Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Pssst: You Want A Secret Ballot 26

Per the Daily Caller

A Clemson University professor is developing a new electronic voting system that will allow voters to cast their ballots from home computers, tablets and smartphones.
As Clemsonâ(TM)s chair of human-centered computing, Juan Gilbert has lead teams of students over the last 10 years to create an online voting system accessible at home or on the go that will be more accurate, have increased verification and make voting more accessible to people with disabilities by offering mobile and voice-command options.

It is laudable to improve accessibility for all voters. If you're getting mugged for taxes, you really should be casting a ballot.
At the same time, retaining anonymity is key. That's why, in the polling location where I've served in the last couple of elections, verifying voter eligibility is separate from the part where the ballot is cast. Information Technology professionals would tend to want to engineer all of the ambiguity out of the system. However, the easier it is to correlate a specific person to an election outcome, the more likely abuses become.
You really don't want Checkov's Gun showing up at election time.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Antarctic Thing Is Serious

I'm genuinely glad nobody has been hurt, despite the wildly hormonal assertions of some that I'm all "whippin' up an angry mob" and stuff. (I suppose I should confess to having played "Mob Rules" at a slightly loud volume that one time.)
But at least none of the Antarctic antics have resulted in more than bruised egos:
How about a little Beatallica for a chaser?
Got To Get You Trapped Under Ice
User Journal

Journal Journal: Idea for new invention: power generation through word twisting 138

The workings of other human minds continue to fascinate, as what amounts to Making Stuff Up out of whole cloth rages in the greymatter of others:

Except that simply has not happened. I tell you: you spend a career supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States, the 5th Amendment of which states:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

I suppose I could get insulted or something; these slanders are about as valid as accusing me of immorality with farm animals. What would be more useful, though, would be to figure out how to attach all that logical torque to a turbine somehow. With the proper engineering, I'm sure we could light a small city.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Woo hoo, unemployment rate! Wait. . . 7

The most widely cited sign of progress toward a healthy economy has been the declining unemployment rate; however, the fall in the unemployment rate has largely been due to a shrinking labor-force participation rate rather than strong job growth. When you look at a broader range of labor market data, as in this weekâ(TM)s chart, the slow rate of progress toward recovery becomes apparent.

After we've tried every lie, maybe we can get around to some honest analysis: DC is not God, cannot be God, and there will be no improvement until this false God is whisked off to that symbolic Benghazi.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Anthropogenic Global Offgassing Change Climate

That the climate changes is a no-brainer. Of course it does. I admire the Left's rhetorical trick of silencing opposition at work here, akin to asserting that the Earth rotates, such that anyone daring to fall short of total agreement is claiming a static planet. Bravo. And, also, apparently, the sun doesn't have anything to do with altering the Earth's climate. None. A scientist hath issued a bull. Apparently word of Ace's famous line reached Scotland:

"If only there were some... natural mechanism by which to explain variations in global temperature. It would have to be massive, though. On the scale of our own Sun.

The AGW crowd had to try to beat back the sarcasm, I guess:

Until now, the influence of the sun on past climate has been poorly understood. We hope that our new discoveries will help improve our understanding of how temperatures have changed over the past few centuries, and improve predictions for how they might develop in future. Links between the sun and anomalously cold winters in the UK are still being explored.

Dr Andrew Schurer

School of GeoSciences

Sounds like some great weasel-wording to me, Andy! Quick, let's mount up the EPA posse and commence to crucify our economy while those "anomalously cold winters" are being further "explored".

I care about climate and the environment. Conservation is conservative after all, and totally common-sense. Conservation is as common sense as heterosexuality and life beginning when a person's information is complete, i.e. conception. I truly get conservation. Phil Robertson gets conservation; he needs plenty of great outdoors to give rant-free, non-homophobic interviews like his recent GQ offering, for example.

The pseudo-scientific joke afoot these days is like that of a feedback loop, having all the appeal of a microphone in front of a loudspeaker. This metaphorical Telefunken U47 is set up when public money is given to any group, e.g. the DoD, who are rewarded for Chicken Little-ism. I get it. We're talking about a business model here. "The Commies are coming! Our precious bodily fluids are threatened!" Appeals to fear work great! What, just because I'm a veteran means I'm verklemmt, and can't call it like I see it? Any group placing itself beyond criticism is suspect.

"I'll believe it's a crisis when the people telling me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis," spake the Instapundit.

