Saturday, April 19, 2014

Speaking of the Post Office...

Speaking of the Post Office...  I received a very official-looking letter from the Post Office (photo at right, with my address obscured), with a big banner saying “Verification Required” and “Do Not Discard.”  This immediately triggered my junk mail detector – that's exactly the sort of thing they do to get you to open the envelope.

I flipped it over, and it tells you right there that you're about to be subjected to direct mail marketing (aka “junk mail”).  Note that nothing listed on the back indicates any action is required on my part.

So I opened it up.  Inside were a number of coupons and advertising circulars, and the confirmation letter (see below) – which required no action on my part.  After pawing through all the coupons, I found exactly one coupon that we might use: 10% off at Lowe's, on up to $5,000 worth of merchandise.  The rest were all junk.

The Post Office – which my tax dollars subsidize – has become a junk mailer.

Can we just outsource the Post Office, please?  


Through a Google Glass, darkly...

Through a Google Glass, darkly...  Matt Labash on Google's wearable computer...

Success!

Success!  SpaceX's F9R just had its first test flight - and it was completely successful.  Make it full screen...

Elon Musk and his SpaceX team is making a very visible demonstration of the innovation and nimbleness of free enterprise, as compared to the government-run space programs that used to be the only way to get into space.  If I worked for NASA, I'd be aching to get a job at SpaceX – a place where they actually, like, make things happen...

You're not really surprised, are you?

You're not really surprised, are you?  The Obama administration has delayed a decision on the Keystone pipeline, again.

It really doesn't matter that most Americans want the pipeline built.  The technical arguments for and against it are also irrelevant.  Realistically Obama only has one option: to kick this can down the road by making no decision at all.  Why?  It's simple: his most generous liberal supporters are almost evenly split between being adamantly opposed to building it (that's the environmentalist wacko wing of the Democratic party) and fervently for it (that's the union wing of the party).  The majority of Democrats – who are in neither of those wings – support building the pipeline.  But their support comes with very little in the way of campaign contributions, so their voice is heavily discounted.

Kick the can, Barack.  It's what a Big Government politician does when faced with the need to make a controversial decision.  Nobody who knows you at all would expect anything else – and certainly nothing that required bedrock beliefs, courage, or even common sense...

Some very sweet photos...

Some very sweet photos ... of Primo the dog, and a Primo-adoring little girl.  As my wife would say: so sweet you'll get a cavity!  Via blogress Rachel Lucas...

An unexpectedly interesting read...

An unexpectedly interesting read...  Harry Reid's Facebook page, that is.  It's a surreal collection of hard-left propaganda (from Reid) and angry constituents.  There's very little support for him there.  Kind of sad, actually. 

Here's one example of a constituent's commentary.  Many of them I'd be reluctant to republish.  Suffice it to say that they're not happy:
Russ Wilcox Mr Reid (sorry you don't deserve the respect of the title Senator) why do you belittle people who oppose your views? If you ask me you are the terrorist, you are the one who is UN-AMERICAN!!! You should be ashamed of yourself for acting like a child throwing a tantrum calling people names. I for one am a PROUD AMERICAN, but I am ASHAMED OF MY GOVERNMENT. Try doing your job and represent those in your district NOT those in your party. It's easy to do just do whats RIGHT!!!

Watch out!

Watch out!  Antarctic ice is now at an all-time high.  Global warming is really starting to have an impact!

Open source seeds...

Open source seeds...  The “open source” movement started with software, but seems to be spreading to all sorts of things in a generalized push-back against intellectual property (patents and copyrights) laws.  I've been watching open source electronic and mechanical hardware, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, music, and now plant seeds.  If these non-software open source movements follow the software path, we'll soon see the large companies joining in as they realize the economic benefits of shared development.  It's far from clear to me that this actually works outside of software – and even inside the software industry, so far it only works in limited areas (generally for software that is used by a great many companies)...

British Pathe documentaries are all online...


British Pathe documentaries are all online...  Awesome.  Free.  Like the one at right, showing a dog jumping that makes our agility dogs look like rank amateurs...

