I am generally not in favor of rejecting meets with the President -- I respect the office -- but when President Obama is lying about that these families who oppose certain gun control initiatives (that have literally nothing to do with this shooting anyway) are making a "political choice" to "allow" their family members to be killed, that's something that's probably worth rejecting the President's visit over. G+
Nye makes many nearly laughable errors in this video, but it's extremely bizarre to me that it is even a "debate" about when biological life begins.  We know that it is at fertilization.  The sperm joins the egg, a new life is created.  The science on this could not be more clear.

That doesn't mean you have to confer rights on this new organism (of species homo sapiens), but to deny its existence is to deny science. G+
"It's astounding how little truth there is in Truth. There are, in fact, too many distortions, evasions and baseless conspiracy theories to enumerate them all. The film tries to turn gross errors of journalism and judgment into acts of heroism and martyrdom. That's a disservice not just to the public but to journalists across the world who go out every day and do everything within their power, sometimes at great risk to themselves, to get the story right." -- CBS Statement

It's like I've said many times, when someone puts "truth" in their name, that's a pretty good sign that there's going to be a significant lack of truth in the product.  There was the anti-smoking site "thetruth.com" which manipulated data about smoking, Obama's "Truth Team" which told bald-faced lies about Mitt Romney, and, of course, Al Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" which was so riddled with errors that it's become more of a joke than anything else.

This film is much the same.  We know that Rather and Mapes could not substantiate the story against President Bush.  They had no hard evidence other than the forged documents.  They lied about the work they did to get those documents, they lied when they said that the documents were verified as authentic, and so on.  CBS nails it with this statement.

There's a reason why Mapes' and Rather's careers in news are essentially over, and it's not because the power of the Bush administration reaches so far that they can control the left-leaning news media six years after he has left office.  It's because most of the rest of the journalism world recognizes not only that they made gross errors of judgment and journalism, but that they refuse to admit that they were wrong. G+
Interesting stuff.  All of the guns here were acquired legally with background checks, or illegally, with the exception of some guns that were acquired when the background check was not completed in time, so the guns were by law required to be provided.

This is something that should be up for consideration for amending, but you can't just eliminate that rule, because it absolutely would be abused by officials to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their gun rights.  We know this, because it happens already.

So by all means, allow that background check period to be more flexible or lengthened, but you must have some sort of serious and significant accountability for public officials. G+
Voter fraud is statistically insignificant.  Therefore, we can't take measures that will prevent it, even if those measures do not harm anyone's rights.

Mass shooting deaths are statistically insignificant.  Regardless, we must take measures that will prevent it, even though those measures harm the rights of lots of people, and won't actually do anything to stop the problem. G+

05.10.2015 21:34

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So much silliness in this piece by +Mel Robbins.

Apparently she is a lawyer, but she does not understand the Second Amendment.  That bit about a well-regulated militia does not apply to citizens, it applies to the organized militia.  She thinks that all people who have guns are part of the militia, which is just wrong.  That's not to say that citizen use of firearms should not be well-regulated, but that isn't what the phrase means in the Second Amendment.

Further, she claims that we do not currently have "sensible gun control."  She does nothing to back up this wild claim.  Worse, she claims "we now have nearly unregulated gun ownership," which is simply bizarre, since we have far more regulations on gun ownership today than we did at the end of the 18th century.

Then, she falsely asserts that guns are "the most-deadly consumer product in America" (both cars and swimming pools are significantly more deadly).

"And as of this year they killed more young people than the number that died in cars from crashes."

No, they didn't.  She is simply incorrect.

And the worst part of all is that she pretends that gun violence is increasing, when it is decreasing.  Consistently, and steadily.  She acts like it is an epidemic that is growing out of control that we need to find someway to turn the tide on ... when, in fact, we are making significant progress nearly every year, and have been doing so for many years.

That's the nuttiest part of all.  She acts as though because we have more guns and fewer restrictions, that this is causing an increase in violence, but the data shows the opposite.  We have fewer deaths, fewer woundings, fewer incidents.  We have less violence, while at the same time, more guns and more recognized gun rights.  And in many of the states with the most guns, we have the fewest gun deaths per capita.

