Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Poll: Rocks-Boy vs Crossbow-Guy !!

San Diego Police Department (California)Image via Wikipedia
"A boy was shot in the abdomen by a crossbow bolt Monday after he and another boy were throwing rocks at a passing car in Linda Vista, San Diego police said."
Rocks-Boy vs. Crossbow-Guy: don't forget to vote in the latest Ball Bounces Crossbow poll!  Multiple answers allowed -- how good is that?!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Steal: Ripped Off Toilet Paper Flies Out Window, Lands On Fleas

Taken at a Chicagoland Flea Market. Rosemont, ...                       Image via Wikipedia
Putting the "special" in inventory control "specialist":
(JOLIET) Police say a Will County warehouse worker partnered with an accused murderer to rip off $60,000 in toilet paper and plastic utensils from his employer.
Kerr said police got a tip to look at local flea markets, and on June 4 found two vendors at Derald’s Flea Market in Joliet selling items stolen from Georgia-Pacific. 
 Officers seized about $1,000 in merchandise and learned it had been supplied by Hernandez, 25, an inventory control specialist at the warehouse, police said.
 On July 20, police searched two units at a Joliet storage facility and found more than $10,000 in paper products and plastic cutlery, Kerr said.
Etc.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Psalm 6: My Prayers Are Answered!

Psalm 1, Verse 1 and 2 in Biblia Hebraica Stut...                    Image via Wikipedia
Psalm 6 -- A David Psalm

 1-2 Please, God, no more yelling, no more trips to the woodshed.
   Treat me nice for a change;
      I'm so starved for affection.

 2-3 Can't you see I'm black-and-blue,
      beat up badly in bones and soul?
   God, how long will it take
      for you to let up?

 4-5 Break in, God, and break up this fight;
      if you love me at all, get me out of here.
   I'm no good to you dead, am I?
      I can't sing in your choir if I'm buried in some tomb!

 6-7 I'm tired of all this—so tired. My bed
      has been floating forty days and nights
   On the flood of my tears.
      My mattress is soaked, soggy with tears.
   The sockets of my eyes are black holes;
      nearly blind, I squint and grope.

 8-9 Get out of here, you Devil's crew:
      at last God has heard my sobs.
   My requests have all been granted,
      my prayers are answered.

 10 Cowards, my enemies disappear.
   Disgraced, they turn tail and run.

-- The Message
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Saggy Pants on Yonge

Trousers                                    Image via Wikipedia
I saw a guy walking down Yonge Street the other day with some version of shorts half-way down his thighs. I mean, he was a walking, talking wonder of gravity-defiance. I figure the only thing keeping his pants up was his wide-stance way of walking -- he walked with his legs at least a foot or more apart.  Which perhaps explains this: "This week, a San Francisco high school teacher in the Sunset District called police to intervene in a dispute with a student, who "became belligerent and took a fighting stance" after he was told to pull up his pants."

He may have taken the fighting stance in order to keep his pants up.

At any rate, the guy on Yonge Street undoubtedly thinks he looks cool, but the word that came to mind as I looked at him from behind was "retarded". It was like he had a sign on his back saying, "I'm unemployable; nobody's gonna hire me, you might as well get used to the idea of cutting me welfare checks for the indefinite future".

Could someone please remind me why you and I are deemed responsible for keeping this guy via the social system rather than this guy taking some kind of responsibility for his own life? Leftists/liberals say "take care of the guy". Conservatives say, "pull up your pants and go out and find a job".

What do you say?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Liberalism's "Seven Deadly Sins"?

Photo taken by me of an old commercial moth ki...                               Image via Wikipedia
Here's an article worth the read: "7 Reasons Why Liberals Are Incapable of Understanding The World" by John Hawkins.

Here's an extract from each point, with my favourite, #3, in full.

1) Liberalism creates a feedback loop. It is usually impossible for a non-liberal to change a liberal's mind about political issues because liberalism works like so: only liberals are credible sources of information.

2) Liberals sources of information are ever present.

3) Liberals emphasize feeling superior, not superior results. Liberalism is all about appearances, not outcomes. What matters to liberals is how a program makes them FEEL about themselves, not whether it works or not. Thus a program like Headstart, which sounds good because it's designed to help children read, makes liberals feel good about themselves, even though the program doesn't work and wastes billions. A ban on DDT makes liberals feel good about themselves because they're "protecting the environment" even though millions of people have died as a result. For liberals, it's not what a program does in the real world; it's about whether they feel better about themselves for supporting it.

4) Liberals are big believers in moral relativism.

