We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, October 25. 2016
So, someone knocked on my door yesterday. That's rare. It was a quiet knock, I barely heard it. I spotted a car I didn't recognize in the drive. Also rare. I answered the door. There was a young, soon to be importunate young woman at the door. She was wary and pushy at the same time.
On to the links!
I hate to blame the victim, so I won't. But the definition of "online retailer" should include knowing how to be online. Just sayin'.
Like most things in the news, I quickly came to the conclusion that everyone in the story and everyone involved in the production of the story was an idiot.
It's really hard to produce a civilization. It's much easier to wreck it. There's no reverse gear in entropy. Enjoy.
I have a habit now. When I want to find out something about any news story in the United States or elsewhere, I go to the Daily Mail. It's an awful newspaper, but it publishes all the info it can get its hands on. Great pictures. An amazing find.
Have a loverly day, everybody!
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"I have a habit now. When I want to find out something about any news story in the United States or elsewhere, I go to the Daily Mail. It's an awful newspaper, but it publishes all the info it can get its hands on."
I hear you.
I get my burst of TV news almost entirely from BBC World. It's not that their "news" is much better than others but they at least briskly report in some general order of importance what's actually going on in the world using reporters, journalists and commentators in the places where it's happening.
Compare this with The National, our nightly news offering on CBC here in Canada where you have to sit through all the PC nostrums (native issues, women's issues, climate this-and-that, transgender whatever, marijuana legalization, etc., etc.) every night for 15 to 20 minutes before - finally! - you learn nuclear war with China has broken out.
Me too, been going to the Mail since before the last Bush elected. I also check out many Pacific Rim news sites and take any US new orgs with a pound of salt.
SCOTUS on cheerleading uniforms: Wow, talk about complicating a matter. This isn't really a hard case to decide, but that doesn't stop the lawyers from making it so. Creating their own work.
I'd like to see a law about putting attorneys' heads on pikes after 3 ridiculous cases. Same goes for judges' rulings.
You're not a lawyer, so you don't understand the intellectual property issues at stake or why its important.
I get not caring about this topic, but why trash something you don't understand?
that's not a rhetorical question.
Who says I don't understand? You just made that up.
It is not a testament to knowledge or wisdom to make simple things complicated. That's what is being done here.
Furthermore, unnecessarily complicated law affects everyone. So we all have a stake in keeping law honest and straightforward. Neither is being done here.
Shakespeare said that the solution was to kill all the...who was it? I can never remember this one!...was it "unwanted babies...No that was Gloria Steinem....was it "women who accused Bill?" No, that was Hillary...Was it "all the peasants who stood up to me before I murdered them with my flamethrower?" No, that was Che Guevara. Heck, you will just have to forgive me for forgetting this one. It is on the tip of my tongue.
A Poll Is Like Digging Up the Same Turnip Every Day To See How It's Growing
Technically, that would be a tracking poll.
Cyber security? Oh my god this is simple! Don't put anything important on any computer or system that connects to the internet. When you read about state secrets being stolen by Chinese or Russian hackers IMHO someone who works for that department should go to jail. Throwing top secret information out in the trash is absolutely brilliant by comparison with making the decision to put it on-line.
The computer hardware and software developers have intentionally created systems which are inherently insecure. The software is not designed to be secure by intent. YOU are not their customer. Their customers are the people who place cookies on your computers, download your geographical locations and gather information about you. The system, the software and the hardware is designed to make this easier. And furthermore it is also designed to allow very smart hackers to hide their tracks.
I have three laptops. The one that has personal and important information stays in my home and in airplane mode. My online laptop has nothing of any value on it. My travel laptop has only music on it while any files I wish to use on it are on an SD card I carry separately. I place a piece of electricians tape over the camera on all my computers and turn off the microphone. I do ZERO business and banking on the internet. The internet is not safe, only a fool uses it carelessly.
For those who can't afford 3 laptops, look at puppy - a linux distribution that can load and run from a CD- and also at Raspberry PI ( or other small form factor linux PCs)
Cheap ways of keeping your real stuff off-line
I actually have four laptops, the fourth one is in my garage and I use it either to listen to the radio on-line or to play music. All of my laptops are older models that I replaced when new technology came out. My newest is Windows 10 which I bought about 2 years ago (or maybe 18 months ago I'm not sure) for $199 from Walmart. So my laptop collection is hardly unaffordable. I used to give my old laptop to one of my kids but they laugh at old laptops now that they can afford to buy a new one. So it's either use them or donate them to Goodwill.
RE Last week I was groped in virtual reality.
Never had I experienced virtual reality that felt so real. I was smitten. I never wanted to leave this world.
Didn't know I wuz an "early" adapter.
The DM is number 2 news site ... in the USA.
The Noo Yawk Slimes is number one.
Check out the DM's crazy editor.
He uses the "c" word so often his daily meetings are called the "vagina monologues".
Whoever is writing the comment on the headlines need a daily comedy show on radio and tv, great stuff. Mock them till they drop.
Insurers use California’s assisted-suicide law to deny treatment for terminal patients
About one-year ago, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the state’s assisted-suicide bill into law.
Now, one young mother says her insurance company denied her coverage for chemotherapy treatment after originally agreeing to provide the fiscal support for it, but indicated it would be willing to pay for assisted suicide instead.
