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Journal: How Hillary will win in 2016 10

Journal by RailGunner
Step 1: She'll come out of the closet, admitting one of the worst kept secrets in history is true.
Step 2: The Media will fall all over themselves to say how COURAGEOUS! and HISTORIC!! this is.
Step 3: Paint anyone who opposed Frau Fuhrer as a homophobe. After all, you're a hater is you don't vote for the first lesbian President.

Don't look at me like that. It worked for Obama, you racist.
User Journal

Journal: step 1, count your money, step 2, send it in

Journal by Bill Dog

From the they-would've-never-made-this-song-later-in-their-career dept:

Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
Should five percent appear too small
Be thankful I don't take it all

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet

Don't ask me what I want it for
Taxman, Mister Moonbeam (CA-540)
If you don't want to pay some more
Taxman, Mister O (1040)

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
'Cause I'm the Taxman
Yeah, I'm the Taxman
And you're working for no-one but me

Happy Tax Day! :)

User Journal

Journal: nettin_pure: Gone?

Journal by johndiii
nettin_pure seems to have stopped updating his journal. Sad; it was a constant in a changing Slashdot. It will be missed.

In any case: Happy birthday, nettin_pure. I hope the day has been a very good one. LÃ breithe sona duit!
User Journal

Journal: Gleichschaltung [LONG] 10

Journal by Bill Dog

Gleichschaltung [LONG]

This started as a response to smitty's latest JE, but got too long. From TFA he sites:

In the old days, the left railed against the eeeevils of Big Business, whether it was Upton Sinclair versus the meatpackers, or demonizing the men who built Americaâ(TM)s network of railroads with the folk Marxist twang of âoeRobber Barons.â But these days, as weâ(TM)ve seen in the past few weeks with Starbucksâ(TM) Howard Schultz and Appleâ(TM)s Tim Cook, American business is almost totally onboard with the leftâ(TM)s social agenda. Comcastâ(TM)s MSNBC channel and Viacomâ(TM)s Daily Show and all three of the broadcast networkâ(TM)s news programs are effectively daily in-kind contributions to the Democrat Party.

But individual small businesses are a lot more random in their thinking, which is why the left hates them, unless they obediently conform to the Gleichschaltung.

And, as a parenthetical, from the linked article for that German word:

Donâ(TM)t miss the rest of Billâ(TM)s essay [on Progressivism], which moves from the Bridge of the Titanic, to the classrooms of the Frankfurt School, the birthplace of âoePolitical Correctnessâ And speaking of which, as Jonah Golberg asks, âoeWhat is political correctness other than the gears of the liberal Gleichschaltung?â

Gleichschaltung is a German word (in case you couldnâ(TM)t have guessed) borrowed from electrical engineering. It means âoecoordination.â The German National Socialists (Nazis) used the concept to get every institution to sing from the same hymnal. If a fraternity or business embraced Nazism, it could stay âoeindependent.â If it rejected Nazism, it was crushed or bent to the stateâ(TM)s ideology. Meanwhile, every branch of government was charged with not merely doing its job but advancing the official state ideology.

This what is looking to be an era of attacks on small business sheds more light on the overall strategy the Left has migrated to.

The "from" of course was the vilification of "big business", and in general (economic) success in America. So for example Slashdotters used to rail against successful, heavy-handed tech company Microsoft. Making a political movement out of the idea of cost-free software with source code included, and inventing the notion of "copyleft" to invert and subvert protection of the individual from the collective as far as software IP, was nerdy Leftists' little microcosm version of what had been the larger plan of the Left, to try to get the people to rise up against and throw out private industry. ("Big business" being just a proxy term for the actual target, capitalism.)

But that wasn't working. Capitalism, along with America's other values and traditions that the Left absolutely hates, would not be defeated in one glorious moment of destruction (and rebirth). The Left realized that our institutions would have to be corrupted and weakened from the inside, and converted to an overall system of what I'll call CINO, or Capitalism In Name Only, rather than explicitly collapsed and rebuilt. (Hence things like Obama's talk about "fundamentally transforming" America. Because the classical Lefty approach and dream was not going to pan out here, because our foundations were at the same time too far from the goal and too deep-rooted, legally and in the peoples' consciousnesses.)