Dragon Lady...

Dragon Lady...  Ran across this on the intertubes: the best photo I've ever seen of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, affectionately known as “Dragon Lady”.  Click to embiggen. 

Hummers in the Delphinium luteum...

Hummers in the Delphinium luteum...  You may know this as yellow larkspur.  The hummer is a female Anna's (Calypte anna).  Via BPOD, of course...

Great truths...

Great truths...  Reader Jim M. lists 25 great truths that are well worth reading and thinking about.  One thing that struck me is just how old some of these are – the great battle between liberalism and freedom has been going on for a very long time...
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.
   -- John Adams

If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
  -- Mark Twain

Suppose you were an idiot.  And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself.
  -- Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
  --Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
  -- George Bernard Shaw

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
  -- G. Gordon Liddy

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
  --James Bovard (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
  -- Douglas Case

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
   -- P.J. O'Rourke

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
  -- Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:  If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
  --Ronald Reagan (1986)

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
  -- Will Rogers

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free!
  -- P. J. O'Rourke

In general, the art of government consists of taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.
  --Voltaire (1764)

Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!
  -- Pericles (430 B.C.)

No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.
  -- Mark Twain (1866)

Talk is cheap, except when Congress does it.
  -- Anonymous, though often attributed to Will Rogers

The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
  -- Ronald Reagan

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings.  The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.
  -- Winston Churchill

The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the taxidermist leaves the skin.
   -- Mark Twain

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
   -- Herbert Spencer

There is no distinctly Native American criminal class, save Congress.
  -- Mark Twain

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians
   -- Edward Langley

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
  -- Thomas Jefferson

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
  -- Aesop

Jumping, jumping, jumping...

Jumping, jumping, jumping...  A former colleague from ServiceNow sent me this video, with the comment “We’ve jumped the shark...”

I know some of the people in the video.  Despite being a technology geek (and a blogger!), I'm still amazed how easy it is today for ordinary people to be very public through web publication of text, photos, and video.  The latter is especially powerful in that regard, and it's so simple – and free – today for anyone to use that.  When I was 20 years old, in 1972, that kind of exposure would have been quite difficult, so expensive that only wealthy people could afford it, and time-consuming to produce and broadcast.  Now it's simple, free, and instantaneous.  That's quite a transition in just a few decades...

Grumpy cat calls it...

Grumpy cat calls it...  From a collection my mom sent out, my favorite:


Green dot illusion...

Green dot illusion...  Reader Simi L. sends along this great optical illusion.  The first effect (the green dot) I saw immediately.  The second effect (the disappearing pink dots) took longer – it requires steady focus on the black cross to see it:
If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, the dots will remain only one color, pink.


However if you stare at the black '+' in the centre, the moving dot turns to green. Now concentrate on the black '+' in the centre of the picture. After a short period all the pink dots will slowly disappear and you will see only a single green dot rotating.

It's amazing how our brain works. There is no green dot, and the pink ones don't disappear. This should be proof enough, we don't always see what we think we see.

One surprise for me on the second effect was that I sometimes saw some of the pink dots, but not others – they'd disappear and reappear seemingly at random.  The brain is a funny thing!

US Post Service – Big Data supplier?

US Post Service – Big Data supplier?  Friend, former colleague, and reader Larry E. sends this along, saying it's another reason to get rid of the USPS.  I have several reactions to that:
  1. We needed more reasons to get rid of them?
  2. What are the chances that they could actually pull this off?  We're talking about the Post Office, folks...
  3. If we privatized the delivery of first class mail, the data would be mined immediately – exactly as UPS, Fedex, and other private carriers are already doing...

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Apologies for the slow blogging today...

Apologies for the slow blogging today...  Workmen (Lane and Pasquale) arrived today to start on some of the changes we're making to our new home before we move in.  The first thing I noticed?  They arrived early, and immediately jumped into the task at hand.  Here they're working on a fix to a problem in an upstairs room: it has a 2" floor height difference to it's neighboring room, which makes me stumble practically every time I walk through.  The fix is to put a “pony wall” (a short wall) across the height transition, except for one four-foot wide walkway, which will have a gentle ramp to it.  At the same time, they're hanging wallboard to cover the previously exposed heating duct over the area.  Both efforts are visible in this photo.

