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Topics - TheDrake

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General Comments / Woody Johnson
« on: July 22, 2020, 04:44:59 PM »
Sexist remarks and action attributed to Woody Johnson.  ???

Four sources familiar with Johnson's meetings told CNN the ambassador hosted official gatherings at a posh men's-only club in London, the centuries-old, exclusive White's. Eventually Johnson was told by another diplomat at the embassy in late 2018 that he had to stop holding those meetings, three of the sources said. None of the embassy's female diplomats would have been able to attend.

Nice venue.

Those sources said that it was a struggle to get Johnson on board with an event for International Women's Day, which is also widely commemorated at embassies worldwide. One source said he asked why he had to do "a feminist event." However, that event did end up taking place.
A team at the embassy tried to get Johnson to do an event around gender-based violence in November 2017, this source said, to which the ambassador replied that he was not interested because he's "not a woman."

Classy. I'm sure it is all lies though, huh?

General Comments / Choose your own adventure
« on: July 21, 2020, 12:19:50 PM »
I used to love the choose your own adventure books, where you'd get a page of story and then it would give you two choices, which would direct you to one page or another. If you'd like to play, make your choice, add to the story, and give two more choices. I'll try to be fair if you will, obviously it doesn't work if your choices aren't interesting or designed to trap someone, which would be easy to do.

In response to repeated incidents of police brutality, masses of people take to the streets vandalizing property and throwing rocks. Locally owned businesses are being damaged or unable to open amidst the chaos, resulting in serious hardship for those families. Pandemic health concerns are also raised due to the gatherings. Do you...

A) Deploy force to restore order.
B) Address the underlying problems that led to the protests.

General Comments / Voting mechanisms
« on: July 15, 2020, 12:57:04 PM »
If we trust that online banking is relatively safe, why are we so concerned about online voting? If we trust mailing checks to each other, why are we so concerned about mail in ballots? Shouldn't there be an audit mechanism possible, just as there is counting paper ballots? And don't give me that crap about needing to ID someone. Most people don't even look much like the person in the picture from three and a half years ago. What average poll worker is going to look at the ID and say "that doesn't look like you". And if you think that there is a huge cabal working to stuff ballot boxes in an election that is spending a half billion dollars, but they can't come up with a fake ID for people, you are delusional.

General Comments / Home schooled, school at home
« on: July 14, 2020, 04:52:58 PM »
Now that brick and mortar schools have been closed for some time, will it have any permanent effect?

Will students of this era be less prepared for later learning? Will they experience a dip in standardized tests compared to other cohorts?

Band, Phys Ed, Orchestra, Chemistry are clear losses. What if we reopened schools selectively for the biggest losses in education? Chemistry lab once a week wearing masks wouldn't be too horrible, would it? Whereas learning history benefits very little from being taught in person.

Might we see a cost-saving transformation to distance learning?

I'm seeing more and more "America, love it or leave it" messages in social media. You can love your country and criticize it all at the same time. I never see liberals suggest that conservatives leave if they don't like a policy or criticize a problem. OH, you're mad at Obama? Nobody suggested those people should just leave. Why do you think there's a tendency for people with a conservative viewpoint to tell people they don't agree with to just leave? Oh, you don't like the mainstream media, well just leave then! Doesn't happen.

General Comments / Is it weird?
« on: June 27, 2020, 03:16:29 PM »
Is it weird that self proclaimed conservatives are up in arms about a building named after Woodrow Wilson is being renamed? He's a democrat, a socialist, and a globalist. I think they'd say a huzzah. Is this similar or not similar to people pulling down statues mistakenly?

General Comments / Trump and the OGW miss the point, again
« on: June 21, 2020, 08:55:08 PM »
New restrictions on H1B when my personal experience is that zero American applicants are qualified to work at my company. Time to offshore. Probably another salvo to hurt the tech companies in the evolving showdown.

bye bye

General Comments / Enough about the stockpile already
« on: June 19, 2020, 11:35:38 AM »
Now there is a constant drumbeat about how stockpiling Hydroxycholorquine was some terrible waste. First, had the once-promising preliminary reports actually panned out, this would have been a huge win. Second, had it panned out and we didn't have any on hand, the constant drum beat would have been that the response was too slow. Third, it's not like there isn't any use for this drug. It can be resold for its original viable uses. Fourth, the 63 million doses at 0.37 per dose is a whopping total of about $20 million, which is a dot on a pimple of a toe when it comes to expenditures in the response.

Dr. Bright, writing on Twitter on Monday night, offered his own idea: “The drugs should never have been brought into our country and should be destroyed. It took far too long for HHS to revoke this EUA.”

Why the hell would you destroy a drug that has viable uses? Or that other countries might want to buy for covid?

This is a clear example of what people are saying about attacks on Trump. This just isn't a significant issue. Unlike valid concerns about publicly touting its greatness prematurely.

