Photo credit: DonkeyHotey via / CC BY-SA

Former President Jimmy Carter would take Trump over Cruz, and so would I. Jimmy says: The reason is, Trump has proven already he’s completely malleable. I don’t think he has any fixed (positions) he’d go the White House and fight for. On the other hand, Ted Cruz is not malleable. He has far right-wing policies he’d pursue if he became president. This is exactly the point I've been making about Trump vs. Cruz, but President Carter put it perfectly. Trump is malleable. He pretends to have an ideo … [Read more...]

Ironic Imaginary Conversations

Photo credit: leafar. via / CC BY-SA

Tom Jacobs at Pacific Standard reports on research that shows how animosity toward nonbelievers can be reduced by the religious having an imaginary, positive conversation with an atheist. And most of the subjects said they didn't know any atheists personally: Those who engaged in the imagined conversation "expressed significantly less distrust toward atheists" than those who simply ruminated about the subject. The researchers conclude this more positive attitude was driven by "more comfort with … [Read more...]

Trump is Exactly What We Wanted

Photo credit: Tony Webster via / CC BY-NC-ND

I was not a Trump skeptic when he entered the race. I didn't know how far he'd get, but I knew he'd be a big factor, and as he plowed ahead and stayed on top, I was also not one of those who thought he'd implode. His support, I believed, was rock solid, with a floor that other candidates couldn't match. But I don't think I could ever really articulate why he would do, and has done, so well.Then I read this interview with historian Doris Kearns Goodwin at Huffington Post by Howard Fineman, … [Read more...]

‘Twas the Night Before Iowa (Which Probably Won’t Matter)

2012 GOP Iowa Caucus winner, President Rick Santorum. Um.

Here's what I think of the state of the race on the night before the Iowa caucuses.The polls right now for Iowa are more or less meaningless. Yes, Clinton and Trump are both up a little in the final pre-Iowa poll, but it doesn't really matter. Save for the poor bastards in single digits, the Iowa caucuses are one of the least predictable "elections" in modern politics. For candidates within a few points of each other in polling, everything can hang on innumerable (and entirely banal) … [Read more...]

Immortality the Ineffable Underdog

Photo credit: Macrophy (Grant Beedie) via / CC BY-SA

Everyone you love and everyone you know and everything you touch will someday be gone. We will lose our lovers, our friends, our parents, our children, our animals, ourselves. The pain will be almost intolerable. The jobs we define ourselves by will end. Anything you make with your own two hands will eventually be dust. It will take only a few generations for you to be completely forgotten within your own family. This is by Elmo Keep (she who is responsible for so much of the Mars One … [Read more...]

Oh No, Not OLED


It is being reported that Apple will begin to use OLED displays in an upcoming iPhone generation, as opposed to the IPS LCDs it has always used. And I’m not at all happy about this.I’m not an iPhone user at the moment, so in the near-term I don’t really care what Apple does to its phones. But it can’t be denied that anything significant that Apple does with its most important product will likely be aped by most other manufacturers, if they aren’t already doing the same thing.And the probl … [Read more...]

No, Really, They Are All Trumps

John Scalzi has a good post of observations about the Trump-demagogue situation, echoing the drum I've been beating for a while about the existing GOP electorate: Trump has been leading the GOP polls almost without interruption for months. He’s not an outlier. He’s there for a reason. The reason is that the GOP has made space in their party for race-baiting xenophobic religious bigots, and has done so for years by conscious and intentional strategy. Trump did not bring his supporters into the GO … [Read more...]

They Are All Trumps

Photo by Michael Vadon (CC BY-SA 4.0)

I am as horrified by Donald Trump as any post-Bronze Age member of Homo sapiens, but I am never surprised by him. And let's not pretend he's any different from the rest of the GOP 2016 field.Today, the political world is aghast because Trump said that "for now," Muslims should be barred from entering the country.That's awful, of course. But let's remember that mere days ago, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and other "mainstream" Republican candidates were saying that the U.S. should only help the … [Read more...]

Thirty-Eight with Thanks


As a therapeutic exercise, I’m supposed to be writing down things for which I am grateful. Apparently, there is some science behind the idea that this will increase my well-being. Could be, what do I know.Well, today is birthday number 38 for me (one of the least milestone-y birthdays one can have – at least last year I reached the age of Dennis, who is “not old”). And why not use the occasion to be public about my gratitude? Now, for some things, my gratitude is felt directly for a specific … [Read more...]

Leaving the Day Behind (Tablets Re-Reconsidered)

Photo by me.

I have been on a kind of device-consolidation kick for a couple of years now, shedding gadgets that I feel overlap in their use-cases a bit too much to justify keeping around. Last year, I wrote about how the tablet was being made redundant by the big-screen phone and the super-light laptop, and, becoming a phablet convert myself, I sold my beloved iPad, and my Kindle to boot. My creativity/productivity stuff was covered by the laptop, and the reading/kicking-back stuff was covered by the phone. … [Read more...]