Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunday Morning, Closing Some Tabs

If you could choose where to live based on the weather and you were here today you'd choose Montgomery County. Right now it is exactly what you want, warm, sunny, a breeze that seems carefree and appropriate for the season. Everything is green now or brightly colored with some kind of flowers. The little seed-wings are spinning down from the maple trees like snow, and it's snowing under the beautiful cherry and apple trees too, snowing flower-petals. We watched a deer in the neighbor's yard yesterday, eating their garden, and this week family members saw a fox and also a pair of raccoons crossing the street, both late at night. The dogwoods are in bloom, and our peonies have exploded, they're huge. We saw some pigeons doing their mating ritual in the park, the male puffing up and trying to get the female's attention, and everywhere I see sparrows with construction materials in their beaks, string and sticks and pieces of cloth. It is spring-time, big-time.

Look, I have a bunch of tabs open in my browser. I will be goofing around on the Internet and I'll see something, and I'll think, wow, that's interesting, I ought to put that on the blog, but sometimes they just don't quite rise above the threshold. So this morning, let me go through and shut some of those tabs. I'll tell you what's in them and then I can X them out. Which, by the way, is a beautiful new verb, don't you agree? To X. You know what I mean, right?

The big news in my neighborhood was the fire. A guy was killed and some firefighters got hurt fighting an apartment fire on my street. We drove down there at one-something in the morning, I haven't heard that many sirens since the snipers, helicopters were circling over it. We went down Twinbrook, and it was solid emergency vehicles. I told my wife, it reminded me of the ending of the Blues Brothers movie, when all those cops were there, remember that? They blocked off the street and it was like Las Vegas with all the lights blinking, with a big column of smoke rising up above it. In the morning I went down and it was still blocked off. Later I went by and looked, and it didn't look that bad, mainly one apartment unit seemed to be destroyed. Those apartment buildings have been there a long time. They say the third floor collapsed onto the second, and the firefighters had to dive out from the second floor.

The next story, this will get interesting. Kids are taking sexy pictures of one another on their cell phones and then sending them around. They call it "sexting," or at least a reporter did. From Portland Oregon:
Teens told Portland TV station KPTV that many of their classmates are using cell phones to take and send explicit photos. They said "sexting" is a major problem at most campuses in Portland.

Anton Bogan, a local high school student, said "9.7 times out of 10, it's a nasty photo."

By texting, students keep their conversations secret because they're not talking on the phone. They can even use their phones in the classroom.

"I'd rather text than talk on the phone," said 17-year-old Darrell Keyes. "I waste, like, 4,000 text messages in a month."

But texting inappropriate photos can turn into a criminal matter.

In Utah, "sexting" led to criminal charges when a parent had found an explicit photo and called police. Several students at one school were found to be texting inappropriate photos. Cell Phone 'Sexting' A Problem, Teens Say

OK, remember, we're talking about teenagers here, so this is legally child porn. It seems to me you could end up in a really bad situation here, not thinking. And "not thinking" is something teenagers are good at. You take a picture of your girlfriend flashing you or something, you send it to somebody, they go OMG LOL and send it to somebody else, somewhere there's an adult in the loop, who is now in possession of child porn, maybe they're eighteen. I don't know if the world can keep up with the implications of our new technology. How are you supposed to keep sex under control, when everybody has a camera on their phone? It's like The Onion last week had a story about someone putting a picture of a naked lady on the Internet, and authorities were concerned that soon there could be hundreds of imitators. Yes, there could be, really. Where is this going to go? You can't stop people from taking pictures and sending them. You can't stop teenagers from being obsessively interested in sex. I don't see how prudishness can win this one.

Oh, and here's a good story, a sign of the times. Air marshals are supposed to fly inconspicuously on airplanes to catch terrorists. The problem though is that there is a watch list of half a million potential terrorists who aren't allowed to fly on American airplanes -- including some of the air marshals.
Some federal air marshals have been denied entry to flights they are assigned to protect when their names matched those on the terrorist no-fly list, and the agency says it's now taking steps to make sure their agents are allowed to board in the future.

