Miscellaneous: January 2016 Archives

I won't vote for Bernie Sanders because he keeps pronouncing "pundits" incorrectly ("pundints"). G+

30.01.2016 07:43

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Dear Politicians and Voters,

The idea that an idea from "the past" is "outdated" or "bad" or "dumb," is itself an idea from the past. G+
When people say "I don't believe in coincidence," they are saying there is some sort of universal queue, where only one event can happen at any given time.  And the communication with the queue has to be instantaneous, across billions of light years.  It's just completely nutty! G+

Reshared post from Reason:

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Original Post from Reason:

Last night’s Republican debate on Fox News offered a brief glimpse at a race without Donald Trump. And what that glimpse showed us was a race that is smarter, more substantive, and better at revealing the spirited differences of policy, personality, and ideology in the Republican primary field.

My "Yub Nub" cover got over 40K views in a week, but it's still a ways away from my second-most watched original video, my take on "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid.

(My most-watched original video has almost 2 million views, so that one doesn't count.) G+
When deciding between services in the cloud or your data center, the most important thing is to always, always, always stay on-premise. G+

Reshared post from Reason:

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This is excellent news. G+

Original Post from Reason:

The worst campus censor of 2015 could go to jail for 15 days.

I'm running for President. Trump is useless and Cruz can't be trusted and Rubio just isn't ready, and Republicans don't want an establishment guy like Kasich or Christie or Bush, so I guess it's up to me. G+
We have hit critical coddling; I repeat, critical levels of coddling have been achieved.  Please find the closest escape pod and shove a school administrator into it. G+

Reshared post from Reason:

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"Many or even most of the people who make a living working in politics and political commentary—even those who think of themselves as outsiders, such as nonpartisan libertarians—inevitably begin to view their field as one dedicated primarily to ideas, ideology, philosophy, policy, and so forth, and NOT to the emotional, ideologically unmoored cultural passions of a given (and perhaps fleeting) moment. Donald Trump—and more importantly, his supporters, who go all but unmentioned here (Ben Domenech is an exception)—illustrate that that gap is, well, yuuge."Matt Welch here well-describes the difference between what we might call "conservatism" and "the right wing."  The right wing supports certain policies we tend to place on the right, but they do not do so for strongly principled, let alone highly consistent, reasons.  They want what they want, and it doesn't matter why or how.Conservatism, though, is concerned with the why and how, because the what depends on the why, and they why implies a how.So for example, conservatism recognizes the fact that we have a right to control our borders, and an obligation to enforce the laws, including immigration laws, objectively.  The right wing agrees.  But where the right wing says, "fix the problem, and I don't care how," a conservative recognizes that you have to fix the problem in a way that is going to be consistent with the same principles that led you to believe it was a problem in the first place.Drug laws are another clear difference.  A conservative says, "recreational drug use can cause harm, but laws against that can cause more harm, and people have the right to cause harm to themselves anyway."  The right wing generally thinks that drugs are bad, so we need to make it illegal, and damn the consequences."Damn the consequences" could be Trump's overall political motto.  And it's something conservatives never say. G+

Original Post from Reason:

Conservative flagship National Review has published a group hit piece against Donald J. Trump, featuring Glenn Beck, Ed Meese, Thomas Sowell, Bill Kristol, John Podhoretz, David Boaz, the Editors, and more.

I am kinda surprised that in all the comments about my Yub Nub video, no one mentioned this.

"Why would wookie, an eight-foot tall wookie, want to live on Endor with a bunch of two-foot tall ewoks?  That does not make sense." G+

I was on The Nerdist yesterday.

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Only on the Internet can you argue about what the original words of "Yub Nub" were ... when the words in question were never actually in the film anyway. (Not that I am complaining, it was enlightening.) G+
Dear America,

It's wrong to shut down a bridge, which endangers lives and costs people much, whether you work for the NJ governor, or you're a civil rights protestor. Either way, you're a malicious jerk and you should go to prison.
I totally support people who are rejecting the Oscars over the alleged "snub" of African-Americans (and, presumably, people of other races), because the Oscars are stupid.

They serve no serious purpose, except for marketing.  They aren't objective, and never have been, and never could be: there's no reasonably objective way to judge which actor or film is "best."

If there is a snub of non-whites, it is almost certainly because there is greater financial benefit to support other films.  And why find fault with that?  The problem is that people try to put meaning into the Oscars that just isn't there.

So yes, the more boycotts, the better.  They mean nothing.  Stop pretending they do. G+

Insert jokes here.

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The idea that someone who is an American citizen at birth, due to his parentage, is not a "natural-born citizen," is patently stupid.Cruz is perhaps the GOP candidate I dislike the most, but this is just dumb. G+

Original Post from Reason:

Libertarians scholars say Canada-born Ted Cruz is constitutionally eligible to be president...liberal ones say he is not

+John Kasich is in a firm second place in the last three New Hampshire polls.  In the most recent, he is at 20 percent, only 7 points behind Trump. G+


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Hypnopudge. G+
I really want to write a song about Downton Abbey, wherein I describe various things in the show, but in the chorus I mispronounce it "Downtown" instead of "Downton."  And I will misspell it in the title.  And then people will comment on the video and correct me, and I'll confidently point out that I am using the American spelling and pronunciation. G+
Dear America:

The "Charleston loophole" is necessary. If the government can indefinitely delay a background check, the government will use that to deny people their constitutional rights.  We know they will.  It's inevitable.

Maybe the current government wouldn't do it, but some future government will.  And maybe the period should be longer than three days; that is a reasonable topic for discussion.  But forcing people to wait indefinitely for a background check to return from the government is not a reasonable option.

It's hard to tell from Clinton's remarks whether she merely supports a longer period of time, or abolishing the limitation entirely.  One would hope it's not the latter. G+
Please stop saying that Donald Trump is conservative. That's like saying Sylvester Stallone is a world champion boxer. G+
My favorite part of the State of the Union coverage last night is when one of my favorite politicians to hate, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, said Republicans chose Governor Nikki Haley for the SOTU response because she is a non-white woman ... and then later, in the exact same interview, asserted that it was a good idea to invite a "Muslim American" to the SOTU.

So even if race and sex are the reasons Haley was chosen -- which is patently silly, since she is one of the most popular governors in the nation, from the state that holds its primary right after New Hampshire -- in the same breath, she is saying that Democrats should invite people to the SOTU based on their religion.

And this is why I love to hate DWS.  She's just a massively dishonest jerk. G+
When picking who you want for President, remember, you are not just picking a President for four years, or eight years.  You're picking an ex-President, for life.

Vote Old! G+
Heh.  Weird for me to hear adults from St. Louis saying they've been Rams fans their whole lives, since I remember going to Rams games in L.A. when I was in college.

Yep.  I'm old. G+
Dear Internet,

If time stopped for everyone but you, you'd be essentially blind and deaf. Just sayin'.
A common thing to ask around election time is whether we're better off than we were before. Are we better off now than we were before President Obama was elected?

Well ... yeah, we are. We're safer from violence and guns. We're more prosperous and productive, and the economy has improved. We've lost some liberties, but we've gained others. Overall, we're better off.

We're not nearly as well-off as we could be. The economy could, and should, be much better. Our foreign policy has been a mess, and the world is a more dangerous place than it should be. ObamaCare is a mess (even if you agree with its goals). Americans seem to hate each other more than ever.

A mistake we often make is to over-emphasize the negative. We also often give the President too much credit or blame for what happens.  But probably the biggest mistake we make is to not try to imagine where we should and could be, rather than simply looking at where we were and are. G+
“By any reasonable criteria Senator Paul has a top tier campaign,” his campaign said.

Agreed! Well ... except for the part where Republicans aren't supporting him. G+
Been waiting for a good opportunity to show Labyrinth to the kids. G+
Wow. Never thought I'd see this: Josh Earnest, Obama's own spokesman, is a birther.  Seriously.

Yes, it's true that Cruz was not born in the U.S., but he has always been a U.S. citizen.  He is a natural-born citizen, but Earnest is saying, well, maybe, since he wasn't born here, he maybe isn't really a citizen.

Please let's stop pretending that Obama and his crew was ever principled on the issue of natural-born citizenship. G+
Yes, Roy Moore is ignoring the Constitution and the rule of law.  But if you support the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision, you don't get to criticize him for that, because that is exactly what the decision itself does.

I am against the decision (because I think the Constitution clearly does not require states to recognize same-sex marriage, even though I am personally against bans on same-sex marriages), but in favor of following it (because that is what the Constitution demands, in my interpretation of Article III etc., even though I think this decision is clearly wrong).  That is what it means to follow the rule of law: to follow it even when you think it's wrong.

Both sides here -- Roy Moore, and those supporting Obergefell -- don't care about the rule of law.  They only care about pushing their personal views on the issue of same-sex marriage. G+
This is completely unfair to Donald Trump, maybe, but I am reading through more than a dozen Batman graphic novels -- from Year One to The Black Mirror -- and I decided to throw Joker in there, too. There's an interesting bit by The Joker:

"I met a man who was obssessed with driving a car around the world in one day. He swore up and down he could do it. And he tried to. Many times, from what I understand. At the end of those failed days ... he'd sit on the side of the road cursing his back luck. Eventually, a good samaritan would stop. After slaughtering the samaritan -- and anyone else with the samaritan -- like his wife, children -- he'd put them in his car, set it on fire, and drive off in theirs. Then he'd fill up the tank and wait on the sun, so he could try to drive around the world again. ...

"He blamed the cars for his failures. It never crossed his mind that what he believed he could do was impossible. I admire that."

This evoked Donald Trump in my mind. I am not sure if he is The Joker or the driver, though. G+
Dear America,

If I had free time, I'd go to a Trump rally.  It's be historic and entertaining.  But there's no way I'd give him money or vote for him.

So when you see a lot of people at Trump rallies ... I dunno, I have a hard time believing most of them necessarily support Trump for President (or will continue to do so as they pay more attention to the election). G+
Dear America,

Federal research on gun violence is not banned.  It never has been.  Only some gun research, using certain funds, is banned.  The language reads: none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.

The CDC puts out studies about guns every year (such as http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dms/files/cdcgunviolencereport10315.pdf which is a CDC-funded report called "Elevated Rates of Urban Firearm Violence and Opportunities for Prevention—Wilmington, Delaware").  Because the law is written somewhat vaguely, to stay on the right side of the law, the CDC sometimes doesn't engage in research it might otherwise want to do, and be allowed to do under the law.

But again: the CDC still does gun research every year.  Federal gun violence research is not banned, and never has been.  Please stop saying it is. G+
President Obama did not say that anyone who sells guns must have a dealer license. He says if you are in the business of selling guns, you must have a license. Which is what the law already says. G+
Gun facts to remember:

* There is no correlation between guns and violence.  There just isn't.  Look all you want; it's not there.  Some states have very high gun ownership and very low gun violence rates; some have very low gun ownership and very high gun violence rates.  And in those same places, the violence rates are about the same regardless of whether a gun is involved.  President Obama says that we are not more violent than other countries, as a way to imply that guns are the cause of our violence, but the facts show that he is wrong: as a country, we are more violent than many other countries.  We simply know that guns do not cause violence, but rather that violent people will use guns to commit violent acts; but if they cannot use guns, will commit violent acts anyway.

* Gun violence in America -- like all violence in America -- has been decreasing for years, and continues to do so.  There may be small blips of increased violence in certain areas, but overall it is going down ... all while more guns are being bought, and more gun rights are being recognized.

* There is no basis for the view that because background checks have worked to reduce gun violence, therefore covering all sales will have a similar effect.  The concept of diminishing returns applies here.  In fact, extremely few guns used in crimes -- best estimates are around one percent -- were bought legally, but without a background check (the "gun show loophole").  Closing the "gun show loophole" cannot possibly have a significant effect on gun violence, because very few guns used for violence are procured this way today.

Now, all that said, I think most people are fine with covering people who make a business of selling guns into "dealers" in the understanding of the law.  But what most people are not fine with is doing what the state of Washington has done, where it is now a felony for you to hand your gun to your mother in your own home just for her to look at, or to let your good friend borrow your gun to go to the gun range, and so on.

As long as this is actually limited to the President's actual legal authority, and as long as it is targeted only at actual gun dealers, then I think most people will be fine with it. G+
There will soon be much discussion about what a "dealer" is.  Here is the essence of that law.

From 18 U.S. Code § 921, we find that a firearms "dealer" inclues "any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail," and "engaged in the business" in this context means "a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms."

Further, "with the principal objective of livelihood and profit" requires that the "intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection."

While there could be some confusion in some rare cases, generally, this is not going to be confusing.  If you have some guns, and you simply decide to sell some of the guns you don't want anymore, the government cannot use this to legally require you to be a dealer.

The real change will probably be for what are traditionally considered hobbyists, who buy and sell guns and try to make a profit from it, but have other jobs they consider their "livelihood."  There's some grey area there for some people.

But the word "and" is important.  You must be engaged for livelihood and profit. G+
Dear America,

If Donald Trump is a "recruitment tool" for terrorists ... so what?  The question is never if the terrorists want us to do something, or don't want us to do something, the question is only what we want to do: what is the best way to accomplish our goals?

Donald Trump would be a terrible President, but not because terrorists think he's terrible, but because we think he's terrible. G+
Remember: every second -- every nanosecond! -- is the start of a new year. 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 January 2016.

Miscellaneous: December 2015 is the previous archive.

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