November 2015 Archives

Nandor got a Vader Vandor.

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The Patriots have never won the Super Bowl without losing a game in the regular season.  On to Philadelphia! G+

Reshared post from Reason:

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Original Post from Reason:

"Enough is enough" is not a policy.

Just for fun.

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Seen on protest sign: "All lives matter but we're focused on the black ones right now, OK?"

No, it's not. Not if you're want to solve real problems and bring people together, it's not OK. G+
Dear Internet,

Bruce Shepard, the President of Western Washington University says that classes have been suspended because "we observed social media being used for hate speech targeted at Western students of color."

"Hate speech" is not a crime.  Period.  Criminal speech -- such as threats -- can take the form of hate speech, but no matter how vile, hate speech is constitutionally protected.  WWU, being a public university, has no authority to take any action against individuals for engaging in hate speech.

I suspect that this was actually threatening speech that constituted an imminent danger, and not merely "hate speech."  It's a shame that a university President doesn't know the difference. G+
Dear America,

If you're treating the people who disagree with you about refugee policy -- no matter what side of the issue you're on -- as evil/stupid/hateful/cowards/surrenderers/etc., then you're a big part of the problem.
The worst solution to the refugee problem is to simply allow them in, regardless of the potential for terrorist attack.  The second-worst solution to the problem is to exclude them all because of the potential for terrorist attack.

We should find a better solution. G+
Dear American Internet,

Accepting Syrian refugees into the United States increases the likelihood of attacks on the U.S.  Please stop pretending it doesn't.  If I were hellbent on attacking the U.S., and I had a bunch of people in my country who wanted to help me, and many other people from my country were going to get access into the U.S. ... of course, I would send operatives to the U.S. as part of that group of refugees.

That said, this is not a reason to exclude all or most Syrian refugees from entry.  But this is a hard problem.  I believe there are good solutions out there -- that will significantly mitigate the dangers while allowing many refugees in -- but I haven't heard one yet, and I have no faith in our federal government to implement one.

Also, the federal government has the authority to exclude Muslim Syrian refugees from entry.  But governors have no such authority to exclude them, once the federal government allows them in. G+
Trump admitted to illegally accessing massive amounts of top secret US intelligence. He said: "I know more about ISIS than the generals do." G+
There is only one universal value: self-interest. G+

To all college students.

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To all college students. G+
Student: College should be free!
Me: No, it shouldn't be.  You're the one going there, you should pay for it.
Student: But it costs too much!
Me: If you don't want to pay for it, then don't go to college.
Student: But college is necessary!
Me: No, it's not.
Student: But everyone does it!
Me: You want other people to pay for your choices.  You refuse to think for and take responsibility for yourself.  You're the problem.

And not for nothing, you want to prevent other people from having free speech on your campus because you want to engage in free speech without any disagreement, and now you want the people you disagree with, who you won't even let speak on your public campus (in violation of their civil rights), to pay for your tuition?

So not only do you want to tell everyone else they have to pay for your choices, while taking away the choices of others, you clearly aren't even learning basic civics and logic in this college of yours, so it's not worth paying for it in the first place.

Or, in short: No. G+
Listen to Blood from a Stone by The Hooters on @AppleMusic. G+
I thought John Kasich did a good job in the debate.  Apparently many people disagreed, vehemently.  Many even called him a liberal.

But I think I see why they think what they do.  Basically, Kasich has the same problem John Kerry used to have: he's a victim of having too much policy and nuance in his presentations.

So when Kasich said, for example, that he disliked Cruz' claim that he wouldn't bail out the banks, Kasich went into the details, and didn't well-explain his view, which was more about bailing out the individual investors, and it came out muddled.  Then, worse, he talked about maybe not bailing out people who can "afford" the losses, sounding to many as if he is picking winners and losers. That's not what his point was ... but it's hard to make the case for it in a debate.

Kasich is my favorite candidate.  I disagree with him in small ways on lots of things (for example, minimum wage, and drug legalization).  But he is far more conservative than he often comes off in these debates, because he -- unlike Cruz -- isn't willing to give the red-meat soundbite that many people want.  He is saying what will actually happen, rather than making hollow promises about being tough on bailouts and immigration.

Kasich knows how to do the job; he can work across the aisle while still promoting conservatism and helping to increase prosperity; and he can win a general election.  Most of the candidates can't say any of those things, let alone all of them. G+
About 20 years ago I first heard "One of Us" by Joan Osborne. I disliked it, and it struck me as having a terribly shallow religiosity to it, immediately reminding me of "All You Zombies," recorded 10 years earlier by The Hooters.

Shortly after, I found out the same dude wrote both songs.

I liked most Hooters songs, so nothing against Eric Bazilian.

Reshared post from Reason:

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This stuff is amazing. Soave has it right.And one more thing that really bothers me here: these are public universities, and one of the complaints is that the administrators did not punish students for what is, in some of the examples, absolutely protected free speech.  If an administrator at a public university punishes a student for "yelling a racial slur at the black student government president," that administrator would likely be subject to a civil rights lawsuit.Racism is vile, but it is protected by the Constitution.  A public school has no legal authority to punish merely racist speech.I get that more happened than just that, and some of these acts probably were criminal (like the swastika in feces) or at least actionable (words that constitute threats and intimidation, and not merely racist speech).  But when you complain about the school not doing something about things the school has no legal right to do anything about, it makes it hard for me to take you seriously. G+

Original Post from Reason:

In loco parentis returns: Yale and Mizzou students want to be treated like kids again

09.11.2015 20:37

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Dear America,

No candidate is a significant threat to your particular views.  If you're a progressive, Ben Carson does not threaten you.  If you're a conservative, Hillary Clinton does not threaten you.  If you're knowledgable about how government works, Donald Trump does not threaten you.