The main information dissemination institutions in America were part of the first phase, and were easily compromised; K-12 and higher education, the entertainment industries (TV, movies, music), and journalism. These strategic captures were instrumental in winning the culture war in America, that, as TFA points out, they've been sore winners about since. Included in this phase was the takeover of science as thought about and practiced in this country, and the installment of policies in public sector employment to transition the bulk of government employees, and even more importantly the powerful leadership of regulating/pseudo law-making government departments, to being their people.

So unwanted turns of events as far as the consequences of democracy -- legislation -- could be undermined via the courts and ignoring by bureacrats. But then what to do about businesses. Well, Microsoft was evil to Leftie nerds because Gates (before he retired to pursue squandering millions of dollars on dumb ways of trying to save the world, and thereby becoming a Leftist himself, only differing in that the squandered millions are his own) and Balmer wanted to make money and crush the competition. Microsoft was evil for being this, until Google came along, that is. Despite being near as successful and heavy-handed, their founders were otherwise on board with Leftism. So it was entirely acceptable, in the new strategy.

Capitalism probably can't be defeated in this county, by vote. At least not until the more recent strategic component of diluting the votership with millions of immigrants from countries south of us where all they've really known and have come to accept is a low standard of living and continuing belief in and constant re-tries of the promises of socialism. So convert it to crony capitalism. Expand government's role from "hands-off until a rule is broken" to "get in bed with us and we'll help you with a leg up on your competitors" (meaning any of them not also in bed with government). Blur the public sector/private sector division with "public/private partnerships", and (sort of) NGO's/quasi-government organizations like Fannie and Freddie. Afterall, "you didn't build that". Tell the banks who they're going to buy and what they're going to do, or government will crush them. "Too big to fail", and also too useful as instruments of government policy to pass up utilizing.

The giant companies of Silicon Valley have already been on board with the Left, in its leadership positions. I'm not sure there's any large companies left that haven't liberalized employment benefits by extending them to employees' same-sex live-in lovers (can I as a man shack up with a lady and get her on my company health plan?) or who aren't regularly talking about diversity as one of the business objectives. So really the largest problem remaining in the business world is the SMB's. Big businesses have already shown good progress on and are on track toward becoming directable tools of the state. But SMB's, like still a large part of white male America (and maybe tiny parts of other groupings of Americans), still feel a sense of being independent.

We're all supposed to be in this (pursuit of a centrally planned, based on Leftist values and principles, society and economy) together, so really the biggest problem in America to the Left, as far as not quite yet having a real plan in place to deal with that is already on the path to success, is the existence of people like Tea Partiers and small business owners. The former seems to have pretty much fizzled out on its own, thanks to traditional Americans' tendency towards apathy and the inability to sustain feelings of outrage. So what's left is converting the small business landscape in America. That's where things like raids, high taxation, lawsuits, extortion measures by Left-wing groups, and government-enhanced high barriers to entry come in. Crony capitalism is the new socialism, and these are the hold-outs.

User Journal

Journal: Thoughts for the Day... 11

Journal by RailGunner
Jeb Bush is the candidate for Republican Primary Voters who want to vote for a less masculine version of Hillary Clinton.

Speaking of Hillary... KFC has a new "Ready For Hillary For Lunch!" promo - you get a box containing two huge thighs, two small breasts, and a left wing. You have to bring your own server though.

Barack Obama completed his NCAA bracket. Joe Biden completed the NIT bracket. In it, he has the Dallas Cowboys beating Manchester United in the Final game.
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Journal: This one's for the Protestants here... 11

Journal by RailGunner
As many of you know, I'm an avid reader - books, blogs, even the cesspool that is comments on news stories.

One thing that I've seen a lot of lately is the typical canard that "the Spirit of God left the Catholic Church centuries ago".

If that were true, my dear protestant brethren (and I'm not being sarcastic, you guys are dear to me, I just want you to come home to the Catholic Church), then please explain to me how:

The Episcopal Church, The Anglican Church, and now the Presbyterian USA church, along with some Lutheran Churches and some Methodist churches are coming out and blessing same sex "marriage".

This completely flies against Scripture.

It's a little ironic to me that the "Sola Scriptura" crowd is ignoring wholesale chunks of Scripture to be politically correct.

