Quote of the Day
Aug 17th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

…Any adult human — and most chil­dren past a cer­tain degree of matu­rity — ought to carry a knife. Oth­er­wise you’re just a chimp with a hair­cut.

Roberta X

Going green: Morocco bans use of plastic bags
Jul 1st, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Going green: Morocco bans use of plas­tic bags [AL JAZEERA ENGLISH (AJE)]

I’ve writ­ten in the past about how absurd it is for Amer­i­cans to worry about Mus­lims impos­ing Shariah law in the US. Now, it seems that it’s the Mus­lims who have to worry about Amer­i­can Shariah laws being imposed in their coun­tries.

A good example for us
Jun 9th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Vir­tual Nations. Good read of the day: “The Somali Poten­tates of Sub­ur­bia,” an Awl piece about the var­i­ous seces­sion­ist paper states that sup­pos­edly exist in Soma­lia and are actu­ally run from abroad. A quick excerpt:

Awdal State wasn’t declar­ing inde­pen­dence from Soma­lia. It was declar­ing inde­pen­dence from Soma­liland, a seces­sion­ist move­ment that’d declared its inde­pen­dence from Soma­lia two decades prior. And the Awdalites didn’t want their own inde­pen­dence. They wanted auton­omy (includ­ing their own pres­i­dent) within Soma­lia. And when I say “Awdalites,” I don’t actu­ally mean peo­ple in Awdal. The hall with all those awk­ward dancers was in Min­neapolis, Min­nesota. The gov­ern­ment elec­tion later that year took place in Lon­don. And the pres­i­dent they wound up elect­ing was a middle-aged dude liv­ing per­ma­nently in Ottawa, whose day job was stuff­ing fly­ers into a local paper.

[Hit & Run]

Clearly the Soma­lis have the right idea. If only we could restrict the US Pres­i­dent to a mean­ing­less role filled by some­one with a day job shuf­fling fly­ers.

Quote of the Day
May 20th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Do I as an indi­vid­ual have a right to use force upon my neigh­bor to accom­plish this goal? If I do have such a right, then I may del­e­gate that power to my gov­ern­ment to exer­cise on my behalf. If I do not have that right as an indi­vid­ual, then I can­not del­e­gate it to gov­ern­ment, and I can­not ask my gov­ern­ment to per­form the act for me.

Ezra Taft Ben­son

People used to go the other way
May 18th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Devel­oper Of Anony­mous Tor Soft­ware Dodges FBI, Leaves US. An anony­mous reader quotes a report from CNN: FBI agents are cur­rently try­ing to sub­poena one of Tor’s core soft­ware devel­op­ers to tes­tify in a crim­i­nal hack­ing inves­ti­ga­tion, CNN­Money has learned. But the devel­oper, who goes by the name Isis Agora Love­cruft, fears that fed­eral agents will coerce her to under­mine the Tor sys­tem — and expose Tor users around the world to poten­tial spy­ing. That’s why, when FBI agents approached her and her fam­ily over Thanks­giv­ing break last year, she imme­di­ately packed her suit­case and left the United States for Ger­many. “I was wor­ried they’d ask me to do some­thing that hurts inno­cent peo­ple — and pre­vent me from telling peo­ple it’s hap­pen­ing,” she said in an exclu­sive inter­view with CNN­Money. Ear­lier in the month, Tech Dirt reported the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­rity wants to sub­poena the site over the iden­tity of a hyper­bolic com­menter. [Slash­dot]

It’s depress­ing that I can now say that I’m old enough to remem­ber when peo­ple defected to the US.

Quote of the Day
Apr 20th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

A lot of Amer­i­cans aren’t inter­ested in debat­ing or think­ing about pol­icy. They just want to blame some­one, prefer­ably some­one they’ve already been social­ized to despise, be they the rich, the poor, the white, the black, as long as there’s no blame left for them.

Ed Krayewski

Google Fiber
Apr 14th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

My apart­ment got Google Fiber yes­ter­day, so I got it set up last night and can­celled my Time Warner inter­net ser­vice today. I get twenty times the band­width for $50 less per month. Google also allows their cus­tomers to plug in the box them­selves instead of mak­ing them wait at home all day for an “installer” as cable com­pa­nies do, and they even let peo­ple pick up the box from their office if they wish. That was a par­tic­u­larly nice touch, as I live just a few blocks away and nor­mally walk past it a few times per week.

In addi­tion to get­ting an Inter­net con­nec­tion just as fast as my giga­bit Eth­er­net wired net­work, I get about a 166 megabits per sec­ond over WiFi, which my AppleTV uses. The dif­fer­ence is pretty notice­able with Net­flix and YouTube.

There is one aspect that could use improve­ment. The Google Fiber net­work box doesn’t have a bridge mode, which means I couldn’t use my old router. That required a cer­tain amount of has­sle with updat­ing things on my net­work.

Cops being cops
Apr 11th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Law enforce­ment took more stuff from peo­ple than bur­glars did last year. Here’s an inter­est­ing fac­toid about con­tem­po­rary polic­ing: In 2014, for the first time ever, law enforce­ment offi­cers took more prop­erty from Amer­i­can cit­i­zens than bur­glars did. Mar­tin Arm­strong pointed this out at his blog, Arm­strong Eco­nom­ics, last week. [Wash­ing­ton Post]

I remem­ber when ban­dits in uni­forms were some­thing you read about being a prob­lem in par­tic­u­larly nasty third world hell­holes. This also reminded me of the Utah study that found that you’re more likely to be mur­dered by the police than by (pri­vate sec­tor) street crim­i­nals.

The real shariah threat
Apr 7th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

In recent years it’s been com­mon for neo-Nazis to oppose Mus­lims liv­ing in the US by claim­ing that they want to impose shariah here. How­ever, that’s just an Ara­bic word for laws inspired by religion–what used to be crit­i­cized here as “leg­is­lat­ing moral­ity” before most of the crit­ics started doing it them­selves. The truth is that the US is already dom­i­nated by shariah laws, many of which have the full approval and sup­port of the neo-Nazis. Not a sin­gle one of them was inspired by Islam, though–in the US they almost all come from Chris­tian­ity and Envi­ron­men­tal­ism. I decided to keep a list of every news story I saw about a shariah law in the US for a month, and here it is:

Amusing Easter Egg
Apr 5th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

This week­end I was play­ing Cru­sader Kings II, a his­tor­i­cal strat­egy game cov­er­ing 769 to 1453. While play­ing a Norse ruler, I dis­cov­ered a mys­te­ri­ous metal box while sack­ing a French city. Shortly there­after, this event hap­pened:

The key fits the lock, and you slowly open the chest. It con­tains noth­ing but dust! As you run your hand through it, strange lights begin to man­i­fest in the room and you close your eyes when the first ghostly appari­tions appear. You hear the screams of your guards, and when you finally open your eyes again, the specters are gone… and your guards have been reduced to ash.

So, appar­ently I found the Ark of the Covenant.

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