Archive for the ‘pure evil’ Tag

Stray thoughts are not brain safe

I was thinking about authors whose works I prefer in adaptation to the originals, and the two writers that head that list are Shakespeare, and Lovecraft.

This promptly led to Romeo and Cthuliet.  I decline to follow that thought any further.  That way madness lies.

Advertisements

We don’t live in that world.

It would be nice if the report on CIA torture were taken by both sides as an opportunity, a point at which we can say that we, as a nation, are better than that.

Unfortunately, the Republicans (with the exception of John McCain, who knows first hand) have made it clear that they’re just fine with torture, and the Democrats will, as usual, whine a lot and then do nothing.

It would be even nicer if this report came as a surprise, but we’ve known for years: what the rampaging fuck do you think waterboarding is?

What’s the correct thing to do now?  Simple.  Identify the person who ultimately signed off on this program, and the persons who oversaw its implementation, and ship them off to the Hague for a war crimes trial and let the facts and justice take their course.

The correct thing to do, of course, is pretty much the last thing that will happen.

 


EDIT: Oh, and here’s your official Faux News spin: Torture’s okay because America is awesome!

 

Out of touch much?

Oh, well done.  While fucking Utah has marriage equality; I live under the jurisdiction of the only court that thinks institutionalized bigotry is just fine and dandy.  By a 2-1 decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the existing equal marriage bans in Ohio, as well as Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee.

And if Judge Daughtry is right in her blistering dissent (starting at p 43 of the decision),

Because the correct result is so obvious, one is tempted to speculate that the majority has purposefully taken the contrary position to create the circuit split regarding the legality of same-sex marriage that could prompt a grant of certiorari by the Supreme Court and an end to the uncertainty of status and the interstate chaos that the current discrepancy in state laws threatens.

…or in regular English, that the majority is deliberately trying to force the Supreme Court to get involved, that is no comfort.  As has been said in many other contexts, justice delayed is justice denied.

My regional appeals court just told me that my state has the Constitutional right to discriminate against me for no reason other than the simple fact that I am gay.  Not because I have committed a crime, not because I have been found mentally incompetent, but simply and only because I am gay.

My regional appeals court — or 2/3 of it, anyway — can go fuck itself.

On Net Neutrality

Comments are now open at the FCC on Docket 14-28 and 10-127 on net neutrality.

Here’s what I sent them.

————————————————————————————————-

I would like to first remind the Commission that the Internet is not a creation of the broadband carriers, but was created out of a collaboration between the US military, educational and research institutions, and some few early technology firms, and then given its modern face by the invention of the World Wide Web at CERN in Europe. To paraphrase a soundbite from the last election cycle, they didn’t build that.

Even so, broadband carriers are effectively claiming control over something that is not theirs, by deciding what they will carry. Their function is that of delivery of data, not of gatekeeping content.

The Internet only works when communications is free, fair, and unhampered. The reason it is a billion-dollar business is *because* of net neutrality, not in spite of it.

I for one remember connecting to the Internet before the development of flashy graphical clients and certainly before the coming of broadband internet service. I would not have my service be effectively reduced to that again in the name of private profiteering off of what must now be considered a public utility, and broadband providers must now be considered common carriers. My utility company isn’t permitted to degrade my electrical service or limit the amount of natural gas I may use if I switch providers from the main ones in the area; the same must apply to broadband carriers.

Furthermore, because of the interconnectedness that makes the Internet work, the actions of a broadband carrier go well beyond affecting only their clients. Messages are routed through many networks to get from one point to another; one carrier in between myself and someone I wish to communicate with can affect our communications, without either of us being a client of that carrier.

Lastly, there are a number of public initiatives that are put at risk by the loss of net neutrality. NASA’s Kepler project relies on citizen science — volunteers around the world — to be able to process the vast amount of data it has generated, and it has paid off in the thousands of new exoplanets discovered. There are hundreds of other citizen science projects out there, ranging from abstruse ones like longstanding number theory problems to very real-world ones on protein folding and cancer research. Few of these would survive if a carrier demanded higher rates for their data traffic; the appallingly low rate of scientific funding means almost all are running on a shoestring already.

The shadow cast by Comcast’s action is a long one, and the damage that privatizing the Internet is incalculable. The effects are beyond higher connectivity costs for users and content providers.

The Internet is no longer the plaything of nerds and technophiles; millions of people rely on it daily for far more than mere entertainment–it’s vital to our work and our lives now. Allowing broadband carriers to effectively privatize it will do nothing to enhance Internet service for anyone, and will degrade it for millions.

The FCC *must* stand in favor of net neutrality.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Fred Phelps is dead.

And the world is, in an instant, made a better place.

For the record: I don’t hold with the idea of not speaking ill of the dead. Dying didn’t unmake him as an evil asshole who gloried in the agony he caused others for no reason other than his own delusions and self-promotion. I repeat: his death makes the world a better place.

Meanwhile, his family reports they’re not holding a funeral. Cowards and hypocrites to the end, I see.

