- Well, at least you might have some recourse if Microsoft sneak-upgrades your computer to its Windows 10 malware.
- This one’s for you who live within the New Madrid fault zone — or anybody who’s a follower of megaquakes and their lore.
- Britain is a part of Europe and will remain so, says Boris Johnson, former mayor of London, prominent figure of the “Leave” campaign, and possible successor to David Cameron.
- One of the few relatively dispassionate looks at key issues behind the Brexit. It wasn’t all just “hate!” and “racism!” on one side and “we know what’s good for you” on the other.
- Sheesh. And here’s one more good reason to avoid political entanglements with the EU.
- The most gorgeous art deco buildings in Los Angeles. (H/T TSO)
- Emotions you never knew you had.
- OUCH! Ranking the pain of stinging insects. Rather colorfully, too.
Archive for the ‘Government’ Category
- “Why Linkedin will make you hate Microsoft.” Wait. What? You don’t already hate Microsoft? But seriously, if they really do what this NYT article says they’re planning, we’re talking whole new levels.
- Wow. Beer can, mama bear, and don’t-forget-the-dog save a woman during a long ordeal. But note what she really wishes she hadn’t left at home.
- Have you ever sensed that Snopes.com, the great All-Powerful Fact-Checker of the Intertubz, sometimes needs fact-checking itself — particularly on political issues? Turns our you’re quite right. Look who’s providing those political “facts”. Makes me sad. Snopes has been a valuable resource and this is slowly destroying their credibility. (H/T OdS)
- Oh, the poo, poo widdle antigun politician. And of course he merely joins the ranks of fellow hypocrites. (That second article is actually about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Clintons turning the White House into “a brothel.” Quite gross, really. It mentions Hillary’s fondness for firearms only in passing.)
- And speaking of non-hypocrites: history’s top-10 snipers. (H/T DA)
- And Nicki gives it good and hard to an antigun ignoramus.
- Registering women for the draft? Sigh. I suppose it was only a matter of time. But if we must have the sort of bogus “equality” that puts women into combat, could we at least do away with the kind of bogus inequality that makes any young people, let alone all of them, slaves eligible for government disposal?
- Wendy McElroy’s new book on ending rape-culture hysteria is finally out in print. Was only an ebook until now.
- I know these rainbow #shootback posters (Gadsden style!) are old news now in Internet time since Shel put them into comments last week. But they are sooooo beautiful. And so much wiser and more honest than the O-admin’s craven claim that censoring 911 transcripts from the latest murder-for-Mohammed was done “for the victims”.
Because the MSM (and of course most of the gunblogosphere) is currently “all murder, all the time,” I thought a bit of good news was in order (courtesy of MJR).
Seems recently the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife “requested” access to a creekside property to survey for some frog you’ve never heard of.
The homeowners said yes. That is, they said yes … BUT.
I think their response will cheer you.
(And if you need a laugh booster shot later in the day, come back to the blog after noon. Got another funny queued up for you.)
- Nicki demands: stop trying to shove a false Trump-Clinton dichotomy down my throat! And Charles Murray might agree.
- Illegal gun marketing? Oh pleeeaase, writes Bear Bussjaeger over at TZP.
- Couric didn’t just go “the Full Rather.” She went way beyond Rather. Her second feeble apology doesn’t change that. Out with ya, Katie! Begone!
- “How America Lost its Mojo.” Its geographic and economic mobility mojo, that is.
- And related: the housing market horror story ain’t over yet.
- Hm. Too bad this gutsy seven-year-old didn’t have a firearm.
- OTOH, this man didn’t do too bad without one.
- Jim Bovard writes in Reason on the high price of security theater. Then he went on C-Span to talk about it, too.
- Which takes us to Richard Rahn’s “Kill the regulatory parasite.”
- 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.
- Obama, foreign aid, promises, and corruption in high places.
- 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.)
Oh! But wait! That chart doesn’t include self-identified canines who have sex with any of the other 31 “genders.” Racism! Specisism! Haters! Privilege!
It was the premise of the Politico article that drew me in. It was the claim that politics of 2030 would be shaped by the ghastly presidential election of 2016. There would be big changes to come.