The problem with federal air marshals (FAM) names matching those of suspected terrorists on the no-fly list has persisted for years, say air marshals familiar with the situation.

One air marshal said it has been “a major problem, where guys are denied boarding by the airline.” Air marshals' names tagged on 'no-fly' list

Yes, it's the Washington Times and I don't usually quote them, but that's too good. We are so scared of each other now, we're scared of the guys who are supposed to be protecting us. You feel like turning around and walking away, but there's no place to walk away to. This crazy country.

Here was a good blog post: The Worrier's Almanac Guide -- Things You Should Actually Worry About. This person sat down calmly and thought about the world. There are things out there that can kill you. They aren't the things we spend billions of dollars protecting ourselves from, these are real things.

Staying with the theme here, it turns out Microsoft has made a program to make it easier for the government to go through your stuff.
Microsoft has developed a small plug-in device that investigators can use to quickly extract forensic data from computers that may have been used in crimes.

The COFEE, which stands for Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, is a USB "thumb drive" that was quietly distributed to a handful of law-enforcement agencies last June. Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith described its use to the 350 law-enforcement experts attending a company conference Monday.

The device contains 150 commands that can dramatically cut the time it takes to gather digital evidence, which is becoming more important in real-world crime, as well as cybercrime. It can decrypt passwords and analyze a computer's Internet activity, as well as data stored in the computer. Microsoft device helps police pluck evidence from cyberscene of crime

I'm just glad to know that no bad guys will ever get hold of one of those things. Oh, and I'm glad to know that the government will have to get a search warrant before they can use this. Because I'm an idiot and I believe things.

Okay, this was a good one. Akhenaten, the pharaoh who was married to Nefertiti, possible father or half-brother to King Tut, appears to have been intersex or something.
May 2, 2008 -- Akhenaten wasn't the most manly pharaoh, even though he fathered at least a half-dozen children. In fact, his form was quite feminine. And he was a bit of an egghead.

So concludes a Yale University physician who analyzed images of Akhenaten for an annual conference Friday at the University of Maryland School of Medicine on the deaths of historic figures.

The female form was due to a genetic mutation that caused the pharaoh's body to convert more male hormones to female hormones than needed, Dr. Irwin Braverman believes. And Akhenaten's head was misshapen because of a condition in which skull bones fuse at an early age.

The pharaoh had "an androgynous appearance. He had a female physique with wide hips and breasts, but he was male and he was fertile and he had six daughters," Braverman said. "But nevertheless, he looked like he had a female physique." 'Androgynous' Pharaoh Had Feminine Physique

You see, it doesn't quite rise to the level of getting its own place on the blog, not exactly breaking news that just happened three thousand years ago, but it is interesting, don't you think?

Ah, this one blog quotes somebody else. The question has to do with those Mormon polygamists that they have been going through out there in Texas. That. Is. A. Mess. What, are they marrying little girls and having sex with them? And molesting the boys too? I think everybody agrees there is some creepy stuff going on there. Anyway, here's a question from the Internet:
Where’s the outrage from the “marriage should be between one man and one woman” crowd about this nonsense in Eldorado? You’d think they would be up in arms about this. Aren’t these people DESTROYING all marraige for normal straight couples

It does seem funny that the Family Blah Blah groups are so scared about Adam and Steve moving in together, and don't seem to care about this. Doesn't it give them the uncontrollable urge to go out and propose to more women?

I think you understand that blog best if you see the title: Marriage Is…Er…Whatever It Needs To Be To Exclude The Gays.

And what do you think about the DC Madam committing suicide? Gee, she has a list of tens of thousands of customers of her prostitution service, including the most powerful men in Washington, DC, she says repeatedly that she would never kill herself, and then ... she does. It's a weird site to link to, but Prison Planet is putting the pieces together, with lots of links. If you believed the government's report on the Kennedy assassination you won't be interested in this.