This means that guns are not the problem.  That's the only conclusion we can reasonably draw.  If guns were the problem, we would see increases in violence.  We do not.

And when she talks about the violence here compared to other countries, what she doesn't do is compare non-firearm violence, where we also have more than other countries.  If guns are the problem, then how does she explain that?  And what happens when you compare those other countries to specific regions of the U.S., like Vermont or Wyoming vs. Illinois or Washington DC?

We know that there is a massive cultural component to violence, including gun violence.  We know that there is no direct relationship between the number of guns and the level of regulation, and gun violence.  These are just facts.

+Mel Robbins is providing a strong emotional case, but it is essentially devoid of reason. G+
President Obama just said, "They want to defund Planned Parenthood, there's a way to do that: pass a law, override my veto."

Or they can put it in the budget and force you to veto that.

You see, Mr. President, you don't get to make the rules for how Congress passes laws.  You really don't.  And if you veto the budget, then you are saying that you are willing to shut down government to retain spending on Planned Parenthood.

Literally, President Obama is are threatening to shut down the government if he does not get his way.

Again, I'm against both sides here: neither side should threaten to shut down government.  But both are. G+
President Obama was just on TV giving a press conference, and his main message is that we've brought our deficits down a lot because our economy has grown because Congress didn't engage in blind, unthinking cuts.  But in the last elections, he was criticizing the blind, unthinking cuts that Congress forced on us.

It seems to me that if Obama had his way, we would be spending a lot more money, and we would not have cut the deficits much if at all, and our economy wouldn't be doing nearly as well. G+
I don't quite understand why people won't name the shooter in incidents like this.  My interest is in properly documenting the historical record and understanding the incident.

People say naming him "gives him what he wants" ... but so what?  That sounds like a game for children.  "I will never do something you want me to do."  "I want you to eat that bowl of ice cream."

Yes, sometimes people can glorify killers.  But simply naming them does not do that, it simply tells us who did what, which is an important historical fact.

Yes, it might give the killer what he wants, but I do not care what he wants.  What he wants has no impact on what I will do.  I will do what I think is best, regardless of what he wants.  Just caring about what he wants, is what he wants, after all ... G+
Dear President Obama,

You say, "It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun."

It must be this easy, unless the person is a convicted felon, or has been adjudicated to have a mental deficiency that warrants removal of his rights, because that is what the Constitution says: the government shall not infringe on that person's right to get his hands on a gun.

And speaking of that last bit ... when talking about mass shootings, please don't torture us with "him or her."  It is grammatically unnecessary and jarring in normal use, but even worse in this case, where almost universally, the objects are all of one gender.  It's like saying, "People who want to have a Sweet Sixteen party for themselves must consider the cost to his or her parents."  Just stop it.

And also, stop trying to take away our constitutional rights.  That too. G+
Dear President Obama,

Shut up.

You keep demanding "action" to reduce gun violence, but you don't tell us what you think that "action" should be.  Every idea you have offered -- assault weapons bans, universal background checks, etc. -- have not been demonstrated to even have a reasonable hope of having a significant effect on gun violence.

So until you have an idea for what to do, shut up.

Oh, and while we're at it, please stop pretending that gun violence is on the rise.  It's not.  Shut up. G+
"If a service falls in production, and there's no monitoring, do we lose a customer?" G+

Dear Internet, Comcast or Frontier?

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Dear Internet,

Comcast or Frontier?
The funny thing about the diesel scandal is that while it appears to be a massive fraud ... no one was actually hurt, and the environment was not damaged, in any significant or measurable way, despite what the alarmists are claiming. G+
Dear Apple,

How did you release iOS 9.0.1 and not fix the bug with tapping "Update All" in the App Store?  Every time I tap that, I am prompted for my password.  But if I tape "UPDATE" on all the updates individually, I am not prompted for my password. G+
Dear Internet,

If the FBI found Hillary Clinton's emails on her hard drive (this is an anonymous report, so we do not know), then she probably didn't actually "wipe" the server as though it contained classified information.

