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Posts Made By: James Brown

February 4, 2005 05:28 AM Forum: Wildlife Photography

West Indian Manatee

Posted By James Brown

My family really enjoyed seeing and photographing this pod of manatee in Florida last weekend. They are holed up in the outlet river of massive Blue Spring which feeds the St. John's River South West of Jacksonville. They come in to the spring this time of year to beat the chill. If you happen to be in the area in January, I heartily recommend a trip to the spring.

- Jim -

(Cannon 300D, Tamron lens)

February 4, 2005 04:04 PM Forum: Politics

No, it should be in the trash.

Posted By James Brown

How cute. In yesterday's thread Ray created a bogus "rose colored glasses" argument, now he sees fit to expand on it. My response in the thread down below is appropriate here:

Ray Medhurst said {in a previous post}:

In {Jim's} rose colored world, every thing is happy happy joy joy. The men who run government and the media who don't report all the news to us are obviously gods - they ALL have the definition of gods in that they are infallible and make no mistakes.


To anyone who may care at this point and I doubt there are many of you, wink what I posted below to elicit this response from Ray was:

"We live in the real world though. To the extent that the reporting of Watergate was delayed at all, the delay was the direct result of government stonewalling! Any delay was not because the "The media mirror who owns them and who pays for their services, or flak" or any other of Herman's factors

The above is precisely the first point I ever made in response to your first Herman parroting "The Free Press Is Not So Free" thread so long ago! Guilty parties and wrongdoers cover their tracks and lie. This basic fact may delay proper reporting. I am sure much government malfeasance goes unreported because of the basic dishonesty of guilty parties."
JLB 2/3/04

If Ray thinks the above means I see the world through rose colored glasses, no logical response can help him.

The difference between my style and Ray's style is simple. When he challenged my "leftist nonsense" characterization of his arguments I posted several quotes which are iron clad and unrebutted examples of his leftist nonsense. In my opinion of course, but I don't think I was taking any risks.

Since I was not persuaded by Ray's arguments, he fallaciously fabricated the straw argument that I see the world through rose colored glasses. His straw argument is obviously contrary to what I quoted above. Perhaps he missed the part about guilty parties, wrongdoing and lies? Mine is a grim and realistic assessment of political reality.

I am sorry that I wasted everyone's time yesterday. Russell was gracious enough to say it was OK. Don't worry, there will be no repeat performance.

- Jim -

February 11, 2005 09:48 PM Forum: Politics

Re: This just in: Gannon subpoenaed in Plame Affai

Posted By James Brown

Ray, don't you realize that the exposure of Gannon as an administrative plant/shill contradicts and invalidates everything you have ever posted or regurgitated about the media?

- Jim -

March 1, 2005 04:33 AM Forum: Wildlife Photography

Florida Shorebirds

Posted By James Brown

This series of shore birds and water fowl were taken on a short walk along Lake Dora, in Mt. Dora Florida. All were shot with a Canon 300D and Tamron 28-300mm zoom. What an abundance of life these Florida lakes have! I will post a reptile series from the same lake later. - Jim -

March 2, 2005 02:53 PM Forum: Politics

Re: I've got your excellent example right here

Posted By James Brown

I respectfully disagree Ray. For Iraq to be our Kobayashi Maru, there must be no way to succeed; no matter what we do, we would be destined to lose.

The brutal murder of a judge is hardly an indication that a free Iraq is guaranteed to be a failure. Murdering judges has of course been one of anarchists and agitators favorite techniques since the beginning of time. This murder is no more likely to shake the resolve of the Iraqis who desire peace and freedom than the countless murders that preceded it.

Naturally, the possibility of failure in Iraq looms large. But the possibility of success for both the U.S. and the Iraqi people is growing. Only a blind partisan would not recognize that the ultimate fate of this region hangs in the balance.

Nice movie reference though!

- Jim -

P.S. on edit: You will no doubt recall that Ensign James T. Kirk was the only student at Star Fleet to ever solve the Kobayashi Maru challenge. He did it by changing the rules. Arguably the Iraqi people will win peace and freedom by changing the rules.

p.p.s. No I do not dress up and go to conventions. wink - Jim -

March 4, 2005 05:17 PM Forum: Politics

"The Big Picture"

Posted By James Brown

Yesterday I advocated letting the market guide us through the inevitable societal evolution from a petroleum based economy to “something else.” Several of you pointed out that the invisible hand of the market does not do long range change well. Jarno raised the possibility of a “Mad Max” scenario where my market driven society has evolved to post apocalyptic anarchy where gas is worth its weight in gold.

You raised good debating points. The market as the driving force of societal evolution may be bumpy or brutal. There is a great deal of risk involved in societal evolution. We may still nuke ourselves into oblivion long before we run out of oil for instance.

So how do you propose we evolve from a petroleum based economy to “something else” with the least amount of risk to society as a whole? How do we best accomplish the “Big Picture” of societal evolution?

My choice is the freedom of a market based economy. Freedom is not anarchy. A free market based society may choose to regulate itself in appropriate ways through laws regulating behavior and laws protecting the environment. But these laws should be applied judiciously and gradually.

After reflecting on yesterday’s thread it occurred to me that the various challenges you presented to the market driven transition I favored were in essence perfectly appropriate shots taken at the abuses that might be perpetrated in a free market. For example, U.S. air quality would not be so relatively outstanding today if the regulations passed under Nixon had been successfully opposed on free market grounds. Other regulations may be appropriate in 2005. We lefties and righties are free to debate these details. This is not the “Big Picture” though.

I contend that the ultimate transition away from petroleum reliance will be accomplished through market forces, whether you like it or not. Thus, the “Big Picture” motivator will be market forces.

I think it is indisputable that dwindling petroleum supply will drive prices up, making alternative technologies (which may not even be known today) more viable. This natural phenomenon is the essence of societal evolution being guided by market forces. I do not think this type of grand scale “Big Picture” societal evolution can ever be effectively planned. Who knows what the favored energy source of tomorrow will be? Who really knows how long the petroleum will last?

Even if you disagree with me about the appropriateness of letting the market do its job, what alternative do you have? I doubt that anyone on this forum will passionately advocate a centrally planned society. Benevolent dictators are hard to come by.

Thus, we on the right and you on the left are free to argue about precisely how much regulation is appropriate to reign in the excesses of humans who abuse the market system.

However, the invisible hand will inexorably cause the “Big Picture” societal change while we debate about the margins.

- Jim -

March 4, 2005 08:54 PM Forum: Politics

What is your point?

Posted By James Brown

What is your point? - Jim -

March 17, 2005 03:33 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Acclaimed Reporter Blasts TV News

Posted By James Brown

I read the article Ray. I appears that Fenton is incensed because CBS "dumbed down" the evening news. Well duh. Who watches TV for in-depth news coverage anyway?

I saw the reference to "Corporate Greed" of course. But the reference had to do with laziness; i.e. packaging news rather than reporting it. I'll buy the greed driven laziness angle with respect to CBS or the other TV networks.

Where in the article does Fenton say "The right wing corporations who own the network intentionally bury stories damaging to the government?" This of course has consistently been your mantra, and I don't see any support for it in the story.

"who are you going to believe; some Internet Astromart poster..."

Rick covered that one nicely. He made good points about Fenton's kiss and tell character too.

Oh wait, I can hear the conservatives now...

You must be talking about me and Patrick, maybe James Lacey or Jim Babcock? Although you are a self proclaimed libertarian, which is the most conservative of conservatives if you are true to your principles. :S I guess Rick is a classic big-hearted lefty. Good for him. He certainly has deeply held pro-environment principles. Double good for him.

In any case, there is no need to knock CBS in response to this article. Assuming the statements quoted in the article are true, I don't see any support for your central hypothesis. I don't see any support for your reson d'etra.

- Jim -

April 7, 2005 03:18 PM Forum: CCD Imaging and Processing/Deep Sky

First Light

Posted By James Brown

Well; here it is, my first light image. M51 as you might have guessed at this time of year. My camera is a new SBIG 402ME. This is a 25 minute exposure, 5 x 5 minutes. Minimal processing. I let the software auto subtract darks and auto set the contrast. I haven't done bias frames yet, and I don't have any flats either.

I adjusted the contrast a little bit to lessen the core burn out, and saved it as a jpeg for posting.

I was very pleased to see a couple of background galaxies in the FIT image. They are still sort of visible in the JPEG.

I'm really looking forward to becoming proficient at processing and the more advanced techniques. I sure didn't have time for color or anything fancy last night after my lengthy and fumbling set up! grin

Thanks, - Jim -

April 21, 2005 06:56 PM Forum: Off Topic Discussions

Herb issues

Posted By James Brown

Not issues with Herb.....

Issues about Herb.

1. Where did the "A Day In The Life" forum go?

2. Which is real; the skinny mustachioed Herb or the chunky Herb who looks like Michael Moore cwy ?

Thanks, Jim