Tales From The Office

Just finished a conversation with my team lead, and an office mate who was listening up chimed in...
OM: So... what I got from your conversation is that the most important part of your feature is that it can be disabled.
ME: Or crippled.  Don't forget crippled.


Here's a reason you'll not hear for repealing the ACA.  It's not a legal reason.  It's not a constitutional reason.  It is, however, a common sense reason.

From 1789 to 1791, the 1st session of the United States Congress was in session.  As they were the first session of Congress that met under the new US Constitution, they had the un-eviable job of essentially building a country from scratch.  As the First Federal Congress Project notes, this included "fleshing out the governmental structure outlined in the Constitution and addressing the difficult issues left unresolved by the Constitution."

If you're interested, you can see exactly what the House and Senate were up to in that first session. If you're the type who would rather have a printed volume in hand for some reason, you can always visit amazon and get your very own copy of the debates and proceedings.  Nabu Press, ISBN 978-1143696558, weighing in at 700 pages.

Did you note that last number?

Seven hundred pages.

The "Affordable Care Act" weighs in at 2,700 pages.

Two thousand seven hundred pages.

In other words, the ACA is almost four times as complicated as establishing an entirely new republic.

By any complexity metric you want to use, that's just too much law.

Nothing. Really.

TOF expounds on why you can't explain the universe by deciding that something is nothing...
Unlike Dawkins, who seems never to have heard, let alone understood, the classical arguments, Krauss is aware of the argument outlined by Albert and by Barr and others; and he thinks it's no fair... He feels that philosophers are trying to move the goal posts.   
The problem is, it was the post-Cartesian scientists who moved the goal posts and that they "currently describe" "various versions" of "nothing" incorrectly does not change the fact that "nothing" means precisely what it says: no thing.  That is, nothing is not a particular sort of thing any more than "no one" is a particular sort of person.  

The Rule of Fate

The Rule of Fate: "All significant discussions of theology eventually devolve into an argument over free will."

Witness Vox Popoli: Chains of stars and science

Mind you, I'm not saying I disapprove.  Finding the root of an issue is important.  For example, I've put forth many times in my preaching and teaching [1] that all discussions of sin eventually find their root in pride (or "self love", as Khaavren would say [2]).  When you start discussing the nature of sin, of course, you find yourself debating... free will.

So, yeah.  I'm just making an observation here.

[1] What? You thought this was just a holding pen for political snark?  Heaven forbid!

[2] Yeah, I'm referencing a fictional nobleman, created by a Trotskyist, in discussing a post about Christian theology from a libertarian.  Isn't this internet thing awesome?


Free men interpret government as damage and route around it.


via Borepatch: "It seems that Europe has been breeding for an appreciation of suckiness."

"They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind"

The post is good, but the comments are pure gold:
"Coward! He’s already crying hold and he hasn’t withstood a fraction of what has been dished out to Palin, Limbaugh, and a long line of Conservatives for years."
"This tells me one important thing that ALL republicans should note: Fighting back works."
"[B]asically, he wants our side to go back to being called whatever nastiness he and the rest of his ilk can think of with the loudest voice possible and we to just take it."
"This is not about restraint or mutual respect. Mr. Maher would simply like the conservatives to shut up. That’s what this is all about."

It's an encouragement to know that some people get it, at least.

You Can Get Anything You Want...

His Czarness illustrates why following your heart (or other internal organ of your choice) and voting for Santorum, Gingrich or Paul in the primaries is a Good Idea (TM).  Even if you think that Romney is, indeed, going to be the eventual winner:
... every vote for Rick Santorum makes Mitt Romney that much more determined to win those conservative votes back. The numbers show it’s happening: Romney now knows pretty well what real-life Republicans want him to focus on.
The Czar knowingly cast two votes for eventual losers today, because it is in the Primaries you send the message. In the Fall, you fire the shot.
This actually fits in quite a bit with something I've been thinking of for a while. Now, I'm a registered Republican.  As time goes by, though, I wander more and more onto the libertarian side of the road.

I've been thinking about making a permanent lane change this year.

Here's my thinking: I want to stay registered as a Republican for the PA primary this year.  I really want the chance to cast my vote and - as the Czar points out - tell the eventual winner of the primary what real-life Republicans are concerned about.  No question there.

Outside of the primary?  Well...

... you know, it really doesn't matter much.

Seriously.  I live in a pretty blue area of the country (southwestern PA).  As a Republican, I get the privilege of voting in the Republican primaries for the eventual looser in just about any local, county, or state election.  Sometimes.  When the party actually bothers to put someone on the ballot

So, if I were to register Libertarian?  No big change at all, really.

So.  Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Utah's primay is the last before the presidential election, on June 26th.

The Republican national convention starts on August 27th.

So, on July 3rd, I'm going to take the time to head down to my local government office in person and change my voter registration from Republican to Libertarian.

I'm taking the Czar at his word, you see - and then some.  I've got between now and the national convention to convince the eventual Republican winner that if he wants my vote, he's going to have to be a hard line, small government, reduced spending, low tax, no-social-issues-please-just-fix-the-freaking-economy-by-getting-the-government-the-heck-out-of-it candidate.

