Category Archives: Rant

Data in the Details

As the media and the masses battle, march, and generally freak out, there’s been an ongoing comparison of the current government to Nazi Germany, the USSR, and even Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. I get that comparing everything to the Third Reich is a common practice on the Internet but as everyone is lamenting “woe is me!” or “woe is MY country!” please review these tiny but critical details:

Hitler came to power by rising through the government but he claimed the top spot on his own. He grabbed power.

The USSR appointed their Premier from the senior leaders of the Party. The average citizen had no say in the matter.

Big Brother was given the unilateral power of Oceania at the start of the superstate but when the story opens, the human is likely gone and become just a picture on a poster; it’s Ingsoc that has control over the Proles of the country, who really have no impact on who becomes members of the ruling Party.

This country elected Trump. Assuming that all investigations don’t reveal that something in the election process went awry and let’s be honest: we’ll never have a satisfactory answer to that. There are still people contesting what happened in Florida’s election 2000. We still don’t know who really shot JFK and even if we had an eye witness with a news reel that captured everything turn up tomorrow, we will still not believe it 100%. No one wants to believe the facts in these scenarios and we’ll always harbor some doubt. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Don’t ever forget that: this country elected Trump and that makes things very, very different from these real and fictional nations.

‘MERICA: How It’s Supposed To Work

This came directly out of my Facebook feed today and I had to snag a screenshot because it actually made me smile. Not the subject matter, no, but that’s a different conversation. No, what I liked in this image are the two comments that happened to bubble up to the surface when I happened to see this post.

The back to back comments made me smile because I know that if I post this image to my blog or my Facebook page that I will immediately piss off everyone I know.

Unilaterally. Continue reading ‘MERICA: How It’s Supposed To Work

“COPY!”

USA Today: Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency’

Interesting thought, after seeing that USA Today has taken their first stance in a presidential debate which is kind of a big deal since it’s been printed for 34 years now.

For all of the people chest thumping that “The media is out to get Trump” has it every occurred to the same people that the most presidential thing that POTUS has to do is influence people without having to resort to threatens and violence? Meaning that if the entire media pool of the US is against your candidate that it means that he was *unable* to gain any influence from them.

FWIW, if the media went the other way, I would change “chest thumping” to “lamenting”, “Trump” to “Clinton”, and “he” to “she” but still be asking the same question. IMHO, if you can’t get *any* sway in the mainstream media before you get elected, it’s a pretty clear sign you shouldn’t be elected.

Life Lesson #7452: Fancy Fridays

After living on the west coast for almost 12 years, I’m always shocked at how shocked I feel when I see someone in a suit, even when walking around downtown Seattle. Maybe it has changed over the last decade but the east coast I remember has always had the terms “business attire” and “business casual” in their HR manuals for workers. Especially as you approach the financial centers of New York, Boston, and D.C. The almighty tie on a person immediately declared that person to be “respected and in power” of a job.

Long story short, I’ve always called bullshit on this thought process.
Continue reading Life Lesson #7452: Fancy Fridays

Feel The Burn!

Honestly, I still think of this as a tag line for an STD or UTI medication.

With the Democratic caucus recently completed in WA state – and the Republican primary at least five weeks away – repeat visitors to my blog and Facebook page have likely been surprised that there hasn’t been as much commentary on the Presidential hopefuls as there have been in past years.

In truth, the field on both sides of the aisle have left me mostly speechless.
Continue reading Feel The Burn!

Is it Alive or is it Memorex?

The Telegraph: Microsoft deletes ‘teen girl’ AI after it became a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours […] “Tay” went from “humans are super cool” to full nazi in <24 hrs and I'm not at all concerned about the future of AI

Call me a bit cynical, but how do you know this is a problem with the AI and not what could happen to a human if you take away all responsibilty, social graces, honor, and morality?

Given how the 2016 primaries are running, worry about the humans that have turned into this – the AI can be shut down, rebooted and debugged.

Objects May Be Closer Than They Appear

betanews.com: Online gamers hit by sexist, racist and homophobic abuse

…and? Anyone that’s looked at any collating reports from Tweets across America have seen this same conclusion. Over and over and over again.

Make no mistake – I don’t doubt the data or report. For over three decades, insulting people online has been far easier than not – culminating in the formalized John Gabriel theory – and now that social media has gone mainstream, it’s a superset of the online chat room, Usenet, or even BBS communities that used to be ripe for insults.

That’s why I don’t understand why this is news, meaning that it’s called out that this is happening to online games – it’s just one slice of the whole digital community.

Inland Resource Center, San Bernardino, CA

For all of the people screaming about Muslim this and that, keep in mind that religious people have been killing other people over religious differences since there was a religion. Catholics were getting killed and killing others over religious differences years before before Islam even began. And during that time, keep in mind that not every Catholic was killing or condoned killing – you can’t judge an entire group of people by the actions of a few. Bad apples, spoiled barrel, blah blah blah: however sad it is, this is not a new phenomenon so please keep your outrage focused on the people responsible and not the overall religion.

For all of the people screaming against laws the restrict guns, keep in mind that there were a lot of guns on the scene in CA none of them came from the victims in the Resource Center. Even though everyone in the building had the Constitutional right to own a gun and use a gun, no one had them with them. And why on earth would they? Can you imagine someone bringing their gun with them to an annual seminar at work? Simple fact: you cannot carry a gun with you 24/7 and even if you could, it is impossible to maintain concentration enough to carrying it safely, which means you shouldn’t.