General Comments / No nobel for Trump
« on: June 18, 2020, 05:48:20 PM »
Remember this?

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said U.S. President Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, a South Korean official said on Monday.

A lot of the OGW agreed with him at the time, and so did Trump himself.

Fast forward:

North Korea blew up its joint liaison office with South Korea on Tuesday, in a dramatic and carefully planned display of rancor toward its southern neighbor. The act follows threats from Pyongyang and signals what experts believe will be more provocations to come.

South Korea's Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean ties, confirmed that the liaison office was destroyed by a blast shortly before 3:00 p.m. local time. The office was established in 2018 in the Kaesong Industrial Zone, just north of the Demilitarized Zone.

Following the collapse of nuclear negotiations at an aborted summit with President Trump in Vietnam last year, Kim repeatedly signaled that his patience with diplomacy was at an end. He declared in a New Year's speech that Pyongyang was no longer bound by a moratorium on testing nuclear weapons or strategic weapons.

This year has seen a string of North Korean snubs, slights and provocations aimed at Seoul and Washington, including more than a dozen rocket and missile launches. North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon last week dismissed the personal relationship between Trump and Kim as useless. And Kwon Jong Gun, director-general for U.S. affairs at North Korea's Foreign Ministry, suggested that unless the U.S. steered clear of inter-Korean issues, the North could make trouble for U.S. presidential elections in November.


Now, I don't blame Trump for failure - everybody fails with North Korea. But it seems like the big celebrations for a step forward were a little premature.

General Comments / Is this really how we determine the UNSC seats?
« on: June 17, 2020, 10:36:58 PM »
Canada has lost its latest bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council despite an expensive and star-studded campaign.

It lost out to Ireland and Norway for the two "Western bloc" seats

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invested heavily in the campaign, employed 13 full-time staff and invited diplomats to a Celine Dion concert in New York.

Meanwhile, Ireland wheeled out U2 for a similar show but spent around half as much on its campaign.

Canada said it shelled out roughly $1.74m (£1.37m). As of late last year, Ireland spent a reported $800,000 and Norway $2.8m.

Are you fracking me? People are deciding who weighs in on military intervention based in part on getting to go to a concert?

Rioting, looting, and intimidation have to stop.

I posted this to facebook. I suspect several people will unfriend me, several people will call me out. Others will blindly like and share.

I had proposed an experiment like this a while back, but didn't have the guts to follow through. Couldn't find the original thread where we discussed it.

General Comments / Fix it
« on: June 08, 2020, 08:47:28 PM »
We could certainly modify police union rules, or even get rid of them. But they have some legitimacy in protecting police from frivolous false reports by disgruntled criminals.

Citizens could all start wearing cheap body cameras everywhere so we'll see the start of every police interaction instead of just the ones that draw a crowd when it might be retaliation. But privacy advocates will be apoplectic, considering that people freaked out over google glass.

Democrats have introduced sweeping reform knowing that it probably never gets past the Senate committees, let alone the floor. And we all know 100% that Trump, who thinks cops go too easy on people and wants them to dominate the battlespace, is not about to sign it into law.

There's the dubious value of more training, which is likely to erode in the day-to-day "real world" situations.

General Comments / Walking the dog
« on: May 20, 2020, 09:49:47 AM »
Is it ever okay to have somebody who works for you walk your dog or pick up your dry cleaning? Yeah, you know why I'm asking but I really want to explore this generically.

General Comments / Prediction on headline
« on: May 08, 2020, 03:45:56 PM »
I wonder what will happen if I post this article to social media with this headline.

Sixteen sleeping migrant workers run over by train

General Comments / Food in the After Times
« on: May 04, 2020, 11:43:01 AM »
I've drastically changed my diet lately, cooking for myself and seeking variety. I've made a strawberry cobbler, had raw prayers flown in, made frittata, shrimp fried rice, lots of other fun.

Anybody else doing any new eating?

General Comments / abuse of the system, but by whom?
« on: April 29, 2020, 03:44:23 PM »
On Monday, Governor Andy Beshear said dubious claims were slowing the benefits process.

"Can't be doing that," he told media.

"We had somebody apply for unemployment for Tupac Shakur here in Kentucky," Mr Beshear said.

"And that person may have thought they were being funny, they probably did. Except for the fact that because of them, we had to go through so many other claims."

The criticism came as a shock to Tupac Malik Shakur, 46, who reportedly lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and had worked as a cook before the coronavirus pandemic closed down restaurants.

Mr Shakur, who goes by Malik, filed for unemployment on 13 March and has since waited in vain for his cheque.

And this is what happens when you are more worried about someone cheating the system than if you are cheating deserving people.

Send them the money, investigate for fraud, then chase down the offenders. Rather than making people go without food or shelter while they wait for you to make sure they are real.