The Great Apostasy has begun.
User Journal

Journal: gun garbage [long] 9

Journal by Bill Dog

Someone kind of set me off at work on Friday. Gotta work on that. She was apparently reading something about an idea to arm teachers. Or more specifically, offer concealed carry licenses for the classroom. And indicated that she was appalled by the idea.

I said one of the beauties of concealed carry is that not everyone even has to have a gun, to still have the effect of discouraging bad people.

1) First it was the old "argument" that let a person have a gun and they'll turn into a dangerous lunatic. Teachers will be letting bullets fly all over the place, endangering the children and everyone around them.

I asked, should the police be allowed to carry guns? She apparently knew where I was going with that, and needed a minute on that one, so came back to what I had offered right before, and said well:
2) How is a teacher going to conceal it, and
3) How are they going to whip it out in time?

To the first, understand that only having it on their person is not essentially required. And in fact would be a bad idea, as it was seen recently in the news an older male teacher being overpowered by a single large student. I would suggest small gun safes, installed in the walls, in every classroom. And then the teachers having the key to it, among their other keys, on their person at all times.

But then a student or students could overpower the teacher and get the keys? Yes, but beyond the factor of not necessarily knowing which key is the one (only the teachers should know this, in addition to never giving out their key ring, even temporarily for something, to a student), this is where the "concealed" part comes in. I've just added a level of indirection to it. Student(s) still don't know if the gun safe in their classroom has a gun in it or not. Heck, put a gun lock on the gun so a bad guy student has to go through the exercise of finding which key works again; this is even more time for other students to exit the classroom during the altercation and seek help from other classrooms.

To the second, they are, and they aren't. If someone bursts into your classroom and starts shooting, they've simply got the element of surprise in their favor and you aren't going to stop them. It's about discouraging it from spilling over into other classrooms. It's not about some vain attempt to ensure that absolutely no one gets killed evar, it's about limiting the damage of these, albeit rare, incidents.

Adjoining classrooms, having heard shots fired somewhere near, would proceed to open their gun safes. Those teachers who've volunteered to have guns in their classroom safes and to respond to emergencies would take them and try to track down which classroom the incident was taking place in and end it. So why then a policy of everyone opening their safe in an emergency? I would have doing so trigger [unintentional pun] a special alarm throughout the school, so that even those who couldn't hear the shots fired would be given notice. Such as to prepare to defend their classrooms or to move their students to an armed classroom (the teachers should know who's part of the program and who's not).

(But then after a school shooting then the students (while they're at the school/in those grades, that is) will know who's armed and who isn't? True, but these are rare occurrences. And slight imperfections in any plan in general doesn't overcome its overall benefit.)

4) Then it was the old suggestion that more times than not the gun will be taken away and the victim will be victimized by their own weapon.

Well that's like the argument that we shouldn't fight back against terrorism, because it only angers the terrorists and causes more people to join them. You have to fight evil; you can't just refrain from trying to curtail violence by bad guys because of all the possible side effects. The alternative is ridiculous.

5) Finally, after having offered up this usual array of Left-wing criticisms, it's claimed that she only meant that her objection was that there was no mention of them getting proper training.

So now we're back to my prior posed line of questioning. I agreed that training should go along with the policy, if it's actually implemented (yeah, right; in today's America?!). But the police for example get training, and they still panic and empty their guns shooting up the wrong vehicle or into other houses. It's just ignoring human nature to expect all or most people to not freak out when they think their very lives are in danger. But that's not a reason to disarm the police, or the populace for that matter.

Which segues into my main point on this. A distinction between (mere) citizens, and "the authorities" (which the Left wants all (white) people to obey without question), is an artificial one when it comes to this. You're not imbued with some kind of magical extra-human powers when you're deputized. You're still just a person, susceptible to all the fears and failings of a human being.

So a recap and a filling out the remaining of what the Left would have us believe about people and guns:

* In general, no one should be allowed to have a gun except members of the government. Because only they can handle it, somehow.

* Unless you're a racist cop.

* And unless you're a member of military, really, because people only join the military because they want to kill people (and not at all instead because they want the government benefits).

* If you're a celebrity, then it's also okay if you own a gun.

* Even if you're one who vocally advocates for civilians not being allowed to have a gun.

* In general, "gun owner" = "gun nut".

* If you want a gun (aside from needing it for your job, or needing it because of the possibility of crazed fans or Right-wing detractors), you're a nut.

* Even if you don't start out a nut, having a gun will make you one, somehow.

* Defending yourself (and defenseless associates) against lethal force with lethal force only makes the situation worse. [For who?]

On a personal/full disclosure note, I don't own a gun, never have, maybe never will. I grew up (and probably because I've always lived in California) not knowing anyone personally who has guns, and still don't, except for my sis and her hubby who just got one recently. I shot BB guns *once*, in summer camp, I was never in the military or law enforcement or security, guns aren't in any way a part of my life, I may never own a gun in my life, but I want that right, along with all of the others in the Bill of Rights, in case I do someday wish to have one. (I don't need to wait until I personally want to exercise a right, to care about it.)

User Journal

Journal: Web Dev on the Mac 1

Journal by stoolpigeon

I've been working on a little side project. I would like to have an app where people can read updates that I send out. It seemed like a fun way to learn more about programming mobile apps and it's something I could actually use if I can get it to a decent state.
 
I'm keeping it simple. I decided the app would just be an rss feed reader. And that meant I need a feed. I want it to be very specific to my app so I decided the way to go would be to just create my own back end for creating the feed. I decided to use php and I wrote a simple set up using the codeigniter framework. That gave me a quick way to set up authorization and it was easy to tie in styling from bootstrap so that things can look decent without any effort.
 
I've been doing all the work at my office, on my desktop running Fedora. I have two nice big lcd monitors and developing on Linux is just so easy. I had the environment up and running in no time.
 
Then this week my son got sick. Nothing serious - but enough for him to stay home from school for a few days. I worked from home to keep an eye on him. I've been putting off getting my Macbook set up to do this kind of stuff but now I really needed to tackle it. Ugh - what a pain. The machine itself has grown on me. The hardware is decent and works pretty well. The software isn't horrible. But oh my word - when I want to do anything 'out of the ordinary' and by that I mean any kind of meaningful work with the system, it is pretty bad. I know lots of professional developers use Macs but I'm stunned at what a pain it is to do things that are trivially easy in Linux.
 
Getting Mysql installed and running with Apache was a lot more work. Getting PHP working the way I want took more time than it ever has before. Things are far from ideal even now, but I've got it to a point where it works.
 
And now I have my code in 3 places. So I'll be using github to keep code in sync between them. It's a little more of a challenge because I have the production environment set up a little differently than the dev environment. But not so differently that it is a huge deal. I have ssh access to my hosting environment (Bluehost) so that makes it pretty easy. - Oh and that is the one thing that saves the mac - having bash. If it didn't I'd have given up on it long ago.

User Journal

Journal: fun with CSS 3 I guess 2

Journal by Bill Dog

So go to www.google.com (I just type in the middle part and use the Ctrl-Enter thingie, a lot), presumably in a modern browser, and type in "askew" without hitting Enter.

It probably only works in the mode where upon typing the first character into their home page it automatically jumps to the search box being in the upper left and intermediate results being displayed as you type, so might require JavaScript being enabled.

You can restore things by backspacing all the way and then begin typing say "askance".

Anyone come across any others? I see that "skew" is one of the keywords in the 2D transforms of the CSS 3 spec, but that word doesn't affect Google, as neither do some of the others.

p.s. On a partly unrelated note, what's with Google removing my dang commas. Paste in "275,908.952 watts" and then type " to hor", and it says "Showing results for 275 908.952 watts to horsepower", and only one document in the results listing. Click on the pop-up suggestion of "horsepower" and... you don't get your conversion. Go back and put the damn comma back and you'll get it. (But then notice in the conversion output that it lists the wattage without the comma!)

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Journal: just think how some conversations could go 7

Journal by Bill Dog

An errant capitalization in a comment triggered a thought: It will be a confusing day when Dodge announces an electric Charger.

"So, what do you do for a charger?"
<points to car> "That."
"No, I mean how do you charge your electric charger?"
"With an electric charger."
"It charges itself?"
"No, I put it in my garage and charge it there."
"So you've got an electric charger in your garage then."
"I just told you I did."
"So what's the power output of your electric charger?"
"About 275,908.952 watts."

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Journal: The Climate Change Myth is starting to unravel... 5

Journal by RailGunner
I don't agree with the hyperbole, but it's the biggest Science Scandal of the last 30 years or so.

Someday, my children will mock the Climate Change Chicken Littles much the same way I mock the "Today is just a space between ice ages" Global Cooling morons of the 1970s.

Even then, the arguments were largely the same.

"Even if we're wrong, it's too big to risk. Shouldn't we do SOMETHING? After all, IT'S FOR THE CHILDREN."

... and the "solution" then is the same as it is now -- more State control of individual lives.

No thanks, count me out.
User Journal

Journal: I wish we had coalition governing here in the U.S. 14

Journal by Bill Dog

Barb wrote in smitty's journal:

We have it [political polarization] up here [in Canada] too, but it tends to be more muted when we have minority governments, since then you need at least some votes from one of the opposing parties to pass legislation.

We're exceptionally dysfunctional in the U.S. because we have two major parties. It means each can take turns ignoring the will of people, as when one is booted out of power in one election, they'll just get it back next go-around when we punish the other party for screwing us over. They've got us convinced there's only two choices, and so our voting ends up assuring that.

And so there's no need for compromise, if you'll just be given power again the next cycle. I've long thought, for efficiency, and to do their jobs representing the people, why not take all the stuff that both sides agree on, stuff it in a bill and quickly pass it, and then wrangle over the contentious stuff after that. But I think both sides hold the agreeable stuff hostage to get more disagreeable stuff passed.

Or refuse to do a give-and-take on the disagreeable stuff, like this from 8.5 years ago. To better serve their respective constituencies, both parties could do an even swap and let the other side have 3 things to get 3 things for their voters. But neither party needs to worry about serving us well.

And there's no need for restraint, when you'll just be given power again the next cycle. Political litmus tests for judicial appointees, applying the fillibuster (meant for legislative bills) to judicial appointees, the "nuclear option" ("In 2005, Obama opposed [it, when Republicans had control of the Senate] before supporting it in 2013 [when Democrats had control]."), being against usage of a lot of executive orders when your side is not in power and then flipping when it is, declaring by fiat that Congress is in recess to make recess judicial appointments, refusing to pass a budget for 4 years, not allowing legislation to come to floor to be voted on (when there might be enough dissenters in one's own party to pass it), not allowing amendments from the minority party to legislation that is brought up for a vote, skirting debate by passing things via slipping them into funding bills.

The misuse of power keeps escalating giving the minority party at the time even less power. But if the minority party in the Senate is 46% of it like it is now, about half the country wants those values put forth, and not 90% or 100% of the values of the 54%. For example, there's absolutely no excuse for something as significant as Obamacare passing, when it got not a single vote by the minority party. Representation of the political diversity of the country is nowhere close to happening, in the U.S.

I wish we had more "sides" than just two. It's really bad for voters who are, for example, fiscally Conservative but socially Liberal. They don't get represented no matter what. We should have at least 4 major parties, one for each side of both axes. And then we should get 2 votes to cast, one for each axis. Then Congress should be made up of the winning proportions of each. Then we'd get things like 35 Senators who ran on socially Liberal positions, 30 who ran on fiscally Conservative positions, 20 who ran on fiscally Liberal positions, and 15 who ran on socially Conservative positions.

Then we might see things like those who think social issues are the most important be willing to compromise on fiscal things to let one side or the other win on fiscal issues, in exchange for compromise on social issues by those who don't consider those to be of upmost importance. Where it's not a simple "us versus them", because it's more complicated than that. Where it's about constantly building temporary coalitions between strange bedfellows, and expecting to give something up to get something. And then if for example the fiscally Liberal party just refused to work with the other three, the voters could punish just that one party and not expect the remainder to go hog wild in abuses, because there'd still be divisions left to keep them somewhat in check.

With only two parties, it's too easy to get people thinking in black-and-white terms about things, as if there are only two sides to every issue, the right one and the wrong one. It dumbs us down. With only two parties, it's too easy to make it not about the issues, but about the parties; people think "I'll never vote for a Republican" instead of "I'll never vote for anyone who differs from me on my top 3 issues of x, y, and z". Maybe I'm for gun rights but some people in both parties uphold that. Maybe I'm for private ownership of certain guns but not others. Only two major parties means we tend to only get to choose from extremes. More major parties would better reflect and remind us that there are nuances, and that there's a lot more to things than to just remember that Republicans are racist and to vote Democrat if you're brown.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get empirical." -- Jon Carroll

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