Friday, October 20, 2017

Fake Nazis and Wolfenstein

Another Wolfenstein game is coming. Apparently, some Nazis were upset by it..

 Nazis in this day and age understand that they have an image problem. They are as popular as sex offenders and terrorists. They make for great villains in fiction because there was a time when they were better equipped and organized than they are now.

Of all the things Nazi could care or complain about, like the way they are portrayed in countless movies, novels, TV shows, comic books, they are complaining about a video game that has not been released yet. They have to know that this generates publicity and buzz about this big budget commercial product, right?

Look at this tweet and the response by @JacksonCrw/

That Twitter account was created two months ago. It's feed is mostly lazy retweets. I strongly suspect that both of these accounts were created for the purpose of marketing the same video game. These LARPtroopers are as real and authentic as the Mecha-Hitler final boss. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Joe Arpaio is granted amnesty

One of the most common arguments for building a wall to stop illegal immigration is that the immigration was illegal. These folks were quick to stress that they were not racist, and that they just wanted these immigrants to obey the law and come here legally. Even if these immigrants have jobs and are paying taxes, the pro-wall crowd wants them deported for breaking the law.

One wall won't stop a criminal from crossing a border. But three walls and a set of bars can stop a criminal from going anywhere at all. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a man sworn to uphold the law, cheerfully broke the law instead. If you want immigrants deported for breaking the law, you should want US citizens incarcerated or fined for breaking the law.

Joe Arpaio should be subject to the same justice as anyone else. Instead Donald Trump pardoned him.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Why the Google Manifesto writer was fired

I read the Google manifesto.

This is why Google decided to fire him.
Google has been sued for gender pay discrepancy. Millions of dollars are at stake. So Google is doing their very best to show that they treat their female employees fairly. Google also has to consider their public image, since more than half of Google′s potential user base consists of women.
One Google employee wrote a piece implying that these new practices were the wrong thing to do, and that there were difference between men and women that make income inequality inevitable. This was posted as an memo on an internal Google network, ostensibly where only Google employees would be likely to read it.
Criticizing company policy where your coworkers can see it is often a fast-track to getting fired. This includes statements made on social media, statements made to journalists, and postings on company bulletin boards. This goes double for criticizing policy in front of clients and customers.

James Damore′s termination was not about ideology, it was about the bottom line. Although it is legal to fire a person for political beliefs, most employers are happy to hire Democrats, Republicans, independents, and people who don′t vote at all. Google weighed millions in possible lawsuits and bad PR against Damore′s contributions to the company. They decided that they were in no longer need of his services. If keeping a employee is going to cost a company millions more than what they pay him, they will likely find a reason to fire him.

Damore is a smart man. He knows how computers work. He would like us to believe that he is an expert on human biology and psychology. He probably knew how US corporations work. He had to have known that publishing this manifesto would get him both fired and famous. That was probably his plan all along.
Recently, Aaron Sobczak sent this tweet.

 And Elizabeth Nolan Brown screenshotted it and sent a tweet of her own. As of this writing, Sobczak has made his account private.

Is it okay to make sandwich jokes? If I were the Dictator of Comedy, I would proclaim a 5 year moratorium on ″Make Me A Sandwich″ because it has run its course and is no longer funny. I don′t find them offensive, I just keep hearing them over and over and over again. And yet when I say that this is not funny, that leads people to the conclusion that it is funny. Just as when a man says that he is not racist, people will cite that statement as proof that he is in fact racist. But yes, Sobczak has a right to make idiotic sandwich jokes.

Does E. N. Brown have a right to call Sobczak out on this? Sure. This a teachable moment. When you make offensive or annoying jokes, expect people to respond by saying they are offended or annoyed. When you say something on the Internet, be ready for your own words to be heard by a wider audience than you originally intended.

When you introduce yourself to a fellow libertarian, it′s often in your best interests to show some common courtesy. Don′t say racist or sexist jokes until you′re familiar enough with that person to know what kind of humor they would appreciate. Elizabeth N. Brown was correct to teach Sobczak some manners.

This isn′t to say that there is no place for humor or other hi-jinks. Humor can help the cause of liberty greatly, but there is a time and a place for it.You can totally dance on stage in your underwear if you actually work in a strip club. It′s just not a good idea to do so at a political convention.

There has been some concern that Brown′s response may have damaged Sobczak′s career prospects. First of all, his sandwich joke did more to harm his reputation than her retweet of it. Secondly, if he is in the habit of making sandwich jokes in public, then his chances of being allowed to work around women are low. Third, I personally know a guy who said far worse, received undisired media coverage for it, and still landed a pretty sweet government job. Forth, nobody has a right to a good job. If a human resource director gets to choose from two equally qualified candidates and a Google search of both their names turns up a sandwich meme, I would bet money that her hiring decision would be based on her opinion of that meme. But there will always be demand for food service workers, janitors, and security guards.

If Aaron Sobczak has learned his lesson, then I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. If he has not learned his lesson, he′ll need a lot more luck than I could ever wish him. Perhaps he has a career in comedy in his future, but he′ll need fresher material than jokes about sandwich making.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

In defense of CNN

A guy going by the handle "Han Asshole Solo" posted a meme showing Trump punching a guy with the CNN logo for a face. Trump liked the meme so much that he tweeted it.

Now you would think that if the president liked your meme, you would want to take credit for it. However, HanAssholeSolo had a history of posting racist content, even to the point of calling for all Muslims to be wiped out.

HanAssholeSolo is an asshole. That's what it says on the tin. Being an asshole has consequences. The guy left so many clues about his identity on his Reddit feed that CNN was able to find his Facebook profile. HAHS was lucky that CNN found out who he was first. CNN gave him the chance to apologize and denounce racism. Somebody else could have easily found out who HAHS was and revealed his identity to the 1.6 billion Muslims who he said should be murdered, the 39 million black Americans who he referred by various forms of the n-word, and whoever it is who provides HAHS with an income or an internet connection.

CNN gave him the chance to redeem himself. If HAHS resumes his ways, CNN can still expose him. If you are in the habit of being an "anonymous" internet racist, consider this a teachable moment.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Encouraging a person to commit suicide should be illegal in certain circumstances.

We all agree that we have a right to free speech. We all agree that there are exceptions to this, like when a person tells another person to kill someone else. There is now a controversy over whether or not people have a right to encourage other people to kill themselves.

If you′ve spent any amount of time on the Internet, odds are that you have been told to kill yourself. If you are alive to read this, you know to ignore the advice of trolls. And yet twice as many Americans die from suicide than murder. These tragedies often go unreported, partly because local newspapers try to respect the privacy of grieving families, and partly because it happens so much it′s hardly considered news.

In most cases, encouraging a person to kill themselves shouldn′t be treated as a crime. When people tell me to kill myself, I don′t let it bother me. ″Kill yourself″ is more intended as an insult than as a suggested course of action.

But in instances where a person is known to be in a suicide crisis, where they are seriously contemplating taking their own lives, then the law can and should protect that person from anyone who tries to encourage suicide. A suicidal person is suffering from mental illness and is operating at a diminished capacity. Mentally ill people receive a number of legal protection that the rest of us don′t need: they can be assigned legal guardians, they can be prevented from entering into contracts, etc.
People who survive suicide attempts are often grateful to their rescuers. Those that aren′t grateful just try again until they finish themselves off.

In Michelle Carter′s case, she knew that her boyfriend was attempting suicide. The right thing to do would have been to notify the police. Ignoring her boyfriend would have also been a legal option. Instead, she encouraged her boyfriend to remain in his truck′s cab as it filled up with carbon monoxide fumes. Because he was suffering from mental illness, she bore the most responsibility for his death.

When an adult encourages an child to engage in an immoral act, the adult bears legal responsibility for the action that the child physically carried out. It shtould therefore follow that when a sane person encourages an insane person to commit a crime, the sane person bears all of the legal responsibility for the crime.

Each state should have law that outlaw encouraging suicide when all of the following conditions are met: 1)the perpetrator knows or has good reason to believe that the victim is suicidal 2) the perpetrator contacts the victim via a means intended for private, personal communication, such as telephone, text, direct message, or being in the same room 3) the victim is not known to be paralyzed or suffering from a terminal illness.

There is a moral difference between an angry comment left in a public forum and an effort to make a depressed person end their own life. State legislatures and the courts should acknowledge this difference. Encouraging an individual to commit suicide should not be allowed or tolerated.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Why I haven't read Harry Potter yet.

First of all, let me say that I'm very glad the Harry Potter series exists. Kids should be reading. They are more likely to read books that are written to appeal to them instead of books written by and for dead white guys. There is nothing wrong with the classics, but your kids just aren't ready for Shakespeare, Orwell, or even Steinbeck. They just aren't. Kids who grow up reading for fun become lifelong readers. Kids who read because they have to grow up to watch reality television as soon as they move out of the house. You need a LOT of sugar for the medicine to go down, is what I'm getting at.

So the Harry Potter series is largely aimed at children. The first book came out in 1997, the very year that I stopped being a child. That year, I was reading military fiction like Tom Clancy and Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I still don't have time to read all the books that I want to read, let alone the books that everyone else reads.

Now, some day I might have kids. They might want to watch or read Harry Potter, and they might want me to read or watch it with them. And I might weep many tears for what I have missed out on all that time. But kids like to watch stuff again. And again. And AGAIN!

So in the mean time, I will enjoy books meant for mommies and daddies who love each other. As far as I know, Harry Potter doesn't receive a blowjob from a blue-skinned chick. As far as I know, Snape doesn't eject entire families into space for celebrating the wrong holiday. As far as I know, Voldemort doesn't develop a weapon that melts a planet's entire crust and makes it as smooth as a giant cueball. 

As I understand it, the Harry Potter series does contain World War II allegory. So there might be some overlapping appeal between JK Rowling's series and my novel.