General Comments / Restaurants - why?
« on: April 21, 2020, 12:25:51 PM »
Restaurants have grown from 25 percent of food spending in the 1950s to more than half, today. The shift has been accelerating: In the last decade, spending at restaurants and bars has grown twice as fast as all other retail spending, like clothes and cars.

But today there are simply too many places to eat, according to Victor Fernandez, executive director at Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant data firm. “Half of our food dollar is now going to restaurants, but we have more supply than we have demand,” he said.

Couldn't we view the closure of a number of restaurants as the inevitable correction of a saturated market?

Meanwhile, restaurants with no seating were already taking off just before the virus hit.

Delivery Only Restaurants

DoorDash's tenants include national chains, including Chick-fil-A, as well as Bay Area brands, such as the diner Nation's Giant Hamburgers.

None of them have actual restaurants or stores nearby, but the DoorDash facility allows them to deliver to Redwood City and neighboring towns.

This lets Rooster & Rice test new neighborhoods without committing a lot of money to a new restaurant and hiring waiters and other staff, Park said.

"In San Francisco, it could easily cost about $750,000 to $1 million for a medium-sized space," he said. "The commissary kitchen model" can generate similar revenue "at a fraction of the cost," Park said.

Is it possible our current situation is just going to accelerate a trend that was already happening? Bad news for servers that used to get a 20% tip for a $200 four top, but that's how things go sometimes.

General Comments / Federal guidelines
« on: April 17, 2020, 12:20:09 PM »

Much of the guidelines make sense to me except this one:

LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of
worship) can operate under strict physical distancing protocols.

How is that supposed to work? Sporting events with 6ft separation would mean 8 empty seats for every one occupied. Likewise with churches, movie theaters. You could potentially say members of households could group together with no additional risk, but how could you tell? The few concession stands open for the reduced population would still result in lines, are they going to be six feet apart? Are people going to stand six feet apart to climb on to escalators? What happens when the game is over and people are exiting?

I don't see any way that can happen. I've only looked at Phase I so far.

Everybody who is already convinced need not feel compelled to announce it.

For me, I would say that if new hospitalizations per day do not go up when we relax conditions then I would admit we were more restrictive than we needed to be. If it stays level, it suggests that we could have avoided implementing the things we relaxed. This would needfully be a regional look, and it is possible that some communities could stay level while others increased. That would validate the regional approach and suggest that those communities staying level can be fine.

I say hospitalizations because testing is a confounding variable - more tests could make those numbers rise. It also is a good measure of relaxing the at-large population while keeping at-risk people with higher restrictions. Since were are comparing the same communities only to themselves, we eliminate cultural factors and other confounding factors.

General Comments / census
« on: April 02, 2020, 02:30:35 PM »
No big politics here, just sharing my experience. Went to fill out my census online (all I got was a postcard, so no way to do it by mail if I wanted to). Nice and smooth, except I have a roommate who is currently staying with family. So I listed 2 residents, which was correct, but then it wanted to know his birthdate and other info. So I deleted him and submitted, but still as 2 residents. I don't know if my household will be counted as 1 or 2. And if it is that easy to add one, could lots of people be doing that? Independently, I have no idea if my roommate is also responding.

General Comments / covid-19 outside the US
« on: March 27, 2020, 03:26:03 PM »
Maybe we can have one thread that stays hygenically clean of Trump, Republicans, Democrats and US politics and US response?

Indian authorities in the northern state of Punjab have quarantined around 40,000 residents from 20 villages following a Covid-19 outbreak linked to just one man.

The 70-year-old died of coronavirus - a fact found out only after his death.

The man, a preacher, had ignored advice to self quarantine after returning from a trip to Italy and Germany, officials told BBC Punjabi's Arvind Chhabra.

India has 640 confirmed cases of the virus, of which 30 are in Punjab.

However, experts worry that the real number of positive cases could be far higher. India has one of the lowest testing rates in the world, although efforts are under way to ramp up capacity.

There are fears that an outbreak in the country of 1.3 billion people could result in a catastrophe.

The man, identified as Baldev Singh, had visited a large gathering to celebrate the Sikh festival of Hola Mohalla shortly before he died.

The six-day festival attracts around 10,000 people every day.

Coronavirus: India 'super spreader' quarantines 40,000 people

General Comments / Bernie v Biden I
« on: March 16, 2020, 01:38:12 PM »
Bernie didn't score the knockout blow that he really needed. He made his case that Biden was a poor champion of progressive views, calling out his record. Biden made the case that he was a pragmatist that could get things done, while Sanders was an idealist who couldn't accomplish any of what he promised.

Both attacked each other for having too much money and big SuperPACs. I think Sanders should have avoided saying he didn't have any SuperPACs - there is at least one. I think a stronger line would have stated that his SuperPACs weren't funded by billionaires - and then talked about some of the groups that did support him.

