Donald Trump's Police State … he wants to abolish the constitutional rights of blacks and Hispanics.

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

Bad laws lure US money into finance instead of useful industry, and the result is a large reduction of investment in real activity.

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

A study estimates that China's air pollution kills a million people per year.

That would be 5% to 10% of all deaths in China

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

DuPont and Monsanto regularly violate health standards in their treatment of migrant workers.

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

The murder of editor Lasantha Wickrematunge is being investigated; an official is suspected of carrying it out.

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

ICC Sentences Islamic Militant to Nine Years over Timbuktu Destruction.

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

Did Trump lie in a debate with Jeb Bush, or did he lie in court?

There is one other possibility: he could have lied both times.

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

Trump promised fossil fuel executives he would give them everything they want. Even more than Clinton would give them.

Since Trump makes a habit of lying, he might have lied to them. But we cannot take that for granted.

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

The UK regularly deports people before they can appeal, and has made out-of-country appeal so expensive and difficult that hardly any of them can try it.

Some have been deported back to persecution.

The UK is starting to collect nationality data about children in school, which seems to be designed to catch children in school to deport them.

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:

US citizens: call on the Senate to vote on the Presidential Tax Transparency Act.

Posted Thu Sep 29 00:00:00 2016 Tags:
In a battle between a Bald Eagle and a chicken, the chicken is definitely the long shot.

And yet you can't help but root for the eagle. It is a magnificent creature, precision-built to do two things that reliably fill humans with awe -- fly and kill -- and it looks completely at ease doing both. Swooping down, the eagle unfurls its hand-like claws, scoops up a chicken, and sweeps up to a tree, whereupon the larger bird lays the smaller bird on a branch to allow for easy consumption. It's unclear exactly when the chicken dies, but the eagle's beak is quite effective at pulling out the other bird's meat. After a few minutes, all that remains is a clump of feathers and discarded viscera. These gory leavings splatter anything below the tall oaks at White Oak Pastures, a family farm in rural Georgia -- including, one morning, Jenni Harris's SUV.

Jenni's father, Will Harris, the fourth-generation owner of White Oak Pastures in the tiny town of Bluffton (population: 100), is laughing as he tells me about the gut-drenched vehicle. Jenni was unperturbed, he explains; she simply wiped the bloody goo off the windshield before driving away.

What else could she do? The slaughter here is relentless. White Oak is home to one of the largest pastured chicken flocks in the country; at any given time, 60,000 birds wander the land in accordance with pasture-raised parameters. As the next level beyond free-range, this farm never contains its adult birds indoors, instead allowing them to roam without restraint at all times. This also means that for the Bald Eagles that showed up a few years ago, White Oak is an all-you-can-eat buffet.

When I visited in January, at least 75 Bald Eagles were living on the farm, where they overwinter October to March. At that time, Harris estimated each raptor was killing up to four chickens a day, racking up a total of at least $1,000 in daily losses. Due to the birds' protected status under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and other federal laws, Harris had few options. He couldn't kill them. He could try to shoo them, but most methods would be costly and likely to scare the chickens before the eagles.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Wed Sep 28 09:33:39 2016 Tags:
Today in the bar I was bitching to a friend about how HDMI is first a restraint and only second a means of moving bits from point A to B, because it was built with DRM from the ground up and therefore its designers notion of fail safe is that if there is any glitch at all, deliver black rather than accidentally delivering something unpermitted, it being a technology beholden to the media cartels, and if someone was trying to design something that does what HDMI actually succeeds at that thing would be called "ethernet", oh, wait, that actually exists.

You know... bar talk...

And this fellow comes in and tells me that he knows exactly what I mean, because the secret aliens who rule the world want to keep us helpless in bondage and they use these technologies to keep us distracted.

"Oh yeah?", I said. I was intrigued by this alien business.

And he went on at some length, and I can't say I really disagreed with any of it, except that where he said "aliens" the words I would have used would have been "corporations" or "Capitalism". Terminology, right? "You shouldn't worry about TVs", he said, "just put in a pool table and teach the drunks geometry." I mean, who can argue with that? "I very much enjoy geometry, but music videos are pretty cool too," I said.

