Category Archives: Opinion

Strike! And be damned.

This just in from the Trump-got-elected-and-I-can’t-stop-crying department.

I recently ran across the announcement for a “women’s strike”, scheduled for March 8th. I must confess that I found this highly amusing for several reasons.

  • The strike was organized by the same folks who organized the women’s marches.
  • As best I understand, the women’s marches were originally supposed to be a global celebration of Queen Hillary’s Coronation Inauguration. Once the unthinkable happened and – shock horror –Donald Trump won, the organizers were unable to get their money back, so like sore losers, they organized the women’s march.
  • If those marches had any effect, I have yet to notice it. The joke that Trump got more fat women walking in a week than Michell Obama could do in eight years is just delicious schadenfreude.
  • A large number of white women voted for Trump? Why? Because is a man. In a world where masculinity is denigrated and maligned by feminism, the culture and the media, a strong, confident, powerful man who works hard, goes after what he wants, and has wooed and wedded some of the most beautiful women in the world is a rare and desirable man.
  • Non-college-educated folks turned out to vote for Trump. Some people (i.e., the Media) trumpet this as “only rednecks who live in flyover states would be so stupid as to vote for Trump” (also known as the “you-must-be-stupid” theory). Perhaps this is true, but it is also true that America’s colleges have become hotbeds of Socialists thinking and, in some cases, indoctrination. It would be interesting to slice this by age; how did college-educated people over 40 vote?

This got me to thinking: what would happen if all of the women simply failed to show up for work?

The first thought that came to mind was a quote from Deep Thought: “And whom would that inconvenience?” What are the commonest career choices for women?

According to the Department of Labor, the commonest choices are secretarial, teaching and nursing.

  • Of those three, the lack of nurses would hurt the most. no doubt about it, people would die… until the hospitals were able to replace them with junior doctors, orderlies and other volunteers.
  • The lack of teachers would not hurt all that much. After all, mommy would be home, and the kids would no doubt be disconsolate to not have to go to school.
  • I’m not sure about the loss of secretaries and clerical assistants. A significant number of those are in Government, and a significant number of those are paper-pushing functionaries. I suspect that in the short run, nobody would notice their absence. In the long term, their employers will either discover new efficiencies that get the job done, or discover that they can get along just fine without you. And fewer Government Employees means lower taxes – double-win!

I then followed that train of thought to its logical conclusion: “what would happen if the men went on strike?

  • No police/military/National Guard: No law enforcement or military? Every man for himself? The thugs would have a field day. If you want to know that they would look like, look no further than the Louisiana Superdome in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: “Inside the Superdome, things were descending further into hell. The air smelled toxic. People had broken up into factions by race, separating into small groups throughout the building… A few of these groups wandered the concourse, stealing food and attacking anyone who stood up to them….A man had been caught sexually assaulting a young girl. Reports of other rapes were widespread.”  Without law enforcement, women lacking the protection of a man would be at risk.
  • No fire services: If your house burns down, tough.
  • No engineers: Remember those pencil-necked Geeks you made fun of in school? They are now the guys who keep our society running. And the overwhelming majority of the engineers who keep our water, power, communication and sanitation systems operational are male. How long would it be before the power went out? How would all of those smart-phone-addicted women survive when their iPhones ran out of power?
  • No plumbers/heating/Air-conditioning/electricians/mechanics: Good luck when your stuff breaks down.
  • No roofers/builders.construction workers: Nothing gets built either.
  • No truck drivers: Think about this: no food deliveries to our major cities. Stores would run out of food in about three days (the normal gap between deliveries), and then the food riots will start.

Basically, without men, nothing gets built, fixed, designed, manufactured, shipped, transported or defended. And they get no recognition for this.

So go ahead with your “women’s strike” Personally, I doubt that you will get anywhere near the turnout that you expect – the women’s protesters are looking even more deranged than the Tea Party at it’s worst moments. I doubt that anyone besides the media will even notice. Life will go on without you. And some of you will likely get fired. But will that be enough for you to realized that you might be wrong? I doubt it.

I will end with the words of Churchill:

“Do your worst, and we will do our best“.