The theory is that she would not have "wiped" the server unless she knew it contained classified information.  But if she had done that, the emails would not have been recoverable, at least not without going through extraordinary means.

So this is actually evidence that Clinton either believed that she was not dealing with classified information on that server, or that she wasn't thinking about whether the information was classified.

So she was probably ignorant or apathetic, but not malicious. G+
Ben Carson's error is not in saying that someone whose personal beliefs are incompatible with American laws and principles should not be President; his error is in saying that "Muslims" have views that are incompatible with American laws and principles.  Many Muslims have different views about what Islam teaches, and lumping them all together is just intellectually sloppy.

So, at least he did come out and say that a Muslim who rejects the supremacy of Sharia over the Constitution, but he is incorrectly implying that this Muslim would be violating the tenets of Islam, and that is not for him to say: that's only for Muslims to say. G+
Dear Internet,

If the GOP is "holding the government hostage" over Planned Parenthood funding, then necessarily, so is President Obama. If both sides are willing to accept the same result -- a government shutdown -- if they don't get their way, then both sides are equally culpable.
Candidates love to complain about their harsh upbringing. I'll vote for the first candidate to say, "I was born a poor black child." That includes Ben Carson, even though that wouldn't be as funny. G+
When I was a kid, I thought "Dewey Defeats Truman" referred to Dwight Eisenhower beating Harry Truman for the presidency. After all, as a Red Sox fan, I was well aware that right fielder Dwight Evans' nickname was "Dewey," so why not Ike?  Little did I know that Eisenhower's nickname wasn't "Dewey" and Truman wasn't running in that election.

I also thought that Tip O'Neill was the coach in Bad News Bears, and that "Tip" was short for "Tatum," since Tip looked a bit like Walter Matthau, and Tatum O'Neal was in Bad News Bears.

(Apologies to you younger folks who have to Google all of that to know what I am talking about.) G+
Erickson can't criticize Kasich's actual record or views in any significant way, so he plays guilt-by-association. Pathetic. G+
Dear right-wing Internet,

Calling John Kasich a liberal is like holding up a sign saying "I know nothing about John Kasich."  It's like calling Obama a conservative.  You take a very tiny slice of their views that the "other side" happens to agree with, and then say, "well, Obama wants to increase trade, so he is a conservative" or "Kasich expanded sales tax in Ohio, so he is a liberal."

It's just childish, unintelligent, nonsense. G+
Dear +CNN:

I like +Jake Tapper a lot. Not a bad debate.  But some criticisms:

* Too long.
* Too much focus on irrelevancies, and on Trump.
* Didn't control the debate enough, allowing too many interruptions, which was largely caused by candidates feeling like they needed to interrupt just to get time, because you focused too much on Trump.

And really offensive to me, there was an assumption in one question in the first debate, from Tapper, that this kid who was arrested for a clock was the victim of discrimiantion, which is utter nonsense: the necessary implication is that this would not have happened if he were not Muslim.  But we know that other kids are punished or arrested for stupid fake "weapons" at school.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/21/us/pennsylvania-girl-suspended/ G+
After all the primary debates are done, we should have all the moderators debate each other to determine who gets to moderate the general election debates. G+
Just to clarify some things here.  Bernie Sanders says: _It would be hard to make the case that we are a just society or anything resembling a just society today.

False.  It's actually very easy.

In the United States of America today, there is massive injustice in terms of income and wealth inequality.

False.  This just isn't based in reality.  There is a lot of "inequality," but there is almost no injustice in regards to it.  "Injustice" implies that someone's rights are being abridged in regards to this "inequality," which largely isn't true.

There's this pervasive notion that if there is inequality, there is therefore injustice.  This view is incorrect.

There's another pervasive view that if there is a wrong, then government should right it.  This view is, also, incorrect.

Further, folks like Sanders and also many Christians believe that since the Bible says we should care for the poor, that we should vote for government policies that take care of the poor.  But the Bible doesn't say that your government should take care of the poor, it says you should.

There's a huge difference in there -- it's not just about helping those in need, but about how they are helped -- and since Sanders is not a Christian I don't blame him too much for not getting it.  Christians should get it, though. G+
The ignorance is strong with this one.

