Miscellaneous: August 2015 Archives

Reshared post from Reason:

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"Cultural differences? Turns out they make all the difference." G+

Original Post from Reason:

Time for another round of half-baked statistics.

Andy Parker, father of slain journalist Alison Parker, said: "We've got to find a way to keep crazy people from getting guns, mentally unstable people. The people that do this are mentally unstable, and somehow they're able to get guns."

I'm entirely open to ideas.  But I have no good ones.  You can't just take away someone's rights because they act a little nutty: you have to follow due process.

How could we have done that with his daughter's murderer?  I'm seriously asking here. G+
This is a cover of Tim & Mollie O'Brien's song "Wichita" (by way of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings).  I was listening to friends Nat and Jenine from the Pipi Pickers, and was inspired to lay down this track. G+
"There's too many guns in America."

According to what standard?  I mean, I know there's many guns per person in the U.S., many more than most other nations.  But to me, that just means we're more awesome than those other nations.

It seems to me that people just think, "more guns means more death."  But the data doesn't show that.  Vermont and Iowa have many more guns than most European nations per capita, and yet comparable homicide and suicide rates (and sometimes lower suicide rates).

Further, we know that as guns per capita has increased in the U.S., violent crime has decreased, as it has in many other countries, while their guns per capita have, in some cases, decreased.

While a gun is an effective tool for killing, the data does not back up the claim that "more guns mean more death."  Guns can be a contributing factor to more death, but absolutely not a sufficient or necessary factor. G+
"If we can save one life ..."

We hear that a lot from people trying to take away our freedom, that any measure is justified "if we can save one life."  But they don't really mean it, obviously: we can save lives by restricting speech, movement, association, private property, and so on, in a multitude of ways.  But we don't, because it is not worth it to save one life, to lose essential liberty.

What they mean when they say this is that they do not believe that the freedom they are trying to take away is a freedom that people should have.

Of course, the other dishonest part of this rhetoric is that the measures they are talking about usually have nothing to do with the problem they are trying to solve, as is the case with "universal background checks" and the shooting of the journalist and cameraman. G+
In case this isn't clear to you: recent history has shown that when the issue of "women's health" or "war on women" comes up, Republicans go on the defensive, and usually look worse in the process.  So when Hillary is look her worst, it is entirely predictable that this is what she'll start talking about.

It doesn't even matter that what she said is stupid and indefensible.  It puts the focus on the Republicans, and off of her very real, very troubling, scandals.  That's all that matters to her. G+

27.08.2015 21:47

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November 2007: I wrote a song that opened the CNN/YouTube GOP Debate in Florida (and I sat behind Chuck Norris, who was honored to meet me; you can see the back of his head in the last few seconds of the video).

At the time, Rudy Giuliani was the "frontrunner" of the eight GOP candidates, and Hillary Clinton was the "only" candidate for the Democrats.  Now, Hillary is still the "only" Democratic candidate, and Donald Trump is the frontrunner of the 17 GOP candidates.

Maybe it's time for another song? G+
Cris Carter, about the Patriots: "This is a game about integrity and this is a game about rules. It's not about everybody else breaking them. You got caught."

Cris Carter, to rookies: "If you all got a crew, you got to have a fall guy in the crew.  If you all have a crew, one of those fools got to know, he's the one going to jail. We'll get him out." G+
If I'm a writer on SNL, I'm praying for Biden vs. Trump. G+
What a shock: the Democrats are telling blatant lies about the Republican candidates. G+
It's amazing that after all this time, anyone in sports news would've thought that this report was true.  Now ESPN just needs to apologize for Chris Mortensen's false Deflategate reporting.  And maybe the next time someone on ESPN accuses the Patriots of habitually cheating, they can point out the fact that it is not true.

A guy can dream. G+
Dear Internet,

As NRO says, Trump's critics are wrong about the issue of birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment.

That said, Trump is also wrong, because this is a losing issue.  No one cares what Senator Howard wrote in 1866.  Not even conservative justices on the Supreme Court care, except for maybe Clarence Thomas.  We already learned this when the majority in McDonald v. Chicago found that the Second Amendment applied to the states via "selective incorporation," even though Senator Howard wrote 150 years ago that the Second Amendment would apply to the states via the privileges and immunities clause.

Only Thomas cared about the original intent of the 14th Amendment in that case.

Now, because birthright citizenship for nonresident or illegal aliens etc. has never been tested in the Supreme Court, that's a big difference between McDonald and this issue.  And it is true that the Court could establish that "birthright citizenship" is limited.

But it's also true that there's no reason to test it.  The number of citizens added to this country as "anchor babies" is tiny compared to the overall immigration problem, and probably end up being productive citizens more often than they end up as drains on the system.

As a political issue, maybe this has importance, but eliminating birthright citizenship will not improve a single American life in any way (except for the lawyers and pundits who are paid to talk about it, or the politicians elected on the back of it). G+
Santorum, Graham, Gilmore, Pataki. Who quits first? When do we drop to 16 GOP candidates? Before Labor Day? G+

The NFL looks worse every day.

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Next up: SEC requires publicly traded companies to disclose the ratio of organic snacks supplied to workers. G+
#Deflategate has been going on for my daughter's entire life. And she's crawling now. G+
I've liked +Cory Booker ever since he lost the Newark mayoral race. But he either doesn't understand Voter ID, or he is lying about it.  You simply cannot say we don't need Voter ID by saying, "You're more likely to get struck by lightning in Texas than to find any kind of voter fraud," for the simple and obvious reason that without Voter ID, it is difficult to detect this kind of voter fraud.

And the broader idea that any group of citizens -- other than those convicted of felonies -- is losing the right to vote is just a lie.  There is no effort to disenfranchise anyone, and there is no effect of that, either.  They have no data to back it up.  The closest they come is saying "estimates are that as many as, ..." which is another way of saying "we have no evidence."  Because it's not happening. G+
And this is one more reason why I don't jump to conclusions.  Until we know what happened, we don't know what happened. G+
I can't see more than four of the 17 GOP candidates having a chance of winning the nomination: Bush, Christie, Kasich, and Walker. It's hard to see how anyone else has a pathway to get there. G+
Repeat after me: "there is no mass shooting epidemic."

Even with 2012 and the shootings in Colorado and Connecticut, we had just over 2 deaths per 10 million Americans due to mass public shootings that year.  Not per thousand, or per 100,000, or per million ... per 10 million.  The numbers are so small that any statistical comparison is meaningless, because a single incident can change the numbers a lot. G+

I have to get this shirt.

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I have to get this shirt. G+

03.08.2015 16:00

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I still can't share iTunes Match with Family accounts, even using Apple Music. And I am still limited to just 10 devices for the account, but since they the whole family has to be on the same account so we can share iTunes Match ...

Apple, please fix this. G+
This is the stupidest thing I've seen in a long time.  Combining the silly form, with exceptionally dishonest arguments, and it's hard to be stupider than this.

* no one is against diplomacy
* this deal does not actually prevent Iran from getting a bomb
* it's a matter of debate whether this is the best path to preventing Iran from getting a bomb
* saying we shouldn't "play politics" and instead "support diplomacy" is so many levels of dumb it's hard to know where to begin, but I'll start by pointing out that diplomacy is politics, and our Constitution requires the political branches to work out treaties


I am not for or against this deal.  I see big problems with it; I also see that it might be the best we can get.  But I am not convinced it's the best we can get, and I am also not convinced that if it is the best we can get, that it is worth doing, because it might be so bad that it's no better than doing nothing.

And a silly video mostly from people who know even less about the deal than I do is not going to do much to convince me otherwise.  The only credible people in the video are Queen Noor (whom I respect a lot, but who has her own agenda), and Ambassador Pickering.  And there's plenty of credible people who oppose the deal, too. 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 a archive of entries in the Miscellaneous category from August 2015.

Miscellaneous: July 2015 is the previous archive.

Miscellaneous: September 2015 is the next archive.

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