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Messages - TheDrake

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General Comments / Re: Digital Cryptography - A Nice Read
« on: October 25, 2016, 01:55:06 PM »
To me, I think viability can happen when....

1. your private key is biometric. You always have it and can't lose it.
2. it is an agreed standard for all clients
3. there is some kind of mechanism to get trusted public keys from a directory

When I mentioned every time, I mean every time you send a mail to someone new. Then there's email that's not a person, it is customer service at ebay, yelp updates, etc.

I still go by the standard that I used at the beginning of email. email is a postcard. Expect that everyone handling it can read it. An interesting exercise that I do from time to time is to review my emails from a week sample, and judge the sensitivity of the contents. A couple of times I've caught some stuff I wouldn't want known, but never enough to make me think about encryption.

Sure the protocol allows for encrypted contents (MAY HAVE), but if the protocol were required (MUST HAVE) then that would make it possible. Just like HTML had add-ons that have mostly become standardized in later versions of the language.

General Comments / Fight or flight in Flint
« on: October 24, 2016, 11:58:13 AM »
Love makes sure his children don’t drink from the tap now, but bathing everyone with bottled water just isn’t feasible. The pediatrician has told him the odds are that his children will be all right, but he worries whether lead they ingested before Flint residents realized their water was tainted may have damaged their brains in ways that show up only later.

Each week, Love stops by a church off Saginaw Street to load up on enough cases of water for a family of six. He operates a small fleet of ice cream trucks around the city to make ends meet.

He has considered taking the children somewhere else. But where? And how?

“Of course, I’d want to leave,” he says. “But even if I wanted to, I’ve got all these kids, and I don’t got a lot of money. A lot of people want to run from it. [But] where am I going to run?”

Flint has a population of about 100,000 people. Houses have dropped to $14,000. Many of them need to have pipes replaced at $3000 per home. Replacing all the pipes could cost $1.5B.

So, wouldn't it be more cost effective and better for the population to declare Flint a disaster zone and abandon it entirely, and just give the 100,000 people enough money to move, get a new home, and start a new life? It really comes down to the number of households, rent, etc. But at $15,000 per resident (if you spent the same 1.5B), a family of four could get $60,000 to move.

How far does civic pride take you, when your city is an embarrassment? Just put up a big old fence with a closed sign on it.

General Comments / Re: Digital Cryptography - A Nice Read
« on: October 24, 2016, 11:15:41 AM »
I use gmail exclusively through android apps and web browsers. None of this stuff can work for me. I can't even restrict to my own devices, because I may well need to check my mail on a public or borrowed terminal.

The other thing is the need for enough other people to be using it to make it relevant.

Usability is far more important to me than privacy. When particularly sensitive communications are happening (banking, accounting) then I use drop boxes or even FedEx.

It is too bad that they didn't build encryption into the original standards before email became widespread. But even so, managing the private master key is a giant pain unless you only ever look at email on one device. And then, what happens when it falls into the toilet?

Then there is the whole verifying of keys alluded to in the article. If I had to have a verbal conversation with someone every time I wanted to send an email, I would go mad. Think of all the emails you send everywhere.

At best you might create a small web of trust with a handful of frequent correspondents who are equally zealous about privacy.

General Comments / Re: The Fourth Debate
« on: October 24, 2016, 10:57:38 AM »
I'll continue to talk about the need to erode the hold the two major parties have on our system of government. I can't imagine there is anything new to debate. Those who haven't yet split with the Donald are either there to defeat Hillary at any cost, or they are fanatics who could never be convinced in any other direction. Indeed, Donald's debate performances seem entirely geared to solidify existing support, and not to bring anyone else out of the undecided column.

Hillary people are more complex. The "Fourth Debate" might well be limited to people convincing themselves to cast the vote for Hillary versus staying home or leaving the Presidential section blank, or voting for Jill Stein.

What we ought to be doing is working on our choices for lower level politicians so the next crops of candidates are better. I just got my official registration card, so I have some Texans to research. We spend so much time babbling about the Presidency, where our choices for state and local government are far more impactful.