He says the “Of course I’m a feminist; I have a daughter!” claim of many fathers is an easy but empty response to gender bias and inequality.

True.  But my response is an excellent one: there is no significant gender bias or inequality in the workplace today.  The facts clearly demonstrate this.  It doesn't exist.

Yes, mothers who leave the workforce and later come back can have a hard time.  But a man who leaves and comes back would have a hard time, too.  It's not about gender bias or inequality, it's about individual choices and the logical effect of those choices on your marketability.  Those choices explain all of the wage gap between men and women.

So frankly, the father is not being a feminist at all, because by saving money for her to make up for her future pay gap, he is assuming his daughter will be making certain choices ... which is pretty much the opposite of feminism. G+
I was wrong, it was Perry.  And it was a few days after Labor Day.However, it should have been Gilmore. G+

Original Post from Chris Nandor (Pudge):

Santorum, Graham, Gilmore, Pataki. Who quits first? When do we drop to 16 GOP candidates? Before Labor Day?

Brandon Marshall: “I think that there are three different types of players viewing this thing. Number one is the fighter. ... It’s not about what he did if he’s right or wrong, it’s more about the process. Is it fair?

“The second is the coward. I call them cowards. That’s the guys who are afraid to face Tom Brady. They want him suspended. I don’t believe in that.

“And the last is the race card. There are a lot of players out there that believe that white players, specifically at the quarterback position, are treated differently.”

Marshall left out the fourth type.  I call them “smart.”  They're the ones who understand the fact that there's no evidence that Brady did anything wrong, or that the NFL violated court precedent and the CBA, and the suspension was unjustified, illegal, or both.

Granted, some “fighters” are also “smart.”  But you don't have to be a fighter to be smart. G+
Dear Internet,

"Premise" is a logical proposition.  "Premises" is a location.  "On-premise" does not mean what you think it means. G+
Dear Internet,

Please stop saying it's against NFL rules to record the other team's signals. It is not.

Thank you. G+
Thanks for that hatchet job, ESPN. Now Brady's going 20-0. Yes, 20. He's going undefeated for the season, winning two playoff games, then he's going to win the Pro Bowl before heading to Santa Clara to win the Super Bowl. G+
"This lower temperature would mean the tyre lost pressure and would explain why it dipped below the minimum, which is why Mercedes were cleared of wrongdoing." F1 > NFL
I'm waiting for Bernie Ecclestone to demand Lewis Hamilton's cell phone records.

Oh wait. This is F1, not the NFL. They will simply investigate quickly, penalize Mercedes if necessary, and move on to next week.
The 2004 film Tremors 4: The Legend Begins featured a punt gun used in combat. This punt gun was custom-built for the film and was 8 feet 4 inches (2.54 m) long, weighed 94 pounds (43 kg), and had a 2-inch-diameter (51 mm) bore (classified as "A" gauge by the Gun Barrel Proof Act of 1868 in Schedule B).

Finally, a reason to watch Tremors 4! G+
Would so many liberals think that Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis should follow the law if the issue were, instead, that she illegally refused to hand out business licenses to employers that legally discriminated against gays?

(In Rowan County, as in most of the nation, it is legal to discriminate against people for employment based on sexual orientation.) G+
Kim Davis says that for her to give a civil marriage license to a gay couple would "violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage."

I don't believe that is true.  Can someone back up Davis' claim?  People seem to just accept it uncritically.

I think the problem here is that there's two different institutions, and we call both of them "marriage."  Jesus was talking about marriage before God.  But Davis' legal duties have nothing to do with that marriage: her duties are strictly about a legal contract between two people.  They are two separate institutions.  Your church in some cases may not recognize your civil marriage, and your government in some cases may not recognize your religious marriage.  They are not the same thing.

Jesus did say that God joins a man and a woman together in marriage. (Matthew 19:4-7)  But again, that isn't civil marriage.  And Jesus also said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Mark 12:17)

You may think that even though it is only civil marriage, it is still immoral, and therefore Davis is right to refuse to "participate" in it.  But on that view, shouldn't she also refuse to license establishments that sell alcohol or tobacco?  And shouldn't she refuse to allow candidates to register for election to public office if they support abortion rights?