How not to end up on Judge Judy

I don’t watch much TV, but once in a while I blunder into an episode of Judge Judy. I find this program both amusing and somewhat saddening; almost all of the “cases” that come before the judge seem to fall into one of several common categories. It seems to me that most of those folks would have avoided this unfortunate predicament by following the following rules.

  1. Do not live with someone without being married to them.
  2. Do not get pregnant outside of wedlock.
  3. Do not lend money. Shakespeare was right: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”. If you can afford it, give it to them – but do not lend.
  4. Clear Communication: If you are lending or selling something to someone, communicate that clearly and get it in writing that they understand this. If you don’t have it in writing, you gave it to them.
  5. You are not her ATM! Guys, do not spend money on a girl you are not in a serious relationship with. Most girls *will* string you along with vague promises of future delights, and will drop you like a hot brick as soon as the money runs out. Because. They. Can. If you are already in this situation, test her with a financial crisis that removes your ability to give her money and see what she does.
  6. Guys, stay away from single mothers. There are all kinds of very good and sensible reasons for this, which I am not going to go into here. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

Agree? Disagree? Did I miss anything?

TAXI!!

This morning, I got this email from Lyft, a company with whom I have an account that I have had for over a year but never actively used:

lyft

Let’s disassemble that, shall we?

“We created Lyft to be a model for the type of community we want our world to be.”
And there was me thinking that you created Lyft to make money. How altruistic of you. And what’s with the “community” talk? I thought you were a business.

“…diverse…”
We already have enough diversity. How about some unity?

“…inclusive…”
Inclusive of whom? Inclusive of illegals who have no business being here? Inclusive of Islamic Jihadists who want us converted or dead? Inclusive of Muslim Moderates who resolve their confusion and turmoil by shooting up scores of homosexuals in a club? Tell me more about this “inclusivity” thing; I’m not sure I understand.

“…and safe.”
Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” America is not, and was never intended to be, a safe space.

“This weekend, Trump closed the country’s borders to refugees, immigrants, and even documented residents from around the world based on their country of origin.”
You obviously haven’t read the executive order. It does no such thing. Here are some of the highlights:

  • “The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat.
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence.
  • Immediately upon receipt of the report… the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification.
  • After the 60-day period… expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs.
  • “…the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked.”

As you can see, it is by no means a blanket ban; it is an invitation for other nations to either help us, or be counted among the enemy. It is a “put-up-or-shut-up” challenge. But let’s continue:

  • I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.
  • I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest.
  • Notwithstanding the temporary suspension… the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

AS you can see, there are specifically crafted exceptions. Nothing to see here folks, move along. Now back to the good people at Lyft…

“Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft’s and our nation’s core values.”
And accepting mass immigration from nations who hate us is not exactly smart. Oh, and “our nation’s core” values are binding on American Citizens and Legal Residents and no one else.

“We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.”
That’s nice. And there is that lovely word “Community” again. Even nicer. But where were you when Hillary was calling me and half of the country “a basket of deplorables“? Where was your “Community Spirit” then? Were you standing firmly then? No, all we heard from you lot was *crickets*.

“We know this directly impacts many of our community members, their families, and friends.”
There is your favorite word again. You’re not a social club, you are a business. Start acting like one.

“We stand with you, and are donating $1,000,000 over the next four years to the ACLU to defend our constitution. We ask that you continue to be there for each other – and together, continue proving the power of community.”
You really love that word, don’t you? Can’t you come up with at least one synonym for “Community“?

There is a fine line between loyal opposition and insurrection. When a person does that, it is called protest, and is the right of any individual. When a publicly-traded corporation does it, it looks a lot like treason.

What you do with your personal share of the profits is entirely up to you (as long as you don’t donate money to the wrong causes). Whether your company gets any of that money from me is up to me.

Rough Justice

A few weeks ago, a local woman tweeted this:heather-lowr-assassin-tweetI saw the tweet when it came went viral, but I didn’t think anything about it at the time. As far as I was concerned, it was just another mean tweet from a disaffected liberal who “can’t stop crying” now that Donald Trump is president.

It did not come as a surprise when the Secret Service investigated; that is their job, and they have to take all threats seriously, no matter how specious they appear to be.