General Comments / Re: Which world leader does Trump remind you of?
« on: October 24, 2016, 10:48:44 AM »
As an Italian, I've to say that almost anything Trump is doing I've already seen during past years in our own Berlusconi.

Very interesting! I confess to not following him closely enough to make the connection, though I do recall his Presidency. Reading through an article in Vanity Fair, I particularly like that he elevated model Mara Carfanga to be minister of equal opportunity? I could totally see Trump putting a model in his cabinet so he'd have something nice to look at and/or grope.

General Comments / Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« on: October 23, 2016, 10:22:48 AM »
Nobody loves their followers more than Trump. He will take care of them bigly.

General Comments / Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« on: October 23, 2016, 10:21:54 AM »
And how are the Democrats and the Republicans of today within the same establishment?

Let's see, there is the commission on presidential debates that they have exclusive control over. There's major party status and automatic ballot access. Senators Leahy (D) and Hatch (R) have been serving in that role since the mid 1970s. There's mutual agreement on bombing everywhere at all times. Mutual agreement on not balancing the budget. They are pretty well established.

Now, Trump is anti-establishment in his lone call for high tariffs on foreign goods, banning all Muslims, etc etc. Being part of the establishment is more than just who gives money to whom. It is part of a series of beliefs, an ethos. And having normal sized hands.

General Comments / Re: The Third Debate
« on: October 22, 2016, 08:49:49 AM »
Nothing O'Keefe edits has any credibility or context. I ignore him now. He treats his editing like sensationalist reality TV, not journalism. Even other conservative outlets like The Blaze criticize him for it.

The thing about any fraud in a Presidential election is the truly massive scale that would be necessary to have an impact on the outcome of a single state, let alone the electoral college tally. If it involved in-person voting, I just don't see where you would get all the bodies to take advantage of the flaws in registration lists. How many times could one person vote in a day? If you could get thousands of people, you think no one is going to brag, blog, or selfie about it? Nobody is going to find a way to infiltrate the system to expose it?

It is also true that there must be some voter fraud, or invalid ballots. You can't have millions of anything without having something screwed up. Florida shone a spotlight on one such flaw, with ambiguous paper punch ballots and the infamous hanging chad. Recounts are particularly prone to fraud and error as human judgement gets into the mix, and there's no such thing as a neutral party who volunteers to roll through thousands of ballots. Anybody who ever counted a till or did inventory can appreciate the difficulty even when there is no bias.

Then there's the bad call / referee bias concept. The NBA is a good case. There was evidence there that some referees manipulated games. But, the game has to be close for that to make a difference. Similarly with elections. Mondale couldn't have beat Reagan in 1984 with any amount of fraud. McGovern couldn't have beat Nixon in 1972 with any amount of fraud. And, if they did, it would be glaringly obvious.

General Comments / Re: Which world leader does Trump remind you of?
« on: October 21, 2016, 03:47:22 PM »
My fictional choice would be Joffrey Baratheon. Spoiled child, prone to lash out with violence at the slightest insult, sees women as his playthings.

General Comments / Which world leader does Trump remind you of?
« on: October 20, 2016, 05:00:25 PM »
I've given it some thought, and I would like to say Nikita Khruschev.

He certainly hated the press. He was given to hyperbole and histrionic, like his "we will bury you" statement and the banging of his shoe at the United Nations. His military policy was to build up overwhelming force.

And nobody bring up that German guy, you can be more clever than that. :)

General Comments / Re: The Third Debate
« on: October 20, 2016, 12:29:51 PM »
I couldn't handle watching the third debate after the last two. I will say that my favorite moment from clips is Trump interrupting with "You're the puppet." like a petulant third grader.

Am not. You are.

This kind of thing would have been hilarious on VEEP, but not so much in real life.

General Comments / Re: Media sweep
« on: October 19, 2016, 04:24:38 PM »
I favor any of the technologies that remove carbon from the air. It avoids any guessing games about the sources of the rise of carbon, while acknowledging that rising CO2 is a bad thing. If you can recover the carbon in the form of fuel, so much the better.

General Comments / Aramco for sale
« on: October 19, 2016, 12:21:45 PM »
As I was combing through some of my news sites, I came across news that Saudi Arabia's Aramco is likely to IPO in a partial listing. They are estimated to be be worth 2 trillion (bigger than the next three combined - apple, alphabet, and Microsoft.)

