Monday, April 24, 2006

Just Similar or Plagiarism

Question: Does unconciously mimicking a writer whom you admire in your own work constitute plagiarism?
Answer: I think plagiarism, in fiction, requires intent.

These two authors found a happy middle ground when the students work became a bit too much like the mentors work.

I wish all such disputes could be resolved so easily.

>@_/ Quacked from my pda

Simple Things

I felt ten years old again today. It was fun.

The weather was great on the way home from work so I decided to roll down my window. Not so unusual but I also was wearing a long sleeve shirt. As I merged onto the interstate, my sleeve began to flap in the wind.

Suddenly I was transported 35 years in the past. My family and I were on vacation. The windows were down and all the kids had a hand out a window, 'surfing' in the wind.

The choice spot was in the seat next to the window (because it let you put your whole arm out the window) but you could even participate from the back of the station wagon. We could occupy ouselves for hours.

So today I spent almost an hour on I95, hand-surfing my way home. Life is good.

>@_/ Quacked from my pda

Sunday, April 23, 2006

One More Question...

Question: If the supply of illegal workers that perform this meatpacking job were to dry up, what would happen?
Answer: The wages would increase until they attracted people willing to do a dangerous job
the conditions would improve until low paid, semi-skilled labor could do the work.

Both are appropriate outcomes. So, why are we considering illegal immigrant amnesty?

>@_/ Quacked from my pda

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Old Guard or New Blood?

Considering the mistakes made at the local and state level during Hurricane Katrina, I find it a bit laughable that incumbent Mayor Nagin and Louisiana Lt. Govenor Landrieu will meet in a run-off election for Mayor of New Orleans.

Oh! I forgot. It was all President Bush's fault. Please return to drinking your DNC kool-aid.

>@_/ Quacked from my pda

Being Blown ON Course!

From a NY Times story titled "Katrina's Tide Carries Many to Hopeful Shores," I offer you a great little story about hope in the face of adversity; Katrina victims that are finding success out of tragedy. My only question is why did it take hurricane to get them to move?

I mean, New Orleans was a "chocolate city" run by democrats in a state run by democrats. I would have thought life was good. And if life wasn't good, why didn't they move sooner?

The economist Tiebout takes about goods, services and taxes as a "bundle of sticks" that each resident evaluates when choosing a place to live. The theory goes that a jurisdiction must offer an decent bundle (adequate goods and services and low taxes) in order to attract and retain citizens. I guess the New Orleans bundle was sufficient to keep these people even in the face of terrible economic adversity. Or maybe "The Big Easy" made it 'too easy' to stay without having to earn your own living. A "right big bundle of sticks", if I do say so myself!

>@_/ Quacked from my pda

What The...?!

I sure hope there will be more details published about the "stateless American" found floating on the ocean. Until then, my mind can think of SO many possible stories.

I think maybe he was a cheating gambler (that got caught) on one of those ocean cruises.

What explanation can you dream up?!

>@_/ Quacked from my pda

Friday, April 21, 2006

Countering the Hype

Your friendly ignited drake is old enough to remember the dire predictions of the 1960's concerning pollution. Remember the "Keep America Clean" campaigns that encouraged school children to create alarming posters of people living on mountains of trash. Many a protestor used Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" to vilify modern agriculture's use of pesticides. I vividly remember a tv commercial showing a weeping American Indian mourning the "trashing" of the United States. Yet, today, our country is the model of how a modern industrial society can create the goods while respecting the environment.

So, is the conclusion that the alarmists saved the day? I don't think so. Modern society could never have evolved if we had truly implemented the wishes of radical environmentalists. Can we then thank industrialists for ignoring the "tree huggers?" Not really. Businessmen are in business to make money and those goals often run counter to maintaining a proper stewardship over the earth.

So who gets the credit for the evolution of these wonderful times? I say we thank our founding fathers who created a system of government that protects our freedom ands allows all opinions to be voiced. This system fosters an interplay of ideas that results in a truly self-centering equilibrium.

It is with that spirit, a tug-of-war of ideas, that I reccomend a short article debunking the greenhouse gas myth. Read it. Ponder it. Use it to help seperate truth from fiction.

>@_/ Quacked from my pda.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Another Last PDA Post

Trying another kludge to get the title to display.

Just the Facts, Ma'am!

The Brookings Institute has published a great little fact paper called the Iraq Index. No partisan spin, just the facts. Certainly sobering when you look at the raw numbers but the trend lines are encouraging. Of course, that last statement includes some of my own conservative spin. Someone of a more liberal bent is sure to find the numbers horrifying!

Why don't you read it yourself and make up your own mind. You'll find the pdf file here.

(Thanks to Political Yen/Yang for the post. >@_/)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

One Last PDA Post

Trying a kludge to get the title to display.

Another PDA Post

This one is using Vagablog to test adding a title (which seems to work swimmingly!)

Another PDA Post

This one is using Vagablog.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

He Leaves as a Boy and Returns a Man

Question: What is the purpose of "ritual" in our lives?
Answer: Rituals add solomnity to the milestones of our lives.

Sometime in the past, our society decided that silly little rituals
really had no meaning and weren't worth celebrating. Harvest festivals
have become simple tourist attractions. Founder's Day Picnics are
relagated to sleepy backwater towns. Marriages can be had at every justice of the peace (or every corner in Las Vegas).

The ritual I miss the most is the rites of passage as boys become men.
Gone are the days where there is clear boundary line to help a young man take on the mantle of adulthood. There is, however, an exception to
this statement. Military bootcamp still takes raw boys and forges young,
capable men.

I picked up the duckling from Marine bootcamp today. He grew 6 inches
and runs 6 miles for "fun." He qualified as an Expert marksman and can
hit his target at 500 yards with open sights. He ribs his brothers about
the length of their hair and presses his clothes to make sure he looks

This is a man I would trust to defend my family. This is a man that I
willingly present as capable of defending his country. My son is now a