Politicians do not drive political movements nearly as much as political movements drive candidates.  The candidates are not the problem, it's your fellow citizens who disagree with you that are the problem.  And you can't change that by killing off a particular candidate.  Nor can you change their mind (nor would it be moral to use the force of government to attempt to do so).

(We already have a method of dealing with this problem, built-in to our existing system: limit the scope of how much your fellow citizens can harm your interests through government.  But few people seem to want to do that.) G+
This morning I read in 2 Samuel the account of an Amalekite giving an apparently contradictory account of how Saul died. Then I turned on MediaBuzz, where +Howard Kurtz reported on contradictory accounts of John Lennon's last moments. Weird.

Also weird: Samuel died before, and is not mentioned in, 2 Samuel.
Watching extended edition of the final Hobbit film. Thranduil tells Legolas to seek Strider, the Ranger. So apparently Aragorn was a Ranger when he was only ten years old. (This was in the theatrical release but I didn't think about it at the time.)
So it's been over nine months since this false, defamatory, and extremely damaging story was published on ESPN.  We've known it is a lie since early May, more than six months ago.  And it is still there on ESPN's web site, uncorrected.  

For those who haven't followed along, we've known for months now that, in fact, it is not true that "[e]leven of the Patriots' 12 game balls were inflated 2 pounds per square inch below what's required by NFL regulations during the AFC Championship Game against the Colts."  In fact, none of the balls were 2 PSI below the minimum based on on ref's measurements, and only one was according to the other ref's measurements. G+
I flipped the news on and saw Bill O'Reilly yelling "hack" and "liar" at a bemused George Will.  I looked up the article O'Reilly was angry about.  I think O'Reilly hurt himself by having Will on, not just because O'Reilly can only "win" an argument with Will by yelling, but because it would surely drive many people to read Will's piece and realize that Will has a very strong case, as it did with me. G+
This case is pretty much a no-brainer, and the only questionable thing is why the Obama administration has forced the issue.  It's very simple: if an organization is explicitly religious, even if it is not a church, and if it believes that contraception violates their beliefs, then it shouldn't be required to provide insurance that includes contraceptive coverage.

The key here is that there is no compelling reason to substantially burden the free exercise of religion, because the government could, for example, easily and simply hand out free contraception, without the insurance coverage paying for it, and that would satisfy the supposed state interest while not burdening the rights of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Obama is just bullying a bunch of nuns here. G+
There should be a TV drama that takes a lot of major events -- plane exploding over Egypt, cop shooting in NYC, the home mortgage financial crisis -- and shows the conspiracies that links them all together. G+
"The people who claim that society is full of shaming and bullying are the ones who are actually the bullies ganging up on those with whom they disagree." G+
Dear Mac users,

Every once in awhile, my El Capitan install basically freezes up.  I can't open apps, can't quit them easily, and so on.  I restart, and often (usually?) when I come back up, I've lost some preferences file and I have to recover it from Time Machine backup.  My iCloud password is often lost, but I've also lost my prefs for Terminal, Chrome, BBEdit, Evernote, and other apps.

Is it just me?  I cannot find others complaining about this.  Do I need a reinstall of the OS ... could it be hardware?  I noticed last night when this happened, I had opened my Mac from sleep and plugged in the USB Ethernet adapter, and then everything "froze", and then I tried to quit everything and restart and it wouldn't ... and then I unplugged the USB adapter and it all restarted immediately.

I've also noticed that I've had odd problems with lost networking across all of my interfaces (Thunderbolt, USB, even WiFi), even from "recovery mode," although this seems confined to a particular network, and this freeze yesterday happened at home, where I generally don't have those issues.

Sigh.  I bet it is hardware.  I hate hardware.  I want everything virtualized.  Turtles all the way down. G+
Dear America,

Just to be clear, Obama's choice to send troops into Syria clearly oversteps the constitutional powers of the President, as laid out int he War Powers Resolution.  The President can only send troops into hostilities "pursuant to a declaration of war, specific statutory authorization, or a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."

This is not the first time Obama has violated the law by using the military when it did not fit one of those three requirements.  Now, Obama could claim that the law -- which in this sense merely states what the constitutional requirements are -- is wrong, and superseded by a proper constitutional interpretation, wherein the President can use the military whenever he sees fit, perhaps absent a congressional prohibition.

But he should make that case explicitly, if that is his view, because as it stands, he is facially violating the law.  And saying these are not "combat troops" doesn't change a thing, because these troops are being introduced into hostilities. G+
Dear America,

Hillary Clinton is lying when she says that women make less money than men for the same jobs and same qualifications.  They make less overall, because they make choices that result in less pay.  For example, women often work fewer hours, choose lower-paying careers, have less preparation/education for particular jobs, and often have a shorter career length -- and therefore less experience -- due to parenting.

Clinton knows all this.  She is lying to you to try to get you to support her, because she thinks you're ignorant and naive. 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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