This is because the oil markets have put heavy budget pressure on Saudi Arabia. They are thinking to list 5% available for public sale.

I wonder how this works. This would mean public stockholders would not have ultimate control of the company, since the Saudi Royal Family would vote the remaining 95%. There have been state-run companies that have done this in the past, and they haven't fared too well.

General Comments / Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« on: October 19, 2016, 11:33:08 AM »
Or rock it like Socrates. Though he might have had his hands full with Trump.

Trump: I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.

Socrates: These generals, how much time have they spent studying ISIS?

Trump: Not nearly enough, Socrates.

Socrates: Have they not spent more time than you?

Trump: Wrong.

General Comments / Re: Firebombing Double Standard
« on: October 19, 2016, 11:27:30 AM »
What would the paper receipts accomplish? Now I've got my paper receipt and I'm walking out with it. Is somebody doing a recount on it?

If you crack the machine, the manipulation can be done prior to sending the live report.

Once the firmware is compromised, having some kind of remote control is moot, you can always alter the vote totals and audit trail as it is being recorded.

I'm not saying there aren't some solutions. Online banking is relatively secure, requires that you prove your identity, your residence, etc. You have to show your ID when you open the account. Rather than dump a lot of money into new solutions and custom hardware, I'd rather see a voting system with remote endpoints like phones, tablets, PCs, game consoles, what have you. The biggest problem with that system, would be the same identity theft problem that exists already - somebody figures out how to steal your voting password. But two factor authentication and trusted devices could solve most of that.

Best part is, that would also save a LOT of money. But people prefer the illusion of security to actual security. Plus, you're going to have to account for people who have no device, or home.

General Comments / Media sweep
« on: October 19, 2016, 11:15:27 AM »
Top stories by web portals as fodder for some new conversations about media or the stories within. I haven't processed my own thoughts on this, so no opinion yet. In some cases, I altered titles for brevity or context. I also picked my stories with a grain of salt from among those visible based on layout and prominence.

MSNBC: what to expect from the debate, Clinton leading in battleground states, six people corroborate Trump accuser

CNN: Big losses for ISIS, Michael Moore's anti-Trump film, No the election can't be hacked

FOX: Pressure builds on Trump as red states turn purple, attacks on GOP offices spread to three states, Al-Baghdadi hiding in Mosul

NPR: 4 Things to watch in the last debate, European Probe will attempt to land on Mars, Police van rams protesters in Phillipines

Breitbart: Bill Clinton accuser goes public, Trump will win the third debate, Democrats bus dumps human waste in street

Huffington Post: Hill's burden, crush Trump, Trump Nosedives in Texas, Taco Trucks Create Wall Outside Trump Hotel

Blaze: Sotomayor: I used to want to hit Scalia with a baseball bat, To be white is to be racist said by HS teacher, Clinton campaign requests spouses not shake hands

WND: Physicians detail evidence of [Hillary's] Parkinsons Disease, Hillary Fixer arranged sex for her with men and women, New questions about break-in at Juanita Broaddrick's home

BBC News: Thousands flee mosul, Meteorite death or Clinton/Trump, Vegas prepares for final stand

Arab News: Daesh car bombs and mortars slow Iraqi advance on Mosul, 72-hour Yemen Truce welcomed, Saudi prince executed for killing fellow citizen

The Guardian (UK edition): Home office rules out unethical dental checks, Huge increase in Britons seeking citizenship in EU states, Trump and Clinton face fear and loathing at third debate


Dishonorable mention: has a post, Is American Democracy in It's Waning Stages? -- no but American Literacy might be.

My only click: The BBC story on Meteorite death, I think I'll post that separately.

Disqualified: NY Times baffling front page has a left column on elections, center column is from the magazine, and right column has opinion pieces. I couldn't find a top stories section.

General Comments / Re: Firebombing Double Standard
« on: October 19, 2016, 10:27:39 AM »
From your own article:

The hack is performed by inserting a cheap electronic device into the e-voting machine.

That's not exactly hacking remotely, in the traditional sense. It is tampering with the hardware.

