March 2015 Archives

And this is why people running private businesses should be generally allowed to discriminate based on their religious beliefs.

Discrimination on the basis of religion/race/beliefs/sex/etc. usually sucks.  But forcing someone to associate with something they deeply disagree with -- like, you know, the KKK -- sucks, too. G+

KKK wins lawsuit against bakery for discrimination

A Georgia court has ruled in favor of Marshall Saxby, the Grand Wizard of a local KKK chapter, in a lawsuit stemming from two years ago when a local bakery denied him service. The three judge panel...

Dear Chris Matthews,

In comparing Ted Cruz to Joe McCarthy, you're the one actually guilty of McCarthyism. Yes, really. G+

So sad. Clarkson was -- is -- brilliant. In both senses. Maybe he'll be back in some form, a wiser Tigger. G+

Transmission – BBC Top Gear BBC releases statement on Clarkson « - BBC Top Gear

Car News · First Drives · Motorsport · Latest from the Top Gear TV Show · Geneva Motor Show: winners and losers · Geneva Motor Show: winners and losers: From Aventador SV to Bentley Speed 6, it was quite a show for fast metal. But what was the star of Geneva?

Video lessons about every element on the Periodic Table:

Credit: Ted-Ed G+

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 1.02.28 PM.png

Dear Internet,

Have thefts of light bulbs outside people's homes -- now that those light bulbs are becoming much more valuable, being more expensive and long-lasting LEDs -- increased recently?

If not, why not? G+

There's more evidence for a link between autism and vaccines, than there is that Michael Brown was trying to surrender when he was killed. And the Brown lie has contributed to more deaths than the vaccine lie. G+

Dick Durbin says Republicans are putting the first black female nominee for Attorney General in "the back of the bus" by opposing her.

Dick Durbin opposed the first black female nominee for Secretary of State. G+

Loretta Lynch nomination fight takes on racial tinge

On Wednesday morning, the No. 2 Senate Democrat accused Republicans of putting the African-American nominee for attorney general in “the back of the bus.” Hours later, Tim Scott, the Senate’s only African-American Republican, shot back that Democrats are using “race bait” in the fight over the long-stalled nomination.To...

Apart from the obvious violation of fundamental liberty that would be required to have mandatory voting -- I have an absolute right to not vote -- there's also no reason to think it would be a positive thing for society, unless you're interested only in outcomes (Democrats getting elected) and not process (the people selecting their government).

Presumably, in a country like ours, where it is easy -- but not required -- for anyone to vote who cares to vote, we get the best result: the most informed and interested electors are the ones casting the votes, while the people who don't care and aren't informed don't have their opinions considered.

In a world with mandatory voting, we descend even further into elections by slogans and popularity, hoping to capture the significant number of ignorant and apathetic electors -- in some cases, a majority -- who will be voting based on feelings instead of thoughts.

I can't see how anyone thinks it's a good idea that everyone votes, when we know so many people don't have votes that are worth being cast.  And I am not looking down my nose at anyone; it's just a fact of life.  When I first moved to my current home, there were several elections I didn't cast a vote for on my first ballot, because I was too ignorant about the people or the issue being voted upon.  When you're ignorant, the responsible act is to not vote.

But I commend the many wise and ignorant people out there who regularly choose to not cast votes, because they know that, being ignorant, their votes should not be cast.

I think the only reason Obama wants mandatory voting is clear: because he thinks that ignorant and apathetic voters are more likely to vote for his party.  It's the same reason many Republicans don't want a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens: because they think that such citizens would vote Democratic.

Both sides are wrong: getting the government properly selected by an informed citizenry matters more than getting a particular outcome. G+

Obama broaches the idea of mandatory voting

While discussing money in politics on Wednesday, President Obama broached a topic normally confined to academic circles: A law requiring people to vote.

People are claiming that Boston has a new "title" and is "champion" again because it broke its own snowfall record.  But it's only the record snowfall in Boston.

Syracuse averages more than Boston's maximum. Their record is nearly twice Boston's maximum.

This isn't a championship or title.  It's just a personal best. G+

I feel like there's something wrong with me because I am for vaccinations and against the arguments made against vaccinations, but I am also against most of the rhetoric coming from the pro-vaccination side.

Nah, just kidding. I think there's something wrong with everyone else. G+

I wanted to make sure no one could easily find info about my kid online, so I named him "Google." G+

A new poker game: Obamaha.  It's like Omaha, but when you pick your two cards to make your hand, your other two cards are added to the community cards for other players to use.