Do you think there is anybody who believes the official account of the Kennedy assassination? I am thinking I have never met anyone who did, not that I ask everybody I meet.

There is one last thing, which I don't have a link for but you will want to watch out for this. Apparently Channel Seven is planning to run a story this week about how gay people can change. Normally, a responsible news source would find this story very easy to write: the story is, it doesn't happen. You grow up knowing you're gay, you stay gay, people have to get used to that. You can pretend otherwise, but there's no news story here. Channel Seven has had a recent history of taking the wrong side on some issues. You remember they were the only ones who publicized the hoax of the "man in a dress" going into the ladies locker-rooms at the gym in Rio. And to tell you the truth, the Channel Seven reporter who did that story is the only person in my life who has seriously asked me if I am gay. She interviewed me once in DC, near the Columbus statue outside Union Station, and she was so nervous. We talked after the interview, and she said these things just seem so controversial, at that time we were talking about adding some information about sexual orientation to the MCPS sex-ed curriculum. Then she glanced around and leaned forward, and in a hushed voice she said, "Are you gay?" Listen, gay-dar is not perfect, you can't always tell, but this lady was shooting in the dark. Only time that's ever happened to me, and now this channel is going to investigate whether homosexuality can be cured or whatever. Let's see, maybe they'll interview some intelligent people and not Regina Griggs, Reverend Grace, Peter Sprigg, Richard Cohen. I guess we'll have to watch.

Well this is a beautiful day, too nice to stay in. WPFW is having a pledge drive, so G-Strings is playing some good jazz guitar this morning, but I think I'm going to miss it. The puppy doesn't mind if I walk him more than he needs, maybe I'll do that. Maybe we'll see a bunny, like yesterday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim quoted:

“Anton Bogan, a local high school student, said "9.7 times out of 10, it's a nasty photo."

By texting, students keep their conversations secret because they're not talking on the phone. They can even use their phones in the classroom.

"I'd rather text than talk on the phone," said 17-year-old Darrell Keyes. "I waste, like, 4,000 text messages in a month."

But texting inappropriate photos can turn into a criminal matter.”

This brings to light several burning questions:

Where are the Citizens for Responsible Adolescent Phone-use?!?!?!

Why are our children sending each other 4000 text messages a month (apparently 97% of which are “nasty photos”) instead of learning reading, writing, and arithmetic? No wonder test scores are so low!

I thought this kind of thing might be an isolated incident, but apparently it’s not just the students – the teachers are getting involved too. (

Who is going to protect our kids from getting indoctrinated into the kiddie-porn life-style? Shouldn’t there be a “Day of Modesty” where kids send pictures to each other, but in this case, they HAVE ALL THEIR CLOTHES ON?!?!

Better yet, how come we haven’t banned cell phones from schools altogether? I can understand giving your kid a cell phone so they can call you if they see what looks like a man in a dress walking into the ladies’ room, but if they’re just going to use them to send kiddie-porn to each other and the teachers, the cure is worse than the disease.

With kids getting an estimated 3,880 “nasty photos” a month, how come the people sending this pornography haven’t been put in jail yet? There are existing child pornography laws apparently being broken thousands of times per month – how come police and school boards haven’t put a stop to this sooner? Is it time to recall the school board? And what’s the good of sending the police in if you don’t arrest anybody? (,2933,325508,00.html)

With all this CRAP going on, how are we going to keep our children from becoming kiddie porn stars??!! Who is going to put a STOP to all this CRAP? Who is going to protect our children?????

Who is going to keep our kids from thinking that sending naked photos of yourself and your friends around school and the internet is just the “normal” thing to do? Who is going to protect them from this kind of perverted, kiddie-porn indoctrination???



May 04, 2008 4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, PFOX and CRC/CRW are too busy watching people engage in sexual relations and making sure they are NOT using contraceptives/protection.