I don't understand how real time results improve security, and having central servers creates a whole new tampering opportunity.

Many states already do voter registration through DMV, but people likely move between license renewals so that's only a partial solution. Same with many of the other proposed methods. Now, if the concern is that people who shouldn't vote at all get registered, then utility bills and paystubs are insufficient.

To some extent, long voting lines help prevent repeat voters, if that's a thing. :D

General Comments / Re: Firebombing Double Standard
« on: October 19, 2016, 01:35:16 AM »
There are methods common in casinos that could be used. Facial recognition is an easy one for multiple voting.

For people voting outside their proper area, that would be a tougher proposition.

People casting a vote under an expired registration (dead, moved), that is even more difficult. Find me 100 instances where that happened, and I might be willing to support spending millions on it. ID laws can't stop it, if I'm hell bent on committing fraud, its not that hard to get a fake ID that would fool the average poll worker.

We could move to electronic voting, but then people would mistrust that even more. I currently cast my votes as a stockholder online, and there are various methods of security to stop someone gaming that system.

Nobody has to wait more than fifteen minutes to vote, because absolutely everyone can cast an absentee ballot, and many areas have expanded to extended days of voting.

General Comments / Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« on: October 19, 2016, 01:27:34 AM »
Its not about winning or even changing someone mind.

I would also like to know how to deal with such rhetoric in debates.


What is your plan? How will you accomplish that?
Why do you say the economy is a disaster, compared to what?


But, you to make an argument that sways, your audience has to have an open mind. So how do you stop someone from believing statements unhinged from reality and substance? Guess you'd have to ask a philosopher. But then, that person would have to be capable of logical construction.

General Comments / Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« on: October 18, 2016, 11:33:36 AM »
Truthful hyperbole... is that like Hillary Clinton saying she won't raise the national debt by even one penny?

That one blew my mind out my earhole. Even if she meant deficit it is still ridiculous. No president can make that claim, regardless of policies. What if more wars break out? What if tax revenues decline independent of policy?

General Comments / Re: Firebombing Double Standard
« on: October 18, 2016, 11:31:37 AM »
Didn't Obama's justice department say it wasn't voter intimidation when Black Panthers were prowling voting stations while repeatedly slapping clubs into their hands like a person looking for someone to give a beating?

AFAIK, there was exactly one NBPP guy carrying a billy club, Samir Shabazz. Suit was filed under the Bush Administration, and dropped by the Obama administration. The police moved the guy along, the NBPP suspended the Philadelphia chapter. None of the other 300 NBPP members in Philadelphia had billy clubs. Some had official credentials as poll watchers.

Meanwhile, it is the RNC that has the judgement against them from the 70s and 80s that remains in effect, and Trump better be careful in his calls for "poll security" against the "rigged" election.

The consent decree is as follows:

refrain from undertaking any ballot security activities in polling places or election districts where the racial or ethnic composition of such districts is a factor in the decision to conduct, or the actual conduct of, such activities there and where a purpose or significant effect of such activities is to deter qualified voters from voting; and the conduct of such activities disproportionately in or directed toward districts that have a substantial proportion of racial or ethnic populations shall be considered relevant evidence of the existence of such a factor and purpose…

Now, hopefully if Trump supporters go to the poll, they won't be armed, but I wonder. And if they are, it will likely be with something significantly more deadly than billy clubs.

General Comments / Re: Trump on National Security
« on: October 17, 2016, 05:40:59 PM »
With respect to Ukraine, they never had functional nuclear weapons. Russia had control of the weapons on Ukrainian soil. All of the command codes were still in Russian hands. So they didn't exactly give up a nuclear deterrent, and had they tried to keep physical possession, it might well have sparked a military action by Russia in order to recover them.

General Comments / Re: Trump on National Security
« on: October 17, 2016, 05:03:24 PM »
Well, if Iraq had nuclear weapons we probably would not have invaded them. And now North Korea has the ability to defend themselves from a potential invasion. Nukes for everyone, what could go wrong?

The idea of the Dalai Lama nuking the Chinese is just about the strangest thought I've had on the subject of Tibet. He did, in fact, defend India's right to nuclear weapons, but he has never supported armed resistance against China.

