assclowns and technocrats

Open Carry and Personal Agenda

My name is Michael Zeleny. I am standing in the courtyard of New Enterprise Associates, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. I have a 6" S&W Registered Magnum at my right side and three speedloaders in my left pocket. This is my story.

My company did business with the Zhu family and their ventures since before their founding of WebEx Communications, an online conferencing company. NEA funded WebEx, which was eventually acquired by Cisco. Min Zhu, the founder of WebEx, remains listed on the NEA roster as a "Senior Venture Advisor". In 2001, after WebEx breached its obligations to my company, I asked their CEO Subrah Iyar to set matters right. In response, I received anonymous death threats in in the names and on the behalves of Min Zhu and WebEx. The language of these threats echoed the terms with which Min Zhu had indimidated his fourteen-year-old daughter Erin into yielding to his sexual advances thirteen years earlier. After I filed my lawsuit, the Zhus’ lawyer, who had previously represented the parents against their daughter’s claim for childhood sexual abuse, threatened me with the destruction of people’s lives. Three years later, my father Isaak, plaintiff in a related lawsuit, was killed by an apartment fire. I hired a retired LAFD captain to investigate the cause and origins of this fire. He told me that it appears to have started in several places.

On May Day of 2005 I went public with my story at the WebEx User Conference in San Francisco. In response, WebEx shut down its conference and announced Min Zhu’s retirement and departure for China. Several months later, NEA’s General Partner Scott Sandell funded Min Zhu’s new business in his homeland. That is what I am protesting today. You can find the details in my blog.

I have read your responses to my performance. I am amused and delighted by their range and tenor. I am unconcerned about being hit with a dead fish or a slab of bacon. I have been hit with worse. What concerns me is some of you claiming that my actions are causing damage to our cause. I claim a common cause of protecting my Constitutional rights. I also claim a personal interest in protecting myself and my family against unlawful threats. Since when do legitimate defensive actions taken in the furtherance of an individual interest stand at odds with the common Constitutional cause?
cordially, — Michael
7576 Willow Glen Road, Los Angeles, CA 90046 — 323.363.1860 —
All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. — Samuel Beckett

how to write good

How to Write Good


     “If I could not earn a penny from my writing, I would earn my livelihood at something else and continue to write at night.”

—Irving Wallace

     “Financial success is not the only reward of good writing. It brings to the writer rich inner satisfaction as well.”

—Elliot Foster, Director of Admissions, Famous Writers School

Continue reading how to write good

продукт элитарного взращивания

Любой реальный язык есть продукт “порчи”, а не элитарного взращивания.

Французский язык является продуктом элитарного взращивания со времён кардинала Ришелье. И если можно поиздеваться над тщетными потугами вытеснения англицизмов типа email и software туземными новообразованиями типа courriel и logiciel, несомненно, что литературный модернизм от Бодлера до Бекетта обязан своим существованием именно этому академическому аскетизму.

В каком-то смысле верно и заслуживает особого внимания. Тем не менее, не мне одному кажется, что французская модель надзора за языком не идеальна. Русская, кстати, с нее во многом скопирована.

Ежели верно и заслуживает внимания, зачем тогда стулья ломать?

Во-первых, в силу иных убеждений. Во-вторых, там тоже не так просто, многие нынешние авторы прилагают все усилия, чтобы не скатиться в язык Расина.

И первое и второе понятно и оправдано. Но всё же, Ваше заявление, что любой реальный язык есть продукт “порчи”, а не элитарного взращивания, полностью опровергается вышеуказанным исключением.

О, я могу привести контрпримеры еще лучше—эсперанто, например, не говоря уже о строго формализованных языках программирования. Литературному французскому до этих эталонов далеко. Но я все же берусь предсказать, что узус победит норму и во французском, а польза его контролируемой эволюции для меня неочевидна.

Контрпример эсперанто, не говоря уже о строго формализованных языках программирования, в контексте разговора о реальных языках проходит под рубрикой лёгкого издевательства, если не злостной софистики. Я не спорю с Вашими предсказаниями победы лингвистического народничества и восприятиями неочевидности пользы контролируемой эволюции. Меня удивляет лишь кульминация Вашей полемики заведомо ложным утверждением.

Лучше все же взглянуть в начало, в исходный пост. Ситуация в эпоху классической латыни, особенно серебряной, была во многом сходна с нынешней французской. Индукция имеет свои минусы, но лучше инструмента у нас нет.

Самый лучший инструмент—это правда. Индукции здесь не стояло. В противном случае, мы бы всё ещё существовали в пещерах.

Пещеры тут ни при чем. Мне кажется, вы путаете мою неприязнь к лексической регламентации с отрицанием речевого этикета, на который я ни в коем случае не посягаю—наоборот, постоянно сетую на его кризис в сегодняшнем русском языке. Тем не менее, к грамматическому роду кофе он никакого отношения не имеет.