Given the tumult of the times, I don’t doubt that one bit. The contest between The Hillary and The Donald, and all the odd and shifting v*ter alignments and policy preferences around it, is bound to reverberate into the future. It’s something I’ve thought a lot about. I wondered if others were coming to similar conclusions. So I read.
And read. It’s quite a long article.
- You don’t say! “The TSA is failing spectacularly at cybersecurity.”
- You don’t say! “The economy is running on monetary fumes.”
- You don’t say! Doctors are overscreening for cancer.
- You don’t say! Fed prosecutors need ethics lessons.
- Um … maybe. But those lines at Disneyland generally don’t kill you.
- If that’s all enough to drive you to drink, here’s a 5,000-year-old beer recipe. Not to mention evidence that beer may have helped kickstart civilization.
- Why the very poor have become poorer. While technically only a book review, this is jam-packed with interesting data and thoughts.
- But occasionally good news strikes. Terry McAwful, Virginia’s rabidly antigun gov, is under investigation. The usual. Corruption.
- And uncommon sense strikes, too. Sarah Hoyt on The Collapse. (Nakedly stolen from Wendy and Brad.)
- The barefoot one didn’t manage to freeze Mama. Reading this article, I’m not sure whether Colton Harris-Moore is a naive young kid or a crass hustler who’s going to head right straight for trouble again when they release him from prison this summer.
- “This Bud’s for you, America.” Another one to read mainly because it’s by George Will, who writes like a barbed angel. The whole business with Budweiser’s temporary name change is as pathetic as it is cynical.
- Why are house prices soaring across this Great Land of Budweiser? One guess.
- When headlines lie: “American Airlines is fed up with the TSA and taking matters into its own hands.” Don’t we wish? But no, American Airlines is scared of losing money and having its service and employees reviled because of the TSA’s bad behavior. So it’s enabling the TSA in exactly the same sense a co-dependent enables an alcoholic.
- Anybody up for 13 solid minutes of Hillary Clinton lies? No? Me, neither. Twenty years of them is enough, already. But for you who have stronger stomachs, here’s the video.
- The bigotry continues. House v*tes to ban Confederate flags at V.A. cemeteries. Presumably even on the graves of men who fought for the Confederacy.
- Not news to most here. But it’s been downhill since Jefferson wrote those famous words. Downhill as a nation, anyhow. As a government. But not all downhill for individuals determined to remain free.
- Be patient, citizens! That is an order! Your government is hard at work protecting you. (I do rather wonder what those TSA lines snaking up and down escalators look like. Or worse, feel like to stand in, especially if you’re stuck at the top or bottom where the stairs disappear. But not enough to want to go to an airport to see for myself.)
- Speaking of gummint “protection,” be glad you didn’t run into this employee of the Federal Protective Service.
- Whoo. gutsy woman!
- Militias going mainstream? So sez The Guardian with a surprising minimum of tsking about it.
- But not to worry. Plenty of tsking is still to be had in government schools. This time over a rather creative paper gun.
- We are shocked. Simply shocked. Facing minimum-wage hikes, Wendys is adding self-serve kiosks, with McDonalds not far behind. Yeah, kids; that minimum-wage that nobody thinks you’re worth is a real benefit, isn’t it?
- What? You mean Google Streetview spycars aren’t always tools of the gummint?
- I’m sure you’ll be shocked at this news about Hillary Clinton’s emails, too.
- But howzabout this news on those Hillary emails? Seems the Kremlin has a gigantic trove of them, grabbed off those insecure servers …
- After constantly squeaking through the courts, Obamacare has received the hoped-for blow … from a judge who immediately suspended her own ruling pending an inevitable administration review. Sigh.
- Kewl. Ten life hacks using carabiners. (And evertbody’s got carabiners around, right? They’re right up there with WD40, duct tape, hose clamps, and Goof Off for usefulness.) (H/T TSO)
- Weekend read: the Ukrainian hacker who became the FBI’s greatest asset — and biggest problem.
This Looney Toon of a presidential election takes me back, gods forbid, to elections past.
