I've been telling some of my leftwing British friends who have enjoyed condemning those who favor rightwing parties that their task is not just to criticize, but to understand and to appeal. There's reasons why people have voted "the wrong way," and the concerns of these citizens have been largely ignored.

The Democrats in America are going down the same path, with Obama repeatedly over the past 7+ years telling people that their concerns about big government are completely irrelevant and "stale." Condemning people for their religious views. Telling millions of citizens that they would agree with him if they were just smarter or more honest.

Of course, the Republicans do this too, ignoring concerns over law enforcement abuses, corporate abuses, drug policy, equality, and so on. Even if those concerns are unfounded, they are real concerns. This is why, for example, Republicans have been (except for Arnold) shut out in California for a few decades.

Turn a deaf ear, and people will reject you. G+
I don't have much to say about "Brexit" -- not my country, do as you will either way -- except it seems wrong to me that it should require only a simple majority. G+
I've been saving this punchline for years. I finally figured out the code to go with it.

https://github.com/pudge/misc-scripts/blob/master/git-r-done G+
I am not sure what is sillier: that Rep. John Lewis is leading a sit-in demanding "action" on "gun violence" without making a proposal for what he wants that action to be -- and that he calls this "taking action" -- or that he claims that up until now, he and his fellow anti-gun folks have been "silent."

This is, of course, all completely silly. This is the U.S. House of Representatives. Its job is not to emote, but to pass legislation. Make a proposal, or don't. But this is just boring and dumb. G+
I dislike the Star Trek mission statement changing from "where no man has gone before" to "where no one has gone before." It was correct; now, it is incorrect. There are sentient species where they are going: so many have gone there before, but none of our species has.

PBS NewsHour has been embarrassing the past few days on guns.

First, they had Senator Diane Feinstein, the supposed anti-"assault weapon" expert in the Senate for the past 20 years, falsely assert that the .223 round is a "big bullet." It's actually very small, one of the smallest bullets you can get in a gun, and no one challenged the claim.


The next day, they had a story about the AR-15, which they billed as "used in ... an Orlando gay club." It wasn't. Worse, the reporter then went on to interview only a single person, who falsely asserted that the AR-15 is "a military rifle" that is "designed to kill in mass quantities." It's not. It's a civilian rifle that would never be used by the military, and if the M16 were designed to kill in mass quantities (no support is offered for this claim), an essential part of that design would be the select-fire feature, which is unavailable on the AR-15.


The best thing I can say about the second story is that it properly identified the .223 as "very small."

Also, this isn't the "weapon of choice for mass murderers" (even if you broaden it from "AR-15" to "semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines that shoot the .223 round). That's nonsense. Semiautomatic pistols are much more common. These rifles have been used in the last three mass public shootings, but were not common before that.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/03/us/how-mass-shooters-got-their-guns.html?_r=0 G+
My nephew is voting for the MLB All-Star game, and there's a captcha. He tells his dad, "thanks to Uncle Chris I have to enter a code every time." G+
If you want to be totally misinformed about AR-15s, read this article.

I'd call the author a wee girl, but I've known wee girls who have fired AR-15s, and it'd be an insult to them.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/firing-ar-15-horrifying-dangerous-loud-article-1.2673201 G+
Obama is right that it's nonsense to say that you can't fight radical Islam if you don't use the phrase "radical Islam." When people say that you need to say it to fight it, I die a little inside. G+
Today President Obama once again lied about guns. A lot.

He said, "there is a meaningful way" to "help law enforcement protect Americans from homegrown extremists," and that is "to make it harder for people who want to kill Americans to get their hands on weapons of war that let them kill dozens of innocents."

He continued, "we know that, consistent with the Second Amendment, there are common-sense steps that could reduce gun violence and could reduce the lethality of somebody who intends to do other people harm."

Then he gave three specific proposals:
1. enforce the gun laws we already have
2. ban people on the no-fly list from buying guns
3. reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban

He then said that without doing these things, "these kinds of events are going to keep on happening, and the weapons are only going to get more powerful."

So where is he lying?

1. These are not weapons of war. That's simply incorrect. These are civilian weapons, period. Claiming it is a military weapon is a lie.
2. It is absolutely unconstitutional to ban someone from buying a gun without due process, and there is no due process for getting on the no-fly list. Claiming this is consistent with the Constitution is a lie.
3. The Assault Weapons Ban was a proven failure. It did not reduce violence at all, in any way. Claiming it would reduce gun violence is a lie.
4. Worse, he doesn't want to actually reinstate the AWB, he wants to replace it with something much broader, like Feinstein's proposal from a few years ago, which would ban the manufacture and sale of many guns, including some hunting rifles. Claiming he wants to reinstate the AWB is a lie.
5. Taking the above together, claiming that we can "reduce gun violence" and prevent "these kinds of events," using the offered means, is a lie.
6. Claiming our civilian weapons are going to "get more powerful" is a lie. There's no indication of this. The AR-15 is more than 50 years old. There's nothing new here, and no evidence of any significantly more powerful civilian weapons coming, and if they did, there's no reason to think that they would be legal. This is just FUD, and it's dishonest.

Additionally, while I am all for enforcing gun laws, that is mostly up to Obama himself, and he didn't give any details, so that can't really be taken seriously, based on the speech. Further, he could show he is really serious by prosecuting the producers of the anti-gun documentary "Under the Gun," who engaged in illegal gun purchases for the purposes of making their film. G+
Superdelegate: I don't know you, but I love you!

