Musings of a Philosophical Scrivener...
Idle ramblings of an intermittently philosophical nature... Apologies to Martin Gardner, whose The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener is one of the best books you've (probably) never read.

An Idle Thought...
What a misfortune, and injustice, for the University of Tennessee College of Law that [Glenn "InstaPundit"] Reynolds should now be their best-known faculty member.
--Brian Leiter, Professor of Law and Philosophy, University of Texas, Austin

About Me (the condensed version)
A member of the tail end of the boomers; a middle aged recovering lawyer turned professional computer geek. Native of St. Louis, Missouri, transplanted to Memphis, Tennessee. Avid reader, amateur philosopher, St. Louis Cardinals fan, one of the last Renaissance men.

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A bit about me (The uncondensed version) Memorial to a dear friend
Frederick W. Benteen
The Web of Leonards
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BlogMemphis (The Commercial Appeal's listing of Memphis blogs)
The Guide to Life, the Universe, and Everything
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Listed on Blogwise



And in case you're interested, here's how many other 'net denizens need a life, or at least more compelling reading:


A blog worth reading:

Bloggus Caesari (Julius Caesar's Warblog)

Two blogs worth reading that I'll plug because the blogger is another Linux geek and a fellow Cardinals fan besides:

Frankly, I'd Rather Not
uptime

Other links of interest (to me, at least), in no particular order:

The Daily Howler
Spinsanity
Bill Maher Blog
The Progressive
The O'Franken Factor
Majority Report Radio
The Gadflyer
Daily Kos
Steve Gilliard's Blog
Whiskey Bar
Just a Bump in the Beltway
The Village Gate (formerly The Right Christians)
Juan Cole *Informed Comment*
Christopher Orlet
lileks.com
TomPaine.com
The Online Gadfly
The Crisis Papers
Ted Rall Online
MikeHersh.com
The Smirking Chimp
Talking Points Memo
Molly Ivins
This Modern World, By Tom Tomorrow
Tom the Dancing Bug, by Reuben Bolling
Bob the Angry Flower
Conservatively Incorrect, by Rack Jite
BartCop
Media Whores Online
Butterflies and Wheels
The Leiter Reports
Nathan Newman
Brief Intelligence
Half the Sins of Mankind
The Swing State Project
Glorfindel of Gondolin
Turquoise Waffle Irons in the Back Yard
Missouri Liberal
different strings
Shock and Awe
Gotham City 13
Pen-Elayne on the Web
Empty Days
Censored Story of the Day
Roger's Profanisaurus
Rhonda & Jane present: 525 Reasons to Dump Bush
The Bush Scorecard of Evil
Sherman P. Wright's Moderate Weblog
Quaker in a Basement
World Phamous
NLSO Subic Bay (Navy unit alumni blog.)
GRAPHICTRUTH
Iraq Coalition Casualty Count
Bracing against the wind
Rants Vitriol and Spleen JRI
Apostate's Weekly
Redbird Nation
Go Cardinals
The Cardinals' Birdhouse
The Birdhouse Minor League Report
CardsClubhouse.com
The Cardinals Fan Site
St. Louis Cardinals Ultimate Fan Site
RedBird Central
Get Up, Baby!
Royalties and Cardinalate (an all-MO baseball blog)
Pro Sports Daily: St. Louis Cardinals
Topix.net: St. Louis Cardinals news
RobNeyer.com
Rob Neyer's ESPN.com column
The Hardball Times
The Baseball Widow
Management by Baseball
The Nashville Files (RTB member in waiting?)
Madeleine Begun Kane's Notables Weblog
The Select Group of Toys
Pesky the Rat
I, Cringely
The Gripe Line Weblog, by Ed Foster
The Register
MS-BS
Evil Empire
Watching Microsoft Like a Hawk
Three Years of Hell to Become the Devil
Public Defender Dude
Punishment Theory
Savage Cruel Bigots
Treason Online
Hell for Halliburton
Hollywood Lost and Found
Popdex
Popdex Citations

Rocky Top Brigade:



