Classical Values

Friday, April 28, 2006

Local reporting wastes time and shoe leather!

What do you do when the Saudis [more properly, computers in Saudi Arabia] shut down your blog?

I dunno. It occurs to me that maybe I should retaliate. But how would I do such a thing? Not buy gasoline? Nah, that wouldn't work. Gasoline is fungible, which means it comes from all sorts of countries -- Saudi Arabia being only a small percent. Besides, if I buy from companies known not to buy Mideast oil, I end up funding Hugo Chavez. (That's a hell of a way to punish the Saudis.)

Instead of retaliation, how about doing some basic reporting? There's a Saudi madrassa in my neighborhood which has recently applied for a permit to expand. Here's what they want to do:

Appeal No. 3975
Applicant: Foundation for Islamic Education
Property: 1860 W Montgomery Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085
R 1 Residence District
Election District #6
The Foundation for Islamic Education seeks a special exception under §155-11 S(4), §155-11 S(1)(e) and/or 155-11 X to expand its existing religious and educational institution use for the following:
· A licensed Elementary School for grades pre-K through 8 with 93 students and 13 faculty/staff personnel, with a future enrollment up to 130 students.
· A 6-week summer camp program for up to 25 children, ages 4-12.
· Increase the number of retreats permitted to 10 per year with no more than 2 per month.
· Increase the Friday Juma Prayer session to allow up to 150 attendees.
· Increase Sunday School classes to allow up to 160 students.
· Increase various Holiday attendance to allow up to 400 attendees.
· Increase staff residence to allow the 6 current individuals/families to remain and allow accommodations for a security guard, gardener, maintenance supervisor, VAHS principal, Islamic Arabic teacher, and provide two guest rooms for lecturers.
The Foundation also requests that if it is determined that any additional parking spaces are required that the Zoning Hearing Board waive up to 50% of the required spaces as permitted under §155-95 AA(4) and/or grant a special exception under §155-95.1 to hold the additional parking spaces in reserve.
Maybe I should go check out the paperwork.

I think I might as well put on a suit and go down to my local planning department.

Hey, if they won't let me blog, I might as well do something!

Besides, according to Tom Maguire, the MSM complains that bloggers do too much sitting around, and they need to rely on shoe leather.

The problem is, I hate bureaucracy.

UPDATE: I just returned, having wasted an hour to discover that no one can find the file, and that the person responsible won't be in until next week. Why am I not surprised?

I guess that's what they mean by the term "shoe leather." To be a "real" reporter means spending a lot of time running around for nothing. Chasing down Google leads on the Internet would probably be more productive.

On the Internet, for example, you can find out stuff you'd never learn about from a bureaucrat, because, assuming you asked questions, (as Howard Kurtz would have us do), the bureaucrats would most likely not know. And if they did know, they probably wouldn't tell you.

If you ask the Internet, on the other hand, it will generally tell you whatever is there.

And when you find something, if you save it on your hard drive, it will always be there -- even if the links expire.

Like this story:
A Home in America

Displaced for decades, ethnic minority Turks settle in the Philadelphia area. The language is daunting, the regulations burdensome, but finally they're making a home in this country.


Some live in dormitories on the grounds of an Islamic center tucked along the Main Line, and a few live amid the farmhouses of Lancaster. But many more are close to Russian canteens in the strip malls of the city's Northeast.
The "Islamic center tucked in along the Main Line" would be the very Foundation for Islamic Education now seeking the zoning change. (Here's a peek inside their dormitories.)

As the website proudly proclaims, it's run by the American Open University. It's probably worth noting that the Washington DC area director of American Open University was deported and the Fairfax madrassa raided last year.

It occurred to me that the least I could do would be to take a look at their local zoning file. That, it seems to me, is what any decent reporter would do anyway. Even though I'm not a "real" reporter, I just have this funny feeling (dare I call it a "reporter's hunch"?) that if I didn't look at the file, no "real" reporter would.

The problem is, they haven't let me see the file. That creates a feeling of (ugh!) responsibility.

Not sure I like this "reporter" stuff at all . . .

MORE: What's pasted below consists of old links which I found in 2004, along with some of my usual gratuitous unprofessional commentary.

No fair! No peaking!

DDOS attack at Host Matters (which Glenn Reynolds says originates from Saudi Arabia); hope this goes through, and please forgive any errors I haven't caught! (BTW, there is a Classical Values backup site, which I rarely use....)

Anyway, I'm more than skeptical about peak oil theory, and I appreciate Justin's recent post on the subject.

In fact I'm even skeptical about oil theory. Back in 2004, I wondered whether fossil fuel is in fact that, and I linked to the work of Nikolai Alexandrovich Kudryavtsev -- "who first enunciated in 19511 what has become the modern Russian-Ukrainian theory of deep, abiotic petroleum origins. After Kudryavtsev, all the rest followed."

All the rest includes a recent book by James Corsi and Craig Smith which apparently ruffled a few feathers in the scientific oil community.

Anyway, I don't have time to get into detail here, and I don't know enough about the field. I cannot state with confidence that I know that "fossil fuel" is a Big Lie promoted by Big Oil and Big Environmentalism. I will say that these two huge interests could be expected to find common ground propping up the fossil fuel theory.

Is "fossil fuel" a theory?

Or is it fact?

What got my attention were the ad hominem attacks directed at the American authors. Their book explores the Russian/Ukrainian theory, but the criticism of them seems to be based largely on Corsi's Swift Boat background.
Staniford's column is titled "The Swiftboating of Peak Oil," an allusion to Corsi's co-authorship of "Unfit for Command," the New York Times No. 1 best-seller during the 2004 presidential campaign that challenged Sen. John Kerry's claims about his Navy swiftboat service in Vietnam.

Staniford said Corsi "can perhaps be forgiven for his … allegiance to the abiotic theory which has roughly zero support amongst working exploration geologists. … But what on earth are the editors of Rigzone thinking?"

Secondly, Staniford writes, "given Dr Corsi's recent history of involvement with well-funded extreme right-wing causes, are we seeing the start of a comparable campaign against peak oil?"
Surely the scientific community can come up with a better rebuttal than that. has an interesting discussion of the theory, which doesn't convince me one way or the other, but the simple logic of one commenter appealed to my sense of logical pathos:
If oil comes from fossils, how many fossils does it take to create a big huge oil field that supplies billions of barrels of crude, and how did all those fossils get in that one place? Really... I want to know.. because it just doesn't seem logical.
I want to know too.

But I don't. Highly compressed swampland over millions of years, perhaps?

And might both theories possibly be right?

Verifying the abiotic oil theory by taking an inside peek might take a journey to the center of the earth.

We can't get there from here.

UPDATE: More on the DDOS attack (via an email from Rand Simberg to Glenn Reynolds):
Rand Simberg emails, correctly, that originating in Saudi Arabia doesn't actually mean that the perpetrators are Saudis -- just the computers they've hijacked. True enough.
For all we know, the computers could have been hijacked by angry gay activists. Or irate Christian fundamentalists. CIA agents working for Michael Moore.

No way to know. And no way to retaliate.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

What a shame!

Here I am in Jefferson County, Missouri with my aircard, and unable to post to Classical Values because HostMatters and all the blogs associated with it are down.

You'd think after a 900 mile drive that I'd at least be able to post.

The trouble with using a new device like this aircard is that I'm not yet sure of myself with it, so I really can't tell whether the blog is down or the card isn't working. Fortunately, I found confirmation at the InstaPundit backup site. Glenn's seeing a hidden opportunity:

Whoever's launching these attacks is doing a lot for my reading. I nearly finished the Harry Turtledove book during the last attack, and I'm starting a new book tonight.
I can't say it's doing much for my reading, as I've been driving so long I'm seeing moving roads when I close my eyes.

But I'm glad I started this Classicalbackup thingie -- even if no one sees it!

To sleep now, and then back to the road!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

If Hillary is God's punishment, then God sucks!

All I try to ask from people is original thought. By that, I simply mean that people ought to think for themselves instead of spouting the opinions of other people. If someone spouts Hillary Clinton's opinions but is unable to defend them, then I tend to lose respect for that person. A mere recital of political ideology is not, to my mind, original thought. It does not persuade me when someone tells me that he agrees with someone else, if, when I ask why, he then quotes the thoughts of the person with whom he agrees. (Example: "I am a Marxist because I agree with Marx that the people should own the means of production!")

Such circular reasoning is not much different than spouting religious text as a substitute for original thought, then claiming that someone else said God said it. If it is not rational and logical, then it does not matter who said who said what. Claiming that the earth is a few thousand years old because someone said words in a book were uttered by God is about as persuasive as saying that socialism is good because some learned economist said so.

What has me worried right now is that "God" might put Hillary Clinton in the White House!

As crazy as that sounds, I'll try to explain. I think that if Hillary is elected president, it will be because of the efforts of conservative religious fundamentalists. She will run (in their minds) "against God," there will be a showdown between Marxism and Fundamentalism, and Marxism will win.

As McClintock demonstrated in California, the hard right is inherently much weaker than the hard left. Hillary hails from the hard left, even though she does her best to hide it. However, there is a perceived abrasiveness in her tone and personality which has a way of bringing the worst of the right wing into the open. Yet the worst of the right wing cannot win a national election. The more Hillary tries to moderate herself, the angrier her enemies will become.

Glenn Reynolds has warned the Democrats about the pitfalls of not being nice.

...[T]he deep appeal of niceness to modern American culture underscores most of the successes of the Democratic party, along with the more general phenomenon of political correctness -- people would rather go along even with dumb policies than seem, well, mean.

But if Democrats give up the niceness, then what do they have left? Republicans who went overboard hating Clinton could still be considered tough and smart: they were just being nasty, as the stereotype said they would be. Unappealing, perhaps, but not a fundamental shift. But when Democrats are nasty, you're left with a party that's seen as muddleheaded, and weak on national security and crime, but mean.

Call me crazy, but I don't see that attracting very many voters.

I think Hillary understands this, and she is determined to be nice. At the rate things are going, she is well on her way to being the voice of reason on the left.

By not even pretending to buy it, the hard right will fall into a carefully laid trap. Fundamentalists will become the loudest voice in the Republican Party, and Hillary will capitalize on it by characterizing the Republicans as extremists.

The Democrats will keep their mantle of niceness.

But there won't be anything nice about it.


I notice that for the second time in just a few days, Hosting Matters is down. While some people might consider changing to another ISP, I am very loyal to what I can tell is a good company. But -- considering the news from LGF and Instapundit that Al Qaeda was responsible last time, I am very angry.

My inclination is that we do something to retaliate.

Is there a way to show the bastards that the blogosphere can practice what it preaches about self defense?

Just a thought.....

For the time being, I have taken Glenn Reynolds' lead, and started this as a backup blog, because I think it would be too confusing to reopen my original blogspot blog at

For now, I think the following points are worthy of consideration:

1. Malaysia is apparently the source of our common problem;

2. Malaysia's president has made vicious anti-Semitic remarks for TWO DAYS, and has refused to apologize;

3. Might there be some way to harness the power of the blogosphere to retaliate?

NOTE: A pretty good discussion of the problem can be found here.

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