General Comments / Trump's fake census
« on: March 05, 2020, 05:06:07 PM »
Facebook removes 'deceptive' Trump census ads

Facebook has removed a series of misleading adverts from the Donald Trump campaign promoting "the Official 2020 Congressional District Census".

Those who clicked the link in the advert were sent to a page on the Donald Trump website where they were asked to complete a survey.

The survey begins by asking about age and political leaning, before asking questions about Trump talking points such as "Obamacare", "the Democrats' failed Impeachment Witch Hunt" and "Nancy Pelosi and the Radical Left".

Those who fill out the Trump campaign's "census" are ultimately sent to a web page calling for donations.

The BBC saw more than three hundred versions of the advert, each targeting different states and demographics.

For example, one advert specifically targeted men aged over 45 in Texas, whereas another targeted women aged over 45 across the US.

Most adverts were aimed at older people, with one exclusively targeting men and women aged over 65 in Maine, Florida, Arkansas and Arizona.

It is not clear exactly how many adverts were run, or how many people would have seen them, only that most of the adverts had been seen by fewer than one thousand people.

I'll save Crunch some time: "There's nothing at all wrong or improper about this, it's perfectly legal! You've got TDS!"

General Comments / Bush was a figurehead president
« on: February 26, 2020, 02:08:50 PM »
There have been others, like Grant. No one can ever accuse Trump of being one so for once we don't have to have him in the discussion.

General Comments / Leadership and Resistance
« on: February 19, 2020, 09:11:17 AM »
Naturally, everyone knows why I thought of this topic, but I'm genuinely interested in addressing this as a wider idea.

I suggest that there is a spectrum of obedience, for lack of a better word. This would range from actively undermining leadership to wholehearted support even when it goes against a subordinates beliefs or instincts.

Lots of writings on leadership talk about the need to build consensus, to convince your executive staff to adopt and implement your vision. It's the difference between compliance and commitment, which are on the spectrum of obedience. Doing something because you have to is less powerful than doing something you want to.

Change leaders often have an uphill battle. If a new leader is brought in to make a radical move, sometimes there has to be housecleaning. Jim Collins refers to this as getting the right people on the bus. When you need to make a change, try to help people exit with dignity and grace. A leader in this situation has to be careful not to wipe out institutional knowledge in the process, however. You can't fire everyone and expect a business to function.

In my own career, I have had circumstances where I was a "resister". This took the form of slow-rolling policies that I didn't support, definitely pushing back on bosses directives that I didn't fully understand or agree with. The lightest form of this was simply not putting in extra hours to move something forward. I've certainly seen it with others, especially when it was unclear if management was really committed to a course of action or if it was just a whim or a fad.

Likewise, I've encountered resisters who were my subordinates. Sometimes I couldn't fully get them on board. If the situation were not mission critical, then I'd often let them pursue their own idea. Sometimes this would result in a good outcome, other times a bad one. Either way it becomes a learning opportunity for one of us. If it was critical, I would try to acknowledge that the person had valid concerns but I had to make the call because it was my responsibility. Sometimes, I would change out the person assigned that task. More often, I would select the person I assigned the task in the first place based on whether I thought they were aligned with my ideas.

I draw the line at actively undermining a person in authority. I take great care not to disparage or demean any superior. I would not be the person to post internal communication publicly in an effort to force superiors to act the way I wanted. If I were consistently finding myself not in alignment, I would resign. The exception would be superiors acting illegally or unethically.

I feel that I would be doing my company a disservice with blind obedience, and yet I generally respect my superiors and would generally follow their directives even if I mildly disagreed with them.

I wonder what others here have experienced. We have a wide variety of backgrounds, professions, and life experience for such a small group.

General Comments / Did the tariffs have a net benefit so far?
« on: February 13, 2020, 12:17:55 PM »
On balance, CBO expects trade barriers to reduce U.S. output. The effects of the tariffs on trade flows, prices, and output are projected to rise over the next year. By 2020, in CBO’s projections, those tariffs reduce the level of real U.S. GDP by roughly 0.3 percent and reduce average real household income by $580 (in 2019 dollars). Beyond 2020, CBO expects those effects to wane as businesses adjust their supply chains. By 2029, in CBO’s projections, the tariffs lower the level of real U.S. GDP by 0.1 percent.


[Figure 4 presents our main result. The total drag on GDP from the two waves of trade tensions (the black solid lines) is expected to increase through early 2020, cumulating to an impact of just above 1 percent. The effects are similar across the United States, the AFEs, and the EMEs. The blue dashed lines show the effect on GDP of the first wave of TPU alone. Had trade tensions not escalated again in May and June of 2019, the drag on GDP would have already started to ease in the second half of 2019.

