Kosher computers and happy Purim!

Here is another of the many hi-tech inventions to come out of Israel recently:

So you wanted a kosher computer?

I don’t know if you know this but they are now selling Kosher computers (Made in Israel) called DELLSHALOM. It is selling at such a good price that I bought one. Mine arrived yesterday.

If you or a friend are considering a kosher computer, you should know that there are some important upgrades and changes from the typical computer you are used to, such as:

The cursor moves from right to left.

It comes with two hard drives–one for fleyshedik [meat] business software and one for milchedik [dairy] games.

Instead of getting a “General Protection Fault” error, my PC now gets “Ferklempt.”

The Chanukah screen savers include “Flying Dreidels”

The PC also shuts down automatically at sundown on Friday evenings [and Jewish holidays, presumably].

After my computer dies, I have to dispose of it within 24 hours.

The “Start” button has been replaced with “Let’s go!! I’m not getting any younger!” button.

When disconnecting external devices from the back of my PC, I am instructed to “Remove the cable from the PC’s tuchus”.

The multimedia player has been renamed to “Nu, so play my music already!”.

Internet Explorer has a spinning “Star of David” in the upper right corner.

I hear “Hava Nagila” during startup. Microsoft Office now includes “A little byte of this, and a little byte of that.”

When running “scandisk”, it prompts with a “You want I should fix this?” message.

When my PC is working too hard, I occasionally hear a loud “Oy Gevalt”

There is a “monitor cleaning solution” from Manischewitz that Advertises that it gets rid of the “schmutz und drek” on your monitor.

After 20 minutes of no activity, my PC goes “Schloffen.”

Computer viruses can now be cured with some matzo ball chicken soup.

The Y2K problem has been replaced by “Year 5761-5762” issues.

If you decide not to shut down the computer in the prescribed manner, the following message appears: “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

When Spellcheck finds an error it prompts “Is this the best you can do?

Happy Purim!

Amalek: the first terrorist

Tonight at nightfall Jews will celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim, observed by reading of the Book of Esther, general merrymaking (celebrating the thwarting of the plans of the evildoer Haman [y”sh] to exterminate the Jews of ancient Persia), and mishloach manot (giving of sweet gifts). (Also, in Israel and in Jewish news media, there is something of a tradition of “Purim jokes” that take the place of “April Fools jokes”.)

The Sabbath before Purim is known in Hebrew as Shabbat Zachor (the Sabbath of “Remember!”), when the following verses of the Torah are read (Deut. 25:17-19, my somewhat modernized translation):

Remember what Amalek  did to you, on the way as you came out of Egypt; how he lay in ambush for you, and struck the ones marching in back of you, all the weak ones [i.e., women, children, and the elderly] in your rear, when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear G-d. Therefore it shall be, when the L-RD your G-d will have given you relief from all your enemies around you — in the land that the L-RD your G-d is giving you as an inheritance to possess — that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven: do not forget!

Amalek was, arguably, the world’s first terrorist. The sages teach that he arises in every generation in a different guise: be it [may their names be erased] Haman, Hitler, Arafish, Sodamn Insane, Mahmutt Ahmadinnerjacket,… Unlike ordinary tyrants, who merely seek to oppress and exploit, Amalek’s agenda is nothing less than the destruction of the Jewish people. No compromise of any kind is possible with Amalek.

Remember: and Happy Purim!

Who bears the cost of moral vanity?

This question is asked by Eric S. Raymond. Go read the whole thing.

A high-ranking Taliban commander is captured in Pakistan, and the (now entirely predictable) dance begins. Says the Guardian:

Mullah Barader has been in Pakistani custody for several days, with US and Pakistani intelligence officials both taking part in interrogations, according to the officials. Though Barack Obama has banned US agencies from using forms of torture such as waterboarding, Pakistani questioning techniques are frequently brutal.

That’s right. Because the American chattering classes have their panties in a bunch about acts of “torture” that don’t do any permanent damage to the victim, Barader is in the hands of Pakistanis who are likely to [fornicate] his [excretions] up the old-school way, with knives and cattle-prods and blowtorches. And yet, this is supposed to count as a moral victory.

All the manufactured indignation about Guantanamo Bay has similarly perverse effects. When you tell U.S. troops that every enemy combatant they accept a surrender from is going to be made into an international cause celebre that will be used to damage their war effort, the effect will be — count on it — that they stop accepting surrenders. This means that all the soi-disant “innocents” swept up in these operations will become innocent corpses. Instead of being stuck in a facility that’s a resort hotel compared to any prison in the Mideast, they’ll be dead — victims of someone else’s moral vanity.

I was born and educated into the class that produces “gentry liberals”, but I’ve come to loathe them. This is why. It’s always someone else who pays the cost of their posturing. Very often, it’s the people they claim to be helping[…]

They’re so very, very convinced of their moral superiority, they are. The pious anti-torture crusaders, the “economic-justice” cod-Marxists, the no-growth environmentalists, the gun banners, and all their kin in the tribe of wealthy white left-liberals. Armored by their certitudes and their sheepskins and their class privileges, they sail serenely above the deadly consequences of their meddling. Not for them any need to worry about second-order effects or process costs or who actually pays the cost for their delusions, oh, no. They are the anointed, and lofty intentions are their sovereign excuse however much damage they do.

Truly, I hate them all. Perhaps I hate them more intensely because I so narrowly escaped being one of them. But it’s really the invincible stupidity and myopia that gets me, and the way their “compassion” stinks of narcissism. Some days I think if I could have just one wish, it would be this: let their folly come back on their own heads.

I understand. All too well.

UPDATE: Make sure to read this related post: On being against torture.

And relatedly, in “Marginal devolution”, ESR discusses how unintended consequences of morally vain employment policies cause structural unemployment.