As far as the Tibetans go, one has to wonder if the guerrilla training and arms given to the Tibetans didn't cause them more harm than good. The Lhasa uprising resulted in the death of over 80,000 people, and ultimately accomplished little.

General Comments / Re: Firebombing Double Standard
« on: October 17, 2016, 04:38:48 PM »
I think if the coverage is low, there are a lot of factors. Nobody got hurt. It appears nobody got there in time to catch footage of the fire prior to it being put out. News organizations love having fire trucks, firefighters, and fire footage.

There were no protests or rallies about the incident. The location is not in a major urban center. There are apparently no witnesses to interview. Since nobody has been making any particular threats to commit violence against the RNC, it is hard to spin it into a larger narrative.

Now, if they track down the people who committed the crime and they turn out to be Mexican or Muslim you'll see the volume pop up in a hurry.

General Comments / Re: Trump on National Security
« on: October 17, 2016, 04:13:32 PM »
Trump also appears to have an "arm everyone" strategy, as expressed with respect to Taiwan, Japan, Korea. So, I surmise he would have given weapons and training to the Taliban precursors in Afghanistan, Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc.

General Comments / Trump on National Security
« on: October 15, 2016, 01:31:17 PM »
Set aside all the other stuff about Trump, one of the big reasons people support Trump is on national security. He regularly shifts back to ISIS, even when questions put to him are about domestic policy.

So, looking only at that facet of his policy, I see a number of things that make me doubt he would have done better.

At a rally, he made this statement:

"And by the way, with Iran, when they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures that our people -- that they shouldn't be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water,"

Based on this, I have to conclude that he would have easily started the war in Iraq himself. Iraq regularly fired upon our aircraft. I don't think he would have used a limited response like striking radar installations based on various other statements like these:

“We’re fighting a very politically correct war... And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. They, they care about their lives. Don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families.

Everybody believes in the Geneva Convention until they start losing and then it’s okay, let’s take out the bomb.

There is the support of generals to consider. He boasts of the 88 generals that have supported him. But Mitt Romney had 500 backing him. It doesn't feel like very overwhelming support. Meanwhile Clinton has very similar numbers backing her.

He has no military background whatsoever, and whenever he is pressed for details he falls back on this type of answer:

All I can tell you it is a foolproof way of winning, and I’m not talking about what some people would say, but it is a foolproof way of winning the war with ISIS.

ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly.

I know more about ISIS than the generals do. Believe me.

If he does have a secret plan, is it genocide?

We certainly know that Trump is not interested in diplomacy. That's not his style, and I can't recall him ever talking about building coalitions.

He has an unfathomable view on military spending and how much it can accomplish.

I'm gonna build a military that's gonna be much stronger than it is right now. It's gonna be so strong, nobody's gonna mess with us. But you know what? We can do it for a lot less.

He seems to favor pre-emptive strikes.

I would rather see Japan having some form of defense, and maybe even offense, against North Korea.

So, when I look at the evidence, I'm simply not sure why so many of his supporters think that he would make America safer, or stabilize the greater community of nations.

General Comments / Re: Election Predictions (with 4 weeks to go)
« on: October 13, 2016, 01:06:10 PM »
Well, he was a popular governor of the state for eight years, so he has name recognition and a known track record there.

General Comments / Re: Wells Fargo ~5300 member class action upcoming?
« on: October 13, 2016, 01:02:42 PM »
Most CEOs are smart enough or privileged enough to get severance clauses built into their contracts.

I'd say "on other boards enough".  It's a thing they do for each other.

Yes, that too. Stumpf is on the boards of Target and Chevron as well. I love to find this stuff. So far, those companies are not committing to moves, but some are calling for him to be kicked out of there also.

Stumpf has also served on the board of oil giant Chevron Corp., based in San Ramon, since 2010. Chevron spokesman Kent Robertson said in an email Wednesday that under company policy, “continued service on Chevron’s Board of Directors upon change in job status is a matter that must be addressed by the Chevron board. Therefore, it would be premature to comment at this time.”