The Fed

Some studies account either explicitly or implicitly for increased profits and wages in industries protected by the new tariffs and for tariff revenues as a source of government revenue. While the imposition of tariffs may make the economy less well off in general, this does not mean that it is a loss for everyone: tariffs generate gains for some firms. For instance, protection from foreign competition allows some firms to raise their price — increasing their profits and the wages they are able to pay. Like other taxes, tariffs also are a source of government revenue. Taking this into account can affect estimates of the overall cost of tariffs: one study that includes these factors (but does not include the broader uncertainty) finds net effects from the 2018 tariffs as low as $61 per household per year, on average. The empirical approaches by the Congressional Budget Office and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors implicitly allow for some benefits to be factored in, but still find net losses from changes in trade policy (with uncertainty) through June 2019 of roughly $500 to $1700 per year in 2020, averaged across households.


A new report from the Fed’s Divisions of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, titled “Disentangling the Effects of the 2018-2019 Tariffs on a Globally Connected U.S. Manufacturing Sector,” concluded that President Donald Trump's tariffs led to job losses in the manufacturing sector and higher prices for producers and consumers.

“Our results indicate that tariffs have been a drag on employment and have failed to increase output,” authors Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce wrote. A key production benchmark published earlier this month found that U.S. manufacturing shrank for the fourth straight month in November.

job losses due to tariffs

So no, they absolutely did not result in a net benefit.

General Comments / You don't get no ice cream
« on: February 12, 2020, 02:36:50 PM »
Food giant Unilever has vowed to stop marketing its products to children in order to tackle rising obesity rates.

The firm, which owns brands such as Twister ice cream and Popsicle ice lollies, said it would limit the use of cartoon characters in its advertising.

It also promised to stop using social media stars or celebrities "who primarily appeal" to children under 12.

Ads for Unilever ice creams have been pulled in the past over complaints they marketed unhealthy food to children.

The UK, Chile, Mexico and Ireland have all implemented stricter rules for children's advertising over the last decade.

However, the problem persists. In 2018 Cadbury, Chewits and Squashies sweets became the first companies to have online adverts banned under new rules targeting junk food ads for children in the UK.

And obesity was solved forever by pretending that ice cream doesn't exist.


General Comments / Iowa app notes
« on: February 06, 2020, 10:42:44 AM »
Okay, so the company that made the app is called Shadow. It was found and backed by Acronym. Acronym scrubbed its website trying to pretend that they were just an investor, even though there were plenty of recorded instances of them describing it as an acquisition. It is a non-profit, but is mixed up in for-profit companies equity.

Shadow, btw, was founded by former Clinton campaign veterans who focused on an email app to help centralize data collection. If there's one group we can Trust with email and DNC data it is definitely people connected with Clinton.

Of course, what could be bad about Acronym building data share, buying digital ads, selling services to candidates and tallying vote results?

For once, I'm going to have to *smh*.

Recommend the full article, which is why I didn't provide any quotes.

Vox - Acronym, the dark money group behind the Iowa caucuses app meltdown, explained

General Comments / coronavirus
« on: February 03, 2020, 02:22:07 PM »
A new medical facility in the city of Wuhan opened its doors to patients Monday after just 10 days of construction, marking the latest effort by Chinese officials to stymie the rapidly spreading coronavirus that has sickened more than 17,000 people in the country.

Huoshenshan’s swift construction was the product of a round-the-clock effort fueled by 4,000 workers and 1,000 construction machines, according to China Daily. Live-streamed video over the course of construction allowed people to follow its progress online.

Xinhuanet, another state-run news agency, reported that the hospital is staffed by 1,400 medical personnel from the People’s Liberation Army.

According to the Associated Press, the two-story, 600,000-square-foot hospital features doubled-sided cabinets and ventilation systems that essentially quarantine patients, allowing hospital staff to deliver supplies without entering their rooms. The building also contains infrared scanners that can detect if any employees have a fever — one of the coronavirus’s telltale symptoms.

That's pretty impressive. I'm sure it involved unsafe practices, a likelihood that the building won't survive long, and the ventilation system sounds a little dubious. I'm not sure how much testing they could have done, but its better than nothing.


All flights from China are being funneled to 11 U.S. airports.

State and county officials where the 11 airports are located said they received no notice about the quarantine order and are scrambling to figure out where to house people. Hotels, military bases and trailers are among the options, officials said.

I guess there's something to be said in favor of a state-run economy quasi-dictatorship. No, I'm not advocating one in any form. Just saying it works in this scenario.

General Comments / Warren's secretary of Education
« on: January 31, 2020, 01:27:34 PM »
It's precisely because they are <1% that they need more attention and protection. And yes, it is a disaster when a kid has to be late to class because they have to tromp all the way to the other side of the building to use the bathroom and the person in charge of educating them won't bother to look into it.

BTW, this is what she said:

During a campaign event in Iowa Sunday, Warren said "a young trans person [had] asked about a welcoming community and I said, 'It starts with the Secretary of Education, who has a lot to do with where we spend our money' ... and I said, 'I'm going to have a Secretary of Education that this young trans person interviews on my behalf,'"

She added that "only if this person believes that our Secretary of Education nominee is committed to creating a welcoming environment, a safe environment, and a full educational curriculum for everyone, will that person be advanced to actually be Secretary of Education."