I think They Live was a brilliant movie, but I suspect that where this fellow and I differ is that I don't think it was a documentary... no wait, I absolutely do think it was a documentary, I just think it was a metaphor.

Or maybe I'm just woozy, because for decades they have been turning our atmosphere into their atmosphere.

Posted Wed Sep 28 09:19:43 2016 Tags:
The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Museum hopes to correct this oversight by preserving the memory of those lost in this tragedy and educating the public about the truth behind the only known giant octopus-ferry attack in the tri-state area.

It was close to 4am on the quiet morning of November 22, 1963 when the Steam Ferry Cornelius G. Kolff vanished without a trace. On its way with nearly 400 hundred people, mostly on their way to work, the disappearance of the Cornelius G. Kolff remains both one of New York's most horrific maritime tragedies and perhaps its most intriguing mystery. Eye witness accounts describe "large tentacles" which "pulled" the ferry beneath the surface only a short distance from its destination at Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. Nobody on board survived and only small pieces of wreckage have been found...strangely with large "suction cup-shaped" marks on them. The only logical conclusion scientists and officials could point to was that the boat had been attacked by a massive octopus, roughly half the size of the ship. Adding to the tragedy, is that this disaster went almost completely unnoticed by the public as later that day another, more "newsworthy" tragedy would befall the nation when beloved President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated. The Staten Island Ferry Disaster Museum hopes to correct this oversight by preserving the memory of those lost in this tragedy and educating the public about the truth behind the only known giant octopus-ferry attack in the tri-state area.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Tue Sep 27 21:47:53 2016 Tags:

I just shipped what was probably the silliest and most pointless software release of my career. But hey, it’s the reference implementation of a language and I’m funny that way.

Because I write compilers for fun, I have a standing offer out to reimplement any weird old language for which I am sent a sufficiently detailed softcopy spec. (I had to specify softcopy because scanning and typo-correcting hardcopy is too much work.)

In the quarter-century this offer has been active, I have (re) implemented at least the following: INTERCAL, Michigan Algorithmic Decoder, and a pair of obscure 1960s teaching languages called CORC and CUPL, and an obscure computer-aided-instruction language called Pilot.

Pilot…that one was special. Not in a good way, alas. I don’t know where I bumped into a friend of the language’s implementor, but it was in 1991 when he had just succeeded in getting IEEE to issue a standard for it – IEEE Std 1154-1991. He gave me a copy of the standard.

I should have been clued in by the fact that he also gave me an errata sheet not much shorter than the standard. But the full horror did not come home to me until I sat down and had a good look at both documents – and, friends, PILOT’s design was exceeded in awfulness only by the sloppiness and vagueness of its standard. Even after the corrections.

But I had promised to do a reference implementation, and I did. Delivered it to the inventor’s friend. He couldn’t get it to work – some problem with the version of YACC he was using, if I recall correctly. It wasn’t something I could fix remotely, and I left it to him to figure out, being pretty disgusted with the project. I don’t know if he ever did.

I did fix a couple of minor bugs in my masters; I even shipped occasional releases until late 1996. Then…I let the code molder in a corner for twenty years.

But these things have a way of coming back on you. I got a set of fixes recently from one Frank J. Lhota, forward-porting it to use modern Bison and Flex versions. Dear sweet fornicating Goddess, that meant I’d have to…issue another release. Because it’s bad form to let fix patches drop on the floor pour discourager les autres.

So here it is. It does have one point of mild interest; the implementation is both an interpreter and a compiler (it’s a floor wax! It’s a dessert topping!) for the language – that is, it can either interpret the parsed syntax tree or generate and compile corresponding C code.

I devoutly hope I never again implement a language design as botched as Pilot. INTERCAL was supposed to be a joke…

Posted Tue Sep 27 05:28:36 2016 Tags:

So, the Washington Post publishes yet another bullshit article on gun policy.

In this one, the NRA is charged with racism because it doesn’t leap to defend the right of black men to bear arms without incurring a lethal level of police suspicion.

In a previous blog post, I considered some relevant numbers. At 12% of the population blacks commit 50% of violent index crimes. If you restrict to males in the age range that concentrates criminal behavior, the numbers work out to a black suspect being a a more likely homicidal threat to cops and public safety by at least 26:1.