Two points for the AGW crowd:

(1) Your butt looks big.

(2) You're going to have to make some personal sacrifices to put some urgency in all this. Do something like head up a project to start doing reverse-osmosis water production, to reclaim desert. If you did that in the Sinai, you might even ease some of the political tensions there.

Maybe I should be more trusting of academics. I guess if they hadn't spent the last decade cying havok and loosing the hounds of Alinsky, I might take them more at face value, instead of farce value.
Bonus: Rush transcript from August. He's certainly as authoritative as these AGW rodeo clowns.

User Journal

Journal Journal: How about an olive branch? 93

Sorry, statist sycophants, the worst is yet to come:

It's true that Obamacare has been a debacle, wrapped in a catastrophe, shrouded in a disaster. But it's also become clear that it was founded upon a lie: Obama's "if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it" statement was named by PolitiFact its lie of the year for 2013. Many Americans have already learned that their individual plans are being cancelled because they don't live up to Obamacare, causing enough chaos that the Obama administration has had to give certain people a last-minute "waiver" of the mandate that they buy insurance. But many more problems have just been kicked down the road -- into 2014 -- by Obama's unilateral decision. Ironically, the White House and Democrats were, just a couple of months ago, calling Republicans who wanted to delay the mandate anarchists and terrorists, and loudly proclaiming that Obamacare was "the law of the land." Regardless, the mandate delay doesn't solve problems, it just kicks the can down the road. And, as Bloomberg's Megan McArdle notes, the White House seems to be reacting to short-term political problems, rather than shoring up the system in ways that will make it work better:

However incoherent these fixes may seem, they send two messages, loud and clear. The first is that although liberal pundits may think that the law is a done deal, impossible to repeal, the administration does not believe that. ... This is at best, damage control. Which suggests that the administration is expecting a fair amount of damage.

I think that's right, and the damage will come in 2014. What we've seen so far, most likely, isn't the worst of it. Then there is the foreign affairs realm, where 2014 also looks to be worse than 2013. The Obamacare debacle did one useful thing for Obama: It drove the Syria debacle off the front pages. But Obama's precipitous decline in the polls didn't start with the Obamacare rollout; he was already slipping from the ineptitude displayed over Syria, where we went from "Syria Must Be Attacked!" to "Never Mind" in the space of three weeks. Obamacare -- and the NSA spying scandals, and the ongoing drip-drip of the IRS and Benghazi scandals -- has only made it worse.

If anyone has a heart for reform, the answer is going to come from http://conventionofstates.com/. We can pretty much write off anyone inside the beltway. Even if they retain some candle of integrity burning somewhere within, the fourth branch of government, the federal bureaucracy, isn't going to permit reform.
There really isn't any need to cling bitterly to the sinking ship of Progress, with its myriad of logical inversions. What matters is individual women, individual men, distinct families, and personal growth into mature humanity. Rule of law, balanced books, equality of opportunity, not condition. A rejection of the fascist Political Correctness that has claimed to bring unity, while sowing division.
I'll be working for the better next year, and I forgive those who've argued dishonestly with me, and ask forgiveness where others have thought me dishonest with them. I haven't been, but this is a medium that can breed confusion.

User Journal

Journal Journal: This is why I thought conservatives were incorrect to go after Jeremiah Wright 14

My good buddy, again:

Before paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 6, and summarizing that he thought homosexuality "illogical", Robertson had offered this:

"We're Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television," he tells me. "You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and letâ(TM)s get on with it, and everything will turn around."

Yep, that sure sounds like a man with a ZZ Top beard revving up the lynch mod, all right.
However, given the anti-Christian fervor of our day, it's been way too easy for the Usual Suspects to foam at the mouth.
I recall the same thing done with Jeremiah Wright. Now, I'm not in agreement with Black Liberation Theology, but the whole business of cherry-picking "God damn America" without offering analysis of the full sermon, if not Wright's career, seems dubious.
What's fascinating is that our purportedly superior academic overlords set such a terrible example in this regard.

User Journal

Journal Journal: In summary, damn_registrars has got nothing 5

damn_registrars accused Phil Roberson of delivering a "homophobic rant".
I asked him to be specific regarding the portion of Phil Robertson's remarks in GQ, where PR found homosexuality "illogical", that expressed fear, or was a indeed a rant.
damn_registrars seems to be falling short of delivering the goods.
Rational readers may draw their own conclusion.

Slashdot Top Deals

It is much harder to find a job than to keep one.