For all of the people screaming for stronger gun control laws, keep in mind that there is no way to keep all guns off of this planet, much less out of this country, and CA has already some of the strongest laws in the nation, yet here we are. Simple fact: the NRA is right in that guns aren’t killing people but the people holding them are. For all of your plans and shouts to BAN BAN BAN you are exclusively targeting one part of the problem and it’s not going to solve everything if it even helps anything. People screwed up enough to open fire on a room of people can just as easily show up with a gas can and a match. While I personally believe the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms for the explicit purpose of forming a militia in defense of the nation, rather than everyone having the right to own a closet of guns, up to now our courts have said otherwise. Until Numero Dos is either clarified or overwritten by a new amendment, the current interpretation is that people can own whatever they want provided they meet the requirements of their state knowing full well that they can drive arms to wherever they want.

For all of the people that think they are right and the “other side” is wrong, keep in mind that you need to shut up right now, since there is no single fix for this problem. It will take a combination of ideas and the only way to enable that combination is to consider multiple options. If you are screaming your point of view so loudly that you are unable or unwilling to consider that there is another point of view or possible solution, not only are you are very likely wrong but you are very likely more concerned with being right and not fixing a God damned thing.

Just some things to keep in mind while you unless your angst on Facebook and post your virtual bumpstickers to Twitter.

Starbucks Red

CNN: Starbucks responds to holiday cup controversy

I picked up my last Pumpkin Spice latte of the season yesterday and it was in a red cup. I thought to myself “Yep, it’s after Halloween.” In the back of my mind I also noticed it was just red which made me think of all of the travel mugs and real cups from ‘bux this year, which opted for a plain colored dot in place of the mermaid – made me think that the train was continuing.

Over the 24 hours, however, other people looked at the same cup and have proclaimed that Starbucks hates Jesus and/or Christmas.

My first reaction: what the fuck is wrong with you people that is a new story of any way shape or form?

Second reaction: please boycott – it will mean fewer people in my coffee lines.

Third reaction: are you telling me that you love Starbucks so much that you find a little bit of God in your cup?

Ultimate reaction: as a shareholder of SBUX, thank you all for the free press and the religious implications that the Messiah is found in coffee beans.

Baby Amnesia

MSN.com: Baby’s day care death blamed on popular napping practice

The all up cause here is unknown, except for the fact that the kid was asleep in a car seat, something that “The Journal of Pediatrics declared an official danger just a few months ago.”

Totally sucks – completely agree – and maybe this new advice is akin to the firm crib mattress and no blanket and no pillows advice every new parent gets, to avoid SIDS. What I find funny is this quote from the article: To minimize this life-threatening risk, it’s as simple as waking your baby up and moving him to his crib when you get home from day care or the grocery store. You can also share this information with grandparents and childcare providers to make sure everyone caring for your infant is on the same page.

The author simply hasn’t had a baby in two or more years. No parent – and I mean no parent – in the early days of their infant months ever has anything like “as simple as waking your baby up” cross their mind. Ever. Anything that involves their infant sleeping is planned to let the infant sleep for as long as possible. No, no, no – this author is far, far away from the sleep deprivation that comes with year one to suggest you ever awake an infant so the kid can sleep [allegedly] safer. Remember that it wasn’t that long ago that the “solid” advice was sleeping an infant on hir stomach.

I remember the infant years clearly and I believe that I probably have let infant Kyle hug a half empty bag-o-glass if he fell asleep next to one rather than wake him up for plausible safety.

Syntax For the Masses

MSN: During the registration process at Harvard University, students are now allowed to indicate which pronouns they use, with suggested gender-neutral options like “ze” or “they.” Harvard isn’t the first college to embrace gender-neutral pronouns, but it’s among a wave of major institutions that are widening their policies and pronouns

While reading the Star Trek New Frontier books, I found it interesting that when they encountered an asexual race that they changed the “common language” – aka English, thanks Gene! – to update their pronouns as s/he and hir, pronounced shi-he and heer respectively. I remember thinking that it must have been a painful habit for the authors to support that, knowing that there would never be a practical usage in common practice. Ya know, until we encountered an asexual race. Who would have thought they were simply forward thinking?

Of course, the larger question is how in the hell does Spanish adapt itself to be gender neutral, seeing as everything in the language reflects gender?

And So It Begins…

MSN: Devouring a McDonald’s Big Mac or a Chipotle burrito is on a fast-track to becoming a luxury for many U.S. consumers. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, given the surging costs for beef and, above all else, hourly workers.

In May, San Francisco joined the city of Oakland in having the highest minimum wage in the nation at $12.25 an hour. Minimum wages in San Francisco will reach $15 per hour by 2018. These hikes have led to recent price increases at Chipotle of 10% in San Francisco and 7% in Oakland.

“In San Francisco, our occupancy costs are about double the Chipotle average as a percentage of sales, and our menu prices there [were] right around the average for Chipotle restaurants around the country, so increases to wages can have a greater impact than they might elsewhere,” Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said in an email. Occupancy costs are the expenses related to doing business in a location, including charges for rent, electricity and water.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This post is over a year old.