I haven’t worked out how the conditional probabilities crunch out if you have the prior that your suspect is armed, but it probably makes that 26:1 ratio worse rather than better.

Police who react to a random black male behaving suspiciously who might be in the critical age range as though he is an near-imminent lethal threat, are being rational, not racist. They’re doing what crime statistics and street-level experience train them to do, and they’re right to do it. This was true even before the post-Ferguson wave of deliberate assassinations of police by blacks.

The NRA would, I’m sure, love to defend the RKBA of a black man who isn’t a thug or gangbanger. So would I. The trouble is that when you’re considering police stops nice cases like that are damned thin on the ground.

Seriously, the victims in these stop-and-shoot cases pretty much always turn out to have a history of violent behavior and rap sheets as long as your arm. Often (as in the recent Terence Crutcher case) there is PCP or some other disassociative anaesthetic in their system or in arm’s reach.

It’s hardly any wonder the NRA doesn’t want to spend reputational capital defending the RKBA of these mooks. I wouldn’t either in their shoes; this is not racism, it’s a very rational reluctance to get one’s cause entangled with the scum of the earth.

I cannot help but think that articles like the Post are intended to put the NRA on the horns of a dilemma; remain silent in these cases or be falsely accused of racism, versus speaking up and hearing “Aha! So all that other posturing was bogus, you think it’s just fine for hardened criminals to have guns!”

Sigh…

Posted Sat Sep 24 14:32:55 2016 Tags:
If this turd was a character on Law & Order it would be just more implausible, hack writing. How do people like this continue to exist?

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey financially backed a pro-Trump political organization called Nimble America, a self-described "social welfare 501(c)4 non-profit" in support of the Republican nominee.

Luckey sold his virtual reality company Oculus to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014. The 24-year-old told The Daily Beast that he had used the pseudonym "NimbleRichMan" on Reddit with a password given to him by the organization's founders.

(This does not sound like a robust password management regime to me.)

Nimble America says it's dedicated to proving that "shitposting is powerful and meme magic is real," according to the company's introductory statement, and has taken credit for a billboard its founders say was posted outside of Pittsburgh with a cartoonishly large image of Clinton's face alongside the words "Too Big to Jail."

"We conquered Reddit and drive narrative on social media, conquered the [mainstream media], now it's time to get our most delicious memes in front of Americans whether they like it or not," a representative for the group wrote in an introductory post on Reddit. [...]

"I've got plenty of money," Luckey added. "Money is not my issue. I thought it sounded like a real jolly good time." [...]

Luckey first met the alt-right provocateur in Los Angeles about a year and a half ago, before Yiannopoulos began working on a charity to send white men to college. The Daily Beast later reported that the scholarship fund had resulted in zero financial distribution of the donations that had been made directly to Yiannopoulos's bank account. [...]

Along with Luckey, Nimble America was founded by two moderators of Reddit's r/The_Donald, which helped popularize Trump-themed white supremacist and anti-Semitic memes along with 4Chan and 8Chan. A questionnaire to become a moderator at r/The_Donald posted in March had applicants answer the questions "Is there a difference between white nationalism and white supremacy?" and "Was 9/11 an inside job?"

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Sat Sep 24 03:29:24 2016 Tags:
Posted Sat Sep 24 03:10:00 2016 Tags:
Posted Fri Sep 23 00:25:40 2016 Tags:
Justice Peter Doody presiding!

Court was told Lawrence set off the metal detector at an exit from the "secure area" with more frequency than any other employee -- save those with metal medical implants. When that happened, the procedure was to do a manual search with a hand-held wand, a search that he always passed.

Investigators also found a container of vaseline in his locker and the trial was presented with the prospect that a puck could be concealed in an anal cavity and not be detected by the wand. In preparation for these proceedings, in fact, a security employee actually tested the idea, Barnes said. [...]

Barnes implied there were many ways Lawrence could have legitimately obtained the gold -- he could have bought the coins, for instance -- and said he made no efforts to be devious with the gold buyers or the bank. Further, Barnes said, the Mint isn't even sure a theft took place.

"In fact, I would submit the Mint doesn't even know if anything is missing."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Posted Thu Sep 22 00:26:54 2016 Tags:

Planet Debian upstream is hosted by Branchable.