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One good idea from the Dem debate tonight, from Bernie, was to de-militarize the police. I don't recall there being much in the way of specifics, beyond something about them not looking like an occupying force. But it got me thinking, thusly:
1) Make it illegal for the federal government to sell military gear to non-military entities, and make it illegal for civilian police forces purchase surplus military gear. (Whatever private individuals are allowed to buy would be unaltered.)
2) Remove SWAT teams from police forces and transfer them to each state's National Guard. Police would request SWAT assistance from them, with the idea that deployments would require more justification.
3) Remove military gear from non-military federal government agencies such as the DEA, ATF, and whichever others have them. I would include in this the overstocking of bullets; massive stockpiling of ammunition is quasi-military to me.
In short, no military-style operations on US soil. I don't care if it's under the guise of the WOT or the War on Drugs or any other war. All law enforcement business should be conducted as civilians dealing with (fellow) civilians.
An explicit, strict "Separation of Military and Police" doctrine. A separation between the two needs to become one of our national values. Maybe such a consciousness would change mindsets in police forces and cut down on brutality and lethality.
p.s. I think it was in a George Will column around Christmas where it was said that more monetary value was stolen by law enforcement in the country in 2015 than by criminals. So asset forfeiture laws are also obviously corrupting influences on police/policing forces and deserve to be looked at.
p.p.s. From the I-Told-You-So Dept.: "The Democratic [sic] Party in the United States worked since Harry Truman to get the Affordable Care Act passed. We finally have a path to universal healthcare." -- Hillary Clinton tonight
p.p.p.s. Currently playing in my head these days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOrXKiSy8ZY
I can't log in to slashdot from my laptop. Every browser - and even from a browser running on a vm - it always fails. Not sure why but as long as it persists my posting will be less frequent.
Unfortunately the mix in the journal community long ago ceased being what it had been, so I've done the long-overdue thing and switched my new JE notification from web to email.
I haven't been regularly visiting
Anyways, for some real intellectual stimulation, ponder the interesting notion ole Bernie (half-heartedly) offered in the last Dem debate: He was asked that wouldn't raising the minimum wage put some workers out of work. The interesting idea was, that the workers who got to keep their jobs would now have more disposable income, and buy goods and services that they are not now, that would then mean new jobs for those who lost them in the minimum wage hike.
I have absolutely no head/intuition for economics, and as such can't figure out for myself if there could be anything to that or if it's obvious (except to me) utter poop.
Don't know why - but I really like that combination.
I've gotten off my schedule of reading Starship Troopers and TMiaHM every year - but I did just reread The Moon is a Harsh Mistress last week-end. My wife was in Ukraine and I was kind of bored but not motivated enough to do something that took effort.
I've outgrown RAH's politics but I still love the story.
For some reason magnet links that I clicked in Chrome were opening the Transmission client instead of Ktorrent. I remember doing something in the past related to this - though I think the issue then was that chrome didn't know how to handle them at all.
So I started digging and founds all kinds of people who had the issue, different solutions and most of it was pretty old. The lowdown - as far as I can tell is that chrome uses xdg-open and I'm pretty sure that is what I set.
I looked in
I think in the upgrade this got borked.
Plasma 5 is mostly pretty much working for me now. I'd have rather stayed on 4 longer but I guess it is o.k. I really just need a new machine. They keep making stuff take more resources and my little Acer just can't keep up.
Support for Fedora 21 is coming to an end and so I decided to upgrade to Fedora 22.
I don't run the default Fedora install, I use the KDE spin. I realize KDE isn't the primary desktop for Fedora, but until now it's been alright. I use Fedora for a lot of reasons but mostly because it is the distro I know. I know it because it is the first distro I used on a regular basis for more than just messing around. I did that because at my work we got a new server running RedHat.
I've really been putting off this update. It's the move from KDE Plasma 4 to 5.
It's taken me all day but I think I have it working. I'm scared to reboot and the next time I have to run an update will probably suck. I had so many stupid things happen today trying to get this to work. The kicker is my second display. Everything is fine if I use the built-in intel graphics or my Nvidia card with one display. But as soon as I added the second everything went to crap.
There were times I could only log into KDE as root. Then - and I'm not sure how - I got it fixed. I mean there is still some weird stuff happening but it seems to mostly work. Both monitors are on and displaying at the resolution I want.
Maybe I can hang in there long enough for this stuff to get smoothed over. I made it through the jump from 3 to 4.
The kicker is though - if I log into Gnome it works without any issues. It's just that I hate Gnome.
I don't use RHEL any more - maybe I need to jump over to Suse or something.
At lunch time MSNBC was questioning Trump's idea to deport illegal immigrants. The questions raised that I'm able to recall are:
1) How can it be done humanely?
2) How can they all be found?
3) What about the separation of families?
What popped into my head was: Q: How is it done for any other lawbreakers?
A: We apprehend them, and then we transport them.
You put them in handcuffs, to keep them from trying to elude authorities once captured. If they spit or bite, you put a mask on them. If they kick, you hogtie them. Going back for a sec, if they resist cuffing, you taze or pepperspray them. We already know how to do this humanely.
Put them in a vehicle, tell them to watch their heads as they get in, make sure their feet are in before closing the door (i.e. what seems to be perfectly routine policy, for law enforcement agencies from all over the country, from watching the show "Cops"), and then drive them to where they're told to take them.
Imagine a crew of people who'd pulled off some bank robberies. We'd do the obvious; pick them up at home, at work, at the grocery store, or whereever we had the element of surprise/had more likelihood of successfully taking them into custody without them being more prepared to escalate it into more violence.
On rounding every last one up, for lawbreakers in general, we can't find them all now. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Or that we should legalize bank robbery.
And we already separate lawbreakers from their families. If we avoided doing anything at all that had any side effects or downsides whatsoever, we wouldn't do anything.
It seems like on a practical level we'd probably want to try to get a couple of things done first:
I) Settle the "anchor baby" thing, Constitutionally. The kids should be considered just as illegal as their parents, and better to deport the family as an intact unit, than the kids going to wherever the government puts them when there's no parent left in the home.
II) Build the wall. Whether that be a physical wall, or a virtual wall implemented via technology, or sections of both. But it makes less sense to begin seriously bailing water out of the boat before you've plugged its holes.
As to where to transport them to, what are we doing with Syrian refugees? Apparently we've picked out 190 cities in this country where they'll be dropped off at. So pick 190 cities in Latin America.
And give the deportees their choice, as presumably many would want to be placed at or near where they came from or where extended family is located. We don't owe them that, but we're a generous people, we just don't want to be taken advantage of anymore. Give them a few bottles of water, some military rations, and some pesos in their pockets.
And possibly, for some, literature on how to apply for legal citizenship (and some idea of how long the wait might take). But legal immigration is a topic unto itself. Such as the purpose(s) of it. And how much truth there is behind "jobs Americans won't do".
Raspian : Hans Delbruck
From http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/07/quentin-tarantinos-anti-cop-comments-came-revolutionary-communist-rise-event/, on one reason why no one mentioned that one little factoid:
Part of this is the legacy of the Leftâ(TM)s single-largest victory in the culture war: decades of attacks on âoeMcCarthyismâ have smothered criticism of communism.
By portraying the critics of communism as conspiracy theorists and fringe kooks, the Left has created a chill effect on an entire generation.
We see the impact todayâ"nobody wants to call out actual, avowed, self-admitted, proud communists, lest they be accused of being a right-wing nut job using McCarthyite tactics.
It's an excellent point. Smitty's in denial. Bill O'Reilly outright lies about it (he's smart enough, and connnected enough, to know). The Left has made it impolite to call a communist a communist. It's been made to be like saying someone is like Hitler.
We've been suckered into obeying an imposed cultural norm of not speaking truthfully about certain truths. The GOP tells us that Islamic terrorism is our greatest threat. Fox News happily reports things and blissfully leaves out what it all means or the why, as if no one knows/it's some big mystery of the universe.
The Right wing goes along with perpetuating the Left's equivalent of the Devil's greatest con. Even the emperor's rivals are afraid to admit the obvious. We are truly the Left's bitches. It's amazing what asses Americans have let them make of us.
And what are we really talking about here. Are we calling those who want to demolish the American system abruptly "communists", and those who are doing it slowly "socialists"? As if only the former are who we should be worried about?
Even breitbart.com wimpily avoids the real issue. Communist orgs are relatively small and a dime a dozen. I remember seeing, quite some time ago now, on C-SPAN ole Democrat Sen. Tom "we passed this right [to health insurance] for the American people" Harkin speak at a Communist Party of America rally. So Tarantino spoke at a Revolutionary Communist Party event. Whatever.
The vast majority of the Left know America won't be brought down via revolutionary uprising by the proletariat, or blacks, or any other. What's been eating away at America the last several decades is the work of Leftists *within* the system. But there's too much social pressure to point out what's happening, and certainly too much to talk about why/what's behind it.
"Independent" Sen. Bernie Sanders is at least honest about himself, and no one bats an eye about it. He got a question in the debate something to the effect of is America ready for its first socialist president. Since we're already having ours, what they really meant is our first openly socialist president. And what would be meant by openly in this case is not just openly acting and sounding like a socialist but calling themself that.
Obama won't call Islamic terrorists Islamic terrorists, and the Right wing won't call communists(/Leftists/liberals/Marxists/Progressives/whatever) communists. Both are full of shit.
Lefties love to thump on teh evil corps buying influence with Congress to, seen today in particular, not have to act responsible financially. Gotta love the gall:
1) First of all, Congresscritters are still subject to periodic elections, AFAIK, so citizens, not corporations, still have the ultimate say in how our reps behave. I've never understood the frequent human deficiency of ignoring the disease and getting fixated on one of the symptoms. It's just being really, really dumb. If one's kid was habitually misbehaving in twenty different circumstances, only an absolute moron would think to approach the problem by trying to change the circumstances. Individually.
Now look, of course I know that Lefties attack just certain symptoms typically not because they're actually delusional that it's the most effective way to go about solving the overall problem, but that eradicating certain things in particular is part of their religious views and therefore ranks higher than solving the overall problem. But human beings in general -- those without ulterior motives -- frequently lose track of the root problem and wander around believing the effects are it.
2) But even more to the point, what do Democrats do to be given and granted more power? They a) purchase favor with the public, b) by offering levels of goodies only financially feasible in magic fairy land.
So lemme get this straight: The very people who are complaining that those guys over there are a) purchasing favor so that they can b) act fiscally irresponsible, are they themselves in favor of other people doing both a) and b). So it's not a) nor b) that Lefties are actually against. It's just those guys over there (capitalists).
Lefties play into the human tendency to forget the forest for the trees, and act like it's these particular actions they're up in arms about. When really if they were ever honest, they'd say look, it doesn't matter that corporations buy influence, because we'd still be against them. What we're really against is private enterprise, because we think it's immoral because it leads to inequities.
p.s. BTW, I wish America would just make a decision on this stuff. I wish our next president, upon their January inauguration, would as their first task address the nation and declare 2017 a year of national discussion and debate on which direction we're going to go as a nation. Compare and contrast the moralities of capitalism vs. socialism, and then have some kind of national referendum. Send the Census Bureau around or something. But just fucking pick something; I'm tired of the trickle down, into national bankruptcy (although Obama has at least accelerated it, but surreptitiously). It's like Chinese water torture. Either open the faucet all the way (and empty the tank and let it be over and just kill us all), or turn the damn thing completely off. Drip, drip, drip... Another trillion in debt, another trillion, another trillion...
Very surprisingly, CNN actually put on a pretty darn good GOP debate. (I didn't seen the JV's, earlier in the day.)
Sure, CNN is still a Left-wing network of course, so there were a few questions about things Right-wingers don't recognize or care about, like Global Warming. Which would be fine in a D vs. R candidate debate, but completely doesn't belong in a GOP-only debate.
