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User Journal

Journal Journal: A nation of laws 1

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 2

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.


Journal Journal: Trump - a warning from the present 7

I don't believe for a second Trump believes a word he's saying.

What I am concerned about is that Trump could, very realistically, be elected because of the views he's espousing. That says something terrible about too many people at the moment, and also makes possible the frightening scenario whereby someone who believes what Trump is currently saying could be elected too.

In the mean time, Trump is also validating the opinions of many extremists.


Journal Journal: Conspiracy resets to ... conspiracy 18

It seems that some conservatives have finally looked at the calendar and realized that indeed the clock has run out on their previously strongly-held belief that President Barack "Lawnchair" Obama would institute single-payer health care during his administration. Now, some are taking that conspiracy and attaching it to their conspiracy about Hillary Clinton's campaign, claiming that she will implement what President Lawnchair was unwilling and unable to implement. This of course ignores the fact that Hillary has consistently been opposed to single payer, continues to oppose single payer, and is sponsored by Wall Street and the Insurance Industry (who also do better when single payer is repeatedly shot down).
User Journal

Journal Journal: circular economics, or sound 21

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: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress while listening to Time by ELO 1

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.


Journal Journal: GOP trolling succeeds again 14

When GWB was president, we were told that we could not reveal plans for defeating enemies because it would "embolden" them (we learned later on that the truth of the matter was that no actual plans existed). Now with very high probability of the GOP not winning the white house in 2016 either, they are - as they often do - pretending that such a restriction never existed before and demanding that the democratic candidates (and POTUS) immediately reveal their plans for defeating ISIS.

As usual, because the democrats are cowardly, they have already started to cave in to those demands. We can't possibly imagine what tack the republicans will take against that in the coming months...
User Journal

Journal Journal: Magnet Links from Chrome in Plasma 5 3

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 /usr/share/applications for ktorrent.desktop and it wasn't there. I did a bunch more digging, followed some rabbit trails and then finally got smart. ktorrent.desktop was in /usr/share/applications/kde4 and I copied it a directory up. Then all acted as expected.

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.


Journal Journal: Capituation 17

Just a rather obvious observation that nobody seems willing to make. Responding to a terrorist event by banning people who are trying to escape those terrorists does not hurt the terrorists in the slightest. It's actually what they want.

And giving terrorists what they want generally doesn't stop terrorism.


Journal Journal: The Kevlar Kandidate Sounds Off On ISIS 50

Scott "Kevlar" Walker has boldly taken a stance to discriminate against all Syrians .

"The state of Wisconsin will not accept new Syrian refugees"

He was interestingly (and not unusually) countered by reality in the article:

Walker's office didn't clarify what authority the State of Wisconsin would have to block the entry of a legal resident of the United States to the state or how state officials would even know if a refugee moved to Wisconsin

But he certainly won't let that get in the way.

There is also a handy running tally of which governors are stepping in this so far - a current total of 26, of which 25 are republicans and at least two are officially running for the presidential nomination. It almost seems like the kevlar kandidate is actually trying to make his neighbor from Minnesota look better

The Military

Journal Journal: There's a reason it's called Terrorism, not Endofcivilizationism. 30

For the next few days, weeks, months, the usual suspects will channel their fears and hatred towards both those who murdered in France two days ago, and those who disagree with them on how to tackle it. They'll whip themselves up into a hatred-filled frenzy against those who are unfortunate enough to share the same religion as the terrorists, and they'll blow the "threat" up out of all proportion.

These people are simply stupid. Don't get angry at them, ignore them. They're victims of terrorism in its purest sense - they're the people shitting their pants at what just transpired, in a way nobody in Paris, New York, or London is doing, or will do. They're weak, scared, and pathetic, and they're lashing out at everyone from ordinary Muslims to Liberals because ISIL just played them like a violin.

Tomorrow is another day. It'll be like Tuesday of last week, except there'll be 150 or so fewer people to enjoy it thanks to a group of religious extremists who represent nobody but themselves. We'll miss those who are gone, but life goes on. Dealing with those who cause such horrors involves reason and human decency. ISIL's plan involves us having neither. Their success requires we have neither.

But we're better than they are.

One picture is worth 128K words.