August 19, 2011 - August 12, 2011
If we're operating under the assumption that the firecrackers were supposed to ignite the propane gas (not) leaking into the truck, which was in turn supposed to burn the gasoline and ignite the fertilizer, then there is absolutely no place in the circuit for a couple of digital alarm clocks with some Radio Shack wires hooked up (?) to them. Even if the bomb were rigged to a timing device, it would need an explosive detonator that could respond to an electrical signal (off the top of my head, a model rocket engine or something). This device had no such element.
No amount of stupid accounts for this, if you ask me. It's the kind of thing that only a few too many action movies and a big disconnect from reality can explain.
Does this mean that Shahzad was living in
a fantasy world? Does it
mean that — to use some psycho-babble — this wasn't terrorism so much
as a "terroristic gesture"? Does it mean he wanted to get caught? (When
he was arrested on the Emirates flight, Shahzad reportedly told
authorities "I was expecting you. Are you NYPD or FBI?"). Or was he a
sincere, true-blue jihadist who was just incompetent, perhaps the best
the Tehrik-e-Taliban — harried on the ground by the Pakistani army and
from above by the drones — could come up with?
It doesn't make sense. On the one hand he's supposed to be a trained
terrorist in an international jihadi network. On the other hand he's
planted a bomb that wasn't so much dysfunctional as a prop designed to
look like a bomb. Feel free to explain it to me.
Here's the second item that has me scratching my head. It was
forwarded to me by Lloyd Pye, who has no more idea what it means than I
do. Obviously it has no provenance whatever. But it sure is curious. A
pair of commenters on the oil rig explosion in the gulf:
There is something fishy with this disaster. Long ago I worked in oil refining. Safety devices are everywhere and yet on this rig none were set off. This rig is massive so whatever blew it had to be something other than oil. The fire is on the deck. The flotation legs don't burn. So the fire would have burned out leaving a floating wreck. So how did it blow up?
[Am] I missing something?
This just doesn’t make sense, if the well was just cased and cemented that would leave the well totally isolated from the down hole formation fluids. It might be possible that they did not control down hole pressure and some oil (and more importantly gas) was circulated up ahead of the cement slurry, but even that would give all sorts of obvious signs that would have set off alarms. There are panic buttons in several places on the platform that would have automatically shut in the well on the seabed, but none of them had been activated. The oil and gas was 18,000 feet deep, it does not blow out instantaneously. The well would have to displace thousands of gallons of fluid in the wellbore first.
So a highly unlikely and sudden explosion occurs on a state of the art drilling rig, on the eve of Earth Day, just a few weeks after an announcement of increased offshore drilling.
I think that the investigation of this disaster should also include a background check of everyone involved just to be prudent.
I don't know anything about this subject. If you do, let me know.
. I've been there several times. Kind, hospitable people and
a city that's a
fascinating mix of old south and brand new entrepreneurial, uh, things
of concrete and amusement park accessories. It's wonderful and touching
and awful all at the same time. Someone took me to a
nightclub in the old part of town, and it was the first time I realized
just how well those country
rednecks can play. It's not screeching.
It's music and when you're there with them it's the best and most vital
music you've ever heard. Nothing beats that slide guitar when you're
three feet away from it and feeling the smile. And, yeah, I've been in
jazz clubs in Chicago, too, but virtuosity is virtuosity, whether it's
wearing sunglasses and fedoras or snakeskin boots and cowboy hats.
It's all underwater now. Here's Michelle
Malkin's roundup of problems and ways to chip in.
Do what you can. They may not be begging for our help, but they need it.
. I hate fisking conservatives and deep-down political
allies. But sometimes it's necessary. I have to fisk this
post, which is hard to do because I don't want to and he uses every format trick from
italics to boldface to bolster his arguments. I need to highlight
certain parts of his post and differentiate my added fisking text.
Here's how I'll do it. When I highlight his text, I'll jump up the font
size. When it's me commenting, I'll go old school: Courier type. Fair
enough? He read the conversation between me and Doc Zero about the
obvious. He's pretty sure the Doc holds all the cards.
It seems so much of what was assumed to be obvious, that free enterprize and success based on merit is a morally superior economic system for example, no longer gets the institutional reinforcement it once enjoyed, and has been replaced by the counter argument. Commenters here tend to substantiate that observation in mentioning the gaps in their public education. Doc Zero's dedication to repopularizing first principles helps fill that gap and I applaud and share it. The filling of those gaps is the role being filled by the alternative media and it is having a positive affect. Notice I didn't say it was pretty, quite the contrary.