The shareholder, Aaron Epstein, said in an ad Thursday in the Minneapolis Star Tribune - Target is headquartered in Minneapolis --  that the retailer's founders' legacy is "endangered" by the presence of Stumpf on its board. "Stumpf may or may not have known of the frauds but as CEO he should have known," the advertisement said. "To preserve the positive legacy bequeathed to us by our company's founders, I urge you to do the right thing and seek Mr. Stumpf's resignation."

General Comments / Re: Wells Fargo ~5300 member class action upcoming?
« on: October 13, 2016, 11:41:12 AM »
Most CEOs are smart enough or privileged enough to get severance clauses built into their contracts. The companies can't legally avoid paying most of these big exits.

General Comments / Re: Election Predictions (with 4 weeks to go)
« on: October 13, 2016, 11:38:37 AM »
FYI, latest poll shows New Mexico:


General Comments / Re: Election Predictions (with 4 weeks to go)
« on: October 11, 2016, 08:57:00 AM »
To go a step further, the protest vote in some areas, paired with low/poor voter turnouts could cause some other amusing results happening. Such as third party candidates carrying entire precincts or counties. I doubt it will go so far as to have a 3rd party candidate get any electoral votes, but we'll see soon enough.

It is plausible that New Mexico could go for Johnson. More farfetched might be Utah based on recent events and Mormon leadership denouncing Trump.

I also expect Johnson to have the largest popular vote for a third party since Ross Perot, but not surpassing him. That's why they have locked 3rd party candidates out of debates since 2000.

General Comments / Re: October Surprises
« on: October 10, 2016, 04:18:59 PM »
Other than Rupert Murdock's media companies, I think journalists try to avoid illegally hacking computer systems. So it isn't really a surprise that Wikileaks gets these first, is it, and that they would be the ones to break such information?

As far as bottom line, I agree that companies often don't do what is in the best interest of profitability. The board and CEO will care about company principles, reputation, and perception. News organizations have withheld stories in the past that could have sold copy. Drone base reports were withheld at the request of the government. Government censorship always comes with a cloak of "you're a traitor if you would print this".

Organizations also walk a line of when to make allegations that are not fully proven. Possibly only to avoid being sued for libel, but also I would think sometimes with a genuine respect for not destroying someone's life with something not well founded.

In the Trump case, however, I don't see them waiting on breaking any bad news about him. If they had had it sooner, they would have run with it. Similarly with the tax returns. Now, as to whether the timing was deliberate on the part of whomever made these available, I absolutely think it was. Someone was holding the Trump tapes - it may have been the Democrats, establishment republicans, or someone with a personal axe to grind. Naturally WaPo is not letting on who got them the tapes. If the Republicans had it, they would likely have used it in the primaries, so they either found it later or not at all. If you want to get really wild, there are those who speculate Trump doesn't really want to be President, so he might be trickling out dirt on himself. :)

General Comments / Re: What if Trump withdraws from the election?
« on: October 10, 2016, 01:58:32 PM »
Well, the parties nominate the electors. So if there were a faithless elector scenario, it might be one in which Trump electors defect and cast a ballot for Clinton or a third party. Given the Clinton hatred, despite the public withdrawal of Trump support, I still don't see that happening. Not to matter the crushing outrage if people felt their votes were ignored en masse. Hundreds of thousands of ballots subverted by just one elector, potentially.

General Comments / Re: Hillary Election Fraud Discovered
« on: October 09, 2016, 11:50:41 AM »
Trump is already positioning himself to claim that the only reason he lost was because of voter fraud. Or accidental immigration?

HOLT: Mr. Trump, very quickly, same question. Will you accept the outcome as the will of the voters? TRUMP: I want to make America great again. We are a nation that is seriously troubled. We're losing our jobs. People are pouring into our country.

The other day, we were deporting 800 people. And perhaps they passed the wrong button, they pressed the wrong button, or perhaps worse than that, it was corruption, but these people that we were going to deport for good reason ended up becoming citizens. Ended up becoming citizens. And it was 800. And now it turns out it might be 1,800, and they don't even know.

I'm just sorry this particular story about fake ballots got debunked too quickly so we didn't get to see Trump retweet it.

