses and Monotheism” Freud has something truly fresh to say about religion. About two-thirds of the way into the volume, he makes a point that is simple and rather profound — the sort of point that Freud at his best excels in making. Judaism’s distinction as a faith, he says, comes from its commitment to belief in an invisible God, and from this commitment, many consequential things follow. Freud argues that taking God into the mind enriches the individual immeasurably. The ability to believe in an internal, invisible God vastly improves people’s capacity for abstraction. “The prohibition against making an image of...

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Election Brickbats

Tough day at the office for Benito Giuliani, Fred Herring (and more), and McRomney (and more). (All via Rockwell). Notice anything odd about this NYT article that has not a word about Ron Paul?

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Honesty Revolution

Ron Paul has said that the eclectic nature of his support is due to the popularity of freedom. But listen to the comments of these University of Michigan students. Their interest seems to be in something even more fundamental: honesty. Freedom is a consequence of pursuing values in accordance with facts, reason and reality, and such values can only be earned through the honest integration of those things. I'm sure those students are ignorant and wrong-headed about any number of things, but it appears they're nobody's fool when it comes to differentiating the puppets on the right and left from Paul.

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Benito Giuliani

The Lew Rockwell blog has taken to calling "Rudy" Benito Giuliani and I can't think of a good reason why not. Here's Thomas DiLorenzo's latest entry. Benito had a hard time at the NRA debate last night, trying to explain why, as mayor of NYC, he sued gun manufacturers for being "accomplices" in NYC crime. His defense: He didn't like the direction the lawsuit eventually went in. And oh yeah, there was lots of crime in the city. According to Benito's logic it's OK to sue gun manufacturers for the misuse of their products, or swimming pool manufacturers for drownings that occur, or baseball bat manufacturers, automobile manufacturers, silverware producers, or the makers of any other inanimate object that is ever used in a crime, as long as the lawsuit goes "in the right direction." Or, you know, as long as you can get things to run on time.

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Presumptuous Question Begging

Over the next year, should Ron Paul's campaign continue to gain momentum, you're going to be called on to be a fool over and over and over. The dismantling of America's regulatory system and the dramatic decrease in our government's bureaucracy, Paul proposes, would be an unmitigated disaster up and down the line. The tragic collapse in July of a Minnesota bridge and its subsequent investigation proved that many areas of America require more oversight and funding, not less. Do you see it? If not, you better watch out. Whether the fool of the puppets on the left or of those on the right, the essential remains. Here's a bit of a hint: suppose you're an employer, and one of your expensive, high paid employees continually screws up. Would you say that to fire that person would be an unmitigated disaster, and what you need to do, instead, is to give them a raise and increase their departmental budget? If you were to say 'yes,' then that is precisely how much a fool you'd be if you swallowed Andrew Vickers' tripe, and how much of a fool you'll be as you swallow the thousand varriations on the same theme coming...

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Rationalization

Anything is possible. Be sure to click on the multimedia slideshow. (McQ)

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Good Show

My brother alerts me to Virginia Tech geeks who take 1100 Apple G5 computers, interconnect them, and for $5.2 million create the world's third fastest supercomputer. Those in second and first place cost $215 million and $350 million, respectively. Sure hope they ran it past Hillary!

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America the Laughing Stock

Wasn't that other "electronic device" scare from Boston? So maybe it's just Boston the Laughing Stock. I really don't have much comment. Too ridiculous. (Rockwell) Update:

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Fresh Air

We could do with a few more like Ryanair's Michael O'Leary.

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Pop Quiz

First, watch the video. Now, how long before you realized it was parody?

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Is it just me?

I must be weird. All over I'm seeing wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth over the fact that the Canadian dollar traded one for one with the U.S. dollar today, whereas, just a few years ago, about 75 U.S. cents would buy you a Canadian dollar. So? If you had taken $10,000 U.S. and purchased Canadian, you'd have bought 13,333 dollars Canadian, which now would be worth $13,333 U.S. Jesus. It's like complaining that it takes $140 to buy a share in Apple, whereas it only cost $80 a year ago.

