Dried Roses

Wednesday garden pix

Mahonia aquifolium, also known as (holly-leaved) barberry or Oregon grape. There’s a bigger version at Flickr.


LinkMarch 1, 2007 in Garden

Sunday cat pix

Musa enjoying the sun through the 3rd-floor windows.


LinkMarch 4, 2007 in Cats

Sunday cat pix

Having reshaped the kitchen rug to her satisfaction, Musa takes a break.


LinkMarch 18, 2007 in Cats

Logic problem

From an exchange between Diane Sawyer and Tony Snow (see Dan Froomkin, White House Watch 23 Mar 2007 for more):
Tony Snow: “This is what I love, this Karl Rove obsession. Let’s back off. First, the question is: Do you want Karl Rove on TV, or do you want the truth?”
Assume that Snow would affirm “Either Karl Rove will be on TV or he will tell the truth”, and that the ‘or’ is exclusive. Assume that if Karl Rove testifies under oath before Congress, he will be on TV (in fact, the House or Senate may compromise on that point). Infer that
if Karl Rove testifies before Congress he will not tell the truth.
Extra credit: The difference between the number of years Rove ought (by law) to spend in jail and the number of years he will spend in jail is ______.
Extra extra credit: Did Tony Snow realize the implication of his words? Is belief closed under implication?

LinkMarch 23, 2007 in Current Affairs

Competent when they want to be

What I take from this story is that some people in the Bush administration, far from being incompetent fools, are hard-working, intelligent, goal-oriented self-starters who see a project through to the end. They saw a need, they wrote legislation to fill that need, they got it through Congress, and then they implemented it.
Too bad their project was to replace the US Attorney in Arkansas with an RNC hack.
And much more mischief besides.
Sources: Oliver Willis, “U.S. Attorney Scandal: Setting Up Rove’s Boy In Arkansas”, 23 Mar 2007; Dan Eggen and Amy Goldstein, “E-Mails Show Machinations to Replace Prosecutor”, Washington Post 23 Mar 2007; “Politicizing the Justice System”, The Left Coaster, 24 Mar 2007 (this last item, which quotes from an email by Kyle Sampson, is scary—it reads like plans for a coup). For much more, read the McClatchy Newpapers’ coverage—real journalism.

LinkMarch 24, 2007 in Current Affairs

You play theatre, I make statements

Bush appeared at the White House alongside veterans and family members of troops to accuse Democrats of staging nothing more than “political theater” that delays the delivery of resources to soldiers fighting in Iraq.
Just how theatrical was the context of Bush's statement?
—Nope, no theatre here. Just people lined up against a backdrop ’n’ stuff.
Addendum: The same observation and a link at Hoffmania; Sadly No saw it too. Americablog notes that it’s not legal to use active military in uniform at political events.

LinkMarch 24, 2007 in Current Affairs

An identity not worth stealing?

Philosophers don’t need to worry just yet about being replaced by search engines. (Hat-tip: M)
Your query - who am I? - did not produce any search results at hakia.
Possible Reasons:
There were no Web pages in hakia's reach that contained these terms.
You may have misspelled the words beyond hakia's recognition skills.
Your query is misspelled and in a Language other than English.
You are playing a practical joke on us!
There was an unusual technical problem.
Correct the spelling errors in your query.
Rephrase your query using different words.
Shorten your query by dropping off the least important terms.
Try your query again sometime later in case of a temporary technical problem.
Sponsored Results
Who Am I? Why Am I Here?
An essay discussing how God can make you the person you want to be.
OK, so Hakia (slogan: “Search for meaning”) doesn’t know who you are. Other people can help. EveryStudent.com urges you to be a Christian, just like “every student”.
She pointed out something I'd never known before: Christianity is not a religion. Religion is when human beings try to work their way to God through good works; Christianity is God coming to men and women through Jesus Christ to offer a relationship with himself.
Meanwhile, from Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret (New York: Atria Books, 2006; p10–11), here is
Today’s Science Tip
Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency. As you think, those thoughts are sent out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency […]
You are the most powerful transmission tower in the Universe. Your transmission creates your life and it creates the world. The frequency you transmit reaches beyond cities, beyond countries, beyond the world. It reverberates throughout the entire Universe. And you are transmitting that frequency with your thoughts!
Charles Haanel, the scientific authority behind The Secret, lived right here in Saint Louis! He published The Master Key System in 1912. Needless to say you can buy his books too.

LinkMarch 30, 2007 in Jeux d’esprit · Metaphysics & Epistemology

Bush Science

It’s like real science, but without those annoying facts. (‘MacDonald’ means Julie A. MacDonald, deputy assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks at the Interior Department. MacDonald has a degree in civil engineering.)
At one point, according to Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall, MacDonald tangled with field personnel over designating habitat for the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher, a bird whose range is from Arizona to New Mexico and Southern California. When scientists wrote that the bird had a “nesting range” of 2.1 miles, MacDonald told field personnel to change the number to 1.8 miles. Hall, a wildlife biologist who told the IG he had had a “running battle” with MacDonald, said she did not want the range to extend to California because her husband had a family ranch there.
Source: Juliet Seilperin, “Report Faults Interior Appointee”, Washington Post 30 Mar 2007. See also Kevin Drum, “Science, schmiencePolitical Animal 30 Mar 2007.

LinkMarch 30, 2007 in Current Affairs