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Showing posts from 2017

That’s not a man, that’s a zombie

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Why copywriters matter.

Adage in media feuds

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I think this is highly amusing. What a dotard.

From the land of stupid is as stupid does #GOPTaxScam

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So the gop managed to mash through their law and was trying to hold it off until next year so the more unpopular parts wouldn't go into effect until after mid-terms.

But the dotard signed it anyway.

I guess in the scheme of things this was amusing and shows a bit of hubris on their part.

Its not much, but seeing as how our congress will not listen to the constituents (by the people, for the people, and of the people indeed!), at least we can see them choking on their own shit. And laugh at their ineptitude.

Dan Le Batard Went For Rob Manfred's Neck

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This is all kinds of awesome. A commissioner takes one on the chin from a journalist.

It's cringe worthy and uncomfortable. But delightful.

Read about it here:
https://deadspin.com/dan-le-batard-went-for-rob-manfreds-neck-1821476659
Watch the whole thing here:

Word of the day: hubris

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As I listened to members of the gop talk about their "oh so wonderful" tax bill, this word cane to mind. 
This definition from Wikipedia is especially salient:
Hubris (/ˈhjuːbrɪs/ from ancient Greekὕβρις) describes a personality quality of extreme or foolish pride or dangerous overconfidence,[1]often in combination with (or synonymous with) arrogance.[2] In its ancient Greek context, it typically describes behavior that defies the norms of behavior or challenges the gods, and which in turn brings about the downfall, or nemesis, of the perpetrator of hubris.
We need to get over ourselves and do more. 



Short. Sweet. To the point. That's the beauty Dave's iPhone. 

Star Trek: Discovery

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I am finding this show to be most enjoyable.  Good sci-fi.  Good acting. Clever storylines within an episode.  Good story arc.  Interesting characters.  And, the people behind the show clearly know and understand Trek; the episodes all draw on what's known as cannon and they bring in aspects of TOS that are well thought out.

I like the twists and turns. The first two episodes took place aboard the Shenzhou, not Discovery.  And the reason was to set the tone, and to start with character development.

There is certainly some mystery in the show.  We are set 10 or so years before TOS, but nothing "feels" like TOS. The uniforms are different, much of the technology is different, and there is a cool spore drive that never gets mentioned.  Why is all of that true?

I mean, we can simply file it away as creative license.  Or its possible that this was an experimental part of star fleet that got locked up like the ark in the Indiana Jones movie. Its also possible we're in an …

Today’s correspondence with “leader” McConnell

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Senator,

I don't live in your state, nor do I live in Alabama. But your decisions affect all of us.

It seems you have forgotten that the government is "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Doug Jones was elected by the people, while mr sessions replacement was appointed to fill the role. The people have spoken and they must be heard. He should be seated before any further votes are taken.

You are so set on ramming through your absurd, and wildly unpopular "tax" bill that will increase the deficit by trillions (oh perhaps you were correct when you said it won't add to the deficit by "one penny;" it's a much larger get number) and harm everyday working Americans. All the while adding plenty of items that have nothing whatsoever to do with taxes.

If you had the gene, you would probably feel shame. But clearly you don't.

You will proceed as if somehow this is the most important thing ever in the history of the US with no deba…

The GOP’s latest tax plan would do exactly what Rubio warned them not to. Will he vote with them anyway? - The Washington Post

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If you live in Florida, you should give the good senator a call. He should hear from us about this bill, and perhaps he will take it under consideration. 


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/13/the-gops-latest-tax-plan-would-do-exactly-what-rubio-warned-them-not-to-will-he-vote-with-them-anyway/

If you live in Alabama get out and vote. Against the pedophile!

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Sayin.

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#NetNeutrality

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America has always encouraged innovation. We've done amazing things as a nation. American exceptionalism really is all about *us* being better than everyone.

It's debatable who invented "the internet" but there is no doubt, no question, that the United States was the reason it took off. The US made the internet what it is today.