Re polling: in 2012 I got quite a few phone calls from pollsters who were willing to leave messages that they were pollsters. A lot of the calls came not from generic pollsters such as Gallup, but from the campaigns of various candidates. In 2016, pollsters have left no messages. Perhaps they are calling but not leaving messages this year. As I do not pick up my phone until the message machine kicks on for the caller to identify himself, I will never know. Not that I am losing any sleep over not knowing.
I answered a telephone survey only once in my life, about 3 decades ago, before I had an answering machine to screen calls. Someone from Long Island wanted to know about insect pests in my household. I made it a point of honor to not answer the questions truthfully. If you are going to mess up my life with a time-wasting and intrusive survey, I am going to mess up your life.
No pollster has ever knocked on my door. Church ladies knock on my door once or twice a year- or Church youths in the case of Mormon missionaries- who politely leave after I politely inform them that I am not interested. On occasion they will ask me if there is a Spanish speaker in my household. I inform them there is not, although I am close to fluent in Spanish.
Re: pollsters or anyone knocking at my door, and that's why I have a dog.
I also dislike people I don't know calling me by my first name.
We get at least hundred telemarketing calls per month, sometimes as many as 10 or 12 per day. As a result, we have been forced to screening our calls via caller ID. Consequently, we are now "poll proof".
I have to wonder how many other people are doing the same. If the number is large, I would then suspect that this skews the poll results towards the Democrats.
Here is my strategy for dealing with unwanted phone calls:
1) I put my phone on the Fed's Do Not Call list.
2) My answering machine screens my calls. I notice that most of the phone calls I receive- which I can detect by a blinking red light on my landline- do not bother to leave a message. These are most likely unwanted phone calls, such as telemarketers. Everyone I know has been instructed to leave a message.
3) I do not use CallerID. Callers ID themselves by leaving a message- if they want to leave one. I got CallerID when I was teaching school, after I got a nasty phone call from someone who was most likely a student. I got rid of CallerID after I stopped teaching.
Result: I get a couple of those spam "The IRS is coming after you" phone calls with messages, because the spammers want you to call back and leave them some money. But I get those maybe once every six months. My experience has been that telemarketers do not leave messages.
My experience has been with that setup, very few of the messages on my phone come from unwanted phone calls.
My way of dealing with unwanted calls is I keep my phone shut off. I did turn it on last week for a minute but other than that haven't had it on for about six weeks. Years ago when I had a landline I would get the calls around election time and it was kind of fun to piss off the pollsters and those trying to urge me to vote for someone.
Perhaps some of these ludicrous polls are finally coming back down to earth and showing reality? New Monmouth poll has Hillary only up by 1 in NC.
However, I'm incredibly suspicious of RCP now that I see them including bad polls with crazy samples as part of their poll averages. Hillary is not up 12 points in national polling. Just not true.
That lasted ONE day before another poll came out showing she was up 5 points. So did she just LOSE 7 points?
I mean, really, who would believe these wild swings from day to day? Makes no sense.
If you grant that some are at least trying to reach a correct result (an assumption that some would argue with) then we may have reached the end of the usefulness of public polling.
MissT: Hillary is not up 12 points in national polling. Just not true. That lasted ONE day before another poll came out showing she was up 5 points. So did she just LOSE 7 points?
If a poll has a margin of error of 5%, that means it is expected that 95% of the time the results will be within 5% of the true value. If the true value is +8%, then 95% of the time, the returned value will be between +3% and +13%. And 5% of the time, the results will be even farther afield!
The good news is that with multiple polls, our precision is improved, and because different methodologies are used by different polling companies, our accuracy may also be improved.
Nice try, but I'm not buying it. That poll was crafted to spin a certain story and to depress Trump voters. Period.
Early voting shows this is a close race, not a Hillary-is-12-points-ahead race.
MissT: That poll was crafted to spin a certain story and to depress Trump voters.
There's no evidence of that the poll was crafted for a specific result, though it may be a statistical outlier.
What RCP does is statistical BS. You can't improve the accuracy of an inaccurate instrument by taking multiple readings. The degree of error is the same for each reading, and the idea that the errors cancel each other out is a myth.
ChristpherB: What RCP does is statistical BS. You can't improve the accuracy of an inaccurate instrument by taking multiple readings.
Precision can be increased with multiple readings. However, all polling has some inherent biases (perhaps women are more likely to answer the phone, for instance). Some biases can be reduced by weighting, but some biases may remain. However, by average across multiple "instruments", each with their own countervailing biases, you can increase accuracy, as well as precision. It's not perfect, but it's better than complete ignorance.
I trust the Stooges more than I trust pollsters, politicians or the media.
The Stooges and Gilligan's Island were the primary formative influences on my life. Taught me right from wrong and how to get along on an island.
Pre-suasion: mostly crap. Small effects advertised as determinant for large swaths of human behavior. It changes some things at the margin. But a ten-billion-dollar Dr. Pepper advertising campaign is not going to cause it to outsell colas.
Poor kids, rich kids. Missing from the study is any reference to genetics, which is the driving factor in success. Determination, intelligence, charm, beauty, risk-taking - all have significant genetic components.
I could absolutely help and teach and high school graduate how to be successful and become a millionaire before age 50. Absolutely! Without regard to poor or rich, or where in the U.S. they live. Just as I am absolutely sure I could do this I am absolutely sure that either the individual would be unwilling to either work hard or make any sacrifice to achieve their goals. The bottom line is either you have the kind of drive that can make you successful or you do not. It isn't about poor or rich, good schools or bad. It is 100% individual choices made or not made.