Sunday, June 9, 2013

An Old-Fashioned, Fiery Political Orator...

Who quotes the Declaration of Independence, Ronald Reagan, and My Country, 'Tis of Thee.  There's a lot to like here, in E. W. Jackson, a current candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia.  If he's for real, I love the passion and strongly-held beliefs, even if I don't agree with all of them.  We need some good old-fashioned ideologues instead of the damned “political operators” that dominate today...

The Scot vs. the Greek...

Via my mom, who notes that I have a lot of Scottish blood running through my veins:
The wit of the Scots

A Greek and a Scotsman were sitting in a Starbucks cafe discussing who had the superior culture.

Over triple lattes the Greek guy says, "Well we Greeks built the Parthenon" and arched his eyebrows.

The Scotsman replies, "Well…it was the Scots that discovered the Summer and Winter Solstices."

The Greek retorts, "We Greeks gave birth to advanced mathematics."

The Scotsman, nodding in agreement says, "Scots were the ones who built the first timepieces and calendars."

And so on until the Greek comes up with what he thinks will end the discussion.
With a flourish of finality he says, "The Greeks were the ones who invented sex!"

The Scotsman replies,“Aye, Aye that is true, but it was we Scots who introduced it to the women!"

Oracle Drops the Other Shoe – Right on Top of Java...

I've been programming almost exclusively in the Java programming language for over 10 years.  Like many other Java programmers, ever since Oracle bought Sun (the previous owner of Java), I've been watching to see what Oracle would do to start making money on Java.  It's not in Oracle's corporate DNA to support something like Java for the good of humanity – which is, essentially, why Oracle bought Sun and not the other way around :)

Now we see the beginning, I suspect, of the multiple “incentives” Oracle is going to provide for Java developers to purchase a support contract from Oracle.  There are a lot of Java developers in the world – over a million, by some counts.  If even a small fraction of those bought support contracts, Larry would have an interesting revenue stream.

I'd bet that this timezone data is but the first of many such changes to come, and that soon the only way you can be a serious developer using Oracle Java is to pay a “tax” to Oracle.  What will be interesting to see is what happens next.  Will the Java community just complain and pay up?  Or will they fork the (still open source) Java code base and create a real open source community, perhaps with another, more altruistic sponsor?

How America Lost Its Way...

Niall Ferguson on the same subject I wrote about a few days ago.  Here's just one of several excellent points he makes:
Who benefits from the growth of complex and cumbersome regulation? The answer is: lawyers, not forgetting lobbyists and compliance departments. For complexity is not the friend of the little man. It is the friend of the deep pocket. It is the friend of cronyism.

We used to have the rule of law. Now it is tempting to say we have the rule of lawyers, which is something different. For the lawyers can also make money even in the absence of complex legislation
Read the whole thing...

The All-Seeing State...

Mark Steyn on the IRS scandal.  An excerpt:
If you don’t instinctively know it’s wrong to stay in $3,500-a-night hotel rooms at public expense, a revised conference-accommodations-guidelines manual isn’t going to fix the real problem.

So we know the IRS is corrupt. What happens then when an ambitious government understands it can yoke that corruption to its political needs? What’s striking as the revelations multiply and metastasize is that at no point does any IRS official appear to have raised objections. If any of them understood that what they were doing was wrong, they kept it to themselves. When Nixon tried to sic the IRS on a few powerful political enemies, the IRS told him to take a hike. When Obama’s courtiers tried to sic the IRS on thousands of ordinary American citizens, the agency went along, and very enthusiastically. This is a scale of depravity hitherto unknown to the tax authorities of the United States, and for that reason alone they should be disarmed and disbanded — and rebuilt from scratch with far more circumscribed powers.
Read the whole thing...