I think we all know that it is pretty obvious that the CRC really doesn't care for children at all.

May 04, 2008 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You grow up knowing you're gay, you stay gay, people have to get used to that."

How do you know that? You say you're not gay.

May 04, 2008 8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, AnonFreak.

I had a great upbringing (loving parents who are still married and I am still very close with both of them) and knew I was "different" at a young age. Growing up in a rural area in the Midwest, I never hear of "gays" or "homosexuals" until I was 10 years old or so (puberty and becoming interested in others, dating-wise).

I was and AM gay and live a happy, genuine life full of love, truth, and a superb of family and friends. I am proud to be who God wanted me to be. And my parents have always been very proud and supportive of me and all of my endeavors. I wish that perverted sex-crazed groups like PFOX and CRC/G would let others be themselves so that they can become happy, well-adjusted, and positive citizens of the world.

Instead, they try to tear away every single thread of integrity and dignity of the individual leaving them in a state of hopelessness, loneliness and despair. Once again, not very Christian is you ask me.

May 04, 2008 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well, AnonFreak"

hey, look guys!

it's an insulting and disparaging remark that hasn't been deleted

May 05, 2008 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well,AnonFreak, if you had a name... maybe that would actually be an insult. To me, that's your name.

I mean, I know nothing about you except that you are anti-gay, anti-Christian and anti-humanity... For all I know, you could have a deformity and be a freak in a circus. I'll just keep that attitude of assumption for you.


May 05, 2008 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
On the Air marshal issue- I work with Homeland security very occasionally- I asked that in return for my work- I be given a letter saying I can bring yogurt on the plane. I am still not sure how yogurt in a sealed container can be used to commit a crime. When this administration catches Osama- I hope they ask him.

As to cell phone use, Cynthia- I think the schools used to confiscate the phone if a kid was found using it during class- now I guess too many of them are using them to confiscate them all.


May 05, 2008 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Well,AnonFreak, if you had a name... maybe that would actually be an insult."

Not complaining, Drick. When you do that, it subliminally negates the rest of your comments, so it's fine with me.

My only point is the hypocrisy of the moderator.

Dreary, I think cell phones were verbotten in public schools until Columbine when the nation discovered how assinine such a policy is.

May 05, 2008 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey "Anonymous" - You've been told more than once here that if you do not like the way this blog is run or you do not like the statements of those people you are opposed to or hate, you DO have an option that ought to satisfy your insatiable need for attention. Get your own Blog site, stop trolling here and move on! Your loss will be our gain.

May 05, 2008 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for those of you who enjoy the controversy about the interaction between faith and science, here's Dinesh's latest for discussion purposes:

"It's widely believed that Charles Darwin lost his faith when he discovered evolution. And many contemporary atheists proclaim themselves followers of Darwin in this sense. Michael Shermer, for instance, writes that he abandoned Christianity when he learned about evolution; finally he could see how there could be design--or the appearance of design--without a designer. Richard Dawkins writes that it was Darwin who finally made it possible to be an "intellectually fulfilled atheist."

In reality Darwin's atheism had little to do with his discovery of evolution. First of all Darwin was never a very devout Christian. He was raised as a nominal Anglican. It says something about Anglicanism in Britain that a lukewarm Christian like Darwin actually considered becoming a clergyman. What turned Darwin against Christianity, however, was two things.

First, several of his children either died or has chronic illnesses. This was probably heriditary, as Darwin himself suffered for most of his life from one ailment or the other. When Darwin's daughter Annie died at a young age, however, Darwin was inconsolable. Usually a man of the stiff upper lip, Darwin could not stop himself from weeping even in public. Darwin blamed God for Annie's untimely death. This was several years before Darwin published his Origin of Species.