Somehow in the conservative press, having somebody interview the candidate means giving the "veto power".

General Comments / Short sell manipulator
« on: January 21, 2020, 06:50:09 AM »
I've defended short selling as a necessary part of market operation, but this seems it should be illegal.

Tesla blasted customer complaints that its cars may suddenly accelerate on their own Monday, calling the reports "completely false."

The 127 complaints about Tesla vehicles suddenly accelerating are contained in a petition calling for a federal defect investigation of the matter. Independent investor Brian Sparks, who told CNBC last week that he is currently shorting Tesla stock, submitted the petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

General Comments / Activists and Experts
« on: January 20, 2020, 08:21:03 AM »
Wanted to break this out to avoid derailing the other thread.

A statement was made about activists separating from the experts in some circumstances. Lots of climate change activists don't really know any of the science, beyond reading the first paragraph of UN recommendations, or statements made at conferences of scientists and policy people.

Is this an unusual or bad thing? If so, why?

We have people who squeal about gun rights who haven't read any detail about any proposal for firearm regulation. We have people who blindly support economic policy, like all deregulation is good, or any tax on the rich is equality. Or, all deregulation is bad, or any tax on the rich is theft.

I think a common theme is that activists in this vein have some common traits.

1. Anything that remotely goes against their belief is attacked mercilessly, along with personal attacks against the person originating it.
2. Cherry picking is rampant. Somebody finds the most extreme example that supports their point of view.
3. They often make money or notoriety from their activities which others will question their motives.
4. Their public life is entirely focused on their personal cause.

This is not limited to one philosophy or the other. It extends from right wing racists to left wing anarchists to local school boards to energy proponents.

Like anti-nuclear activists who immediately leap to Chernobyl as being typical or likely for any nuclear energy.

Hopefully I've come up with a wide enough range of examples, but if I haven't it is a flaw in my communication. I am not trying to make any judgement about which groups or beliefs do this more than any other.

General Comments / Inactive voter purge
« on: December 29, 2019, 03:15:02 PM »
Until recently, Georgia law called for voters to be marked inactive if they failed to return a postcard following no voting activity or contact with election officials for three years. People who didn’t vote in two general elections after that would be cleared from the rolls.

There are activists up in arms about this being unfair, but I don't see it. We're talking about a registered voter who disappeared for a decade from exercising their right. They might have moved, died, or just gotten sick of voting. Unless there are people getting clipped for having the same name, I really don't see the uproar.

General Comments / A Warning
« on: December 03, 2019, 01:20:39 PM »
Read the first few chapters. Yeah, yeah Trumpians. Written by the deep state and its all lies. Save it.

I found it particularly interesting, the description of Trump's short attention span. Presidential briefings devolved from nuanced policy discussions to powerpoint and having one idea hammered home.


The "A Warning" author also notes in the various shared pages that the when discussing matters of life and death, or particularly weighty matters, the president would not prepare himself for meetings. Briefers were told early on in the administration not to bring in lengthy memos because “Trump wouldn’t read them.”

The book also described the ways in which briefing material had to be simplified and broken down to a few points in a visual presentation.

“PowerPoint was preferred because [Trump] is a visual learner,” recalls the author.

But the whittling down of the briefing process didn’t stop there, according to the excerpts.

The author writes, “Then officials were told that the PowerPoint decks needed to be slimmed down. The president couldn’t digest too many slides. He needed more images to keep his interest — and fewer words.”

Further still, briefers were told “to cut back the overall message (on complicated issues such as military readiness or the federal budget) to just three main points,” but even doing that “was still too much.”

Soon, the author notes, the best practice to briefing the president became “come in with one main point and repeat it — over and over again, even if the president inevitably goes off on tangents — until he gets it.”

When briefers did attempt to give Trump a traditional memo, it didn’t end well, the author writes.

"'What the f--- is this?’” the president would shout, looking at a document one of them handed him. ‘These are just words. A bunch of words. It doesn’t mean anything.’”

Continuing, the author completes their thought, writing “sometimes he would throw the papers back on the table. He definitely wouldn’t read them."

General Comments / The smell test
« on: November 25, 2019, 04:59:04 PM »
Speaking of investigating someone with little or no evidence.

I believe Hunter Biden’s association on the Burisma board doesn’t pass the smell test.

No whistleblower, fake or otherwise. No insider confession. No clandestine meeting. No phone calls. No tweets. Just a "this looks bad" and away we go.