5) Liberals tend to view people as parts of groups, not individuals.

6) Liberals take a dim view of personal responsibility.

7) Liberals give themselves far too much credit just for being liberal.

I'm sure conservatives are sinners too. I'll leave it up to liberal readers of the Ball Bounces to point out our sins. Be that as it may, the facts of life are conservative -- which brings us full-circle back to the article's title.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and the Rogers Stick

Lime pickleImage via Wikipedia
I upgraded to Mac OS X Lion yesterday. Slick.

This morning, tried to use my Rogers stick at The Pickle Barrel where I was enjoying their $4.99 40th Anniversary breakfast special.

Got a "no service" message. Called Rogers. Raj told me they need to create a new driver for OS X 10.7. Will post on their website rogers.com/techsupport when it's ready.

Now, I'm in a pickle. You could say Apple and Rogers have got me over a barrel.

And that's the way the Ball bounces.
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Psalm: 5 The Party Lasts All Night!

Psalm 1, Verse 1 and 2 in Biblia Hebraica Stut...                       Image via Wikipedia
Psalm 5 A David Psalm

 1-3 Listen, God! Please, pay attention! Can you make sense of these ramblings, my groans and cries? King-God, I need your help.
   Every morning
      you'll hear me at it again.
   Every morning
      I lay out the pieces of my life
      on your altar
      and watch for fire to descend.

 4-6 You don't socialize with Wicked,
      or invite Evil over as your houseguest.
   Hot-Air-Boaster collapses in front of you;
      you shake your head over Mischief-Maker.
   God destroys Lie-Speaker;
      Blood-Thirsty and Truth-Bender disgust you.

 7-8 And here I am, your invited guest—
      it's incredible!
   I enter your house; here I am,
      prostrate in your inner sanctum,
   Waiting for directions
      to get me safely through enemy lines.

 9-10 Every word they speak is a land mine;
      their lungs breathe out poison gas.
   Their throats are gaping graves,
      their tongues slick as mudslides.
   Pile on the guilt, God!
      Let their so-called wisdom wreck them.
   Kick them out! They've had their chance.

 11-12 But you'll welcome us with open arms
      when we run for cover to you.
   Let the party last all night!
      Stand guard over our celebration.
   You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers,
      for decking us out in delight.

Bonus points if you can figure out which Psalm is portrayed in the photo! I used to have a fair grasp of biblical Hebrew, but, alas, it has waned.

Have a God-blessed day!
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Canada Post: Where's Jack Bauer When You Need Him?

Jack Bauer                Image via Wikipedia
Not getting your mail? Have you tried counting your steps? Three? Dang-er-ous!

William Watson got mail: “We recently noted that the stairs of your home have three steps, and that there is no railing to assist in climbing them without risk, as Canada Post standards stipulate.”

Jack Bauer could handle those stairs in a single bound, dead.
The notice went on to explain that I... will have to pay for the privilege of not having my mail delivered. Judging by the cost of having our mail held back over our summer holiday the fee would be about $15 a week. Just to be clear: I will be paying Canada Post for not delivering my mail. If I decline to pay, the notice makes clear, all my mail will be returned to sender.
Remember: Big Union's goal is to get paid infinitely high wages for doing infinitesimally little work, with bankable sick days and full retirement after two weeks on the job. This is just one small step in the right direction!

* * *

I've been mail-slimming. Emailing/phoning businesses and organizations that send me mail asking them to put me on their emailing list and take me off their snail mail list.

How's your summer mail-slimming going?
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Psalm: 4 -- I Have God's More-Than-Enough

Psalm 1, Verse 1 and 2 in Biblia Hebraica Stut...                        Image via Wikipedia
Psalm 4 A David Psalm

 1 When I call, give me answers. God, take my side! Once, in a tight place, you gave me room;
   Now I'm in trouble again: grace me! hear me!

 2 You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn?
   How long will you lust after lies?
   How long will you live crazed by illusion?

 3 Look at this: look
   Who got picked by God!
   He listens the split second I call to him.

 4-5 Complain if you must, but don't lash out.
   Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
   Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.

 6-7 Why is everyone hungry for more? "More, more," they say.
   "More, more."
   I have God's more-than-enough,
   More joy in one ordinary day

 7-8 Than they get in all their shopping sprees.
   At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep,
   For you, God, have put my life back together.

-- The Message, by Eugene Peterson

(Someone said that God will put your life back together -- as long as you give him all the pieces!)