It's a place for free expression, collaboration, and commerce. Even a jackass person can freely express world views (even if those world views might lead the unhinged jackass to take us into WW III).

And now some douche who has the best interests of large telecom companies as his primary focus can undo it. All of it.

Essentially we've taken what we know as the internet and said "here are the keys. You decide what to do"

And you can guess it won't be good for any of us. We'll all pay the price (figuratively and literally) for his decision.

Thanks for nothing Congress! Way to give it all away. Y'all are awesom…

Summer sausage

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Growing up, we always had summer sausage around this time of year. We'd sell it as a fundraiser. We'd buy it from hickory farms.

That and the port wine cheese spread were always awesome and a part of the holidays.

I don't eat beef anymore, so I haven't had it in years. When I saw it on sale today I was taken back in time....

But my question has always been this: why is summer sausage so popular in the late fall/early winter?

An open letter about #GOPTaxScam

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Here is a copy of the letter I sent to the undecided GOP senators about the tax plan. Feel free to use as much of it as you like when you reach out to your senators -

I am not a resident of your state, however, I wanted to reach out to you about the tax bill currently being considered because it's breadth will affect all of us.

While I do applaud any attempt to simplify the tax code, this bill was hastily conceived and has not been fully scored by the CBO, and therefore is unlikely to do much for residents of your state, and surely will have unintended consequences.

What we do know about this bill isn't promising. For one thing, the removal of the individual mandate will cause 13 or so million nationwide (a portion of those in your state) to be uninsured, and will also raise premiums by around 10% for most people.

Meanwhile, Medicare Funding would be cut by $25 billion. That would disproportionately affect people with disabilities and the elderly – our friends and family …

I think we’ve all taken stupid pills

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We have definitely jumped yet another shark.

Once again we find ourselves looking at a huge piece of legislation that will adversely affect millions of Americans, our financial security, and a chunk of our economy.

And that future rests on, essentially, 3 people. Three freakin people represent the 350 million people and decide the future of some portion of this country.

So stupid.

It amazes me that the GOP has taken a position that they want what they want, and have changed the inner workings of congress to subvert normal order and not review any of these ginormous bills, hold no meaningful public hearings, and then put pressure on the elected people or to just vote yes.

And then, once congress has invariably voted yes, they use reconciliation to morph the bill into something even more harmful ... simply because they can.

So come on you three. Vote no!

You want changes to healthcare? To taxation? Then have at it. But make it an open process and listen to your constituents. Not …

On guns, religion, and more....

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I find it interesting that some assert their 2nd amendment right essentially is more important than anything else contained in the constitution.  And that "arms" refers to any/every thing that shoots bullets.

In the 1920s, our congress saw the use of machine guns as bad, and decided to restrict their sale to protect the citizens. But gun manufacturers figured out that by calling them "assault rifles" and making them "semi" automatic, they could essentially get around the law.  And then, others figured out that you could sell a kit that converted them to automatic, essentially skirting the law.  Aside: the word "assault" appears in the name.  What could it possibly be used for?

And this congress does nothing because "arms" means whatever you want.

The framers of the constitution had no idea what the future held for weaponry. A musket, like they had at the time, took anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute to load a single shot (depending on w…

If you think otherwise you're a loser.

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#MakeAmericaSmartAgain make a simple DIY particle detector!

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This is a tad unusual, Ivanka edition

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I get it.  We all make friends with people we have something in common with, and sometimes outsiders can't figure out why we might have such and such friend. 
At some point, ivanka made friends with Wendi Deng, who was the wife of Rupert Murdoch, the mogul who owns Fox News. That's interesting in a way, but not particularly newsworthy. 
But Deng divorced Murdoch in 2013, and is rumored to be dating .... Vladimir Putin.  And she has allegedly given ivanka access to Putin, or at least putins office because there's an email that suggests she (ivanka) had a chance to sit in Putins chair.  Whether it's actually true or not, it's not something most of us would ever do, have access to, or think about. Under normal circumstances, this might be met with a shrug.  But under the circumstances we have today, it should be rightly scrutinized. 
But wait, there's more! Deng at some point introduced ivanka to another socialite friend, Dasha Zhukova.  She is the wife of Russian ol…

Kneeling and the NFL

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I'll start the conservation here because it's relevant. Tim Tebow knelt *during* games, and he was either lauded or no one cared. He was calling attention to himself for his cause: religion.