General Comments / Re: name a foreign leader
« on: October 09, 2016, 11:28:01 AM »
Cherry, the law I was referring to was the French law prohibiting the Burkini, which is swimwear that does nothing to conceal anyone's face.

General Comments / Re: name a foreign leader
« on: October 09, 2016, 10:43:41 AM »
Did you mean kilometer? Otherwise Monaco gets disqualified. :)

General Comments / Re: name a foreign leader
« on: October 09, 2016, 10:38:16 AM »
Sometimes people throw out words like xenophobia and I'm not sure they understand what those words mean. I doubt it's supposed to describe people who want laws enforced and those immigrating or visiting a country to do so legally, but that seems like it's the new definition.

Well, it is Xenophobia in France to demand that women wear the clothing you choose for them because you're scared of a benign expression of their own faith.

General Comments / Re: name a foreign leader
« on: October 09, 2016, 10:33:45 AM »
The Pope and Dalai Lama are not "foreign leaders", but religious heads of their respective religious institutions.  I take the phrase to mean the leader of a country.  Personally, among other leaders I have tremendous respect for Angela Merkel.  Have it er, folks.

Sorry, but wrong on the pope. Vatican City is a sovereign nation led by the Pope and recognized by the United Nations.

General Comments / Re: name a foreign leader
« on: October 06, 2016, 12:59:17 PM »
Pope counts, ruler of Vatican City. Not a bad choice, I dig a lot of what he has to say.

With research, I might choose Park Geun-hye. South Korea seems to be doing okay. But then I read about election meddling.

I think it is like what Acton said, "Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority."

General Comments / name a foreign leader
« on: October 06, 2016, 12:18:14 PM »
Gary Johnson was recently stumped when asked to name a foreign leader he admires.

I'm pretty hard pressed myself to come up with a name, and I'm wondering if other people have names at the ready or could find one with research?

General Comments / Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« on: October 06, 2016, 12:10:19 PM »
If Trump loses, many will say that Gary Johnson cost him the election - possibly taking votes in Texas or other close states. I will say, however, that I'm a Johnson supporter and there's no way that I would support Trump. Or Hillary for that matter.
The other day he couldn't come up with a single foreign leader that he admires.  He tried to name Shimon Peres, but Chris said it had to be somebody still alive, which stumped him.  Are you sure he gave up smoking dope for the duration of the election like he said he did?  His Aleppo moments are climbing up the ladder of signature events like Perry's 3 departments of government he would eliminate. I'm waiting for Weld to bail on him.

I'd have a hard time coming up with a foreign leader that I admire, or a domestic one for that matter. Given that Gary is an isolationist, it isn't too surprising. His recent statements clarify that he's skeptical of all politicians and he realises that as soon as he names someone he will be put on the spot to defend their least admirable actions and policies.

I like "none of the above" better than Trump's presumed answer - Vladimir Putin.

it appears to me that there are raving madmen in positions of power who might not tremble at the thought of reducing the planet to a smoking cinder.

Well, we are about due. Forget the Mayan calendar, Sid Meier says civilization will end in 2050.

In 1976, we passed law stopping people from suing foreign governments. But even that law had exemptions.

Cases of personal injury or death, or damage to or loss of property, occurring in the United States if caused by negligent acts of omission or commission by a foreign government.

This was used in the case of the Lockerbie bombings and damages were won against Libya.

Now the argument made in the original suit that was thrown out in 2006:

The victims and their families argued that because the defendants gave money to Muslim charities that in turn gave money to al Qaeda, they should be held responsible for helping to finance the attacks.

Unless they have something new, that's pretty thin evidence. Now, I've also read the full text of the bill, and I am not wise enough in the ways of lawyering to understand what is new or how it loosens restrictions of FSIA.

Now if the good Senators and Congress wanted to actually hold Saudi Arabia responsible for their actions, they might have focused on voting against a giant arms deal to that country. During the past eight years, we've armed the Saudi's to the teeth to the tune of 100 billion dollars. Hella good news for ATK and other defense companies, not so good for the stability of Yemen. McConnell's response on that one? Saudi Arabia could just get arms from some other country, so we might as well do it anyway.

arms deal article

full text

FSIA article

Interesting editorializing from the article:

McConnell explained that lawmakers were very focused on the needs of the 9/11 families and didn't take the time to think through the consequences.

