Saturday, August 29, 2015

More Security Theater For Everyone!

Let's just implement massive pointless security in every location that resembles a site where there has been a mass shooting or attempt.
Calls for tighter security on the railways are to be discussed by European ministers and officials, following the foiled attack on a high-speed Amsterdam-Paris train last week.

Yes there might be a couple of particularly high profile potential targets - like the Chunnel - where increased security might at least seem to make a bit of sense. But if someone wants to wreak havoc on a train they don't need to pick an intercity train to do it. There are these things called subways all over the place, and they can function with that type of security.

Declaring War On Your Own Citizens

It isn't just about the right vote, though of course it is that too, it's about abandoning all pretense that it's by the people for the people.

A War On What's Inside Women

Well that makes all the difference then.

Morning Thread

Friday, August 28, 2015

America's Worst Humans


This Could Be You

One thing I've noticed (anecdotally! Not science!) is that increasingly the powers that be are victimizing people who aren't supposed to be victimized. I'm of course not justifying the usual practices of extracting everything that can be extracted from poor people and minorities, but there's a bit of hubris involved in going after people who might actually have the means to defend themselves. Of course I wrote "might," as apparently it's perfectly legal to break into random homes as long as a bank tells you to do it, but the broader point is that the rules are changing. We can all be screwed now.

Give Me All Of Jeff's Moneys

I get that people have reasons for not liking Amazon. I don't always agree with those reasons, and roll my eyes a bit when you're expressing them by typing them out on your near-slave labor built electronic device, but those of us who give a shit tend to have our consumer choices be a bit influenced by our politics, and if Amazon is the company which pisses you off then feel free to not shop there. I link to them because their affiliate commission program is very generous (thanks for the $50 for whoever just bought a water heater!) and their ads are fairly non-intrusive. Don't like amazon, don't shop there! But lots of people do shop there, and if you are going to shop there anyway then clicking a link gives me a bit of Jeff's money.


Otherwise reasonably smart people who can't give up the idea that they are somehow "above the fray" has long been a tremendous frustration. I don't know how much it actually affects outcomes (maybe not much!), but it's certainly annoying.

Most of these people tend to be Democrats who don't want to admit they're Democrats. I don't care about partisan allegiance or loyalty, but we're talking about the kind of people (including many famous pundits) who regularly demand that Obama advocates for a position he has already advocated.

If you have vaguely liberal views on social issues and don't want the US to be a plutocracy, you're a Democrat whether you admit or not. Okay, fine, you can register for the Greens or declare yourself to be an independent or whatever tribal identification makes some amount of sense, but the Totebagger notion of technocratic centrism is a vote for plutocracy, not against. "Centrism" in DC is status quo+shifting wealth upwards.

Maybe A Heliport?

We have about two generations that don't understand cities at all. It's a problem.

MOOOOAR PARKING will fix Camden!

Retail Banking Is Hard

Actually it's pretty simple, but some banks just don't care.
Customers of banking giant HSBC have been left without their salary and other payments as it emerged on Friday morning that the bank is suffering an as yet unknown IT problem.

The bank issued a statement on Friday following complaints from customers on Twitter and through its helplines that they have been left without money.

Such things would be less of a problem once upon a time, but with (especially in Europe) your various utilities and other regular bills pushing automatic payments, a failed bank deposit can cause a cascade of problems.

You Murdered 71 People

Full story isn't quite clear here, but somebody murdered them. That they were people on the margins, refugees, does not change that.

Remember When Libya Was The Good War?

I was talking about this with a friend who knows a bit about such things (I mostly don't) yesterday. There was a time when we had to do something in Libya, and doing something of course meant bombing the shit out of someone because what else do we know how to do. Eventheliberals were saying 1) bomb 2)???? 3) humanitarian miracles!!!. Nobody talks about Libya anymore. I guess we just got bored? Bombing wasn't as much fun as we thought it would be? Everybody remembered that humanitarian relief isn't actually on our agenda, except maybe painting schools over and over again? I don't even know. But this is pretty hilarious, four years later.
WASHINGTON — It would be premature to call the war in Libya a complete success for United States interests. But the arrival of victorious rebels on the shores of Tripoli last week gave President Obama’s senior advisers a chance to claim a key victory for an Obama doctrine for the Middle East that had been roundly criticized in recent months as leading from behind.

Victorious rebels! I bet they were moderates, too. All the good rebels are moderate rebels.

Nobody Could Have Predicted

One doesn't know who to blame because nobody wants to take responsibility, but the people running this city don't have any idea what they're doing.
Sobered by modest sales of rail passes for next month's papal visit, SEPTA officials changed their tune Thursday from dire warnings to warm invitations.

"We want you to be there," SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey said. "We are doing everything possible to make it easy for you to come see the pope."

So stupid.

Morning Thread

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday Evening Is The Evening Of The Day That Is Thursday

Rock on.

Moar Taxes

I don't know Phoenix, but it seems like a somewhat unlikely place for people to vote to increase taxes to fund commie trains. But they did!

Phoenix voters on Tuesday approved a sales tax increase that would pay for an expansion of its light rail system.

By a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent, voters nearly doubled the sales tax for transit from 0.4 percent to 0.7 percent (the overall sales tax in Phoenix was bumped from 8.3 percent to 8.6 percent) until 2050 to fund 42 new miles of light-rail tracks, more bus routes and street improvements that are part of a $31 billion plan (also funded by passenger fares and federal and county money) called Proposition 104.

Not a knock on the people of Phoenix. I doubt the people of Philadelphia would vote for more taxes to support our commie trains.

Why Is Lindsey Graham Always On My Teevee?

It isn't the most important thing in the world, but it is more evidence that there's a huge disconnect between who the Washington Press thinks are Very Important People That Should Be Listened To and, well, what the rest of us think. He's probably had more "free" press than almost any Republican other than Saint McCain and despite that, or likely because of it, nobody likes him.

Journalists Against Journalism

It really is a strange phenomenon. I used to think that however little it made sense, journalists were at least serious about the conventions and "rules" of "objective journalism." After years of paying attention I find that more often than not they're just ways of defining who is and isn't in the tribe, who gets to sit at the big kids' table. Opinions and advocacy are of course fine, as long as they're the right opinions and the right kind of advocacy. I no longer believe journalists are so stupid that they have really managed to fool themselves about this. They know what game they're playing.