Tuesday, December 20, 2016

ISIS or Homophobe? Or both?


Of course this suit should be dismissed.  (Possibly even discipline on the attorneys who filed it, but that's "inside baseball" very few lay people will ever know or care about.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The debate last night

Did you watch it? I'd like to see Donald Trump pressed a bit on his bragging about how much money he makes AND how he pays no taxes because he's "smart". He's like the guy who agrees to go out with a group of people for dinner or drinks, and figures out how to leave before the check comes. And is proud of getting one over on his ... well, won't call them "friends" because people don't treat their friends that way. Who is supposed to pay for all of the government functions? The military, for instance, or immigration and border control, which he's so big on? Trump benefits mightily from being an American. What does he think he owes America in return?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

If you were to think about mass killings in the past few years ...

... and draw a Venn diagram with one circle labeled "Muslim and/or associated somehow with the Middle East or North Africa" and the other labeled "Homicidal maniac", what would it look like? And would it really be appropriate to label the intersection "Radical Islam" as we seem to be doing? Does his background as a Tunisian really make the Nice truck driver qualitatively different from Seung-Hui Cho? Yes, he seemed to be "radicalized" shortly before the end of his life after showing zero interest in religion until then. Cho was pretty weird and scared people, too.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Our long national nightmare

Is it really going to be Clinton v. Trump?


319,000,000 people and this is the best we can do?

Monday, February 15, 2016

I guess ...

... rather than have President Obama put forth a candidate, and examine her, and have a chance to reject her if there's a valid reason, it's better to wait and potentially let President Sanders or President Clinton pick one with potentially a Democratic Senate to rubber-stamp their choice?

Can these people set aside their posturing for five seconds and just think?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sanders v. Trump ...

Does anyone else think this is like an epic showdown to determine what the soul of this nation is made of? Or is it just a passing curiosity and by election time we'll have settled into a choice between candidates who are almost indistinguishable from each other except that one is labeled R and the other D?

Follow-up to previous subject of discussion

Here is an article about the Yale educator who emailed about the college's request that students be cognizant of others' feelings when they planned their Halloween costume, and who subsequently left her job.

I was thinking just today that there are people, like me, for whom thinking a lot about feelings doesn't come naturally. We can do it. We should do it. But it's not second nature.

The fact is, I thought today, people who lack insight into feelings nevertheless have feelings of their own; and if they lack insight, either because feelings aren't important to them all the time or because they don't make the effort to give them any thought, then they can be oblivious to their own feelings and how they are affected by them. I've known people who thought themselves very no-nonsense and straightforward, and who nevertheless sulked or carried grudges because someone hurt their feelings, and they lacked the self-insight to see that. If you're in tune with your feelings, and someone hurts them, you can take a step back and ask: what is really going on here? Maybe I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Would what she said have bothered me on a different day? And let me take into account what I know about this person. Is she the type of person who would say ugly things for effect, or maybe she's just abrupt with everyone b/c that's her way and I shouldn't take it personally? But if you aren't in touch with your own feelings, you will now be angry and in a bad mood and you won't know why. I've known people, grown men usually, that you had to tip toe around in order not to set them off. Yet they sneered if anyone else tried to talk about how something made them feel.

Christakis left her job due to the blowback her email got. No administrator at Yale asked her to leave. She had support from a lot of students. Still, the bad feelings she had from the offended students's criticism was more than she could stand, and according to this article, she still has very painful memories about that time. Ironic, isn't it, that the negative feedback loomed so large for her. She lacked the perspective of thinking about how there were different views about what she had said, her bosses weren't troubled by it, with the passage of time it would be something else getting all the attention and outrage. She lacked, in other words, the perspective that she insisted the students who were offended by Halloween costumes surely ought to have. The irony is this: people who take into account feelings are not as likely to have their own illogically and disproportionately hurt. Because they take feelings into account, giving them neither more nor less the attention they ought to get.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


“But women who genuinely insist on ‘no masculine protection’ are really women who tacitly agree on the propriety of rape."

Man's out of his damn mind. I can't believe I ever commented on the blog of such an odious person.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Iowa caucus so far ...

