I can’t quite get my head around the crazy this week. Ted Cruz announced his Veep running mate today — despite the facts that a) that usually is reserved for actual nominees and b) that usually gets done so as to shore up alliances and produce the strongest overall ticket. And who was his pick? A retired General maybe? A well-liked Governor, perhaps? Wait, no, maybe a member of Bush’s cabinet?
Nope. Failed candidate, failed CEO, and barely passed the Turing test: Carly Fiorina. See, picking a veep is something you do to make your ticket more likable, not less. But I suppose this is what desperation looks like.
Meanwhile, one of the Koch Brothers has gotten disgusted with the clowns coming out of the circus they’ve been funding. As the supposed Chinese curse says, “May you live in interesting times.” More accurate in this case: “Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas.”
In Closing: a couple items on the job prospects of the Millennials and others; who am I kidding, I’m not gonna write a whole post about HarrietTubman; Juice; British notice reality of a trade agreement; Judge points out the actual meaning of “in plain sight’; and oops.
That isn’t stopping the Feds from trying to make you less secure (not that you are terribly secure now). After all, the location of a ticking time bomb might someday be in somebody’s phone! The bill on the table has been called “technically illiterate,” “unworkable,” and “a firing offense.” You might want to take a minute to remind your Senators and Representatives that you vote.
In other news, a meddling judge said that the FBI can’t get around the need for an actual warrant by just hacking suspected perps. Let’s hear it for meddling judges.
This brave dog is Nicky. Nicky was shot and killed in the line of duty here in Las Vegas. This made the national news. So a few days went by, and some people started to wonder how come the criminal hadn’t been charged with capital murder of a police officer (I don’t know if K-9 units count, but I did hear some people ask), or even animal cruelty. It turns out that the shot was fired by a cop: Nicky was killed by “friendly fire.”
Now, when I heard that I was even more sad. But I also remembered this old post from 6 years ago. It took 7 cops 81 shots to kill one bad guy? I really don’t have a problem with cops shooting bad guys now and again, but they should actually hit what they fire at!
Just maybe Vegas cops need to spend some time on the freaking firing range learning to hit their targets.
It’s 3.14. Also, 3.1416. Perhaps celebrate with some pie?
In Closing: still fake; still bad for real Americans who like to have jobs; sounds like a wild goose chase to me; not having money is not actually a crime; and just maybe the FBI misjudged this and people have figured out that 24 was a TV show.
I know it’s been a long time since I put out a book review. Forgive me?
The opinions presented are my own. I’m not getting paid for this review. I bought my own copy and read it pretty much as fast as I could.
This week, the latest entry in Patricia Briggs‘s “Mercy Thompson” series came out. I’ve been following this series since the 3rd book was new (and the Alpha and Omega series from the beginning). So for those not familiar with the world: Mercy is a VW mechanic whose Native American heritage shows up in the form of being able to turn into a coyote; her husband is the Alpha of the werewolf pack in the Tri-Cities area of Washington state; due to circumstances that would take multiple novels to fully explain, the Faerie races have declared war on the United States Government; the werewolves are trying very hard to stay neutral in this war with limited success.
This particular installment begins when Mercy wakes with an uneasy feeling. Little does she know that by nightfall, she will be on the evening news after the pack defeats a troll on a bridge, and she makes an interesting declaration. You can check out the first chapter here. Or get your own digital copy here.
Let’s be clear. This novel is a bit of a departure from the tone of the series. The first half or so is pretty amusing, since Mercy does have a rather wicked sense of humor. However, lacking is that tear-jerker climax about 70-80% of the way through the book. This is a book that is primarily concerned with the plot arc. It establishes certain facts that will assuredly be important in the next books. It ties certain short stories into the larger plot. Bonus appearance by Baba Yaga! This is not the place to pick up the story, but it is a decent read.
And I do seriously wonder how Mercy’s lavender plant will turn out. It could be very interesting indeed.
Serious people are using the events of Paris to whine about how The Authorities don’t have enough authority to suspend your right to have a completely private conversation on your cell phone. Their excuse is that Bad Guys might be having conversations about doing Bad Things — a concept that should stink to high heaven of Pre-Crime. The Authorities want to make it impossible for your phone to be completely secure, in the name of catching Bad Guys, never mind that history shows it doesn’t work that way.
I have said this before but let me say it again: A back door that Good Guys can use is a back door Bad Guys can use. It’s a back door that can be used to empty your bank account, steal your identity, stalk you, obtain information useful for blackmail and/or extortion, or otherwise make your life miserable.
Oh, and a couple of last words: Secretary Kerry says there were 12 “problematic” people out of 785,000 Syrian refugees, and that sounds like good odds to me (I wonder how many criminals you’d find if you investigated 785,000 random Americans); and I too will stop using variants of ISIS in favor of the more accurate Daesh, for they do indeed sow discord; and some of my online friends have pointed out that the White House didn’t turn into the Bleu, Blanche, et Rouge house? Please note CONGRESS in the picture above and stop making up things to be upset about.
So, recently the State of Nevada passed a law allowing vouchers for parents to send their Special Snowflakes to private school on the public’s money. I have long been opposed to school vouchers for several reasons and if you’re curious, you can read about them here and here.
But it turns out that the Nevada law has a catch: to get the money, the child must be enrolled in a public or charter school for at least 100 days. Does anybody happen to remember how long a typical school year is? It averages 180 days.
So yeah, if you honestly give it an shot and the local public school isn’t working for your kid, the State of Nevada will help you out, but they’re not going to subsidize sending your Precious Darling to Las Vegas Day School or Bishop Gorman. You want the State’s money? You play by the State’s rules.
For the longest time, it seemed like the only person truly trying to bring attention to the flaming bag of feces on America’s doorstep known as the Trans Pacific Partnership was DaveJohnson. Thank [deity] he’s so tenacious. Well, now he’s getting some traction. Here’s from today’s New York Times:
Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.
Let me translate that for you: a company doesn’t like a law. They can sue the city/county/state that made the law in a UN Tribunal! While the feds or a state might have the funds to fight that, your city or county is effectively bullied into compliance with corporate demands. Say goodbye to environmental regulations, fracking bans, efforts to curb corporate abuses. Kneel before your corporate overlords!
Yeah, I’m not a fan of the NYT’s 10-hits-per-month thing either. But I’m glad that a Serious News Source is pointing out reality.
In Closing: not sure how many of us have the patience to make rice this way; zombies and you; “His life story is so ridiculous that if they made a movie about it, nobody would believe it is true”; while I don’t agree with all of it, I have to admit that it works (and would work so much better with a public option!); one meeelion people have “get out of the security line free” cards (that’s one out of every 320 people in our nation, the rest of us better bathe and watch how we yawn!); the Supreme Court had to say “um yeah, you should follow the law.”
The incident in Paris is already being used as an excuse to take away what little privacy (and other rights) remain in the world, despite the fact that privacy is a necessary feature of security. In the meantime, bulk data will continue to be collected by both the government and various corporations (who of course, can sell that information to the government without anybody having technically violated the 4th or 5th Amendments). Nor is the NSA the only agency collecting information; the DEA is doing it too. Are they at least sharing nicely, or are We The Taxpayers paying to collect all this stuff twice?
Now, don’t forget for one minute that the President is proposing laws that crack down on “hackers”. Those laws would make a dizzying array of normal and sometimes necessary activities illegal. That’s on top of the undead CISPA cyber”security” bill. Oh yeah, and that nasty old TPP that would make corporate rights more important that national rights.