Thursday, December 01, 2011

Picture: What Flavor Santa?

Not an entirely successful panorama merge, but you can, at least, see all the flavors of Santa: (from left) Sampler, Maple Cream, King Size Marshmallow, Marshmallow, Milk Chocolate Marshmallow, Caramel, Strawberry Cream, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Coconut Cream, Coconut, Sugar Free Marshmallow, Sugar Free Coconut.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Comment Elsewhere: Pathology and Mass Murder

Yeah, it's a discussion of the Oslo/Utoya killings, so forewarned. Some yahoo claimed that only the psychologically abnormal kill, which is just weird:
Apparently sociopathic behavior can be the result of extreme conditions rather than an underlying mental condition: which is to say, just because he did something which defies normal rational moral explanation doesn’t mean that he’s insane in any meaningful way. He thinks he’s at war, fighting for the life of himself, his race, and he’s willing to do what it takes to win. He’s not insane. He’s not a “madman” or somehow unaccountable for his actions. He’s a political actor who made a tactical decision in what he believes is a time of crisis.

And he should be required to watch a continuous loop of home movies and tributes of his victims in a jail cell from now until the end of his natural life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Comments Elsewhere: Birtherism and the Ground Game

After watching 80-odd comments on the birth certificate issues miss the point, I added
There’s a whole raft of birther-related bills floating around statehouses, targetting the next round of primaries and national elections: filing season is going to come up in a matter of months. Releasing these documents now is a reminder to every state attorney general, every state legislature that they will mire their state in costly legislation, and if they craft a bill that excludes Obama’s documentation, they’ll be in violation of constitutional due process and full faith and credit protections, and if they don’t, they’ll just look like idiots for missing their target.

Frankly, the short-form birth certificate was enough, legally, but this just drives it home.

Probably won’t stop them from trying, but it could peel away enough cost-conscious state senators or governors to keep the legislation sane and/or kill it outright.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

That was a Long Eight Years....

Someone has put together the most comprehensive collection of Bush administration scandals, errors and atrocities. My Impeachment Index pales by comparison.

Most corrupt ever, or just since Harding? Or maybe since Andrew Johnson? I'm voting for "ever" but the modern state offers so many more opportunities and they didn't miss one.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Picture: Free Starbucks Coffee!

When I first read this, I parsed it wrong. "I didn't know Starbucks was imprisoned or restrained in any way, or that it had become a campus cause...."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Picture: Rice Krispy Treat Butt

I'm not sure what bothers me more: the image of someone smoking a Rice Krispy Treat, or that the ants found it even though there's usually only tobacco and paper in the ashtray.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Comments Elsewhere: Pseudonym Troubles

In a discussion of pseudonymous blogging and academic identity, I noted
One thing that hasn't been discussed much as far as I can see is that pseudonymous commenting is harder than it used to be. New comment systems like Disqus which track users - for their convenience, of course - make it impossible to maintain multiple identities without basically wiping cookies between every comment. Similarly, facebook integration apps can reveal your identity if you stay logged in to facebook, even if you intend to comment under the pseudonym. I can't comment on a lot of blogs anymore without revealing my multiple identities.

This pseudonym has never been terribly secure - I wasn't all that good at anonymity when I started - but this has always been an UNprofessional space for me and I want to keep it that way.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Comment Elsewhere: McCain on TV on Ethanol

In response to Steve Benen's reporting on John McCain's latest Sunday News SHow Appearance and flip-flop, I replied:
I like the ongoing count of McCain appearances: it's a fantastic reminder of the vacuity of commercial news and influence peddling.

That said, the science and economics of ethanol - especially corn-based ethanol - has changed over time: I have great respect for politicians who will admit that their policy views have changed based on science and fact. McCain, on the other hand, uses policy positions as levers and bludgeons, and has no actual affinity for reality.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Comments Elsewhere: Rejecting Parallelism

In response to Scott Kaufman's post obliterating right-wing complaints about the Tucson memorial, someone wrote that the complainers were stupid. I replied
It’s not intelligence, exactly, that’s the issue. I think it’s the lack of a moral compass or sense of guilt which allows them to use any and all means, including outright falsehoods, against their percieved enemies, and allows them to hypocritically do the same things their percieved enemies did (or vice versa, to accuse their opponents of wrongdoing for things which they themselves did). It’s a sheer instrumentality in which there is nothing but tactics.

They don’t even have an internalized sense of shame anymore, though they can still, at times, be shamed into some restraint if the right leverage is applied.

I realized later, that my comment here was the start of that thought.
At least they still have some shame. They don’t feel guilt anymore, we know that. But if we can still shame them, we have leverage.

Back at LGM, one of the right-wing trolls tried to play the "both sides" gambit.
I’ll admit to having my own political preferences, even some biases, but I’ve spent a long time training to look at evidence rather than guessing or making stuff up. The situation isn’t parallel anymore. The sides aren’t equal, or equivalent. I don’t see how “pox on both houses” can be anything more than a reflexive twitch or defensive crouch.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Comments Elsewhere: Citizenship and Personhood

In a discussion of Republican selectivity on Constitutional principles, including a issues of immigration and abortion, I wrote (satirically, just to be clear):

And since the unborn are persons, their being born doesn’t change their personhood, and therefore shouldn’t change their citizenship status. Only people whose parents can prove that the pregancy was conceived on American soil (preferably in a suburb) should be considered citizens.

Curiously, it undercuts the attack on Republicans as hypocritical, because it creates a consistency in their thought that they don't deserve.