October 2015 Archives

See, you can't have it both ways.  You can't yell "public money for basic science!" and then just ignore the strings that come with it, when it suits you.

This is also part of why basic science should not be funded by government: because then science becomes political.  And there's no way around this, except to subvert democracy.  You simply cannot have independent science done without political interference, when the politicians are the ones funding the science, unless you destroy democratic controls over the political process.

It is important to understand this truism. G+
Does anyone else think that Biden's announcement to not run for President was timed to make sure the press was pro-Hillary in time for her Benghazi hearing appearance? G+
You never do something you don't want to do.

I mean, sure, I can say I want to not eat an extra piece of cake.  But at the moment I am eating it, I want to eat it.  Otherwise, I wouldn't do it.

And I can say I don't want to write that report for work, but I want the alternatives even less: missing out on a promotion, losing my job, losing the respect of others.

The Apostle Paul said, "... I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. ... I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing." (Romans 7)

But at the time he does the thing he hates, he wants to do them.  Otherwise he wouldn't do them.  He wants his future self to not do them, and he wants his past self to not have done them ... but his present self wanted to do it.

Literally everything we do, it's because we want to do it.  So many people try to force themselves to do what they don't want to do, whether it's exercise or dieting or charity or whatever.  The trick is not to force yourself to do it, it's to want to do it.

There's various ways to do this, to "rewire" yourself to want the short-term action because of the long-term gain it provides.

One way is rewarding yourself (you're only allowed to watch TV if it is while you are exercising).  Another way is to simply focus on the long-term gains, or losses, of certain behaviors.

But stop trying to force yourself, by brute force, to do something you don't want to do.  It's literally impossible.  The only reason you went to the gym that one time is because you wanted to.  It will be no different in the future: if you don't want to, you won't go.

The energy you spend trying to do and not do things is wasted.  Spend your energy, instead, on adjusting your motivations. G+
Funny spam I got today.

Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2015 08:58:15 -0500
From: "MR. JACOB LEW" <xxxxxx@ustreas.org>
Reply-to: xxxxxx@gmail.com
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Good day to you, I am Jacob Joseph "Jack" Lew, new nominated Secretary of the United  States National Treasury.  Here is a little about my self and also the reason why I have decided to contact you. I am an American government administrator who served as the 25th White House Chief of Staff from 2012 to 2013. I previously served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton and Obama Administrations, and I am member of the Democratic Party.

In 1993, I began work for the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant to the President. In 1994 I served as Associate Director for Legislative Affairs and Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, where I served as Director of that agency from 1998 to 2001 and from 2010 to 2012. After leaving the Clinton Administration, I worked as the Executive Vice President for Operations at New York University from 2001 to 2006, and as the COO at Citigroup from 2006 to 2008. I then served as the first Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, from 2009 to 2010.

On January 10, 2013, I was nominated as the replacement for retired Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, to serve in President Barack Obama's second term

Kindly visit the website below to view my personal profile. Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Lew

United Nations have given me due Instructions, alongside with the World Bank to wire a sum of $10million US Dollars Only into your Bank Account in a legal way, That is why I have contacted you and to let you know that the United States Department of Justice, in The Person of the Attorney General will get some documents for you so that this transaction can be completed without delay.

Below is the Required Documents:
1: United Nations/U.S fund approval Certificate
2: World Bank deposit Certificate
3: Proof of Ownership Certificate from U.S Government.

These three(3) documents are needed before I can proceed with the transfer into your bank account: in the meantime; I want you to Re-Confirm the following details to me for your Case File Processing.

Legal First and Last Name:
Complete Residential Address & Age
Direct Telephone No & Fax
Legal Occupation and Position
Address of Occupation

Please get back to me as soon as possible via my Personal Email:

Thanks and God Bless you.
Jacob Lew
Treasury Secretary
Main Treasury 1500
Pennsylvania Avenue,
NW Washington, D.C. 20220.