Other possible rules:

* players with stacks shorter than the mean get an extra river card
* graduated antes, based on stack size (the smallest chip in play for most players; nothing if your stack is in the bottom 10% of players; 10 of the smallest chip if you're in the top 20%; and half your stack if you're in the top 1%)
* flushes are the lowest-ranked hand, due to lack of diversity
* the dealer always knows everyone else's hand
* if you get three-of-a-kind Kings your stack is distributed to the other players and you are kicked out of the game, unless you're really sorry and the dealer likes you G+

The protests in Ferguson are a good case study in how facts simply don't matter.  It seems likre pretty much all of these protestors believe that Officer Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown was unjustified, even though the facts clearly demonstrate otherwise. G+

“Would I be happy if they left the university, and were no longer our students? Yes, I’d be happy,” said Boren. “We don’t have room for racism and bigots at this university.”

False.  In fact, seeing as that it is a public institution, you are not allowed to exclude people for having unpopular views or saying unpopular things.  You are absolutely required to have room for racism and bigots at Oklahoma University.

You can ban actual harassment, but you cannot ban having racist or bigoted views or saying racist or bigoted things at a public institution.  If you don't like it, then go to a private university. G+

Oklahoma fraternity's 'racists and bigots' condemned as protests grow

David Boren says Sigma Alpha Epsilon would not be welcome on campus after video emerged of fraternity members chanting racial slurs against black people

Was watching the Apple Event.  After Tim Cook introduced Christy Turlington Burns and showed her picture on the big screen, the camera showed Al Gore.  Compare and contrast. G+

This is such nonsense.  What the reporter says "many legal scholars considered a trivial statutory flaw," is actually a very clear and unambiguous statement in the ACA that President Obama is not allowed to do what he is doing.

The law says, "you can't give these people money," and Obama is giving them money.  That's not trivial.

You might not like that the law says it, and you might not think that the Congress meant it, but -- because there are obvious good reasons why that might be intentional -- the claim that it is merely a textual error requires evidence, and there is none. G+

How six words landed the ACA at the Supreme Court again

In the coming days, the Supreme Court will weigh whether states that rely on the federal health care exchange can provide subsidies to make insurance affordable. Special correspondent Sarah Varney of Kaiser Health News reports on how millions will be affected if the Court wipes out financial help in 34 states.

Dear Internet,

We know, as a matter of fact, that "hands up, don't shoot" -- the media narrative that Michael Brown was killed while trying to surrender -- is a lie.  So please, stop saying it.

I am not saying it did not happen.  I am saying the assertion that it did happen is not based on any serious evidence.  To assert it is true, is a lie. There is no reason to believe it is true.

Even Attorney General Eric Holder admits it's a myth.  To summarize his DOJ's report: the witness accounts that say he was holding his hands up to surrender were inconsistent with facts or with the witness' other statements, or were later recanted.  *All* credible witnesses said that Brown was moving toward Officer Wilson when Wilson shot him, and the credible witnesses who said he had his hands up also said he dropped his hands before then "charging" at Wilson.

President Obama's Department of Justice confirms that Officer Wilson was not charged because there was no evidence against him.

The relevant text of the DOJ report:

Although there are several individuals who have stated that Brown held his hands up in an unambiguous sign of surrender prior to Wilson shooting him dead, their accounts do not support a prosecution of Wilson. As detailed throughout this report, some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time. Certain other witnesses who originally stated Brown had his hands up in surrender recanted their original accounts, admitting that they did not witness the shooting or parts of it, despite what they initially reported either to federal or local law enforcement or to the media. Prosecutors did not rely on those accounts when making a prosecutive decision. While credible witnesses gave varying accounts of exactly what Brown was doing with his hands as he moved toward Wilson – i.e., balling them, holding them out, or pulling up his pants up – and varying accounts of how he was moving – i.e., “charging,” moving in “slow motion,” or “running” – they all establish that Brown was moving toward Wilson when Wilson shot him. Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and “charging” at Wilson. G+

Former British MP George Galloway is no Benjamin Netanyahu, but when he was called before the Senate in 2005, Democrats and lefists around the nation cheerled his explicit attempts to undermine President Bush's foreign policy. So color me unimpressed when they same folks complain that Republicans are helping Netanyahu undermine President Obama's policies. 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."

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