Jesus referred to himself as both David's son and David's Lord -- figure that one out! He quoted from the Psalms and used the Psalms to direct and soothe his own life. And no greater man ever lived than Jesus.

It's Sunday -- drink well from the well and be well.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Origin Of Life: Solved!!!

Gas proportions in the Earth's atmosphere.Image via Wikipedia
A few days ago we solved the origin of the universe problem.

Now the Ball Bounces turns its lonely eyes to you turns its attention to the problem of the origin on life. How hard can it be, really? I mean, it took literally nothing to solve the origin of the universe problem.

To get life, simply add nowhere to nothing. Nothing plus nowhere (plus chance -- ya gotta have chance in your corner) = Life!

This is how it happens: Information necessary for life simply appears out of nowhere, by chance. There. Problem solved. Did you get that? Let me say it again. Embedded, communicated information -- you know, the kind of thing we normally associate with intelligence  random occurrence, simply appears out of nowhere, by chance.

It's simple. It's elegant. Do I win a Nobel?

Drat -- somebody beat me to it:
We can now address a simple question that is central to our understanding of the origin of life: Can non-living systems evolve? Can genetic information really appear out of nowhere, by chance? If the answer is no, then we're in trouble because those of us who work on the origin of life claim that is exactly what happened four billion years ago, when the first forms of life emerged from a sterile mixture of minerals, atmospheric gases, and dilute solutions of organic carbon compounds. 
The answer has to be yes, because otherwise we are looking at intelligence. Article in Evolutionary News and Views that brings this to our attention, here.

The exciting news is this: with this breakthrough, scientists have at long last reconciled materialism with God, and even come up with a scientific description of the Creator!!! OK, he's a bit stubby and truncated, but here He is, God according to the latest scientific theory:

He's a real Nowhere Man,
Sitting in his Nowhere Land,
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody.
Making all his nowhere plans
for nobody!
Where did DNA information come from? Science circa 2011: Nowhere, man.Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Barack Obama: "We'll Always Be A AAA Company"

BNN logo Category:Canadian television logos                     Image via Wikipedia
Richard Bove's US Market Commentary on BNN.

"You can't use debt to solve a problem with debt".

"You can't solve a debt problem by printing money".

"It's not our grandchildren's problem; it's our problem".

"You can't kick the problem down the road because there is no more road".

Well worth a listen.
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The London Riots and the Toronto Talk Show

Skyline of Toronto                             Image via Wikipedia
I overheard a Toronto talk-show yesterday talking about excusing the London riots. Between the host and his guest, there was not one word spoken to suggest that the rioters are personally responsible for their behaviour.

Not. One. Word.

They immediately jumped to the never-ending quest for "root causes". It can't be the rioter's fault; it must be ours.

Here's the Ball bounces short list of politically incorrect root causes that you will not hear discussed on a Canadian talk show any time soon.

* Children being born and raised out of wedlock.

* Youth being raised in an permissive environment where dropping out of school going on the dole, and living idle, layabout lives is not only a live option, it's a social right and entitlement. In other words, "socialism caused the riots"

* A school system that fails to inculcate a sense of personal responsibility

* A social milieu that expects and condones this kind of  behaviour (cf. the radio talk show)

The radio show ended with the guest suggesting that these kinds of riots could happen in Toronto.

Instead we should make it clear this kind of behaviour is not expected, never justified, and will not be tolerated.
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Monday, August 08, 2011

Stephen Hawking's Two Big Buckets Of Nothing

A plastic yellow bucket.                       Image via Wikipedia
Stephen Hawking's Two Big Buckets Of Nothing:

You take a bucket of negatively charged energy, a bucket of positively charged energy, mix them together, and, oh, baby -- you've got yourself... one big bucket of nothing!

Then, you swirl this one big bucket of nothing around and... BANG!

Postscript. If the bucket is really, really, big, you get a BIG Bang.

Q&A.

Q. "Dr. Hawking, what if the buckets had been smaller?".

A. "We would have been tiny."

Someone remind me how this is an improvement on the big turtle creation myth?
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"There Is No Why"

Shows slices of expansion of universe without ...                        Image via Wikipedia
The Beatles had it all wrong when they twanged "Tell me why".

Why?

There is no why.
You're asking for a "why" when there is no "why", there is only an "is", but that leaves you as nothng particularlarly special in the universe, and that's why your ego clings to these myths. -- SDC
A really, really big bang starts everything off. Don't ask why. There is no why.

This big bang has embedded in it all the laws of mathematics, the laws of physics, the laws of logic, the laws of chemistry. Don't ask why. There is no why.

