Oh, Katie, Katie, Katie. You went the full Rather. You should never go the full Rather. And at least he didn’t make phony-baloney excuses.
A recent study says that the threshhold-based blood tests used by states to determine whether legal pot users are impaired or not aren’t based in sound science. This wild-and-crazy pro-pot-user claim comes from those mad radicals at … the American Automobile Association. AAA.
John Tamny: if we love the big banks (“we” meaning not you and me, necessarily), we must love them enough to let them fail.
Speaking of smartphones (as we were earlier this week), reader F. sends this cheery word that F*c*b**k’s admission that it’s listening to you via your phone’s microphone while you’re using its app may be only part of the even creepier, much creepier, truth.
How much creepier can things get? Advanced tech is not the only thing we have to worry about. How about nuclear capability coordinated by eight-inch floppies??? For you young things, eight-inch floppies were already obsolete when I got my first computer in 1982. (H/T MtK)
I normally like to end links posts on a cheery, or at least a “lite” note. But there seems to be no joy in Mudville or anyplace else today. I need to go look for some cute dog videos or somesuch.
ADDED: Well, wait. I didn’t have time to look for any cute dog videos. But since today’s theme seems to be “creepy as all get out,” I remembered this story about … um, men who live as dogs. Yes, not cute. But the best I could do today, sorry. I suppose we’ll soon be hearing these “pups” demand special restroom privileges. (And a big thanks to Cat for turning my stomach.)
Synchronicity: These examples of stupid both involve Italians. In one case, a very smart Italian got stupidated by some “see something, say something” moron. In the second case, a very creative but perhaps not-so-smart Roman architect got outsmarted and doesn’t like it.
Get businesses freaked out enough about “discriminating against the disabled” and they’ll fall for anything.
12 lessons to learn and hang onto forever. (Especially for business, but plenty have applications in the rest of the world, too.)
Just to cheer you up, here’s the latest report on global-catastrophic risks. I confess not to have read it yet. I don’t need that kind of “cheering up” right now. But just in case you’re interested. (H/T MJR)
Assume your state government is in big trouble if one, single taxpayer saying goodbye could have this much impact.
But this … once again takes “small-space living” to crazy extremes. Only in San Francisco. Or New York City. Or London. Or other places that have become hellholes for normal people.
Kevin Wilmeth comments on my TZP “constitutional carry” piece and gets it exactly right: “The only downside I can see, honestly, is that celebrating a good thing for what it is, isn’t going to help the sort of prag mindset that still can’t distinguish between long-term strategy and true pre-emptive surrender.”
I’ve had a lot of time to think this week and one question runs through my mind: Why is freedom so closely and (for many) irretrievably associated with fighting?
Sure, we do periodically have to defend freedom against tyrants. And defend it more frequently against incremental encroachments and (if I may coin a term) the political encockroaches who so encroach.
But given that the main thing we do with freedom is enjoy it, given that it is, in most of our lives, as lovely and easy a thing as pure air, why the sticky association with strife, battle, bloodshed, anguish, and all things bad?
That doesn’t make freedom sound like much fun at all. Or like anything most people would want to have. Is it just because we’re hardwired to take freedom for granted when it’s not threatened? Is all this emphasis on fighting just because of the times we live in? What?
Why is freedom so closely and (for many) irretrievably associated with fighting? And for that matter, why are so many who claim to be ardent supporters of freedom the very sort of people you’d prefer not to have for your next-door neighbors in any would-be Libertopia?
In the schadenfreude department: Melissa Click, the social-justice pecksniff who shoved one reporter and called for “muscle” to remove another from a public demonstration, has been charged with assault.
Despite using annoying “gun violence” language, this CNN article brings the good news that mental health professionals aren’t likely to sit still for Obama administration attempts to label every mentally ill person as too dangerous to own a firearm. With statistics, even!
If this is accurate in describing how classified material “escapes” from secure servers and ends up on private ones, then Hillary and several of her staffers should already be sitting in jail awaiting trial.
Everybody was so busy panicking over the recent snowpocalypse that they forgot what billions of little kids have known since prehistory: snow can be fun. (Tip o’ hat to PT)
In your cheery dog news for the day: Alabama bloodhound decides on her own to enter a half-marathon; wins ribbon. (H/T ML)
And speaking (as we were earlier this week and above) about the way bad law and regulation ultimagely discourage everyone and everything, NHTSA regulators are trying to destroy the Elio before it even goes into production. (H/T jed)
No wonder college students are so eager to destroy free speech and create segregated “safe spaces.” They’re taught beans about history or civics. Be sure to check out the stats beginning on page 4, if you do nothing else.
Gun buyers have broken NICS. The FBI is responding by refusing to consider appeals of wrongful denials. Since 90-some percent of denials are wrongful, this is a big deal. (It would be a big constitutional deal even if one denial was wrongful and could not be appealed; but since NICS itself is anti-constitutional, that’s a nitpick.) There will be lawsuits. But this just goes to show you (not that anyone here needed showing) how easy it is for the fedgov, having pushed “law-abiding” people into getting its prior permission, to forbid exercise of an individual right.
The headline proclaims a big-deal “new” feature on an upcoming washing machine from Samsung. Which turns out to be a feature that has actually existed on the vast majority of washing machines since Great-Granny’s day. Until “new, improved!” washers with government-mandated energy features and mega-electronic controls broke it. Bet the “new” machine from Samsung will be a heck of a lot more pricy than Granny’s washer, too. And thanks to fedgov rules, It won’t wash as well as Granny’s did, either.
With state legislatures in session, it’s become political silly season. Most of the goofy new bills will never pass, so you can stop sending me alarming emails about junk that might not even make it out of committee, okay? But politicians are getting their jollies with bills enabling random acquaintances to deprive you of your gun rights, create new gun bans even in southern states, and requiring “journalists” to register with the state. Yeah, that one’ll really meet the First Amendment test, for sure.
Good news, however! Although politics clearly rots your brain, you may be pleased to know that, contrary to recent reports, cannabis probably doesn’t.
Being the grey man in a surveillance society. (Jim Bovard, who led me to this link, gets called out for one of his notable failures in the grey-man department. OTOH, I don’t think Jim has ever aimed to be grey.)
RIP, Bitcoin? Despite this week’s developments, I don’t know whether Bitcoin is dead or not. I’m outside the Bitcoin universe. I do know, however, that there has always been good reason to watch from the sidelines before jumping in. The volatility. The out-of-thin-air nature of the currency. The ability of small groups to control it. And — above all — the fact that true believers have promoted Bitcoin at me as though it were the second coming of Jesus. Never a good sign, that.
The best material is on Rome’s collapse. (The first chapter was so persuasive it darned near made me feel sorry for tax collectors.) Before I return the book to the library, I want to post a couple of paragraphs. In the first, Cahill is mostly quoting from Kenneth Clark’s Civilization (spelling Americanized).
Ross Douthat on cracks in the liberal order. Not meaning “liberal” as in that thing that “progressives” don’t want to be called these days, but “liberal” as in some fundamental values of western civ and western gov.
Forget mere Pastafarianism. In some parts of the world it’s better to be a Zuist.
Cool photos of small, futuristic houses. Gotta laugh at the assertion that these are all “cheap,” though. The first one pictured starts at more than $300k, and that probably doesn’t include the land. But they’re all fascinating and some of them actually are budget-minded.