Saturday, January 03, 2015

Andrew O'Hehir on the NYPD and its Broader Implications

Andrew O'Hehir is becoming one of my favorite political commentators (he started out as a movie reviewer). This essay about the NYPD mini-"rebellion" is a great example of why. It includes one of the best distillations of American Exceptionalism that I've yet seen:

Rather, these worldviews rest on the idea that America is not defined by its democratic institutions, but by a mystical or spiritual essence that cannot be precisely described — but is understood far better by some of its citizens than by others. If those attuned to this patriotic frequency overwhelmingly tend to be white males, that is not evidence of racism (they might say) but of the clarity and selflessness of their political vision.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Politician Who Isn't Bragging? Is That Even Allowed?

Via Charlie Pierce, I found the story of Seth Moulton, running for the Massachusetts 6th District seat in the US House of Representatives. Apparently, instead of exaggerating his record, he declined to mention his Bronze Star and other decorations. (Here's another story.)

Is that even allowed?

UPDATE: It does occur to me that the last major politician I know of who did this sort of thing was George McGovern, who flew 35 missions over Nazi-occupied Europe and won the Distinguished Flying Cross. Make of that what you will.

Friday, October 03, 2014

The Worst Muse

The Twitter feed of the Worst Muse.

UPDATE: if you liked that, you may also like Guy In Your MFA.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Peter Watts on the "Scorched Earth Society"

Via Boingboing, we have Peter Watts' talk to the Symposium of the International Association of Privacy Professionals: The Scorched Earth Society: A Suicide Bomber's Guide to Online Privacy (PDF). The title is deliberately over-the-top. It's a great essay, covering many topics, among them why "privacy" matters far less than "surveillance".

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Programming Sucks

I'm finally getting around to reading and closing out a bunch of browser tabs. This "Programming Sucks" essay is a couple of months old, but it sure is funny and accurate.

Most people don't even know what sysadmins do, but trust me, if they all took a lunch break at the same time they wouldn't make it to the deli before you ran out of bullets protecting your canned goods from roving bands of mutants.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Thought of the Day

If corporations are people, shouldn't the 13th Amendment bar buying and selling them?