General Comments / Tim Apple has a problem
« on: November 11, 2019, 11:05:15 AM »
The allegations blew up on Twitter Saturday after tech entrepreneur David Heinmeier Hansson wrote that Apple Card offered him twenty times the credit limit as his wife, although they have shared assets and she has a higher credit score. Many other users voiced similar experiences — including Apple (AAPL) co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Wozniak said his credit limit was 10 times that of his wife, despite the fact that they share all assets and accounts.


General Comments / Election football squares
« on: November 05, 2019, 06:36:32 PM »
List each candidate on the top row.

Then list every excuse for losing in the first column.

Suggestion: Election machines, The Media, Voter Intimidation, Voter Suppression, Illegal Voting, Absentee Ballot Tampering, Precinct locations, Smear Campaign

When a candidate loses take their FIRST excuse and that square is a winner.

In the unlikely event that a candidate makes no excuses for losing, a prominent member of their party may be substituted.

HireVue uses a combination of proprietary voice recognition software and licensed facial recognition software in tandem with a ranking algorithm to determine which candidates most resemble the ideal candidate. The ideal candidate is a composite of traits triggered by body language, tone, and key words gathered from analyses of the existing best members of a particular role.

After the algorithm lets the recruiter know which candidates are at the top of the heap, the recruiter can then choose to spend more time going through the answers of these particular applicants and determine who should move onto the next round, usually for an in-person interview.

Like resume parsing algorithms haven't been bad enough. This is fraught with problems, not the least of which is an unintentional bias toward race, religion, politics, or age. There is no feedback mechanism that would correct such problems, since false negatives or low scores will simply not be interviewed and forgotten.

General Comments / Anti-immigrant sentiment in NYC
« on: October 21, 2019, 06:35:39 PM »
Peeling this off from the other thread.

It strikes me as unlikely that Trump actually thinks such things of "immigrants" in general, being from where he's from. It would just be a weird thing for a New Yorker to think, although I guess anything's possible.

Regardless of Trump, do we really think that NYC doesn't have people who are anti-immigrant? This is the home of the guy who screamed at people for speaking Spanish wasn't it?

They recently issued this guidance:

A New York City law has new guidance that states the use of the term "illegal alien" to "demean, humiliate or harass a person" is illegal, according to the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

The guidance "defines discrimination on the basis of perceived or actual immigration status and national origin under the New York City Human Rights Law in public accommodations, employment and housing." It also includes the term "illegals."

The guidance, announced Sept. 25, also states "harassing or discriminating against someone for their use of another language or their limited English proficiency, and threatening to call ICE on a person based on a discriminatory motive, are considered to be in violation" of the New York City Human Rights Law.

Those found in violation of the law can be fined up to $250,000.

In other words, a rampant disdain for anyone that they believe *might* be an illegal alien, but who generally are probably not.

And of course Trump, the guy who says "go back where you came from" to citizens, he couldn't be one of those. And who said "Well, I think that when you get right down to it, we're a nation that speaks English. I think that, while we're in this nation, we should be speaking English."

General Comments / The appearance of impropriety
« on: October 09, 2019, 09:37:17 AM »
This subject comes up a lot lately. Sessions recused. Trump's conflicts. Uranium One. Biden's son.

We didn't start the fire...

It seems like conflict of interest and the appearance of impropriety is only brought up by political opponents. I'm thinking hard, but has there ever been a case where there has been widespread agreement of such a conflict? In any era?

We even had Trump suggesting that Curiel couldn't be impartial about Trump University because he had Mexican heritage.

General Comments / Koch foods should be held to account
« on: September 05, 2019, 01:00:57 PM »
Federal prosecutors have asserted that Koch Foods, along with the other four food processing plants raided by ICE, “willfully and unlawfully” hired illegal workers over Americans. Koch Foods, specifically, is detailed as having a long record of hiring illegal aliens for more than a decade. Between September 2002 and April 2019, the affidavits state, ICE agents arrested 144 illegal workers at Koch Foods — not including the illegal workers who slipped through the cracks.


The motion [by Koch] claims since the raid on Koch Foods Inc. was illegal, any data or information taken by ICE from the food processing plant should be barred from use in a courtroom.

“Imperfection ought not expose a business to the egregiously disruptive execution of a workplace search warrant,” the motion states. “The execution of the search warrant, in this case, was an abuse by law enforcement that should not be permitted.”

Federal prosecutors have asserted that Koch Foods, along with the other four food processing plants raided by ICE, “willfully and unlawfully” hired illegal workers over Americans. Koch Foods, specifically, is detailed as having a long record of hiring illegal aliens for more than a decade. Between September 2002 and April 2019, the affidavits state, ICE agents arrested 144 illegal workers at Koch Foods — not including the illegal workers who slipped through the cracks.

Koch Foods Sues ICE over ‘Illegal’ Raids: Illegal Aliens Not Knowingly Hired

This is exactly why I do visit Breitbart. This story is notably absent on my primary news sources.

I'm happy to be on the side of the federal prosecutors on this one.