These physical laws are all exquisitely tuned, as it turns out, to support the emergence of biological life on earth, itself governed by yet more laws. Don't ask why. There is no why.

No mind behind the universe, but minds spring up out of dust. Don't ask why. There is no why.

No consciousness behind the universe, but self-consciousness emerges from dirt and water, stirred. Don't ask why. There is no why.

A dumb, purposeless process produces the exquisite emotion of love. From dirt. Don't ask why. There is no why.

A creature emerges with embedded moral sense, with strong convictions that there is good and evil, right and wrong in the midst of this senseless, mindless, purposeless swirling dirt of a universe. Don't ask why. There is no why.

A man arrives in Palestine circa 4 BC and claims to be God. His grave is empty. Don't ask why.

Evolution has given our inquiring minds the insatiable impulse to ask "why".

Why?

Don't ask.

This is the state of scientism, circa 2011.

As SDC likes to put it, there is NO EVIDENCE for a Creator.

Apart from, you know, everything that exists.

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

Sunday Psalm: 3 -- Real Help Comes From God

Scroll of the Psalms                      Image via Wikipedia
Psalm 3

 1-2 God! Look! Enemies past counting! Enemies sprouting like mushrooms,
   Mobs of them all around me, roaring their mockery:
   "Hah! No help for him from God!"

 3-4 But you, God, shield me on all sides;
   You ground my feet, you lift my head high;
   With all my might I shout up to God,
   His answers thunder from the holy mountain.

 5-6 I stretch myself out. I sleep.
   Then I'm up again—rested, tall and steady,
   Fearless before the enemy mobs
   Coming at me from all sides.

 7 Up, God! My God, help me!
   Slap their faces,
   First this cheek, then the other,
   Your fist hard in their teeth!

 8 Real help comes from God.
   Your blessing clothes your people!

Eugene Peterson, The Message

Have a blessed day.
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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Life Blooms On Mars!!!

Solar system   Image by Mads Boedker via Flickr
"You bloom quickly, you do what you need to do, and you go dormant." -- description of life on Mars, based on "the science" circa 2011

Life on Mars? Yikes, this sounds like life on earth!

The evidence for this?

To paraphrase scientist Dr. Emmett Brown, "Evidence? Where we're going, we don't need evidence".

Or, as an eminent Mars explorer once put it, "To infinity ... and beyond!

Evolution News and Views has the full story.
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Thursday, August 04, 2011

A Solution To the NDP Separatist Leader Controversy

The National Post's Scott Stinson asks, "Was there no one else in the NDP’s 103-member caucus who could keep the seat warm for Mr. Layton’s return to Parliament and who would not spark questions about their divided loyalties?"

Fortunately, yes.


It would make a great made-for-TV movie.

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Toronto's Pearson: Improvements. For Yoooooouuuu!

During my last pass-through Pearson, I accessed the free Wi-fi at Pearson (thank you, Pearson!), and was led to this:

OK, I'll bite. I chose McDonald's Restaurant.

The response?










I tried it again and got the same response.



Too many votes cast from your location? Is this even coherent?  Sheesh. Another well-meaning PR exercise down the drain.

I did appreciate the free Wi-fi, though.

Darwinism: Do You Believe In Magic?

The Evidence for Evolution         
Stephen Pinker endorses Alan Rogers' "The Evidence For Evolution" with this glowing commendation: “Alan Rogers addresses the political controversy over the theory of evolution (there’s no longer any scientific controversy) in the best scientific spirit: with evidence and logic. For anyone with an open mind, a curiosity about the natural world, and a desire to see controversies settled with evidence rather than rhetoric, this is an invaluable contribution and a fascinating read.”—Steven Pinker, Harvard University.

A political controversy? Uncommon Descent picks up on sword:
It’s not a political controversy. It is: 
1) An evidential controversy (for example, the fossil record, especially the Cambrian explosion). 
2) A logical and computational controversy (the insufficiency of random errors producing highly complex, functionally integrated, self-correcting computer code). 
3) A mathematical controversy (clearly insufficient probabilistic resources for anything but the most trivial changes based on Darwinian mechanisms).
Well said. Two comments.

1. If by evolution we mean that species change over time and share DNA, there is overwhelming evidence for evolution.

2. However, there is equally overwhelming evidence that the mechanism posited by darwinists -- undesigned, undirected, unintelligent chance variation -- is by incapable of producing elegant new designs.

The naturalist scientist sticks to darwinian explanations regardless of the improbabilities or inconsistencies -- because it's the only conceivable tool in his naturalistic tool-box. A person not wedded to the materialistic philosophy of naturalism is free to examine the evidence and follow it wherever it leads.

I believe in the principle of sufficient reason -- that everything that exists or happens has a sufficient reason (or cause) for its existence. Not just a cause. A sufficient cause. That's why I reject darwinism -- the mechanism posited is feeble and insufficient.

The gap between what exists and the darwinian mechanism's ability to produce the goods is not just a minor problem, it is huge. This gap includes the obvious physical design complexities of human beings and other species, but also includes things like human aspirations and moral sense. To the extent that there is a gap between what exists and the sufficiency of the darwinian mechanism to adequately account for it, darwinists believe in magic (hello, SDC -- I'm toyin' with ya).

And that's the way the Ball bounces.


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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Why Freedom 55 For Government Workers Means Enslavement 65 For You And Me

Obverse and reverse sides of single-ride token...                     Image via Wikipedia
The Compensation Monster Devouring Cities is a must-read article. It outlines the financial debacle underway in America's municipalities. Rosy-eyed and/or weak-kneed politicians shovelling unreasonable, unsustainable wages and benefits at municipal workers.

The ticking time-bomb is pensions, where the political promise comes now, but the pay-out down the road. Problem is, we are now down the road and it's time to pay the over-pensioned piper.

Municipal America is on the fast track towards bankruptcy.

And Canadian cities will be too, if nothing is done to stop the weak-as-water politicians. I'm thinking of of institutions like the TTC and City of Toronto workers, and government workers in general. Getting far better wages, benefits, and pensions than tax-paying citizens, and all supported by politicians who view the tax base as an ever-increasing unlimited pool of available funds to exploit.

And this is happening at the municipal, state/provincial, and federal levels.

As someone has said, socialism works until you run out of other people's money. That's why "Freedom 55" for a government worker is "Enslavement 65" for you and me.

What is it about politicians that they throw conservative principles like prudence and thrift to the winds when they gain power? Is there something about getting elected that makes a person gravitate towards irresponsible, unsustainable leftism, or do the naturally imprudent and thriftless gravitate towards "public service"?

And is there anything we can do about it?

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Monday, August 01, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Steal: Restaurant Fraud in Canada

[109/365] Taxation.  Image by kardboard604 via Flickr
A third of Canada's restaurants may be ripping off the taxman by using sophisticated “zapper” programs and other software to hide their sales. 
The Canada Revenue Agency has found an estimated $141-million in phantom sales that were deliberately erased in electronic cash registers to dodge taxes. 
The widespread fraud was uncovered in a three-year pilot project that analyzed electronic sales data at 424 establishments to find faint traces of sales that were wiped clean. 
A team of 14 data specialists discovered at least 143 cases of suspected fraud, each with an average of $1-million in hidden sales. That works out to about 34 per cent of all the sale systems that came under scrutiny.
Canada is built on Judeo-Christian values. Without them, we will crumble.

Throw them all in jail.


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Why Darwinism Cannot Be Refuted

Trojan HorseImage by BFS Man via Flickr
Cornelius Hunter:
... evolution is deemed a fact because evolutionists know the world could not have been intelligently designed. The world’s evil, inefficiency and inelegance all mandate a thoughtless creative force. Like a fancy sports car with its steering wheel on backwards, this world doesn’t make sense. No designer capable of creating this world would have intended for it in the first place....

And so how well evolution fares in light of empirical science matters very little. That is a topic for research. It falls in the category of how evolution occurred, not if evolution occurred. No amount of empirical, public, evidence can change the private fact of evolution. Gnosis trumps scientia every time.

All of this means that one cannot argue with evolutionists from the scientific evidence. What a designer would and would not have intended cannot be learned from a scientific experiment. It does not derive from empirical findings. Rather, evolution is mandated by personal, religious beliefs that are not open to debate....
All of this means that evolutionary predictions and their falsifications mean very little. If a prediction or a test, such as Darwin’s proposal above, turns out to be false, it simply means that the test was ill conceived. Perhaps evolution needs to be modified, but it cannot be refuted.
As Lakatos explained, the sub hypotheses can be forfeited. They are the protective belt shielding the theoretical core. Evolution’s theoretical core is creation by natural means. The particular details don’t so much matter. Selection can be replaced by drift, gradualism can be replaced by saltationism, random mutation can be replaced by pre programmed adaptation, the evolutionary tree can be replaced by a web, even common descent can be replaced. But naturalism cannot be replaced. -- Cornelius Hunter




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"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"