They'll be back at 8 am tomorrow morning, so blogging will be light until the weekend...

For my mom...

For my mom ... an owl-lover from way back.  This fellow happens to be my favorite of all owls: a burrowing owl.  Click to embiggen..

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Not impressed...

Not impressed...  Delingpole, that is – he's definitely not impressed by the UN's sexism expert...

The tax man is coming!

The tax man is coming!

Oh, I miss Rummy...

Oh, I miss Rummy...  Here's his letter to the IRS...


All dogs, all the time...

All dogs, all the time...  At Dogging Meade's place.  He has an amazing talent for capturing the dogly essences...

Eagle hunter...

Eagle hunter...  This 13 year old Mongolian girl uses an eagle to hunt with...

Museum of Quackery...

Museum of Quackery...  A great collection of quacks and questionable devices.  The photo at right shows a demonstration of the “Psycograph”, a machine that measures the contours of one's head for a phrenological analysis.  Very quacky!

The Museum of Quackery home page will lead you to all the goodies...

Five materials that will change the world...

Five materials that will change the world...  The last two of these were new to me: shrilk and stanene.  Advances in materials science has been spectacular over my own lifetime, though I've noted before that most people seem to be largely unaware of them.  I suspect that's because the materials advances have generally been a component of some other piece of more visible technology.  Take an iPhone, for example: dozens of advances in materials were required before an iPhone could be possible...

I don't like the wind!

I don't like the wind!  Another in my crazy person series.  You'll want full screen mode on this one...

Cherry blossoms in Washington...

Cherry blossoms in Washington...  They're almost beautiful enough to make your forget about the native criminal class that works there.  Click to embiggen; more here...

World's first atomic clock wristwatch!

World's first atomic clock wristwatch!  Awesome.  Should be good for one's bicep development, though only on one arm :)

Southwest Airlines safety briefing...

Southwest Airlines safety briefing...  I've enjoyed the inflight comedy of Southwest's flight attendants many times, but I never ran into any that were this good.  If you're old enough, you may remember the old Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) – they were even more famous for this kind of inflight humor.  USAir acquired PSA in 1988, and unfortunately their humor culture did not survive the merger...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Please!

Please!


A new Saturnian moon?

A new Saturnian moon?  Cassini has captured an image that just might be showing the birth of a new moon around Saturn...

Oh, this makes me feel old...

Oh, this makes me feel old...  The video at right shows kids today reacting to a cassette player.  These, of course, are kids that grew up with entire music collections available to listen to from little boxes the size of a postage stamp.

When I was a kid, the smallest music playing device was the size of a briefcase: a portable record player that had a vacuum tube amplifier and had to be plugged into the wall for power.  That device was only a small improvement over the original Edison cylinder players.

I don't recall ever having the reaction that these kids have, of thinking that some piece of technology (however old) was incomprehensible and awful.  Mostly I recall looking forward to near-miraculous advances that seemed to happen in very quick succession (semiconductors, plastics, lasers, etc.).

How about you?  Do you remember ever having reactions to your parents' technology that was anything like these kids?

Cannibalism...

Cannibalism...  My first reaction upon reading this story was “Wait.  What?  Cannibalism isn’t illegal in Pakistan?”  But then I discovered that it's not illegal in the U.S., either!

We have laws forbidding spitting on the sidewalk, but not eating each other? 

I'd say “Happy Tax Day!”...

I'd say “Happy Tax Day!” ... except that seems highly unlikely.  So how about enjoying a little Remy instead?

Do as the IPCC says!

Do as the IPCC says!  Or else the world will end.  Delingpole...

The futility of existence...

The futility of existence...

Progressive rationalization...

Progressive rationalization...  Your morning Klavan...