A song I wrote about eight years ago about our best friend, the Superdelegate. G+
Of the three remaining top presidential candidates going into this week, the one who most opposes liberty and civil rights has been mathematically eliminated. I think that's worth celebrating.

Well, it would be, if the two remaining candidates valued liberty and civil rights. So ... nevermind. G+
People say Hillary Clinton's nomination is a historic moment, because she is the first female nominee of a major political party. They are wrong. The historic part of this is that virtually no one cares that she is a woman.

In the many months of this election season, talking to people on the right who hate Democrats, people on the left who hate the establishment, and various people who like Hillary, none of the people I know have brought up her gender as a significant point of her candidacy, positively or negatively. No one cares. This is about her abilities and policies and personality ... but not her gender.

Barack Obama won in 2008 largely because he was "black." But whether Hillary Clinton wins or loses in 2016, it will not be because of her gender. That's the historic mark we've reached. G+
This is a song by Tonio K. It's the first song I ever learned on the guitar, many moons ago. I figure my 101st song in the Longest Concert Evar, and first in my new studio, should go back to my roots. G+
Obama lied, as usual, about guns. A man asked why Obama wants to restrict guns, and Obama said "I am not trying to take your guns away." The guy didn't say Obama wanted to take his guns away. Obama lied.

But the worst part is that Obama once again lied and said people on the No Fly List should be disallowed from buying guns. I call this a lie because Obama knows the Constitution absolutely and directly disallows this: you cannot take away someone's rights without due process, and there is indisputably no due process for putting someone on the No Fly List.

Even the ACLU says Obama is wrong on this, so it's also a lie when Obama says it's the NRA that is preventing this from happening. It's the Constitution, and it's the ACLU, and it's the NRA, and it's everyone else who cares about constitutional due process.


Finally, if Obama really cared about enforcing our gun laws, as he claims, then he should prove it by prosecuting Stephanie Soechtig and her staff who committed several firearms-related felonies in making their anti-gun documentary, Under the Gun.

http://thefederalist.com/2016/06/03/katie-courics-anti-gun-producers-repeatedly-violated-federal-gun-laws/ G+
It's always fun to incorrectly redefine a term ("faith") in order to undermine it. G+

Original Post from Aleksandra Markov:

Don't Put Faith in a Science Classroom.

What would a "no ghostbusters" logo look like? G+
President Obama said today, "We cannot accept our level of gun violence as the new normal. We must take action to prevent this from happening again & again."

But gun violence is lower today than any time since the 1980s.

People keep asking what we can do to reduce gun violence ... but we have already been doing it, whatever it is. G+
Kids falling into gorilla pens don't kill gorillas, GUNS DO G+
Props to Admiral Kirby for actually investigating this and promptly reporting on the fact that the State Department was deleting the public record.

But it's not enough to stop investigating when the guy who did it says "I forget who told me to do it." That's nonsense. They need to find out who did this and prosecute them.

This is the worst White House since Nixon, in terms of honesty and accountability and openness with the press. By a lot. Many Trump fans say they like Trump because he will stand up to the press, but Obama has been doing that for eight years. G+
The Washington State GOP opened its caucuses to the public, as it normally does, and the public picked Cruz supporters for 40 of the 41 elected delegates (the remaining one is a Trump supporter).

The Washington State GOP also decided to bind those delegates to the result of the state presidential preference primary, and the public voted for Trump, and he will receive 41 of the 44 delegates (the other three will be unbound).

This is not "establishment" versus "grassroots." This is "grassroots" versus "the general public." The grassroots picked Cruz, and the general public picked Trump.

This is why the Democrats in WA do not use the result of the primary to allocate their delegates, because they believe the grassroots, not the general public, should pick the party leaders and nominees. G+
It's actually kinda nice to, for once, not really care about the outcome of a presidential election. G+

Exactly right.

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Short answer: of course not.

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Google hates math and economics. They say, "we’re banning ads for payday loans." But this makes no actual sense. The idea that payday loans are evil is just intellectually baseless. G+
Attorney General Loretta Lynch says that to deny a transgender person the right to use the bathroom of their choice, rather than the bathroom matching their sex, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination under some circumstances on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. She says that "gender" or "gender identity" is included in the word "sex."

Just to be clear: she is lying. She knows her whole argument is based on fiction. There is no way in which this makes any legal sense. Sex is not gender. The Civil Rights Act never intended for it to mean gender. The entire basis of the notion of "transgender" is that sex isn't gender.

Everyone is, of course, free to believe that federal law should include gender as a protected characteristic. But it does not. She has no hope of winning this fight in court, and I have to think she is pushing this for purely political reasons. G+
Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders said "I could care less" this week. STOP THE MADNESS. G+
"If you are a Republican voter who refuses to accept that Hillary is more appalling choice than Trump, then you have made a choice that a Hillary presidency is not something you're willing to do everything you can to prevent. And you have to own that choice." -- Herman Cain

I do own that choice.  I think Hillary Clinton would be a terrible President, but I can't see how she -- from my very conservative perspective -- is objectively worse than Donald Trump.  I am not willing to do everything to prevent a Hillary presidency, when the alternative is -- at best -- no better.

It's not my job to rationalize the choice of Donald Trump; it's his job to convince me that he would be a good President.  Heck, he only has to convince me that he wouldn't be a terrible President.  And so far, he's done nothing but the opposite. G+
Long story short: Trump's bigger numbers do not come from convincing more people to vote for him, but from convincing people that he is the inevitable nominee, so if they don't support him, they stay home.

It's odd that they would believe his lie that he is the inevitable nominee, since presumably most of the reason they dislike him is because he is a huge liar.  But there you have it. 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."