RTB Lounge
NationStates Region

A Little More to the Right
A Moveable Beast
A Smoky Mountain Journal
AlphaPatriot
Beyond the Whispers
Big Stupid Tommy
Bjorn, Again
Bugly
Bully Pulpit
Busy Mom
Celtic Grove
Classless Warfare Jane
Conservative Zone
Dagley Dagley Daily
Damn Art Diary
Damn Foreigner
Democratic Veteran
Dingbust
Doc B
Doug McDaniel
Drawing Dead
Elephant Rants
Filthy Hippy Speak
FishKite
Frank Cagle
Free Speech News
Goobage
Granny Rant
Growth Spurt
Guy Montag
Hatamaran
HobbsOnline
Hypotheses Non Fingo
In a Mays
infozo
Inn of the Last Home
Instalawyer
Jaded Journal
Johnson City Stories
Knock/Snooze
Lay Lines
Lean Left
Les Jones
LissaKay
Loco Parentis
Long Pauses
Longmire
Mike Hollihan
Mike Reed
Mind Warp
Missives Anonymous
Mr. Lawson
My Quiet Life
Newsrack
Newton's Kumquat
No Quarters
One Hand Clapping
Opinari
Orfinanny
Pathetic Earthlings
Philosophical Scrivener
Queen Medb's Castle
Rebel Yell
Resonance
Rex Hammock
Rich Hailey
Road Warrior
SayUncle
SemiPundit
Sick of Bush
Smijer
South Knox Bubba
Southern Reporter
Straight White Guy
Sugarfused
Team Rock
The Golden Calf
Up For Anything
Voluntarily in China
Wandering Hillbilly
William Burton
InstaPundit (link removed, because I think Reynolds is an idiot, and he doesn't need the linkage. If you really want to waste your time reading his drivel, you know where to find him.)
Adam Groves (MIA)
Fat Ass Politics (MIA)
Oz's Lion (MIA)
Rapmaster (MIA)
Rush Limbaughtomy (MIA)
Secret City Scene (MIA)
Twelfth Parsec (MIA)
Uncommon Sense (KIA)
Underground Man (MIA)
Xyon's Rambles (MIA)

Memphis Blogs not in the Rocky Top Brigade

Signifying Nothing
m e m p h i s . c o o l (Jon W. Sparks's personal blog)
Sparks on Memphis (Jon W. Sparks's CA blog)
/home/geek
Peggy Phillip
Tread lightly on the things of earth
Rachel and the City
webraw
Well, I think I'm funny
PhilHarwell.com
Voice of Golden Eagle
when you're 21, you're no fun

The League of Liberals:


Democratic Veteran
The Spy Game
Cosmic Iguana
People's Republic of Seabrook
Philosophical Scrivener
The Mahablog
WTF is it NOW?
blunted on reality
Happy Furry Puppy Story Time
All Facts and Opinions
MadKane
Dubya's Daily Diary
Futurballa
ARMACT Action Alerts
Cup O' Joe
Grateful Dread on the Web
The Poison Kitchen
Indigo Ocean
The Felonious Elephant
Sick of Bush
Arms and the Man
Clareified
Rick's Cafe Americain
A-Changin' Times(ACT)
Estimated Prophet
Gotham City 13
Officially Unofficial
The Gunther Concept
The Mudshark
Hammerdown
Screaming Points
Ink from the Squid
Left Is Right
Byte Back
The Huck Upchuck
Pharyngula
The Sesquipedalian
Stageleft
DeanLand - Dean Landsman's Weblog
Turquoise Waffle Irons in the Back Yard
Wilson's Blogmanac
Ayn Clouter
iddybud
Anarchy Xero
Anonymoses

The Liberal Coalition

Archives
01/01/2003 - 01/31/2003
02/01/2003 - 02/28/2003
03/01/2003 - 03/31/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
05/01/2003 - 05/31/2003
06/01/2003 - 06/30/2003
07/01/2003 - 07/31/2003
08/01/2003 - 08/31/2003
09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003
10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003
11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003
12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003
01/01/2004 - 01/31/2004
02/01/2004 - 02/29/2004
03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004
04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Random observations:
Portable computer pioneer Adam Osborne dies; and here's an obit (also from the Reg).

The South Africans have some integrity, at least: Microsoft ad banned in South Africa for being false and misleading (in it, MS claimed that their software is so secure that it'll make hackers an extinct species; this link also has a small picture of the banned ad).

The RSPCA needs to get a sense of humor: even though they know it's a hoax and a joke, and that no kitties are being harmed, they still want to get the bonsaikitten.com website banned from the 'net. sigh



Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Why the Dogs of Cyberwar stay leashed...
Mark Rasch's analysis... And here I would have thought it was because, assertions by Chicken Little to the contrary, that there really aren't any good methods of cyberattack, and that the problems you can cause that way aren't sufficiently deadly to take cyberwar seriously.