This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program. G+
Hillary Clinton is saying that, like we did with Beirut, we should not look to cast blame regarding Benghazi.  And I agree with that.  Obviously, mistakes happened, and we should seek to find out what happened to fix it, not to blame people.

But the problem is that she has not only stonewalled the investigation repeatedly, but she (and the White House) lied in the aftermath of the incident to place blame with a stupid video, because we were on the eve of national elections, and they thought that the truth would make them look bad.

The day after the Benghazi attack, she said on a phone call to the Egyptian Prime Minister, "We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest."  Yet we know that both she, and Susan Rice, kept pushing the notion that the evidence was leaning toward the cause being a protest over a video.  Clinton says that subsequent information changed the assessment, but she offers absolutely zero evidence that any such information that pointed to a protest over the video as the cause, existed.

There was never any point at which the evidence showed that the cause was likely a protest over the video.

She lied, and Rice lied, and the White House lied, and they did it to win an election.  And that's important. G+
Dear Internet,

The "clock kid" was never arrested for making a bomb.  He was arrested for possessing a "hoax bomb."  The teachers and police never thought it was real.  But it is a crime to posses such a device and "make another believe that the hoax bomb is an explosive or incendiary device" or to "cause [an] alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies."

The police determined there was no intent to make anyone believe it was a bomb, or to cause alarm, and so he was released.

So to all of you who thinks he was arrested for making a bomb, or that the teachers or police thought it was a bomb ... you're wrong.  Stop it. G+
We are no longer accepting nominations for "Dumbest Government Official of 2015."  Lena Van Haren is the winner.

The school is primarily "African American and Latino students", and the "top four spots" in the election went to "white, Asian, and mixed-race students."  That means that the "African American and Latino students" significantly voted for "white, Asian, and mixed-race" candidates.

But the principal says, "It's not OK for a school that is really, really diverse to have the student representatives majority white."  So she is telling the majority "African American and Latino students" that they were wrong to not vote for someone of their own races.

Worse, she appears to be telling America that it was wrong to electing an African American to the office of President of the United States, since he's in the minority, and the majority is white ... so therefore the President should be white, too.  Oh wait ... President Obama isn't African American, but "mixed race" ... so does that make it OK?

This is all so confusing.  And stupid.

But primarily stupid.

The bottom line is that the students are not racist, and she thinks that's a problem.

Now, I can hear all of you out there saying, "what about Kim Davis?  She's stupider than Van Haren!"  And you may have a point, but at least Davis' view about her official duties has some kind of internally consistent logic, unlike Van Haren.  So I'm making the call. G+
Hey Cubs, remember the Red Sox and 2004.  Sox down 3 games to 0 to a team from New York, and losing in Game 4.  They won that game, and then won eight in a row to win the World Series over a team from Missouri.

It could happen again. G+
This is "Lava" from the Pixar short film that played before the feature film "Inside Out."  It was originally performed by Kuana Torres Kahele. G+
So some awesome folks at the Chef Community Summit in Seattle built a new Lego set, at Wednesday's Game Night: the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245 truck, with motorized bed and stabilizers and arm.  They did a great job, and then it was given away in a drawing, and I won it.  It's pretty sweet, I gotta say.  I downloaded the instructions ... almost 500 pages' worth.  They did it in about four hours.  Amazing.

(While they were building the truck, I was busy winning $40 in poker.) G+
Dear America,

Many of you think Ben Carson and some other Republican candidates have demonstrated scientific ignorance.  I don't always agree, but I understand where it's coming from.

But what I don't understand is why you give Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and all the Democratic candidates a pass when they habitually make statements demonstrating terrible economic ignorance.

I'd rather have my President with scientific ignorance than economic ignorance, if I had to choose. G+
Let's be entirely clear here: Pharrell Williams' comment about Hillary here is completely and totally sexist.  And not in a good way. G+
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

| | Comments (0)
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+
<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."

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2015 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2015 is the previous archive.

November 2015 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.