Thursday February 15th, 2018 11:16 I’m just gonna leave this here

When you say that we shouldn’t pass a law because criminals will break it, you’re not making an argument. You’re reciting the dictionary definition of the word “criminal.”

tyson_mindblow
In: News, PoliticsNo Comments

Monday February 12th, 2018 13:36 Why minority rights movements aren’t a challenge to anything

Sometimes, the hammer that hits the nail on the head comes swinging out from the clear blue sky.

I was just reading this BoingBoing story about the family-owned Cox Farms and their history of using their roadside signage to spread messages of humor and inclusion – as well as plain old information – to those driving by the business.

Apparently, they’re getting a bit of hate for posting a sign that says “Resist White Supremacy.” And in their own FB musing about the topic, they came to the same conclusion I did:

We struggle to see how anyone other than self-identified white supremacists would take this as a personal attack.

No shit. There’s no ambiguity and nothing defensible in their stance on anything, so if you want to join them, I can reasonably assume that you, well, joined them.

Later on, they wrote a sentence that killed it:

To our customers and neighbors that feel that this is somehow a divisive stance, we ask you to reflect on the possibility that your lived experience may be one that hasn’t necessitated a message of inclusion to make you feel welcome.

savage_savage

To make it even simpler to decipher:

Around the holidays, when family comes over, you welcome them to your home. You don’t do the same to your spouse – they don’t need to be welcomed because they already live there.

So, if you’re a member of a group who’s never had to (or whose predecessors have never had to) look for window signs to make sure you’re allowed in the front entrance, had to consider pretending to be someone else to ensure service, or simply had to drive down the road to a different store because you knew damn well you weren’t welcome, then it is reasonable to assume you don’t need your own special sign.

If you never have to question whether or not you’re welcome, it’s because you already are.

So when a store owner wants to make sure that others don’t have to question it either, STFU.

Not your damn store anyway.

In: News, PoliticsNo Comments

Sunday January 14th, 2018 02:02 Some men are unsalvageable

As is obvious from my previous post, I recently went to see The Last Jedi.

But as a rational human who doesn’t hate or disparage people for the happenstance of naturally-occurring chromosomes, it had never occurred to me to think that anyone would see that film as particularly feminist, let alone have a problem with it.

I mean, I know there are several characters that have vaginas and everything, and a few of those were in positions of power at that point in the storyline. Yet at no point did it encroach upon anything that seemed like a director or writer going out of their way to make a woman more prominent than the story called for*.

As such, it surprised the hell out of me to learn that some jackass made a cut of that movie called (couldn’t make this up): “The Last Jedi: De-Feminized Fanedit (aka The Chauvinist Cut)”

And…

wtf_mate_chan

I tracked this down – if you want to, feel free. I’m not linking to this garbage – and, Bless His Noodly Appendage, it’s everything it sounds like and more. A sample of the description:

– No whiny/reluctant/murderous psycho Luke.
– NO HALDO! She simply doesn’t exist. Her whole subplot doesn’t exist. The Kamikaze is carried out by Poe. ( = Poe dies.)
– Leia never scolds, questions nor demotes Poe.
– Lea dies. Kylo kills her.

– Phasma is finished after the first blow by Finn. (Women are naturally weaker than men, she isn’t force-sensitive, and we know nothing about any exo-skeleton in her suit)
– Asian chick speaks less, doesn’t bully Finn, Finn doesn’t try to escape, she is never formally introduced. She is just there and occasionally smiles at Finn or screams “Finn!”. She has no sister. Serves her right for all the heinous stuff she did.

Aside: just then, I had a lot of trouble copying and pasting. My own computer doesn’t want to see that shit

Not-so-Aside: The “asian chick” is named Rose. Hers was not a good character, but she has a name, you racist, misogynist twat. You only noticed her because Kelly Marie Tran was so good they made what was originally a throwaway character into something more. I might not like the end product either, but my opinion is incapable of changing how good she is at her job.

As I said before, I’m not a big fan of this film. But I just became a very big fan of someone kicking this douchebag in the nuts.

Like, hard enough so he can no longer breed, if you please.

The traditional parlance would suggest I say it ‘takes a lot of balls’ to do something like this. I disagree.

It in fact takes a distinct lack of balls, as any real man would not only barely notice the completely uncontroversial and entirely realistic female presence in this film, but would never be offended on any level – certainly not at a level that they felt the need to waste their precious time on this earth (apologies to the word ‘precious’ there) cutting up a handycam recording of a movie such that it got rid o’ them uppity wimmins.