Meanwhile, black players kneel *before* the game to draw attention to their cause: social justice.  And there is much discussion and public outcry on every side of the issue. At least in part because the man in the Oval Office is race baiting. 
So the NFL is trying to decide what to do about all of this.  The only thing that really matters here is public perception and (more importantly) money.
And then the underlying race issue rears its head in the ensuing discussions. Old, white owners say really stupid things to the black players. I won't say it was intentional, but certainly the roots of racism run deep, because they said things they wanted to say, but which are at the very core of the issue.  Saying they can't let the inmates run the prison is exactly what the kneeling play…

Dave’s take: Trump plans to release classified JFK documents

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I see el donaldo wants to release all the JFK material. I suppose it's another attempt to distract and whatever.

And surely conspiracy theorists and some on the right will seize on excerpts to try and make some "deep state" linkage to try and tell us government is bad and to setup for the scenario that if trump face impeachment or removal then it's connected somehow.

That said, in spite of my interest in the assassination, I won't go through whatever is released.

I've waited this long. I can wait longer. The only focus should be on our hacked election and our incompetent fool in the Oval Office.

Once that's done, I'll have some reading to catch up on.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/21/politics/trump-jfk-documents/index.html

Still troubled

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The ability to "micro target" and "influence voters" still troubles me. It's not so much that it happened because it probably did.

The question is about whether it helped sway the entire election.

I keep going back to the polling that was taking place. Near the end of September, the polls looked like this:
Clinton: 49%
Trump: 45%
Other: 3%
Undecided: 3%

Now to be fair, a month or so before, the undecided percentage was higher and looked something like this:
Clinton: 45%
Trump: 37%
Other: 9%
Undecided: 9%

So in essence, they each took some of the undecided and other voters.

But people are funny. Some of the ones who switched might have been single issue folks who could be swayed. But I can't see how it would be enough to swing the election, can you?

I doubt it. Especially since Clinton won the popular vote.

The more I consider it, look into it, and understand it, it seems much more likely that the effort required to affect the vote itself is much less t…

Build that wall?!

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I coach soccer. There is a term for when players stand in a line to prevent a good view of the goal and potentially block the kick. It's called a wall.

So we're playing today and the opposing coach tells his team to build a wall on a free kick. They do. My team cleverly passed the ball to a player near the end of that line and then that player took a shot on the goal and scored.

The opposing coach said something about the wall not moving.

And that's when the metaphor hit me: it's always possible to get around said wall.

Voting against your own self interests

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I saw a recent report that el donaldos latest order which removes subsidies for the healthcare market will disproportionately impact people in 20 or so states that he won, and where people really supported him. And to be fair, these are states where people have been historically under insured - and who were helped by Obamacare.

Before Obamacare, there was money given to the state through various programs to fund public hospitals and support the states general health issues. So people could (and did) turn to the public care system when they got sick and didn't have insurance. But all that money was consolidated into the subsidy program, and its not being returned to the public health system.

So in effect, their support of this guy actually worked against their own best interests. And their own health and well being.

It makes no sense, and perhaps at some point, they will realize that they were conned.

So I have to ask "why are you hitting yourself?"

Nonsensical Rifle Addiction

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This video by the Dutch is pretty spot on.


A follow up. I know why...

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While I can't understand how people are so easily influenced, I do know why the attempt was made: this was an effort to disrupt business as usual in the US. To sow seeds of civil discourse that would surely help to take the US off the world stage.

I don't think they ever imagined it work as well as it did. I think they wanted disinformation to aid the cause, but could only dream that we would be so petty, so stupid. And that it continues now is simply mind boggling.

