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Journal Journal: And the loser is 12

Cruz.

Son, if you can't keep Marco Rubio, of all people, more than 5 points away in Iowa, of all places, you do not have what it takes. Go home.

Alright folks, now that the writing is on the wall, let's place our bets on Trump's demise. I'm thinking he's in until at least Super Tuesday. Maybe the better question is, how much more damage is he going to do before that?

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Journal Journal: The Muse 1

If this is mangled, go here.
        I received a strange note, made of cut up magazines pasted to paper and slipped under my door. It read âoeYour muse has been kidnapped. If you want her back, meet under the Facebook Street Bridge after dark. Bring your wallet, passport, and an umbrella.â
        Crap, my muse was gone? I looked, and sure enough it was missing. It's really important to me, so I got my passport, made sure my wallet was in my pocket, and took an umbrella, even though the weatherman said there was no chance of rain. I went to the bridge around sunset and waited.
        The weatherman was wrong. As I waited under the bridge it started pouring. A little after dark a black limousine pulled up, and the rear door opened. âoeGet in,â a woman's voice said. I did.
        A mean looking short haired blonde in the front passenger seat was pointing a very large black handgun at me. âoeYou're not Neo,â the skinny dark haired girl in the back said accusingly.
        âoeMe?â I replied, scared to death. Or scared of death, maybe. âoeNo, I'm mcgrew, I don't know any Neo. I'm missing some property and someone said to wait under this bridge and I could get it back.â
        âoeOh,â said the blonde, putting the gun away. âoeMorpheus said to give you this,â and handed my muse to me!
        I put my muse in my jacket and started to open the door. The blonde had her gun out again. âoeFifty bucks, asshole!â
        I gave her two twenties and a ten. âoeWhy was I told to bring a passport?â I asked. The dark haired skinny girl laughed. âoeMorpheous was just fucking with you. Now get out!â
        I still can't figure out what that was all about...

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Journal Journal: and you're gonna like it, too

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Journal Journal: de-militarize the police 8

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

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Journal Journal: Liberal Media update 16

Sadly, still not all that liberal:

Donald Trump is by far the most newsworthy storyline of Campaign 2016, alone accounting for almost a third of all coverage (327 mins or 32%), more than the entire Democratic contest combined.

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Journal Journal: Wierd Planet

I doubt the magazines will want this and I haven't given you guys any new stories for months. Since slashdot won't fix its text mangler I've posted it here.

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Journal Journal: Nostalgia 15

Welp, looks like the Benghazi/Emailgate scandal is done with, seeing as all the right wing noise machines have shifted over to their new tactic to derail the Clinton campaign.

Can you guess what they think will do the trick this time?

That's right kids, it's Bill Clinton's sex life!

Apparently, his peccadilloes, insufficient to stop him being elected in '92 and re-elected in '96, not to mention boring enough to not warrant impeachment in '98, are the new secret weapon that's going to wipe Hillary off the face of the earth. One of the arguments brought up on Hannity's radio show yesterday, and I shit you not, was that we hadn't had a solid discussion of Billo's improprieties in a good long while, so it would be nice and fresh to exhume, particularly for millennials.

I mean, I can kinda see the logic here. Feminism (and the public perception thereof), has come a ways since those flannel and coffee days of yore, so why not see if we can round up a new jury, re-litigate, and get a different result?

Now, quite apart from the fact that Hillary is not Bill, there are at least three serious flaws with this plan: Number one, you have a lot of room for unforced errors. If you fuck up even slightly (or hell, if her campaign is the least bit competent), she can ju-jitsu this shit in a heartbeat to her benefit.

Second, the voters who are actually the target of this strategy, independents and women, aren't going to overwhelmingly switch away from her in disgust because they were previously unaware that her husband's a bit of a creep.

Lastly, the very specific people you're trying to agitate with this are the people you happily and routinely make fun of: College kids, feminists, SJWs, and most of Tumblr. I'm not going to claim that any of these groups are super-smart, but they're smart enough to see through that kind of concern trolling.

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Journal Journal: Can't Log In from My Laptop 11

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.

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Journal Journal: Fifteen: The Final Chapter 4

It's that time of year again. The time of year when everyone and their dog waxes nostalgic about all the shit nobody cares about from the year past, and stupidly predicts the next year in the grim knowledge that when the next New Year comes along nobody will remember that the dumbass predicted a bunch of foolish shit that turned out to be complete and utter balderdash. I might as well, too. Just like I did last year (yes, a lot of this was pasted from last year's final chapter).

I've lost the URL to my slashdot "messages", damn it!

Some of these links go to S/N since they don't have slashdot's patented text mangler. Stories and articles meant to ultimately be published in a printed book have smart quotes, and slashdot isn't smart enough for smart quotes.

As usual, first: the yearly index. Articles and stories slashdot has mangled the text in are at S/N without the mangling. Slashdot should be ashamed!