You make all men look bad, and you’re out of the club, asshole. You’ve been demoted to ‘testicular cancer’ status; seems appropriate for a cancer upon us all who stains the name of those whose happenstance of naturally-occurring chromosomes forces us to share the trait of having testicle.

*Clarification: Ain’t a damn thing wrong with a director or writer going out of their way to make a woman or women a prominent part of their story. But it does bother me when they do so in a way that makes it stand out like someone is shoehorning a female character into a position that combats the logical flow of a story. It’s counterproductive to both the film and (what I assume is an earnestly good version of) the intended impact. If you have to do that, your story is flawed. A character worth shoehorning should have been better written into the story to begin with, and you might just need to start over. Same goes for non-white characters.

In: Music/Movies/TV, News, PoliticsNo Comments

Monday December 4th, 2017 16:32 People who are actually asking for it

At no point have I been behind The Unpresidented One’s myriad attacks on the media. That there are still people out there unable to recognize the clear pattern – pieces that disagree with him or make him look bad are fake, pieces that agree with him or make him look good are praiseworthy – is far more troubling to me than a gibbon-headed twit yelling at the TV when he disagrees with it.

But sometimes these people need a good punch up the bracket.

For example:

This since-changed CNN headline started as “Can the president be charged with obstruction of justice?” The subhed reads “President Nixon said years ago that a president could not be charged with obstruction of justice. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin explains why that may not be true.”

First…

dumbasses

Second…

Nixon’s impeachment specifically references obstruction of justice. Twice.

While it was never voted on, that it was written, introduced, sent to committee, approved by judiciary and finally sent towards a vote is how Congress removes a president that has committed (or is believed to have committed) an indictable offense. Nixon leaving office rendered the impeachment moot, but it could never have started without a real crime with which the target could be charged. That’s just how that works.

And for those elephants in the room with a spotty grasp of history, attempted obstruction of justice is exactly what the house charged Bill Clinton with in his own articles. And more than 50 of those same House members are still there.

Third…

How in the holy hell is this guy your Chief Legal Analyst? I’ve seen opinions rendered more thoughtfully by way of magic 8-ball.

If you had the stomach to watch that drivel, you’d have seen that Toobers himself mentioned the articles of impeachment talking about obstruction. Then, in a defiant act of cowardice, nimbly dances around saying anything more than it’s a “largely discredited” idea, to think that the president is completely above the law. The Chief Legal Analyst simply can’t bring himself to offer real legal analysis when directly asked for it.

Btw, Toobs, the words you were looking for were: “No, the president is not above the law and anyone who says that is a moron. Probably a moron that will end up trying to avoid that big’un in D-block that’s been giving ‘em the eye.”

In: News, PoliticsNo Comments

Tuesday October 3rd, 2017 16:10 From the higher perch: a note on reactions

(Click to embiggen)
Heaven-Can-Wait

In: News, PoliticsNo Comments

Tuesday October 3rd, 2017 16:09 From the high perch: comparison and contrast

Let me introduce you to two men.

Charles Whitman

This is Charles Whitman.

In 1966, he killed 15 people and injured 31 others over the course of 96 minutes. He was 25 years old and a highly trained sharpshooter, having served in the Marines. He committed his murders using a variety of weapons, including bolt-action and semi-automatic riles.

171002113439-01-stephen-paddock-file-medium-plus-169

This is Stephen Paddock.

In 2017, he killed (at present count) 59 people and injured more than 500 others. According to witnesses, this happened over the course of 10-15 minutes. He was a 64-year-old retiree and professional gambler. There is no current indication he had any formal weapons training (his brother says he did not). There is currently no reliable information about what weapons he used (there are a few new photos, though), but anyone that’s ever fired a gun before can listen to the audio and determine that the shots came faster than one can feasibly pull a trigger, strongly suggesting that he used at least one automatic weapon. Given the distance, speed and lethality of those shots, an assault rifle is extremely likely.

This Average Joe out-murdered a Marine sharpshooter – by a factor of four – in less than 1/6 of the time.

To anyone who is still against reasonable gun control or a ban on assault weapons:

Do I need to draw you a fucking diagram?

In: News, PoliticsNo Comments

Monday July 31st, 2017 15:02 A preparatory ponderance on Mooch’s next CV

mooch

Might also want to warn the next guy not to trip over the bar he set for performance.