With 2% reporting: Trump and Cruz are neck-and-neck, at 32.7% and 32.4% respectively, with Rubio in 3rd place with 13.4%, and Carson in 4th with 9.4%. Paul is less than 5%. The following are between 1% and 2%: Huckabee, Bush, Christie, Kasich, Fiorina.

Clinton is beating Sanders, 52.4% - 42.5%. I wonder how many Democrats wish they had the depth of field that Republicans have.

Update: With 22% of Republicans reporting, Cruz is over Trump at 30% over 27.1%, with Rubio at 18.9% now and Carson still between 9 and 10%.

47% of Democrats have Clinton at 51.2%, Sanders at 48.2%.

Update again: Wow! At 47%, Cruz is leading Trump at 29% to 25.4%, and Rubio is catching up - 20.9%! Very respectable showing for Mr. Rubio. Carson is still at 9.8%.

With 63% of Democrats reporting, Clinton surpasses Sanders, 50.8% - 48.7%. Each will get 15 delegates to the national convention.

Update again: Don't know about the Republican delegates yet and I have to go to bed. 62% reporting, Cruz - Trump - Rubio = 28.3%, 25%, 21.9%. I wonder if they'll split the delegates three ways. Guess we'll see. 76% of the Democratic vote is in. Delegates are still split 50-50 and the vote count is drawing closer: 50.3% for Clinton, 49% for Sanders.

Tuesday morning: Dust has settled. Cruz, Trump, Rubio, Carson, have 8, 7, 7, and 3 delegates respectively. Rubio almost matched Trump, at 23.1% to Trump's 24.3%. Interesting how he surged during the night, while Carson started with 9.4% at 2% reporting and ended with 9.3%. And Clinton and Sanders ended in a dead heat, 49.9% and 49.6%. Those could hardly be closer. I think Cruz, Rubio, and Sanders ought to be very pleased.

We'll see what New Hampshire brings.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Viral Brains

Had a cold (or possibly a "mild" case of flu - I had the shot) the week of Christmas. The cough is still dragging on, but worse, I'm in a bit of mental fog that makes it hard to initiate thought. I'm trying to jar myself out of it. I wonder, seriously, if there's something about this lingering viral illness that's making me mentally foggy right now. It's not a new thing to have this after a cold and I have always gotten over it in the past (I guess) but what is new is reading some things about how viruses previously thought to be more or less harmless turn out to be able to cause encephalitis as an unwanted aftereffect. Chikungunya, for instance. I don't have encephalitis but I do wonder if there is an actual effect on the brain here.

Have y'all been keeping up with the Zika virus? It's a mosquito-borne virus that's been around for a while, but the strain now present in Brazil may be causing microcephaly in fetuses when the mother is infected. Here's the New York Times. Pop over and look at that article. Y'all, West Nile is one thing, but look at this:
The C.D.C. advisory came after several days of consultation with outside experts. Some virologists have been urging the health authorities to issue such a warning as the threat from Zika has grown. Officials in Brazil said Tuesday that they were investigating more than 3,500 cases of microcephaly in newborns. Until last year, the country normally had about 150 cases each year. ... Earlier this month, a leading Brazilian health official suggested that women in the hard-hit northeastern region postpone having babies.
Holy cow.

Update 1/17/16

Zika Warning Spotlights Latin America’s Fight Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Dr. Isaac I. Bogoch, a tropical infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto who is part of a team modeling the potential for Zika to spread, warned that the Olympics could serve as a catalyst for the virus, which some researchers believe may have arrived in Brazil during another sports mega-event, the 2014 World Cup.

“There will be people traveling to Brazil from all over the world,” Dr. Bogoch said in an email.

“The concern is that infected individuals will travel back to their home country and introduce the virus to new regions.”

Dr. Bogoch and other researchers determined that Zika had the potential to rapidly spread to other parts of the world, according to findings published last week in the British medical journal The Lancet.

Their model for Zika’s possible spread, using worldwide temperature profiles and air travel routes, also determined that more than 60 percent of the population in the United States lives in areas conducive to seasonal Zika transmission. And about 23 million people in the United States live in places with climates like Florida and parts of Texas where Zika can be transmitted by mosquitoes year-round, the researchers said.