The success of the left came from a heretofore prolonged monopolistic control of the narrative. Corporate taxes, aren't on the average voters radar precisely because the left has successfully posited, incorrectly, that corporate taxes do not affect the average consumer. (How they can justify taxing corporations to kingdom come while trying to limit their freedom of expression via political donations is one of myriad left/liberal incoherencies that somehow remain largely unchallenged in the public debate. But that is a whole different issue) To me, because I think, the incoherency is obvious with a capital O.
debate therefore, should not
be about getting liberals to think, as that labyrinth of aforementioned
incoherencies has metastasized into a groupthink impenetrable by
logic. So I agree attempts at said penetration are indeed a waste
time and effort.
I'm pretty sure I said THIS in my initial post: "People on the left do not think. They pose, they preen, they presume, they polemicize, they piss on their putative enemies, but they do not ponder anything of import anymore. Since the last new progressive idea occurred to them a long human lifetime ago, they are, as a procreative power, suffering peripatetically from an enlarged pseudo-populist prostate gland. Their peeing is urgent, precise as a petunia watering can, and it pulverizes their peace of mind by keeping their little pee-pees problematic all night. Not to mention impotent. Like every pompous popinjay at the Puffington Post."
said, a strong consistent effort should be aimed
at self proclaimed moderates, focusing primarily at getting them to
think, period. The effort spent there, I believe, would be
fruitful than preaching to the hopelessly nonconvertible. That
will facilitate an open debate where truth and logic are allowed as
opposed to the fringy lib/left screed where those elements, though
never really explained, are foregone conclusions. Instapunk's
"obviousness" captures it perfectly.
So why didn't you understand it?
tried reasoning with a
liberal. I've tried reasoning with a brick wall. The latter
more sense every time. You are on the right track Doc, no pun
intended, arguing to assuage an attitude is very different than arguing
against a set of attitudes. The open re-examination of
principles, debateable on their own merits, has been an untapped
product in the marketplace of ideas for far too long. I'm not
Gore was counting on this when he invented the internets, but bless his
carbon trading billionaire heart for accidently providing the forum.
assuage an attitude is very different than arguing against a set of
attitudes." What does that even mean? Nothing. None of this post means
anything. The writer can't read. He doesn't understand what he presumes
to analyze. He misunderstood my essay from its first sentence. I wrote
about this not long ago. The syndrome is called "the purely
prudential use of language":
not because he knows what he means by them, but because he knows how
they are ordinarily used, and does with them what he has heard other
people do with them before. He strings them together in suitable
sequences, maneuvers them aptly enough, produces with them pretty well
the effects he intends, yet meanwhile he may have not much more inkling
of what he is really (or should be) doing with them than a telephone
girl need have of the inner wiring of the switchboard she operates so
It's the reason
why laboring the obvious no longer works. People who are assumed to
understand logic and rhetoric do not. They're just faking it. Their
hearts may be in the right place, but they're idiots with big
vocabularies and gnat-like attention spans.
Sorry I had to do this. But I had to.
So often, they make it impossible not to.
. This one's about liberal media bias. I'll repeat what I
Yeah. Boring. Fact is, you could go to work every day and ask yourself,
"How would the MSM handle this story if the president were Bush?" and
the answer would blow the top off your head. Every day. In the same
way, you could
measure every utterance of the Obama administration against NRO's Jim
Geraghty, who said, "Every Obama statement comes with an expiration
date" and NEVER be proven wrong. Not. Ever.
Which should be QED. So what do you do? You just laugh. You try to be entertaining, as if recognition were proof. It isn't, of course. This is the ULTIMATE definition of too obvious to be provable.
But it's still possible to be entertaining. And so I will be. Here's an excerpt from the MSNBC valley girl's bio.
Have to admit, I never heard that a journalism degree could be a
"Bachelor of Science." I guess we all have to listen, huh? Nice looking
girl, though. Too bad she swallows her consonants. Makes her sound,
And here's noted Canadian dimwit Donald Sutherland.
Beneath MSNBC? Is that even possible? And slamming Joe Scarborough? Who's not even a conservative anymore but an MSNBC
shill? Kewl. That's actually funny. (Something to remember. Actors are
not intellects. They're throbbing emotional veins. Otherwise, they'd be
And here's Glenn Beck recounting his experience with Joe Klein at the Time 100 dinner.
But. lest we forget, liberal bias in the MSM has to remain unproven and
P.S. Just to nail down that last sentence, be sure to read every word of this.
. Hello again! Are you watch the anyshell playoffs?
I hope so,
because we are having the most exciting time in the hockey right now. I
can not believe! I
still do not have TV in my apartment, but I find a bar of the sport
down the road and make friends there. Except they like to watch the
baseketball and get anger when I speak about change a channel to the
anyshell, but they let me watch on fuzzy TV in the corner next to
First I need make l'apologie to the people in the Shark of San Jose. It look like maybe they do not chocke right now like I think. They come back to beat the Colorados and now must only win on the Detroits once more to kill them. A very good job.
The Punks ask me to make comment on the decision of the any-A Phoenix Suns to wear a jersey for their playoff that say "Los Lobos." This is to show that they have many anger about a new law in the Phoenix that makes the Mexican move to New York City, I think. Well in Canada we like to let everybody come, and it is always work fine with no problem. Mostly. So I think the anyshell should make a statement, too. Maybe not about the Mexican since Scott Gomez is only Mexican ever in history of the hockey (even to watch a game, I think). Instead I think the hockey can be use to show a light on the troubles of the discrimination that happen to us French Canadians. So I have an idea that the Washington Caps can change their jersey to say Les Miserables.
Maybe you do not hear, but the Caps have make the history by being the first #1 playoff team ever to have lead of 3 game to 1 on a #8 playoff team but still have a chocke of the throat and lose anyway. And they are lose to my Montreal Canadiens, or the Habs as they are call, even though nobody knows why about that. In the heart I am always have the love of my Quebec Nordiques, but the team is steal by the Colorado, so instead I cheer for the Habs.
The Phlyers also play the Bear of Boston, but they get in some trouble.
I think it is because some
of their player get the idea of the playoff beard backward and grow
the playoff mullet instead. That brings a bad luck.
Uh-oh, I hear the knocking at the door again. If I am not deport back to Canada or put in jail, I will come back next time. Until then, please remember about calling the Dish Networks about me so I can get money for my loan and maybe bail, too.
. Commenter Lake asked:
This one, sorry to say at the outset, can't
be proven. But it can be argued very effectively. The problem is not so
much the numbers, which are numerous and highly debatable in many
respects, but the layer upon layer of assumptions litigators of
(so-called) fact bring to the table without ever acknowledging.
The best place to start is therefore with the kind of logic that indicts religion as a pernicious influence in human affairs. Oh. Wait. Let's look at this table, called "The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other," before we get started:
|1||55 million||Second World War||20C|
|2||40 million||Mao Zedong (mostly famine)||20C|
|3||40 million||Mongol Conquests||13C|
|4||36 million||An Lushan Revolt||8C|
|5||25 million||Fall of the Ming Dynasty||17C|
|6||20 million||Taiping Rebellion||19C|
|7||20 million||Annihilation of the American Indians||15C-19C|
|8||20 million||Iosif Stalin||20C|
|9||19 million||Mideast Slave Trade||7C-19C|
|10||18 million||Atlantic Slave Trade||15C-19C|
|11||17 million||Timur Lenk||14C-15C|
|12||17 million||British India (mostly famine)||19C|
|13||15 million||First World War||20C|
|14||9 million||Russian Civil War||20C|
|15||8 million||Fall of Rome||3C-5C|
|16||8 million||Congo Free State||19C-20C|
|17||7 million||Thirty Years War||17C|
|18||5 million||Russia's Time of Troubles||16C-17C|
|19||4 million||Napoleonic Wars||19C|
|20||3 million||Chinese Civil War||20C|
|21||3 million||French Wars of Religion||16C|
Primitive War. (You know. Before civilization. As high as 50 percent casualties.)
Death Tolls of Humanity. (Lots of good stuff here. Details. Categories. Insights. Numbers galore. And doubts. Dig, dig, dig...)
Gotta say. In the grand scheme of things, Christianity looks good. Huguenots and Carolingians, and even Merovingians, aside. Proof? Maybe not. But truth? Maybe so.
Just a point of clarification in
response to part of Lake's comment:
I have always been a believer
in seat belts, including shoulder belts.
Everyone should wear them, always, as I insisted to my stepdaughter
when she was getting her driver's license. They're called "passive"
safety devices, which is a misnomer. They're passive as opposed to
airbags in the event of a crash, but they're an active part of being a
skilled driver. Why? They hold you in the optimum seat position
behind the wheel and in relation to the other controls -- the clutch,
the brake, the accelerator, the gearshift -- no matter how extreme the
motion forces affecting the vehicle. Yes, the lives of racecar drivers
are protected by their five-point belts in crashes, but it's equally
the case that no driver could win
a race without them. I started buckling up
religiously as soon as I began aspiring to drive well at speed.
I cited the "interlock" controversy because it demonstrates the native human resistance to being told what to do within the boundaries of one's own personal property. My best friend in those days, who was able to afford a new car when I was not, told the dealer to disengage the interlock device before he took delivery or he wouldn't take delivery, then fastened his seat belt before he ever put the car in gear, every time. He also cherished the luxury of starting the car first, allowing the engine to warm up while he selected the right cassette or radio station, positioned his cigars for easy access, and secured his coffee cup in its (then) aftermarket holder before locking himself into the driver's seat. There's always that pre-launch moment:
Some of us just like to do it with the motor running already. It's, you
know, satisfying. But seat belts are indispensable.
I feel much the same way about motorcycle helmets, even though they don't help you ride better because you just can't see as well with them on. But crashing is a more likely outcome on a two-wheeled vehicle. You don't see anyone racing motorcycles of any kind -- from dirtbikes to grand prix machines -- without a helmet. Under most circumstances, I wouldn't feel comfortable without one, although there are specific times and places when a pair of sunglasses really is sufficient in my personal risk-reward calculations. I detest the argument that helmets must be required by law because your body and its potential medical expenses are everyone else's business.
Individual responsibility also means that you're responsible for your own risk-reward assessments, including the ones you make on behalf of your children. Today, my father would probably be jailed for this opinion piece he posted at IP, circa June 1960 (which has been in the archives for a long time but is no longer listed there for some reason):
I wouldn't trade those moments for anything because he taught me
something about what it means to fly. Which too many of you will never
know in the pure form only a child can experience. I understand and
respect your caution. And I also regret some part of life not lived.
But that's just me and I would never impose that view on another.
In the interest of fairness, I'm also reproducing Lake's video in support of seat belts.
I understand the sentiment. Believe me, I do. Can't help it, though, if
I find it a little nanny-maternal-goddess culture creepy.
But, as I said, that's just me.
. Okay. I was persuaded by Doctor
Zero's argument that there is merit in applying advanced firepower to
prove the obvious. But I ask, in all humility, how many obvious things do we have
to prove and is it possible, in the end, to prove them to people who no
longer reason, read, or ruminate?
So I'm posing a challenge to the Doc and to my own readers. What follows is a series of obvious truths (er, propositions). Tell me which ones you'd like to see me and/or the Doc try to prove and why. Because you think we can, because you think we can't, or because you'd just enjoy watching us twist ourselves into semantic pretzels trying. You're also encouraged to add to the list. You're allowed, as always, to comment on the idea of this post itself.
Herewith a list of Obvious Propositions:
Preliminary, is it? Then flesh it out. (I apologize for any question
marks. They're all rhetorical. Because the answers are, uh, obvious.)
By the way, everyone, it's not enough that the Doc or I have seemed to prove any of these propositions by inference or en passant in prior posts. The challenge is to prove them particularly, as obvious propositions. Just so you know.
UPDATE. Why none of this is academic:
Government is our friend, right? Wrong. Now prove it. Logically and
mathematically. See the problem?
Some people can see it. Some people can't. Can Doctor Zero save the day? I doubt it. I could, of course, but I'm pretty busy with other stuff. Movies, TV, sports, bobbleheads, bunnies, and hummingbirds.
Too bad for you. Maybe you should have put the bunny back in the box
before things got to this state.
Something to think about anyway.
UPDATE 2. Doctor Zero plans to respond. To the first obvious proposition. Stay tuned. This could take a while.
UPDATE 3. Now the doc has posted on the first proposition ("Corporate taxes are paid by individual taxpayers.") Fine essay, which is par for him, but he's a mite too philosophical for me on this one. I'm thinking in terms of basic arithmetic. Try this:
If you can't follow my logic, let me know. I've been called a simpleton
NOT Puck Punk: