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User Journal

Journal Journal: mostly hasta la pasta

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.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A nation of laws 18

Well, not exactly:

âoeIn essence, if we are ever ordered by a government authority to personally violate and sin â" violate Godâ(TM)s law and sin â" if weâ(TM)re ordered to stop preaching the Gospel, if weâ(TM)re ordered to perform a same-sex marriage as someone presiding over it, we are called to ignore that,â Rubio said in an interview with CBN on Tuesday.

âoeSo when those two come into conflict, Godâ(TM)s rules always win,â he added.

And this is the 'moderate, establishment' candidate no less. Ah well, doesn't matter. Either Cruz or Trump are going to spank him into the arms of the private sector anyway.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Astute Article on the Turkey/Russia Kerfuffle 20

A Necessary Conversation

The clash between the Turkish Air Force and Russia is dangerous because it violates the first rule of proxy warfare which is principals don't fight principals. The whole point of proxy warfare is that only the seconds are allowed to cross swords. The duelists are forbidden from engaging each other directly, a convention intended to limit the scope of war.

Read the whole thing.
We mostly discuss international politics as though it were chess, when it really tends more toward of a mafia-driven, mezcal-drenched poker match with arbitrary players every hand.
The ME isn't really "sides" as much as it's a garbled graph problem. Every node is connected, more or less, to every other.
Thus, the principles chosen as a framework for how to react to the current crisis are the least squishy conversation one can have.

User Journal

Journal Journal: circular economics, or sound 23

I haven't been regularly visiting /. these last several months. I got a dog, a 2 year old Golden Retriever, and have been breaking him in to life with me. That and I have to get up at a time in the morning that begins with a "4" lately, AKA "oh-dark-thirty", so I hardly ever even turn my computer on during the week. Pre-pooch, I must've just been doing it cuz I was bored. Okay, that didn't sound right. But then again, Slashdot really is mostly just people making faux-intellectual love to themselves.

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.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Link o the day:Gogo/plzma/piQM/ppsi-beer/Snwdn-tips/croc-grd

User Journal

Journal Journal: Link o the day:brain reading/ota charge/heartbeat record/gps

User Journal

Journal Journal: Operation Wetback II 7

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".

User Journal

Journal Journal: How Does Cheney Do It? 35

It's important to rephrase all news as a conspiracy theory for the consumption of you-know-who. So, with this Clinton Foundation accounting tidbit, the proper question would be "How did Dick Cheney infiltrate PWC and cook the pristine books to make Her Majesty look bad?" Do I get an "A" for the day, coach?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Teaching Python 4

Well, it looks like I'll be teaching one of my kids how to program.

To an extent, he's already familiar with some programming, as he's figured out how to program a TI calculator (not sure of the model, but it's in the 80s). Whether he understands the instructions he gives his calculator or not, I don't know. He'll know far more when I'm done. :)

I've decided to go with Python instead of any of several other languages available. One thing that I thought was important is that the base installation (in Linux and in Windows) has a module called "turtle". If you're old enough to remember learning Terrapin Logo or Karel (by way of Apple Pascal), then the idea behind turtle should not be foreign to you.

The idea is that you have a "turtle", a cursor that represents where all the action is going to happen. You give it instructions and depending on whether the pen is "up" or "down", it will draw as it goes. Tell it to move left, right, forward, or backward, and off it goes.

turtle is cool because its programs are really Python, whether the student realizes it or not. New functions (methods) can be created. What is drawn by the program is displayed with no hassle.

In all, it's pretty cool. I'm actually looking forward to playing around with it as I teach it to my son. Maybe one or both of the other two will become interested as well? Only one way to find out. :D

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.