That part is fair and reasonable. She said something that looked like a threat against the president. I believed it to be a joke at the time, and still do, though one in exceptionally poor taste. As an aside, if Hillary had been elected, and someone had tweeted the same thing about her, I would expect the Secret Service to treat it just as seriously.

This is not about politics

The rest of the story was not so pleasant. Predictably, all of her business associates dropped her like the proverbial hot potato. Her revenue stream has quickly dried up. And now that her name is out there, she is well-nigh unemployable. The moment she applies for a job, someone will google her name and her resume will go straight into the circular file.

There are some out there who would say that she got her just desserts. I’m not sure that I agree.

We live in an age when a man’s reputation can be trashed, and he can be jailed on the basis of a single fake rape accusation. Or he can be fired and rendered unemployable for committing the unpardonable sin of telling a female work colleague that he finds her attractive (incidentally, I have always maintained that all of the anti-harassment rules could be rendered moot with one simple “no-fraternization-at-work” policy, but that is not what most of the ladies want; what they really want they want is to be approached by Christian Gray, but the mail-boy is required to avert his gaze, because she “deserves” the billionaire; but I digress…). None of that has ever been fair. But we live in an age of political correctness, an era where someone can be fired for having the “wrong” opinion; the same political correctness that our new president has railed against time and time again.

For this woman to be rendered unemployed and unemployable based on one stupid tweet is Just. Plain. Wrong.

  • It would be wrong if it happened to a man.
  • It would be wrong if if it happened to a Conservative.
  • It would be wrong if if it happened to a White Supremacist.
  • And it would be wrong if if it happened to you or me.

The Blame Game

Or: Why your side lost

I take no pleasure in gloating, but yet again, I forecasted the outcome of the election several months out. A month before the election I listed the reasons as to why I could not vote for Hillary.

As I said before, the biggest losers have been the media. How did they manage to get it so wrong? They did not see this one coming because they put their faith in polls instead of the American people. I can’t say that I blame them; it is difficult to see see Main Street USA from Fifth Avenue, New York, New York, but it was obvious to me.

Six weeks on, we have only seen more of the same. Bill Clinton, who went up three notches in my estimation when he said that Obamacare was “the craziest thing in the world“, went three notches back down again when he blamed the election result on “Angry white men“; these are presumably the same “Angry white men” who handed the house majority to the Republicans in 1994. So deeply do they believe in their ideology that it never occurred to them that any sane person would rationally disagree with them. Even now, with the writing on the wall, they are still in denial.

hillarys-fake-news

Hillary, and the Democratic party in general, have blamed the election on everything else. But this is not the case. There is a simple reason that the Democrats lost.

They fielded a poor candidate.

This is nothing new; the Republicans fielded poor candidates in 2008 and 2012, and lost. The Democrats fielded a poor Candidate in 2006 and lost.

Elections are not won, they are lost

I have already articulated why I could not vote for Hillary; nobody has yet shown up to refute my arguments. I rest my case.

Brave New World

Or: You can’t keep a good man down

More than two years ago I blogged about one Brendan Eich, the short-lived CEO of Mozilla, who committed the cardinal sin of having a politically incorrect opinion.

Way back in 2008, he made a donation opposing Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that made same-sex marriage legal in the state of California. Even though the donation was made as a private citizen and even though he never discriminated against gays in any way during his time at Mozilla, his disagreement with the love-and-tolerance mob was such heresy that a witch-hunt was in order and he was figuratively burned at the stake. Following a political firestorm, he stepped down as CEO and resigned from Mozilla, and lived out the remainder of his days in obscurity.

Or so they thought.

What he actually did, as tech entrepreneurs are wont to do, is to start something new. A new initiative. A new vision. A new browser called Brave.

Brave is more than a browser, it is a new way of looking at, experiencing, and financing the web. Instead of the horrendous ad-supported model that we all know and… er… love, it allows users to financially support websites that they frequent, while featuring state-of-the-art ad-blocking.

I’ve been using it for about a month, and while it still has a few rough edges, but it is fast, smooth and stable (hardly surprising, given that Eich invented Javascript), at a time when predecessors like Firefox and Google Chrome are becoming bloated, slow and crash-prone. This blog post was written in Evernote running in a Brave tab.