People are still hung up on the contrived controversies like kneeling. Unbelievable.

Yes, Nelson, haha indeed.

What am I missing?

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Vote hacking is one thing. That would actually change the outcome of an election.

But this whole discussion about how the voting public could be swayed by articles on Facebook, items on twitter, etc. That just baffles me.

Look, I get the technology of target ring and making people feel a certain way about a topic.

What I don't understand is the human nature of it. How is that people are so ambivalent about an election? How is it that a single issue - and a candidates position (or perceived position) on that issue - can sway you? How can a negative article about one of the candidates can push you?

Aren't we all adults here? Can't we make decision based on our own beliefs? Why do we need someone else to influence us?

I see the ads for cars and sodas, and I know people who would never, ever pick the competitor. Because they are a lifer for the one they prefer. People do the same with their sports teams.

And yet when it comes to things like an election, they can't d…

#MakeAmericaSmartAgain The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions (Address by Abraham Lincoln before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, January 27, 1838)

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Lincoln had some powerful words. This speech still resonates, perhaps as much today as when he gave it in 1838. 
He was talking about abolition, and specifically about the burning of a black man. So context is important. But nevertheless, his words fit into today where there was an assault on our democracy and congress sits mostly in idle and lets it happen for their own agenda. 
The piece that of the speech I find interesting is this: 
How, then, shall we perform it? At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.  At what point then is the approach of danger to be…

That pesky first amendment, and religion

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The first amendment to our constitution is pretty clear:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the rightof the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I highlighted the relevant part to make it easy to spot. 
And yet there are some in this country (including the person in the attorney general role) who seem to think that we can allow for religious expression in government, prayer in public events, or the ability to discriminate based on religion, as a right.
Some even argue that we are some kind of Christian nation, based on the founding fathers having been moderately religious, and in part because Benjamin Franklin heavily influenced some of the thinking by helping to create the great seal and having made clear that obedience to god was a part of protecting against tyranny. Which really isn't so m…

Now that's an awesome baseball card

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Love the end of the bat visible.

Headline

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In context of the news this week where some of our elected officials give their only answer as "thoughts and prayers," perhaps the headline should read "where is the Calvary?"

That would be apt.

My recent (CR)APple experience

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I do love my apple products. But sometimes it's absolutely painful to work with them.

Take my recent experience. We changed mobile carriers. Two of us were getting new iPhones, while the kids were keeping theirs. 
Of the 4 phones, how many do you think could be called an easy change?  None!  That's right, 100% of the devices had some sort of issue. 
We made sure to unlock both the phones we were moving. First off, what a stupid thing that is. Why are they locked?!   One of them didn't actually get unlocked, though we were told it did, and there's no way to actually for the consumer to tell...until you put the new SIM card in. We got a message that it couldn't be used on the new network. It actually said to contact apple for assistance. So I did. Except that Apple couldn't help me; it's the carriers issue. After much explanation, they finally figured it out and unlocked it.

But along the way, I had to back up the phone (a step the carrier recommended).  To …

Here’s an old article about Joe Robbie’s stadium

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And this is why there are grass strips along the parking lot.

Lest you think I'm a tin foil hat person

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Consider this...
South Carolina had its voting system hacked 150,000 times ON Election Day  https://www.wsj.com/articles/south-carolina-may-prove-a-microcosm-of-u-s-election-hacking-efforts-1500202806


Sent from my iPad

Kneeling athletes

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Tell me again how this is *not* about racism?

It seems odd to me that fans turn a blind eye when a player assaults another person, whether it's beating up someone at a club, obstructing justice in someone's death, or dragging a woman out of an elevator by her hair.

But they suddenly draw the line when players don't stand for anthem. Where was the outrage before?

And now we hear from faux patriots saying the anthem and the flag are so important. And they now despise the nfl and football because they aren't doing something about it.

But where we these same people when the nfl and it's owners pretended to be patriotic, inviting vets to games at a cost to the military? When the nfl wanted us to believe they were patriotic but were really just in it for the bottom line?