It takes me to Nixon-Humphrey, the previous absolute-worst political pairing in my lifetime. Before that, I was political, but only because my mom was political and I took after her. All Democrats were good, all Republicans were Eeeeevil, and John Kennedy was the best Democrat of all because he was handsome and a Democrat and he came to our town campaigning and I almost got to touch him. Life was simple.
I was still too young to v*te when the major parties threw up Nixon and Humphrey. But it was the first time I knew something was rotten on both sides. And Mom’s adoration for the tubby hack from Minnesota merely made me wonder what she’d been smoking (or rather, not smoking, since the smoking people of 1968 were as horrified by Hubie the Mediocre as they were by Milhaus the Whining Retread).
I think I may have even declared my intention to leave the country — years ahead of Alec Baldwin and his ilk, but just as insincerely. The fact that I was too young to get a passport excuses me, right? And shortly after that, there were Libertarians and retreaters (the name back then for prepper-survivalists) and cool non-political newsletters from the heady combo of Rothbard and Hess, and many other things besides politics-as-usual to put hopes in.
But this utterly hope-less election of 2016 — with its likely pairing of two megalomaniacs who use government for incessant personal gain and whose “principles” are light enough to blow wherever the next breeze takes them — also takes me back to the one-and-only national election where I felt an actual stirring of hope.
I owe Dr. Jim an apology. It must be two months now since he sent me a copy of his book for review. I meant to get on it right away. But you know, I just could not bring myself to pick up and read that book.
It’s not that there was anything wrong with it. On the contrary, at a glance it was obviously a solid, professional piece of work. I already knew Dr. Jim, an occasional Commentariat participant, writes clearly with an amazingly light touch given the subject matter. The book is lucid, well laid-out, and easy on the eye.
I just could not force myself to endure a rehash of the hash that politicians are making of what was once (and in some ways still is) the best medical system on the planet.
Once I belatedly opened the cover, I realized I had nothing to dread.
I’ll be doing a little extra blogging this week because I’ve been doing physical labor (drywalling) and need a break from it. Also because … Panama Papers.
I hadn’t heard of the scandal until Monday when jc2k linked to it in comments. By then it was already 24 hours old (ancient in Internet Time) and had been thoroughly clucked over by all the usual suspects.
The collective bottom line seems not only to be, “OMG, gov-o-crats are hiding ill-gotten gains offshore!” (this is a shock to anybody?) but, “Offshore privacy should be done away with!”
Um … yeah. Hasn’t offshore privacy already been curbed a time or three? And don’t gangsters and gov-o-crats and their cronies (but I repeat myself) always find some way to hide ill-gotten gains? And don’t ordinary, innocent people with assets that need to be protected from the above also take advantage of the “loopholes” that are inevitably left for the kleptocrats?
The notion that you can do away with financial hidey-holes — especially financial hidey-holes both controlled and utilized by people who are in charge of the laws and regulations governing said hidey-holes is as tidily moralistic as the notion that you can do away with drugs, guns, liquor, or whatever other bugaboo the moral moment might focus on. And just as untidy in practice.
Most people use offshore corporations for legitimate purposes — like the legitimate need to protect honest gains and assets from thieves in governments.
But that won’t do, will it? So now we’ll see yet another big moral crusade against offshore tax shelters.
Laws, regulations, treaties, and those trendy not-a-treaty-but-just-like-one-only-simpler-to-impose trade agreements will be changed. Everybody will say, “Good job! We’ve foiled the eeeevil plans of kleptocrats and organized crimesters. Decency shall now reign forevermore.” And after a few hiccups, thievery and corruption will go on as usual using some slightly different form of hidey-hole. Preserving wealth will merely become that much harder for those who lack the government connections or the will to break the latest round of laws. (Which reminds me of this study on human sacrifice and social hierarchy that came out this week.)
Bigger questions I haven’t heard anybody asking yet. How to catch and whack the kleptocrats without busting the legitimate privacy of hundreds of thousands of decent human beings (actual, old-fashioned investigation, perhaps — the following of specific suspicions, specific evidence, specific leads)? Why wasn’t Mossack Fonseca, that Panamanian law firm, doing more to protect its clients’ records, since privacy is supposed to be at the core of its business? And how many other ordinary people are at risk of disclosure from similar hacks at similar firms?
Interesting times …