Is Obama just playing with the right? Now there are photos of skeet shooting. Given there had always been photos, just like there was always a birth certificate, was the “delay” in showing the photos to allow the right to say its stupid stuff and then be stuck with egg on its face. That worked pretty well with the release of the birth certificate against Trump (stopped him dead in his tracks showing how crazy he is; I always wondered about the timing – my conspiracy theory was that Obama was waiting for a good time, a time it would help him, to reveal the birth certificate). So now how is FauxNews going to spin this? Maybe this is a good new tactic Obama has, say something, wait for the right to call him a liar, then prove how stupid they are.
Yet another hacking: This is getting silly. Now Twitter loses 250K passwords to an attack. Why don’t these places just assume they will get hacked and use an alternative strategy (like coding their own password mechanism instead of using one of the known and standard ones, splitting the one-way hash of the password into multiple files in highly unpredictable places, double encrypting (using Twitter’s password to encrypt the one-way encryption which is a known algorithm; in short, there are lots of ways to solve this and the best is for every website, at least the major ones, to solve it with their own unique solution so a single hacking attack doesn’t work). In fact, as I write this I’m thinking we should take a hint from nature, in this case, the influenza virus. That virus rearranges its genome regularly thereby bypassing our immune system. Why do major public websites mostly use just a handful of techniques for checking and saving passwords (because they’re too damned lazy to write new code) and why do they use the same technique essentially forever (vs, say having multiple algorithms and rotating them frequently). There are technological solutions to this – these websites just don’t care.
Stop nagging us about snacks: Why not just cancel the game and the commercials. The party-poopers of the nutrition police keep reminding us how awful those 1200 calories of snacks are. Hey, let’s put this in perspective: a) that is, at most, about 5oz of weight gain, b) that is about the same amount of some hefty fast food meal which probably most of the Sunday snackers will do sometime before the next Super Bowl, c) it’s an extra 10 minutes on treadmill for 10 days, or 20 minutes for 5 days, or less than two hours on some day, or it’s two more workouts that just sitting around. If a single ingestion of 1200 calories was all any of us had to worry about weight control would be a trivial problem. The 300 calories too much each day (that no one noticed) will do a lot more harm.
Unintended consequences: No wonder some of the junk food companies actually support new restrictions on snacks at schools (I, too, think it is a good idea, but as usual workarounds of government regulations will be soon to follow). Regulating snacks in the vending machines to 200 calories means: a) the snack companies can make cheaper snacks and sell just as many at (most likely) just as high a price, thus increasing their margins per snack sold, and, b) kids just demand more money from their parents so they can buy more 200 calorie snacks until they’re back up to the same number of calories as before (obviously getting rid of the vending machines altogether was politically impossible, Obama would get Sarah Palin’s wrath). Some good will come from this but not as much as hoped. Come on, liberals, you don’t believe in conservative abstinence programs for sex and many of you don’t believe in restricting drugs, why do you think restricting Snickers bars is going to work?
So Bud is trying to stop craft beer: What a waste of their money to buy Corona (really, Bud, you think that’s “craft” beer) as a means to attempt to reverse their slide in sales. Bud is terrible beer, just like Wonder Bread isn’t actually bread, because they’re attempting to appeal to the mass market and the “average” taste, which of course is no taste at all. For any particular beer drinker many craft beers are awful, BUT, for some people they’re great. That’s the point. The little guys don’t have to appeal to everyone. But they can appeal to those who do like their product a lot. In today’s world, where marketing is entirely different than the 1950s-1990s the little guy has a chance. People want good bread, they want good beer. Until Bud figures out how to make good beer buying competitors isn’t going to solve its problem.
Should Obama come out for carbon tax? Obviously whether or not Obama declares support for a carbon tax will not mean we get one (passing a carbon tax now, with the Repug Congress, is probably harder than even gun control, because if you think the NRA can spend money, watch the Kochs and Exxon). So it’s just a symbolic gesture. BUT, a classic argument for proposing hopeless change is that it starts the process. Equality for LGBT didn’t happen overnight (and still hasn’t quite happened), but starting the ball rolling decades ago and continuing to work the issue eventually means it gets there. The conservatives did the same on supply-side economics (tax cuts for the rich) and keep that ball rolling despite decades of proof it is a failure. The Democrats keep New Deal going well past the point of productive change and Barry Goldwater got clobbered in an election, but started the opposition that eventually led to Reagan. So maybe change starts with the first person to really push the issue and then decades later some other president gets to sign the bill. OK, got it. BUT, this is also a different world. Anything Obama does is automatically opposed by 47% of the population and the right-wing entertainment complex. So does having Obama come out in favor of a carbon tax just doom it, sorta like what happened with Dumbya and privatizing Social Security, esp. just before Wall Street lost all the other pension money.
Watching Twitter: In case I don’t get around to doing a long article on this here’s something I just found (from reading the article which I found from reading a book on Kindle, how’s that for a connection). tweetping shows the world (presumably real-time and all the data) firing off their nuggets of inanity on Twitter (the “real-world”, amazing how many people think they can get their news there or track the flu epidemic; they need to read Nate Silver and learn about signal and noise).
All the idiots who want to pretend to be freedom fighters should read this: On the face of it it is a silly argument. Wayne LaPierre and his NRA gangsters up against 3rd Army (I know what bet I’d make on that one). Their Bushmasters up against Predator drones. If automatic assault rifles could overthrow the U.S. government we’d actually be living under Sharia law and Osama bin Laden right now. Give me a break, a band of over-juiced survivalists will take on organized military force. That worked out well for the insurgents in Iraq. Even in Vietnam the guerillas (and their local population supporters, something the gun nuts ignore in that at least half of the U.S. will happily turn them over to the police) only bleed the U.S. enough to get us to quit (where will the “defeated” U.S. army retreat to in the pending U.S. civil war). We’ve already seen the kind of civil war Wayne LaPierre wants – it happens every day in gang “wars” and druggie territorial battles. I’m sure DOD is quaking in its boots. I can’t wait to see all those gays, and women, and green-card seeker immigrants, take on a bunch of drunk white trash with their pickups and rebel flags. Bring it on!