Saturday, September 08, 2018

That One New York Times Op Ed

Whoever wrote this New York Times op-ed is a committed Republican. He supported Trump in 2016, and he will support Trump in 2020 if he is re-nominated. He would rather have an incompetent Republican as President than a competent Democrat. This is why he continues to work under Trump.

If Trump is incompetent, and his administration knows this, one might wonder why the Vice President and the Cabinet don't remove him from office using the 25th Amendment. The op-ed author wrote:

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

This is a poor excuse. The 25th Amendment was passed to prevent constitutional crises due to presidential incapacity. The author expects you to believe that following the Constitution would cause a constitutional crisis. If Trump tried to pardon himself, as he has threatened to do, that would create a constitutional crisis.

The fact is, at this point in time, Mike Pence either believes that Trump is capable of doing his job, or he is content to let a corrupt old fool sit in the Oval Office. Republicans know that the Trump train is going to derail. But they aren't going to turn on him before the midterm elections. If Trump manages to find that upper limit of what the public will tolerate, they are going to use Trump as a scapegoat. They're going to trade in their MAGA hats and act like they were part of the #NeverTrump resistance all along.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Alfie Evans

1. When a doctor says A and a parent says B, I tend to go with what the doctor says. Usually the doctors are right. After reviewing Alfie's case, I believe that the boy is already brain dead and will never recover. Further treatment is a waste of resources.
2. If the doctor says it's hopeless, the parents have a right to seek a second opinion. But Italian doctors who have observed Alfie agree with the UK doctors.
3. Courts sometimes have to rule on what's in the best interests of the child. If the doctor says the child needs antibiotics and the parents say the child needs holistic organic regression therapy, the court should probably rule in favor of the doctor. But it's in the best interest of a child to live, not just receive palliative care.
4. If a patient is brain dead, not even palliative care serves any purpose. The only reason I can think of for a British court to insist that Alfie finish dying in a UK hospital is to uphold the authority of the doctors over the parents.
5. But this isn't just about socialized medicine vs private medicine. People needs to understand that life starts and stops with the brain. It's the only organ in the body that can never be replaced or transplanted. In the Baby K case, a hospital was required to keep an anencephalic infant on life support for 2 years because the mother would not accept that the baby was born brain dead.
6. Hospitals should not be required to eat the cost of keeping brain dead patients alive. Neither should insurance companies or the NHS for that matter. If Alfie's Army wanted to raise money for this hopeless case, they should have been allowed to do so.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

BitCoin will go bust.

When people invest in something without fully understanding why it has value, that causes bubbles to happen. They see it go up in price and decide that they want in on it no matter what it is: tulip bulbs, tech stocks, Beanie Babies, etc. But if expectation of an increase in value is the only reason why people are buying an asset, there will come a point where the price reaches it′s peak and some speculators sell to take a profit. Then a lot of investors sell to cut their losses.

Right now, people are taking out mortgages and using credit cards to buy Bitcoin. It′s foolish to invest with money that you don′t have. This can have a huge and unfortunate ripple effect. When Bitcoin goes down in value, people will have all that debt with nothing to show for it. Watch for banks to use all those bad loans as a pretext for asking for another bailout. This is the kind of stupidity that causes recessions. Banks should not grant loans to morons.

If you own Bitcoin right now, sell it. Remember the mantra of ″Buy low, sell high.″ Gold is doing poorly low right now, so consider buying that. The worst time to buy gold is when you see TV ads encouraging you to buy it. Don′t buy it when everyone else is buying it. Buy it when everyone is selling it.

EDIT: I was asked what date this would happen by. I'm going with June 30th, 2018.

Thursday, December 07, 2017


This is a wedding cake. 

There doesn′t seem to be anything offensive about this particular pastry. Nobody could possibly feel disgusted by this cake. Except it was served at a lesbian wedding.

If a business offers cakes like this for sale, it should sell them to anyone who wants to buy one and is willing to pay for it. A business has to pay its employee, vendors, and credits. To turn away customers on the basis of who they are can doom a business.

There is a Supreme Court case being decided right now. The owner of a bakery insists that his 1st Amendment rights are being violated when his business is required to bake cakes for gay weddings. He argues that to force him to bake a cake for a gay wedding is to force him to say something that he doesn′t want to say.

He′s got the same right to spew hate that Fred Phelps did. If he wants to keep his mouth shut, that′s swell too. He can say that he will not put certain messages on cakes. But his business must still provide wedding cakes to anyone who wants to buy them.

We can all agree that symbols and text constitute speech. And I can understand if a business is uncomfortable with putting gay symbols on a cake, like rainbows or pink triangles. Just sell them the blank tiered cake and let them do whatever they want with it. Tomorrow they won′t have the cake anymore, but you′ll still have their money.

To allow a bakery to refuse to serve a gay couple will open many cans of worms. Will restaurants and beauty shops be allowed to discriminate as well? For that matter, how would they even know if someone is gay? Will I have to show that I′m attracted to women before I can place my order at Chick-fil-A? Investors will have to worry that the founder of a company is trying to make a point instead of a profit. Real businessmen want discrimination to be illegal. They don′t even want the option of turning down customers for the wrong reasons.

This court case is not really about free speech. It′s about making bigotry respectable again. We can only hope that the justices see through this ruse.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Writing FAQ's

Frequently asked writing questions:
Q: How do I get published?
A: Write something, then get it published.
Q: I already wrote something.
A: That′s nice. Now edit it.
Q: Already did that too.
A: Very nice. If it′s a short story, find a literary magazine and follow the submission guidelines. If it′s a novel, find an agent and follow their query guidelines. If you can′t find an agent, find a publisher who accepts unagented submissions and follow their guidelines. If you can′t find a publisher, use Createspace or Amazon KDP to self publish.
Q: How long should a chapter be?
A: As long or as short as it has to be. It can be one page long or even shorter. (If all your chapters are one page long, you probably aren′t trying.)
Q: Does anyone here want to be my co-author?
A: No. Ask someone you know to help you. If you don′t know anyone, learn to network more.
Q: I am a man. How do I create a female character?
A: Imagine a male character with breasts and no penis. Consider changing the hair and clothes.
Q: I am a woman. How do I create a male character?
A: Imagine a flat-chested butch lesbian with a penis who can lift heavy objects.
Q: What does a penis got to do with anything?
A: Absolutely nothing, unless you are showing your character having sex or going to the bathroom. Seriously, most of the things a man can do in a story, a woman can do as well. And this is fiction writing, so if you want to show a man giving birth or a woman commanding the 104th Terror Legion, go right ahead.
Q: How do I write a book?
A: Start by reading a book. Then read another. And then another. Now imagine the people who first typed those books and try doing what they did.
Q: How do I beat writer′s block?

A: Stay off Facebook for a couple days. Start working on the part of the story that you really want to be working on, even if you haven′t got that far yet. Or start working on a different story that you like better. The point is to keep writing as much as you can, for as long as you can.

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.