After Annie's death, Darwin began to reflect morbidly on mortality, and during his process he recalled that his own famous grandfather Erasmus Darwin, as well as several other family members and friends, were unbelievers. Since Darwin saw them as good and respectable people, he angrily fulminated against the doctrine of eternal damnation, asking what kind of a God would consign good people to hell just because they refused to accept Christianity? The thought of all these people in hell filled Darwin with such revulsion that he completely jettisoned Christianity.

At the same time Darwin recognized that his theory of evolution was quite compatible with Christianity. When the American biologist Asa Gray wrote Darwin to say that his theory of evolution demonstrated how God created species, Darwin congratulated Gray for being the first one to see the point. In England, the preacher-poet Charles Kingsley argued for the compatibility with evolution and Christianity, and Darwin encouraged his efforts.

True, evolution is inconsistent with the six-day account of creation, but since the earliest days of Christianity, Christian writers like Augustine have had no problem with interpreting the first book of Genesis allegorically. After all the Hebrew word can mean "day" but it can also mean "period" or "epoch." Only a small segment of Christians--mostly fundamentalists--are uncompromisingly wedded to the six-day account.

Evolution, however, says nothing about who or what created the universe. Evolution doesn't even say anything about how life got started. Evolution merely describes how one life form gave rise to another. Somewhat comically writers like Dawkins and Daniel Dennett argue that evolution is a kind of master key that unlocks the universe. It isn't hard to see that atheism is getting in the way of clear reasoning here. If you doubt this, go to Youtube and watch again my debate with Daniel Dennett. Unfortunately I cannot also direct you to my debate with Dawkins, since Timorous Richard doesn't want to get into the arena with me.

Darwin lost his faith over the "problem of evil," an issue that has been coming up in my recent debates, and one that I intend to address in future blog postings. It's time to set at rest, however, the old myth that evolution is a scientific refutation of theism in general or Christianity in particular. Darwin himself knew it was not so, even if his dimmer acolytes haven't figured that out yet."

May 05, 2008 10:28 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

We can go on forever on this topic. I think it's fair to say that "Darwinism" doesn't demand any kind of reaction to religion, but could provoke one. It's also fairer to state that biological evolution is not a product of Charles Darwin, but is a fact of nature promulgated by others before Darwin and only popularized and fleshed out by Darwin.

I can't speak for Christians, but there are many Jews, including the orthodox, who believe in both Yahweh and evolution.

I also want to take issue with the term "devout." I'm personally offended that the media buys into the perception that "devout" = fundamentlaist or literalist. I think to a large degree it has contributed to the schism in our nation, where only the most extreme of believers are somehow considered true believers.

May 05, 2008 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You're funny!

(sad, very sad...but funny too!)

May 05, 2008 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I have a rare case of agreeing with everything you've said above, Dana.

What are trying to do, take all the fun out of the blog?

May 05, 2008 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AnonFreak said..."Drick" and "Dreary"

Why does Anon think she can call others names but others can't call her a name? Because she can dish it out but she can't take it.

May 05, 2008 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please, Drick. I ignored your name-calling for months before I ever responded half in kind.

May 05, 2008 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I don't mind the name calling- doesn't bother me. I feel like we are doing a service to a very sad person by letting Anon comment here.

May 05, 2008 6:22 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Every once in a while one of the Anons gets out of hand and I have to delete a post. Once I banned one permanently. I think I explained recently, it may seem unfair that I delete some comments and not others; I agree, it's not necessarily fair, sorry, nowhere will you find a guarantee of fairness on this web site. It should be obvious to any reader here that I let it go pretty far, but I'm not going to allow personal attacks and I'm not going to let some anonymous idiot hijack the whole blog just to annoy people.

I have let it go too far before, and I intend not to do that again.


May 05, 2008 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"but I'm not going to allow personal attacks"

sorry, Jim, this is just not true

May 05, 2008 10:49 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

You're right, I have let it get too personal sometimes. There are some kinds of attacks I will not allow.


May 06, 2008 6:28 AM  

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