Harry Reid...

Harry Reid...  So many things about this politician raise questions...

How did he get to be so wealthy on a Senator's salary?

Why do Nevadans keep re-electing him?  Nevada isn't exactly a bastion of Progressivism – and yet they keep electing an unabashed Progressive...

Reid's demonization of the Koch brothers (134 times to date; see video) is not supportable by facts, and is an unseemly attack by a politician on American citizens.  Why does Reid think this is either acceptable behavior or good politics?

Reid has been repeatedly associated with shady deals that profit him.  Why haven't these been aggressively investigated, as they would if you or I had done it?

I think of Harry Reid as a kind of warning indicator.  When politicians like him can not only survive, but thrive (if you've been living under a rock, he's the Senate Majority Leader), that's a clear warning signal that something in Washington is badly awry – the stench of corruption is strong here...

Something is broken...

Something is broken...  Friend, former colleague, and Marine Larry E. sends along his thoughts:
The Constitution, The Law and Regulation

A layman’s view

I’m not a Constitutional Law professor like our President. My credentials are only that I’m an active, interested citizen of this country with an interest in our government. I particularly find U.S. history interesting and follow the happenings in our government with interest and with dismay.

As we all should know, the U.S. Constitution created three distinct branches of government, outlines the role and limits to the power of the Federal government and additionally outlines a number of specifically guaranteed rights for the people. Distinctly different than the rulers in history that got their power via conquest or divine right, the U.S. Constitution is the governing document that lends legitimacy to our government.

The Legislative Branch, the Congress, is made up of both the House of Representatives and the Senate and they have the responsibility of passing laws to govern the nation within the framework of the constitution. Each Congressman and Senator has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution.

The Executive Branch has the responsibility of administering laws passed by Congress and does do so via regulations issued by various agencies. The Executive Branch has no law making authority and so those regulations must fall within the laws as passed by Congress. The President, as head of the Executive Branch has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution and to faithfully execute the laws.

The Judicial Branch has the responsibility of determining the constitutionality of these laws, and the legality of those regulations. They too swear an oath to uphold the Constitution.

Three distinct branches of government were established in order to provide checks and balances over each other. Our government was designed to limit the power of government and to ensure that no one branch grew too powerful.

The U.S. Constitution defines the relationship between the government and its citizens. Specifically it defines the limitations of government and asserts the rights of the people. Why do we have a Constitution? We have a Constitution because our founders believed in the idea of self-governance and not in the divine right of Kings to rule. We should thank the subjects of King John for forcing his signature on the Magna Carte and beginning the process of tearing down the idea of absolute Monarchy.

The very reason for the existence of such a document is to limit the power of government and moreover the 9th Amendment came about because the founders were concerned that by enumerating certain rights, future governments would use that to assert that all other rights would be in the hands of government, not the people. The text, “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” came after debate on how to prevent congress from asserting authority over other areas. Interestingly, many of the founders didn’t believe that this amendment and some others were necessary. Not that they disagreed with limiting governmental powers, but because they felt that the Constitution already clearly did so. Similarly the 10th Amendment “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Also limits the power of the Federal government.

This is such an amazing thing. Consider a government founded on the notion that rights first resided with the people, not the government. Consider a system founded on the idea of limited government power. Consider the idea that people govern themselves and are not ruled.

Now consider a government whose members have come to believe that they are more important than the rest. A government whose members believe the law is for everyone else. A government that believes that the U.S. Constitution is an inconvenience they need work around.

With a multi-branch government of checks and balances, one would expect that should the Congress exceed its authority, the President would veto the bill, or barring this, the Judicial Branch would rule a law to be unconstitutional. If the President exceeds his authority or shirks his constitutional responsibilities, the Congress would exercise its authority and rein him in. One would think that a government whose authority stems from a written constitution would always be mindful of this document and their sworn oaths.

This isn’t happening. Something is broken.

Congress routinely passes laws outside their constitutional authority. Instead of perhaps following the process to attempt to amend the constitution, as has been done in the past, they prefer to try to rationalize exceptions and loopholes to push their own agenda.