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Another Pig

Via Lew Rockwell, I undertook to do 15 minutes of research on this. Here's the story, and below is the video. But let me point to some particular things to watch for. Even though the two council members are arguing with each other, it's fairly civil, with David Snyder, the guy on the left being pretty calm when finally ejected. He gathers his things very calmly, folds up his camera, and walks out the door with the Pig (Roseland, Indiana Town Marshal Jack Tiller) following close behind. Now, I've looked at that little bit as he goes through the door and I cannot detect the slightest indication that he has or is about to attempt to assault the Pig. But then look what happens. You catch a glimpse through the window. And oh; the Pig, while straddling the unarmed, unconscious Snyder, engages in the typical and common ruse of repeating "STOP RESISTING" as he's punching him in the side of the head. After watching it, I was just almost certain there was something more to this. And indeed there is -- as the story reporting it indicates. But that wasn't complete, and it only got me more interested. See, I...

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“This is John Galt Speaking”

Pass it around. It's part one of what will apparently be a muti-part series YouTubing John Galt's speech from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. (Beck)

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3 1/2 Years of Profound Florida Evil Ends (for one man)

I first blogged about Richard Paey in in April, 2004. This was when Jeb Bush and other Florida cronies and mobsters first locked up a wheelchair-bound father suffering from multiple sclerosis for a 25-year sentence for the "crime" of medicating himself with painkillers. I posted again near the end of 2006 when the applicable District Court of Appeals implicated itself in perpetuating the crime against Paey. I don't know anything about Florida's current governor, Charlie Crist, but at least, finally, someone has gone and done the right thing. It should have never happened, it's 3 1/2 years late, and it's an absolute shame and disgrace that it did happen at all -- one of the many things that makes me embarrassed and utterly unenthusiastic in being called an "American." This sort of thing is far worse even than the drug raids where innocent people get harmed and killed. That's bad enough, but at the very least, that outcome is not explicitly intended. This was a brutal and premeditated evil conspiracy and I would be glad to know the names of every person involved directly in it, so that I may have future days to celebrate once they become worm food,...

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Busy, Busy, Busy

I might be largely off the grid for a while; we'll see. Lots of business things going on, mostly good, and that's where my attention is, right now. I might manage an evening and/or weekend post or so going forward. Again, we'll see. I expect this to largely continue for the remainder of the year. The fall is my favorite time and when I tend to get the most done. Onward.

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Gotta Say It

Well, after a bit of the run around getting my wife's iPhone good to go, I finally achieved liftoff this morning and sent her on her way with it; and her terrified of it. I didn't have time to do anything with it as I noticed that as soon as it was activated there was an update for the phone OS itself, which took about 10-15 minutes to complete. But good; maybe there'll be fewer bug issues. She got it home this evening, still scared of it, and so I sat her down with a brochure of essential functions and had her familiarize herself while I did some of the things around the house. Short story: she's blown away; had no idea. Me too. Even though I saw the presentation, then got my hands on one in a store for five minutes, you just can't appreciate how effing unbelievable this thing is before fiddling with it for a few hours; and I've been using absolute top of the line PDA phones for five years: Blackberry, Treo, Windows Mobile...you name it. With the exception of 3G data, nothing is within a light year. What a country, eh? That we could bask...

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Bookmark: Unbridled Capitalism

I keep learning that the root cause of all that ails us is "unbridled" capitalism or free markets. Apparently, as evidenced by companies like Wal-Mart and others, providing you more for less is a problem (perhaps not to you, but that's just details). Then you have companies provide something completely free, and the problem becomes so big that the only real solution is to levy a 2/3 billion dollar fine and hand over capital assets to the competition. LUXEMBOURG (AP) - Microsoft lost its appeal of a European antitrust order Monday that obliges the technology giant to share communications code with rivals, sell a copy of Windows without Media Player and pay a $613 million fine - the largest ever by EU regulators. The EU Court of First Instance ruled against Microsoft on both parts of the case, saying the European Commission was correct in concluding that Microsoft was guilty of monopoly abuse in trying to use its power over desktop computers to muscle into server software. It also said regulators had clearly demonstrated that selling media software with Windows had damaged rivals. "The court observes that it is beyond dispute that in consequence of the tying consumers are unable...

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