First Looks category archive
As a letter to the editor at my local rag points out, it’s not something you “believe in,” it is. Read the letter; it is truly a gem.
True, science can change over time as we learn more, and sometimes what is known to be fact is misinterpreted into fiction (think “social Darwinism” and “eugenics,” which were twisted misapplications of what was known at the time), but it still is.
Posting will be spotty today.
I have some site maintenance to do (I need to deploy SSL* so Firefox and Vivaldi stop nagging me that this site is insecure, even though there’s nothing here that requires security other than my own password, as this is a hobby, not a business and I do not have anyone’s confidential information**), and I have some errands to run, but mostly I need a break.
Reality is just too damned depressing, even though there was a bit of good news from France last night.
Now, if only I could live in a fantasy world where down is up and up is down and lies are truth, as Republicans do . . . .
*How successful I’ll be is still an open issue.
**The notion that all websites should be SSL, even when there is no legitimate reason for encryption, is a curse and a pox. If I’m visiting, say, IMDB to see who the members of the cast of a movie or television show are and have no intention of logging on (I don’t even have an IMDB logon)–when all I’m doing is looking at a website and not passing any information to it other than what is in my user agent string, when all I am doing is looking at public information–there is no legitimate reason for requiring encryption.
Unnecessary security is not security.
It’s security theatre.
It was too pretty a day to spend it mucking about with computers. I went for a bike ride, then drove my little yellow truck to the grocery store (chicken piccata tonight, yums), then sat on the deck doing a crossword puzzle (this is one household where there is ever a crossword).
Mucking has been postponed until tomorrow and, after I poked about tonight regarding some of the issues I need to resolve, I must say that a call to my hosting provider’s most excellent tech support is a possibility. Fortunately, my phone has a speaker that I can enable so I can do real stuff as I wait for tech support to come live . . . .
And I needed the break from following the Trumpling of the American Dream. It was refreshing to ignore for a short while that the Secesh are now in charge.
Politeness you can bank on . . . . .
Chris Daniel, 54, was the manager at Exchange Bank and was found unresponsive by another employee. According to Rainbow City Police, surveillance video from inside the bank appeared to show something startled Daniel, who typically carried a firearm.
Investigators said Daniel tripped and his gun went off.
This whole persons’ perpetually packing heat thing is working out so very nicely, is it not?
What the heck!?
I have donate button over there, on the sidebar. You can be the first to click on it!
(This is one of the problem posts mentioned in the “Sticky.” I’m experimenting. Later: It’s working now. I created a new post with same content. I’ll be damned if I know why it didn’t post on schedule, as I can see no difference between this one and the original–it was visible in preview mode but would not appear on the front page. *&%&^% computers.)
To official America, some lives are more important than others. Nick McDonnell does the math for those so-called “surgical strikes.”
“According to senior defense officials,” the AP story ran, “military leaders planning operations against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria may authorize strikes where up to 10 civilians may be killed, if it is deemed necessary in order to get a critical military target.”
That number yields some grim math. Last year, the coalition acknowledged 4,589 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. If the NCV was 10 throughout, then U.S. policy in 2016 was to tolerate the incidental killing of a maximum of 45,890 innocent Iraqis and Syrians in order to destroy ISIS.
More math at the link.
Josh Marshall thinks the current kerfuffle about the filibuster is much ado about not much of anything, although he thinks Democrats’ forcing Republicans to take a position is likely worthwhile. He suggests the, as far as court nominations are concerned, the Republican Party effectively eliminated the filibuster years ago.
As Rep. Adam Schiff put it yesterday on Twitter, Mitch McConnell’s historically unprecedented and constitutionally illegitimate decision to block President Obama from nominating anyone a year before he left office was the real nuclear option. The rest is simply fallout. Senate Republicans had the power to do this. But that doesn’t make it legitimate. The seat was stolen. Therefore Gorsuch’s nomination is itself illegitimate since it is the fruit of the poisoned tree.
Democrats likely have no power to finally prevent this corrupt transaction. It is nonetheless important that they not partake in the corruption.
Republicans are violating the public trust. As Atrios pointed out a couple of days ago, Republicans seem to believe that the rules are for them and for no one else.