The President routinely ignores laws he disagrees with and directs federal agencies to do the same.

Instead of remembering that the constitution guarantees the rights of the people first, the courts seem to defer to the government.

The President complains that it is difficult to get laws passed through Congress. He is correct. It is difficult. It should be difficult. It should be very difficult. Particularly when passing transformational laws, laws that skirt constitutional rights and laws that assert new governmental authorities. In fact, I’d say that it should be nearly impossible. Our government, established by our constitution, was designed to limit Federal power. It was not designed to impose itself on the people.

And yet, despite a constitution that restricts government and guarantees the rights of the people, we have a non-stop assault on the concept of liberty that was so important to our founders. Warrantless searches, a secret court creating secret findings, citizens assassinated or spirited away without trial, anti-gun legislation, cover-ups, free-speech zones and attempts to limit and intimidate the press. There is a full out assault on our constitutional rights.

Something is broken.

In a free society there are no secret courts issuing secret warrants and secret rulings that have citizens killed or taken to secret prisons. These are the things of a tyranny.

Something is broken.

In a constitutionally governed society, politicians should not be passing laws that violate their oaths and exceed their constitutional authority. The laws they do pass should be limited in scope and carefully considered, not passed in the dead of night. They would not be creating large agencies left to the discretion of the President and instead they should be providing active oversight of the agencies they do create. In a governed society, they should be vigorously defending the constitution not trampling it in order to exploit the latest event in the news.

Something is broken.

In a society that is governed, not ruled, Presidents do not ignore laws, rewrite laws or create their own interpretations. In a society that is governed, federal agencies aren’t used to target political opponents and instead, the President, as chief executive, would manage the activities of these agencies and via regulations and active oversight to ensure their compliance with the constitution and the law.

Something is broken.

In a society of laws, the Attorney General does not spend his time rationalizing breaches of authority and the Courts do not err in favor of government. In a society of laws, the Attorney General prosecutes those using their authorities to target political opponents and does not engage an investigation into an individual to appease activist groups. In a society of laws, the Attorney general doesn’t ignore subpoenas from congress.

Something is broken.

In a functioning system of checks and balances, the branches of government rein each other in. They are adversarial to a purpose.

What happened? Why isn’t our system working? What broke?

I’m not certain, but if I had to guess, the real game changer was the NSA. Public fear allowed for the creation of a shadowy fourth branch of government. In particular, when the Patriot Act was passed and the government in one swoop created secret courts, no-fly lists, homeland security and the expansion of domestic spying it removed accountability and concentrated power into the hands of the Executive Branch but more importantly it funneled massive amounts of money and gave carte blanche to the NSA.

The difference between the modern NSA and the old KGB, or even the Watergate scandal is in the scale and capabilities. They used to have to target those suspected of a crime because they didn’t have the resources to target everyone. They actually had to sneak into a room and plant listening devices, or go to the phone company and tap a phone line. Those days are long gone.

Now the NSA knows all of our secrets. It knows yours. It knows mine. And perhaps more importantly, it knows all the secrets of all of those in power and all of those that could and do have the responsibility to challenge them. A Congressman that is publicly advocating family values but has a mistress behind the scenes or a Senator that is quietly taking bribes for contracts and influence can easily be coerced.

Congress dares not act because they, like us, are all guilty.

We all commit our sins, big and small. We are all guilty of breaking any number of the vast and growing set of laws governing us. We all could be embarrassed or even imprisoned should the eye turn its gaze to us. Until the great eye is put out, as long as the eye exists, freedom is gone and none are safe.
There's much in Larry's essay that I agree with, including the problems caused by the NSA's virtually unchecked internal spying.  But I don't agree that the Patriot Act and its consequences are the root cause of our creeping government.  I think they are symptoms of a deeper problem.

What's that deeper problem?  This country's voters.  They are repeatedly voting in those elected officials that are perpetrating the worst offenses.  So long as “we the people” keep electing these corrupted bureaucrats, we're asking them to give it to us, good and hard.  And they're happy to oblige.