Я пишу не про отрицание речевого этикета, и тем более не про грамматический род слова кофе, а про вполне реальный язык, являющийся продуктом “элитарного взращивания”.

parenting, indian style

Let us connect the dots. Min Zhu, Subrah Iyar’s partner in the founding of WebEx, raped his daughter Erin when she was 14 years old. Fourteen years later, Subrah went on court record denying Min’s sexual abuse of Erin and squandering WebEx shareholders’ assets in a futile attempt to cover up his partner’s incestuous rape. Which brings us to the question: How much “better” is Subrah getting to know his daughters?

Marriage among the Kallans is said to depend entirely upon consanguinity. The most proper alliance is one between a man and the daughter of his father’s sister; and, if an individual has such a cousin, he must marry her, whatever disparity there may be between their respective ages. A boy, for example, of fifteen must marry such a cousin, even if she be thirty or forty years old, if her father insists upon his so doing. Failing a cousin of this sort, he must marry his aunt or his niece, or some near relative. If his father’s brother has a daughter, and insists upon his marrying her, he cannot refuse: and this whatever may be the woman’s age.
—Edgar Thurston, Ethnographic Notes in Southern India, Madras: Government Press, 1906, p. 53; also see Sir James George Frazer, Folk-Lore in the Old Testament: Studies in Comparative Religion, Legend and Law, Vol. II, Macmillan and Co., 1919, p. 105, and Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Elementary Structures of Kinship, Beacon Press, 1971, p. 428, a translation of Les structures élémentaires de la parenté, La Haye, Mouton et Co., 1967.

The rhetoric of sex with family members also appears in many later tantras such as the Guhyasamāja and Cakrasamvara Tantras. In its fifth chapter, the Guhyasamāja Tantra states that the adept who has sex with his mother, sister, or daughter can attain great success. In its thirty-third chapter, the Cakrasamvara Tantra describes sexual yogic practices to be undertaken with a consort and promises that if readers undertake these, even with female relatives, they will be liberated.
—Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, editor, Encyclopedia of Love in World Religions, ABC-CLIO, 2007, Volume 1, pp. 317-318.

Childhood in much of India begins with the young child being regularly masturbated by the mother, “high caste or low caste, the girl ‘to make her sleep well,’ the boy ‘to make him manly…’” This practice has been said to be widespread by many reliable observers, including Catherine Mayo—whose extensive investigations in India in the 1920s led to the first child marriage laws—a physician, an ethnologist, a religious scholar and a sociologist. As is the case with virtually all non-Western cultures, the child sleeps in the family bed for several years and regularly observes sexual intercourse between the parents. The extent to which Indian parents go beyond this and overtly have sex with the child cannot be determined. Rampal, the sociologist who recently did interviews modeled on the Kinsey studies about contemporary Indian sexual practices, concludes that “there is a lot of incest… It is hidden along with other secrets of families and rarely gets a chance to come out, like seduction at the hands of trusted friends of the family… To arrive at even a passable estimate of incest cases would be to touch the hornet’s nest… no one will ever confess to such a deed, therefore, any attempt to collect statistics may prove to be futile at present.”
    Boys as well as girls are reported as being masturbated and raped by the men in the family, including fathers, older brothers, uncles and cousins. By the time children are four or five, they are usually taken to bed at night by others in the extended household. “A particular uncle may like her to sleep in his room, which is considered a great gesture of closeness.” As one girl describes it: “I hardly ever slept with my parents after I was four. I rotated almost every night between my various uncles and sometimes my grandmother. But it was difficult to have any space in her bed because all the grandsons slept in her bed… So I preferred to sleep in [uncle’s] bed, who was very nice and put his arms around me in winter.” This practice is similar to the customary sharing of their wives by brothers, who have free sexual access to each other’s wives, an ancient practice still approved of in some areas in India.
    So acceptable is sex between close relatives in India that uncle-niece and cross-cousin marriages were preferred among certain Indian groups. As the old Indian proverb has it, “For a girl to be a virgin at ten years old, she must have neither brothers nor cousin nor father.” These sleeping patterns with relatives who live in common residences continue even after marriage, since husbands are often cold to wives, and sex with the husband’s younger brother is covertly encouraged by the family to give the wife someone to be “close” to. Grandfathers often call the little girls “my little wife,” give them candy and “play the role of an old seducer,” teasing them by saying “Don’t you want to marry me?” One observer stuns up traditional Indian sexual stimulation during childhood as follows: “The little Hindu girls are deflowered by the little boys with whom they play, and repeat together the erotic lessons which their parents have unwittingly taught them on account of the general promiscuity of family life throughout India. In all the little girls of less than ten years of age the complete hymen is wanting… Incest is often the rule rather than the exception.
    —Lloyd DeMause, “The Universality of Incest”, The Journal of Psychohistory, Fall 1991, Vol. 19, No. 2, footnotes omitted.

