November 2016 Archives

I wrote an #alexa  skill to make my goal horn sound at home. So instead of pressing a button on my iPhone or watch, I can say "alexa, tell horn we scored" and the horn will sound. #awsreinvent   G+
I get the feeling that people sometimes express a feeling of fear as a means of expressing deep disagreement, rather than a feeling of actual fear. G+
I dislike the language ("economic terrorism"), but it is important that we recognize that these protests (even when they aren't violent) cause real economic harm. We shouldn't let people block busy city streets during rush hour, at least not without a permit and prior notice so people can plan for it. It's not OK. G+
President Trump should create a new "Transparency Czar" position, and name Chelsea Clinton to the role, if she'll take it. Some of the work she did along these lines with the Clinton Foundation was quite good. She'd be tasked with eliminating conflicts of interest and unreasonable or illegal secrecy across all executive agencies, and given the budget to make it happen. G+
Obama can't "pardon" an illegal alien to protect them from deportation under Trump. As I've been saying for years, being here illegally is not a crime. That means you can't be punished criminally for it; it also means you can't be pardoned for it. The only way to fully protect someone from deportation under Trump is to give them a permanent legal status.

The NY Times article here, written by a law professor, is wrong. What he's missing is that being here illegally is not an "offense" in terms of the law, it's a matter of status: you belong somewhere else, so you are returned to where you belong.

When you're deported, you are not being punished, according to the law. You're simply being sent home. There's no "offense" to pardon you for. Obama can't change someone's legal status with a pardon, and therefore cannot protect from deportation with a pardon.

At most, Obama can pardon people for the offense of illegal entry, but that wouldn't make anyone legal. G+
Donald Trump has destroyed both parties. G+
Republicans will best serve the country and themselves if they do what the Democrats didn't do in 2008, and bring the minority party along. Even in repealing the ACA, bring the Democrats along. Better to get 75% of what you want with Democratic support, than 100% of what you want without it.
The "popular vote" for President is only an approximation of how people would have voted if we had an actual popular vote for President. G+
We can finally dispense with the myth that polls are accurate.

OK, that's too simplistic. Polling is hard and you have to continually adjust your assumptions, and when those assumptions are flawed, your results may be inaccurate, and it is always possible that your assumptions are flawed, so you can never assume your results are accurate.

So polls are not trustworthy, even the best ones, but they are still right more often than not, because when our assumptions are proven wrong, we adjust to the new discoveries. And polls will have accurate results for a time ... until our assumptions are wrong again.
Does this mean Alec Baldwin will become a permanent SNL cast member? G+
PSA: There is no such thing as a "popular vote" for President. Thus, there is nothing to "win" or "lose."

And this isn't merely a technical point: people cast their vote based on the system we have, so the fact that we have no popular vote has an effect on the vote itself, such that votes in different states aren't equal.

In California, for example, it's not possible for anyone but Clinton to win, so someone might be more likely to vote for a third-party or independent candidate, or not at all, since your vote is inconsequential. But in Florida, where the outcome was far from assured, someone is more likely to vote for one of the majority party candidates.

So the way you vote can change depending on which state you're voting in; therefore, you can't just pull all the individual votes together from all the states (plus DC!) and call it a "popular vote." The number is meaningless.

We don't know who will have the most individual votes in 2016, but we know Bush had fewer than Gore in 2000. But what we don't know is if Bush would have had fewer in 2000 if we had an actual popular vote. All we know is that the tally would have been different, and that it might have been different in sufficient degree that Bush would have had more.

So please, stop talking about the "popular vote" as though it can tell us who would have won if we determined the election by actual popular vote. It cannot tell us that.

Cheers! G+
I am avoiding Facebook for the next week or so. Look for me elsewhere if you want me. G+
The Red Sox finally winning the World Series in 2004 did wonders for Boston native John Kerry in the election. I'm sure the 2016 victory of the Chicago Cubs will do the same for Chicago native Hillary Clinton. G+
Secretary of State Kim Wyman is being attacked by her challenger for things she literally has no control over, such as voter turnout being down (which is because people dislike their choices); holding the presidential primary (which only the legislature, not the Secretary of State, can suspend); and requiring voter ID for voter suppression (which is only seeking to being Washington into compliance with the federal REAL ID law, not suppressing votes; voter ID only applies to in-person voting, which almost no one in Washington does).

The only valid claim made against Wyman is that there was an error in a Spanish translation of the voter guide that implied that people convicted of a misdemeanor, not just a felony, were ineligible to vote, but no one seriously thinks that this was intentional, and it's framed as though Wyman is trying to engage in voter suppression.

Tina Podlodowski's entire campaign, literally, is based on lies. Honesty is one of the most important characteristics for a Secretary of State, and she makes herself ineligible.

There's nothing wrong with having a gun and using it to defend yourself and your family.

There is something wrong with firing a gun irresponsibly. Rule #1: do not fire -- or even point -- a gun at someone unless it is necessary to protect a life.

A bystander dying because you fired your gun to protect yourself or someone else is a tragic accident. A bystander dying because you fired your gun to stop a car thief is a terrible mistake.

This is a funny read about security of WA elections. My favorite part is that they need to tell us what "IP" and "DMZ" stand for, but not what "SLTT" and "FM200" are. Several sentences are missing verbs or have incorrect verb tenses. And the faith they place in the testing is pretty funny, too. G+
When a team with a more than 50-year drought wins the World Series in an election year, the Republicans win the White House. G+
If you vote based on your interests and the facts, then I think you're making the right vote, no matter whom it is for. G+
Hillary said yesterday she is sure the FBI will find classified information illegally stored by Abedein on Wiener's computer.

"I'm sure they will reach the same conclusion they did when they looked at my emails for the last year."

And, of course, the most important conclusion the FBI reached was that she had a lot of highly classified information illegally stored on her server. Whether or not it was a crime, it was a very serious and -- at best -- extremely careless breach of national security. 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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