Want some specific examples?  Well, that's pretty easy:

Barack Obama.  We elected him to a second term.  Really?  Are we really that stupid?  Apparently we are.

Nancy Pelosi.  She has been elected to the House with overwhelming margins 14 times.

Mitch McConnell.  He has been elected to the Senate repeatedly for 30 years.

I could go on like this for a long time, listing repeatedly elected bureaucrats from both parties who are certifiable members of the Big Government brigade.  As long as we keep electing these corrupt power-seekers, we're going to get more and more of what we have in this country today.  None of them were elected by forcing votes at the point of a gun – they were elected by voters voluntarily selecting them from a roster of alternatives.  If the voters elect small-government supporters, we'll get a smaller and less intrusive government.

But not until then...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Brain surgery...

Brain surgery...  Reader Jim M. passes this one along:
In the hospital where a family member lay gravely ill, the relatives gathered in the waiting room.

Finally, the doctor came in looking tired and somber.
"I'm afraid I'm the bearer of bad news," he said as he surveyed the worried faces. "The only hope left for your loved one at this time is a brain transplant. It's an experimental procedure, very risky, but it is the only hope. Insurance will cover the procedure, but you will have to pay for the BRAIN."

The family members sat silent as they absorbed the news. After a time, someone asked, "How much will a brain cost?"

The doctor quickly responded, "$5,000 for a Democrat's brain; $200 for a Republican's brain."

The moment turned awkward. Some of the Democrats actually had to try not to smile, avoiding eye contact with the Republicans. A man unable to control his curiosity, finally blurted out the question everyone wanted to ask, "Why is the Democrat's brain so much more than a Republican's brain?"

The doctor smiled at the childish innocence and explained to the entire group, "It's just standard pricing procedure. We have to price the Republicans' brains a lot lower because they're used."
On that sort of scale, a libertarian's brain is probably worth about a nickel :)

A tale...

A tale...  Reader Jim M. passes along this tale:
Husband takes the wife to a disco.  There's a guy on the dance floor living it large, break dancing, moon walking, back flips, the works.

The wife turns to her husband and says, "See that guy?  25 years ago he proposed to me and I turned him down."

Husband says: "Looks like he's still celebrating!!!"

We're told that Husband will be discharged from the hospital sometime next week, and that he will recover from his injuries.
I'm not sure what Jim (who is divorced) thinks the takeaway from this should be :)

Martian vista...

Martian vista...  Curiosity is looking about.  Click to embiggen...

Unusual nebular globule...

Unusual nebular globule...  Via APOD, of course.  Such beauty in our skies, revealed by telescopes!   Full resolution version...

Airport in the clouds...

Airport in the clouds...  In Germany...

Anamorphic illusions...

Anamorphic illusions...  These are illusions that only work perfectly if you're standing in a particular spot, with your head at a particular height.  These five are some of the best I've seen.  I especially liked the third one (click the little “Next” below right of each picture to get the next one).  The photographer did a nice job of showing you both the “sweet spot” for each illusion, and what it looks like when you're not in the sweet spot.

I've only seen two of these in real life: one in London, and the other in a stairwell of a business building in St. Louis, Missouri.  Both were good, but not as good as those in these photos.  The world needs more of these!

A hopeful sign...

A hopeful sign...  The broader Muslim community is peaceful and rejects violence against non-Muslims, much as the broader Christian community is peaceful and rejects violence against non-Christians.  There has long been one very large difference between the two communities, however: the Muslim community, by and large, simply shuns their violent coreligionists and declares them not representative of Islam in general (a true statement, but not very effective PR).  The Christian community has long been cooperative with law enforcement to deal with the violent Christians.

For a long time now, only a few outspoken Muslims have advocated a more hands-on approach – and their pleas have been largely ignored.  Now there's a mosque that has decided to try a more active approach: the mosque frequented by the Boston Marathon bombers.  Let's hope this becomes a widespread practice in the Muslim communities around the world...