Also from the article:

Last month, ICE agents conducted the largest workplace raid in more than a decade across five food processing plants in Mississippi, netting the arrests of 680 illegal aliens. That same day, though, ICE officials said they released about 300 of the illegal workers back into the U.S. on “humanitarian grounds” while more than 200 of the illegal workers had prior criminal records.

Also glad to see that a draconian approach was not taken by indefinitely holding all of the illegal workers or trying to instantly deport them. Also good to cull out the criminals.

General Comments / The dumbest gun argument
« on: September 03, 2019, 01:34:42 PM »
There are a lot to go around on both sides, but this one caught my eye.

Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden pushed a ban on the very magazines Secret Service agents used to protect him while he was Vice President under former President Barack Obama.

I've seen a lot of variations on this theme, any politician with a bodyguard is supposed to be some kind of hypocrite if they are in favor of any gun restrictions.

General Comments / Are you ready for some football?!
« on: August 28, 2019, 09:59:15 AM »
No Kaepernick jabber!

Getting ready for football season! Geaux Saints!

Going to see them for the first time in the Dome at home against the Cowboys, 6th row 30 yd line.

Then I booked another game in October, Jacksonville away. Stunned a buddy of mine who is their fan and has never seen them in person.

Three fantasy teams, 2 long term draft. Friend of mine drafted Luck 3 days before he retired.  :P

General Comments / Would anybody care to defend this Trump move?
« on: August 28, 2019, 08:44:55 AM »
Trump has instructed aides to speed up the process of building the wall, directing them to rush through billions of dollars' worth of construction contracts, blow past environmental regulations and to "take the land" necessary by eminent domain, the Post reported Tuesday.
"Don't worry, I'll pardon you," Trump has told officials during meetings at the White House about the wall when aides raised that some of those orders would be illegal, according to the Post. .

Let me outline possible defenses:

1. The Washington Post is corrupt Democrat propaganda, and they made the whole thing up.
2. The unnamed officials are just trying to smear Trump.
3. Trump was only joking around about offering pre-pardons.
4. It doesn't matter if Trump breaks the law to stop people who are invading the country.

Or, you could hold him accountable for an unconscionable breach of his executive authority. Holding breath.... now.... 170 seconds, 171, 172....

General Comments / value for value
« on: August 09, 2019, 12:56:48 PM »
Is it ethical to buy a baseball card for $0.75 at a yard sale knowing full well that it is worth $100,000?

General Comments / Socialism
« on: August 02, 2019, 12:40:55 PM »
That word is fast becoming a deep touchstone.

What parts of socialism in this country would you want to eliminate? What do you fear?

General Comments / Trump's asylum rule
« on: July 24, 2019, 03:23:38 PM »
So, Trump's rule has passed an intial legal hurdle. The rule prohibits anyone from applying for asylum in the US without asking for asylum in any other country they traversed to get there.

Now, I seem to recall Trump saying that Mexico is overrun with murders, rapists, and drug lords. So why would he think that anyone could find safety there? I mean seriously, its a shifthole.

General Comments / Startling auto complete
« on: July 22, 2019, 06:02:15 PM »
I'm sometimes baffled by the google autocomplete.

I typed in "Why don't millenials..."

...wear deodorant
...use deodorant

WTF? Apparently in June a poll got published showing that 40% of 18-24 year olds hadn't applied deodorant in the past six months.

Now, this would normally be attributed to the frequency and recency of searches, and probably is.

But one could interpret it as google trying to bash millenials. I wonder what would happen if somebody typed in "why don't conservatives" and got

...take baths
...brush their teeth
...go to college

It might be interpreted as a nefarious plot to make them look bad.

I actually get no autocompletes on that phrase. Google must be deleting all searches for conservatives!

General Comments / Storming Area 51
« on: July 15, 2019, 01:47:33 PM »
Feds warn UFO enthusiasts against storming Area 51: The military 'stands ready'

A pinned post on the page attempts to cover its bases, reading "Hello US government, this is a joke, and I do not actually intend to go ahead with this plan. I just thought it would be funny and get me some thumbsy uppies on the internet." But as the event has gained traction -- inspiring dozens of memes and jokes -- the profile of the situation has risen, so much so that the US Air Force has been made aware of the potential impending raid.
And they're not as lighthearted about the situation as folks on the internet are.
"[Area 51] is an open training range for the U.S. Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces," a spokeswoman told The Washington Post. "The U.S. Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets."

General Comments / Cooking with gas
« on: July 10, 2019, 01:22:17 PM »
Does anybody else like to cook? I'm willing to admit there is one fossil fuel use I won't want to give up.

A gas cooktop is superior in every way. Induction is garbage, the pan has to stay directly on the stovetop. Electric ain't much better, you can't adjust the heat quickly enough. Also want my propane for gas grills.

Not trying to reheat the AGW discussion, or bring it to a boil, just wanted to disclose that I love to cook. :)

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