"Because everyone was aware who the potential beneficiaries were, but nobody focused on the potential downside in terms of our international relationships. And I just think it was a ball dropped," McConnell said. "I wish the President -- and I hate to blame everything on him and I don't -- but it would have been helpful had...we had a discussion about this much earlier than the last week."

I think it is a bit of a stretch to make it sound like McConnell had said that they didn't take time to think through the consequences.

General Comments / Re: Remember the good old days?
« on: September 29, 2016, 02:34:05 PM »
Heh, to clarify, yes I was mostly jesting about it being a cause, although carrying those books around (as I did) came close. Somewhat of a correlation, though.

I made one of my great friends in this world as an adult because I overheard him talking to another friend about elves and their campaign long after I was out of gaming, FWIW. :)

General Comments / Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« on: September 29, 2016, 02:30:06 PM »
It is worth pointing out that Gore lost progressives (leftists, communists, what have you), but could have back filled with independents and centrists. He simply didn't appeal to enough people, and it is unclear that many of those people would have come out to vote for Gore - they might well have just stayed home.

If Trump loses, many will say that Gary Johnson cost him the election - possibly taking votes in Texas or other close states. I will say, however, that I'm a Johnson supporter and there's no way that I would support Trump. Or Hillary for that matter.

Many other countries really don't have this same concept of "wasted vote" - those with multiple parties regularly participating or who have parliamentary systems.

As far as Bush's treatment, there was that little chestnut from Dan Rather who propagated falsified documents about Bush going AWOL. The "awol" cry was started, continued and repeated by DNC and other outlets. This is similar to the Gore treatment, in that there was a nugget of truth behind it, but exaggerated to make him look far worse.

General Comments / Re: Who is left?
« on: September 29, 2016, 02:00:57 PM »
Nothing is a lie, since we cannot prove objective reality without invoking God like Descartes did.

Setting that aside, I satisfy myself with providing proof, and I don't find I need to call people out as liars or fools, make them admit that they are liars or fools, or have other people confirm that they are liars or fools.

Generally, I still find Ornery to be relatively grounded in reality, compared to what I see on Facebook, reddit, and other online discussions.

I think the lack of infusion of new participants has led people to consider the poster more than the post. There's a lot more callouts to off-topic cross discussions. I often wonder if it wouldn't be more productive to anonymize all posts.

I do think that providing sources is helpful, and there's a lot less of quote+url than there used to be, and that's too bad.

General Comments / Re: Remember the good old days?
« on: September 29, 2016, 08:05:56 AM »
Dungeons and Dragons is a leading cause of school bullying, incomplete socialization, and other foul afflictions. I highly recommend watching the documentary, Dungeon Masters

General Comments / Re: History doesn't repeat - but it rhymes
« on: September 28, 2016, 04:52:48 PM »

The moral of the 2000 election is that a protest vote for a 3rd party candidate can have extremely dire consequences.  Instead of seeing an imperfect candidate you may generally agree with take office, you may get your worst nightmare.

The moral of the 2000 election has been largely ignored by the Democratic Party. Find leaders who better represent the views of your base, and aren't disliked by the masses. If they had learned that lesson, Bernie Sanders would be their nominee this year.

With respect to Palin, the exchange that inspired the skit went like this:

GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

PALIN: They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

I don't think she understood what an insight is, let alone have one. That's what made Tina Fey's representation funny as hell.

For more laughs, read through the transcript

General Comments / Re: The First Debate - 2016
« on: September 27, 2016, 10:19:27 AM »
Hillary's biggest nonsense - "If you're too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun.
Kinda a nitpicking, but I agree with the statement.  I just think that the "no fly list" is a cluster F and needs a total reevaluation.

Several problems with this. As you note, the no-fly list is full of errors and omissions, plus there is no set method to challenge if you are on the list. Additionally, flying on an airplane is not a right like owning a gun is. Plus, there's no clear evidence that anyone on the list has actually committed gun violence. Someone who is an actual terrorist likely can purchase or acquire a gun illegally, making a background check moot.

She should have stuck to improving the background check input from the states and improving the existing list, at best. 

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