Looks like I made the right decision

I looked at Google Chrome when it first came out, during a period that I was unhappy with Mozilla for one thing or another (needless to say, aIEeee was never an option), and ended up never installing it because of a clause in the user agreement where Google retained the right to reach out over the net and turn off any plugins they chose, ostensibly for ‘security’ and ‘stability’ reasons. That was a book-slammer, so I never even began the install.

Looks like it was the right thing to do for even more reasons than I thought. Apparently there’s a bug in Chrome — one that they’ve known about since last year, have known how to fix since last October, and still haven’t updated the Chrome code with — that allows Chrome to access a microphone attached to your computer and listen in on… well, on whatever you might be chatting about within its range.

Now, there are always bugs. The only code that’s bug-free is very tiny code. Large programming projects — like, say, an internet browser — always have bugs in them, and all you can do is hope you’ve got the vast majority of them before going gold. Inevitably, something that no one even considered possible slips through.

That’s fine. That happens. You fix the bug, patch the software, and hope that was the last of them.

But Google has fixed the bug… and sat on it. Their explanation? They say they’re waiting for direction from the W3C on what to do next, and that the current iteration of Chrome is fine because it’s still “W3C compliant”.

Yeah, right. It also remains vulnerable to allowing what I can only describe as a pretty chilling invasion of personal privacy. We have — or we should have — realistic expectations of our online privacy, and we can take steps to protect ourselves, but this is not something that falls under that. If you haven’t started any voice-recognition software, you have a fair and reasonable expectation that your computer is not listening to your voice, or recording it, or transmitting it elsewhere.

Google evidently doesn’t care about that. One wonders how long they would have sat on this if someone else hadn’t blown the whistle on them.

It really is hardly worth asking, “Whatever happened to “Don’t be evil”?” anymore, is it? The only shocking thing left from their behavior is that they have the unmitigated gall to try to blame the World Wide Web consortium for their failure to patch their own software.

And for your searching needs, may I recommend Duck Duck Go instead?

One more sign the Republicans will ignore at their peril

Funny, for a program Boehner & co. claim nobody wants, the Affordable Care Act website was clobbered with applicants trying to sign up for it. I’m still waiting to get a login page.

I’m also still waiting for Boehner to explain how the Republican plan of doing nothing is superior to having government-assisted insurance through the ACA. I’m not going to accept any theoretical arguments about what the size and scope of the federal government should be — my ongoing health and well-being is frankly a lot more important to me. I’m almost half convinced the Republican plan is to hope that people like me are dead before we qualify for Medicare and Social Security. They’re certainly acting that way.

Funny how their obsession with life ends at birth. They sure don’t give a shit about people after they’re born.

Of course, we know the real reason Boehner’s taking a hardline position is because he’s got a bunch of extremist backbenchers ready to throw him out of the speakership if he dares to behave like a responsible adult rather than a whiny selfish brat, and he’d rather be the hood ornament on the Toonerville Trolley than safely seatbelted into the passenger seat of a sensible sedan obeying the speed limit.

I wish I could live to be 150. I would love to see what historians of the future have to say about this era — beyond the obvious “what the hell was *wrong* with them?”

Something noticed recently

There’s been an uptick in the number of spam comments that try to get through lately. Don’t waste your time. I moderate my comment queue.

What’s the latest estimate, that 90% of email traffic is now spam? It’s past time for international action, and the penalty should be jail time, not just fines. Think about how much bandwidth could be cleared up if we could get rid of all the shit clogging it.

More whackjobbery and wingnuttery

John Kasich is determined to prove that he’s an idiot. I mean, we already knew it, but he actually seems proud of it and wants everyone to know.

I mean, what else is one to think when he goes about claiming that those who oppose his policies will have to answer to god for that?

Excuse me? What’s next, John — The Holy Office of the Westerville Inquisition? I have heard some horrible things come out of politicians’ mouths, but he’s just said that he expects his political opponents will go to Hell — for having the temerity to oppose him. I haven’t figured out yet if that’s hubris or a genuine mental breakdown.

The next gubernatorial election can’t come soon enough. The Democrats could nominate a broken lava lamp and I’d vote for it, at this point. It’s a shame we don’t have a recall provision in this state. Kasich needs to go, the sooner the better — as of now, I genuinely doubt his mental stability.

A slight oversight

So the NRA has released their own ‘Enemies List’, and I’m disappointed to not find myself on there by association. I suppose I’ll just have to add myself.

*ahem*

Dear NRA:

I don’t know how the oversight was made, but I was not included among your enemies. Please rectify the error promptly.

Because you shill for the gun manufacturers without a care for the gun victims, I am your enemy.

Because you consider even the mildest, most common sense gun laws to mean that Federal ‘jack-booted thugs’ or UN black helicopters are just around the corner, I am your enemy.

Because you hold gun ownership to be more important than gun safety and gun responsibility, I am your enemy.

Because you continue to deliberately misquote the Second Amendment which, despite your efforts, still begins with the phrase “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state”, I am your enemy. It is not, and never was, simply “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Because you cast yourselves as the “real victims” whenever there’s a(nother) gun tragedy, I am your enemy.

Because you lie about both the problem and the solution, I am your enemy.

Hope that clears everything up.