In: Other, PoliticsNo Comments

Tuesday May 30th, 2017 15:54 Your things belong to you now (some of them, at least)

Big news, via the EFF.

Finally, a court has stepped up to knock down the notion of companies owning not only patents but consumers’ decisions over what to do with their own property.

trebek

In this instance, we are only talking about the right to refill printer cartridges. But the breadth of the ruling is sure to seep into other aspects of technology bemired in the overreach that is a company daring to tell me what I can and can’t do with something I already paid them for.

It’s the government’s job to pointlessly flail about trying to do that.

In: Computers, News, PoliticsNo Comments

Friday January 20th, 2017 13:35 So it begins, so it ends

Obama_Captain_America
stolen from Driftglass

Sir, you shall be missed.

drumpf
Absolutely loving Mitch McConnell’s ‘OMFG what have I done?’ face

In keeping with the superhero theme, Drumpf just set himself up as Spidey, with the “American carnage” reference. Two thoughts for him:

1. Spiderman is the best superhero ever. So, basically, fuck you.
2. Spot on setting yourself as a 15-year-old boy suddenly imbued with powers he doesn’t understand or know how to use. Though, we’re probably going to end up with a Joe Wade-style Scarlet Spider here. Sad!

In: News, PoliticsNo Comments

Tuesday January 10th, 2017 16:06 Trust, confidence and getting what you pay for

Doubtless, many people hear phrases like “I’ll just take it to Best Buy/the Apple store/etc.” all the time.

Me, not so much, given that I’m usually the repair point they’re taking ‘it’ to.

know_more_than_you

No matter how badly I’ve wanted any given person to take any given device anywhere else, not once have I let such words pass without at least a bit of snark – e.g. “Yes, and since I’m hungry, I’m going to go lick the bottom of a McDonald’s fry trough. Same as any other food, right?”

Listen up, people:

This is an actual ad for an ‘advanced’ Geek Squad tech. Having an A+ cert is ‘preferred.’

For those unaware, an A+ is the toilet paper of the cert world. Most certs are crap in general, and completely unnecessary for someone with a decent resume, but that one just comes right out and says ‘You will have no serious responsibilities or challenges, not the least bit owing to the fact that the supervisor who will be conducting your interview barely knows the difference between CMOS and ATMOS.’

The Apple ‘geniuses’ have an even lower bar.

But why should anyone give a damn, so long as the computer comes back fixed?

Well, besides it costing a whole lot more money and taking an absolutely absurd amount of time, Best Buy, specifically, is full of thin-skulled twits that are all too happy to rifle through your computer or phone in order to fulfill the childish fantasy of playing Junior G-Man in the service of unscrupulous FBI agents.

It’s kind of funny to a tech person that the world is just now finding out that the Bureau has been paying Geek Squad nitwits to spy on customers. Especially since the case in question has had that as an open question for nearly a year now.

The thing is that we’ve always known they were doing that. This is just the first time there may be court-recognized proof.

Think of it this way:

If you’re sending off a computer to be repaired, it stands to reason that you don’t know much about computers. Odds are, you don’t know much about – to revisit my earlier example – making fast food either.

So why do you trust one group to handle a device full of personal correspondence, photos, and videos as if they are beyond reproach, but check the bag to make sure you got your fries while the other is still in the window, watching you insult their capabilities?

Literally the only thing that the Best Buy employee has on the McDonald’s employee is having done a similar job for one year. This qualifies them for ‘advanced’ work.

So is it hard to imagine that (probably) young, barely-skilled retail employees jump right in at the movie-script-esque prospect of spying for the FBI?

About as easy to imagine as a pimple-faced teenager intentionally dropping your burger on the floor?

There’s little chance that anyone not doing anything wrong will end up in such dire straits as Dr. Rettenmaier. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. And it doesn’t mean that the government gets to employ entry-level retail employees as de facto federal agents and send them off to rifle through your data just because a USB port broke on your laptop.

In: Computers, News, PoliticsNo Comments

Whois

IT guy, dev, designer, writer.

Got a degree in print journalism from UF but history dealt some bad cards to that industry, so I moved back to an earlier love: the computer.

Was recently at ZMOS Networks, but am now the Senior IT Associate at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

My name is moderately common, as are a couple screen names, so always look for the logo to make sure you're reading something with official Km approval.

You can get to me directly with kyle(@)kylemitchell.org