What makes civil marriage licenses for gay couples different, that this one duty can be rejected, while all other duties are still fulfilled?

If you have an argument from the Bible for a Christian refusing to provide a civil marriage license to gay couples, I'd love to see it. G+
This is why I dislike Ted Cruz.  Cruz is a very smart guy, and an accomplished lawyer, especially on constitutional issues.  He knows perfectly well that Kim Davis, the elected Democratic County Clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, is wrong on the law, and that the absolutely proper action for the judge is to find her in contempt of court.

Instead of standing up for what he knows is correct, he is dishonestly positioning himself to win the "social conservative" vote.  Cruz does nothing but pander, because he thinks that is the only way he can win.

He says, "Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. ... I stand with Kim Davis. Unequivocally. I stand with every American that the Obama Administration is trying to force to choose between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court opinion."

He knows that's a lie: she was arrested for violating a proper Court order, not for living according to her faith.  And even if her faith does demand she not hand out secular, civil, legal marriage licenses to gay couples -- and it shouldn't, because nothing in the Bible implies that her doing so would violate anything God ever said -- she has other recourse: she can resign.

She wasn't choosing between her faith, and honoring a court opinion, because she had a third option.

I agree with Cruz' analysis of the Supreme Court decision: it was simply a poor legal decision, on multiple levels.  But that is irrelevant: it's the law now.  Get over it.

"Those who are persecuting Kim Davis believe that Christians should not serve in public office. That is the consequence of their position. Or, if Christians do serve in public office, they must disregard their religious faith–or be sent to jail."

More nonsense.  A civil, secular, marriage license has literally nothing to do with the Christian faith.  As Jesus said, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." G+
Dear Internet,

If you claim the Patriots are habitual cheaters, you are telling everyone that you don't know what you're talking about.

Please, for your own sake, just stop. G+
Brady is vindicated, and it's about time. My daughter was born the day before the "Deflategate" game. She is now crawling, eating solid food, and pulling up to stand. G+
I demand that all musicians cease referring to a certain style of music as "bluegrass," because that word -- coming from Kentucky -- refers to bigotry and hatred. G+

That's a lot of Farscape.

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Reshared post from Reason:

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"Cultural differences? Turns out they make all the difference." G+

Original Post from Reason:

Time for another round of half-baked statistics.

Andy Parker, father of slain journalist Alison Parker, said: "We've got to find a way to keep crazy people from getting guns, mentally unstable people. The people that do this are mentally unstable, and somehow they're able to get guns."

I'm entirely open to ideas.  But I have no good ones.  You can't just take away someone's rights because they act a little nutty: you have to follow due process.

How could we have done that with his daughter's murderer?  I'm seriously asking here. G+
This is a cover of Tim & Mollie O'Brien's song "Wichita" (by way of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings).  I was listening to friends Nat and Jenine from the Pipi Pickers, and was inspired to lay down this track. G+
"There's too many guns in America."

According to what standard?  I mean, I know there's many guns per person in the U.S., many more than most other nations.  But to me, that just means we're more awesome than those other nations.

It seems to me that people just think, "more guns means more death."  But the data doesn't show that.  Vermont and Iowa have many more guns than most European nations per capita, and yet comparable homicide and suicide rates (and sometimes lower suicide rates).

Further, we know that as guns per capita has increased in the U.S., violent crime has decreased, as it has in many other countries, while their guns per capita have, in some cases, decreased.

While a gun is an effective tool for killing, the data does not back up the claim that "more guns mean more death."  Guns can be a contributing factor to more death, but absolutely not a sufficient or necessary factor. G+
"If we can save one life ..."

We hear that a lot from people trying to take away our freedom, that any measure is justified "if we can save one life."  But they don't really mean it, obviously: we can save lives by restricting speech, movement, association, private property, and so on, in a multitude of ways.  But we don't, because it is not worth it to save one life, to lose essential liberty.

What they mean when they say this is that they do not believe that the freedom they are trying to take away is a freedom that people should have.