Journals:
the Paxil Diaries
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014

2015 articles:
Where's my damned tablet?
Are printed books' days numbered?
A suggestion to mobile browser makers and the W3C
Futurists...
"My God! It's full of fail!" -David Bowman
Where's my fridge??
1950s TV
What a mess!

Sci-Fi:
Nobots
Mars, Ho!
Yesterday's Tomorrows
Stupid Tourist!
Amnesia
Stealth
Voyage to Earth
Plutus' Revenge

There are six more stories finished and one started, but I'm giving the magazines first crack at them. They are:

Dewey's War
The Exhibit
Sentience
The Naked Truth
Cornodium
Weird Planet
Trouble on Ceres
The Prisoner

All except The Prisoner are finished or in final edit except The Prisoner. That one has me stuck, and it may never be finished.

Last years' stupid predictions:
I got one wrong; Random Scribblings didn't come out. I could have published it this year, but since the subtitle is "Junk I've Littered the Internet With for Two Decades" I decided to add this years scribblings and a little of next year's to it.

This year's predictions: same as last year's, with one addition. I'm not going to predict publication of Voyage to Earth and Other Stories because chances are it won't be done. As I write this the stories finished so far make up 36,000 words, which is halfway there at least. But I will predict:

Someone will die. Not necessarily anybody I know...
SETI will find no sign of intelligent life. Not even on Earth.
The Pirate Party won't make inroads in the US. I hope I'm wrong about that one.
US politicians will continue to be wholly owned by the corporations.
I'll still be a nerd.
You'll still be a nerd.
technophobic fashionista jocks will troll slashdot.
Slashdot will be rife with dupes.
Many FPs will be poorly edited.
Slashdot still won't have fixed its patented text mangler.
Microsoft will still suck

Happy New Year! Ready for another trip around the sun?

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Journal Journal: The Force Awakens 9

Can't believe I'm about to write this...but the prequels were better. Which is a shame, since the cast were obviously working their asses off (including a rare, actual performance form Harrison Ford).

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Journal Journal: What a mess! 2

I was watching the morning news the other day, and opened the computer to record KSHE's "Lone Klassic"... and it was in Linux. What the hell? Apparently I should have shut it off the night before, because Microsoft had apparently installed an update and then rudely and maliciously rebooted the computer. It was in Linux because kubuntu is the default OS in GRUB. So I rebooted again, selected Windows, and the little thing came up and... just sat there. Ten minutes later I still had a black screen.

I pulled the battery and tried again. Ten minutes later and I still had a black screen. So when I'd yanked the battery again and restarted it, I selected "Windows Recovery" from GRUB. An Acer screen came up with selections for reinstalling Windows. The first wiped the hard drive, the second kept your files. I picked that one; there was data on the hard drive I hadn't backed up in a few days, including a new story I'd started the night before and was on a roll with.

Twenty minutes later the first progress bar said "1%".

I'd decided a long time ago to get a DVD burner for the old Dell, until about three weeks ago when I'd taken it apart to install the video card and hard drive from the old HP that had computed its last. There were no slots that would fit the card (older computer than I thought, I guess) and the drive ribbon was a single drive ribbon. I probably have a spare double drive ribbon in the basement, but since the card wouldn't work in the Dell, there really wasn't any point. I'd decided then to get an old laptop that already had a DVD burner. So this was the time, because I had writing to do and the install was going to take all day and half the night.

I drove to the pawn shop and bought an HP laptop with Windows 7 and a DVD burner. It's a lot bigger than I like a laptop to be, but the smaller, cheaper one with a DVD burner ran Window 8, and I didn't want to deal with that garbage. Windows 7 is still the least annoying and least problematic of all of MS's OSes.

Of course I had to download Windows Defender and Firefox with IE, install Firefox, uninstall Norton and McAfee and Bing Bar and all the other effluent that comes with a new computer, reconfigure everything, and download and install Open Office and all the other programs I need.

Meanwhile, the Windows reinstall on the Acer had hung. Damn, I was going to lose everything I'd written the day before, since Windows had surely overwritten GRUB. I got lucky; it hadn't. So I went into Linux to copy everything to thumb drives, since I still can't get it on my network (time to try a new distro). I even found some movies I thought I'd permanently deleted by mistake months ago!

After I saved the data on thumb drives I rebooted again, went back into Windows restore and let it wipe the drive. That was the next morning, and it took all day. By then I had the new laptop running pretty smoothly and was writing again. The next day was mostly spent getting the old Acer back to normal. I was amazed and pleased that it had destroyed neither Grub nor Linux.

I'd lost a few passwords and haven't yet reset them all, and lost all my bookmarks.

That new computer is too big, but it's a lot faster than the Acer.

So I turn the TV on this morning and it wouldn't pick up channel 49. Flipped through the stations, and all of them had really screwy colors. I have my fingers crossed that it's the converter and not the TV, since the converter had fallen off the shelf last night. I hope it is, because they're not expensive and TVs are. I'll find out when I play a DVD.

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