Close-knit family life in India masks an alarming amount of sexual abuse of children and teenage girls by family members, a new report suggests.
    Delhi organisation RAHI said 76% of respondents to its survey had been abused when they were children—40% of those by a family member.
    The report suggests that disbelief, denial and cover-up to preserve the family reputation is often put before the individual child.
    —Daniel Lak, “India’s Hidden Incest”, BBC News, 22 January 1999.

[Subrah Iyar]’s family has grown through the years and the addition of his two daughters is one of the most treasured things in Iyar’s life. With 14-year-old Leena, who has a personality more like him and wants to be a lawyer, and 12-year-old Nikhita, who is more like her mother, yet wants to be a corporate leader just like her father, Iyar isn’t wasting any time getting to know his daughters better now that his workflow has leveled off. His children are only now starting to realize that their father is an important businessman with a great deal of responsibility.
—Diana Rohini LaVigne, “Subrah Iyar’s WebEx-ceptional Success: Capturing the Power of the Internet”,

By way of explanation, Western condoms are too big for Indian men.

party chatter

What do you do?
—I elicit apologies.
How so?
—I come to men who owe an apology and inspire them to make it.
What are you then, a lawyer?
—Not as an officer of the court.
An officer of what then?
—I answer to a higher authority.
What is that?
—Whatever witnesses men coming short of the mark.
So you are an apologist.
—An apologist makes apologies. Vocationally, I am an apologer.
So how do you go about it?
—By reminding people of the right thing to do.
And there is money in that?
—There can be. The stakes are high one way or another.
But why do it when there is no payback?
—Causing the right thing to get done is a charity for my clients.
What happens if your clients decline to do the right thing?
—I make them sorry.
—Like this.

sig p210 prices

The P210 has been out of production since December of 2005. According to Fjestad’s 2004 Blue Book of Gun Values, the last MSRP at that time was $2,695.00 for the P210-6 and $3,031.00 for the extended barrel P210-5, with a $124.00 premium charged for the P210-6S and P210-5S versions with a lateral magazine release. The top of the line, polished P210-1 cost $1,861.00 in 2002, whereas the basic sandblasted P210-2 model cost $1,680.00. According to the Swiss price list of 1986 reproduced by Armbruster, at the time one could buy a P210-1 for 2,620.00 CHf, a P210-2 for 1,765.00 and a 65.00 CHf surcharge for wood stocks, a P210-5 for 2,600.00 CHf likewise, a P210-6 for 1,895.00 CHf likewise, with a 10.00 CHf or a 245.00 CHf surcharge for a contrast or a micrometer sight, and a P210-L for 5,920.00 CHf to 9,345.00 CHf, depending on the engraving pattern and stock carving. The Swiss Frank exchange rate ranged between 1.66 and 2.00 CHf per dollar in 1986. As of today, it is about 1.02 CHf per dollar.

The current availability of spare parts for the P210 in Europe is as follows. Swiss Arms stocks centerfire magazines, plastic Hi-Grips and checkered walnut stocks, and a full complement of sights and accessories therefor. Additionally, Wyss has trigger springs, 120mm barrels in 9mm Para, and aftermarket micrometer rear sights made by Swiss gunsmith Stefan Dobler and recently approved for use in the Swiss service pistol competitions, whereas Lagardere has 120mm barrels in 7.65 Para and 9×21 IMI, 150mm barrel assemblies in 9 Para, factory pattern walnut stocks, and magazines for .22 l.r. conversion kits. These parts are very costly at the moment. For example, Swiss Arms and their authorized dealers in Switzerland offer the OEM micrometer rear sight for 380.00 CHf, or around $375.00 according to the current exchange rate, whereas the asking price for the LPA and Dobler sights in Germany is 128.00 Euros or around $191.00. A few years back new old stock 120mm P210 barrels sold online for around $200.00 apiece, or $350.00 for the 150mm barrel assembly with a Patridge front sight mounted in a removable carrier. Today, fair prices for the same parts are upwards of $800.00 and $1,300.00, respectively. While retail prices are lower in Europe, the costs of importing a single part regulated by European law and ATF import division alike are prohibitive. All inbound foreign gun parts shipments containing rifled barrels and/or valued at over $100.00 are subject to import licensing by the BATF. In my experience, these regulations are enforced vigorously but fairly. Violate them not only at your own risk, but to the common detriment of your fellow enthusiasts. A litany of import and export licenses, shipping, and duty along with a summary of my importing experience, linked to relevant online resources, is posted here. The correct English, French, and German designations of SIG P210 parts can be found here, accompanied by my notes on their fit, function, and variations.