Most important of all: No gays were persecuted during the making of this browser… though a large number of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

Whiners and Losers

Or: When History repeats itself

Or: One week on…

Well, it’s finally over… unless you are one of the “By-hook-or-by-crook” protesters who think that Hillary has some kind of divine right to be President. But for the rest of us, including the vast majority of Democrat supporters, Donald-Trump is our president-elect. That got me thinking about who won, and who lost.

Extremists will try to paint Hillary’s defeat as a loss for Women. This is simply not true, except in their minds; a lot of black people think that President Obama let them down. But he never promised black people special treatment, nor should he. The president is *everyone’s* president – or is supposed to be. So women who expected Hillary to “do something for us” are likely to be similarly disillusioned. The same folks who accuse Trump of sexism fail to notice that KellyAnne Conway, was the first female winning campaign manager in history. If that isn’t a victory for women, what is?

The biggest winner – after the unsinkable Mister Trump – has been Scott Adams. I have been reading his predictions for nearly a year, and he has been making them for longer than that:

  • 8/5/2015: “I’m watching the Donald Trump campaign for president with the same amount of amusement as everyone else. The only difference is that I think he has a legitimate shot at becoming president”
  • 8/13/2015: “I’m going to predict he will be our next president. I think he will move to the center on social issues (already happening) and win against Clinton in a tight election.”
  • 8/28/15: Media gives Trump 2% change of winning the nomination “based on historical patterns, solid data, and sound reasoning”. Scott says Trump “would win the general election by a large margin” and gives a 98% chance of winning.
  • 9/12/2015: Scott Adams predicts a Kanye West presidency (you heard it here first).
  • 10/23/15: Scott Adams predicts a Trump landslide and forecasts media embarrassment. “The Huffington Post moved Trump to the entertainment section and sealed their reputation as a useless wart on society… If Trump wins the presidency, every pollster and every pundit (except me) is wrong to the point of irrelevancy.”
  • 11/19/2015: The media says Trump and Carson’s odds < 10%
  • 12/29/2015: “One way is if Clinton’s health or legal issues rise to the point of being disqualifying, and Trump persuades us to think about those things more than we think about anything else. Once you imagine there is one candidate in the race who is eligible and one who might not survive the term, or might be in jail, you start to imagine it as a one-person race. And you will. That’s how you get a landslide.” Spooky

…and those are just the posts from last year.

Another winner is… men. Time after time I have found men reluctant to discuss their political preferences until I boldly speak my mind and say “I’m voting for Trump”. Only then will they speak out, comfortable that no-one will castigate them for having the “wrong” opinion. Gentleman, the coast is clear; you can come out now. If Trump can say it, so can you.

There have been many losers. The sheer amount of raw emotion among Hillary’s mostly-female supporters when it finally dawned on them that she was not going to win was telling. Grief, drama, tears, trauma… and that was just the (few) men in the room; many of the women were having full-on meltdowns, of not outright breakdowns. Do you remember Republican supporters weeping and wailing uncontrollably when they got their hats handed to them in 2008? Me neither. That’s because it never happened.

And it didn’t end there; a week later, there are still demonstrations going on.

The biggest loser has been… the media. ABC (Always Broadcasting Crap), NBC (Nothing But Crap), CNN (Clinton News Network) and CBS (Continuously Broadcasting… um… Stuff) have consistently stumped for Hillary at every opportunity, with the notable exception of Fox news, which has remained studiously neutral – except for Megyn Kelly, who was, I suspect, furious at the Donald for pointing out that she got her job because of her looks. While politically incorrect, this seems reasonable: smart and pretty beats smart alone every time, and as I am fond of saying, “there are no ugly women in TV-land”. One talking head on CNN even admitted their clear bias on national TV.

The elephant in the room is that What is most alarming is that the media is bending over backwards to avoid stating the obvious: “We screwed up. Horribly”. But rather than admitting their clear and obvious bias, they are trying to blame everyone and everything else.

As far as I am concerned, the 2016 election is the coming-of-age and ascendancy of the Internet…

…and the beginning of the end and the proof of the irrelevancy of the “Lamestream Media”.

To My Progressive Friends

The political shenanigans of the past year have shown us both the dark side of human nature and the dirty side of politics.

I have listened to the name-calling, vituperation and insults, both to my chosen candidate, and to those who chose to follow him. You have called me Deplorable, Racist, Misogynist, Homophobic, Bigoted… and that’s just the epithets hurled at us in public.

I did not respond to those insults. There is no effective way to do that; denial that you are a racist just makes you look more like a racist. Sometimes the best defence is to smile, tip your hat and go on your merry way.

The race is over. And once again, I successfully forecasted the result. To the surprise of everyone who took the polls and the media seriously, your candidate lost. That’s democracy; sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

The real question, and the one that nobody is asking, is “How could the media have gotten this so very wrong?” With all of their resources, polls, think-tanks, and focus groups, they utterly failed to see it coming. Media bias has been obvious and self-evident to me, concentrating on his alleged sexual misconduct while downplaying bribery, corruption, and potentially, treason.

This is Brexit all over again, complete with the howls of anguish from those who found themselves, as a great man once put it, “on the wrong side of history”.

I know just how you feel. Eight years ago, I greeted the election of Barack, Hussain Obama with this message. I did not vote for him. I did not vote at all. I did not share his philosophy. I did not believe in his policies (particularly Obamacare, oh how right I was…). but I was willing to get behind the new president and wish him the best success. Because he was the duly elected president, and I respected the office, even if I did not respect the man.

Now it’s your turn

Boldly going… nowhere

Star Trek: Beyond Review

I am an old-time star Trek fan. My childhood was filled with re-runs of the original series (Kirk, Spock, Bones and the ever-expendableEnsign Ricky Redshirt), and I grew up “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. So I decided to pay out good money to see “Star Trek Beyond” (shouldn’t there be a semi-colon in there somewhere?) in the theater.

Beyond Star Trek

I can’t say that I was that impressed. Star Trek was all about the future of humanity. About Optimism. About where we are headed. And if this is where we are headed, then the future looks disappointing indeed. The Star Trek universe used to be filled with adventurers, and explorers, and feats of derring-do. Aside from the few “hero” characters in the movie, most of the crew and almost all civilians have become hedonistic sheep, wandering about, having a good time, and doing the 24th-century equivalent of staring at their iPhones every thirty seconds. It is no surprise that the Bridge of the Enterprise looks a lot like an Apple store.

Having said all that, this is a great action movie, and a fun enough romp for grown-ups. But it is not really a Star Trek movie: there are more fistfights than starship battles, and the philosophical moments resemble an infomercial for a “let’s-all-be-friends” brand of pacifistic globalism. The stunts are “oh-come-on” unrealistic, and the characters are “oh-come-on” invincible. And Dr McCoy still has a potty mouth. Physician, heal thyself.

Perhaps the most poignant moment for me was right at the end. This movie was dedicated to Leonard Nimoy – the original Spock – who passed away earlier this year, and “For Anton“, which I later found out was Anton Yelchin, the actor who played Ensign Pavel “Wictor-Wictor” Chekhov, who died in an accident shortly after the movie was completed. Chekhov, the word is given. Warp Speed.

The Final Final Frontier

The Star Trek reboot has been a jolly enough jape, but at fifty years of age, it is time to put the franchise out to pasture. I don’t think that I will be seeing another Star Trek movie, and I will be avoiding Paramount in future. Not only because this movie fails to live up to the true spirit of Star Trek, but because the Executives at Paramount have gone back on the creator’s word. Gene Roddenberry used to say that “Star Trek belongs to the fans“; he welcomed Fan fiction. But Paramount recently issued a directive that said, among other things, that Fan films should not be more than fifteen minutes in length, and cannot include any known Star Trek actors), and their suing of the creators of the fan film “Star Trek: Axanar” has left a bad taste in my mouth.

And for that reason, if nothing else, I regret seeing “Star Trek Beyond”

 

 

 

I’m Sick of Being Right

Some weeks ago, I posted on why the SSA’s multi-factor Authentication scheme was a bad idea.

This morning I got another message from them:

SSA SOL2TL;DR:

  1. It is no longer mandatory, but it is recommended.
  2. We are working on alternatives.

I’m glad that they see things my way, but I am a little disappointed that an organization this big can make such a huge blunder.