Of course, the other dishonest part of this rhetoric is that the measures they are talking about usually have nothing to do with the problem they are trying to solve, as is the case with "universal background checks" and the shooting of the journalist and cameraman. G+
In case this isn't clear to you: recent history has shown that when the issue of "women's health" or "war on women" comes up, Republicans go on the defensive, and usually look worse in the process.  So when Hillary is look her worst, it is entirely predictable that this is what she'll start talking about.

It doesn't even matter that what she said is stupid and indefensible.  It puts the focus on the Republicans, and off of her very real, very troubling, scandals.  That's all that matters to her. G+

27.08.2015 21:47

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November 2007: I wrote a song that opened the CNN/YouTube GOP Debate in Florida (and I sat behind Chuck Norris, who was honored to meet me; you can see the back of his head in the last few seconds of the video).

At the time, Rudy Giuliani was the "frontrunner" of the eight GOP candidates, and Hillary Clinton was the "only" candidate for the Democrats.  Now, Hillary is still the "only" Democratic candidate, and Donald Trump is the frontrunner of the 17 GOP candidates.

Maybe it's time for another song? G+
Cris Carter, about the Patriots: "This is a game about integrity and this is a game about rules. It's not about everybody else breaking them. You got caught."

Cris Carter, to rookies: "If you all got a crew, you got to have a fall guy in the crew.  If you all have a crew, one of those fools got to know, he's the one going to jail. We'll get him out." G+
If I'm a writer on SNL, I'm praying for Biden vs. Trump. G+
What a shock: the Democrats are telling blatant lies about the Republican candidates. G+
It's amazing that after all this time, anyone in sports news would've thought that this report was true.  Now ESPN just needs to apologize for Chris Mortensen's false Deflategate reporting.  And maybe the next time someone on ESPN accuses the Patriots of habitually cheating, they can point out the fact that it is not true.

A guy can dream. G+
Dear Internet,

As NRO says, Trump's critics are wrong about the issue of birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment.

That said, Trump is also wrong, because this is a losing issue.  No one cares what Senator Howard wrote in 1866.  Not even conservative justices on the Supreme Court care, except for maybe Clarence Thomas.  We already learned this when the majority in McDonald v. Chicago found that the Second Amendment applied to the states via "selective incorporation," even though Senator Howard wrote 150 years ago that the Second Amendment would apply to the states via the privileges and immunities clause.

Only Thomas cared about the original intent of the 14th Amendment in that case.

Now, because birthright citizenship for nonresident or illegal aliens etc. has never been tested in the Supreme Court, that's a big difference between McDonald and this issue.  And it is true that the Court could establish that "birthright citizenship" is limited.

But it's also true that there's no reason to test it.  The number of citizens added to this country as "anchor babies" is tiny compared to the overall immigration problem, and probably end up being productive citizens more often than they end up as drains on the system.

As a political issue, maybe this has importance, but eliminating birthright citizenship will not improve a single American life in any way (except for the lawyers and pundits who are paid to talk about it, or the politicians elected on the back of it). G+
Santorum, Graham, Gilmore, Pataki. Who quits first? When do we drop to 16 GOP candidates? Before Labor Day? G+

The NFL looks worse every day.

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Next up: SEC requires publicly traded companies to disclose the ratio of organic snacks supplied to workers. G+
#Deflategate has been going on for my daughter's entire life. And she's crawling now. G+
I've liked +Cory Booker ever since he lost the Newark mayoral race. But he either doesn't understand Voter ID, or he is lying about it.  You simply cannot say we don't need Voter ID by saying, "You're more likely to get struck by lightning in Texas than to find any kind of voter fraud," for the simple and obvious reason that without Voter ID, it is difficult to detect this kind of voter fraud.

And the broader idea that any group of citizens -- other than those convicted of felonies -- is losing the right to vote is just a lie.  There is no effort to disenfranchise anyone, and there is no effect of that, either.  They have no data to back it up.  The closest they come is saying "estimates are that as many as, ..." which is another way of saying "we have no evidence."  Because it's not happening. G+
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."