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User Journal

Journal: Does #OccupyResoluteDesk Read Slashdot? 14

Journal by smitty_one_each

He reminded Republicans that some of the ideas behind the Affordable Care Act--most notably its individual mandate to buy coverage--were once supported by some conservatives, although its Medicaid expansion and some other big parts of the law stem more from liberal thought.
"The Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it," he said.

It sounds as though he's snorting the same Drano as some I could name here.
Yeah, one time some Heritage dudes said something semi-fungible, so I guess that lets the No-Talent Rodeo Clown off the hook for what's among the more expensive cock-ups in human history. Or something.
A cleaner non-argument would be that Republicans use the Roman alphabet, and all five reams of the PooPoo-cACA itself* were composed in the Roman alphabet**.
The broader point is that this country is an experiment in self-government, and the time has arrived to admit that Hayek is correct, and the Progressive Project (both Republican and Democrat flavors) just needs to be scuttled in favor of simpler systems empowering individuals in their liberty. You either support that, or I oppose you.

*To say nothing of the ensuing reams of regulation--would that they were reduced to nothing!
**For all it could have as well been a simple Klingon translation, for all anyone who cast a vote to hang this albatross about our necks actually read the Mike Foxtrot.

User Journal

Journal: We've been spelling it wrong for over a quarter century 7

Journal by mcgrew

I'm surprised that this hasn't been addressed by the academic communities. Someone with a degree in English or linguistics or something like that should have though of this decades ago.

This word (actually more than one word) has various spellings, and I've probably used all of them at one time or another. The word is email, or eMail, or e-mail, or some other variation. They're all wrong.

It's a contraction of "electronic mail" and as such should be spelled e'mail. The same with e'books and other e'words.

So why hasn't someone with a PhD in English pointed this out to me? I have no formal collegiate training in this field. It's a mystery to me.

User Journal

Journal: Are printed books' days numbered? 4

Journal by mcgrew

In his 1951 short story The Fun They Had, Isaac Asimov has a boy who finds something really weird in the attic -- a printed book. In this future, all reading was done on screens.

When e'books* like the Nook and Kindle came out, there were always women sitting outside the building on break on a nice spring day reading their Nooks and Kindles. It looked like the future to me, Asimov's story come true. I prefer printed books, but thought that it was because I'm old, and was thirty before I read anything but TV and movie credits on a screen.

And then I started writing books. My youngest daughter Patty is going to school at Cincinnati University (as a proud dad I have to add that she's Phi Beta Kappa and working full time! I'm not just proud, I'm in awe of her) and when she came home on break and I handed her a hardbound copy of Nobots she said "My dad wrote a book! And it's a REAL book!"

So somehow, even young people like Patty value printed books over e'books.

My audience is mostly nerds, since few non-nerds know of me or my writing, so I figured that the free e'book would far surpass sales of the printed books. Instead, few people are downloading the e'books. More download the PDFs, and more people buy the printed books than PDFs and ebooks combined.

Most people just read the HTML online, maybe that's a testament to my m4d sk1llz at HTML (yeah, right).

Five years ago I was convinced ink was on the way out, but there's a book that was printed long before the first computer was turned on that says "the news of my death has been greatly exaggerated".

* I'll write a short story about the weird spelling shortly.

User Journal

Journal: In which a certain piece of work on here is thoroughly pegged 5

Journal by smitty_one_each

"In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is...in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to."

You know who you are, peddler of filth. And if I'm incorrect, I won't know short of Eternity, for this is pretty much what I think of you: a dirty diaper that, despite the best efforts, continues to spew crap in all directions, contaminating everything.
I think you false, diabolical, and unworthy of dialogue. Return to your pit.

User Journal

Journal: Where's my damned tablet? 11

Journal by mcgrew

I'd like to know why in the hell nobody is selling a tablet, or maybe an app for existing tablets, that will let me watch over the air TV on it?

All the necessary hardware is there. Wi-fi and bluetooth are radios. Some cell pones can pick up FM music stations, and have been able to do so and have done so for years.

The FM radio band sits between channels six and seven on the VHF television channels. If it can hear radio, it can see TV.

The technology is there, why isn't the commercial device to be found? Offer a tablet I can watch TV without the internet and I'll buy one. Maybe two.

User Journal

Journal: Workin' real hard, wishing I could be surprised 26

Journal by smitty_one_each
The supposed Benghazi "investigations" touted by some of the tools in these parts were as useless as suspected.

The timeline isn't an official committee report or publication; it's just an informal summary compiled to help members keep dates straight as they assess the State Department's lack of cooperation. The timeline doesn't include every significant date in the Benghazi investigation, but it does give readers an idea of what Republican investigators have been up against as they've tried to uncover the story of Benghazi. What follows is a fleshed-out version of the timetable--in my words, not the committee's--based on information from committee sources.

As an aside, I'd like to forgive fustakrakich for raping my quotation a couple weeks back. I realize it was a troll, but, as with false accusations from other corners, that sort of thing just destroys my interest in engaging on here.
So there's that.

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: 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!)

User Journal

Journal: Might explain some of the behavior here 23

Journal by smitty_one_each

I have quoted before my old friend Theodore Dalrymple on the purposes of lies in totalitarian societies:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

This has a ring of truth to it with respect to Slashdot. I've been on the receiving end of repeated accusations used like bludgeons to the point there are some people on here to whom I just ain't got jack to say beyond: "Lord bless your heart".
Which is not to whine about it. This is Slashdot; let the incontinent go elsewhere.
Rather, I'm yawning.

User Journal

Journal: Triplanetary 1

Journal by mcgrew

I've uploaded a new book to mcgrewbooks.com. Edgar E. Smith was a well known science fiction writer known as "the father of space opera", and Doctor Smith was a food engineer in his other life. The novel I've uploaded is Triplanetary, first published in serial form in Amazing Stories in 1934.

Some of the dialogue is a bit juvenile, but it would make a great movie.

User Journal

Journal: And you thought Twitter useless 11

Journal by smitty_one_each
User Journal

Journal: Nebbishes Yearning for Truth (NYT) 26

Journal by smitty_one_each
Pravda on the Hudson decided to un-frack itself with its Gail Collins hit piece.
I don't really care if Slashdot's favorite dirty diaper un-soils himself on the subject as in this JE.
It would be fine if he manned up and repented of being a total crapflooder; I'd enjoy adult conversations with him, as he seems an intelligent person. But then, we're talking about a dedicated bile spewer here. The sort that yields to nothing less than full-on Divine Intervention. So let me pray for that.
User Journal

Journal: An Accidental Book 1

Journal by mcgrew

I've read books accidentally, meaning to read a single chapter and winding up reading it in one setting, but I've never started writing one accidentally.

Until now.

Tired of editing Random Scribblings and Voyage to Earth and Other Stories (Formerly titled "Mars Bars"), I thought I'd look for another science fiction novel in the public domain a little less ancient than The Time Machine to add to my web site.

I didn't find one, so decided to just make a book of public domain short stories by the 20th century greats. I found a LOT, and started assembling a book. Somehow, I wound up adding commentary and thought "Hey! New book!"

Then I discovered that one of the short stories wasn't so short -- in fact, it was a full blown novel. So for the last several days I've been formatting it to put on my web site. E.E. "Doc" Smith's Triplanetary will be posted in a few days.

I'll let you know when it's there. I guess I'm working on three books again. The collection I'm working on is tentatively titled "Yesterday's Tomorrow".

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.

Working...