I'm hoping that the whole vote-your-conscience thing in the primaries gets the message across loud and clear.  The Czar thinks that is what's happening.  Still... it can't hurt to follow up that message with a bit of a reminder, can it?

The reason that I'm telling you this now is 'cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation.  And if you're in a situation like this, there's only one thing you can do; and that's to walk into the local government office wherever you are, and say, "I want to change my voter registration to Libertarian", do it, and walk out.

You know, if one person, just one person does it... they may think you're really sick and they won't pay any attention to you.

And if two people, two people do it, in unison, they may think you're both nuts, and they won't pay attention to either of you.

And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in, changing their voter registration to Libertarian and walking out.  They may think it's an organization.

And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in, changing their voter registration to Libertarian and walking out.  And friends, they may thinks it's a movement.

And that's what it is: the Embedded Theologian's Anti-RINO Movement, and all you got to do to join is go down to your local government office on July 3rd, and change your voter registration to Libertarian.

Or you can just mail it in during the first week of July.  I'm not proud.

There Is Great Chaos Under Heaven, and The Situation Is Excellent

Borepatch is optimistic:
A lot of people are saying that it took us a long time to get here, and it will take us a long time to unwind this.  But the story has been written, and has solidified in the public's mind: the government is a bumbling idiot and is not to be trusted with more power and money.  There's your winning slogan.
Here's the thing about event horizons: Once you've crossed them, there's no going back. The only way out, if there is an "out", is through. We're not voting our way out of this; voting is how we got here in the first place.
Huh.  Seems I've heard some advice about this kind of situation before...

If you're going through hell
Keep on going, don't slow down
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there
Yeah, If you're going through hell
Keep on moving, face that fire
Walk right through it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there


I had a draft lurking in my blogger queue, so my supposed 300th post (the last one) was actually only past #299.  Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

Since you deserve an all around better class of service in general and ranting in particular, let me take the opportunity to point you at Ethan Zuckerman's latest post, "Unpacking Kony 2012".

The Kony story resonates because it’s the story of an identifible individual doing bodily harm to children. It’s a story with a simple solution, and it plays into existing narratives about the ungovernability of Africa, the power of US military and the need to bring hidden conflict to light...
The problem, of course, is that this narrative is too simple. The theory of change it advocates is unlikely to work, and it’s unclear if the goal of eliminating Kony should still be a top priority in stabilizing and rebuilding northern Uganda. By offering support to Museveni, the campaign may end up strengthening a leader with a terrible track record...
I’m starting to wonder if this is a fundamental limit to attention-based advocacy. If we need simple narratives so people can amplify and spread them, are we forced to engage only with the simplest of problems? Or to propose only the simplest of solutions?

Why would I pay attention to Zuckerman?  Two reasons, really.

First, out of all the people that are talking about "Kony 2012": he's someone I know, and once worked with.  I didn't know him well, and I didn't work with him for very long, or very closely; but he is, at least, not a completely unknown quantity to me.

Second, he's someone that I've kept tabs on over the years.  Unlike so many other people who talk the talk but wobble when they walk, Zuckerman has been willing, time and time again, to put his money - and his time, and his energy - where his mouth is.  He's been doing this for at least, what, thirteen, fourteen years now?  And what I've seen from him has been consistent, and credible, and thoughtful.  I might not always agree with him (heh!), but his desire to help others in a real, substantial, long-term way is undeniable.

All of which, to me, adds up to some credibility.  "Kony 2012" has certainly turned out to be a successful message.  It may not be the message that the people of Uganda need us to hear, though.


My first post here at ETheo was on February 12, 2008.

Four years and a month.

In that time, I've managed just shy of 300 posts... or a little over once a week.

Just though I'd note the milestone, and my extreme lack of productivity when compared to other more insightful, absolutely schmotter, definitely snarkier and more imaginative bloggers.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled browsing, brow-beating, and/or plans for world domination, as appropriate.


Just wanted to note that this quote, really, sums it up sometimes:

I sighed.
"You know, Loiosh, if anyone hald told me yesterday at this time that tirty hours later I would have rescued Morrolan and Aliera, nearly killed the Demon Goddess, and found myself trapped in a prison the size of the world, unable to decide if I was hoping to be saved or was hoping not to be saved, I'd have said, 'Yeah, sounds about right.'"
"You probably would have, Boss."
"I think this says something about my life choices."

An Inconvenient Truth

At the age of thirty-five, the author of such literary classics as I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell and Assholes Finish First has had something of an epiphany regarding the licentious lifestyle which informed his New York Times-bestselling tomes. As the years have worn on and life taken its toll, Tucker Max has conceded that copious sex and booze do not lead to happiness.
Emphasis mine.

Hmm, wait, that reminds me of something...
And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all [was] vanity and vexation of spirit, and [there was] no profit under the sun.
Emphasis God's.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  It's religious.  You can't have any of that religious stuff in modern society!  We're all so beyond that!  I mean, after all, what could some old dead guy have to say that could possibly be of any relevance to today's sophisticated, modern, progressive culture?
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man.
 Nothing they want to hear, in any case.

Stood Still on the Highway

And all the roads jam up with credit, and there's nothing you can do
Look out world, take a good look - what comes down here
You must learn this lesson fast, and learn it well
This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway; oh no, this is the road to Hell