And of course they're still trashy/sensational like FNC, so it started out with several "so-and-so said this about you, take a moment to react" questions. Which might only be marginally useful to voters, as far as seeing how, both accusor and accusee, cope with aggression and pressure.
But what was fabulous about it is two-fold:
1) The thing was about 3, blessed, hours long. To a political junkie, that's not long, considering there were 11 (why not the "top 10"?!) candidates participating.
2) The moderator(s) did less talking, and there was responses and re-responses and re-re-responses from the candidates (vice just a bunch of interrupting with "we gotta move on"). In fact, the two co-questioners didn't get to ask hardly any questions, so their role was dubious. (Which is fine by me.)
Readily apparent was that everyone came with more energy this time, to the point of making Trump look somewhat demure. He's going to have to start coming out with details now (I think he said he'll have specifics of an economic plan to release in the next couple of weeks) to stay competitive. Everyone has ideas that are cringe-worthy (like Carly's "I won't talk with Putin, I'll just arm up" brinksmanship strategy for foreign policy), so it should be safe for Trump to start getting specific. (That is, I don't think something akin to mere "hope and change" -- his "I'll make America great again" -- will work, for a Republican.)
So what made this debate a gazillion times better than the FNC's is that I actually learned some things about the candidates' positions on things, and a little on how they differ. Unfortunately that's probably the best one there'll ever be.
p.s. It was good to see Rand Paul back to being his thoughtful and articulate self, unlike the prior debate where he didn't talk issues, just got into petty tit-for-tats with Trump and Christie.
p.p.s. I'm absolutely elated to have heard something to the effect that the three "outsiders" in the race are the top three in polling right now for the GOP.
So I'm sitting here watching the women's finals of the U.S. Open (tennis, not golf; i.e. the boring stuff, not the really boring stuff!
This would be unheard of on the men's side, because 1) there's a significant difference between a top 3 and a top 10 ranked player, let alone a top 30 player, and 2) they're a hell of a lot more consistent; excepting Serena Williams (who looks to be part man herself, BTW!), the women flop around from #1 to nobodies, like musical chairs.
Anyways, both of these players have never been to the finals of a grand slam (I guess one of the big* four tournaments of tennis in a year) before, and for such people nerves can be a factor, typically, and to some degree. This is broad generalizing [pun not intended
*I think I heard last night that the winner's payout was now up to $3.3 mil.
IBM is one of the sponsors of the tourney, and they're always trying to reinforce their marketing angle of being thought of for data analytics, and they had a feature during a pause where the sports announcers told us that nerves would affect one of the players 55% to 45% for the other player.
WTF?!? It boggles the mind to imagine just how impressive in number and cocksurety the assumptions must have been that went into such a concoction.
But we believe that computers are impartial, and don't(/can't) lie, so it must be true. What people don't know of course is that, assuming a bug-free implementation of a model, the output is only as trustworthy as both the model and the data.
I tell my non-technical extended family members that computers are not magical soothsayers, they can only, basically, do what they're told to do. And a computer model is just, broadly-speaking [there I go again], telling the computer what to do with the data.
It may be more data than a human being can readily sift through to determine what their assumptions would amount to, but that's all the computer does, takes human beings' assumptions about things, and crunches data sets, small or large, in terms of them.
So the tennis match is over now. They announced the winner does indeed get $3.3 mil. And she announced that she's retiring. People were shocked to hear this, apparently even her coach. But she's 33 years old, which is prime retirement age from the game. And she has a fiance, so she probably wants to start a family, as most women do.
She said she's known the fellow Italian she played against today since they first played at about age 9. So she's had a long career, and even though she also said after the match that she made the decision to retire after this tournament a month ago, she might have been thinking about retiring soon anyways. And the why not go out on this high. But did IBM's Watson, Tennis Version*, know all of this? She probably wasn't hardly nervous at all, given all of that.
*They've been advertising versions of "Watson" for health care data and other areas, in addition to the Jeopardy version that originally made the name famous.
p.s. I just sprouted an "eye migraine" (a painless, developing "shimmering" in my direct field of vision, in both eyes/in my brain) a few minutes ago, so apologies if some of my last few edits are mangled.
"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry