Musings from Brian J. Noggle
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Feline Conspiracy Continues Apace
Tristan, the Emperor

Emperor Tristan I reports his plan for feline domination is continuing as scheduled:
  • Despite jingoistic propoganda to the contrary, cat scientists have beaten dogs to the secret of hypoallergenic pets:

      Cats produce a protein, FEL D1, that is an exquisite allergen for some sensitive individuals, meaning contact with a kitty results in streaming eyes, sneezing and general unhappiness on the human side of the relationship.

      In an effort to bring cats to the cat-challenged, Allerca, a San Diego-based biotech planned to harness gene silencing techniques to develop a breed of cat that did not express FEL D1, thus creating a hypoallergenic cat. Allerca announced their plans three years ago,
      [sic] and started collecting deposits from allergic cat fans, but have now decided that their plans to use RNA interference were taking a back seat to a more traditional breeding approach, albeit one that uses genetic testing to select individuals that express low levels of FEL D1.

  • Cats are working at the highest levels of the entertainment industry to infiltrate reality television:

      The fur really could fly on TV's latest reality entry: It stars cats. Ten felines, picked from animal shelters nationwide, will live in a New York house to vie - a la "Big Brother" or "Survivor" - for a grand prize, in this instance an executive-level job with Meow Mix cat food.

All hail the wisdom of our feline overlords and get them bowls of Fancy Feast now!

Thursday, June 08, 2006
102nd Use For A Dead Chihuahua
    A woman is accused of repeatedly hitting a dog breeder on the head with a dead Chihuahua puppy because she was upset it had died.
Good news for the victim, though:
    The breeder did not seek medical attention, police said...
Because it's always damn embarrassing to end up in traction from a crazed chihuahua attack...
    but she and two other people in the home got temporary orders of protection against the dog owner.
Because you never know when the nutbar will come back with a dead Saint Bernard and do the job right.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Sounds Like The Rest Of Us
Gamers with Jobs, a blog by people who play video games and apparently have real jobs.

A Fiendish Consistency Is Another Hobgoblin of Little Minds
The St. Louis teachers' union hasn't met a compulsion it didn't like, and apparently doesn't know what "fair" means:
    St. Louis teachers have clashed with Superintendent Creg Williams lately over teacher absenteeism, payroll system glitches and the requirement that 1,000 teachers must reapply for their jobs. The teachers even passed a no-confidence vote on Sunday.

    But now, the union representing teachers will sit down with Williams - possibly within a week - to solicit his support for a measure that would require district employees who have declined to join the union to pay union dues.

    If adopted by the St. Louis School Board, the "fair share proposal" introduced at a Tuesday night work session would require teachers, clerical workers, safety officers and teacher assistants who are not members of Local 420 to pay union dues.
The teachers' union plays its role in squandering compulsively-collected taxpayer money. Why shouldn't it feel it has the right to demand the right to squander compelled contributions from non-members, too?

Humor, Unintentional
Bear struck and killed by car near Jackson:
    A black bear -- rarely seen in southeast Missouri's Cape Girardeau County -- was apparently roaming around when he crossed in front of a car and was struck and killed, authorities said.
Perhaps if more of them were seen, fewer would be hit by cars.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Coincidentally, Robin Carnahan Has Not Struck It From The Ballot
In a strange twist of fate: Missouri Democratic Party endorses stem cell measure.

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has broken ranks with her party and has not thrown the measure off of the Missouri ballot.

Monday, June 05, 2006
Book Report: Escape from Reason by Francis A. Schaeffer (1968)
Executive Summary: Thomas Aquinas is teh suck!!!1!!!

I don't remember where I got this book; it's either a book fair bag filler or something that was in the free bin at Hooked on Books. However, since I was on a short, smart book kick, I picked it up.

This cover calls the book a penetrating analysis of trends in modern thought. The introduction goes further: as it's an evangelical book, its goal is to frame traditional, even fundamental Christian thought with modern philosophical schools of thought. As such, it studies the dual nature of man (nature and grace) and how this fundamental dual nature has been corrupted through various schools of philosophical thought. When Thomas Aquinas intimated that only man's will suffered from The Fall but that the intellect was capable of arriving independently at grace through its observations of nature and so on, he set into motion the eventual slippery slope where the autonomous lower half of man will overrun the higher half.

Ergo, throughout philosophical history, Kant and Rousseau saying that Freedom is the higher order of man and Nature is the lower, but the mechanistic view of human nature eventually logically trumps freedom, or the Christian Existentialist view (courtesy of Kierkegaard) that divides man's duality into reason and faith (where the leap of faith is rationally inexplicable), or the regular Existentialist view where an act of will is the highest order.

I don't remember most of the primary texts that the author refers to, so I can only say that the book poses a relatively sound exploration of the theme. I'm not sure, though, whether I'd characterize the Existentialists as embracing the dual nature of man. The author refers specifically to Sartre's Nausea and how the Existentialists triumphs over the absurd and achieves the higher portion of himself through an act of will, of seeking authenticity. I remember just enough of my Sartre to suspect that this is a convenient reading of true Existentialism, which is monoist in nature.

So although the book does take a couple things a priori, such as the basic framework of its evangelical Christian roots with the cmbination of Jesus and The Scriptures as a framework for all thought, science, and art, it provided a handy (and short) mechanism for me to resharpen my old philosophical edges.

It looks as though this book and others by this author remain fairly popular--hence their higher prices at Amazon. Perhaps I lucked out in getting this first American printing so cheaply. I better bronze it.

Books mentioned in this review:

Headline Written By Another Satisfied Customer, No Doubt
St. Louis teachers [sic] union issues vote of no confidence:
    The union representing St. Louis Public Schools teachers on Sunday issued a vote of no confidence in the district administration.

    About 600 union members voted unanimously, said Mary Armstrong, Local 420 president. The vote took place at an emergency meeting called to address several issues that arose at the end of the school year, primarily the notification of more than 1,000 teachers that they will have to reapply for their jobs under a federal- and state-mandated reorganization plan.
Too bad this isn't a parliamentary system, and the school board cannot fall, leaving the teachers to build a broad coalition and vote themselves into luxury at the public expense.

Oh, but no, they've got their futile votes and informational pickets, and I can only actually hope that they're futile and that the overpaid administrators will inadvertently do what's right for the students in the midst of voting themselves into luxury at the public expense.

To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."