IMHO that's 100x worse than a player who exercises their constitutional rights to a silent protest.

And please don't give me the crap about them being on the job. Their employers are allowing …

The cowboys kneeling

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Before last nights game, I heard reports that jerry jones had instructed players that they should not be disrespectful and kneel during the anthem, and there would be consequences if they did.

And then, in a surprise move that delighted many, the whole team locked arms and kneeled - with him - in a show of solidarity before the anthem started. The fans booed, and the commentators appreciated it. Afterward, it was the talk of the town.

But it bothered me. Because while it showed solidarity, it undercut the nature of the kneeling movement in large part. The owner had them kneel, but made it awkward because he was directing his players to do so. And then they stood with arms locked during the anthem so no one could deviate.

In the back of mind I thought, hey look the old white guy is controlling the message in a way that looks like he's taking on the issue, but really is him telling everyone what to do.

Trump, russia, and collusion

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A while ago, I suggested that perhaps the dotard (amusing nickname) wasn't complicit in the russia hack and he was a patsy / easy target.

But in reading more and listening to things that come out, I'm rethinking that. I now believe he was more than the recipient of Russia's efforts and sort of lucked into it. Rather, I am now thinking he was complicit.

Maybe I underestimated him and he's smarter than I thought (and he looks!) and realized what was going on and accepted it.

My rationale has to do with how he engaged with Russia along the way, and now he stirs the pot every time there's some connection made to Russia - in order to distract. The timing is too perfect and the distractions are exactly what you might expect from someone who comes across as clueless but is really conniving.

There are some folks that are following what russia is tracking on social media. And it's always related to things trump says. Coincidence? Doubtful.

I have no specific eviden…

Vote no on trumpcare

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Please vote NO on the healthcare bill. It will destroy services for disabled children and adults. Please do the right thing again and stop it. I read the following in the newspaper. It "violates the precept of 'first do no harm'" and "would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage." – American Medical Association, which represents doctors.It is "the worst healthcare bill yet." – American Nurses Association.It "would erode key protections for patients and consumers." – American Hospital Association.The "process [in the Senate] is just as bad as the substance. ... Most Americans wouldn't buy a used car with this little info." – AARP.The bill will "weaken access to the care Americans need and deserve." – American Heart Association, jointly with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Diabetes and Lung associations, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the March of Dime…

in NYT today..it does all this plus destroy services for disabled

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David LeonhardtOp-Ed ColumnistDefenders of the new Trumpcare — the Graham-Cassidy bill — are telling Jimmy Kimmel to be quiet and leave the health policy debate to the experts. So I wanted to give you a quick rundown this morning of what the experts are saying about the bill:It "violates the precept of 'first do no harm'" and "would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage." – American Medical Association, which represents doctors.It is "the worst healthcare bill yet." – American Nurses Association.It "would erode key protections for patients and consumers." American Hospital Association.The "process [in the Senate] is just as bad as the substance. ... Most Americans wouldn't buy a used car with this little info." – AARP.The bill will "weaken access to the care Americans need and deserve." – American Heart Association, jointly with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, t…

Open letters to Gov Scott and Senator Rubio on healthcare

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Mr Scott,

I understand that you are not a fan of what is referred to as Obamacare. I don't know the specific reasons for your dislike, but I would assume it has something to do with it infringing on the healthcare business, where you spent a large part of your career. But whatever the case, you and I both know it helps people in Florida.

I realize you resisted expanding Medicaid in the state, but you fought to keep the equivalent of the Low Income Pool. I don't claim to understand your rationale, because it's still federal money, but nevertheless, you saw the need to help the people in this state. You worked with Mr. Rubio and others to ensure that there was money available for people who needed it, and so public hospitals could stay open and provide services.

When the last round of "repeal and replace" came about, I read with some interest that you again reached out to Mr Rubio to get an amendment waiver so that Florida could retain some federal money, and con…