And Microsoft thinks they innovate....
Sun has just introduced the newest licensing innovation: Write Your Own License.... Check out the details in The Register, but make sure you follow their link to see the license in action....




Some War Commentary:
Notice how Dumbya took the sympathy of the entire world on September 11, 2001, and then managed to squander it in less than two years? And what we're doing in the Gulf continues to squander what little moral capital we have...

I'm just going to say it and get it out of my system: "liberation"? Bullshit! It's an aggressive war, pure and simple, and by the Nuremberg precedents Dumbya, Cheney and the rest of the puppetmeisters should be condemned to death for what they've done. I don't approve of capital punishment, but in Bush's case I'd be glad to make an exception; considering his record in Texas that Bush should be executed would be a wonderfully delicious irony.

Meanwhile.... Back on the home front, the administration is getting its cronies to stage pro-war rallies....



Monday, March 24, 2003

And the numbers keep rising....
I keep looking at the "scoreboard" at the bottom of the page. The numbers have gone up quite a bit over the weekend.

Meantime, on the skeptics-l list we're being kept updated on the number of "friendly-fire" casualties that the US has inflicted on its allies. Right now, on a basis of numbers of corpses (as well as on another, more fundamental level) one has to conclude that the US is proving itself much more of a threat to its allies than Iraq ever was...



Friday, March 21, 2003

Is it oil, or oil currency?
The real reasons for the Iraq war.
I'm not a competent economist, so I can't say for sure, but it sure sounds plausible...



Thursday, March 20, 2003

And now, for something completely different:
On the GODEXIST list (the charter is philosophical discussion of arguments for the existence of God; email me for subscription details if this sounds like something you'd be interested in) we've had a few recent digressions into theology. Found this in Walter Kaufmann's The Faith of a Heretic, and I think it bears some consideration when theology starts creeping into areas it really doesn't belong, like philosophy or religion:

...the assumption that theology closely resembles philosophy, or that liberal education can be revitalized by bringing theologians into a great university, is based on inusfficient reflection on the nature of theology and its methods.

It was unfortunate that Paul referred to the Torah, the Five Books of Moses, as "the Law," seeing how much there is in those five books that is not "law"; and it is doubly unfortunate that so many readers of the New Testament have come to think of Judaism as the religion of "the Law." For the same reason it is misleading that occasionally a rabbi as called "a lawyer" in the Gospels. In the context of our present discussion, however, this last misnomer points to an important insight. The rabbis and St. Thomas
[Aquinas, of whom Kaufmann had much to say in the chapter from which this excerpt is taken--LRC], Bultmann and Father Walsh, and legions of other theologians are really closer to lawyers than they are to either philosophers or scientists.

Indeed, they resemble lawyers in two ways. In the first place, they accept books and traditions as data that it is not up to them to criticize. They can only hope to make the best of these books and traditions by selecting the most propitious passages and precedents; and where the law seems to them harsh, inhuman, or dated, all they can do is have recourse to exegesis.

Secondly, many theologians accept the morality that in many countries governs the conduct of the counsel for the defense. Ingenuity and skillful appeals to the emotions are considered perfectly legitimate; so are attempts to ignore all inconvenient evidence, as long as one can get away with it, and the refusal to engage in inquiries that are at all likely to discredit the predetermined conclusion: that the client is innocent. If all else fails, one tries to saddle one's opponent with the burden of disproof; and as a last resort one is content with a reasonable doubt that after all the doctrines that one has defended
might be true. [emphasis in original--LRC]

(From: Walter Kaufmann, _The Faith of a Heretic_, Garden City, N.J.: Doubleday Anchor, 1961, at p. 112)




And the scoreboard is working.
Got the "Iraq Body Count" graphic working at the very bottom of this page (figure that after this entry scrolls off into oblivion then fewer of the very few visitors to this humble site will see it, which will reduce the amount of nasty email I get). So far, the score hasn't changed with the latest rouind of bombing...




Well, the war appears to be on, now...
Though from all accounts it's hardly an all out attack. (That being the case, the amount of hot air being spewed forth from CNN is incredible; I hate to think of what's going to happen when the real shooting starts. I've decided, however, to keep score here, hence the addition (shortly) of the "Iraq Body Count" to this humble page, just as soon as I can get the damned thing working.... And I think that's the only thing I'm going to watch about the damn war. It's a mistake, we're wrong to do it, but of course all the fools are going to follow our Fool-in-Chief, George Dumbya Bush, where angels fear to tread.




Real life...
is once again interfering with more important things. Hence the gaps in keeping this updated. *sigh*



Monday, March 17, 2003

I thought this was illegal....
Sign on a Captain D's on the way home from class tonight:

Special: 24 ish Jumbo Shrimp

Isn't that against the law? Anyone remember the old Coke bottles? The ones that said "Contents: Approximately 6 fl. oz."? When you're selling something, you have to be a bit more precise in your measurements than that.....



Friday, March 14, 2003

I love it!!!!
Microsoft web hosting won't work with .Net

Yep, you can get MS to host your website, but don't expect to use their latest and greatest tools to maintain it...




George W. Queeg
Excellent column by Paul Krugman in the NYT today. I like the simile, given that The Caine Mutiny is one of my favorite novels/movies...




The Pentagon on Press Relations:
Unauthorized journalists will be shot (at)....



Tuesday, March 11, 2003

News in brief: From The Onion
Bush Orders Iraq To Disarm Before Start Of War
WASHINGTON, DC--Maintaining his hardline stance against Saddam Hussein, President Bush ordered Iraq to fully dismantle its military before the U.S. begins its invasion next week. "U.S. intelligence confirms that, even as we speak, Saddam is preparing tanks and guns and other weapons of deadly force for use in our upcoming war against him," Bush said Sunday during his weekly radio address. "This madman has every intention of firing back at our troops when we attack his country." Bush warned the Iraqi dictator to "lay down [his] weapons and enter battle unarmed, or suffer the consequences."


The scary thing is that Dumbya really seems to think it's going to be that easy...




Not much going on to interest a body in this neck of the woods....
Some brief scrawlings before I go back to the salt mines:

This day in history dept.:
Today is both the anniversary of the first publication of Shelley's Frankenstein and Antonin Scalia's birthday. I simply refuse to believe that is a coincidence.

Robin Williams, on the Tonya Harding-Paula Jones boxing match:
It's not the end of civilization, but you can see it from there.

Monsieur Williams again, on Dumbya:
Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, some get it as a graduation gift.

The "Maybe there is a God" dept.:
Nigerian 419 Scammers Scam U.S. Con Man
[As Jon Waltz said in our first Civil Procedure class of freshman year of law school: "Criminals are stupid; that's why they get caught."]



Friday, March 07, 2003

Oops....
It seems that the Business Software Alliance has 'bots crawling around looking for FTP sites offering pirate software for download. Apparently the 'bot's finding a piece of copyrighted software available for download causes a trigger to fire which results in a nastygram being sent to the offending FTP site's admin. Imagine their embarassment (How I love to!) when their 'bot triggered a nastygram to the University of Muenster for offering downloads of OpenOffice (which is a free, open-source alternative to Microsoft Office).




What indeed?
I recently saw a television commercial featuring a bunch of guys swilling cheap beer and intoning, It doesn't get any better than this. What does this tell us about the nature of existence?
--Dr. Science's Gold Star Question for today



Thursday, March 06, 2003

I get so lost in Roger Ebert's movie reviews....
that I forget that the Sun-Times lets him do general and political commentary too. Today someone on the SKEPTIC list forwarded one of Roger's better commentaries:

Public prayer fanatics borrow page from enemy's script

By the way, the "enemy" mentioned in the headline isn't the enemy of public prayer (the Dreaded Secular Humanist Conspiracy), but rather Our Current World Enemy: the Dreaded Islamic Fundamentalist Movement. Just so you don't get the wrong idea about who Roger is criticizing. But what are you doing here? Go read the damn essay; it's worth every second....



Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Finally returned to the world of the living....
This weekend I get laid low with what seemed like the mother of all gastrointestinal nastiness; spent several days in bed sick as a dog, and it'll be interesting to see how well I do on the math exam tonght having had as little chance to study as I've had. Anyway, my The Onion: Dispatches from the Tenth Circle calendar had gone untouched since Friday, so flip to today's page, and read the headline:

Christ Converts To Islam

With all the organic matter hitting the rotary oscillator in the middle east, wouldn't that just be loverly? I'd pay good money to see Robertson's, Falwell's and Graham's (pere et fils) eyes bugging out of their sockets at that news....